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Bonds of Civility

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  • 25 b/w illus. 4 colour illus. 1 table
  • Page extent: 480 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.7 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521601153 | ISBN-10: 0521601150)

In this book, Eiko Ikegami uncovers a complex history of social life in which aesthetic images became central to Japan's cultural identities. The people of premodern Japan built on earlier aesthetic traditions in part for their own sake, but also to find space for self-expression in the increasingly rigid and tightly controlled Tokugawa political system. In so doing, they incorporated the world of the beautiful within their social life which led to new modes of civility. They explored horizontal and voluntary ways of associating while immersing themselves in aesthetic group activities. Combining sociological insights in organizations with prodigious scholarship on cultural history, this book explores such wide-ranging topics as networks of performing arts, tea ceremony and haiku, the politics of kimono aesthetics, the rise of commercial publishing, the popularization of etiquette and manners, the vogue for androgyny in kabuki performance, and the rise of tacit modes of communication.

• Explores wide-ranging topics, from the networks of performing arts to the popularization of etiquette and manners • Combines sociological insights in organizations with prodigious scholarship on cultural history • Uncovers a complex history of social life


Part I. A Social Theory of State, Civility and Publics: Introduction: aesthetic Japan and the Tokugawa Network Revolution; 1. Civility without civil society: a comparative overview; 2. Culture and identity as emergent properties in networks: a theoretical overview; Part II. The Transformation of Associational and the Rise of Aesthetic Publics: 3. The medieval origin of aesthetic publics: linked poetry and the ritual logic of freedom; 4. The Late Medieval transformation of Za arts in struggles between vertical and horizontal alliances; 5. Tokugawa state formation and the transformation of aesthetic publics; 6. The rise of aesthetic civility; 7. The Haikai, network poetry: the politics of border crossing and subversion; 8. Poetry and protest: the rise of social power; 9. Tacit modes of communication and their contribution to Japanese national identities; Part III. Market, State, and Categorical Politics: 10. Categorical protest from the floating world: fashion, state and gender; 11. The information revolution: Japanese commercial publishing and styles of proto-modernity; 12. Hierarchical civility and beauty: etiquette and manners in Tokugawa manuals; Part IV. Concluding Reflections: 13. The rise of aesthetic Japan; Epilogue: toward a pluralistic view of communication styles; Endnotes; List of illustrations.

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