The Practice and the Reproduction of Tourist Landscapes in Contemporary Japan

Eriko Yasue


Eriko Yasue (2011) The Practice and the Reproduction of Tourist Landscapes in Contemporary Japan.

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My thesis explores the ways in which Japanese landscape and modern tourism mutually constitute and influence each other. It argues that the reproduction of tourist landscapes is the dynamic relationship between place-images, discourses, and embodied practices enacted in sites. Based on a case study of Asuke, a popular destination in Japan, this research analyses the formation and the practices of tourist landscapes in the context of contemporary Japanese domestic tourism.

My analysis considers tourist landscape as a social-cultural construction where shifting social values, meanings and sensibilities are inscribed. It looks at the changing ideologies of societies and the shifting interpretations of place in modern Japan. In particular, the thesis highlights the ‘practice’ dimension of tourist landscapes in order to investigate how constructed visibility and materiality are used and accepted by contemporary Japanese. Furthermore, I foreground the crucial role of individuals/social groups in the process of development and popularisation of the modern idea of landscape in Japan with the assistance of tourism.

By using visual ethnography and interviews, the empirical study of Asuke confirms that the tourist landscape is simultaneously shaped and re-shaped both by visual and textual representations and embodied practices in actual sites. The reproduction of tourist landscapes in Asuke is intimately linked with the sense of ‘Japaneseness’. Such constructed landscapes in Asuke are repeatedly practiced by different social actors through their mobility and visibility. Furthermore, exploring the actual landscape experiences through photography reveals the fluidity of relations between different social positions – the gazer and the gazed. Through attention to the changing forms of representation of ‘Japanese landscape’ and practices of modern tourism, this thesis explores the potential of the modern notion of landscape to examine the social construction of difference in a non-western society.

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This is a Accepted version
This version's date is: 01/07/2011
This item is not peer reviewed

Link to this Version

Item TypeThesis (Doctoral)
TitleThe Practice and the Reproduction of Tourist Landscapes in Contemporary Japan
AuthorsYasue, Eriko
Uncontrolled Keywordsjapan; tourism; human geography

Deposited by () on 05-Aug-2011 in Royal Holloway Research Online.Last modified on 15-Feb-2017


(C) Eriko Yasue whose permission to mount this version for private research/study is acknowledged.