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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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.