The Tōkaidō Road: Traveling and Representation in Edo and Meiji Japan
The T˘kaid˘ Road offers a comparative study of the T˘kaid˘ road's representations during the Edo (1600-1868) and Meiji (1868-1912) eras. Throughout the Edo era, the T˘kaid˘ highway was the most important route of Japan and transportation was confined to foot travel. In 1889, the T˘kaid˘ Railway was established, at first paralleling and eventually almost eliminating the use of the highway. During both periods, the T˘kaid˘ was a popular topic of representation and was depicted in a variety of visual and literary media. After the installation of the railway in the Meiji era, the T˘kaid˘ was presented as a landscape of progress, modernity and westernisation. Such representations were fundamental in shaping the T˘kaid˘ and the realm of travelling in the collective consciousness of the Japanese people.
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