Longfellow's Tattoos: Tourism, Collecting, and Japan
Charles Longfellow, son of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, arrived in Yokohama in 1871, intending a brief visit, and stayed for two years. He returned to Boston laden with photographs, curios, and art objects, as well as the elaborate tattoos he had "collected" on his body. His journals, correspondence, and art collection dramatically demonstrate America’s early impressions of Japanese culture, and his personal odyssey illustrates the impact on both countries of globetrotting tourism.
Interweaving Longfellow’s experiences with broader issues of tourism and cultural authenticity, Christine Guth discusses the ideology of tourism and the place of Japan within nineteenth-century round-the-world travel. This study goes beyond simplistic models of reciprocal influence and authenticity to a more synergistic account of cross-cultural dynamics.