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A symbol becomes the culture: Reinventing Japanese cherry blossoms

Ye, Hanyan (2015) ACET35
Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University
Abstract
A major concern of this thesis was the changing meanings of cherry blossoms in Japanese history, and the images of Japan created through the flower. With a peculiar emphasis on today’s international context, when cherry blossoms have become a unique culture of Japan, this research inquired into the process of symbol-making. The Zenith concept of nyoze and poststructural discussions on language-power relations functioned as critical theoretical tools in revealing the articulation of knowledge within meanings related to the symbol, which empowered certain “truths” at different historical stages. In addition, the thesis illustrated that aestheticization and commodification were the two prominent forces in reinventing meanings, making them... (More)
A major concern of this thesis was the changing meanings of cherry blossoms in Japanese history, and the images of Japan created through the flower. With a peculiar emphasis on today’s international context, when cherry blossoms have become a unique culture of Japan, this research inquired into the process of symbol-making. The Zenith concept of nyoze and poststructural discussions on language-power relations functioned as critical theoretical tools in revealing the articulation of knowledge within meanings related to the symbol, which empowered certain “truths” at different historical stages. In addition, the thesis illustrated that aestheticization and commodification were the two prominent forces in reinventing meanings, making them appear natural or commonsensical. Meanwhile, supported by interview findings, the thesis investigated into the uniqueness and authenticity of cherry blossoms in Japan, and contended that they reinforced the asserted cultural homogeneity of the country. (Less)
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author
Ye, Hanyan
supervisor
organization
course
ACET35
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Nihonjinron, commodification, aestheticization, reinvention of traditions, nyoze, national symbols, cherry blossoms
language
English
id
7861548
date added to LUP
2015-09-08 13:42:58
date last changed
2015-09-10 08:28:32
@misc{7861548,
  abstract     = {A major concern of this thesis was the changing meanings of cherry blossoms in Japanese history, and the images of Japan created through the flower. With a peculiar emphasis on today’s international context, when cherry blossoms have become a unique culture of Japan, this research inquired into the process of symbol-making. The Zenith concept of nyoze and poststructural discussions on language-power relations functioned as critical theoretical tools in revealing the articulation of knowledge within meanings related to the symbol, which empowered certain “truths” at different historical stages. In addition, the thesis illustrated that aestheticization and commodification were the two prominent forces in reinventing meanings, making them appear natural or commonsensical. Meanwhile, supported by interview findings, the thesis investigated into the uniqueness and authenticity of cherry blossoms in Japan, and contended that they reinforced the asserted cultural homogeneity of the country.},
  author       = {Ye, Hanyan},
  keyword      = {Nihonjinron,commodification,aestheticization,reinvention of traditions,nyoze,national symbols,cherry blossoms},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {A symbol becomes the culture: Reinventing Japanese cherry blossoms},
  year         = {2015},
}