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Translation as representation: Fukuzawa Yukichi's representation of the "Others"

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Abstract

The focus of this essay is Fukuzawa Yukichi’s representation, or translation, of non-Western cultures, which had a significant bearing on the Japanese reader’s perception of these cultures. He was a renowned nineteenth-century educator and intellectual whose translation work is recognized to have contributed to modernization of the country. However, Fukuzawa’s representation of these cultures, specifically his writings on China and Korea, has been under scrutiny as evidence for him being a nationalistic expansionist who contributed to instigating Japan’s aggression towards Asia. This essay examines how his act of translation is linked to the image of Fukuzawa as a proponent of Japan’s aggression and how Fukuzawa is responsible for ideologically framing Japan’s relationship with other non-Western cultures. Although Fukuzawa lived in the nineteenth century, his representation is still important for contemporary Japan.

References

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