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date: 31 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the history of modernism and colonial modernity in Japan during the twentieth century. It suggests that elements of Japanese culture could serve as resources and exotic reference points for Euro-American experimentation, and that Japanese modernity also existed in a series of overlapping temporalities. The article argues that the concept of colonial modernity is a reminder that the cultural production of early twentieth-century Japan was embedded in regional and global relationships of inequality, and that the boundaries of modernism are thus constantly shifting, indicating that the definition of what constitutes a modernist artwork is a question of reading strategies as much as the identification of formal features.

Keywords: modernism, colonial modernity, Japan, Euro-American experimentation, inequality

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