Longfellow's Tattoos

Longfellow's Tattoos

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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 qcollectedq on his body. His journals, correspondence, and art collection dramatically demonstrate Americaa€™s early impressions of Japanese culture, and his personal odyssey illustrates the impact on both countries of globetrotting tourism. Interweaving Longfellowa€™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.Tattoos provide an especially resonant metaphor for the complex, subtle transformations in attitudes toward Japanese culture brought on with the advent of global tourism. ... The decor of Longfellow House, and especially its aquot;Japan Room, aquot; filled with Charley Longfellowa#39;s souvenirs, serves ... than today, when it is assumed that to participate in cultural discourse requires that ideas be articulated in writing.

Title:Longfellow's Tattoos
Author:Christine Guth
Publisher:University of Washington Press - 2004


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