BEYOND NOSTALGIA AND THE PRISON OF ENGLISH: Positioning Japan in a Global History of Emotions

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This article interrogates the history of emotions at a pivotal moment in its growth as a discipline. It does so by bringing into conversation the ways in which scholars in Japan have approached ›nostalgia‹ (and emotions more broadly) as an object of study with concepts, theories, and methods prioritised by a predominantly Eurocentric field. It argues that Anglocentric notions of nostalgia as conceptual frameworks often neglect the particularisms that underlie the way that the Japanese language communicates and operationalizes cultural norms and codes of feeling. It also examines the aisthetic work of musicologist Tsugami Eisuke to help understand historical and psychological distinctions between ›nostalgia‹ and Japanese ideas of temporal ›longing‹, working towards a global history of emotions that meaningfully embraces multilateral and multi-lingual interaction. This article thus argues for a more nuanced way of discussing nostalgia cross-culturally, transcending dominant approaches in the field which are often grounded in a specifically Euro-Western experience but claim universal reach.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-43
Number of pages23
JournalZeithistorische Forschungen
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History


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