Nature in Translation: Japanese Tourism Encounters the Canadian Rockies
This chapter explores how the natural landscape of the Canadian Rockies has been constructed as a utopian space in the Japanese tourist imagination. It traces the work of influential media personality and former member of the National Diet, Ōhashi Kyosen, who has promoted Canada as a Japanese leisure travel destination since the 1970s, and more recently, as a potential location for a happy retirement overseas. Ōhashi weaves cosmopolitan dreams for the middle mass to be liberated from social obligations and cultural constraints by transcending national boundaries. The “Canada” articulated by Ōhashi was a shared ground for interaction between many tourists and guides and for the guides to perform as embodiments of cosmopolitan desire. The chapter situates the discussion in the ongoing struggle in translating “subject” and “subjectivity” in Japanese, and how cosmopolitan desire has been variously conditioned by the post-WWII and post-Cold War global politics.