In his presidential address at the 1977 annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Marius Jansen pointed out that the relationship between monarchy and modernization in Japan is a significant subject of research for Western scholars specializing in Japanese studies. Specifically, Jansen emphasized the need to investigate the popular perceptions of the monarch usually overlooked by Japanese historians. He noted that a study of Japanese mentalité must cover a vast area, including “imagery, iconography, and ritual.” Until we “get at” this level of the social and cultural history of modern Japan, Jansen feared, we will fail to gain “a better understanding of modernization, of Japan, in world history” (1977:612–22).
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Copyright © Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 1987