This article uses as a starting point the intellectual/creative vision of Japanese contemporary cultural anthropologist Imafuku Ryūta: the vision of the world as archipelago. In order to demonstrate that Imafuku's attempt can be explicated as an instance of the “traveling theory” of postcolonialism to Japan, the author situates Imafuku's idea within the lineage of Japanese anthropology intertwined with the lineage of cultural anthropology, having Japan as its field. The work of postcolonial critics such as Gayatri Spivak and Edward Said is introduced alongside an in-depth analysis of the very forging of the archipelagic vision in the collaborative work between Imafuku and the poet Yoshimasu Gōzō. The article argues that, through the idea of archipelago, a certain experimentation with perspective is achieved through the ideas of “reversal” and “wound” (concealing of the wound and shame). This is simultaneously linked to the translation of Orientalism/postcolonialism to Japan both as historical experience and as intellectual frustration of the non-West in its challenge to generate indigenous cultural theories. The last issue is further elaborated with the help of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's work on affect and touch/texture.
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Dennitza Gabrakova; Archipelagic Thought and Theory's Other: Traveling Theory in Japan. positions 1 May 2014; 22 (2): 461–487. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10679847-2413862
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