chapter  1
23 Pages

Tokugawa Japan: from premodern to early modern

In addition, the Tokugawa past remains alive in the present, not just in Japan, but also other parts of the world. ‘Premodern’ or ‘traditional’ fi gures from the period – samurai, ninja, rōnin, geisha – now appear in mainstream Western popular culture. They appear in advertisements, movies (e.g. The Wolverine ) and television ( Revenge ), utilized in comic ways as well as deployed with mixed attitudes toward the behaviour and values they are seen to embody. Japan specialists may criticize the stereotyping of Japanese behaviour and values depicted in the media, but the frequency of their representation assumes widespread, if not accurate, familiarity with Japan’s past in the modern world.