Ethnography as Consumption:
Travel and National Identity in Oda Makoto’s Nan de mo mite yarō
Discussions of Oda Makoto’s wildly successful 1961 travelogue Nan de
mo mite yarō invariably speak of its brash self-portrait of the
Japanese citizen abroad. While this characterization is surely apt, it
obscures the shifting affiliations and identities that mark so many of
Oda’s encounters with minority and otherwise marginalized communities.
In this article, I examine the narrator’s apparently easy assumption of
different ethnographic poses and trace this cultural shifting to Oda’s
dramatization of travel as a mode of cultural consumption and to his
anxiety over defining a national subjectivity amid increasing prosperity
and international prominence in the early 1960s.
35, Number 1 (Winter 2009)
© 2009 Society for Japanese Studies