The Journal of Japanese Studies
The landscape known today as the Japanese Alps is a cultural artifact of the mid-Meiji era. During the decade between the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars, as imperial competition thrust mountains into new prominence across the globe, central Honshu’s ranges came into focus for the first time. The visionaries who produced the Japanese Alps for the Japanese public during these years, notably Shiga Shigetaka and Kojima Usui, simultaneously imbued the alpine landscape with an exalted purpose. Synthesizing science and aesthetics with practical advice, their writings helped shape a new sensibility toward mountains: one where climbing was yoked to what might be called geographical enlightenment.
31, Number 1 (Winter 2005)