Hidemichi Kawanishi, Hiroshima University. Translated by Nanyan Guo, International Research Center for Japanese Studies, and Raquel Hill
In March 2011 Japan's Tōhoku region was devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami. This was another blow to an area that has been dogged by hardships throughout Japanese history. Beginning in the middle of the 19th century, modern Japan, in its quest to form a nation-state, situated Tōhoku on the periphery and emphasised the region's alleged backwardness. By examining how Tōhoku has been perceived and constructed through this lens across the span of history, Hidemichi Kawanishi reveals a Japan that is far more diverse than traditionally thought.