NAOKI ONISHI President, J.A.E.A. The Japanese Association of Early Americanists Parochialism or localism seems to be the term most often used to characterize the study of early America here in Japan. Why is it necessary or important to study such old and dead topics buried almost three hundred years ago in a small corner of America, or that of America when the United States itself had never existed? Facing young Japanese students, who have been totally saturated with contemporary American popular culture, Japanese university professors have a difficult time stimulating their interest in the history of the United States, much less early America. The study of early America by geographical area such as New England is very remote and therefore aloof in their mental map, compared with that of the West Coast or the so-called Pacific Rim, where a strong affinity or tie with Japanese culture and history has been present. Furthermore, students in this country are, generally speaking, becoming more and more presentoriented, losing historical sense in their academic as well as daily life. If this is true about the understanding of their own country, it is far more difficult to direct their interest in the history
Early American Literature – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Jul 1, 2002
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