Japanese Travel Through the Ages with Patrick Lovell - Context Travel

Japanese Travel Through the Ages with Patrick Lovell


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Travel, the simple movement from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’, had major consequences for not only the development of Japan towards a unified state but the ongoing legacy and consequences of this history that can still be seen today. This conversation will take a look at travel through the centuries in Japan as we examine historic sources, including diary extracts.

We’ll discuss the ancient great clans from Kyushu, Izumo, and Yamato, all vying for supremacy and we’ll learn about the adaptation of a settled population focused on the wet-rice culture that brought the Jomon to an end or, more likely, assimilation with the influx of the Yayoi. The Yayoi became dominant and along with wet-rice culture, brought iron, bronze, and political conflict to Japan, and travel made all of this possible.

We’ll talk about how the influence of travel on the adoption of Buddhism, Confucianism, and the foreign script of Chinese kanji cannot be underplayed. We also look at the native reaction to these structural and cultural assimilations from the mainland, at a time when the Japanese began to develop native confidence and voice which led to a native sensibility still strong today. This was almost entirely the work of women, and we look at the nikki and kiko bungaku — diary, and travel diary — that provided the structure for this Japanese sensibility. Specifically the appreciation of nature and simple and natural things and emotions — wabi sabi — still define the Japanese today.

Between the Heian period of the eighth century and the Edo period of the nineteenth century, some 70 travel diaries have come to light, and there were undoubtedly many more that have been lost or are yet to be discovered. That said, it is undoubtedly the henro or junrei — pilgrimage — that in many ways is the archetype of the tabi, or travel, still true today.

Led by an expert history guide, Patrick Lovell, this interactive seminar will help participants to better understand the history, and legacy, of travel through the ages in Japan. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of this intriguing evolution.

Patrick Lovell completed a BA in Education and Asian History at Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, where he followed his interest in Asia and particularly Japanese history, and culture. After a study abroad semester in a Japanese family he taught Japanese history at Nishimachi International School, Tokyo, founded by the Meiji period Matsukata Masayoshi’s grand daughter Tané Matsukata, and adult education Japanese history courses at Temple University, Tokyo Campus. Patrick has spent 50 years in Japan and witnessed first-hand the end of Japan’s heady economic revival and the rise and fall of the speculative land bubble in the early 90s. Patrick has been providing custom history/cultural tours throughout Japan for 15 years and is a 35 year practitioner of Buyo traditional Japanese dance. He maintains his Japanese karasansui garden in Nikko where he makes his home.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
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Y.M.
Japanese Travel Through the Ages

I enjoyed Patrick's explanation of the various travels in Japan, using many rare, valuable photos that even Japanese people have never seen before. Tourists might be interested in the Shikoku pilgrimage route and the Kanto pilgrimage route in the future as well.

B
B.
Not quite what I was expecting...

I think I was expecting more focus on the travels of medieval pilgrims and daimyo lords rather than this very general overview of travel (in the most general terms) over the ages. Mr. Lovell is clearly very knowledgeable, but it was a bit dry. I wanted to hear extracts from the travel diaries to bring the travels alive... There were also a great deal of Japanese terms - tricky for a non-Japanese speaker.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
50%
(1)
0%
(0)
50%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
Y
Y.M.
Japanese Travel Through the Ages

I enjoyed Patrick's explanation of the various travels in Japan, using many rare, valuable photos that even Japanese people have never seen before. Tourists might be interested in the Shikoku pilgrimage route and the Kanto pilgrimage route in the future as well.

B
B.
Not quite what I was expecting...

I think I was expecting more focus on the travels of medieval pilgrims and daimyo lords rather than this very general overview of travel (in the most general terms) over the ages. Mr. Lovell is clearly very knowledgeable, but it was a bit dry. I wanted to hear extracts from the travel diaries to bring the travels alive... There were also a great deal of Japanese terms - tricky for a non-Japanese speaker.