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Tracing the Emperor: Photography, Famous Places, and the Imperial Progresses in Prewar Japan

Gyewon Kim
Representations
Vol. 120, No. 1 (Fall 2012), pp. 115-150
DOI: 10.1525/rep.2012.120.1.115
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/rep.2012.120.1.115
Page Count: 36
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Tracing the Emperor: Photography, Famous Places, and the Imperial Progresses in Prewar Japan
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Abstract

This essay examines the relations between two distinctive photographic projects in prewar Japan: the photographic records of the imperial progresses from 1872 to 1886 and the photographic commemoration of the emperor’s sacred trace during the subsequent half-century. Together, these photographic projects re-present and re-make local landscapes through the mediation of the emperor’s sacred gaze, thereby providing a ground for new knowledge and political subjectivity in early twentieth-century Japan.

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