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By R. Worringer

Trendy "clash of civilizations" among the Islamic global and the West are in lots of methods rooted in 19th-century resistance to Western hegemony. This compellingly argued and thoroughly researched transnational research information the ways that Japan served as a version for Ottomans achieve "non-Western" modernity in a Western-dominated worldwide order.

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Additional info for Ottomans Imagining Japan: East, Middle East, and Non-Western Modernity at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Sample text

They increasingly viewed themselves as an ethnic entity like the Japanese; some of those who perceived Japan in the most racialized terms, or who were the most influenced by this conception of race as it was framed in Western theoretical praxis and outlined in certain press and literature on the Turkish nation, applied it to Turkish identity. They acted on this understanding most profoundly in the twentieth century: as the architects of the Armenian genocide of 1915 as well as emptying Anatolia of unwanted minority populations that would contradict such an ethno-religious, racial understanding of a modern Turkey (though one ethnicity, the Kurds, was left in place that caused difficulties later).

Local experiences on the ground in Ottoman lands related directly to what was happening in the larger world outside, and people made these connections. Ottoman officials certainly made their elitist views apparent in the correspondence they left behind in historical records, whether the memoirs of the Sultan himself, or else the writings and actions of his ministers and diplomats. The press, where perhaps the most striking and sustained public commentary about almost every aspect of Japanese state and society appeared, was the record of the literate middleand upper-class intelligentsia of the Ottoman Empire who attempted to stake a claim in the ideological orientations of their government as well as in the minds of their reading audiences.

The nineteenth-century experience of the Ottoman peasant in Anatolia with the Russian Empire may not have been more sophisticated than a sense of Russia as an historic enemy whose threatening position on Ottoman frontiers required the conscription of one’s sons into the military to fight and die defending the Ottoman homeland. But this experience often coincided with reading (or hearing a recitation of) an Ottoman journalist’s exposé on Japan in which he or she described in vibrant detail Japan’s ability to fend off Western threats and even defeat Russia in war because of Japanese patriotism, love of homeland, and the preservation of a distinctly Japanese warrior ethos.

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