Early Meiji Japan and public history: Ports, public memory, gateways to understanding through photography
Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
School of Business and Law
The success of the Meiji regime elite in placing Japan on the road to unprecedented rapid economic development is for all to see in the public history displayed within the port districts of Yokohama, Kobe and Nagasaki. Silence marks the history of how important these port-rail-communications developments were to the restoration of Japan’s own sovereignty and the simultaneous stripping away of others. This work explores the state and left-unstated reasoning behind Meiji Japan’s elevation to become the first non-western power utilising the authors photography of the public history of Japanese ports and their indispensable rail and communications connections.1.