This bold and illuminating study examines the role of archaeology in the formation of the modern Japanese nation and explores the processes by which archaeological practice is shaped by national social and intellectual discourse. Leading Japanese archaeologist Koji Mizoguchi argues that an understanding of the past has been a central component in the creation of national identities and modern nation states and that, since its emergence as a distinct academic discipline in the modern era, archaeology has played an important role in shaping that understanding. By examining in parallel the uniquely intense process of modernisation experienced by Japan and the history of Japanese archaeology, Mizoguchi explores the close interrelationship between archaeology, society and modernity, helping to explain why we do archaeology in the way that we do. This book is essential reading for anybody with an interest in the history of archaeology or modern Japan.

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