Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

Maritime Crossroads of Geopolitics in East Asia: A Reexamination of Historic Ocean Perspectives in Japan

Behind the “Island Mentality” Shimaguni konjo (island-nation mentality) is a Japanese phrase that refers to the inward-looking characteristics of the Japanese. Japanologist Donald Keane translates it as “insularism.” (note 1) It is equivalent to the popular English phrase “island mentality.” Both the English and Japanese phrases, whether meant to address metaphorical or literal island communities, are rooted in the notion that islands are isolated in the middle of the sea. In Japan,...

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