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The Journal of Japanese Language Literature Studies > Volume 8(1); 2019 > Article
Border Crossings: The Journal of Japanese-Language Literature Studies 2019;8(1): 21-37.
doi: https://doi.org/10.22628/bcjjl.2019.8.1.21
Asia as a Borrowing Index : Civilizational Transference and Colonial Modernity
Correspondence  Naoki SAKAI ,Email: naoki.sakai@cornell.edu
Published online: 30 June 2019.
Copyright ©2019 The Global Institute for Japanese Studies, Korea University
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
What is Asia? At stake in this inquiry is not the character of Asia at all. Asia exists only in reference to Europe or the West. Of course, the West and Europe must be historically differentiated, but we are not concerned with this problem in this article. Of decisive importance in discussing the identity of Asia is that, until the nineteenth century, people living in Asia did not know they were Asian; neither did they know they lived in Asia. Only under colonial modernity did intellectuals living in Asia begin to identify with Asia. Just like any civilization, Europe produces knowledge, but it wants to believe it is distinguished from other civilizations by its unique mode of operation in knowledge production. The Europeans regarded themselves as an exceptional kind of humanity capable of ‘theory,’ and they called themselves humanitas in contrast to other types of humanity termed anthropos: those who produce knowledge but are incapable of reflecting upon and criticizing their modus operandi in knowledge production. Only by occupying the position of an object of knowledge did Asians learn how to identify themselves. In other words, only by subjecting themselves to the European gaze could Asians be aware of their civilizational identity.
Keywords: Modern International World, Civilizational Transference, European Humanity, Modern Colonialism, Area Studies

キ―ワ―ド: 近代国際世界, 文明論的転移, ヨーロッパ人のヒューマニタ ス, 近代植民地主義, 地域研究
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