Reynoldss Views of Ise Shrine - Assignment Example

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 This essay focuses on the shrine at Ise, Reynolds argues that unlike other Japanese shrines, Ise Shrine has remained culturally important after World War II. He claims that this is because Japanese modernists “were able to neutralize wartime political associations ."…
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Reynolds’s Views of Ise Shrine
In his essay on the shrine at Ise, Reynolds argues that unlike other Japanese shrines, Ise Shrine has remained relevant and culturally important after World War II. He claims that this is because Japanese modernists “were able to neutralize wartime political associations by establishing a new vision of Ise that was compatible with the rhetoric of democracy that dominated postwar Japanese political discourse” (316).
Reynolds structures his essay by discussing the various ways Ise Shrine has been important throughout history, leading up to the present day. In this way, he is able to show how views of Ise have changed, and also why modernist claims to the shrine’s importance are so effective. One of the biggest arguments in their favor is that the continual destruction and rebuilding of the shrine is part of the modernist aesthetic (324).
The strong points of Reynolds’s organization is that the long historical introduction builds up well to his claim, so that by the time Reynolds makes it it seems logical. However, at the same time, that long historical introduction makes the essay somewhat difficult to read. It seems like Reynolds could have spent a lot less time on historical facts or at least applied them more directly to his main argument.
Reynolds validates his authority throughout the essay. On the one hand, he continually cites Japanese sources, which makes it clear that he is very familiar with his topic and able to make statements about it. On the other, he writes at great length about many aspects of both Ise Shrine’s history and the aesthetics of Japanese modernism. Reynolds clearly has authority to write about modernist views of Ise Shrine. Read More
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