Bodies and Structures is a platform for researching and teaching spatial histories of Japan, its empire, and the larger worlds of which they were a part. It begins from the premise that space and place are fundamental to humanistic inquiry, and unfolds to illuminate how we might write spatial histories that reveal the multiple topologies of historical experience rather than a chronology of spatial thought or territorial transformation.
Bodies and Structures is composed of two elements. The basic building blocks of the site are its independent "modules," each of which uses primary sources to reveal particular historical instantiations of place and space. These modules are individually authored. The second layer of the site are its multiple conceptual maps, which reveal thematic, historical, and geographic connections across and between the modules. This second layer represents the collaborative curatorial and analytical effort of the site's contributors and editors.
Explore Bodies and Structures through one of four entry points: the list of modules, the tag index, the complete grid visualization, or the geotagged map. Or, begin with our overview essay, "What We're Doing," which introduces the project's conceptual and historiographical foundations, its key questions, and its structure.