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Images play a fundamental role in relations among peoples. American and Japanese scholars have been among the foremost students of images in international and intercultural relations. Building on the historiographical achievements in the two countries, these essays aim further to explore aspects of Japanese–American mutual perceptions.
The contributors to this volume provide pieces of a puzzle, authentic but partial elements of a total picture. They examine the sources, ranges, uses (and misuses), and constituencies of images. They propose various ways of studying this extremely elusive subject and show how an examination of American–Japanese perception can contribute to a better understanding of Japanese history and American history. We see instances of misperceptions and misunderstandings, but also a streak of open-mindedness and flexibility in both Japan and the United States.