Anyway, the point of invented traditions is that many things are to some extent taken to be "tradition" that are on closer examination rather recent and to some extent "artificial". They can be more about inclusion (or exclusion), about group dynamics, about creating an identity, about yearning for the mythical days long gone (that often themselves didn't exist). I'm reminded of books like the Hagakure, and various things we still hear today with alarming frequency about "Bushido". Well, today we talk about "budo". But I think there is a tremendous amount of idealized and self-serving views of these things.
Anyway, not really my area, I'm just an amateur that loves to read stuff.
Oh, the pizza reference is about how you can go to Italy today and get a "traditional" pizza. And how people here will argue incessantly about what style of pizza is "truly authentic". All when pizza as we know it was a somewhat American thing that Italians now make for American tourists looking for the "real deal".
Or to put it another way... It's complicated.
Anyway, a lot of Mr. Boylan's threads lately have reminded me of all of that. So I just dusted off my copy of Invented Traditions for when I finish the book I'm on now. All interesting stuff so I'm sorry if I went a bit far afield.
Carry one as they say...
When I wrote my earlier post, I was thinking of the essay on judo in the collection edited by Stephen Vlastos. The title of the book is Mirror of Modernity
and the essay is entitled "The Invention of the Martial Arts: Kano Jigoro Kano and Kodokan Judo." The essay is by Shun Inoue, who is listed as a professor of sociology at Kyoto University.There is a lengthy translator's note on p.163, but it is unclear to what extent the (anonymous) translator's comments about budo are a reflection of Inoue's thinking about budo or the translator's own ideas.
I recently gave a lecture at Kogakkan University, which is a school for training Shinto priests. The university is situated in Ise and is very close to the two shrines. In the evening I had dinner with some of the professors and we discussed Hobsbawn's ideas. The general tone was, 'Well, in Shinto we invent traditions all the time: the emphasis is more on the quality and value of the tradition itself, rather than whether it is invented or not.'