A cross-cultural perspective on musealization: the museum’s reception by China and Japan in the second half of the nineteenth century

Chang Wan-Chen


Historically museums emerged in the West and were subsequently taken up by people in other regions of the world, including the Far East, where the museum was adopted with alacrity by Japanese and Chinese intellectuals. This article explores how China and Japan imagined museums when they first encountered them in the West. It sketches how intellectuals in these two nations began to conduct ‘musealization’, and suggests that the museum in China and Japan was a product of appropriation of Western formats that was, however, deeply influenced by traditional attitudes to cultural preservation and display.

Copyright (c) 2015 Chang Wan-Chen

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360