CONSTANTIN GĂVĂNESCUL AND KUNITAKE KUME: IN SEARCH OF SELF AND OTHER IN A FOREIGN LAND – A COMPARISON BETWEEN THEIR TRAVEL DIARIES


Posted On Oct 17 2011 by

A Japanese Historian – Kunitake Kume (1839 – 1931) and a Romanian officer – General Constantin Găvănescul (18871 – 1942) – travel far away from their homelands as official members of the embassies of their own countries. Kume and his companions from the Iwakura mission cross the Pacific Ocean in December 1871, and then they travel through the United States of America, finally reaching Western Europe. After their visits through twelve countries – the United States, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Austria and Switzerland – the Japanese Embassy came back to Japan in September 1873. General Găvănescul was accompanying a Royal Romanian embassy led by King Ferdinand’s son, Carol – future King Carol the Second – and his travel notes from Egypt, India, China, Japan and the United States of America, as well as from Europe cover a far shorter period of time – the year 1920. For the present study we selected meaningful parts from Kume’s entire diary, as well as the most useful observations from Găvănescul’s travel notes in Japan. The two travelogues differ in time, length and purpose, as well as cultural background. Still, both authors’ ways of revealing Self and Other in some extremely distant lands share some common features that could provide us with the support for a new Self vs. Other approach: the ethical repositioning of Self and Other within travel notes marked as official.

Last Updated on: October 17th, 2011 at 1:34 P, by admin


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