The Anne of Green Gables National Heritage Site in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, Canada, centers around the farmhouse where author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, was raised, and serves as the setting for her classic novel, Anne of Green Gables (1908). This is thus a heritage site about a fictional character, but very real and historical to the author of the well-loved book. This paper centers on a 2015 visit to the site, where I encountered not only the expected thousands of Canadian pilgrims traipsing up and down ‘Lover’s Lane’, but a half-dozen Japanese college students interning for the summer–in costume, scattered around the site, demonstrating Japanese crafts and games for tourists. As a visitor to the site, I found myself asking: How do these Japanese traditions fit into the interpretation of this most quintessential of Canadian sites? And, how does their presence alter the touristic encounter for both Canadian and Japanese visitors? The presence of Japanese interpreters at the site will thus be used to interrogate notions of the production of knowledge about ‘the other’, as well as pointing to the creation of new narratives about cultural tourism, challenging traditional notions of heritage and authenticity.
- literary destinations
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
- Nature and Landscape Conservation