This chapter reflects on the adequacy of the word ‘cosmopolitanism’ to describe the universal avocations of both Rabindranath Tagore and Okakura Tenshin. While both Tagore and Okakura presented themselves to rapt audiences as representatives of ‘India’ and ‘Japan’ respectively, they also seemed to transcend their specific national origins as seers of the world who happened to speak exquisite English. After providing some kind of empirical counter to the different ways in which cosmopolitanism is being reclaimed today at a theoretical level, this chapter proceeds to complicate how Tagore and Okakura negotiated their unquestionably privileged world and examines the cosmopolitics of dress and language.
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