Publications of Note
Roadblocks on the Information Highway: The IT Revolution in Japanese Education. Edited by Jane M. Bachnik. Lexington Books, Lanham, Md., 2003. ix, 354 pages. $75.00, cloth; $26.95, paper. "The thesis of this book is that the 'lags' in IT implementation are created by contradictory responses of the social environment to the challenges of IT. . . .The result, of course, is an impasse." The micro-level focus is on social contradictions in Japan "played out in the social contexts of IT service providers, webmasters, and classroom teachers." At the meta-level, the book "links these contradictions to broader structural problems" (p. 2). Seventeen chapters by 16 contributors are divided into parts on IT support services, institutional barriers, and pedagogy.
Comparing Social Policies: Exploring New Perspectives in Britain and Japan. Edited by Misa Izuhara. The Policy Press, Bristol, 2003. xi, 258 pages. $29.95, paper. In six sets of paired chapters, the essays in this volume explore social policy, aging, domestic violence, housing, homelessness, and women's health in Japan and Britain. "Each chapter provides country-specific analyses using empirical data and a theoretical and conceptual framework, but can also be read comparatively with its paired Japanese or British chapter" (p. 3). The 13 contributors are mostly from a variety of Japanese universities, the University of Sheffield, and the University of Bristol.
Japanische Zeitrechnun: Ein Handbuch. By Reinhard Zöllner. iudicium verlag, München, 2003. 135 pages. €13.50, paper. This small handbook converts dates from the Japanese calendar to the Western calendar. It includes beginning and ending dates for the reigns of emperors, nengō, the date of Japanese New Year's Day in the Western calendar by year, number of days in each year, intercalary months, months with 30 days, and a wealth of other data. [End Page 278]
Japan at the Millennium: Joining Past and Future. Edited by David W. Edgington. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, 2003. xi, 273 pages. C$85.00, cloth; C$29.95, paper. The volume's "nine thematic chapters address how history has shaped both present circumstances and future challenges in aspects of economic, political, and social life" (p. x). They cover subjects ranging from Japanese economic policymaking and the labor movement, to resource management, attitudes toward China, the rights of minority groups, gender issues, youth and the criminal justice system, quality of urban life, and the Japanese nostalgia boom. Contributors are Hiroshi Aoyagi, Lonny E. Carlile, Millie Creighton, Joshua S. Mostow, Keizo Na-gatani, Stephan M. Salzberg, Bill Sewell, and Roger Smith.
"Berichte über Gesehenes und Gehörtes aus der Ansei-Zeit" (Ansei kemmonshi): Kanagaki Robuns (1829-1894) Bericht über das große Ansei-Erdbeben 1855 als Repräsentant des Genres der "katastrophendarstellungen," Teil 1: Übersetzung und genretheoretische Einordnung; Teil 2: Teiledition. By Stephan Köhn. Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2002. Vol. 1: ix, 307 pages; Vol. 2: 215 pages. €81.00, paper. Kanagaki Robun's report details the losses in Edo following the Ansei earthquake of 1855. Stephan Köhn provides here the original text along with an annotated translation. Through his analysis and interpretation of Kanagaki's report and other contemporary works, he offers a system for categorizing disaster reports and an assessment of the "catastrophe description" genre.
Diskurs über die Wehrhaftigkeit einer Seenation. Edited by Friedrich Lederer. iudicium verlag, München, 2002. 585 pages. €56.00. Hiyashi Shihei's discourse on the military ability of a maritime nation (kaikoku heidan) was completed in 1786 and expressed opinions in contradiction to government policy. Lederer's goal in this work is to reveal the elements of Hiyashi's work "worthy to be rescued from oblivion." His annotated translation of the discourse is supplemented by indexes, bibliography, glossary, maps, and illustrations.
Sagacious Monks and Bloodthirsty Warriors: Chinese Views of Japan in the Ming-Qing Period. Edited by Joshua A. Fogel. EastBridge, Norwalk, Conn., 2002. vi, 401 pages. $34.95, cloth; $24.95, paper. "The essays in this volume begin the process of systematically opening up the rich world of [End Page 279] Chinese views of Japan from the sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries" (p. 4). The 11 chapters are divided into three chronological parts. Contributors are Wang Yong, Timothy Brook, Guo Yunjing, Laura Hess, Benjamin Elman, Wang Baoping, Wang Xiaoqiu, Joan Judge, and Zhou Qiqian.
The Critical Response in Japan to African American Writers. Edited by Toru Kiuchi, Robert J. Butler, and Yoshinobu Hakutani. Peter Lang, New York, 2003. xxviii, 328 pages. $75.95. Following a history of the reception of African American writers in Japan, the bulk of this work is a chronological listing of 1,534 works published in Japan on African American literature since 1927. Also included is a 27-page list of translations of African American literature in Japan.
Enigmatic Power? Relational Power Analysis and Statecraft in Japan's China Policy. By Linus Hagström. Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, 2003. xv, 246 pages. "This dissertation purports to further the understanding of Japan's power in international affairs through the application of a relational concept of power." Hagström analyzes how Japan has "exercised power over China with regard to (1) investment protection and (2) the disputed Pinnacle (Senkaku/Diaoyu) Islands" (p. ii). He finds that Japan has exerted power over China mainly by means of civilian statecraft and along nontraditional dimensions.
Turning Points in Japanese History. Edited by Bert Edström. Japan Library, London, 2002. ix, 251 pages. $75.00, cloth. The 14 essays in this collection deal with "such moments in Japan's history . . . that can be seen, and have been seen, rightly or wrongly, as turning points, or should, in the eyes of the author, be seen as such" (p. 2). These turning points begin with the transmission of Buddhism into Japan and continue with events in the Kamakura, Tokugawa, and Meiji periods, four events in the twentieth century, and the problem of imperial succession in modern Japan. [End Page 280]