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Language and Thought in Context
In an accessible and original study of the Japanese language in relation to Japanese society and culture, Senko Maynard characterizes the ways of communicating in Japanese and explores Japanese language-associated modes of thinking and feeling. Japanese Communication: Language and Thought in Context opens with a comparison of basic American and Japanese values via cultural icons--the cowboy and the samurai--before leading the reader to the key concept in her study: rationality. Japanese Communication: Language and Thought in Context opens with a comparison of basic American and Japanese values via cultural icons--the cowboy and the samurai--before leading the reader to the key concept in her study: rationality.
For nearly three decades Japanese Culture has garnered high praise as an accurate and well-written introduction to Japanese history and culture. This widely used undergraduate text is now available in a new edition. Thoroughly updated, the fourth edition includes expanded sections on numerous topics, among which are samurai values, Zen Buddhism, the tea ceremony, Confucianism in the Tokugawa period, the story of the forty-seven ronin, Mito scholarship in the early nineteenth century, and mass culture and comics in contemporary times.
Oni from Ancient Times to the Present
Oni, ubiquitous supernatural figures in Japanese literature, lore, art, and religion, usually appear as demons or ogres. Characteristically threatening, monstrous creatures with ugly features and fearful habits, including cannibalism, they also can be harbingers of prosperity, beautiful and sexual, and especially in modern contexts, even cute and lovable. There has been much ambiguity in their character and identity over their long history. Usually male, their female manifestations convey distinctivly gendered social and cultural meanings.
Oni appear frequently in various arts and media, from Noh theater and picture scrolls to modern fiction and political propaganda, They remain common figures in popular Japanese anime, manga, and film and are becoming embedded in American and international popular culture through such media. Noriko Reiderýs book is the first in English devoted to oni. Reider fully examines their cultural history, multifaceted roles, and complex significance as "others" to the Japanese.
Language and Culture Contact
This book gives an in-depth analysis of the use of the English language in modern Japan. It explores the many ramifications the Japanese-English language and culture contact situation has for not only Japanese themselves, but also others in the international community.
Resisting the various forms of realism popular during the Meiji "enlightenment," Izumi Kyoka (1873-1939) was among the most popular writers who continued to work in the old-fashioned genres of fantasy, mystery, and romance. Gothic Tales makes available for the first time a collection of stories by this highly influential writer, whose decadent romanticism led him to envision an idiosyncratic world--a fictive purgatory --precious and bizarre though always genuine despite its melodramatic formality. The four stories presented here are among Kyoka's best-known works. They are drawn from four stages of the author's development, from the "conceptual novels" of 1895 to the fragmented romanticism of his mature work. In the way of introduction, Inouye presents a clear analysis of Kyoka's problematic stature as a "great gothic writer" and emphasizes the importance of Kyoka's work to the present reevaluation of literary history in general and modern Japanese literature in particular. The extensive notes that follow the translation serve as an intelligent guide for the reader, supplying details about each of the stories and how they fit into the pattern of mythic development that allowed Kyoka to deal with his fears in a way that sustained his life and, as Mishima Yukio put it, pushed the Japanese language to its highest potential.
Current Debates on Aesthetics and Interpretation
Japanese Hermeneutics provides a forum for the most current international debates on the role played by interpretative models in the articulation of cultural discourses on Japan. It presents the thinking of esteemed Western philosophers, aestheticians, and art and literary historians, and introduces to English-reading audiences some of Japan's most distinguished scholars, whose work has received limited or no exposure in the United States.
In the first part, "Hermeneutics and Japan," contributors examine the difficulties inherent in articulating "otherness" without falling into the trap of essentialization and while relying on Western epistemology for explanation and interpretation. In the second part, "Japan's Aesthetic Hermeneutics," they explore the role of aesthetics in shaping discourses on art and nature in Japan. The essays in the final section of the book, "Japan's Literary Hermeneutics," rethink the notion of "Japanese literature" in light of recent findings on the ideological implications of canon formations and transformations within Japan's prominent literary circles.
Contributors: Amagasaki Akira, Haga Toru, Hamashita Masahiro, Inaga Shigemi, Kambayashi Tsunemichi, Thomas LaMarre, John C. Maraldo, Michael F. Marra, Mark Meli, Ohashi Ryosuke, Otabe Tanehisa, Graham Parkes, J. Thomas Rimer, Sasaki Ken'ichi, Haruo Shirane, Suzuki Sadami, Stefan Tanaka, Gianni Vattimo.
A Year in a Japanese School Through the Eyes of An American Anthropologist and Her Children
Gail R. Benjamin reaches beyond predictable images of authoritarian Japanese educators and automaton schoolchildren to show the advantages and disadvantages of a system remarkably different from the American one... --The New York Times Book Review
Americans regard the Japanese educational system and the lives of Japanese children with a mixture of awe and indignance. We respect a system that produces higher literacy rates and superior math skills, but we reject the excesses of a system that leaves children with little free time and few outlets for creativity and self-expression.
In Japanese Lessons, Gail R. Benjamin recounts her experiences as a American parent with two children in a Japanese elementary school. An anthropologist, Benjamin successfully weds the roles of observer and parent, illuminating the strengths of the Japanese system and suggesting ways in which Americans might learn from it.
With an anthropologist's keen eye, Benjamin takes us through a full year in a Japanese public elementary school, bringing us into the classroom with its comforting structure, lively participation, varied teaching styles, and non-authoritarian teachers. We follow the children on class trips and Sports Days and through the rigors of summer vacation homework. We share the experiences of her young son and daughter as they react to Japanese schools, friends, and teachers. Through Benjamin we learn what it means to be a mother in Japan--how minute details, such as the way mothers prepare lunches for children, reflect cultural understandings of family and education.
Table of Contents
1. Getting Started
2. Why Study Japanese Education?
3. Day-to-Day Routines
4. Together at School, Together in Life
5. A Working Vacation and Special Events
6. The Three R's, Japanese Style
7. The Rest of the Day
8. Nagging, Preaching, and Discussions
9. Enlisting Mothers' Efforts
10. Education in Japanese Society
11. Themes and Suggestions
Appendix. Reading and Writing in Japanese
Representations of Sacred Geography
The first broad study of Japanese mandalas to appear in a Western language, this volume interprets mandalas as sanctified realms where identification between the human and the sacred occurs. The author investigates eighth- to seventeenth-century paintings from three traditions: Esoteric Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, and the kami-worshipping (Shinto) tradition. It is generally recognized that many of these mandalas are connected with texts and images from India and the Himalayas. A pioneering theme of this study is that, in addition to the South Asian connections, certain paradigmatic Japanese mandalas reflect pre-Buddhist Chinese concepts, including geographical concepts. In convincing and lucid prose, ten Grotenhuis chronicles an intermingling of visual, doctrinal, ritual, and literary elements in these mandalas that has come to be seen as characteristic of the Japanese religious tradition as a whole. This beautifully illustrated work begins in the first millennium B.C.E. in China with an introduction to the Book of Documents and ends in present-day Japan at the sacred site of Kumano. Ten Grotenhuis focuses on the Diamond and Womb World mandalas of Esoteric Buddhist tradition, on the Taima mandala and other related mandalas from the Pure Land Buddhist tradition, and on mandalas associated with the kami-worshipping sites of Kasuga and Kumano. She identifies specific sacred places in Japan with sacred places in India and with Buddhist cosmic diagrams. Through these identifications, the realm of the buddhas is identified with the realms of the kami and of human beings, and Japanese geographical areas are identified with Buddhist sacred geography. Explaining why certain fundamental Japanese mandalas look the way they do and how certain visual forms came to embody the sacred, ten Grotenhuis presents works that show a complex mixture of Indian Buddhist elements, pre-Buddhist Chinese elements, Chinese Buddhist elements, and indigenous Japanese elements.
With Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook, readers of English can now access in a single volume the richness and diversity of Japanese philosophy as it has developed throughout history. Leading scholars in the field have translated selections from the writings of more than a hundred philosophical thinkers from all eras and schools of thought, many of them available in English for the first time.
The Sourcebook editors have set out to represent the entire Japanese philosophical tradition—not only the broad spectrum of academic philosophy dating from the introduction of Western philosophy in the latter part of the nineteenth century, but also the philosophical ideas of major Japanese traditions of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto. The philosophical significance of each tradition is laid out in an extensive overview, and each selection is accompanied by a brief biographical sketch of its author and helpful information on placing the work in its proper context. The bulk of the supporting material, which comprises nearly a quarter of the volume, is given to original interpretive essays on topics not explicitly covered in other chapters: cultural identity, samurai thought, women philosophers, aesthetics, bioethics.
An introductory chapter provides a historical overview of Japanese philosophy and a discussion of the Japanese debate over defining the idea of philosophy, both of which help explain the rationale behind the design of the Sourcebook. An exhaustive glossary of technical terminology, a chronology of authors, and a thematic index are appended. Specialists will find information related to original sources and sinographs for Japanese names and terms in a comprehensive bibliography and general index.
Handsomely presented and clearly organized for ease of use, Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook will be a cornerstone in Japanese studies for decades to come. It will be an essential reference for anyone interested in traditional or contemporary Japanese culture and the way it has shaped and been shaped by its great thinkers over the centuries.
First published in 1898 and long out of print, A Japanese Robinson Crusoe by Jenichiro Oyabe (1867–1941) is a pioneering work of Asian American literature. It recounts Oyabe’s early life in Japan, his journey west, and his education at two historically Black colleges, detailing in the process his gradual transformation from Meiji gentleman to self-proclaimed "Japanese Yankee." Like a Victorian novelist, Oyabe spins a tale that mixes faith and exoticism, social analysis and humor. His story fuses classic American narratives of self-creation and the self-made man (and, in some cases, the tall tale) with themes of immigrant belonging and "whiteness." Although he compares himself with the castaway Robinson Crusoe, Oyabe might best be described as a combination of Crusoe and his faithful servant Friday, the Christianized man of color who hungers to be enlightened by Western ways. A Japanese Robinson Crusoe is flavored with insights on important questions for contemporary Americans: How does one "become" American? How is Asian American identity formed in response to the conditions of other racial groups? When and how did the Asian American "model minority" myth emerge? A new introduction provides a provocative analysis of Oyabe’s story and discusses his years abroad in the context of his later career, placing the text within both American and modern Japanese history.