Access your Project MUSE content using one of the login options below Close(X)
Browse Results For:
The self serves as a universally available, effective, and indispensable filter for making sense of the chaos of the world. In her latest book, Takie Lebra attempts a new understanding of the Japanese self through her unique use of cultural logic. She begins by presenting and elaborating on two models ("opposition logic" and "contingency logic") to examine concepts of self, Japanese and otherwise. Guided by these, she delves into the three layers of the Japanese self, focusing first on the social layer as located in four "zones"—omote (front), uchi (interior), ura (back), and soto (exterior)—and its shifts from zone to zone. New light is shed on these familiar linguistic and spatial categories by introducing the dimension of civility. The book expands the discussion in relation to larger constructions of the inner and cosmological self. Unlike the social self, which views itself in relation to the "other," the inner layer involves a reflexivity in which self communicates with self. While the social self engages in dialogue or trialogue, the inner self communicates through monologue or soliloquy. The cosmological layer, which centers around transcendental beliefs and fantasies, is examined and the analysis supplemented with comments on aesthetics. Throughout, Lebra applies her methodology to dozens of Japanese examples and makes relevant comparisons with North American culture and notions of self. Finally, she provides a spirited analysis of critiques of Nihonjinron to reinforce the relevancy of Japanese studies. This volume is the culmination of decades of thinking on self and social relations by one of the most influential scholars in the field. It will prove highly instructive to Japanese and non-Japanese readers alike in a range of disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, and social psychology
In this first synthetic, comprehensive survey of Japanese sports in English, the authors are attentive to the complex and fascinating interaction of traditional and modern elements. In the course of tracing the emergence and development of sumo, the martial arts, and other traditional sports from their origins to the present, they demonstrate that some cherished "ancient" traditions were, in fact, invented less than a century ago. They also register their skepticism about the use of the samurai tradition to explain Japan's success in sports. Special attention is given to Meiji-era Japan's frequently ambivalent adoption and adaptation of European and American sports--a particularly telling example of Japan's love-hate relationship with the West. The book goes on the describe the history of physical education in the school system, the emergence of amateur and professional leagues, the involvement of business and the media in sports promotion, and Japan's participation in the Olympics.
Worldliness in a Religion of Renunciation
There have been many studies that focus on aspects of the history of Japanese Buddhism. Until now, none have addressed important questions of organization and practice in contemporary Buddhism, questions such as how Japanese Buddhism came to be seen as a religion of funeral practices; how Buddhist institutions envision the role of the laity; and how a married clergy has affected life at temples and the image of priests. This volume is the first to address fully contemporary Buddhist life and institutions—topics often overlooked in the conflict between the rhetoric of renunciation and the practices of clerical marriage and householding that characterize much of Buddhism in today’s Japan. Informed by years of field research and his own experiences training to be a Tendai priest, Stephen Covell skillfully refutes this "corruption paradigm" while revealing the many (often contradictory) facets of contemporary institutional Buddhism, or as Covell terms it, Temple Buddhism. Covell significantly broadens the scope of inquiry to include how Buddhism is approached by both laity and clerics when he takes into account temple families, community involvement, and the commodification of practice. He considers law and tax issues, temple strikes, and the politics of temple boards of directors to shed light on how temples are run and viewed by their inhabitants, supporters, and society in general. In doing so he uncovers the economic realities that shape ritual practices and shows how mundane factors such as taxes influence the debate over temple Buddhism’s role in contemporary Japanese society. In addition, through interviews and analyses of sectarian literature and recent scholarship on gender and Buddhism, he provides a detailed look at priests’ wives, who have become indispensable in the management of temple affairs.
From Its Origins in China to Sen Rikyu
Almost a millennium before the perfection of chado (the Way of Tea) by Sen Rikyu (1522-1591), the Chinese scholar-official Lu Yu (d. 785) wrote exhaustively about tea and its virtues. Grand Tea Master Sen Soshitsu begins his examination of tea's origins and development from the eighth century through the Heian and medieval eras. This volume illustrates that modes of thinking and practices now associated with the Japanese Way of Tea can be traced to China--where from the classical period tea was imbued with a spiritual quality.
Discourse and Power
From its creation in the early twentieth century, policymakers used the discourse of international law to legitimate Japan’s empire. Although the Japanese state aggrandizers’ reliance on this discourse did not create the imperial nation Japan would become, their fluent use of its terms inscribed Japan’s claims as legal practice within Japan and abroad. Focusing on Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910, Alexis Dudden gives long-needed attention to the intellectual history of the empire and brings to light presumptions of the twentieth century’s so-called international system by describing its most powerful—and most often overlooked—member’s engagement with that system. Early chapters describe the global atmosphere that declared Japan the legal ruler of Korea and frame the significance of the discourse of early twentieth-century international law and how its terms became Japanese. Dudden then brings together these discussions in her analysis of how Meiji leaders embedded this discourse into legal precedent for Japan, particularly in its relations with Korea. Remaining chapters explore the limits of these ‘universal’ ideas and consider how the international arena measured Japan’s use of its terms. Dudden squares her examination of the legality of Japan’s imperialist designs by discussing the place of colonial policy studies in Japan at the time, demonstrating how this new discipline further created a common sense that Japan’s empire accorded to knowledgeable practice. This landmark study greatly enhances our understanding of the intellectual underpinnings of Japan’s imperial aspirations. In this carefully researched and cogently argued work, Dudden makes clear that, even before Japan annexed Korea, it had embarked on a legal and often legislating mission to make its colonization legitimate in the eyes of the world.
Issues in Culture and Democracy, 19001930
Scholars, Japanese and non-Japanese alike, have studied the greater Taisho era (1900-1930) within the framework of Taisho demokurashii (democracy). While this concept has proved useful, students of the period in more recent years have sought alternative ways of understanding the late Meiji-Taisho period. This collection of essays, each based on new research, offers original insights into various aspects of modern Japanese cultural history from "modernist" architecture to women as cultural symbols, popular songs to the rhetoric of empire-building, and more. The volume is organized around three general topics: geographical and cultural space; cosmopolitanism and national identity; and diversity, autonomy, and integration. Within these the authors have identified a number of thematic tensions that link the essays: high and low culture in cultural production and dissemination; national and ethnic identities; empire and ethnicity; the center and the periphery; naichi (homeland) and gaichi (overseas); urban and rural; public and private; migration and barriers. The volume opens up new avenues of exploration for the study of modern Japanese history and culture. If, as one of the authors contends, the imperative is " to understand more fully the historical forces that made Japan what it is today," these studies of Japan's "competing modernities" point the way to answers to some of the country's most challenging historical questions in this century.
An examination of the transformation of the Japanese diet from subsistence to abundance and an assessment of the consequences for health, longevity, and the environment.
A Hermeneutics Reader
In Japan’s Frames of Meaning, Michael Marra identifies interpretative concepts central to discussions of hermeneutical practices in Japan and presents English translations of works on basic hermeneutics by major Japanese thinkers. Discussions of Japanese thought tend to be centered on key Western terms in light of which Japanese texts are examined; alternatively, a few Buddhist concepts are presented as counterparts of these Western terms. Marra concentrates on Japanese philosophers and thinkers who have mediated these two extremes, bringing their knowledge of Western thought to bear on philosophical reinterpretations of Buddhist terms that are, thus, presented in secularized form. Marra focuses on categories relevant to the development of a history of Japanese hermeneutics, calling attention to concepts whose discussion sheds light on how Japanese thinkers have proceeded in making sense of their own culture. The terms are organized under three headings. The first deals with koto, which in Japanese means both "things" and "words." Koto is the center of a series of interesting compounds, such as kotodama (the spirit of words) and makoto (truth), that have shaped Japanese discourses on philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, and religion. Writings on koto by twentieth-century philosophers Watsuji Tetsuro (1889–1960) and Omori Shozo (1921–1997) and Edo-period scholar Fujitani Mitsue (1768–1823) are included. The second heading is dedicated to two well-known aesthetic categories, yugen and sabi, which point to notions of depth in physical space as well as in the space of interiority. The University of Kyoto aesthetician Ueda Juzo (1886–1973) guides the reader through a history of these concepts. In the third part of the book, notions of time in the form of ku (emptiness) and guzen (contingency) are examined through the work of Ueda’s colleagues at Kyoto, Nishitani Keiji (1900–1990) and Kuki Shuzo (1888–1941). Perceptive and erudite, Japan’s Frames of Meaning will become a landmark resource—in particular for the insights and provocations it offers to contemporary cross-cultural philosophical dialogue—for anyone interested in traditional and modern Japanese thought.
Consuls, Treaty Ports and War in China, 18951938
In November 1937, Ishii Itaro, head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Bureau of Asiatic Affairs, reflected bitterly on the decline of the ministry's influence in China and his own long and debilitating struggle to guide China policy. Ishii was the most notable member of a group of middle-level diplomats who, having served in China, strongly advocated that Japan adopt policies in harmony with China's rising nationalism and national interests. Japan's Imperial Diplomacy profiles this distinct strain of "China service diplomat," while providing a comprehensive look at the institutional history and internal dynamics of the Japanese Foreign Ministry and its handling of China affairs in the years leading up to and through World War II. Moving from a thorough examination of a wide range of primary sources, including the extensive archives of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, memoirs, diaries, and unpublished speeches, Japan's Imperial Diplomacy offers integrated interpretations of Japanese imperialism, diplomacy, and the bureaucratic restructuring of the 1930s that were fundamental to Japan's version of fascism and the move toward war. Specialists of China, Japan, comparative colonialism, and World War II diplomacy will find this well-conceived and carefully researched and organized work of first-rate importance to the understanding of modern Japanese history in general and Japanese imperialism in particular.
What is Japan's political role in the world? Over the past decade, Japan has been increasingly pressured to assume more financial and political burdens globally. Its foreign policy has thus evolved in a piecemeal manner, around the question of managing foreign pressures. To date, policy has been largely developed by bureaucrats, who are traditionally responsible for public policy in Japan. The lack of a clear set of foreign policy objectives, however, has made it impossible for the bureaucracy to play its previous role as the arbiter of public interests.
Today, there is increased recognition that in a more pluralistic society, nongovernmental public policy specialists are needed to provide a more integrated and longer-term vision of foreign policy goals. This book represents the first private and non- governmental indigenous effort to stimulate public debate of Japanese foreign policy.
Japan's International Agenda makes a distinctive contribution to the foreign policy debate. Its contributors are younger Japanese non-governmental foreign affairs specialists, each with considerable international experience and committed to the belief that significant policy reforms are essential. As a statement of Japan's ability to contribute substantially to international policy debates on such broad questions of security and trade and development, Japan's International Agenda will enable scholars and experts in North America, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, and elsewhere to engage in substantive dialogue on critical public policy issues with their Japanese counterparts. This book represents the first private, indigenous effort to stimulate public debate of Japanese foreign policy. Its contributors are young Japanese foreign affairs specialists, each with considerable international experience and a commitment to the belief that significant policy reforms are essential.