geisha harlot strangler star a woman sex and morality in modern japan asia perspectives history society and culture

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Geisha Harlot Strangler Star

Author : William Johnston
ISBN : 9780231130523
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 59. 74 MB
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In 1936, Abe Sada committed the most notorious crime in twentieth-century Japan -- the murder and emasculation of her lover. This detailed account of Sada's personal history, the events leading up to the crime, and its aftermath steps beyond the simplistic view of Abe Sada as a sexual deviate or hysterical woman to reveal a survivor.

The First Modern Japanese

Author : Donald Keene
ISBN : 9780231542234
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 38. 35 MB
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Thousands of books and monographs have been devoted to the poet and critic Ishikawa Takuboku (1886–1912). Although he died at the age of twenty-six and wrote many of his best-known poems in the space of a few years, his name is familiar to every literate Japanese. His early death added to the sad romance of the unhappy poet, but there has been no satisfactory biography of his life or career, even in Japanese, and only a small part of his writings have been translated. His mature poetry was based on the work of no predecessor, and he left no disciples. He stands unique. Takuboku’s most popular poems, especially those with a humorous overlay, are well read and memorized, but his diaries and letters, though less familiar, contain rich and vivid glimpses of the poet’s thoughts and experiences. They reflect the outlook of an unconstrained man who at times behaved in a startling or even shocking manner. Despite his misdemeanors, Takuboku is regarded as a national poet, all but a saint to his admirers, especially in the regions of Japan where he lived. His refusal to conform to the Japan of the time drove him in striking directions and ranked him as the first poet of the new Japan.

The Japanese And The War

Author : Michael Lucken
ISBN : 9780231543989
Genre : History
File Size : 32. 62 MB
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Japanese memories of World War II exert a powerful influence over the nation’s society and culture. Concentrating on the years immediately before and after the war (1937 to 1952), Michael Lucken explores in The Japanese and the War how WWII manifested in the literature, art, film, clothing, and education reform of the time, creating an idea of Japanese identity that still resonates in everything from soap operas to the response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Lucken defines three layers of Japan’s distinct memory of WWII: the population’s expectations at the beginning of the war, the trauma caused by conflict and defeat, and the politics of memory that arose after Japan lost to the Allied powers. Emphasizing Japanese-language sources, Lucken writes a narrative of the making of Japanese cultural memory that moves away from Western historical modes and perspectives. His approach also paints a new portrait of the U.S. occupation, while still maintaining a cultural focus. Lucken sets out to capture the many ways people engage with war, but particularly the rich range of encounters Japan experienced, which, Lucken argues, the Japanese state has yet to fully confront, leading to a range of tensions at home and abroad.

S Seki

Author : John Nathan
ISBN : 9780231546973
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 20. 95 MB
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Natsume Sōseki (1867–1916) was the father of the modern novel in Japan, chronicling the plight of bourgeois characters caught between familiar modes of living and the onslaught of Western values and conventions. Yet even though generations of Japanese high school students have been expected to memorize passages from his novels and he is routinely voted the most important Japanese writer in national polls, he remains less familiar to Western readers in comparison to authors such as Kawabata, Tanizaki, and Mishima. In this biography, John Nathan provides a lucid and vivid account of a great writer laboring to create a remarkably original oeuvre in spite of the physical and mental illness that plagued him all his life. He traces Sōseki’s complex and contradictory character, offering rigorous close readings of Sōseki’s groundbreaking experiments with narrative strategies, irony, and multiple points of view as well as recounting excruciating hospital stays and recurrent attacks of paranoid delusion. Drawing on previously untranslated letters and diaries, published reminiscences, and passages from Sōseki’s fiction, Nathan renders intimate scenes of the writer’s life and distills a portrait of a tormented yet unflaggingly original author. This biography elevates Sōseki to his rightful place as a great synthesizer of literary traditions and a brilliant chronicler of universal experience who, no less than his Western contemporaries, anticipated the modernism of the twentieth century.

A Tale Of Two Murders

Author : James R. Farr
ISBN : 9780822387145
Genre : True Crime
File Size : 84. 49 MB
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As scandalous as any modern-day celebrity murder trial, the “Giroux affair” was a maelstrom of intrigue, encompassing daggers, poison, adultery, archenemies, servants, royalty, and legal proceedings that reached the pinnacle of seventeenth-century French society. In 1638 Philippe Giroux, a judge in the highest royal court of Burgundy, allegedly murdered his equally powerful cousin, Pierre Baillet, and Baillet’s valet, Philibert Neugot. The murders were all the more shocking because they were surrounded by accusations (particularly that Giroux had been carrying on a passionate affair with Baillet’s wife), conspiracy theories (including allegations that Giroux tried to poison his mother-in-law), and unexplained deaths (Giroux’s wife and her physician died under suspicious circumstances). The trial lasted from 1639 until 1643 and came to involve many of the most distinguished and influential men in France, among them the prince of Condé, Henri II Bourbon; the prime minister, Cardinal Richelieu; and King Louis XIII. James R. Farr reveals the Giroux affair not only as a riveting murder mystery but also as an illuminating point of entry into the dynamics of power, justice, and law in seventeenth-century France. Drawing on the voluminous trial records, Farr uses Giroux’s experience in the court system to trace the mechanisms of power—both the formal power vested by law in judicial officials and the informal power exerted by the nobility through patron-client relationships. He does not take a position on Giroux’s guilt or innocence. Instead, he allows readers to draw their own conclusions about who did what to whom on that ill-fated evening in 1638.

The Winter Sun Shines In

Author : Donald Keene
ISBN : 9780231535311
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 55. 72 MB
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Rather than resist the vast social and cultural changes sweeping Japan in the nineteenth century, the poet Masaoka Shiki (1867–1902) instead incorporated new Western influences into his country’s native haiku and tanka verse. By reinvigorating these traditional forms, Shiki released them from outdated conventions and made them more responsive to newer trends in artistic expression. Altogether, his reforms made the haiku Japan’s most influential modern cultural export. Using extensive readings of Shiki’s own writings and accounts of the poet by his contemporaries and family, Donald Keene charts Shiki’s revolutionary (and often contradictory) experiments with haiku and tanka, a dynamic process that made the survival of these traditional genres possible in a globalizing world. Keene particularly highlights random incidents and encounters in his impressionistic portrait of this tragically young life, moments that elicited significant shifts and discoveries in Shiki’s work. The push and pull of a profoundly changing society is vividly felt in Keene’s narrative, which also includes sharp observations of other recognizable characters, such as the famous novelist and critic Natsume Soseki. In addition, Keene reflects on his own personal relationship with Shiki’s work, further developing the nuanced, deeply felt dimensions of its power.

Sayonara Amerika Sayonara Nippon

Author : Michael Bourdaghs
ISBN : 9780231530262
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 20. 47 MB
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From the beginning of the American occupation in 1945 to the post-bubble period of the early 1990s, popular music provided Japanese listeners with a much-needed release, channeling their desires, fears, and frustrations over an ever-shifting geopolitical reality into a pleasurable and fluid art. Pop music allowed Japanese artists and audiences to assume various identities, reflecting the country's uncomfortable position under American hegemony. Michael Bourdaghs composes the first English-language study of this phenomenon, considering genres as diverse as boogie-woogie, rockabilly, enka, 1960s rock and roll, 1970s New Music, folk, and technopop. Reading these forms and their cultural import through music, literary, and cultural theory, he introduces a range of readers to the sensual moods and meanings of modern Japan. As he unpacks the complexities of Japanese pop production and consumption, Bourdaghs interprets a country as it worked through (or tried to forget) its imperial past. These efforts grew even murkier as Japanese pop migrated to the nation's former colonies. In postwar Japan, pop music both accelerated and protested the commodification of everyday life, challenged and reproduced gender hierarchies, and insisted on the uniqueness of a national culture, even as it participated in an increasingly integrated global marketplace. Each chapter examines a single genre through a particular theoretical lens: the relation of music to liberation; the influence of cultural mapping on musical appreciation; the role of translation in transmitting musical genres across the globe; the place of noise in music and its relation to historical change; the tenuous connection between ideologies of authenticity and imitation; the link between commercial success and artistic integrity; and the function of melodrama. Bourdaghs concludes with a look at recent Japanese pop music culture.

So Lovely A Country Will Never Perish

Author : Donald Keene
ISBN : 9780231522724
Genre : History
File Size : 39. 60 MB
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The attack on Pearl Harbor, which precipitated the Greater East Asia War and its initial triumphs, aroused pride and a host of other emotions among the Japanese people. Yet the single year in which Japanese forces occupied territory from Alaska to Indonesia was followed by three years of terrible defeat. Nevertheless, until the shattering end of the war, many Japanese continued to believe in the invincibility of their country. But in the diaries of well-known writers& mdash;including Nagai Kafu, Takami Jun, Yamada Futaru, and Hirabayashi Taiko& mdash;and the scholar Watanabe Kazuo, varying doubts were vividly, though privately, expressed. Donald Keene, renowned scholar of Japan, selects from these diaries, some written by authors he knew well. Their revelations were sometimes poignant, sometimes shocking to Keene. Ito Sei's fervent patriotism and even claims of racial superiority stand in stark contrast to the soft-spoken, kindly man Keene knew. Weaving archival materials with personal recollections and the intimate accounts themselves, Keene reproduces the passions aroused during the war and the sharply contrasting reactions in the year following Japan's surrender. Whether detailed or fragmentary, these entries communicate the reality of false victory and all-too-real defeat.

Manchu Princess Japanese Spy

Author : Phyllis Birnbaum
ISBN : 9780231526340
Genre : History
File Size : 71. 96 MB
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Aisin Gioro Xianyu (1907–1948) was the fourteenth daughter of a Manchu prince and a legendary figure in China's bloody struggle with Japan. After the fall of the Manchu dynasty in 1912, Xianyu's father gave his daughter to a Japanese friend who was sympathetic to his efforts to reclaim power. This man raised Xianyu, now known as Kawashima Yoshiko, to restore the Manchus to their former glory. Her fearsome dedication to this cause ultimately got her killed. Yoshiko had a fiery personality and loved the limelight. She shocked Japanese society by dressing in men's clothes and rose to prominence as Commander Jin, touted in Japan's media as a new Joan of Arc. Boasting a short, handsome haircut and a genuine military uniform, Commander Jin was credited with many daring exploits, among them riding horseback as leader of her own army during the Japanese occupation of China. While trying to promote the Manchus, Yoshiko supported the puppet Manchu state established by the Japanese in 1932—one reason she was executed for treason after Japan's 1945 defeat. The truth of Yoshiko's life is still a source of contention between China and Japan: some believe she was exploited by powerful men, others claim she relished her role as political provocateur. China holds her responsible for unspeakable crimes, while Japan has forgiven her transgressions. This biography presents the richest and most accurate portrait to date of the controversial princess spy, recognizing her truly novel role in conflicts that transformed East Asia.

The Modern Murasaki

Author : Rebecca L. Copeland
ISBN : 9780231137744
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 66. 44 MB
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The first anthology of its kind, The Modern Murasaki brings the vibrancy and rich imagination of women's writing from the Meiji period to English-language readers. Along with traditional prose, the editors have chosen and carefully translated short stories, plays, poetry, speeches, essays, and personal journal entries. Selected readings include writings by the public speaker Kishida Toshiko, the dramatist Hasegawa Shigure, the short-fiction writer Shimizu Shikin, the political writer Tamura Toshiko, and the novelists Miyake Kaho, Higuchi Ichiyo, Tazawa Inabune, Kitada Usurai, Nogami Yaeko, and Mizuno Senko. The volume also includes a thorough introduction to each reading, an extensive index listing historical, social, and literary concepts, and a comprehensive guide to further research. The fierce tenor and bold content of these texts refute the popular belief that women of this era were passive and silent. A vital addition to courses in women's studies and Japanese literature and history, The Modern Murasaki is a singular resource for students and scholars.

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