Subject Area: Japan

Autobiographical Narrative in Modern Japan
2007 0-7734-5396-2
This study offers both a chronological description of the literary career of Kasai Zenz? (1887-1928), as well as an historical examination of shi-sh?setsu (a Japanese autobiographical/confessional literary genre) during and after his lifetime. Zenz? was one of the most important shi-sh?setsu authors, living in the Taish? Period (1912-1926) in which this genre was in the height of its ascendancy. In shi-sh?setsu, the “I” novel, the author recounts details of his or her personal life with only a thin veneer of fiction. This genre was believed to be an ideal form of prose writing and an expression of individual depth, created without the fabrications normally found in conventional fiction, making it one of the most striking features of modern Japanese literature. Kasai, living his entire life in poverty, turned to Zen Buddhism for spiritual solace and became both a major architect of the Taish? shi-sh?setsu and its defining author.

Christian, Buddhist, and Confucian Protests Against Military Bases in Okinawa: A Study of Seven Religious Leaders
2008 0-7734-5081-5
This work examines the relationship between religion and protest on the Japanese island of Okinawa by analyzing the intertwining of various religious beliefs, colonialism, and politics in the region.

Cross- Cultural Study of Family Photographs in India, China, Japan and the United States
2002 0-7734-7299-1
This study determined that there are significant differences in subject content, visual style, and expression of cultural values in the photo collections, and that these are most strongly linked to differences in the parent culture, class, and gender. The effect of immigration is a dominant factor. “. . . until this book by Geoffrey Poister no one has done a systematic cross-cultural study of family photography. Poister not only looks at the private pictures of kin in their everyday worlds but also analyzes how family photography constructs family life. The author does not rely on methods that might distance him or us from his subjects, he gets close and personal using long interviews and participant observation on location, in homes. Poister reveals how photograph albums capture an idealized romantic version of the nuclear family. . . . By integrating the study of visual culture and family life, Poister’s innovative scholarship makes a contribution to many fields including sociology, anthropology, communications, and human development. This is both an insightful and richly descriptive book, one that will keep you reflecting about your own life and how you picture it.” – Robert Bogdan

Globalization and Dislocation in the Novels of Kazuo Ishiguro
2006 0-7734-5691-0
This book examines, in thematic and stylistic terms, the six novels that Kazuo Ishiguro has published so far. It is the first study to advance an argument linking these works to wider issues in the interpretation of migrant and cosmopolitan literature. Individual chapters examine Ishiguro’s appropriation of exotic fiction, the countryhouse novel, the high-modernist European novel, detective fiction, and science fiction. From early works that tackle the exigencies of immigrant self-fashioning through the critique of essentialist depictions of Japanese sociality, Ishiguro went on to criticize English exceptionalism in the Booker prize-winning novel, The Remains of the Day. His misrecognition as a supplier of English and Japanese authenticity is adduced as evidence for the fabulist turn of his subsequent work, suggesting that his writing is typified by a propensity to rework the substance of earlier novels in response to their critical and popular reception. Ishiguro breaks new ground in his last two books by raising the issues of distributive justice, progressive nostalgia, and the role of utopian imaginative discourse. This trajectory suggests a need to re-examine dominant theoretical tendencies, in particular those that draw colorful portraits of the delights afforded by cultural flows and exchanges within a decentered and borderless post-imperial global order.

History of the Orthodox Church in China, Korea and Japan
2006 0-7734-5886-7
This book describes the history and development of the Orthodox Church in China from its origins in 1242 A.D., its Eastern Church forebears, and its development in the other nations of North Asia – Korea and Japan.

By 1955, on the eve of its establishment as an independent entity, the Orthodox Church in China reached its greatest numbers. There were more than 100,000 communicants in former Russian territory in Manchuria, with 200 priests and 60 parishes, as well as monasteries and a seminary. Elsewhere, in China, there were another 200,000 Orthodox Christians and 150 parishes. These conservative figures mean that at that time, around 6% of Chinese Christians were adherents of the Orthodox Church.

The activities and achievements of the Orthodox Church, especially since the 17th century, have been understated in many historical studies of Christianity in China.

It is a similar story in regard to the first impact of Christianity with the cultures of Japan and Korea. Eastern Christianity came to Japan from China between the seventh and ninth centuries. There is also evidence that Eastern Christian missionaries were present in Korea during the sixth century. This book details the nature and evidence of these early activities.

Japan's Imperial Conspiracy Vol. 1-4
2012 0-7734-3949-7
Now, for the first time, David Bergamini tells how Hirohito and the imperial family plotted the war against the West and how the Emperor himself led his nation through it. Mr. Bergamini, a Rhodes Scholar, who was raised in the Orient and who speaks and reads Japanese, spent six years in research for this book. He conducted hundreds of hours of interviews, read hundreds of thousands of pages in both Japanese and English included the journals and diaries kept by the Emperor’s closest advisors, among them his wartime chief of staff and his chief civilian advisor. Most of the information in this book has never been released in English. The result is an engrossing tale of intrigue conducted at the highest levels of Japanese government.

Japanese Political Thought of Uchimura Kanz? (1861-1930): Synthesizing Bushid?, Christianity, Nationalism, and Liberalism
2008 0-7734-5151-X
This work investigates the foundation of the thought of Uchimura Kanz? against the backdrop of rigorous socio-political transition and modernization as part of a deeper investigation into the significance of the indigenous Japanese tradition. This book contains twenty-six black and white photographs.

Mutsu Munemitso and Identity Formation of the Individual and the State in Modern Japan
2001 0-7734-7366-1
Assembles in one convenient volume seven chapter-length articles about Matsu Munemitsu, the foreign minister of Japan who led Japan into war in 1894, the same summer that he successfully negotiated the end of the Unequal Treaties with the West; and examinations of identity formation. It examines the formation of Mutsu’s identity, and then the reinvention of his character and persona in the face of ostracism and rapprochement with his feudal domain, the new Meiji government, and the political parties in Japan. Similarly, three Japanese identities are also examined: Kido Takayoshi; Furuno Inosuke, and the national press. The articles reconsider the importance of self-reference, national and regional ethos, homeland and furosato, ideology, and nationalism in the formation of identity.

Perspectives on Christianity in Korea and Japan the Gospel and Culture in East Asia
1995 0-7734-8868-5
These essays resulted from a project on "Christianity in East Asia" co-sponsored by Meiji Gakuin University's Institute for Christian Studies and the Global Mission Unit of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and are written by scholars who are themselves mainly from East Asia. The papers, using an intraregional approach (i.e. Christianity in Japan from a Korean perspective and vice-versa) deal with various aspects of the transplantation and historical development of Christianity, explore various aspects of the Christian encounter with indigenous religions and societies, and consider some of the major difficulties faced by the transplanted religion. The perspectives offered here will be useful to scholars in Asian studies and religion, to those engaged in theological education and mission studies, and to church administrators responsible for policy and direction in mission planning.

Rhetorical Devices of the Kokinshu. A Structural Analysis of Japanese Waka Poetry
1997 0-7734-8510-4
This monograph deals with the unique rhetorical devices of Japanese waka poetry through an exhaustive analysis of the first and most important of the Japanese imperial anthologies, the Kokinshu» (compiled 905 AD). The chapters are organized around the poetic devices, including kakekotoba (conventionalized puns, usually translated as 'pivot words'), makurakotoba (set phrases or epigraphs, usually translated as 'pillow words'), joshi (introductory phrases of varied length), and utamakura (famous places names, literally 'poem pillows'). The analysis presented here uses a new kind of descriptive model which defines and classifies these rhetorical devices as structural elements in the poetry. Because the approach is exhaustive, a romanized index to the Kokinshû is included as an appendix.

U.S. Cultural Propaganda in Cold War Japan
2008 0-7734-5249-4
This study examines the efforts of United States government and affiliated non-governmental organizations to build pro-American sentiment in Japan in a critical decade in Japanese-American relations. The author challenges the portrayal of the American occupation of Japan as the success story that established Asia’s first liberal democracy.

Women and Politics in Japan and Korea
2004 0-7734-6374-7
This book is about the role of women in Korean and Japanese politics over the past century. It is exceedingly rare to have a comparative analysis of politics in Japan and the Republic of Korea, which gives this book a special status. At the same time these are countries with remarkably low levels of political participation by women, so it is very important to have an analysis of the reasons for this outcome. In the 1970s women accounted for less than two percent of legislative representatives in Japan, and less than one percent in Korea; today women constitute about seven percent of the members in each legislature, but these levels are still comparatively low in the developed world: about forty-three percent of Sweden’s legislators are women, and women constitute more than 30 percent of Germany’s Bundestag; the level in the U.S. Congress is about thirteen per cent.

The explanation for this phenomenon is by no means simple, and the author traverses a complex argument beginning with the “late” industrialization of both countries, followed by long periods of military rule and excesses of nationalism in both that until relatively recently subordinated women to state-sponsored goals of rapid development and national unity, to the situation today where, at least in Korea, the role of women in politics is growing rapidly. Her account is based on numerous interviews in Korea and Japan, a deft use of public opinion polls, and a wide comparative reading in the literature on the history and politics of both countries. After examining a host of theoretical and conceptual approaches to understanding the role of women in politics, she combines an historical analysis with an examination of patriarchal culture in Japan and Korea, and then scrutinizes the way in which the two respective political systems have both formal and informal mechanisms that militate against women’s participation. Furthermore at many points in the text she makes comparative judgments concerning women’s participation in Europe and the United States.

Both Korean and Japanese history in the early 20th century were marked by women who fought multiple battles on several fronts: to get any recognition at all outside the demands of the home, to fight discrimination against any woman who would dare challenge the suffocating society-wide support for family-based patriarchy, to suffer ostracism for joining socialist groups (which tended to more open to women) or for living lives independent of men (for which they were labeled promiscuous and even a threat to national unity). Ichikawa Fusae, the founder of Japan’s Women’s Suffrage League in 1924, suffered much ridicule from the society for decades, only to be forced into supporting Japan’s wars in Asia. Korea was then a colony, not a nation, but from the early point of the massive March First Movement in 1919 right down to the present, when thousands of civic groups and NGOs co-exist in Korea’s strong civil society, women have often been the leaders of protests. This sharp contrast with Japan makes for one of the most interesting aspects of this book.

Her discussion of how the postwar Japanese political system excludes women (without necessarily intending to do so) is also particularly illuminating. The Liberal Democratic Party, in power continuously since 1955 (with one brief interruption in 1993), is made up of factions which resemble one-man political machines or groups, with strong ties of patronage and favoritism in the local areas. These virtually all-male informal networks of patron-client ties, reinforced by male bonding rituals in drinking houses all over Japan, represent a formidable barrier to the entry of women into political careers. Even civic and grass-roots organizations seeking progressive goals tend to be run by men in Japan.

On the other hand, the largest number of women representatives in the history of the Republic of Korea is seen under the system of the Revitalization Congress. However, given the nature of the Congress at the time, one can hardly say their representation had much to do with the peoples’ will. Ironically though, the long history of the dictatorial military regimes gave Korean women the opportunity to hear their own political voices, and through their participations in anti-dictatorial protest movements they gained political experiences necessary to engage in politics in the future. She interviewed and observed many women involved in grassroots political organizing; their future seems to be a comparatively bright one compared to women in Japan, who still have not found a route to significant participation in the world’s second-largest economy.