China and Japan have cultural and political connections that stretch back 1,500 years. But today they need to reset their strained relationship. Ezra Vogel underscores the need for Japan to offer a thorough apology for its atrocities during WWII, but he also urges China to recognize Japan as a potential vital partner in the region.
When you consider the size of Korea’s population and the breadth of its territory, it’s easy to see that this small region has played a disproportionately large role in twentieth-century history. The peninsula has experienced colonial submission at the hands of Japan, occupation by the United States and the Soviet Union, war, and a national division that continues today.
Cuisine, Colonialism and Cold War traces these developments as they played out in an unusual sphere: Korea’s national cuisine, which is savored for its diversity of ingredients and flavor. Katarzyna J. Cwiertka shows that many foods and dietary practices identified as Korean have been created or influenced by its colonial encounters, and she uncovers how the military and the Cold War had an impact on diet in both the North and South. Surveying the manufacture and consumption of rice and soy sauce, the rise of restaurants, wartime food, and the 1990s famine that still affects North Korea, Cwiertka illuminates the persistent legacy of Japanese rule and the consequences of armed conflicts and the Cold War. Bringing us closer to the Korean people and their daily lives, this book shines new light on critical issues in the social history of this peninsula.
For generations, children’s books provided American readers with their first impressions of Japan. Seemingly authoritative, and full of fascinating details about daily life in a distant land, these publications often presented a mixture of facts, stereotypes, and complete fabrications.
This volume takes readers on a journey through nearly 200 years of American children’s books depicting Japanese culture, starting with the illustrated journal of a boy who accompanied Commodore Matthew Perry on his historic voyage in the 1850s. Along the way, it traces the important role that representations of Japan played in the evolution of children’s literature, including the early works of Edward Stratemeyer, who went on to create such iconic characters as Nancy Drew. It also considers how American children’s books about Japan have gradually become more realistic with more Japanese-American authors entering the field, and with texts grappling with such serious subjects as internment camps and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Drawing from the Library of Congress’s massive collection, Sybille A. Jagusch presents long passages from many different types of Japanese-themed children’s books and periodicals—including travelogues, histories, rare picture books, folktale collections, and boys’ adventure stories—to give readers a fascinating look at these striking texts.
Published by Rutgers University Press, in association with the Library of Congress.
In Japonisme and the Birth of Cinema, Daisuke Miyao explores the influence of Japanese art on the development of early cinematic visual style, particularly the actualité films made by the Lumière brothers between 1895 and 1905. Examining nearly 1,500 Lumière films, Miyao contends that more than being documents of everyday life, they provided a medium for experimenting with aesthetic and cinematic styles imported from Japan. Miyao further analyzes the Lumière films produced in Japan as a negotiation between French Orientalism and Japanese aesthetics. The Lumière films, Miyao shows, are best understood within a media ecology of photography, painting, and cinema, all indebted to the compositional principles of Japonisme and the new ideas of kinetic realism it inspired. The Lumière brothers and their cinematographers shared the contemporaneous obsession among Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists about how to instantly and physically capture the movements of living things in the world. Their engagement with Japonisme, he concludes, constituted a rich and productive two-way conversation between East and West.
Globalization is usually thought of as the worldwide spread of Western—particularly American—popular culture. Yet if one nation stands out in the dissemination of pop culture in East and Southeast Asia, it is Japan. Pokémon, anime, pop music, television dramas such as Tokyo Love Story and Long Vacation—the export of Japanese media and culture is big business. In Recentering Globalization, Koichi Iwabuchi explores how Japanese popular culture circulates in Asia. He situates the rise of Japan’s cultural power in light of decentering globalization processes and demonstrates how Japan’s extensive cultural interactions with the other parts of Asia complicate its sense of being "in but above" or "similar but superior to" the region.
Iwabuchi has conducted extensive interviews with producers, promoters, and consumers of popular culture in Japan and East Asia. Drawing upon this research, he analyzes Japan’s "localizing" strategy of repackaging Western pop culture for Asian consumption and the ways Japanese popular culture arouses regional cultural resonances. He considers how transnational cultural flows are experienced differently in various geographic areas by looking at bilateral cultural flows in East Asia. He shows how Japanese popular music and television dramas are promoted and understood in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and how "Asian" popular culture (especially Hong Kong’s) is received in Japan.
Rich in empirical detail and theoretical insight, Recentering Globalization is a significant contribution to thinking about cultural globalization and transnationalism, particularly in the context of East Asian cultural studies.
In the years after World War II, Westerners and Japanese alike elevated Zen to the quintessence of spirituality in Japan. Pursuing the sources of Zen as a Japanese ideal, Shoji Yamada uncovers the surprising role of two cultural touchstones: Eugen Herrigel’s Zen in the Art of Archery and the Ryoanji dry-landscape rock garden. Yamada shows how both became facile conduits for exporting and importing Japanese culture.
First published in German in 1948 and translated into Japanese in 1956, Herrigel’s book popularized ideas of Zen both in the West and in Japan. Yamada traces the prewar history of Japanese archery, reveals how Herrigel mistakenly came to understand it as a traditional practice, and explains why the Japanese themselves embraced his interpretation as spiritual discipline. Turning to Ryoanji, Yamada argues that this epitome of Zen in fact bears little relation to Buddhism and is best understood in relation to Chinese myth. For much of its modern history, Ryoanji was a weedy, neglected plot; only after its allegorical role in a 1949 Ozu film was it popularly linked to Zen. Westerners have had a part in redefining Ryoanji, but as in the case of archery, Yamada’s interest is primarily in how the Japanese themselves have invested this cultural site with new value through a spurious association with Zen.
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, French visual artists began incorporating Japanese forms into their work. The style, known as Japonisme, spanned the arts.
Identifying a general critical move from a literal to a more metaphoric understanding and presentation of Japonisme, Pamela A. Genova applies a theory of "aesthetic translation" to a broad response to Japanese aesthetics within French culture. She crosses the borders of genre, field, and form to explore the relationship of Japanese visual art to French prose writing of the mid- to late 1800s. Writing Japonisme focuses on the work of Edmond de Goncourt, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Émile Zola, and Stéphane Mallarmé as they witnessed, incorporated, and participated in an unprecedented cultural exchange between France and Japan, as both creators and critics. Genova’s original research opens new perspectives on a fertile and influential period of intercultural dynamics.
Lucien Stryk has been a presence in American letters for almost fifty years. Those who know his poetry well will find this collection particularly gratifying. Like journeying again to places visited long ago, Stryk’s writing is both familiar and wonderfully fresh.
For those just becoming acquainted with Stryk’s work, Zen, Poetry, the Art of Lucien Stryk makes an excellent introduction. It includes his early essay, “The American Scene Versus the International Scene,” written shortly after his service in the Pacific during World War II, and “Digging In,” his first published poem, as well as some of his best-known pieces on Zen and Zen poetry. Among the latter are “Beginnings, Ends,” “Poetry and Zen,” “I Fear Nothing: A Note on the Zen Poetry of Death,” and his introduction to the great haiku poets, Issa and Basho. Selections of his most recent work include “The Red Rug: An Introduction to Poetry,” and an imagined conversation among all four leading haiku poets called “Meeting at Hagi-no-Tera.”
Porterfield’s informative collection includes essays about Stryk’s work as well as his own prose and poetry. As the volume makes clear, writing poetry is for Lucien Stryk a sacred act. It is both escape and communion, inseparable from life’s daily activities.