Japanese Identity: Cultural Analyses

Out of print; not currently available

Japanese Identity: Cultural Analyses book cover

Nosco, Peter, ed.
Number 2
1997. 132 pp.
ISBN 0-9650254-1-1
$15.00

This book addresses the subject of "national identity", a subject of both scholarly and popular discussion in Japan. The eight essays here examine the question of what makes "Japanese identity" – at times critically, at times skeptically, at times sympathetically. They represent a variety of disciplinary approaches to the question: sociology, physical and social anthropology, linguistics, and studies of literature.

A century ago the Japanese language was studied almost nowhere outside Japan itself, and information about Japanese art, culture, and literature was difficult to get. The situation has changed dramatically. In examining the lives and works of Japanese writers and diplomats, the views of Japan promulgated by Japanese and non-Japanese authors and film makers, and recent events in Japanese politics, the authors of these seven essays help us to understand the modern encounter between Japan and the rest of the world, an encounter that goes back only to 1853, when Perry's fleet arrived off Japan.

Contents

Contributors – vi

Preface – vii
Kazuro Hanihara

Introduction: Cultural Analyses of Japanese Identity – 1
Peter Nosco

1. Geopolitics, Geoeconomics, and the Japanese Identity – 10
Harumi Befu

2. Biological Affinities of the Japanese Population – 33
Kazuro Hanihara

3. Autobiographical Writings by Tamura Toshiko and Miyamoto Yuriko – 43
Reiko Yonogi

4. Transforming Business Data into Literature: Shimizu Ikko's The Artery Archipelago – 54
Tamae Prindle

5. The Identity in the Carpet – 68
Cris Reyns

6. Discernment or Volition: Linguistic Politeness Strategy in Japanese – 83
Shoji Azuma

7. The Interface of Two Cultural Constructs: Kotodama and Fudo – 96
Ann Wehmeyer

8. Modern Roots in Ancient Traditions: Pilgrimage on Mount Fuji – 107
Erik L. Moore


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