Japan - History
A Tokyo Romance
Paperback ISBN: 1101981431
A classic memoir of self-invention in a strange land: Ian Buruma's unflinching account of his amazing journey into the heart of Tokyo's underground culture as a young man in the 1970's When Ian Buruma arrived in Tokyo in 1975, Japan was little more than an idea in his mind, a fantasy of a distant land. A sensitive misfit in the world of his upper middleclass youth, what he longed for wasn’t so much the exotic as the raw, unfiltered humanity he had experienced in Japanese theater performances and films, witnessed in Amsterdam and Paris. One particular theater troupe, directed by a poet of runaways, outsiders, and eccentrics, was especially alluring, more than a little frightening, and completely unforgettable. If Tokyo was anything like his plays, Buruma knew that he had to join the circus as soon as possible. Tokyo was an astonishment. Buruma found a feverish and surreal metropolis where nothing was understated—neon lights, crimson lanterns, Japanese pop, advertising jingles, and cabarets. He encountered a city in the midst of an economic boom where everything seemed new, aside from the isolated temple or shrine that had survived the firestorms and earthquakes that had levelled the city during the past century. History remained in fragments: the shapes of wounded World War II veterans in white kimonos, murky old bars that Mishima had cruised in, and the narrow alleys where street girls had once flitted. Buruma’s Tokyo, though, was a city engaged in a radical transformation. And through his adventures in the world of avant garde theater, his encounters with carnival acts, fashion photographers, and moments on-set with Akira Kurosawa, Buruma underwent a radical transformation of his own. For an outsider, unattached to the cultural burdens placed on the Japanese, this was a place to be truly free. A Tokyo Romance is a portrait of a young artist and the fantastical city that shaped him. With his signature acuity, Ian Buruma brilliantly captures the historical tensions between east and west, the cultural excitement of 1970s Tokyo, and the dilemma of the gaijin in Japanese society, free, yet always on the outside. The result is a timeless story about the desire to transgress boundaries: cultural, artistic, and sexual.
The Dawn of Modern Japan Seen Through the Eyes of the Shogun's Last Samurai
Hardcover ISBN: 4805312351
A captivating work of Japanese history, Samurai Revolution sheds new light on a period critical to understanding how and why Japan evolved into the nation it is today. An acclaimed expert on Japanese history, Romulus Hillsborough has spent decades researching the tumultuous final years of the Shogun's government and the Emperor's return to political power during the Meiji Period. In Samurai Revolution, Hillsborough chronicles the era from 1868 to 1912—often called the Meiji Restoration—that is widely regarded as the "dawn of modern Japan". During this time, Japan was transformed from a backward country of feudal lords and samurai into a modern industrialized nation. But change did not come bloodlessly, and many samurai chose to fight for their traditional way of life. A captivating work of Japanese history, Samurai Revolution sheds new light on a period critical to understanding how and why Japan evolved into the nation it is today. This is the first comprehensive history and analysis ever to be published in English and documents the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate through to the Satsuma Rebellion, a failed coup attempt that heralded the final demise of the samurai class.
A Historical Survey
3rd Edition Paperback ISBN: 0813337569
Since the second edition (no date noted), Hane (history, Knox College) has decided that neither the political nor the cultural history of Japan after World War II really entered a new period in 1970, and here treats the whole period up to the present as a single, evolving continuity, with one chapter on politics and economics and another on cultural and intellectual developments. The earlier chapters spanning from Tokugawa through the war he has changed little. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art
Paperback ISBN: 0804816565
In feudal Japan, ninja warriors were credited with supernatural powers of invisibility and ways of learning any secret. They also were feared for their skill in espionage and assassination. Behind these legends is the reality of an ancient, sophisticated, highly systematic martial art: ninjutsu. Perhaps the least understood martial art of Japan, ninjutsu emphasizes naturalness of movement, responsiveness to one's adversary, and total practicality. Women as well as men were trained in this obscure deadly art. As its form crystallized, practitioners established an organized system for maintaining absolute secrecy. Now, all aspects of ninjutsu are revealed in this remarkable book written by the first American trained as a ninja.
Becoming International in Japan
Class, Ethnicity and Early Childhood Education
Hardcover ISBN: 0415506131
International pre-schools in Japan are a growing phenomenon, used by parents who are keen to ensure that their children are fluent in English and at home with Western culture, thereby preparing their children for, as the parents see it, future success. This book, based on extensive original research, examines international pre-schools in Japan. It discusses the motivation of parents, teachers and others involved, and shows how international pre-schools exemplify a tension within Japanese society more widely concerning the extent to which Japan should internationalise, a tension which often becomes acute for international pre-school children as they reach the age of compulsory education and their lack of "Japaneseness" in relation to children who have not been to international pre-schools becomes apparent.