Daughters of the Samurai
A Journey from East to West and Back
Hardcover ISBN: 0393077993
"'Surprising and richly satisfying' (Megan Marshall); 'Beautifully crafted...subtle, polished, and poised' (Stacy Schiff); In 1871, five young girls were sent by the Japanese government to the United States. Their mission: learn Western ways and return to help nurture a new generation of enlightened men to lead Japan. Raised in traditional samurai households during the turmoil of civil war, three of these unusual ambassadors--Sutematsu Yamakawa, Shige Nagai, and Ume Tsuda--grew up as typical American schoolgirls. Upon their arrival in San Francisco they became celebrities, their travels feted by newspapers across the nation. The passionate friendships they formed reveal an intimate world of cross-cultural fascination and connection. Ten years later, theyreturned to Japan--a land grown foreign to them--determined to revolutionize women's education. Based on in-depth archival research in Japan and in the United States, Daughters of the Samurai is beautifully, cinematically written, a fascinating lens through which to view an extraordinary historical moment"--Provided by publisher.
The U.S. Navy Against the Axis
Surface Combat 1941-1945
Paperback ISBN: 1682471853
The U.S. Navy against the Axis tells the story of the U.S. Navy's surface fleet in World War II with an emphasis on ship-to-ship combat. The book refutes the widely-held notion that the attack on Pearl Harbor rendered battleships obsolete and that aviation and submarines dominated the Pacific War. It demonstrates how the surface fleet played a decisive role at critical junctures. It was crucial to America's ultimate victory and its story holds many lessons for today's Navy and the nation as a whole. The U.S. Navy against the Axis describes how swift adaptability and intellectual honesty were fundamental to the Navy's success against Japan. The underlying premise is that the nation cannot assume that in a conflict against conventional or asymmetric enemies, it holds title to the same virtues the Navy demonstrated three generations ago. Instead those lessons need to be constantly studied and affirmed in the face of postwar mythologies, lest they be forgotten.
Erotic Grotesque Nonsense
The Mass Culture of Japanese Modern Times
Paperback ISBN: 0520260082
This history of Japanese mass culture during the decades preceding Pearl Harbor argues that the new gestures, relationship, and humor of ero-guro-nansensu (erotic grotesque nonsense) expressed a self-consciously modern ethos that challenged state ideology and expansionism. Miriam Silverberg uses sources such as movie magazines, ethnographies of the homeless, and the most famous photographs from this era to capture the spirit, textures, and language of a time when the media reached all classes, connecting the rural social order to urban mores. Employing the concept of montage as a metaphor that informed the organization of Japanese mass culture during the 1920s and 1930s, Silverberg challenges the erasure of Japanese colonialism and its legacies. She evokes vivid images from daily life during the 1920s and 1930s, including details about food, housing, fashion, modes of popular entertainment, and attitudes toward sexuality. Her innovative study demonstrates how new public spaces, new relationships within the family, and an ironic sensibility expressed the attitude of Japanese consumers who identified with the modern as providing a cosmopolitan break from tradition at the same time that they mobilized for war.
The Encyclopedia of Japanese Pop Culture
Paperback ISBN: 0834803801
In the West, Japanese culture comes in the form of Power Rangers, Godzilla movies, and Sanrio products, but of course the indigenous pop culture is much richer. Rather than focus on what the rest of the world has already encountered, Mark Schilling provides an encyclopedic compendium of books, movies, music, comedians, and cultural scandals that have had the greatest impact in Japan. Thus, for the outsider, The Encyclopedia of Japanese Pop Culture is an insider's guide to post-war Japan. Not content to simply catalog his entries, Schilling provides real depth and analysis in his articles, opening up Japan's rich pop heritage to the world at large.
An Ainu Woman's Tale
Paperback ISBN: 0520210204
In this engaging tale, Honda Katsuichi reconstructs the life of an Ainu woman living on the northern island of Japan over five hundred years ago. Harukor's story, created from surviving oral accounts of Ainu life and culture as well as extensive scholarly research, is set in the centuries before the mainland Japanese nearly destroyed the way of life depicted here. In the first person, the fictional Harukor tells us of her childhood, her adolescence, and her motherhood, drawing on tales and songs performed by her grandmother and other bards. She describes festivals, weddings, childbirth and midwifery, traditional healing methods, battles, and funerals in detail. Her story is followed by the adventures of her oldest son, Pasekur, which end by foreshadowing an early Ainu rebellion against Japanese encroachment. Amply illustrated and prefaced by an extensive introduction to Ainu history, the natural surroundings, and the sources used to construct Harukor and her world, this volume is a unique portrait of Ainu gods and humans, of matters sacred and mundane, and of the distinctive Ainu respect for nature's bounty.