| Jul 29, 2007

Not all nonsense is silly

Erotic Grotesque Nonsense: The Mass Culture of Japanese Modern Times, by Miriam Silverberg. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007, 370 pp., with many illustrations $49.95 (cloth) From the late 1920s on, the impact of the modern on traditional Japan had become so noticeable that ...

| Jul 15, 2007

Place for the dead in our living world

THE BUDDHIST DEAD: Practices, Discourses, Representations, edited by Bryan J. Cuevas and Jacqueline I. Stone. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2007, 492 pp., with illustrations, $65 (cloth) Buddhism has, at least in the public mind, monopolized death. In Japan, birth and marriage are usually ...

| Jun 17, 2007

First woman was the sun, then there came man

IN THE BEGINNING, WOMAN WAS THE SUN: The Autobiography of a Japanese Feminist — Hiratsuka Raicho, translated with an introduction and notes by Teruko Craig. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006, 432 pp., $35 (cloth) One of the earliest among those who battled to ...

| Jun 3, 2007

Oishi Seinosuke: the trial and its outcome

THE LIFE OF SEINOSUKE: Dr. Oishi and the High Treason Incident, by Joseph Cronin. Kyoto: White Tiger Press, 2007, 128 pp., with photographs and drawings, 1,800 yen (paper) The High Treason Incident (Taigyaku Jiken) was an anarchist plot to assassinate the Meiji emperor, one ...

| May 27, 2007

Japan's first cosmopolitan in the face of nationalism

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF YUKICHI FUKUZAWA, revised translation by Eiichi Kiyooka, preface by Kammei Ishikawa, with a foreword and afterword by Albert M. Craig. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007, (1966), 480 pp., with frontispiece photo, $30 (paper) The political scientist Masao Maruyama wrote in ...

| May 13, 2007

Combining East and West in dramaturgy

AN ACTOR’S TRICKS by Yoshi Oida and Lorna Marshall, foreword by Peter Brook. London: Methuen Drama, A&A Black Ltd., 2007, 102 pp., £10.99 (paper) Yoshi Oida, born in 1933, is one of Japan’s most interesting actor-directors. Trained in the classical stage disciplines, particularly that ...

| May 6, 2007

The different cases of Inspector Hanshichi

THE CURIOUS CASEBOOK OF INSPECTOR HANSHICHI: Detective Stories of Old Edo, by Kido Okamoto, translated by Ian MacDonald. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2007, 335 pp., $24 (paper) Between 1916 and 1937 the critic and playwright Kido Okamoto (1872-1939) published the “Hanshichi Torimonocho”; stories, ...