IZUMO-JIN: The People of Izumo, by Daisetsu Fujioka, translated by Caroline E. Kano and Toshiko Yamakuse. Matsue: Harvest Publications, 2002, 138 pp., with maps. 1200 yen (paper).

This curiously provincial investigation sets out to discover the qualities of the inhabitants of the province of Izumo (Izumo-jin) in Shimane Prefecture. Professor Daisetsu Fujioka’s method is that of a fellow seeker, Takao Sobue, who in 1971 wrote a book called “Prefectural Character” in which he discovered that the people of Nagano are “fond of theorizing,” while those of Shiga are “grasping, cunning,” and folks in Kochi are “stubborn . . . fond of alcohol.”

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