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Great men will, often thanks to their depredations, force themselves on our attention.

The fishermen, farmers, hunters, wanderers, carpenters and others about whom ethnologist Miyamoto Tsuneichi writes in “The Forgotten Japanese” are, on the other hand, more discreet. Those eager to recover the history they made, a history from which “great men’ are distant, need to go to them, and this Miyamoto did.

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