Book Topics

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Breaching the secretive sects of Shin-Buddhism

by Stephen Mansfield

The tendency to perceive covert groups as reticent conspirators rather than curators of hidden knowledge is universal. Secrecy’s Power, by Clark Chilson 235 pages.University of Hawaii Press, Nonfiction. In Japan, secret oral transmissions, chants, rituals and services have long been identified with esoteric schools of Buddhist faith such as Shingon ...

Japan's runners need a change of pace

May 16, 2015

Japan's runners need a change of pace

by J.J. O'Donoghue

In “The Way of the Runner,” Adharanand Finn has written an entertaining account of Japan’s obsession with long-distance running (and training). However, the problem is when he veers off the running track into the land of cliche. Consider this: Finn writes that bread only ...

Marathon Japan

May 16, 2015

Marathon Japan

by David Cozy

Thomas R.H. Havens warns us early in “Marathon Japan” that “the emphasis is on sports history, not the anthropology of running communities or body culture.” What this means is that, for the most part, in place of analysis and interpretation we get facts, and ...