Tag - the-asian-bookshelf

 
 

THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF

CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Dec 2, 2007
Forever passing on ancient secrets of strategy
The Art of War: Sun Zi's Military Methods, foreword by Arthur Waldron. New York: Columbia University Press, 208 pp., with frontispiece, 2007, $19.95 (cloth) Here is a new translation of the sixth-century-B.C. Chinese military manual that has been long seen as the definitive work on strategies and...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Nov 25, 2007
Muso Soseki's garden of Zen
A Zen Life in Nature: Muso Soseki in His Gardens by Keir Davidson. Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 2007, 298 pp. with 28 illustrations, $28.00 (paper) Muso Soseki (1275-1351), one of the most prominent Zen masters of the Muromachi Period, was also twice abbot of Nanzenji....
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Nov 11, 2007
The poetry of women's emotions
Japanese Women Poets: An Anthology, translated and with an introduction by Hiroaki Sato. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2007, 548 pp., with photos, chronology, bibliography and index, $34.95 (paper) About lyric poetry, Wordsworth said that it was "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings."...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Nov 4, 2007
Rural living of an old man who does as he pleases
Late Poems Of Lu You, The Old Man Who Does As He Pleases: New Translations by Burton Watson. Burlington, Ontario: Ahadada Books, 2007, 74 pp., $12, ¥2,000 (paper) Lu You (Yu) (1125-1210), often referred to by his literary name of Lu Fangweng ("The Old Man Who Does as He Pleases"), is one of...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Oct 28, 2007
Young, curious and adventurous: the 17th-century backpacker
The Travels and Journal of Ambrosio Bembo, translated from the Italian by Clara Bargellini; edited and annotated, with an introduction by Anthony Welch; with the original illustrations by G.J. Grelot; and maps. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007, 452 pp. $24.95 (paper) In the summer of...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Oct 14, 2007
Nagai Kafu's geisha: expurgated, revised, then finally fully exposed
Rivalry: A Geisha's Tale, translated by Stephen Snyder. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007, 166 pp., $24.95 (cloth) Komayo, widowed young, resumes her life as a geisha, taking up with a former patron who wants to redeem her. She, however, falls in love with a young actor specializing in female...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Oct 7, 2007
The first and last foreigner to see Laotians as they were
TRAVELS IN LAOS: The Fate of the Sup Song Pana and the Muong Sing (1894-1896), by Dr. E. Lefevre, translated with an introduction by Walter Tips. Bangkok: White Lotus Press, 1995 (orig. edition), 224 pp., with contemporary photos and map, 725 Bahts (paper) During that late 19th-century feeding frenzy...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Sep 30, 2007
Sophistication from improvisation
Kitano Takeshi. London: British Film Institute, 2007, 272 pp., with photos. £16.99 (paper) This is a brilliant book on a mercurial subject. Takeshi Kitano is an actor and film director, ubiquitous on television as well, who has become a media event. His persona has splintered and he stands Janus-faced...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Sep 23, 2007
Yasodharapura, revived in literature
A Record of Cambodia: The Land and Its People, by Zhou Daguan, translated with an introduction and notes by Peter Harris, foreword by David Chandler, and photographs by Julian Circo. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 2007, 150 pp., 595 bhats (paper) In 1295, the same year that Marco Polo arrived back in Venice...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Sep 16, 2007
Finding Confucius as a friend
The Analects of Confucius, translated by Burton Watson. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007, 162 pp., $19.95 (cloth) Confucius (551-479 B.C.) came from low-ranking nobility and grew up in considerable poverty. Perhaps that is why he seemed so sensitive to matters of class and wealth and so...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Sep 9, 2007
Taking a good look at Tokyo's eclectic fashion
The Tokyo Look Book: Stylish To Spectacular, Goth To Gyaru, Sidewalk To Catwalk by Philomena Keet, photographs by Yuri Manabe. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2007, 224 pp., profusely illustrated, ¥3,000 (paper). It was the philosopher George Santayana who penned these wise words: "Fashion is something...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Sep 2, 2007
Filmmaker, writer, little boy
Boy, by Takeshi Kitano, translated by David James Karashima. New York: Vertical Inc., 80 pp., $17.95 (cloth). These three stories by one of Japan's most popular film directors (aka Beat Takeshi, one of Japan's most popular TV comedians) were originally published in 1987. They thus antedate the first...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Aug 26, 2007
It's ladies first now in Japanese love hotels
Japanese Love Hotels: A Cultural History, by Sarah Chaplin. London/New York: Routledge, 2007, 242 pp. with photos, figures and tables, £85 (cloth) The love-hotel industry is one of Japan's most profitable. It accounts for more than ¥4 trillion a year, a figure nearly four times than that of...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Aug 19, 2007
New translations reveal new depths of classic works
Mandarins: Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. Translated by Charles De Wolf. New York: Archipelago Books, 2007, 255 pp., $16.00 (paper) Good, new and much needed translations of the stories of Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927) have recently begun to appear. Last year there was the Penguin edition of...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Aug 12, 2007
Lauded in the West, ignored in the East
Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom, by Daisuke Miyao. Duke University Press, 2007, 380 pp., with 23 illustrations, $23.95 (paper) Kintaro Hayakawa (1886-1973), born in modest circumstances in Chiba, went on to have an extraordinary and unexpected life elsewhere. Now renamed...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Aug 5, 2007
Keeping the horror of Hiroshima alive
Masako's Story: Surviving the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima, by Kikuko Otake, edited by Dr. Jesse Glass. Tokyo/Toronto: Ahadada Books, 2007, 94 pp. with photos and maps, $15 (paper) The cenotaph for the Hiroshima victims reads "Let all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil,"...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
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 some new terminology...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
Jul 22, 2007
Welcome additions to the newest anthology of Japanese literature
The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature: From 1945 to the Present, edited by J. Thomas Rimer and Van C. Gessel, with additional selections by poetry editors Amy Vladeck Heinrich and Hiroaki Sato. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007, 864 pp., $59.50 (cloth). Anthologists must consider...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
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 Shinto...
CULTURE / Books / THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
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 reform the social and legal...

Longform

The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan