The concepts of home and diaspora are engaged and debated throughout the volume. Drawing on numerous sources—oral histories, interviews, private papers, films, myths, and music—the contributors highlight the role ethnic minorities have played in constructing Brazilian and Japanese national identities. The essayists consider the economic and emotional motivations for migration as well as a range of fascinating cultural outgrowths such as Japanese secret societies in Brazil. They explore intriguing paradoxes, including the feeling among many Japanese-Brazilians who have migrated to Japan that they are more "Brazilian" there than they were in Brazil. Searching for Home Abroad will be of great interest to scholars of immigration and ethnicity in the Americas and Asia.
Contributors. Shuhei Hosokawa, Angelo Ishi, Jeffrey Lesser, Daniel T. Linger, Koichi Mori, Joshua Hotaka Roth, Takeyuki (Gaku) Tsuda, Keiko Yamanaka, Karen Tei Yamashita
The key to professional success in Japan is understanding Japanese people. The authors, seasoned cross-cultural trainers for businesspeople, provide a practical set of guidelines for understanding Japanese people and culture through David A. Victor's LESCANT approach of evaluating a culture's language, environment, social organization, context, authority, nonverbal communication, and time conception. Each chapter addresses one of these topics and shows effective strategies to overcoming cultural barriers and demonstrates how to evaluate the differences between Japan and North America to help avoid common communication mistakes. The book is generously peppered with photographs to provide visual examples. Exploring language and communication topics, international relations, and the business community, this book is an excellent intercultural overview for anyone traveling to or working in Japan.
Like all empires, Japan’s prewar empire encompassed diverse territories as well as a variety of political forms for governing such spaces. This book focuses on Japan’s Kwantung Leasehold and Railway Zone in China’s three northeastern provinces. The hybrid nature of the leasehold’s political status vis-à-vis the metropole, the presence of the semipublic and enormously powerful South Manchuria Railway Company, and the region’s vulnerability to inter-imperial rivalries, intra-imperial competition, and Chinese nationalism throughout the first decades of the twentieth century combined to give rise to a distinctive type of settler politics. Settlers sought inclusion within a broad Japanese imperial sphere while successfully utilizing the continental space as a site for political and social innovation.In this study, Emer O’Dwyer traces the history of Japan’s prewar Manchurian empire over four decades, mapping how South Manchuria—and especially its principal city, Dairen—was naturalized as a Japanese space and revealing how this process ultimately contributed to the success of the Japanese army’s early 1930s takeover of Manchuria. Simultaneously, Significant Soil demonstrates the conditional nature of popular support for Kwantung Army state-building in Manchukuo, highlighting the settlers’ determination that the Kwantung Leasehold and Railway Zone remain separate from the project of total empire.
A translator’s notebook, an almanac, an ecological history, Judy Halebsky’s Spring and a Thousand Years (Unabridged) moves between multiple intersections and sign systems connected in a long glossary poem that serves as the book’s guide to what is lost, erased, or disrupted in transition both from experience to written word and from one language, location, and time period to another.
Writers Li Bai, Matsuo Bashō, Sei Shōnagon, and Du Fu make frequent appearances in centuries ranging from the eighth to the twenty-first, and appear in conversation with Grace Paley, Donald Hall, and Halebsky herself, as the poet explores subjects ranging from work and marriage to environmental destruction. Asking what would happen if these poets—not just their work—appeared in California, the poems slip between different geographies, syntaxes, times, and cultural frameworks.
The role of the literary translator is to bring text from one language into another, working to at once shift and retain the context of the original—from one alphabet to another, one point in time to another. These are poems in homage to translation; they rely on concepts that can bridge time and space, and as a result are as likely to find meaning in donuts or Zumba as they are to find it in the ocean. Spring and a Thousand Years (Unabridged) finds reasons for hope not in how the world should be, but in how it has always been.
In Strange Tales from Edo, William Fleming paints a sweeping picture of Japan’s engagement with Chinese fiction in the early modern period (1600–1868). Large-scale analyses of the full historical and bibliographical record—the first of their kind—document in detail the wholesale importation of Chinese fiction, the market for imported books and domestic reprint editions, and the critical role of manuscript practices—the ascendance of print culture notwithstanding—in the circulation of Chinese texts among Japanese readers and writers.Bringing this big picture to life, Fleming also traces the journey of a text rarely mentioned in studies of early modern Japanese literature: Pu Songling’s Liaozhai zhiyi (Strange Tales from Liaozhai Studio). An immediate favorite of readers on the continent, Liaozhai was long thought to have been virtually unknown in Japan until the modern period. Copies were imported in vanishingly small numbers, and the collection was never reprinted domestically. Yet beneath this surface of apparent neglect lies a rich hidden history of engagement and rewriting—hand-copying, annotation, criticism, translation, and adaptation—that opens up new perspectives on both the Chinese strange tale and its Japanese counterparts.
Unlike traditional Japanese literature, which has a rich tradition of comedy, modern Japanese literature is commonly associated with a high seriousness of purpose. In this path-breaking study, Joel R. Cohn analyzes works by three writers—Ibuse Masuji (1898-1993), Dazai Osamu (1909-1948), and Inoue Hisashi (1934- )—whose works constitute a relentless assault on the notion that comedy cannot be part of serious literature.Cohn focuses on thematic, structural, and stylistic elements in the works of these writers to show that modern Japanese comedic literature is a product of a particular set of historical, social, and cultural experiences. Cohn finds that cultural and social forces in modern Japan have led to the creation of comic literature that tends to deflect attention away from a human other and turn in on itself in different forms.
Since the 1950s, Abe Kōbō (1924–1993) has achieved an international reputation for his surreal or grotesque brand of avant-garde literature. From his early forays into science fiction to his more mature psychological novels and films, and finally the complicated experimental works produced near the end of his career, Abe weaves together a range of “voices”: the styles of science and the language of literary forms.In Abe’s oeuvre, this stylistic interplay links questions of language and subjectivity with issues of national identity and technological development in a way that ultimately aspires to become the catalyst for an artistic revolution. While recognizing the disruptions such a revolution might entail, Abe’s texts embrace these disjunctions as a way of realizing radical new possibilities beyond everyday experience and everyday values.By arguing that the crisis of identity and postwar anomie in Abe’s works is inseparable from the need to marshal these different scientific and literary voices, Christopher Bolton explores how this reconciliation of ideas and dialects is for Abe part of the process whereby texts and individuals form themselves—a search for identity that must take place at the level of the self and society at large.
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