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1. Japan - Culture Smart!: the essential
2. Japan: Its History and Culture
3. Japan Pop!: Inside the World of
4. Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria
5. CultureShock! Japan: A Survival
6. Tour of Duty: Samurai, Military
7. The Culture of Japanese Fascism
8. Fanning the Flames: Fans and Consumer
9. Japan - Culture of Wood: Buildings,
10. Popular Culture, Globalization
11. Japan the Culture (Lands, Peoples,
12. Art and Culture of Japan (Abrams
13. A Year in Japan
14. Japan the Land (Lands, Peoples,
15. Tools of Culture: Japan's Cultural,
16. Preschool in Three Cultures Revisited:
17. Culture and Customs of Japan (Culture
18. Japan Ai: A Tall Girl's Adventures
19. China, Japan, Korea: Culture and
20. Korean Impact on Japanese Culture:

1. Japan - Culture Smart!: the essential guide to customs & culture
by Paul Norbury
Paperback: 168 Pages (2006-09-05)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$5.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1857333098
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Culture Smart! provides essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behavior in different countries, ensuring that you arrive at your destination aware of basic manners, common courtesies, and sensitive issues. These concise guides tell you what to expect, how to behave, and how to establish a rapport with your hosts. This inside knowledge will enable you to steer clear of embarrassing gaffes and mistakes, feel confident in unfamiliar situations, and develop trust, friendships, and successful business relationships.

Culture Smart! offers illuminating insights into the culture and society of a particular country. It will help you to turn your visit-whether on business or for pleasure-into a memorable and enriching experience. Contents include

* customs, values, and traditions
* historical, religious, and political background
* life at home
* leisure, social, and cultural life
* eating and drinking
* do's, don'ts, and taboos
* business practices
* communication, spoken and unspoken

"Culture Smart has come to the rescue of hapless travellers." Sunday Times Travel

"... the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries." Global Travel

"...full of fascinating-as well as common-sense-tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas." Observer

"...as useful as they are entertaining." Easyjet Magazine

"...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world." New York Times
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good for short visit
I read this book on the plane to Japan.It was very informative and prepared me well for a week's visit.

4-0 out of 5 stars A different approach to Japanese culture
This book seemed a little more balanced than most in its approach to discussing and explaining the ins and outs of Japanese culture.
At first, I thought it seemed negative and even possibly sarcastic at times. I was annoyed and almost offended. I wasn't sure I wanted to keep reading. But I was finding things in it that I hadn't learned from discussions, animes, online information, or the other books I had read such as "The Japanese Way" and "Japanese Cultural Encounters."

It didn't include personal stories nor was it academic-style. It is easy to read and easy to find what you're looking for. It's worth reading, re-reading, and keeping as a reference. It contains some useful information, including dos and don'ts and some of the not so glamorous realities of Japanese life, culture, economy. I did find some typos, which was surprising, but not anything big. The writing style was less personal and has a "unique" style compared to other Japanese culture books.

I liked it a lot and found it a good addition to my collection of books to understand the Japanese mind and way of life.
I recommend adding it even if you have other culture books.

I will note that it seems aimed at probably Americans or Europeans who have not lived in Japan, who do not speak Japanese, and who have not traveled to Japan. It's not extremely in-depth, but more a small, compact guidebook to get out when you need it and a quick, handy read overall.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful overview-
On a recent trip to Japan, my travel companion had this book.I referenced it almost nightly to understand some of the things we were seeing and read it thoroughly on my return.I should have had it first, but in any case it was perfect for what I wanted-which was a quick understanding of the customs and some of the 'different' things that we saw-I would definitely recommend it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A must read
This is a very helpful book that explains the culture very well. Every aspect that most wouldn't even know about. ... Read more

2. Japan: Its History and Culture
by W. Scott Morton, J. Kenneth Olenik, Charlton Lewis
Paperback: 336 Pages (2004-06-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$7.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071412808
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Once a star of postwar industrial production and methods,Japan has encountered serious trouble with market forces inrecent years. Social changes and departures from tradition arebecoming more common in this conservative country. Therevised edition of the popular work, Japan: Its History andCulture, Fourth Edition, documents and explains thesechanges. Seamlessly blending current events, politics, andcultural elements, the authors provide a riveting account ofa nation often misunderstood by the West.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This was an interesting and broad overview of Japanese history and culture. It was very informative to the casual reader, but to readers who know a lot about the culture and history it was a fairly basic review. It covered a lot of information in such a short amount of space. I would recommend this book to the extreme anime fans who know nothing about Japanese culture outside of its anime.

4-0 out of 5 stars Seems like a servicable introduction to Japanese history
There's no way you can expect a book of this length (about 300 pages) to fully cover the history of a civilization as ancient, rich, and varied as Japan, but this book does a good job of providing a fairly comprehensive introduction into the main trends in Japanese culture from prehistory to the modern day.As might be expected, the events of the 19th and 20th centuries occupy a considerable amount of the book, and a substantial percentage of the end of the book, which covers post-World War II Japan, was written by Olenik, who Morton specifically brought on to cover parts of modern Japanese culture which Morton is not an expert in.(The change in style is noticeable.)

Because this book is covering so much history in such a small number of pages, very few events are written about in detail.There is considerable discussion about the historical evolution of the cultural aspects of Japanese civilization (as opposed to the political or military), and the authors do a good job of emphasizing the particular nature of the shogunate and why the military used to hold so much power in Japan.By the end of the book, the authors also discuss the economic and pop culture aspects of Japan, which is appropriate in light of their status in the modern world.

If you're already reasonably well-versed in Japanese history, then this book isn't for you.The intended audience is probably students in an introduction to Japanese or East Asian history class, or perhaps the reasonably educated layperson who is ignorant about the main trends of Japanese history but is interested in learning more.As other reviewers have mentioned, this book provides a good foundation from which to start learning more about Japan.

2-0 out of 5 stars So dull
I love readinf about Japan, but this book was so bland, so unengrosing, that I put it down. Twice, I tried to go back to read it, but to no avail. If you like Japan, and everything it has to offer7 you'll want to avoid this book at all costs.

1-0 out of 5 stars corruption of information
This book was written by W. Scott Morton and J. Kenneth Olenik.
I never want to purchase anything from these authors again. The
material in the book contains very incorrect and slanderous information, as well as a failure to provide relevant information, concerning Nichiren Daishonin and Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism. I know this for a fact because I am a member of the Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, which is True Mahayana Buddhism, with the Head Temple based in Japan. I have been to the Head Temple twice before, and to the temples in the United States, several times since joining in 1984. The Nichiren Shoshu is NOT political, as the authors present in their book.And Nichiren Daishonin was not political, either, as the authors present. Nor do the authors present the material in a responsible and informative manner, which would be the only suitable manner, especially for persons of their standing in the educational field. To understand the times and the culture of the country at the time, and the circumstances that Nichiren Daishonin was contending with, and to obtain CORRECT information on the actual beliefs and practice, the only reliable source would be the Nichiren Shoshu temples themselves.
Considering the interwoven relationships of religion and politics, and their supportive or non-supportive roles in research, science, medical, etc., fields and their overrall effect on influencing societal behaviors, this is an extremely serious error of the authors.
Not only am I so very dissatisfied with the information they presented, I am also very dissatisfied with their presentation of it.Based on this, I cannot trust their other information either, especially in reference to comments concerning the corruption of U.S. contractors, and the Japanese government, and similiar topics. Even if the information presented on those topics were correct, my question then becomes "Who is the corruptive force behind it all?".I refuse to provide support of any kind to the authors.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Short Cultural History
This books seeks to give the reader a broad grasp of the space of Japan's cultural history. Important names and dates are mentioned in connection with their cultural accomplishments. More than simply telling who killed whom in what war and when, this book gives the reader a vague understanding of how Japan's customs, architecture, art, and prose evolved into the form they are today.

This book is best for those who know next to nothing about the history of Japan and would like an outline with which to proceed to learn more. ... Read more

3. Japan Pop!: Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture
Paperback: 360 Pages (2000-06)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$17.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765605619
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (7)

1-0 out of 5 stars an academic tired of bad academics
In a word, this book is a mess.Methodologically suspect and theoretically uninformed, it relies on antiquated Orientalist assumptions of essential cultural identity and unchanging social forms to make the multifarious sources it cites all sound the same, which is too bad, because it is the only English-language 'scholarship' available at present on many of the topics covered.A wasted opportunity that makes me sad and mad.

5-0 out of 5 stars Japan Pop! Fascinating and entertaining
For anyone who has noticed the ubiquity of anime, sushi shops, Japanese style and other aspects of Japanese culture, this book provides a welcome and readable introduction to what Japanese popular culture is and where it comes from.I particularly liked the chapters on music but I probably learned more about Japanese culture and the mind set behind it from the chapters on television and anime.This book explains not only that there is a Japanese poular culture, but why it is the way it is.Highly recommended.

1-0 out of 5 stars Very poor introduction to the subject
Claiming to be a book which bridges the divide between the worlds of academia and populism, Japan Pop! gets off to a poor start with an absurdly high cover price likely to put it out of reach of the casual J-Pop Culture fan. The price might have been justified had this been a glossy, photo-packed book, but seems ludicrous given that it is merely a collection of 17 essays. The essays dwell on four major areas of contemporary J-Pop Culture: music, manga and animation, TV & film and the popularity of J-Pop Culture outside of the country. It comes as little surprise that Mark Schilling's contribution, about the Tora-san character in the Otoko wa Tsurai yo (It's Tough Being a Man) film series, is the most interesting - not necessarily because of the topic, but because Schilling is the only contributor who is a writer of any repute. The majority of these essays are written by academics and it shows: footnotes abound, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers get analysed to the nth degree and claims are made that "Sailor Moon's rearrangement of the traditional superhero myth bears hints of not only a new social order, but also the kind of moral struggles, alliances, and identities that may create and accompany it." The book also contains a number of confidence-sapping factual errors (example: Osaka band Shonen Knife "started playing in the mid-1980s" which is not true, they started playing in December 1981). Schilling's Encyclopedia of Japanese Pop Culture (Weatherhill) remains the definitive starting point for those seeking a good, accessible introduction to the subject; Japan Pop! is only for the otaku completist, and a wealthy one at that.

5-0 out of 5 stars fascinating read
A fascinating and enjoyable read. "Japan pop" gave me a fresh and informitive insight into Japans modern culture and and in to the psychology of its people. Loved this book and I highly recommed it. ray brooks

5-0 out of 5 stars A "must" for students of Japanese studies & popular culture.
Japan Pop! considers various forms of Japanese popular culture, from popmusic and animated cartoons to films and television. The result is ananalysis of Japanese society, cultural identity, and daily life whichprovide absorbing surveys into Japanese psychology. A 'must' for anycollege-level student of Japanese studies. ... Read more

4. Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism (Twentieth Century Japan: the Emergence of a World Power)
by Louise Young
Paperback: 500 Pages (1999-09-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$22.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0520219341
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In this first social and cultural history of Japan's construction of Manchuria, Louise Young offers an incisive examination of the nature of Japanese imperialism. Focusing on the domestic impact of Japan's activities in Northeast China between 1931 and 1945, Young considers "metropolitan effects" of empire building: how people at home imagined and experienced the empire they called Manchukuo.
Contrary to the conventional assumption that a few army officers and bureaucrats were responsible for Japan's overseas expansion, Young finds that a variety of organizations helped to mobilize popular support for Manchukuo--the mass media, the academy, chambers of commerce, women's organizations, youth groups, and agricultural cooperatives--leading to broad-based support among diverse groups of Japanese. As the empire was being built in China, Young shows, an imagined Manchukuo was emerging at home, constructed of visions of a defensive lifeline, a developing economy, and a settler's paradise. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and strange
This was a very strange book.The subject matter is overwhelmingly focused on Japan, not on Manchukuo at all, which is what I hoped for, but was nonetheless very interesting, parts of it much more so than others.The writing was not exceptional, although the author clearly has unparalleled knowledge of the subject matter.Some chapters in the early and later parts of the book were much more interesting than a great deal of the middle, but there was something in every section of note.I really don't feel like the themes and subject matter can be seriously summarized at all here; I would simply suggest reading it if you are interesting in imperialism, fascism, or Japanese history.

4-0 out of 5 stars Essential reading on pre-Pacific War Japan.
This book is essential reading for any serious student of the Japanese Empire, as well as anyone interested in the history of colonialism or Chinese-Japanese relations.Young shows that Japan's occupation ofManchuria and the subsequent transformation into Manchukuo may have beeninitially driven by the Imperial Army, but became an effort supported byvarious other political and economic agencies.She also describes how aperceived Japanese mission of improving fellow Asian nations may have beensincere, but was ultimately destructive. TOTAL EMPIRE is best read inconjunction with THE ABACUS AND THE SWORD, about Japan's colonialrelationship with Korea.Military historians will find Young's book weakon details of the military administration, but that doesn't seriouslydetract from the social and cultural historical value of the work. ... Read more

5. CultureShock! Japan: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette (Culture Shock! Guides)
by P. Sean Bramble
Paperback: 286 Pages (2008-07)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$11.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0761454888
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

With over three million copies in print, CultureShock! is a bestselling series of culture and etiquette guides covering countless destinations around the world.For anyone at risk of culture shock, whether a tourist or a long-term resident, CultureShock! provides a sympathetic and fun-filled crash course on the do's and don'ts in foreign cultures.Fully updated and sporting a fresh new look, the revised editions of these books enlighten and inform through such topics as language, food and entertaining, social customs, festivals, relationships, and business tips. CultureShock! books are packed with useful details on transportation, taxes, finances, accommodation, health, food and drink, clothes, shopping, festivals, and much, much more.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Culture Shock, Japan
Logically organized and clearly indexed, easy to read with hints and humor. Table of Contents nicely formatted. An awareness of the customs will help avoid insulting their culture.Some spots seem over detailed but perhaps that is due to my being a first-time visitor and have much to incorporate

2-0 out of 5 stars Filled with Ex-pat vitriole and luddism
It certainly seems that the author would rather we not visit Japan, and perhaps he'd rather not live there. He seems to focus entirely on the struggles a Westerner will experience, and focuses very little on the daily interaction and culture of a country with several thousand years of cultural history. But hey, if you're a business-person planning on spending six months working in Japan, Culture Shock Japan might be able to tell you how not to embarrass yourself in very specific corporate interactions...but maybe you might just want to skip the experience altogether.

Also, with Tokyo being the nexus of technological advancement, the author too often editorializes with a "kids these days" sort of attitude regarding technology and entertainment. I can just picture the typewriter he used when writing the first draft.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful!
I found this book very helpful in preparing me for a recent trip to Japan.It contained a lot of information on what to expect culturally in Japan, and helped me make a few less "outsider" etiquette blunders.I would recommend this book to anyone heading to Japan as a good guide to help you feel a bit more comfortable in a strange land.

4-0 out of 5 stars I've cut down a lot of my "ugly American" acts because I have more insight...
I was stationed overseas for about 1 1/2 years before I read the book. Many questions I had were answered. This book explains a lot of the everyday things you'll see/notice in Japan. Not much of a history book (which wasn't what I was looking for @ the time) but a very modern explanation of all the strange things Japanese people do.

I highly recommend this book for anyone that is going to live in Japan for an extended period of time.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing

The book does contain usefull information, but it left me with an awkward feeling after reading.
It describes the 'typically Japanese things' from a personal western point of view, without explaining why, how, what, etc.
-Japan is a weird and silly country, but there are nice temples-
Or is it the writer that is the culture shock ?
If you want an objective book about Japan, keep searching. ... Read more

6. Tour of Duty: Samurai, Military Service in Edo, and the Culture of Early Modern Japan
by Constantine Nomikos Vaporis
Paperback: 318 Pages (2008-07-31)
list price: US$23.00 -- used & new: US$19.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0824834704
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Alternate attendance (sankin kotai) was one of the central institutions of Edo-period (1603-1868) Japan and one of the most unusual examples of a system of enforced elite mobility in world history. It required the daimyo to divide their time between their domains and the city of Edo, where they waited upon the Tokugawa shogun. Based on a prodigious amount of research in both published and archival primary sources, Tour of Duty renders alternate attendance as a lived experience, for not only the daimyo but also the samurai retainers who accompanied them. Beyond exploring the nature of travel to and from the capital as well as the period of enforced bachelorhood there, Constantine Vaporis elucidates--for the first time--the significance of alternate attendance as an engine of cultural, intellectual, material, and technological exchange.

Vaporis argues against the view that cultural change simply emanated from the center (Edo) and reveals more complex patterns of cultural circulation and production taking place between the domains and Edo and among distant parts of Japan. What is generally known as "Edo culture" in fact incorporated elements from the localities. In some cases, Edo acted as a nexus for exchange; at other times, culture traveled from one area to another without passing through the capital. As a result, even those who did not directly participate in alternate attendance experienced a world much larger than their own. Vaporis begins by detailing the nature of the trip to and from the capital for one particular large-scale domain, Tosa, and its men and goes on to analyze the political and cultural meanings of the processions of the daimyo and their extensive entourages up and down the highways. These parade-like movements were replete with symbolic import for the nature of early modern governance. Later chapters are concerned with the physical and social environment experienced by the daimyo's retainers in Edo; they also address the question of who went to Edo and why, the network of physical spaces in which the domainal samurai lived, the issue of staffing, political power, and the daily lives and consumption habits of retainers. Finally, Vaporis examines retainers as carriers of culture, both in a literal and a figurative sense. In doing so, he reveals the significance of travel for retainers and their identity as consumers and producers of culture, thus proposing a multivalent model of cultural change. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Important Studies on Edo Period Japan in a Long Time
In his introduction, Vaporis explains that sankin kôtai is perhaps the greatest achievement of the Tokugawa period's leadership as the system intentionally or unintentionally encouraged the development of political, economic and social institutions and practices that helped keep the unprecedented 250 years of internal peace. Sankin kôtai also played a part in the development of the Edo period's rich cultural heritage. Vaporis states that it is because of the blatantly obvious significance and impact of sankin kôtai, historians have only discussed it in very general terms that haven't changed much over time. There is really no single book or volume on the subject that sums it all up. To try to write "that" book would require a massive scale of research that could not be so easily carried out, especially as there aren't any existing full complements of primary resources in han histories that neatly explain and tie everything together. The sheer weight of the project would sink even the best researcher/historian's ambitions. It is therefore quite easy to understand why historians discuss sankin kôtai in broad strokes or look at specific aspects of the system and the lives of those it affected. With Tour of Duty, Professor Vaporis doesn't try to deliver a banal and sweeping treatise on the topic, nor does he zero in on a one dimensional, miniscule aspect of it either. What he has delivered is a rich, 24k creation that I truly admire. This is a very insightful and well-construed book that clearly highlights Professor Vaporis' skills as a researcher and his ability to convey his findings in a straight-forward, easy to understand fashion.

After skillfully panning and sifting through various primary source material scattered throughout diaries, journals, artistic depictions and archeological sites to find valuable content, Vaporis then forged and polished what I would describe as a golden ingot that brilliantly shines some much needed light on how alternate attendance, as a political institution, touched the lives of the samurai who participated in it. Roughly, the first half of the book deals primarily with the preparations for the round trip journeys to and from Edo and life on the road, as part of a daimyo's procession. Readers are treated to a wealth of valuable information ranging from summaries of contemporary journal accounts to tables filled with facts and figures that clearly illuminate just how important of a role alternate attendance played in the deployment of a domain's human and financial resources. Also, the insightful analysis provided on the pomp and circumstance of daimyo processions is fascinating and definitely stands out as one of the highlights of this book. Vaporis describes these processions as "theatres of power" as they combined the intricacies of domain power projection with a certain amount of drama that both awed and entertained those who witnessed them.

The second half of the book covers nearly all aspects of samurai life while on duty in Edo, ranging from financial considerations, issues of place and space within the various types of daimyo compounds, and everyday things like diet and hobbies--including intellectual and cultural pursuits. All of this was really quite interesting and the tables provided of purchases made by individual samurai during their trips to Edo helps to put a human face on those who served in Edo so long ago. These weren't just stoic samurai, but actual people with real consumer-driven wants and needs.

In conclusion, I believe that Tour of Duty is an essential "must read" for anyone with an interest in the lives of the Japanese warrior class during the Tokugawa period as well as those who are fascinated by what it must have been like to travel on one of the five major roadways of the Edo period, such as the Tôkaidô. I'm finding it hard to find serious fault with this work. The topic is interesting. The writing style is clear and straightforward and engaging. The research is impeccable--one look at the extensive bibliography shows how deeply Professor Vaporis dove into researching this topic and the nearly fifty pages of detailed and informative endnotes are testament to this.

A full review of this book can also be found on the Shogun-Ki blog at [...]
... Read more

7. The Culture of Japanese Fascism (Asia-Pacific: Culture, Politics, and Society)
Paperback: 496 Pages (2009-01-01)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$23.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0822344688
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

This bold collection of essays demonstrates the necessity of understanding fascism in cultural terms rather than only or even primarily in terms of political structures and events. Contributors from history, literature, film, art history, and anthropology describe a culture of fascism in Japan in the decades preceding the end of the Asia-Pacific War. In so doing, they challenge past scholarship, which has generally rejected descriptions of pre-1945 Japan as fascist. The contributors explain how a fascist ideology was diffused throughout Japanese culture via literature, popular culture, film, design, and everyday discourse. Alan Tansman’s introduction places the essays in historical context and situates them in relation to previous scholarly inquiries into the existence of fascism in Japan.

Several contributors examine how fascism was understood in the 1930s by, for example, influential theorists, an antifascist literary group, and leading intellectuals responding to capitalist modernization. Others explore the idea that fascism’s solution to alienation and exploitation lay in efforts to beautify work, the workplace, and everyday life. Still others analyze the realization of and limits to fascist aesthetics in film, memorial design, architecture, animal imagery, a military museum, and a national exposition. Contributors also assess both manifestations of and resistance to fascist ideology in the work of renowned authors including the Nobel-prize-winning novelist and short-story writer Kawabata Yasunari and the mystery writers Edogawa Ranpo and Hamao Shirō. In the work of these final two, the tropes of sexual perversity and paranoia open a new perspective on fascist culture. This volume makes Japanese fascism available as a critical point of comparison for scholars of fascism worldwide. The concluding essay models such work by comparing Spanish and Japanese fascisms.

Contributors. Noriko Aso, Michael Baskett, Kim Brandt, Nina Cornyetz, Kevin M. Doak, James Dorsey, Aaron Gerow, Harry Harootunian, Marilyn Ivy, Angus Lockyer, Jim Reichert, Jonathan Reynolds, Ellen Schattschneider, Aaron Skabelund, Akiko Takenaka, Alan Tansman, Richard Torrance, Keith Vincent, Alejandro Yarza

... Read more

8. Fanning the Flames: Fans and Consumer Culture in Contemporary Japan (Suny Series in Japan in Transition)
Paperback: 214 Pages (2004-07-15)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$16.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0791460320
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A fascinating look at fans of a variety of popular culture phenomena in Japan. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Serious ethnography of Japanese popular culture
This is a great collection by some of the outstanding contemporary specialists on Japanese popular culture.It is a serious ethnographic collection about popular culture and the dynamics of "fandom" across sports, manga and anime, popular music, and sumo, among other things.It sets a high standard for studies of popular culture in Japan and elsewhere.Highly recommended both for fans and observers of Japanese trends. ... Read more

9. Japan - Culture of Wood: Buildings, Objects, Techniques
by Christoph Henrichsen
Hardcover: 248 Pages (2004-10-01)
list price: US$90.00 -- used & new: US$24.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 376437022X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Japan is synonymous worldwide with traditional timber construction and the diversified use of wood in every sphere. Out of a long-enduring tradition emerge products of unrivalled refinement, craftsmanship and minimalist design. From bridges, through dwellings, sliding doors and furniture, to receptacles, tools and musical instruments, this publication presents the technique, tradition, context and production of some 30 different kinds of objects, focusing on the genesis of each. Every step from material selection through to surface finish is captured directly by noted photographer Roland Bauer in fascinating sequences, which combine with the detailed drawings to make each item's composition and production easy to grasp. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fighting against the Tide
In this modern age of plastics and exotic metal alloys along with mass production, the idea of creating a comb out of wood, or small storage boxes out of thin wooden slats, or carving a thin-walled bowl, seems quaint and even silly. We would expect furniture woodworkers and carpentry in constructing houses, but splitting wood by hand and trimming with small hand saws question efficiency. However, in modern Japan there are still handfuls of artisans engaged in such and similar crafts. They fight the tide of modernization by being the preservationists of Buddhist and Shinto temples, monuments and shrines, and tea houses. They also produce those traditional utensils still valued for form and craft.

This fine illustated book honors the cottage industry and its aging craftmen, who maintain the skills and techniques and still train apprentices. Anyone familiar with Chinese interlocking wooden puzzles will appreciate how large buildings were and still today are constructed entirely out of wood, without nails. We see in detail how this is done, from securing the necessary timber, to its aging in lumber yards, to carving and fitting. From bridges and buildings to wooden dolls and wooden sandals, to musical instruments and game boards, we learn the complex techniques and soon appreciate the patience and craftsmanship. Japanese design, both ancient and modern, is renown for its elegance. This book, a survey and sampling, gives us greater understanding. We also discover that these works and projects in wood are expensive, due in part to the rarity and specialization of such skills and the intricate steps of labor and the time required. The book would be of interest to woodworkers, those interested in Japanese arts and crafts, and anyone who loves wood.
... Read more

10. Popular Culture, Globalization and Japan (Asia's Transformations)
by Matthew Allen:
Hardcover: 226 Pages (2008-03-24)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$31.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 041544795X
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
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Product Description

Japanese popular culture is constantly evolving in the face of internal and external influence. Popular Culture, Globalization and Japan examines this evolution from a new and challenging perspective by focusing on the movements of popular culture into and out of Japan.

Taking a multidisciplinary approach, the book argues that a key factor behind the changing nature of Japanese popular culture lies in its engagement with globalization. Essays from a team of leading international scholars illustrate this crucial interaction between the flows of Japanese popular culture and the constant development of globalization. Drawing on rich empirical content, this book looks at Japanese popular culture as it traverses international borders flowing out through such forms as manga consumption in New Zealand and flowing in through such forms as foreigners writing about Japan in Japanese and how American influences affected the formation of Japan’s gay identity.

Presenting current, confronting and sometimes controversial insights into the many forms of Japanese popular culture emerging within this global context, Popular Culture, Globalization and Japan will make essential reading for those working in Japanese studies, cultural studies and international relations.

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11. Japan the Culture (Lands, Peoples, and Cultures)
by Bobbie Kalman
Paperback: 32 Pages (2008-10-30)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$4.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0778796663
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This title is suitable for ages 9 to 14 years. Spectacular new photographs highlight this new edition of "Japan: The Culture". Fascinating aspects of Japanese theatre, festivals, and fine arts are explained in clear, concise text. ... Read more

12. Art and Culture of Japan (Abrams Discoveries)
by Nelly Delay
Paperback: 160 Pages (1999-09-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$5.73
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Asin: 0810928620
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good basic guide with beautiful photographs of Japan.
Though it is true this book does not go into great depth about Japan and its culture; nevertheless, it is a good basic guide of Japan for the average person who is not seeking a more academic approach to the topic.Chapters include the realm of the Kami, a buddhist civilization, the way of the warrior, the way of Zen and numerous other interesting sections.It also has a section for those seeking further reading on the subject. The photographs are clear, in color and beautiful. In conclusion, this book is for anyone who desires an overview of the art and culture of Japan.Rating: 4 Stars.Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Tanto-Jutsu, Wakizashi-Jutsu, Season of the Warrior: a poetic tribute to warriors, Never Trust a Politician, Martial Art Myths).

3-0 out of 5 stars Beware of translations
This book was originally written in French and then translated into English. Considering the subject of this book is Japan, that's probably not the best way to go about things. Many of the Japanese words introduced in this book are written as they would be transcribed in French, not English, leading to possible confusion. In addition, the translation is at times not very good. The text gets quite clunky and seems poorly organized in places. The one thing this book has going for it is the abundance of high quality photographs. Visually, this book is stunning, filled with lots of slick, high-gloss images. So buy this book for the pictures, but if you're actually going to read it, beware the information. There are many other books that are much better.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Review on The Art and Culture of Japan
In The Art and Culture of Japan, the author describes the greater aspects of Japanese past and present art and culture.He touches on a wide array of cultural diffences and even explores the art of rock gardens. In thisbook, there is enough information on gardening to fulfill my horticulturalneeds and wants. He lividly descibes the samuri and their code of honor,while offering a view on the way that the Shintoreligion functions andtheir main beliefs. The only quam I have with this book is the lack of anin-depth look at the everyday life and funtions of the peasant life inancient Japan. ... Read more

13. A Year in Japan
by Kate T. Williamson
Paperback: 192 Pages (2006-03-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$7.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1568985401
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Land of the Rising Sun is shining brightly across the American cultural landscape. Recent films such as Lost in Translation and Memoirs of a Geisha seem to have made everyone an expert on Japan, even if they've never been there. But the only way for a Westerner to get to know the real Japan is to become a part of it. Kate T. Williamson did just that, spending a year experiencing, studying, and reflecting on her adopted home. She brings her keen observations to us in A Year in Japan, a dramatically different look at a delightfully different way of life. Avoiding the usual clichés -- Japan's polite society, its unusual fashion trends, its crowded subways -- Williamson focuses on some lesser-known aspects of the country and culture. In stunning watercolors and piquant texts, she explains the terms used to order various amounts of tofu, the electric rugs found in many Japanese homes, and how to distinguish a maiko from a geisha. She observes sumo wrestlers in traditional garb as they use ATMs, the wonders of "Santaful World" at a Kyoto department store, and the temple carpenters who spend each Sunday dancing to rockabilly. A Year in Japan is a colorful journey to the beauty, poetry, and quirkiness of modern Japan -- a book not just to look at but to experience. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful journey
It's nowhere near actually being there, but Kate T. Williamson's A Year in Japan manages to capture some of the magic that lies within Japanese culture. With her journal notes paired with such detailed watercolor illustrations, Williamson delves into the intricacies of everyday life and presents an eye-catching tour through the heart of Japan. A place where karaoke is taken seriously, tofu is sold from wooden carts pushed by elderly men and the people believe that a rabbit on moon pounds rice into mochi.

Some concepts, like riding a bullet train (shinkansen) and the difference between a maiko and a geisha, I'd already learned through my bf's adventures, but I thoroughly enjoyed this visual journey. Once I picked it up one morning, I couldn't set it down until I'd spent the entire year with her.

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3-0 out of 5 stars Ok for a quick read, not for research.
I got the book and had it finished in the same day, a good book, very fast. The book is very personal and not full of facts, its a good look at the authors view of Japan, but if your looking for some facts about Japan then try another book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!
This is an amazing book. I lived in Japan for two years, and this book gave my family a feeling for why I loved spending time in Japan so much. She finds fascinating little details of the culture, which she illustrates in nice watercolors and writes about.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Love Affair with Japan
I bought this book just before moving to Osaka, Japan, and I must say Williamson's observations of the small details of that strange and endearing land are so perfect, that by the end of my time there, I felt as though "A Year in Japan" was MY travel journal. Her whimsical illustrations done in delicate watercolors, and her brief writing to accompany the images, are not meant to be a travel guide informing you on the best udon shop or the cheapest place to stay, but rather to point out all the little things that make Japan unique. I will forever treasure this book as if it were my own story of Japan.

This book would be perfect as a gift to someone who is interested in Japanese culture or for someone who has lived there. It would also make a great coffee table book. It is NOT meant to be a travel guide. There's very little to read; it's more about the illustrations.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Stylish Travel Journal
Like Williamson's other book "At a Crossroads," this book is also stylishly illustrated and personal. The author definitely has an eye for details and has made astute observations about a foreign culture. It's an enjoyable, pictorial journal of one's post-college travel. A pleasant read. ... Read more

14. Japan the Land (Lands, Peoples, and Cultures)
by Bobbie Kalman
Paperback: 32 Pages (2008-10-30)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$4.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0778796647
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This title is suitable for ages 9 to 14 years. This revised and beautifully designed new edition covers every aspect of Japan's geography, natural resources, agriculture, and landforms. ... Read more

15. Tools of Culture: Japan's Cultural, Intellectual, Medical and Technological Contacts in East Asia, 1000-1500s
 Paperback: 315 Pages (2009-01)
-- used & new: US$80.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0924304537
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16. Preschool in Three Cultures Revisited: China, Japan, and the United States
by Joseph Tobin, Yeh Hsueh, Mayumi Karasawa
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2009-08-15)
list price: US$39.00 -- used & new: US$34.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226805034
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Published twenty years ago, the original Preschool in Three Cultures was a landmark in the study of education: a profoundly enlightening exploration of the different ways preschoolers are taught in China, Japan, and the United States. Here, lead author Joseph Tobin—along with new collaborators Yeh Hsueh and Mayumi Karasawa—revisits his original research to discover how two decades of globalization and sweeping social transformation have affected the way these three cultures educate and care for their youngest pupils.

In Preschool in Three Cultures Revisited the authors return to the three schools from the first book and also take a look at three new, progressive schools in each country—once again armed with a video camera to capture a typical day. They record the children saying goodbye to their parents, fighting, misbehaving, and playing, as well as moments of intimacy such as teachers comforting crying students. Then the authors show the three videos they shot in 1984 and the six new videos to the teachers and school directors, and their reactions offer sharp insights into their culture’s approach to early childhood education and its connection to developments in their societies as a whole. Putting their subjects’ responses into a historical perspective, Tobin, Hsueh, and Karasawa analyze the pressures put on schools to evolve and to stay the same, discuss how the teachers adapt to these demands, and examine the patterns and processes of continuity and change in each country.

            Featuring nearly one hundred stills from the videotapes, Preschool in Three Cultures Revisited artfully and insightfully illustrates the surprising, illuminating, and at times entertaining experiences of four-year-olds—and their teachers—on both sides of the Pacific.

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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Understanding Asia
I became a fan of David We after reading his first book on Preschool in Three Cultures. At that time many people were fascinated and puzzled by Japan's economic success (as some still are). Any sociologist or business person planning to do business in Japan or China would be well advised to read the first and revisited versions.
It is rare that writers take such an openly critical look at the work they are doing. Videos of classroom activities are shown to the participants of the three countries involved for feedback and criticism thereby immensely increasing the diversity of opinion that only one onlooker might achieve. The Japanese are aghast at the severity of the Chinese classroom regimen initially but impressed after a passage of 20 years and phenomenal change in Chinese society. The Chinese are aghast at the lax attitude of the Japanese teachers, offering readers great insight into the decision making processes of both countries. It reveals much and I admire all those involved in delving into the originals of culture, social expectations and organization that these books reveal.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful research on important topics in early childhood education, well presented!
Sometimes you pick up a book that you enjoyed in an earlier phase of your life to check whether it was really that good. In the case of "Preschool in Three Cultures" the situation is even more interesting in that we get to revisit the earlier book and its subject matter. It turns out that the earlier book was definitely that good and that revisiting the same subject matter is perhaps even better.

For the general public interested in childhood education, as well as for academic specialists in comparative and early childhood education, this is not only a very informative, but also a truly enjoyable read.

The book is particularly strong in the research methods that are brought to bear on important questions regarding early childhood education. To examine differences between early education in the U.S., China, and Japan, the authors videotaped a day in two preschools in each country and then showed these videos (in edited form) to teachers at the schools where the videos were shot to get their reaction to aspects of the video. In addition, the researchers also showed these videos to other educators in all three countries to get their reactions. These screenings also included the videos that formed the basis for the original research, published as Preschool in Three Cultures: Japan, China and the United States, adding a longitudinal comparison to the international one.

By showing concrete evidence of particular pedagogical strategies, the authors tease out reactions that tell the reader about perceptions of other countries' pedagogies, but by extension also about perspectives on early childhood education more generally.

Whereas one often hears that old chestnut about Japan being a Confucian society, Tobin, Hsueh, and Kawasawa were able to point to very concrete facets of early education to compare between the three countries. By the way, it turns out that there is very little that's obviously "Confucian" about Chinese or Japanese early education.

By describing the preschools themselves, but then also discussing the reactions of educators to the videos at great length, the authors skilfully draw us into their analysis and actually let readers do a lot of the analysis themselves. Not only is this admirable in terms of the openness of the method, but it gives readers a great opportunity to engage the research materials themselves and to learn a lot about comparative early education in the process.

As icing on the cake, the videos are actually available from the author (see [...]). For my part, I will be showing the videos to students in an undergraduate class on "Sociology of Education" and then discussing them before assigning parts of the book. I know that the students will enjoy the videos as well as the readings and that they will benefit greatly from their exposure to this research.

-- Julian Dierkes
Associate Professor, University of British Columbia
Author of Postwar History Education in Japan and the Germanys: Guilty lessons (Routledge Contemporary Japan Series) ... Read more

17. Culture and Customs of Japan (Culture and Customs of Asia)
by Noriko Kamachi
Paperback: 224 Pages (2008-10-30)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0313360774
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Their society has been changing rapidly in modern times, yet for most Japanese, cultural traditions retain their importance in daily life. This volume highlights those traditional Japanese elements in modern society, providing an engaging examination of religious rituals, classic and modern literature, performing arts, fine arts and handicrafts, housing, clothing, women's roles and family life, holidays and festivals, and social customs. The book gives students a deeper understanding of Japan beyond popular stereotypes of an Asian economic powerhouse.

Japan has undergone a radical transformation in the twentieth century. A highly traditional society has been supplanted by a high-tech one while retaining significant vestiges of the past. Culture and Customs of Japan captures the essence of the ordered Japanese experience in all its many facets. An introductory chapter provides a brief overview of the land, people, language, and history of Japan. Then a chapter on thought and religion illuminates Buddhism, Shinto, and how religion is incorporated into daily life. The book goes on to detail the riches of Japanese literature, performing arts such as kabuki, noh, and puppetry, and fine arts like calligraphy, ikebana (flower arranging), and chanoyu (tea ceremony). Architecture, cuisine, clothing, and the changing dynamics of women, marriage, and family are examined, along with leisure activities and entertainment such as sumo wrestling, martial arts, and manga (comics). A final chapter on social customs, including giftgiving and business protocol, rounds out this portrait of everyday life in contemporary Japan.

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18. Japan Ai: A Tall Girl's Adventures in Japan
Paperback: 200 Pages (2007-09-01)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$11.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1933617837
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In Japanese, "Ai" means "Love" — and if you love Japan, get ready to dive head-first into the incredible world of Japanese pop-culture! Join Aimee Major Steinberger (a professional animator with a passion for all things cute) on the ultimate otaku vacation! Visit fantasy restaurants, maid cafes, and the world's most exclusive doll store! Cosplay on the infamous Harajuku Street! Attend an outrageous all-female Takarazuka musical! See beautiful shrines, hot springs, stores full of manga, and so much more! Aimee captures it all in a manga journal that is both adorable and breathtaking.
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Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Arigato Aimee-chan, For Taking Us On The *Adventure*!
I picked up JAPAN AI: A TALL GIRL'S ADVENTURE IN JAPAN by Aimee Major Steinberger because I'm planning on visiting the country next year and I'm doing all my research now.

This book is fantastic! Not only does the author draw the cutest characters of herself and her two traveling companions, as well as the people of Japan, she describes the places and events that she encountered on this trip, so that you can't help but get a vicarious thrill reading it.

The adorable drawings accompany succinct, but detailed text about places like Kyoto and Tokyo, including famous districts like Akihabara and Harajuku. The three friends also visit places like Kiyomizu - a famous temple in Kyoto, an "onsen" - natural hot springs, "Takarazuka Review" - an all-female cast that puts on musicals and plays, and do all sorts of other things like riding the train, getting dressed up in cosplay (costume play-where people dress up like anime characters or other outlandish outfits), to eating out. There are also drawings of maps for certain areas, including map legend with names of stores and other places of interest. And there are also funny incidences that the author, who is a 6-foot tall woman, and her friends experience in stores, riding the train, and going to the bathroom, that will have you laughing out loud!

Steinberger also provides some historical information, as well as some Japanese phrases, and explains what a "Geisha," "Yakuza," and other Japanese terms that have become part of the American lexicon are -- including the different types of fashion one encounters in the Harajuku area. There are also drawings that explain the traditional Kimono and other ornaments, and Japanese stuff like "Pocky" - cookie sticks and "koi" - large golden/orange fish, among other things.

And to top it all off there's a glossary located in the back of the book, as well as an appendix that lists further information about the places, stores, and other books and resources about Japan, so the reader can do further research.

Most of the book has black and white drawings, but there are some that are in vibrant color. I'm not sure why the entire book wasn't in color, maybe it was an editorial decision, but it's still good.

Of course JAPAN AI won't take the place of an actual tour book, but it's a fun read and Steinberger's passion and excitement leap off the page. Plus it gave me good ideas on stuff to definitely see when I get to go on my adventure to Japan!

5-0 out of 5 stars It will make you want to visit Japan!
I've been a fan of Aimee's online journal for awhile now (she loves costuming, Dr Who, and is unapologetic about being a total geek) so even though I've never felt much interest in Japan I decided to buy her book.

It was worth the price; full of great detail, fantastically cute artwork, and awesome geekiness involving cosplay. I now actually want to visit Japan myself!

5-0 out of 5 stars Charming travel book for Japanese pop culture lovers
I sought out this book because my teenaged daughter is obsessed with Japanese anime and manga and I thought this book by an American "otaku" would provide some insight!Aimee Steinberger's account of her trip to Japan with two friends is truly delightful; I loved her quirky drawings and funny comments on her travels, particularly on being 6 ft tall as an American woman in Japan.She shares with the readers her visits to Kyoto Shrines, learning about Geishas (including a photo shoot where she is made up as a Geisha, Otaku Tokyo, and finally, her trip to the VOLKS doll factory, where she is invited on a special visit because she writes for a doll magazine in the U.S.

Manga lovers will really enjoy Aimee's adventures but you don't have to be a manga lover or even knowledgeable about Japanese pop culture to enjoy her writing styles and her cartoon-style drawings.

4-0 out of 5 stars Kindle version hard on eyes
I was curious to see how well the book would look on my Kindle 2, but found some of the journal handwriting difficult to make out at the default page view. Zooming in was much better and I would have liked it to be the default setting, because turning the page zoomed it back out, and meant I had to zoom back in which hampered the flow of reading since the inputs would take awhile for the Kindle to respond to.

All in all, I suppose the Kindle is first and foremost designed for text reading, but I think it needs some tweaking to handle graphic browsing at a comfortable speed.

The book itself is enjoyable, but I wouldn't recommend it in Kindle format in this current version.

5-0 out of 5 stars brilliant, amusing, manga travel guide!
My daughter is crazy about manga, and we are planning a trip to Japan this summer.We stumbled upon this book in the bookstore and LOVE it.Manga-style, the author relates the adventures of herself and friends on a trip to Japan.Along the way, it serves as a fantastic guide and travel-idea book for those interested in Japan and manga.Even if you're not planning to go to Japan, it's very enjoyable, funny, and insightful.Absolutely terrific. ... Read more

19. China, Japan, Korea: Culture and Customs
by Ju Brown PhD., John Brown
Paperback: 192 Pages (2006-10-09)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1419648934
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This book takes an unprecedented comparative approach in examining East Asia. Part in-depth reference, part handy guidebook this manual serves both travelers and students of Mainland China, Japan, and South Korea. Blending detailed maps with history and contemporary cultural similarities and differences, this book provides the most up-to-date information on the pulse of East Asia. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars China, Japan, Korea Culture & Customs
Great read, provides a real world present day knowledge of Eas Asia, from a hands on perspective of a person who has lived there, without any political agenda.This book is perfect for those yearning for more indepth knowledge of what East Asis is really like and how it got to be this way, as well as for those planning to travel to the region.Finally, a book that can serve as a handy reference and a guide that is an easy and enjoyable read that will keep you turning pages. Highly recommended. ... Read more

20. Korean Impact on Japanese Culture: Japan's Hidden History
by Jon Etta Hastings Carter Covell, Alan Carter Covell
Hardcover: 116 Pages (1986-12-01)
list price: US$29.50 -- used & new: US$155.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0930878345
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This book probes into subjects still frowned upon in Tokyo; it explores a few "skeletons in the imperial closet." A half century ago this subject brought authors to prison or death. Using tools such as archeology, stylistic analysis, Japan's sacred scriptures themselves, its imperial line is here traced back to Korean origins, its legitimacy established by an iron sword from Paekche kept inaccessible at Iso-no-Kami) with a gold inscription, which dates Japan's founding ruler from 369 A.D., rather than orthodoxy's 660 B.C.
"Japanese culture," up to the eighth century, derived primarily from Korea--whether it was music, landscape gardening, textiles, ceramics, or major masterpieces of architecture, sculpture, and painting. Top "National Treasures" of Japan either came from Korea or were sponsored by Korean-descended aristocrats, such as the famed Shotoku Taishi, who imported artists and Buddhist priests to the islands.

107 color plates. 43 b/w plates. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening
There is already well-supported genetic, linguistic, archeological evidence linking Japan to Korea, but I had not realized the relationship to be so close. We know that Paekche, the Korean Kingdom, and early Japan shared an uncommonly close relationship, and the writer takes great pains to retrace the origins of Japanese by drawing on its historical relationship to Paekche. He tries in particular to fill in the gaping holes and reconcile the inconsistencies in the historical record. Overall, an excellent read. I recommend it for anyone interested in Japanese and Korean history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptional work!
It's easy to think that Japan and Korea were mostly influenced by Chinese culture by ignorance but by the fact that their language is Altaic-Isolate not Chinese - means Korea and Japan maintained their own unique culture(s) that are different from Chinese despite heavy historical & culutral influence by former Chinese states.

This book explores the area that are different and in fact starting from Japanese Yayoi culture about 2300BP, there were political refugees from various states in Koreaestablised their own sister states in Japan. Around 400AD, Backje lost a big battle against Gokuryo, and started massive refugee migration to the region of Japan where their former Backje political refugees established strong foothold. This lasted for a while. Historical documents shows more than 1-million people escaped to Japan from Backje(South West region in Korea) and they were able to conqure various states in Japan then and able to start Unified Nihon state called Yamato State around 6-7 century.

2-0 out of 5 stars full of perceptual cues
Isn't it usual to think that Chinese culture rather than Korean culture influenced the ancient Japanese culture?I found no good proofs to support the opinions of the history fiction writer.It is better to read this book unbelievingly.I also recommend to read "Korea and Her Neighbours" written by Isabella Bird, English traveler and writer, first woman member of the Royal Geographical Society.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Book on an Unknown Subject
Out of the three East Asian civilizations, it appears Japan has gotten the most attention from the West. Japan is neither the oldest or most cultured of the major East Asian civilizations. Little do most people know that the Japanese are probably the biggest cultural borrowers that mankind has ever seen whether it be aping everything Western during the Meiji Restoration or copying the Chinese structure of government during the Taiki Reforms. This book is about early Japanese history and how the Japanese copied the art and culture of Korea in the formative years of the Yamato dynasty. It's a real, but often unacknowledged history that has to be told so the world can put Japanese culture in its correct context when compared to the other ancient East Asian cultures. The book itself is good in most regards, but sometimes it is too dogmatic in its presentation and doesn't provide enough evidence for its early background conclusions. Many pictures to illustrate the author's points. Considering the scarcity of books on this subject, anyone interested in Japan's early past should take a look at this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Secret
The author reveals what Japanese do not want to admit. Indeed, Japanese culture is influenced by the Korean culture. This scholary writing based on her extensive research reveals the secret of Japanese history. It is an excellent book. ... Read more

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