The Paradoxes of Japan's Cultural Identity
The Paradoxes of Japan's Cultural Identity
Modernity and Tradition in Japanese Literature, Art, Politics and Religion
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Acknowledgements Foreword Introduction Part One: Japanese Politics, Religion and Society 1. Politics and Religion in Japan 2. The Kojiki as Japan’s National Narrative 3. Prince Sh.toku and Japan’s ‘China Complex’ 4. Japan’s Perennial New Man: The Liberal and Fascist Incarnations of Masamichi R.yama 5. From Mishima to Aum: Religiopolitical Violence in Late Twentieth-Century Japan Part Two: Japanese Literature and Art 6. Japanese Poetry and the Aesthetics of Disaster 7. In Search of the Great Meiji Novel: From Ukigumo to Yoake mae 8. Nation and Region in the Work of Dazai Osamu 9. Ink Traces of the Dancing Calligraphers: Zen-ei Sho in Japan Today 10. Mishima, Bowie and the Anti-Metaphysics of the Mask 11. D.T. Suzuki’s Theory of Inspiration and the Challenges of Cross-Cultural Transmission 193 Part Three: Selected Reviews 12. Ninomiya Masayuki, La pensée de Kobayashi Hideo: Un intellectuel japonais au tournant de l’histoire 13. Doug Slaymaker, Confluences: Postwar France and Japan 14. Alex Bates, The Culture of the Quake: The Great Kant. Earthquake and Taish. Japan 15. Alan Tansman, The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism 16. Japanese Literature as a Modern Invention: a review of Haruo Shirane and Tomi Suzuki (eds.), Inventing the Classics: Modernity, National Identity, and Japanese Literature 17. Haruo Shirane, Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons: Nature, Literature, and the Arts 18. Steven Heine and Dale S. Wright (eds.), Zen Masters Bibliography of Roy Starrs Publications Notes Index

Roy Starrs

The Paradoxes of Japan's Cultural Identity

Modernity and Tradition in Japanese Literature, Art, Politics and Religion

Japan is widely regarded as having a unique culture and a strong national identity. Paradoxically, however, many basic elements of Japanese culture are not originally Japanese. Since the beginning of its history, Japan has been one of the world’s major importers of foreign cultures. Its culture was thoroughly "hybrid" long before that word became fashionable in contemporary global studies. But this does not mean that Japan’s culture lacks originality. The Japanese have always made strikingly original contributions, even improvements, to whatever they imported. Even more significantly, the "hybridity" of their culture produced ongoing tensions that served as a kind of creative dynamo for Japanese writers, artists, and intellectuals. This book explores the fundamental creative tension between the native and the foreign in many areas of Japanese culture, from politics and religion to art and literature – a tension also often interpreted as between tradition and modernity.

Roy Starrs

Prof. Roy Starrs, PhD (UBC) teaches Japanese studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand. His publications include Modernism and Japanese Culture, When the Tsunami Came to Shore: Culture and Disaster in Japan, and Politics and Religion in Modern Japan: Red Sun, White Lotus.