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Reference Grammar, with Textual Selections
The Omoro Sōshi (1531–1623) is an indispensable resource for historical linguistic comparison of Old Okinawan with other Ryukyuan languages and Old Japanese. Leon A Serafim and Rumiko Shinzato offer a reference grammar, including detailed phonological analyses, of the otherwise opaque and dense poetic/religious language of the Omoro Sōshi.

Meshing Western linguistic insight with existing literary/linguistic work in Ryukyuan studies, and incorporating their own research on Modern Okinawan, the authors offer a grammar and phonology of the Omoro language, with selected (excerpts of) songs grammatically analyzed, phonologically reconstructed, translated, and annotated.
Women, Rites, and Ritual Objects in Premodern Japan, edited by Karen M. Gerhart, is a multidisciplinary examination of rituals featuring women, in which significant attention is paid to objects produced for and utilized in these rites as a lens through which larger cultural concerns, such as gender politics, the female body, and the materiality of the ritual objects, are explored. The ten chapters encounter women, rites, and ritual objects in many new and interactive ways and constitute a pioneering attempt to combine ritual and gendered analysis with the study of objects.
Contributors include: Anna Andreeva, Monica Bethe, Patricia Fister, Sherry Fowler, Karen M. Gerhart, Hank Glassman, Naoko Gunji, Elizabeth Morrissey, Chari Pradel, Barbara Ruch, Elizabeth Self.

Gyōnen’s Transmission of the Buddha Dharma in Three Countries is the first English translation of this work and a new assessment of it. Gyōnen (1240-1321) has been recognized for establishing a methodology for the study of Buddhism that would come to dominate Japan. The three countries Gyōnen considers are India, China and Japan. Ronald S. Green and Chanju Mun describe Gyōnen’s innovative doctrinal classification system ( panjiao) for the first time and compare it to other panjiao systems. They argue that Gyōnen’s arrangement and what he chose to exclude served political purposes in the Kamakura period, and thus engage current scholarship on the construction of Japanese Buddhism.
Encounters and Perspectives of Politics and Culture in Eurasia
Volume Editor: Selçuk Esenbel
Japan on the Silk Road provides for the first time the historical background indispensable for understanding Japan's current perspectives and policies in the vast area of Eurasia across the Middle East and Central Asia. Japanese diplomats, military officers, archaeologists, and linguists traversed the Silk Road, involving Japan in the Great Game and exploring ancient civilizations.The book exposes the entanglements of pre-war Japanese Pan-Asianism with Pan-Islamism, Turkic nationalism and Mongolian independence as a global history of imperialism. Japanese connections to Ottoman Turkey, India, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, and China at the same time reveal a discrete global narrative of cosmopolitanism
and transnationality. The global team of scholars brings to light Japan’s intellectual and political encounters with the peoples and cultures of Asia, in particular Turks and Persians, Hindus and Muslims of India, Mongolians and the Uyghur of Inner Asia, and Muslims in China.
Contributors include: Ian Nish, Christopher Szpilman, Sven Saaler, Selcuk Esenbel, Li Narangoa, Komatsu Hisao, Brij Tankha, Erdal Küçükyalcın, A. Merthan Dündar, Katayama Akio, Miyuki Aoki Girardelli, Klaus Röhborn, Mehmet Ölmez, Banu Kaygusuz, Oğuz Baykara, and Satō Masako.
Author: David J. Gundry
The first monograph published in English on Ihara Saikaku’s fiction, David J. Gundry’s lucid, compelling study examines the tension reflected in key works by Edo-period Japan’s leading writer of ‘floating world’ literature between the official societal hierarchy dictated by the Tokugawa shogunate’s hereditary status-group system and the era’s de facto, fluid, wealth-based social hierarchy. The book’s nuanced, theoretically engaged explorations of Saikaku’s narratives’ uses of irony and parody demonstrate how these often function to undermine their own narrators' intermittent moralizing. Gundry also analyzes these texts’ depiction of the fleeting pleasures of love, sex, wealth and consumerism as Buddhistic object lessons in the illusory nature of phenomenal reality, the mastery of which leads to a sort of enlightenment.
A Record of Ancient Japan Reinterpreted, Translated, Annotated, and with Commentary
Author: Edwina Palmer
Harima Fudoki, dated to 714CE, is one of Japan’s earliest extant written records. It is a rich account of the people, places, natural resources and stories in the Harima region of western Japan. Produced by the government as a tool for Japan’s early state formation, Harima Fudoki includes important myths of places and gods from a different perspective to the contemporaneous ‘national’ chronicles. This document is an essential primary source for all who are interested in ancient Japan.
In this new critical edition, Palmer draws upon recent research into the archaeology, history, orality and literature of ancient Japan to reinterpret this hitherto little-known document. Palmer’s insightful commentary contextualizes the Harima tales for the first time in English.
Embryological Discourse and Reproductive Imagery in East Asian Religions
Volume Editors: Anna Andreeva and Dominic Steavu
Transforming the Void: Embryological Discourse and Reproductive Imagery in East Asian Religions considers paths to self-cultivation and salvation that are patterned on human embryological development or procreative imagery in the religions of China and Japan.
Focusing on Taoism, Esoteric Buddhism, Shinto, Shugendō, and local religious traditions, the contributors to the volume provide new insight into how the body’s generative processes are harnessed as powerful metaphors for spiritual attainment. This volume offers an in-depth examination of the religious dimensions of embryology and reproductive imagery, topics that have been hitherto solely approached through the lens of the history of medicine.
Contributors include: Brigitte Baptandier, Catherine Despeux, Grégoire Espesset, Christine Mollier, Fabrizio Pregadio, Dominic Steavu, Lucia Dolce, Bernard Faure, Iyanaga Nobumi, Anna Andreeva, Kigensan Licha, Gaynor Sekimori.
Author: David Quinter
In From Outcasts to Emperors, David Quinter illuminates the Shingon Ritsu movement founded by the charismatic monk Eison (1201–90) at Saidaiji in Nara, Japan. The book’s focus on Eison and his disciples’ involvement in the cult of Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva reveals their innovative synthesis of Shingon esotericism, Buddhist discipline (Ritsu; Sk. vinaya), icon and temple construction, and social welfare activities as the cult embraced a spectrum of supporters, from outcasts to warrior and imperial rulers. In so doing, the book redresses typical portrayals of “Kamakura Buddhism” that cast Eison and other Nara Buddhist leaders merely as conservative reformers, rather than creative innovators, amid the dynamic religious and social changes of medieval Japan.
Culture and Disaster in Japan
Editor: Roy Starrs
Edited by Roy Starrs, this collection of essays by an international group of leading experts on Japanese religion, anthropology, history, literature and music presents new research and thinking on the long and complex relationship between culture and disaster in Japan, one of the most “disaster-prone” countries in the world. Focusing first on responses to the triple disasters of March 2011, the book then puts the topic in a wider historical context by looking at responses to earlier disasters, both natural and man-made, including the great quakes of 1995 and 1923 and the atomic bombings of 1945. This wide-ranging “double structure” enables an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the issues involved that goes well beyond the clichés and the headlines.
Author: Jun'ichi Isomae
Religious Discourse in Modern Japan explores the introduction of the Western concept of “religion” to Japan in the modern era, and the emergence of discourse on Shinto, philosophy, and Buddhism. Taking Anesaki’s founding of religious studies ( shukyogaku) at Tokyo Imperial University as a pivot, Isomae examines the evolution of this academic discipline in the changing context of social conditions from the Meiji era through the present. Special attention is given to the development of Shinto studies/history of Shinto, and the problems of State Shinto and the emperor system are described in relation to the nature of the concept of religion. Isomae also explains how the discourse of religious studies developed in connection with secular discourses on literature and history, including Marxism.