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An “Ise monogatari” Reader is the first collection of essays in English on The Ise Stories, a canonical literary text ranked beside The Tale of Genji. Eleven scholars from Japan, North America, and Europe explore the historical and political context in which this literary court romance was created, or relate it to earlier works such as the Man’yōshū and later works such as the Genji and noh theater. Its medieval commentary tradition is also examined, as well as early modern illustrated editions and parodies. The collection brings cutting-edge scholarship of the very highest level to English readers, scholars, and students.
Contributors are: Aoki Shizuko, Fujihara Mika, Fujishima Aya, Gotō Shōko, Imanishi Yūichirō, Susan Blakeley Klein, Laura Moretti, Joshua S. Mostow, Ōtani Setsuko, Takahashi Tōru, and Yamamoto Tokurō
Merchants and Missionaries in 16th and 17th Century Japan
Author: Mihoko Oka
This book attempts to depict certain aspects of the Portuguese trade in East Asia in the 16th and 17th centuries by analyzing the activities of the merchants and Christian missionaries involved. It also discusses the response of the Japanese regime in handling the systemic changes that took place in the Asian seas. Consequently, it explains how Jesuit missionaries forged close ties with local merchants from the start of their activities in East Asian waters, and there is no doubt that the propagation of Christianity in Japan was a result of their cooperation. The author of this book attempted to combine the essence of previous studies by Japanese and western scholars and added several new findings from analyses of original Japanese and European language documents.
Publication History and Catholic Missions in the Spanish World (Spain, New Spain, and the Philippines, 1597–1700)
In The Martyrs of Japan, Rady Roldán-Figueroa examines the role that Catholic missionary orders played in the dissemination of accounts of Christian martyrdom in Japan. The work combines several historiographical approaches, including publication history, history of missions, and “new” institutional history. The author offers an overarching portrayal of the writing, printing, and circulation of books of ‘Japano-martyrology.’
The book is organized into two parts. The first part, “Spirituality of Writing, Publication History, and Japano-martyrology,” addresses topics ranging from the historical background of Christianity in Japan to the publishers of Japano-martyrology. The second part, “Jesuits, Discalced Franciscans, and the Production of Japano-martyrology in the Early Modern Spanish World,” features closer analysis of selected works of Japano-martyrology by Jesuit and Discalced Franciscan writers.
Professor Alexander V. Vovin’s fruitful research has brought incomparable results to the fields of Asian linguistics and philology throughout the past four decades. In this volume, presented in honour of Professor Vovin’s 60th birthday, twenty-two authors present new research regarding Japanese, Korean, Turkish, Khitan, Yakut, Mongolian, Chinese, Hachijō, Ikema Miyakoan, Ainu, Okinawan, Nivkh, Eskimo-Aleut and other languages. The chapters are both a tribute to his research and a summary of the latest developments in the field.
An Environmental History of Japan’s Rivers, 1600–1930
In Turbulent Streams: An Environmental History of Japan’s Rivers, 1600–1930, Roderick I. Wilson describes how the rivers of Japan are both hydrologically and historically dynamic. Today, these waterways are slowed, channeled, diverted, and dammed by a myriad of levees, multiton concrete tetrapods, and massive multipurpose dams. In part, this intensive engineering arises from the waterways falling great elevations over short distances, flowing over unstable rock and soil, and receiving large quantities of precipitation during monsoons and typhoons. But this modern river regime is also the product of a history that narrowed both these waterways and people’s diverse interactions with them in the name of flood control. Neither a story of technological progress nor environmental decline, this history introduces the concept of environmental relations as a category of historical analysis both to explore these fluvial interactions and reveal underappreciated dimensions of Japanese history.
Uno Kōzō’s Theory of ‘Pure Capitalism’ in Light of Marx’s Critique of Political Economy
Value without Fetish presents the first in-depth English-language study of the influential Japanese economist Uno Kōzō‘s (1897-1977) theory of ‘pure capitalism’ in the light of the method and object of Marx’s Critique of Political Economy. A close analysis of the theories of value, production and reproduction, and crisis in Uno’s central texts from the 1930s to the 1970s reveals his departure from Marx’s central insights about the fetish character of the capitalist mode of production – a departure that Lange shows can be traced back to the failed epistemology of value developed in Uno’s earliest writings. By disavowing the complex relation between value and fetish that structures Marx’s critique, Uno adopts the paradigms of neoclassical theories to present an apology rather than a critique of capitalism.
Author: Reiko YAMATO
East Asian societies have a patri-lineal tradition in which a family successor must be a son and parents live with the heir and his family. In Japan, the patri-lineal family system was prevalent among the samurai warrior class in the early modern period. In the modern period, it was stipulated in the civil code until the end of World War II. This tradition, however, is changing with a background of gender equalization and fewer number of sons resulting from low birth rates. Intergenerational Relationships between Married Children and Their Parents in 21st Century Japan is the first book that introduces a new perspective of the individualized marriage into a study of intergenerational relationships and examines how the patri-lineal tradition is both changing and maintained. This book deals with patri-local coresidence, matri-local nearby-residence, and support exchange between adult children and their parents/ parents-in-law, and offer a new framework for comparative studies of today’s East Asian families.
Editor-in-Chief: Joshua S. Mostow
Japanese culture, marked both by a strong character of its own and by a continuing absorption of foreign elements, is surprising for its ability of perpetual renewal without loss of identity. The country's industrial organization and productivity have ensured an impact on world affairs far exceeding the numerical importance of its population.
Brill's Japanese Studies Library is concerned with the languages, history and culture of Japan in past and present. Among the subjects included are history—political, social, economic based on primary sources, including biography; religion; classical literature and performing arts; law; language; philosophy; history of science; et cetera. Geographically the series covers the Japanese isles as well as manifestations of Japanese presence abroad. Chronologically the period from the beginnings of written history until the present is covered. The series includes monographs on substantial subjects, thematic collections of articles, handbooks, text editions and translations.


Author: Alexander Vovin
“The echo of the stone/ where I carved the [Buddha’s] honorable footprints/ reaches the Heaven, […]”.
This book presents the transcription, translation, and analysis of Chinese (753 AD) and Japanese inscriptions (end of the 8th century AD) found on two stones now in the possession of the Yakushiji temple in Nara. All these inscriptions praise the footprints of Buddha, and more exactly their carvings in the stone. The language of the Japanese inscription, which consists of twenty-one poems, reflects the contemporary dialect of Nara. Its writing system shows a quite unique trait, being practically monophonic. The book is richly illustrated by photos of the temple and of the inscriptions.
Japan’s Private Spheres: Autonomy in Japanese History, 1600-1930 traces the shifting nature of autonomy in early modern and modern Japan. In this far-reaching, interdisciplinary study, W. Puck Brecher explores the historical development of the private and its evolving relationship with public authority, a dynamic that evokes stereotypes about an alleged dearth of individual agency in Japanese society. It does so through a montage of case studies. For the early modern era, case studies examine peripheral living spaces, boyhood, and self-interrogation in the arts. For the modern period, they explore strategic deviance, individuality in Meiji education, modern leisure, and body-maintenance. Analysis of these disparate private realms illuminates evolving conceptualizations of the private and its reciprocal yet often-contested relationship to the state.