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Part of a formidable publishing industry, cheap yet eye-catching graphic narratives consistently charmed early modern Japanese readers for around two hundred years. These booklets were called kusazōshi (“grass books”).
Graphic Narratives from Early Modern Japan is the first English-language publication of its kind. It enables anyone new to kusazōshi to gain comprehensive knowledge of the field. For the specialist, our edited volume marks a turning point in scholarship, uncovering fresh research avenues.
While exploring the powerful effects of the visual-verbal imagination, this collection opens up bold new vistas on the act of reading and advances provocations around comics and manga.
Contributors are: Jaqueline Berndt, Joseph Bills, Michael Emmerich, Adam L. Kern, Fumiko Kobayashi, Frederick Feilden, Laura Moretti, Matsubara Noriko, Satō Satoru, Satō Yukiko, Satoko Shimazaki, Takagi Gen, Tanahashi Masahiro, Ellis Tinios, Tsuda Mayumi and, Glynne Walley.
Editor:
Exploring an array of captivating topics, from hybridized Buddhist music to AI singers, this book introduces Japanese music in the modern era. The twenty-five chapters show how cultural change from the late nineteenth century to the present day has had a profound impact on the Japanese musical landscape, including the recontextualization and transformation of traditional genres, and the widespread adoption of Western musical practices ranging from classical music to hip hop.
The contributors offer representative case studies within the themes of Foundations, Heritage, Institutions, and Hybridities, examining both musical styles that originated in earlier times and distinctly localized or Japanized musical forms.
Author:
The introduction of writing enables new forms of literature, but these can be invisible in works that survive as manuscripts. Through looking at inscriptions of poetry on garbage and as graffiti, we can glimpse how literature spread along with writing.
This study uses these lesser-studied sources, including inscriptions on pottery, architecture, and especially wooden tablets known as mokkan, to uncover how poetry, and literature more broadly, was used, shared and thrown away in early Japan. Through looking at these disposable and informal sources, we explore the development of early Japanese literature, and even propose parallels to similar developments in other societies across space and time.
This book examines the cultural networks that connected people during the Edo period (1603-1868) by surveying a wide range of visual representations of the Orchid Pavilion Gathering produced mostly in Japan. The Orchid Pavilion Gathering is one of the most important painting themes in the cultural history of East Asia, yet there has hitherto been no monograph focused on this subject in the English language. This project introduces the many important images representing and related to the Gathering, some of which have never before been published.
The Evolution of a Japanese Folk Deity from Hell Figure to Popular Savior
Author:
The first comprehensive study in English of the Japanese hell figure Datsueba explores her evolution since her eleventh-century emergence as a terrifying old woman who strips the clothes of the dead in the afterworld.
Drawing widely on literature, art, and worship practices, the author reveals how the creative utilization of Datsueba’s key attributes—including a marker of borders, a keeper of cloth, and an elderly woman—transformed her into a guardian of the human journey through life and death and shaped a figure that is diverse and multifaceted, yet also strikingly recognizable across the centuries.
From Animators’ Perspectives
Volume Editor:
Please visit our blog to read an interview with Daisy Yan Du.

This volume on Chinese animation and socialism is the first in English that introduces the insider viewpoints of socialist animators at the Shanghai Animation Film Studio in China. Although a few monographs have been published in English on Chinese animation, they are from the perspective of scholars rather than of the animators who personally worked on the films, as discussed in this volume. Featuring hidden histories and names behind the scenes, precious photos, and commentary on rarely seen animated films, this book is a timely and useful reference book for researchers, students, animators, and fans interested in Chinese and even world animation.

This book originated from the Animators’ Roundtable Forum (April 2017 at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), organized by the Association for Chinese Animation Studies.
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During the Fifteen Year War, Japan's 'little citizens' were educated via a curriculum centering patriotic and militarist ideologies. Patriotic Pedagogy: How Karuta Game Cards Taught a Japanese War Generation, explores karuta, a poetry card game developed in this period as progressive early childhood pedagogy. As karuta became popular as an educational toy, educators and publishers soon noted karuta's engaging physical play and short slogans and poems made them ideal for conveying patriotic ideals to children.

Including reproductions of the images and translations of the poems, Kelly offers an analysis of the race, class and gender ideologies the cards conveyed, suggesting that these semingly innocuous children's toys were effective tools of a propagandist pedagogy.
Transmissions, Receptions, and Regional Contexts
Japan on the Jesuit Stage offers a comprehensive overview of the representations of Japan in early modern European Neo-Latin school theater. The chapters in the volume catalog and analyze representative plays which were produced in the hundreds all over Europe, from the Iberian Peninsula to present-day Croatia and Poland.

Taking full account of existing scholarship, but also introducing a large amount of previously unknown primary material, the contributions by European and Japanese researchers significantly expand the horizon of investigation on early modern European theatrical reception of East Asian elements and will be of particular interest to students of global history, Neo-Latin, and theater studies.
Over Two Centuries of Cooperation and Competition
Volume Editors: and
This publication is the result of a three-year research project between eminent Russian and Japanese historians. It offers an an in-depth analysis of the history of relations between Russia and Japan from the 18th century until the present day. The format of the publication as a parallel history presents views and interpretations from Russian and Japanese perspectives that showcase the differences and the similarities in their joint history. The fourteen core sections, organized along chronological lines, provide assessments on the complex and sensitive issues of bilateral Russo-Japanese relations, including the territory problem as well as economic exchange.
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In Engaging the Other: “Japan and Its Alter-Egos”, 1550-1850 Ronald P. Toby examines new discourses of identity and difference in early modern Japan, a discourse catalyzed by the “Iberian irruption,” the appearance of Portuguese and other new, radical others in the sixteenth century. The encounter with peoples and countries unimagined in earlier discourse provoked an identity crisis, a paradigm shift from a view of the world as comprising only “three countries” (sangoku), i.e., Japan, China and India, to a world of “myriad countries” (bankoku) and peoples. In order to understand the new radical alterities, the Japanese were forced to establish new parameters of difference from familiar, proximate others, i.e., China, Korea and Ryukyu. Toby examines their articulation in literature, visual and performing arts, law, and customs.