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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.
The Evolution of a Japanese Folk Deity from Hell Figure to Popular Savior
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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.
Author:
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.
From 17th Century Drawings to Spacecraft Imaging
If any scientific object has over the course of human history aroused the fascination of both scientists and artists worldwide, it is beyond doubt the moon. The moon is also by far the most interesting celestial body when it comes to reflecting on the dualistic nature of photography as applied to the study of the universe. Against this background, Selene’s Two Faces sets out to look at the scientific purpose, aesthetic expression, and influence of early lunar drawings, maps and photographs, including spacecraft imaging. In its approach, Selene’s Two Faces is intermedial, intercultural and interdisciplinary. It brings together not only various media (photography, maps, engravings, lithographs, globes, texts), and cultures (from Europe, America and Asia), but also theoretical perspectives.

See inside the book.
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.