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John Bentley

The oldest written stage of the Japanese language forms the subject of John Bentley’s important new volume. The underlying texts (also presented here) are those of the religious liturgies (norito) and imperial edicts (A.D. 685). Part one deals with the liturgies, the writing system, texts, and phonology and the dating problem. The main chapters of the book are a description of nominals, verbs, verbal suffixes, auxiliary verbs, particles, and conjunctions. A chapter on the lexicon, detailing many hapax legomena and interesting words, makes this into a major reference work on early Japanese.



Capital punishment has been carried out in Japan since ancient times. Although ancient Japan uniquely suspended executions for several centuries towards the end of the first millennium, today the death penalty is firmly established in Japan.
This volume explores the current state of capital punishment, the domestic discussion on the subject, and the influence of the political orientations of the governments of recent years.
The treatise is of current interest especially because of the Aum cult, whose leader Shoko Asahara is at present tried in Tokyo. If found guilty, he may be sentenced to death. After a three years' interval (between 1989 and 1993), Japan is nowadays undergoing a capital punishment "renaissance" with 39 executions between 1993 and 2000.


Edited by Helen Hardacre

The present volume documents the postwar history of United States scholarship on Japan. A careful selection of North American scholars under the general editorship of Helen Hardacre (Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions and Society at Harvard University) shows that a range of factors have directed Japanese studies in the United States since 1945. Among these factors are social and political change in Japan and the United States, shifts in dominant scholarly concerns about Japan, and changing evaluations of area studies.
The work consists of twelve essays in a wide variety of fields: history, art, religion, literature, anthropology, political science, and law. Each essay chronicles postwar scholarship in its particular discipline and provides a useful bibliography to serve further reference.
The general aim of the volume is to put current debates in historical perspective and to help assess the field's achievements. It identifies areas requiring more work and charts directions for the future.


Junko Hamada

This volume deals with philosophical trends in Japan from the beginning of the Meiji era (1868) to the present, in connection with European philosophy, arranged in two chapters, a full chronological table of publications and an index of names.
The first chapter follows philosophical trends up to 1945; the first question treated is: How did the Japanese receive that European philosophy known as liberation and enlightenment? They soon began to develop their own philosophy, in particular under the influence of German idealism; for instance in the work of Nishida, Tanabe, Miki, Kuki and Watsuji.
The trend makes a 180-degree turn in 1945. The experiences of a defeated Japan lead to the confrontation with the self and all existing selves; it is once more a liberation, and there occurs then a new tendency, from 'reason' to 'body'; as, for instance, in Nakamura Hajime, Izutsu Toshihiko and Yuasa Yasuo.


Edited by B. Shillony

The imperial dynasty of Japan is the oldest on earth and the only one the Japanese have ever known. It is unique in the sense that Japanese emperors hardly ever decided policies, commanded troops, administered the state, passed judgments, or decreed on matters of faith. Actual power was usually in the hands of subordinates, whether aristocrats, warlords, bureaucrats or politicians. Despite their political and military weakness, the emperors of Japan occupied the highest position in the realm, enjoyed a sacred status, and their dynasty could not be overthrown. This 4-volume publication presents learned articles and book chapters in English on various aspects of the Japanese emperors from the ancient past until today, including Hirohito's controversial role in the Pacific War.

Brill's Critical Readings publications are a one stop reference resource in English, presenting high quality scholarship on one subject area assembled by experts in the field. By selecting the best material published to-date from a huge bank of sources, and contextualizing it thematically, the editor creates a unique tool for rapid access not only to seminal works but also to less familiar texts.

The Foundations of Japan's Modernization

A Comparison with China's Path Towards Modernization



Tracing and evaluating the development in the history of Japanese culture and society that permits Japan's rapid and continuing modernization, Professor Yoda provides a new and original approach to the modernization of Japan. He starts from the assumption that Japan was better equipped for modernization because pre-modern Japan had already started to abandon Confucian influences. In his account of modernization during the Meiji-period he focuses on general patterns inherent in Japanese culture and society enabling Japan to integrate foreign elements without having to follow foreign models slavishly.
"Patterns in culture", such as the Japanese preference for juxtaposing the new and the ancient, are contrasted with China's preference for discarding past institutions in revolutionary processes. The transferability of paradigms such as "absolutism" is accepted with some modifications. In the major descriptive part of the work, the history of economic, political, institutional modernization is presented on the basis of quotations from original Japanese (and Chinese) sources, arranged within the methodological framework of universal historical concepts, indigenous cultural patterns and specific conditions in both countries.
The book is composed of two articles previously published in Japanese and Chinese, two new chapters written especially for the volume, and background information provided by Professor Radtke.


Edited by Stanca Scholz-Cionca and Samuel Leiter

This well-illustrated work is the first attempt to bridge the gap between several specialized discourses concerning Japanese theatre. Central are problems of scholarly and practical reception of Japanese theatre forms in the West.
The essays by a careful selection of internationally well-reputed scholars range widely through Japanese theatre, from the ancient to the postmodern, or, one might say, from kagura to angura. It deals with reception of Japanese theatre in the West, the treatment of the body in stage art and drama, Western influence, the impact of Japanese theatre practice and theory upon the actor’s training, and stage directing in the West. Readers will come across a wide variety of intriguing topics, such as lion dances, kabuki, nôh, folk theatre, taishu engeki, and several important modern playwrights, etc.
This book truly promises to intensify future dialogue between the many disciplines concerned with Japanese theatre.

Time Present and Time Past

Images of a forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835 - 1900)

Edited by Amy Reigle Newland

Time Present and Time Past is the first publication in English to treat in detail the life and work of Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), who today is considered one of the last Ukiyo-e masters. Kunichika's designs were drawn from established Ukiyo-e genres like Kabuki actor prints ( yakusha-e) and prints of beautiful women ( bijinga), he was however a man of his time and this is reflected in his modern use of colour, composition and subjects. The book includes reproductions of 135 of Kunichika's prints, an extensive bibliography and an overview of signatures and carvers seals.


Edited by Amy Reigle Newland

Volume 2 of Hotei Academic European Studies on Japan is a compilation of essays covering subjects relating to the artistic environment of the artists and the economic considerations of Japanese print production. The essays are extended versions of the lectures presented at the First International Conference on Ukiyo-e, organized by Hotei Publishing. Contributions by Chris Uhlenbeck, David Waterhouse, Roger Keyes, Shigeru Oikawa, Asano Shugo, Timothy Clark, John Carpenter, Timon Screech, Matthi Forrer, Ellis Tinios and Philip Meredith.

Japanese Export Porcelain

Catalogue of the Collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Oliver Impey

The Ashmolean Museum's collection of Japanese export porcelain is perhaps the most comprehensive collection in the West. The present catalogue includes only the export wares, the Arita, Ko-Imari and Kakiemon porcelains of the years between about 1660 and 1740, the peak period of the trade. More than 400 pieces are included in the catalogue, each illustrated - some more than once - in colour, with some comparative material. This is probably the largest corpus of Japanese export porcelain published in any single volume, and will be an invaluable source for comparative studies. Many pieces have never been published before.