A Cultural and Sociolinguistic Study of Dutch as a Contact Language in Tokugawa and Meiji Japan
In The Dutch Language in Japan (1600-1900) Christopher Joby offers the first book-length account of the knowledge and use of the Dutch language in Tokugawa and Meiji Japan. For most of this period, the Dutch were the only Europeans permitted to trade with Japan. Using the analytical tool of language process, this book explores the nature and consequences of contact between Dutch and Japanese and other language varieties. The processes analysed include language learning, contact and competition, code switching, translation, lexical, syntactic and graphic interference, and language shift. The picture that emerges is that the multifarious uses of Dutch, especially the translation of Dutch books, would have a profound effect on the language, society, culture and intellectual life of Japan.
The Literary Sinitic Context and the Birth of Modern Japanese Language and Literature
In Kanbunmyaku: The Literary Sinitic Context and the Birth of Modern Japanese Language and Literature, Saito Mareshi demonstrates the centrality of Literary Sinitic poetry and prose in the creation of modern literary Japanese. Saito’s new understanding of the role of “ kanbunmyaku” in the formation of Japanese literary modernity challenges dominant narratives tied to translations from modern Western literatures and problematizes the antagonism between Literary Sinitic and Japanese in the modern academy. Saito shows how kundoku (vernacular reading) and its rhythms were central to the rise of new inscriptional styles, charts the changing relationship of modern poets and novelists to kanbunmyaku, and concludes that the chronotope of modern Japan was based in a language world supported by the Literary Sinitic Context.
Author: Bunkyo Kin
Editor: Ross King
In Literary Sinitic and East Asia: A Cultural Sphere of Vernacular Reading, Professor Kin Bunkyō surveys the history of reading technologies referred to as kundoku 訓讀 in Japanese, hundok in Korean and xundu in Mandarin. Rendered by the translators as ‘vernacular reading’, these technologies were used to read Literary Sinitic through and into a wide variety of vernacular languages across diverse premodern East Asian civilizations and literary cultures. The book’s editor, Ross King, prefaces the translation with an essay comparing East Asian traditions of ‘vernacular reading’ with typologically similar reading technologies in the Ancient Near East and calls for a shift in research focus from writing to reading, and from ‘heterography’ to ‘heterolexia’.
Translators are Marjorie Burge, Mina Hattori, Ross King, Alexey Lushchenko, and Si Nae Park
Author: Alexander Vovin
This is the revised, updated and enlarged second edition of the first detailed descriptive grammar in English (indeed, in any language other than Japanese and more complete than even any grammar in Japanese) dedicated to the Western Old Japanese, which was spoken in the Kansai region of Japan during the seventh and eighth centuries. The grammar is divided into two volumes, with the first volume dealing with sources, script, phonology, lexicon, nominals and adjectives. The second volume focuses on verbs, adverbs, particles, conjunctions and interjections. In addition to descriptive data, the grammar also includes comparisons between Western Old Japanese and Eastern Old Japanese and Ryukyuan, occasionally with a critical analysis of various external parallels.
A New English Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary
Editor: Alexander Vovin
Book two of the Man’yōshū (‘Anthology of Myriad Leaves’) continues Alexander Vovin’s new English translation of this 20-volume work originally compiled between c.759 and 785 AD. It is the earliest Japanese poetic anthology in existence and thus the most important compendium of Japanese culture of the Asuka and Nara periods. Book two is the ninth volume of the Man’yōshū to be published to date (following books fifteen (2009), five (2011), fourteen (2012), twenty (2013), seventeen (2016), eighteen (2016), one (2017), and nineteen (2018). Each volume of the Vovin translation contains the original text, kana transliteration, romanization, glossing and commentary.
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.
Editor: Galen Amstutz
Pure Land was one of the main fields of mythopoesis and discourse among the Asian Buddhist traditions, and in Japan of central cultural importance from the Heian period right up to the present. However, its range, inconsistency, variability, and complexity have tended to be misevaluated. The pieces reproduced in this set, organized both chronologically and thematically, have been chosen as linchpin works accentuating the diversity of what evolved under this heading of Buddhism. Special attention is given to the traps into which Western observers may fall, the role of the large True Pure Land ( Jōdoshinshū) school, and the richness of Tokugawa and twentieth-century developments. These selections of previously published articles will serve as an essential starting point for anyone interested in this perhaps underestimated area of Buddhist studies.
Editor: Galen Amstutz
Pure Land was one of the main fields of mythopoesis and discourse among the Asian Buddhist traditions, and in Japan of central cultural importance from the Heian period right up to the present. However, its range, inconsistency, variability, and complexity have tended to be misevaluated. The pieces reproduced in this set, organized both chronologically and thematically, have been chosen as linchpin works accentuating the diversity of what evolved under this heading of Buddhism. Special attention is given to the traps into which Western observers may fall, the role of the large True Pure Land ( Jōdoshinshū) school, and the richness of Tokugawa and twentieth-century developments. These selections of previously published articles will serve as an essential starting point for anyone interested in this perhaps underestimated area of Buddhist studies.
Editor: Galen Amstutz
Pure Land was one of the main fields of mythopoesis and discourse among the Asian Buddhist traditions, and in Japan of central cultural importance from the Heian period right up to the present. However, its range, inconsistency, variability, and complexity have tended to be misevaluated. The pieces reproduced in this set, organized both chronologically and thematically, have been chosen as linchpin works accentuating the diversity of what evolved under this heading of Buddhism. Special attention is given to the traps into which Western observers may fall, the role of the large True Pure Land ( Jōdoshinshū) school, and the richness of Tokugawa and twentieth-century developments. These selections of previously published articles will serve as an essential starting point for anyone interested in this perhaps underestimated area of Buddhist studies.
Author: Antony Goedhals
The Neo-Buddhist Writings of Lafcadio Hearn: Light from the East by Antony Goedhals offers radical rereadings of a misunderstood and undervalued Victorian writer. It reveals that at the metaphysical core of Lafcadio Hearn’s writings is a Buddhist vision as yet unappreciated by his critics and biographers. Beginning with the American writings and ending with the essay- and story-meditations of the Japanese period, the book demonstrates Hearn’s deeply personal and transcendently beautiful evocations of a Buddhist universe, and shows how these deconstruct and dissolve the categories of Western discourse and thinking about reality – to create a new language, a poetry of vastness, emptiness, and oneness that had not been heard before in English, or, indeed, in the West.