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6/8/2013

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Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 5:25 pm Print

ASPAC 2013
Jonathan Dresner
Pittsburg State University

"But writers of fiction do not stumble onto locales or times: they choose them and they use them to serve their narrative and aesthetic ends." -- Jonathan Dresner

Buy Zithromax Without Prescription, "...flaws typical of the genre: a carefully set but very selective milieu; characters cobbled together from cultural and psychosocial fragments; wildly unlikely encounters and inappropriate behavior. Zithromax coupon, ... I don’t ever use historical fiction in my teaching, after Zithromax, Order Zithromax online c.o.d, and I rarely read it (especially in my own field!)." -- Jonathan Dresner

Roughly Chronologically:


  • Gai-jin (James Clavell, 1993): 1862-1863

  • The Apprentice (Lewis Libby, Zithromax street price, Where can i buy Zithromax online, 1996): 1903

  • The Teahouse Fire (Ellis Avery, 2006): Bakumatsu and Meiji.

  • Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden, where can i order Zithromax without prescription, Zithromax samples, 1997): subject born in 1920, lived until after WWII.

Claims of Authenticity

"GAI-JIN meaning foreigner, low dose Zithromax, Purchase Zithromax online no prescription, is set in Japan, in 1862, Zithromax pictures. Purchase Zithromax online, It is not history, but fiction, Zithromax photos. Where to buy Zithromax, Many of the happenings did occur according to historians and to books of history which, of themselves, Zithromax description, Where can i buy cheapest Zithromax online, do not necessarily always relate what truly happened. Nor is it about any real person who lived or is supposed to have lived, nor about any real company, Buy Zithromax Without Prescription. Kings and queens and emperors are correctly named, Zithromax cost, Zithromax images, as are a few generals and other exalted persons. Apart form these I have played with history -- the where and how and who and why and when of it -- to suit my own reality and, online buying Zithromax hcl, Zithromax from mexico, perhaps, to tell the real history of what came to pass." -- frontpiece

Author's Note:

"Memoirs of a Geisha is a novel and the character of Sayuri and her story are my own inventions, japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal. Zithromax schedule, The historical facts of a geisha's day-to-day life in the 1930s and 1940s, however, buy Zithromax from mexico, Zithromax duration, are based on extensive research. I am indebted to one individual above all others, Zithromax for sale. Buy Zithromax Without Prescription, Mineko Iwasaki, one of Gion Kobu's top geisha during the 1960s and 1970s, opened her Kyoto home to me during May 1992, and corrected my misconceptions about the life of a geisha -- even though everyone I knew who had lived in Kyoto, or who lived there still, told me never to expect such candor. Fast shipping Zithromax, While brushing up on my Japanese on the airplane, I worried that Mineko, online Zithromax without a prescription, Zithromax trusted pharmacy reviews, whom I had not yet met, might talk with me for an hour about the weather and call it an interview, purchase Zithromax for sale. Online buy Zithromax without a prescription, Instead she took me on an insider's tour of Gion, and together with their husband, real brand Zithromax online, Cheap Zithromax, Jin, and her sisters Yaetchiyo and the late Kuniko, Zithromax pics, Buy cheap Zithromax, patiently answered my questions. Her easy familiarity with matters concerning the daily lives of geisha -- their routines, Zithromax brand name, Zithromax from canadian pharmacy, their toilette, their living arrangements, buy Zithromax from canada, Is Zithromax safe, their finances -- helped me build the foundation on which to spin a work of my own imagination. Its flaws are of course my own, Zithromax mg. I remain deeply grateful to Mineko for her assistance." (500)

"Teruko Craig was kind enough to spend hours talking with me about her life as a schoolgirl in Kyoto during the war, Buy Zithromax Without Prescription. Buy Zithromax without a prescription, I am grateful also to Liza Dalby, the only American woman ever to become a geisha, Zithromax canada, mexico, india, and to her excellent book, Geisha, an anthropological study of geisha culture, which also recounts her experiences in the Pontocho district; she generously lent me a number of useful Japanese and English books from her personal collection." (501)


Other sources named by Golden include: Reiko Nagura, multilingual friend. Kiharu Nakamura, geisha. Robert Singer, Japanese art expert. Bowen Dees, on Occupation experience. Buy Zithromax Without Prescription, Allan Palmer, tea ceremony and Japanese superstition. John Rosenfield, Japanese Art Historian at Harvard.

"A little learning is a dangerous thing"
-- Alexander Pope

Strong common elements


  • "Well, Mr. Gray. You're definitely a writer." (Monster In A Box)

  • Historical change

  • Historical causality?

  • Addressed to non-expert audiences

  • Foreign culture or modernization as intrusion ; Japanese culture as timeless

  • Religion and spirituality handled very, very poorly

  • Linguistic literalism

  • pan-Asian/Orientalist tropes

Old engineering proverb:

You can have it right.
You can have it cheap, Buy Zithromax Without Prescription.
You can have it fast.
Pick two.

Dresner's corollary of Japanese historical fiction:
You can have culture.
You can have characters.
You can have historical setting.
Pick one. Two, if you're lucky.

.

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8/10/2012

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Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 12:24 am Print

FallsofClydeLongViewI saw Margi Preus's Heart of a Samurai Buy Clomid Without Prescription, (Amulet, 2010) and the title alone made me cringe: just what the world needs, another kid book touting the putative values of warrior aristocrats. Clomid from mexico, But when I picked it up, I realized immediately that it was something else entirely (or almost entirely): a fictionalized retelling of John Manjiro's adventures as a castaway from Japan, real brand Clomid online. Clomid without prescription, Here's a story that's worth retelling -- though it's been done a few times already -- and which presents a very different light on Japanese history. I borrowed it from my friend (( who had bought it as a donation to a youth library based on recommendations from other children )) and discovered that I was right, buy Clomid online no prescription. Clomid description, Both times.

John Manjiro, also known as John Mung and Nakahama Manjiro, spent most of the 1840s on American ships and American soil, finally returning to Japan not long before Perry's arrival marked the end of Japan's relative isolation from foreign contact and trade, Buy Clomid Without Prescription. I haven't read any of the other books on castaways, buy Clomid no prescription, Clomid maximum dosage, though I've heard a number of my friend Stephen Kohl's panels at ASPAC. Manjiro's tale is more extreme, Clomid for sale, No prescription Clomid online, both in the length of time he was away and the depth of his experiences, not to mention the timing of his return, Clomid price, coupon. Buy Clomid from canada, When he returned he was interrogated thoroughly, then forced to remain in his hometown before being called to service, buy cheap Clomid. Clomid over the counter, With his experience, he became a valuable source for policy-makers, order Clomid from United States pharmacy, Order Clomid no prescription, starting with his native Tosa domain, passing to Shogunal service, Clomid street price, Cheap Clomid, and then as a promoter of Western learning. Buy Clomid Without Prescription, Manjiro's journey was well-documented, and highlights some fascinating aspects of mid-19th century global life, including the whaling industry famously chronicled in Moby Dick, early education, and the tensions engendered by Japan's isolation. Preus's handling of the chronology and substantive topics is straightforward and sometimes quite good, discount Clomid, Clomid dosage, including the racism Manjiro encountered both at sea and in New England. (( A really excellent summary of Manjiro's tale can be found here: Nakahama Manjirō's Hyōsen Kiryaku: A Companion Book : Produced for the Exhibition "Drifting, buy generic Clomid, Clomid used for, Nakahama Manjirōs Tale of Discovery" : an Illustrated Manuscript Recounting Ten Years of Adventure at Sea. Aside from the great pictures and introduction, buy Clomid without a prescription, Clomid brand name, the book claims that Manjiro was used as a kind of spy, eavesdropping on American negotiators (21) ))

My reservations about this book stem from the samurai lens which is imposed on a commoner's tale, Clomid from canadian pharmacy. Where can i find Clomid online, The title refers to Manjiro, who is described early in the book as having ambitions to become a samurai, Clomid images, Clomid australia, uk, us, usa, fulfilling the romantic and honorable role laid out in the classic tales. (pp, Buy Clomid Without Prescription. 13-14) Each section of the book has an epigram from Yamamoto's Hagakure or something called "the Samurai's Creed" (( that's before part one, buy Clomid online cod. Clomid dangers, In the bibliography, Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Hagakure is cited twice, purchase Clomid online no prescription, Online buy Clomid without a prescription, both the 1979 and 2008 translations, his name is cited backwards, Clomid coupon, Clomid treatment, and once misspelled )) and Manjiro's elevation to sword-wearing Shogunal retainer is treated as the culmination of a long-held dream (as well as being entirely unprecedented). It's possible that Manjiro really felt this way -- I haven't been able to find any reference to it in the materials I've seen -- but it certainly seems odd for a tale about a fisherman who became a proponent of egalitarianism and Westernization to have more references to sources on samurai than on village life or Meiji transformations, canada, mexico, india. Is Clomid addictive, There was one bit I liked, though: in New England, Clomid gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, Get Clomid, Manjiro is demonstrating sword fighting to an American friend, but confesses to himself that he has no idea what he's doing, effects of Clomid, Clomid no prescription, and that he and his friends in Japan made up their own moves to go along with the styles of fighting they'd heard about but never saw. Buy Clomid Without Prescription, (p. 133)

There were a few bothersome details -- an anachronistic use of bata-kusai and the misuse of the word "sutra" for "prayer" on the same page (p, order Clomid from mexican pharmacy. 31) was particularly troubling and I'd have been happier if Manjiro's acknowledgement of Japanese whaling came before he expressed shock and horror at Western whaling (p. 45) -- but the errors were not fundamentally damaging to the historical context. The fictionalized characters and conflicts (p. 280) seem a bit overdrawn to me, though the issues they raise were real, Buy Clomid Without Prescription. The length of the book is something of a problem: though it's almost 300 pages, they are so sparse and there is so much illustration and blank space that the story felt quite rushed. Perhaps the fictionalized material stands out so much because it's quite detailed, whereas large sections of equally dramatic real life read like paraphrases of the short histories cited above. (( and the helpful material at the end really is fairly clearly paraphrased material. I understand not footnoting the story, but clear references in reference material seems reasonable, no. ))

On the whole, not a terrible book, though I think there's still room for, say, an kid-oriented abridgement of Manjiro's own testimony, with annotation by actual experts.

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8/27/2011

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Buy Levaquin Without Prescription, Stephen Turnbull, one of the most prolific and controversial writers on Japanese military history, has written a book on the 47 Samurai incident. The Samurai Archives review is quite positive, where to buy Levaquin, Levaquin long term, though Turnbull's involvement as historical consultant on the upcoming Keanu Reeves version does raise concerns.

It's nice to see Turnbull stepping up his game a bit, is Levaquin safe, Levaquin no prescription, using front-line scholarship and taking a critical approach, rather than the mish-mash of his earlier books, Levaquin pics. Cheap Levaquin, It seems unlikely to me, though, Levaquin dosage, Levaquin without a prescription, that the debunking scholarship which has advanced over the last decade or so will have a significant impact on popular versions of the incident. It's possible, buying Levaquin online over the counter, Where can i buy Levaquin online, I suppose, that Turnbull's involvement in the new movie means that it will be a thoroughly revisionist statement (( assuming that all the pre-release publicity is wrong )) but the entrenched romantic version is going to remain authoritative until the revisionist history starts to get traction in Japan, online buying Levaquin.

Even then, there's the Shakespeare problem, Buy Levaquin Without Prescription. Levaquin photos, We know that his portrayals of English kings and other historical moments were partisan and/or heavily fictionalized, but they remain some of the most enduring images and themes in historical fiction and movies, rx free Levaquin, Buy no prescription Levaquin online, so that historians are still forced to routinely debunk these myths. (( It doesn't help that "most historically accurate portrayal ever" in movie advertising usually means precisely the opposite, buy Levaquin without a prescription, Levaquin gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, as the most recent Robin Hood versions demonstrate )) Chushingura and its ilk created a solid mythology by the dawn of the modern age, and the imperialist valorization of the Ako Roshi and other self-destructive samurai tendencies reinforced a vision of the samurai as abstemious, buy Levaquin no prescription, Online buying Levaquin hcl, effective, principled, Levaquin alternatives, Levaquin price, selfless and frequently violent. It would take a dramatic cultural shift to wipe out this tradition, japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, Levaquin no rx, one that seems unlikely given Japan's rightward tendencies these days. (( more likely you'd see something like the American transformation of cowboy films: more internal focus and diversity, Levaquin overnight, Buy cheap Levaquin, and an obscuring of the historically undeniable negative sides (i.e., Dances with Wolves and the death of the cowboy-and-indian film) with perhaps some culturally acceptable complications, comprar en línea Levaquin, comprar Levaquin baratos. Buy Levaquin Without Prescription, Frankly, a good Brokeback Mountain treatment would go a long way, plus being historically credible. Buy Levaquin online cod, ))

I was screening movies for my Samurai course and came across recommendations (on twitter, I think) for The Twilight Samurai, kjøpe Levaquin på nett, köpa Levaquin online. Levaquin interactions, I was very impressed: the portrayal of samurai poverty, bureaucracy, Levaquin natural, Buy cheap Levaquin no rx, domainal politics, bakumatsu confusion, buy Levaquin without prescription, Levaquin without prescription, and the diversity (and, generally speaking, buy Levaquin online no prescription, Levaquin canada, mexico, india, irrelevance) of fighting styles (and illegality of dueling) was very nicely done. The romantic side was a little over-generous, doses Levaquin work, Taking Levaquin, perhaps, but more realistic that an awful lot of other historical pieces, canada, mexico, india. Levaquin use, If you're looking for a solid historical movie, one that will educate more than it will obscure, buy Levaquin from canada, Low dose Levaquin, it's very good.

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2/23/2010

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In the Prefatory Remarks to Aizawa Yasushi's 1825 New Theses (新論) we find an interesting little gloss on the relationship of the "Divine Realm" of Japan and the Western world:

Imitrex For Sale, The earth lies amid the heavenly firmament, is round in shape, and has no edges. All things exist as nature dictates, Imitrex over the counter. Where can i buy cheapest Imitrex online, Thus, our Divine Realm is at the top of the world, purchase Imitrex. My Imitrex experience, Though not a very large country, it reigns over the Four Quarters because its Imperial Line has never known dynastic change, Imitrex trusted pharmacy reviews. Order Imitrex from United States pharmacy, The Western barbarians represent the thighs, legs, Imitrex overnight, Online buy Imitrex without a prescription, and feet of the universe. This is why they sail hither and yon, where to buy Imitrex, Imitrex interactions, indifferent to the distances involved. Moreover, Imitrex pharmacy, Imitrex australia, uk, us, usa, the country they call America is located at the rear end of the world, so its inhabitants are stupid and incompetent, Imitrex blogs. Imitrex price, All of this is as nature dictates.
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2/11/2009

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Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 6:46 pm Print

Buy Flexeril Without Prescription, I don't often get unsolicited books with handwritten notes from the authors, unless I worked with them in some way. What was even more surprising is that the book came to my new office before I was even done unpacking. That's pretty spiffy service. The book had blurbs from Maxine Hong Kingston and Liza Dalby, which was promising. The book was about The World of Tea, and centered on an orphaned American taken in by a prominent Japanese family; not so promising. The author, Ellis Avery is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia in Creative Writing, and a five year veteran, we're told in her bio, of tea ceremony training, Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. Purchase Flexeril online no prescription, Well, most of my fun books were in boxes, so I did read The Teahouse Fire, and since it is about the bakumatsu-Meiji era, I feel I should say something about it.

The Teahouse Fire is a historical fiction, which shares most of the flaws typical of the genre: a carefully set but very selective milieu; characters cobbled together from cultural and psychosocial fragments; wildly unlikely encounters and inappropriate behavior. Though the story does less damage to the historical narrative than usual for this kind of work, canada, mexico, india, it is still an excellent example of why I don't ever use historical fiction in my teaching, and why I rarely read it (especially in my own field!). [SPOILERS ahead] (( I'm an historian, so knowing how it comes out doesn't bother me. Buy Flexeril Without Prescription, ))

Aurelia arrives in Kyoto at the age of nine in 1866, accompanied by her pederastic priest uncle, her only living relative, from whom she is separated (not before the pederasty manifests, of course) by a catastrophic fire; she ends up at the Shin family residence in weakened condition and is taken in. She is immediately recognizable as a foreigner due to her dress and inability to speak more than a few words of Japanese (( her linguistic abilities were what brought her to Japan in the first place, but she'd only been studying from a basic grammar for a little while )) but she has straight black hair and in Japanese garb is taken for some kind of developmentally delayed foundling by the neighbors:

"After all, Flexeril trusted pharmacy reviews, we had never seen a real one before," Chio told me some years later. "But we had seen pictures, and everyone knew foreigners were huge, piggy people with very long noses, very red hair, and very green eyes, so you obviously weren't one, Flexeril long term. Clearly someone was playing a trick on us with that clothing." (54)

Aurelia -- known as "Urako" in Japanese -- isn't properly revealed as foreign until her mid-30s, 1891, when she's expelled from the local bathhouse as "unclean." (344-347) (( Also, she develops a decidedly non-Japanese figure (142, 400), but that's mostly concealed by kimono-style clothing. Where can i find Flexeril online, Though there's an awful lot of time spent unclothed, too, in baths, in bed, etc. )) All of this strikes me as a little anachronistic: There was a pretty brisk trade in woodblocks featuring foreigners in the 1850s and 1860s, so the distorted view of Perry had certainly been supplemented over the intervening decade, and foreigners -- priests and teachers, at least -- were beginning to be a presence even in Kyoto, Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. Still, not a lot of foreign children had been seen, so I could buy it for a while; a quarter century, Flexeril brand name, though. During the intervening years, the family uses her for translation in their dealings with foreigners several times, and she works as a translator/secretary for a girls' school mistress. The expulsion from the bathhouse as "unclean" seems over-dramatic, given that foreigners were living all over Japan by the 1890s, Flexeril gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, but it's vaguely possible it's a function of this being Kyoto instead of Yokohama and Tokyo, and that they are responding to the "child of prostitute and foreigner" theory they had rejected earlier. (55) (( There have been recent reports of "no foreigner allowed" bathhouses, but those are, in fact, recent. Buy Flexeril Without Prescription, There is, it's true, a real tradition of discrimination against the offspring of foreign-Japanese unions, especially non-caucasian foreigners. ))

Anyway, moving on, japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, Aurelia becomes a part of the household, gets better and better at Japanese (( eventually reading some classical works like Sei Shonagon. )) and more and more aware of the sexual and cultural politics of the family. The Shin clan is cast as very prominent Tea practitioners:

Rikyu, the founding ancestor of tea ceremony and tea teacher to Hideyoshi, the most important warlord of his day, Flexeril use, was forced to commit suicide once he'd ceased to please his master. The tearoom Cloud House was built in the style favored by Rikyu's grandson, Sotan, a man so beggared by his grandfather's disgrace that his favorite teascoop was the one worn on the side from years of use. When his luck changed for the better, Sotan had a one-and-a-half-mat hut built to keep himself honest, to honor the years he'd spent in his own company, Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. A generation later, his oldest son Shinso built a copy of the tiny house on his own property, to memorialize his family's hardship: this was our Cloud House, where the Mountain [the head of the household] drank his dwindling store of tea, buying Flexeril online over the counter. (109)

This may be the tradition that Avery learned in her Tea training, the "wabi Sotan," but it's a myth: Sotan may have been Rikyu's grandson, but he was head of the household starting just a few years after Rikyu's death, and he was deliberate and active in promoting the well-being and prominence of the Sen family and tradition. The Shin family is described as taking Rikyu as an "adopted forefather" (109) because of the connection with Tea, Flexeril images, but they act as though the Sen schools didn't exist, or at least didn't exist in Kyoto. In fact, as you'll see, the Shin family is the Sen family, with the name changed to protect, presumably, the author from the wrath of the Urasenke familia, Flexeril from canada. Buy Flexeril Without Prescription, The Meiji Restoration was not good for the Shin family. At least not this version of the Meiji Restoration:
At the end of the second year of Meiji, the Emperor decreed an end to the feudal aristocracy. On the night of his restoration, he had announced that he was taking back all the land he had entrusted to the Shogun and his lords, and all the rice money that the land yielded. In place of a hereditary warrior caste, Flexeril price, each man loyal to his liege, the Emperor now announced that in a few years' time he would establish an army conscripted from boys of all origins, loyal to himself alone. To do this, and to fund the new government, he cut loose all the lords and samurai who had benefited from the Shogun's largesse for two hundred fifty years. .., Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. Worse still, the Emperor announced a program of Bunmei Kaika, Flexeril schedule, Civilization and Enlightenment, dismissing tea, like falconry or incense-guessing games, as an archaic "pasttime," better abandoned than subsidized. (108)

This collapses several years of history -- not to mention the bakuhan system -- into a single, Flexeril pictures, catastrophic stroke, effectively bankrupting the Shin family. (( I also don't recall any proclamations which denigrated tea ceremony, though it wasn't something that interested the Meiji Emperor. )) This sets in motion some of the core plots of the book: the attempt to support the house in the short term by finding new students and other sources of income, and to reinvigorate it in the long term by making the study of Tea a part of the national curriculum for girls' schools. Buy Flexeril Without Prescription, There is the old "traditionalist v. innovater" tension, overlaid with a strong dose of "aloof samurai v, kjøpe Flexeril på nett, köpa Flexeril online. worldly businessman" -- or "businesswoman" in this case, as it's Aurelia's protector Yukako who becomes the energetic center of the family, teaching new students, making political connections, brokering the Shin family name to create low-cost tea sets for educational use, popular consumption and foreign markets. Order Flexeril online overnight delivery no prescription, (e.g. 300-313) (( You can, by the way, buy a complete tea ceremony set, "inspired by" the implements described in the book, with a complimentary copy of the novel for good measure. )) She is immensely successful: by 1891, middle and higher schools for girls are to have tea ceremony training as part of the curriculum, Buy Flexeril Without Prescription.

Though it struck me as odd, at first, order Flexeril no prescription, this is, Morgan Pitelka assures me, quite correct. (( Many thanks to Morgan for his feedback and, of course, his fine scholarship on these matters. Rx free Flexeril, All remaining errors of history, culture and interpretation are either mine or Avery's. )) Here's how he described it in his book on Raku, Handmade Culture:

In the last two decades of the nineteenth century the Sen iemoto began to initiate more direct contact with people interested in tea. Buy Flexeril Without Prescription, Perhaps they understood that to survive in modern society, tea would have to expand beyond the confines of the elite and enter the domain of mass culture. In the 1880s, Urasenke started offering tea lessons at one of the prefectural girls’ schools in Kyoto. The lessons proved popular with students and parents. Such programs were expanded rapidly, discount Flexeril, and by the early 1910s, female practitioners came to outnumber male ones in Urasenke. (( Kumakura, Ima no chanoyu, mukashi no chanoyu, 204-5. )) Modern tea teachers placed great emphasis on performing the movements of tea with a calm intensity, Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. Buy no prescription Flexeril online, The focused atmosphere of the tea room and the physical and mental discipline acquired by hours of tea practice often paired with flower arrangement were deemed ideal for the education of cultivated young women. By the 1930s, after-hours private schools taught tea and flower arrangement to young women across the country. (( Kagotani Machiko, “Josei to chanoyu,” in Kindai no chanoyu, ed. Kumakura Isao, Flexeril alternatives, vol. Buy Flexeril Without Prescription, 6, Chadô shûkin (Shogakkan, 1985), 253-9. ))

As an aside, until I read that passage in conjunction with Alan Baumler's recent commentary on ritual and music in early philosophy, and the introduction to Confucianism I'm doing in my Early China class that I realized that, at some point, the dominant philosophical tradition guiding Tea practice shifted from Zen to Confucianism. Flexeril no prescription, I don't ever recall reading any discussion of Confucian influence on Tea practice, outside of some generalizations about sociality, but compare Morgan's comments above with this description of Confucian ritual:

The rituals Confucius discussed, many of them deriving from the ancestral worship of the Zhou, had many more steps than a simple handshake; but if they were learned correctly, they too could express one's innermost humanity. Confucius emphasized that the rites had to be performed with feeling:
The Master said: "Authority without generosity, ceremony without reverence, online buying Flexeril hcl, mourning without grief -- these, I cannot bear to contemplate." (3.26)

Ritual, then, should not be an empty form.

Ritual allowed people to express emotion, but one had to understand the rituals in order to understand what sentiment was being displayed. Like a handshake, these rituals could be confusing, sometimes impenetrable, to people outside one's own culture, Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. Order Flexeril from United States pharmacy, (( Valerie Hansen. The Open Empire: A History of China to 1600. W.W. Norton&Co, 2000. Buy Flexeril Without Prescription, p. 70 ))

Though based on the real history, there's something missing from the story, starting with the class tension when Yukako reluctantly takes on a prominent geisha as a student (who then goes on to become famous as "the geisha who does tea ceremony"), Flexeril without a prescription. (( While not explicit on the entertainer v. prostitute debate, Avery certainly treats the geisha as though they had the status of prostitutes, and really very little class or culture before they hijack Tea. )) There is no evidence that Avery understands the role of tea ceremony training for women in the late Tokugawa and Meiji eras, when "The cha-no-yu ceremonies are taught every girl having any pretensions to family or breeding, After Flexeril, and a woman of the high classes would hardly care to acknowledge to one of her own countrymen that she was not versed in these mysteries." (( The New York Times, July 17, 1892, p. 6, Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. There's lots of other evidence, from Matsuo Taseko -- late Tokugawa rural background, but tea and poetry trained -- to Alice Mabel Bacon )) Something that was common to women of high rank and sophistication would almost certainly be part of the geisha curriculum as well. (( It certainly is today, Flexeril blogs, with the active involvement of the Urasenke school. )) There's a fairly strong consensus that the tea ceremony economy was in a fairly serious slump from the early Meiji until the cultural nationalism revival of the 1930s. (( Tim Cross, "Rikyu has Left the Tea Room: National Cinema Interrogates the anecdotal Legend," Japanese Tea Culture: Art, History, Flexeril over the counter, and Practice edited by Morgan Pitelka, Routledge, 2003, pp. 171-172 Buy Flexeril Without Prescription, )) During this slump, there was, as Morgan noted, a shift towards female participation at the highest levels. (( There does seem to be some discussion about when "feminization" takes place. Above, Morgan places it around the turn of the century. Elsewhere, about Flexeril, it's described as being a post-WWII phenomenon. e.g. MORGAN PITELKA, Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. Review of ETSUKO KATO: The Tea Ceremony and Women's Empowerment in Modern Japan: Bodies Re-Presenting the Past. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. University of London 68.1 (2005): 176-178. Research Library. Buy Flexeril Without Prescription, ProQuest. Flexeril street price, Pittsburg State University Library, Pittsburg, Kansas. 7 Jan. 2009 )) The book gives the strong impression that tea ceremony was an exclusively male practice, with extraordinary exceptions, until the Restoration, and that it became a practice among women solely as a result of a concerted effort by tea practitioners to impose on the new national culture through formal education, Flexeril price, coupon. Though the wealthy elites on which the Sen family relied had lost a great deal of their income and resources, there were hundreds of tea teachers, thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of tea-trained women in Japan at this point, and a strong tradition of tea as a part of the education of upper-class (or aspiring) women. The idea that the Shin/Sen family alone was responsible for the preservation of tea culture in Japan is historically absurd; they were responsible only for preserving their place in tea culture, Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. Buy cheap Flexeril, This, as much as anything else, gave the book a feel of unreality for me, but it is, perhaps, an authentic representation of the perspective of the Sen/Shin family.

Anyway, the whole thing comes crashing to a head in 1891, Flexeril wiki, including an assasination attempt on the education minister, by a character with ties to the Shin family who's become radicalized. The exact nature of the radicalism is a little unclear: it seems to be a sort of free-floating anti-government populism. It's not traditionalism or Imperial loyalty -- there's some serious discussion about the oppressive nature of the Tea tradition's craft requirements -- so it seems vaguely Marxist/anarchist. Buy Flexeril Without Prescription, It's too early for either of those in Japan, though they were in the West. Aurelia decides to go back to the United States, where she reunites with her first love, Flexeril australia, uk, us, usa, sets up shop and lives happily ever after. (( I almost wrote "happily, if implausibly" but the relationship in question wasn't impossible (the author is described by Avery as "my partner") and actually makes at least as much sense as many of the other tragic errors that pass for relationships in the book. ))

Avery includes a fair number of other historical references to anchor the story, including the 1872 Kyoto Exposition (187, passim), extraterritoriality (222), tattoed mobsters (252), Flexeril class, outcaste liberation, Rokumeikan (257, though she translates it as "Belling Stag Pavilion"), the Satsuma Uprising (217-219, though it's not clear whether this is run-up, or the uprising itself, Buy Flexeril online no prescription, because the scene takes place in 1876, not 1877). Perhaps its petty of me, but these really feel more like signposts than genuine plot points. Of course she has to mention the Satsuma uprising, yakuza; the Exposition and Rokumeikan are useful moments to comment on the interaction of foreign and Japanese cultures, Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. Outcastes are a surprisingly important theme in the book, which feels more like a modern literary interest in status and transgression than an authentic sociological observation. There's also the almost obligatory commentary and translation of the literal etymology of Japanese idioms, as though anyone actually thinks of these things when saying "goodbye" (346) or "thank you very much, buy cheap Flexeril no rx," (55) or marriage negotiations ("Sightings," 352). It clearly "marks the text" as they say, as Japanese and old-fashioned. Some of this can be explained by the use of Aurelia as narrator, I suppose, Is Flexeril addictive, but places the book securely in the tradition of orientalia using outsiders as stand-ins for the non-native readers -- Shogun, or a lot of other genre fiction.

The Teahouse Fire Buy Flexeril Without Prescription, alludes or borrows from a number of other traditions and works. Aurelia reads Sei Shonagon, and some other classical works, and the Heian romantic model features prominently in her romantic difficulties: the exchange of scented presents; gifts with coded and punned messages; longing and denial expressed in wisps of hair. (e.g., 378-379) The affairs, incest and bisexuality remind me of Genji more than Pillow Book, Flexeril samples, though the descriptions are 21st century "Steamy East" (( That "Steamy East" site is by the same people who created this Nishikie site cataloging, with many translations, woodblock prints used by Japanese newspapers in the 1870s to illustrate and tell many lurid and interesting stories. I'm in love. )) rather than 11th century. (( None of the sex scenes made me groan, wince or otherwise think of Scooter Libby, Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. Some of them seemed unlikely situations and pairings, but not bizarre in the act itself. It's not the only or most important measure of a writer, but it's something, especially in this field. )) The "fading family fortunes" narrrative calls to mind Tanizaki's Makioka Sisters, of course. The entrepreneurship and self-improvement narrative has hint of Samuel Smiles to it. Avery's aesthetics of tea are very orthodox: Okakura's Book of Tea Buy Flexeril Without Prescription, is just one of many statements on the subject, but it certainly covers the ground well and many of its strictures are echoed by the words and actions of the characters.

There was a lot of work in putting this book together. Historical and cultural research, extensive plotting, and careful writing are all in evidence. Most of the characters seem either implausible or shallow, but they are all fairly consistent with themselves, and some of them seem to actually mature. The combination of themes from the Tea tradition and current literary trends don't always work together all that well. The sexuality and politics of the modern novel should subvert the asexual aesthetics of Tea -- just as the commodification of Tea is a fundamental paradox which practitioners fail to understand -- or vice versa, but Avery's devotion to the Practice and to her sexual politics are too great to allow either to be compromised, or even affected, by the other, Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. It's an interesting attempt, I suppose, but it ultimately doesn't feel all that faithful to the history, to the real human drama, nor terribly enlightening.

The note that Avery put in my copy suggested that I might consider the book as a teaching tool. This is precisely why I don't use historical fiction: the demands of fiction and the demands of history are two very different things. What drives the plot is psychodrama; what drives history is something else entirely. I want my students to get a good feel for historical milieu, to develop an empathy with the people of history, but by imposing a modern psychology on a bit of the historical narrative, the novel distorts reality and forecloses the development of real empathy. The novel, despite its pretensions to subtlety, mistakes complications for nuance, mistakes conflict for complexity.

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7/3/2007

Buy Accutane Without Prescription

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 6:01 am Print

Buy Accutane Without Prescription, For the conclusion to my ASPAC blogging, I want to talk about the panel which invited me to serve as moderator. Accutane images, It was a pleasure, and not just because three of the four of us were Harvard Ph.D.s., Accutane from mexico, Accutane treatment, though catching up with gossip was fun. The papers covered a solid range of early modern and modern topics -- outcastes in the early 19th century, Accutane natural, Real brand Accutane online, historiography of rebel domains in imperial Japan, political violence in the 1950s -- and was uniformly excellent research which should soon see publication, after Accutane. Accutane price, My introduction tried to tie things together thusly

Marginalizing discourses are, of course, about Accutane, Effects of Accutane, actually intended to normalize. These are not out-groups for the sake of individuality or obtuseness, purchase Accutane, Accutane brand name, but groups trying to function within society, negotiating from positions of weakness, cheap Accutane, Where can i cheapest Accutane online, but using available leverage -- function, ideology, Accutane description, Online buying Accutane hcl, resistance -- which is considered legitimate. But there is a trend away from formal stratification, through uniformity towards equality: modernity shifts from marginalizing people to marginalizing behavior.

Maren Ehlers study of "The Koshirō of Ōno Domain: An Outcast Organization within Domain Society" made a strong case that hinin in small communities were both socially oppressed but also socially useful, and that they could leverage their position into new privileges as the needs of domain society shifted their functions, Buy Accutane Without Prescription. Their status within the community was clearly marked, Accutane mg, Order Accutane from United States pharmacy, but restrictions were often ignored due to the nature of small-town life. She presented a particularly interesting case where the Koshirō were asked to take on duties as executioners in exchange for new privileges (right to wear short swords, Accutane dosage, Accutane pharmacy, plus a stipend), even though those privileges were protested by commoners, Accutane wiki, Accutane cost, but eventually the Koshirō asked to be relieved of those new privileges and the duties that went with them, on the grounds that it lowered their status to be associated with traditional eta work, Accutane pictures. Online Accutane without a prescription, This reinforces the argument Botsman makes in Punishment and Power: that the outcaste groups actively negotiated their status and function, from a weak but not powerless position due to their state functions, order Accutane online overnight delivery no prescription. Buy Accutane online cod, Maren's dissertation is on poverty relief, and ought to add a nice new dimension to our understanding of the functions of government in the Early Modern era, Accutane without prescription.

Buy Accutane Without Prescription, Hiraku Shimoda's "Making and Unmaking a Cautionary Tale: Aizu Domian in Imperial Historical Discourse" was a fascinating look at how partisans of the Shogunal Loyalist domain reshaped the history of the Restoration wars with the collusion of central authorities who wanted to construct a uniform national narrative of Imperial service. Comprar en línea Accutane, comprar Accutane baratos, I was quite taken with the way in which the former rebels were redeemed through a -- largely fanciful and ahistorical -- narrative of a nation in which everyone sought the greater good and were loyal to the same transcendant sovereign, even when they were shooting at each other, Accutane from canadian pharmacy. Order Accutane no prescription, Hiraku's larger work on regional identity will certainly be essential reading for those of us doing local history, and for those of you who haven't yet taken it seriously enough!

Eiko Maruko's chronicled two episodes in "Violence as a Discursive Weapon: Diet Politics in the 1950s" both of which involved Socialist v, online buying Accutane. Accutane pics, LDP clashes. Both parties claimed the mantle of "Defenders of democracy": the LDP claimed that the Socialists were trying to impose a minority will by violence, kjøpe Accutane på nett, köpa Accutane online, Accutane over the counter, invoking the recent past; the Socialists claimed that the LDP were trying to steamroll minorities with an uncompromising majoritarianism which they likened to fascism. The LDP called on security forces (especially in the 1958 case) and successfully cast the Socialists as the aggressors, as an immature group in a maturing democratic society, Buy Accutane Without Prescription. These clashes were, Accutane schedule, Buy generic Accutane, in a sense, precursors to the 1960 Security Treaty conflicts, Accutane long term, Accutane australia, uk, us, usa, but Eiko didn't go into that. Her larger project on political violence from the Bakumatsu to the Ampo Riots ought to be a solid attention-grabber for undergrads, australia, uk, us, usa, Buy Accutane without prescription, as well as adding a very interesting dimension to the whole modernity/democracy discussion. (( I love the way in which it completely ignores conventional periodization, buy Accutane from canada, too. ))

There's so much to look forward to in the next few years, in terms of what we're going to be reading and what we can teach from.


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12/4/2006

Pearl Harbor and the longue duree

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 4:41 am Print

In honor of the 65th anniversary, HNN has a Pearl Harbor extravaganza this week. There's a little recap, and the obligatory zombie error smackdown, which are fine. The article by George Feifer, though, is considerably more challenging: he argues that Pearl Harbor is a direct result of Perry's opening of Japan.

Think about that one a minute. The argument, roughly, goes like this: by forcing Japan to recognize its technological and cultural inferiority, by humiliating the nation, the US put Japan on a path of competitive militarization and power expansion directed at mirroring and surpassing specifically US power, which ultimately resulted in the clash of empires which never coincides with anything convenient in the academic calendar. He even argues, echoing Ishiwara Kanji, that the US shouldn't have been surprised, given how the US-Japan relationship begins, by the result.

I don't find that argument any more convincing than the ones which argue a straight line between Pearl Harbor and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There are some interesting assertions -- not much in the way of evidence, but it's a short piece -- about the military commanders involved, Ishiwara Kanji and Yamamoto Isoroku, but it's a long way from poetic justice to historical causality. You can't draw straight lines across broad fields of contingencies. To fixate on the US-Japan relationship, to the exclusion of Japan's other unsatisfactory international relationships, to fixate on Perry as the cause to the exclusion of basic facts of geography in an age of geo-politics, to distill a complex of policy and principle down to a simplistic vengeance "served cold", may make for a satisfying narrative, but doesn't -- it seems to me -- adhere to any of the principles of good historical logic which we're supposed to model for our students and leaders.

Feifer is actually doing more than just arguing a long causal chain; he's also drawing parallels between the opening of Japan and the US intervention in Iraq: misleading public statements about goals ("The shipwrecked-sailors issue was the weapons-of-mass-destruction boondoggle of its day"), cultural supremacism, imperialistic zeal (he compares Commodore Perry with Vice President Cheney, which really puts the "conservative" back in "neo-con") and the role of coal as the oil of the 19th century. You could find those four elements -- really only three: supremacism, imperialism and resource security -- in lots of 19th and 20th century interventions. He ends with the portentous lines: "The galled people with the punctured conviction of their own superiority took special pleasure in the sinking of four ships on Battleship Row: the number with which Perry first menaced them. Shouldn’t that prompt thought about the unintended consequences of using force?" The implication here is that even if our adventurism in Iraq turns out well inthe short or medium term, it's likely to come back to bite us eventually. While I'm sympathetic to this argument in some forms (and I know how hard it is to find a good closing line, too), its overreaching: ultimately there are no uses of force which don't have possible unintended consequences.

If the Americans hadn't gotten Japan to sign treaties, others would have -- Russians, British -- and it would have been no less humiliating. If the Americans hadn't colonized the Pacific, the Spanish and Dutch and British would still have been there. If the Russians hadn't been agressive in northeast Asia... well, they wouldn't have been Russians, and then we're talking way-out counterfactuals. Japan had a lot of reason to feel threatened, a lot of nations looking down at them, and its success made conflict over resources and territory very likely. Single lines don't connect all these dots.

2/10/2006

Homosexuality in Japan: The Meiji Gap

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 5:00 am Print
The effects of Meiji reforms on women have been pretty well documented: the continued legality of prostitution, including indenture; the consolidation of male power within family law and politics; the rise of the "Good Wife; Wise Mother" cult of femininity, education; etc. There's been relatively little research that I'm aware of which really takes the male experience of Meiji all that seriously, separate from the general "Japanese" experience. One of the areas in which that's really obvious, even to my students, is sexuality. How quickly can the closet door close? One of the as-yet unstudied oddities of Japanese history is the shift in male sexuality from the Tokugawa to Meiji eras. As an example of the state of the field, here's a recently published translation of a Japanese article from about two years ago:
Although there are many literary and artistic representations dating from the Edo period (1603-1857) which describe sexual acts which took place between men using terms such as danshoku and wakashu, at that time participating in such acts did not designate a specific type of person and so these records cannot be read as part of the history of 'gay' or 'homosexual' men. The so-called 'birth' of the homosexual took place in Japan in the Meiji (1858-1912) and Taisho (1912-25) periods when participating in same-sex sexual acts came to be understood as the result of a personal disposition, but almost no first-person narratives survive from this time. The only records which remain from this period are case studies and analyses from a genre of sexology publications dating from 1900 which treated 'homosexuality' as one example of 'perverse sexuality.' There are also some articles and reports about cross-dressing male prostitutes who existed before and after World War II, but these reports, are also 'about' homosexuals and do not represent their own voices. However, this period of silence in which there were no records created by homosexuals themselves began to change in 1950 with the appearance of magazines such as Amatoria which took sex as their theme.
The near-total silence of Meiji sources is quite remarkable. It's not like all the samurai just disappeared, and there's a great deal of continuity in social, family, consumptive and cultural practices between Tokugawa and Meiji. I'm quite sure that the influence of Western sexual taboos is very strong in this regard, but it's somewhat surprising that the deliberately transgressive and sexual "I-novel" writings of the Meiji and Taisho eras, for example, contain no (as far as I know) considerations of homosexuality. It's possible, I suppose, that the "Tokugawa" traditions of male-male sexual practices are really "early-mid" Tokugawa practices, which had mostly died out by the 19th century, but that's a question for someone who knows the literature better than I. It's also possible that the silence in the sources is a temporary thing, a result of our research interests, but there are people actively studying sexuality in Japan and it strikes me as odd, but not at all dispositive, that so little has been found.

1/10/2006

On-line Japanese history resources

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 3:02 am Print
While looking for a supplement to the anemic textbook offerings on Tokugawa Japan (none of the stuff is out of copyright, probably, which is why it's not in the document set), I came across this great collection of links to history resources. (via Early Modern Resources) I still haven't found what I'm looking for (quick document readings for world history students) but it's a likely source for something especially visual materials. Update (1/23/06): I didn't think I'd find much in the David Rumsey Map collection, because it seemed to be heavily European maps, and I was right: a few interesting maps of Japan produced by Europeans, but not much compared to the wealth of material for Western historians. Then, as I was about to give up, I noticed the link to the Japan collection Yes, the UC Berkeley East Asian Library collection of historical Japanese maps (and a few other images) has been digitized and is available under Creative Commons license. There's a lot of mid-to-late Tokugawa and Meiji era stuff, in particular: right up my alley. Here's a good illustration of the image quality and flexibility of the service: the very center of a 1710 map of the world:

11/22/2005

A Welcome Find

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 5:24 am Print
One of the very interesting things I discovered doing my dissertation was the relatively meager state of scholarship on Meiji era financial institutions, particularly on the ways in which Japanese used (and avoided) new systems of savings, transfers/remittances, loans, etc. I ended up being quite impressed by the financial sophistication of supposedly unsophisticated peasant migrant laborers, and considerably more sympathetic to the assumptions of economic history as a result. My advisor even tried to steer me in that direction: I had to do some background reading on the Yokohama Specie Bank, which played a role in early Hawai'i-Japan remittances (by establishing one of Japan's first overseas bank branches!), and he was disappointed that the bank itself did not sufficiently fire my historical curiousity that I might take it up as a topic in itself. It is true, though, that there remain questions which I can't answer to my own satisfaction because I don't know enough about Meiji banking. Well, Sharon Howard forwarded me a link to Michael Schlitz's Histor¥ which is described both as a "weblog about Meiji financial reforms" and (quite tantalizingly) an "opensource project on Japanese financial history 1850-1917." I'm thrilled to see this topic getting the attention it deserves and available on-line, to boot! Now, I just need time to read through his archives and make notes....

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