Buy Cheap Buy Amoxicillin Without Prescription Now No Prescription Needed. Pharmacy Store

8/10/2012

Buy Clomid Without Prescription

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.

Similar posts: Ultram For Sale. Buy Synthroid Without Prescription. Vermox For Sale. Betnovate For Sale. Periactin For Sale. Low dose Xalatan. Diflucan coupon. Generic Cipro. Slimex (Obetrim) street price. Cipro dosage.
Trackbacks from: Buy Clomid Without Prescription. Buy Clomid Without Prescription. Buy Clomid Without Prescription. Buy Clomid Without Prescription. Buy Clomid Without Prescription. Where can i buy cheapest Clomid online. Where can i find Clomid online. Canada, mexico, india. Clomid treatment. Clomid forum.

4/7/2010

Buy Soma Without Prescription

Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 7:25 pm Print

Buy Soma Without Prescription, From 1902 until 1923 the British and Japanese were military allies, bound to support each other in the case of a war with more than a single power and a promise of neutrality otherwise. Order Soma online overnight delivery no prescription, At its signing, this was primarily seen as a way to counterbalance Russia, no prescription Soma online. Soma over the counter, Japan would eventually fight on the side of the Entente powers in World War I and engage with Germans in Shandong province, China and in its island possessions in the Pacific, Soma australia, uk, us, usa. Comprar en línea Soma, comprar Soma baratos, It did not ever play any major role in the action on the European mainland.

At least one fictional pre-war novel, Soma wiki, What is Soma, however, appears to have imagined circumstances under which Britain's Japanese ally would come to its aid in the case of a German invasion, where can i buy Soma online. The work is Robert William Cole's The Death Trap (1907) which came to my attention when brought up in Niall Ferguson's The Pity of War, Buy Soma Without Prescription. Is Soma safe, (( On page 2 of the work, it is listed among many other works of fiction imagining a German invasion of the British Isles, Soma class. Buy Soma from mexico, ))

I haven't found a copy of the original (( It doesn't seem to be in the Harvard library but I put in a request for it through inter-library loan )), but there appears to be more on and an extract from this work in Ignatius Frederick Clarke's The Great War with Germany, Soma without prescription, Soma long term, 1890-1914: Fictions and Fantasies of the War-to-Come. The brief summary of the conclusion of the novel goes as follows:

Despite the initial German successes and the enemy occupation of London, generic Soma, Where can i cheapest Soma online, there is a national uprising directed by Lord Eagleton, the Military Dictator; and then help comes with the arrival of a Japanese fleet—a comvenient [sic], Soma dose, Soma street price, fictional activation of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of 1905. Tens of thousands of Japanese troops land in Liverpool and hasten south to assist the British insurgents.., buy Soma from canada. Herbal Soma, (( Ignatius Frederick Clarke The Great War with Germany, 1890-1914: Fictions and Fantasies of the War-to-Come, Soma images, Soma treatment, p178. ))
, Soma price. Soma no rx. Soma from canadian pharmacy. Soma interactions. Buy generic Soma. Soma natural. Where can i find Soma online. Online buying Soma hcl. Canada, mexico, india. Soma from canada. Purchase Soma for sale. Ordering Soma online. Soma from mexico. Is Soma addictive. Soma brand name. Order Soma from mexican pharmacy. Buy cheap Soma no rx. Purchase Soma online no prescription. My Soma experience.

Similar posts: Erythromycin For Sale. Buy Lipitor Without Prescription. Buy Clindamycin Gel Without Prescription. Buy Aricept Without Prescription. Inderal For Sale. Antabuse maximum dosage. Hydrochlorothiazide use. Low dose Plavix. Where to buy Zithromax. Buy cheap Colchicine no rx.
Trackbacks from: Buy Soma Without Prescription. Buy Soma Without Prescription. Buy Soma Without Prescription. Buy Soma Without Prescription. Buy Soma Without Prescription. Low dose Soma. Buy Soma from canada. Soma use. Fast shipping Soma. Soma trusted pharmacy reviews.

11/23/2009

Buy Toprol XL Without Prescription

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 9:09 am Print

PMJS has published Buy Toprol XL Without Prescription, William Clarke and Wendy Cobcroft's annotated translation of Ueda Akinari's Tandai Shoshinroku, available as a free PDF and also as a book-on-demand from Lulu (and eventually Amazon). I leave the commentary on the value of scholarly networks, where can i buy cheapest Toprol XL online, Toprol XL gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, non-profit online publishing, and the finally-growing body Early Modern translations as an exercise for our readers, Toprol XL australia, uk, us, usa, Buy Toprol XL online no prescription, who don't need me to tell them what they already know. Toprol XL recreational. Toprol XL schedule. Toprol XL steet value. Toprol XL brand name. Low dose Toprol XL. Toprol XL price, coupon. Effects of Toprol XL. Toprol XL long term. Is Toprol XL addictive. Taking Toprol XL. Where can i find Toprol XL online. Discount Toprol XL. Toprol XL pictures. Toprol XL dose. Japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal. Toprol XL pics. Toprol XL canada, mexico, india. Toprol XL pharmacy. Buy cheap Toprol XL. Online buy Toprol XL without a prescription. Toprol XL online cod. Toprol XL trusted pharmacy reviews. Buy generic Toprol XL. Toprol XL used for. Buying Toprol XL online over the counter. Rx free Toprol XL. Toprol XL class. Toprol XL samples. Herbal Toprol XL. Ordering Toprol XL online. Canada, mexico, india. Purchase Toprol XL. Buy no prescription Toprol XL online. Order Toprol XL from mexican pharmacy. Buy Toprol XL from mexico. Comprar en línea Toprol XL, comprar Toprol XL baratos.

Similar posts: Buy Flagyl Without Prescription. Antabuse For Sale. Buy Imitrex Without Prescription. Avodart For Sale. Buy Soma Without Prescription. Purchase Cafergot online no prescription. After Glucophage. Purchase Nexium online no prescription. My Glucophage experience.
Trackbacks from: Buy Toprol XL Without Prescription. Buy Toprol XL Without Prescription. Buy Toprol XL Without Prescription. Buy Toprol XL Without Prescription. Buy Toprol XL Without Prescription. Online Toprol XL without a prescription. Toprol XL trusted pharmacy reviews. Online Toprol XL without a prescription. Toprol XL from canadian pharmacy. Where can i buy cheapest Amikacin online.

2/11/2009

Buy Flexeril Without Prescription

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.

Similar posts: Modalert For Sale. Buy Zithromax Without Prescription. Ventolin For Sale. Buy Human Growth Hormone Without Prescription. Pristiq For Sale. Lexapro alternatives. Diclofenac forum. Macrobid photos. Effects of Augmentin. Order Betnovate online c.o.d.
Trackbacks from: Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. Buy Flexeril Without Prescription. Fast shipping Flexeril. Buy cheap Flexeril no rx. Herbal Flexeril. Flexeril coupon. Allopurinol steet value.

2/6/2008

Buy Stromectol Without Prescription

Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 3:37 am Print

Buy Stromectol Without Prescription, If you are in New York city in the next few months, you might want to check out the spring schedule for the Donald Keene Center for Japanese culture at Columbia University.

Upcoming Events at the Donald Keene Center -- Spring 2008

1. Thursday, my Stromectol experience, Order Stromectol from mexican pharmacy, 2.7 On the Trail of the Urban Nomad in the Tokyo of the 1980s
2. Wednesday, buy Stromectol online cod, Buy generic Stromectol, 2.13 Woman on the Other Shore: An Evening with Mitsuyo Kakuta
3. Friday, buy Stromectol without prescription, Rx free Stromectol, 2.22 A Memorial for Edward Seidensticker
4. Thursday, Stromectol duration, Buying Stromectol online over the counter, 3.27 Householders: The Reizei Family in Japanese History
5. Monday, Stromectol cost, Doses Stromectol work, 4.7 Japanese Style Shifts and Social Identities: The Case of JFL Learners and their Host Families
6. Wednesday, Stromectol maximum dosage, Stromectol no prescription, 4.16 Wartime Diaries by Japanese Writers
7. Friday, Stromectol for sale, Where can i cheapest Stromectol online, 4.18 Translation Prize Ceremony
8. Thursday, Stromectol use, Purchase Stromectol for sale, 5.1 Reading and Writing Sino-Japanese

. Stromectol from canadian pharmacy. Online buying Stromectol. Buy cheap Stromectol no rx. Stromectol online cod. Canada, mexico, india. Stromectol long term. Buy cheap Stromectol. About Stromectol. Stromectol alternatives. Stromectol from mexico. Where can i buy cheapest Stromectol online. Is Stromectol addictive. Stromectol images. Stromectol australia, uk, us, usa. Get Stromectol. Stromectol for sale. Doses Stromectol work. Stromectol brand name. Stromectol without prescription. Buy no prescription Stromectol online. Buy Stromectol without prescription. Taking Stromectol. Ordering Stromectol online. Order Stromectol from United States pharmacy.

Similar posts: Amoxicillin For Sale. Celebrex For Sale. Buy Colchicine Without Prescription. Lipitor For Sale. Buy Levaquin Without Prescription. Retin-A forum. Get Tindamax. Where can i buy Topamax online. Buy Betnovate from mexico. Order Elavil online c.o.d.
Trackbacks from: Buy Stromectol Without Prescription. Buy Stromectol Without Prescription. Buy Stromectol Without Prescription. Buy Stromectol Without Prescription. Buy Stromectol Without Prescription. Buy Stromectol without a prescription. Stromectol without a prescription. Stromectol pharmacy. Stromectol class. Buy cheap Amikacin no rx.

9/17/2007

Diasporic Remnants

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 3:22 am Print
I'm always interested in interesting tales and connections regarding the Japanese diaspora. Here's a couple that I've run across: New research on Japanese settlers in Korea; Jorge Luis Borges, the great surrealist, married a Nikkei Argentinian woman late in life; Japanese post-WWII settlers in the Dominican Republic abandoned by both governments. I love being part -- a small part, but nonetheless -- of the diaspora studies movement. We're complicating the history of the world, chronicling the wonderful diversity of seemingly simple things. [continued...] I followed Konrad's note about Sayaka's new blog and the post at the top points me to this Asahi report about a new research conference about "Japantowns" in colonial Korea. The tendency of Japanese migrations to be ... lumpy? maybe there's a better word... anyway, they often involve a lot of people from the same region ending up in the same place. It happened in the Hokkaido settlement, it happened in the migration to Hawai'i, it was deliberately built into the Manchurian settlement program. Jorge Luis Borges (( I read Borges in college and found him fun, almost familiar. Most people find Borges challenging, bizarre.... but they didn't grow up reading my father's science fiction and fantasy collection )) married an Argentinian of Japanese descent [via]:
In 1970 a collection of more traditionally “Argentine” stories came out, El Informe de Brodie, “Dr. Brodie’s Report.” He developed an acquaintance with one of the students who attended his lectures, María Kodama, an Argentine with Japanese ancestry. She agreed to work as his secretary, and eventually their association blossomed into a collaborative friendship. He would later marry her during the last year of his life. ... Life still had much in store for Borges, however. In 1976, the Japanese Ministry of Education invited him to Japan, and he finally got to visit a culture that had long fascinated him. .... His travels continued, and accompanied by María Kodama he journeyed around the world and compiled a travel atlas – he provided the text, and she the pictures. The resulting work, Atlas, was published in 1984, and presented their journeys as an almost mythical voyage of discovery, a travelogue through both time and space. It was during these travels that he finally had the chance to fulfill a childhood dream – stroking the fur of a living tiger. Unfortunately, the tiger’s thoughts are unrecorded. Two years later, near the end of his long and wondrous life, he and María were married. On June 14, 1986, at the age of 86 and having never won the Nobel Prize for Literature, Jorge Luis Borges died of liver cancer in Geneva.
There's even some connections between Japan and the Carribbean (( I always pick the wrong topics to study: I could be doing my research there )) , though not much and not very happy. Thomas Snitch writes
In early 1956, ads began to appear in Japanese newspapers offering free land to any Japanese citizen who would immigrate to the Dominican Republic [DR]. As a nation, Japan was still suffering the aftermath of World War II and both housing and jobs were scarce. In Tokyo, the Government decided to lease land in the DR--the thought was that this would encourage large numbers of unemployed war veterans and underemployed farmers to leave Japan for this purported tropical Eden.

For those Japanese farmers and fisherman who decided to move, the dream of paradise quickly turned into a never-ending nightmare.

In July 1956, 28 families left Yokohama bound for the Dominican Republic. During the next 3 years, another 1700 individuals followed in their footsteps, and most ended up on small farm plots in eight colonies located very near to the DR's border with Haiti. The few fishermen who made the journey quickly discovered that there were few fish in the waters they were allowed to fish in, and many gave up. For the farmers, the problems were insurmountable.

Instead of moving to an area of verdant acreage, the Japanese were sent to a land with extremely poor soil in a region plagued with drought. Promises of schools and hospitals were not met, and the farmers had no access to transportation options so they could not take their meager crops to market. The Japanese could barely feed themselves, let alone develop a thriving farm business.

By late 1961, most of the original settlers had left the Dominican Republic for Brazil or to return to Japan. A census in 1962 showed only 276 Japanese emigrants still in the DR.

However, some of the original emigrants and their descendants stayed in the DR and eventually moved to more fertile land. They managed to gradually create a viable community as well as a thriving agricultural business; a number still live in the DR.

In 2000, some of the surviving emigrants filed a legal suit in Japan requesting compensation from the Japanese Government for sending them to a land that proved to be unsuitable for farming. After a six-year legal battle, the emigrants won their case and Prime Minister Koizumi apologized to them for their sufferings. In addition, each emigrant still living in the DR received a 2 million-yen payment, while those who returned to Japan received a lesser amount. The emigrants who decided not to become party to the suit were also compensated.

This last one is particularly striking. The conventional narrative of Japanese emigration stops after 1945, except for war brides and, much later, business emigres. There's the big wave of repatriation, which effectively ends Japan's diaspora, as an active process. Then, as Japan's economy grows, it becomes a destination rather than a source for mobile labor. But apparently, in the period before high-speed growth, there was still a little of the settler spirit -- and the bureaucratic search for ways to push problems elsewhere -- left.

8/29/2007

Buy Celexa Without Prescription

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 12:35 am Print

Buy Celexa Without Prescription, I'm not one of those Japan scholars who came to the field as a Japanophile (( nor as a Japanophobe. Where can i find Celexa online, Just curious, really, Celexa class. Celexa canada, mexico, india, )) , and my preferred literary reading tends to speculative fiction, order Celexa no prescription, Order Celexa from mexican pharmacy, humorous verse and historical adventures. I'm almost certainly the wrong person to comment on Edward Seidensticker's passing, Celexa use, Celexa from canada, but I'll do until someone better comes along.

If you've studied Japanese history, australia, uk, us, usa, Buy generic Celexa, literature, culture or society, after Celexa, Order Celexa from United States pharmacy, the odds are extremely good that you've read something translated by Seidensticker. I've assigned his works before, particularly Kawabata's Sound of the Mountain and the abridged Tale of Genji, Buy Celexa Without Prescription. I've read a lot of the other Kawabata and Tanizaki he translated, Celexa maximum dosage, Celexa treatment, and it always seemed to me that he was a sympathetic and faithful translator, but a final judgement would have to come from people who know the original works and the process of literary translation more intimately than myself, order Celexa from United States pharmacy. Cheap Celexa no rx, I have to admit that I've never read Seidensticker's memoir, so I can't tell you much more about his life, Celexa from canadian pharmacy, Where can i find Celexa online, etc. I can say, Celexa description, Where can i cheapest Celexa online, though, that his work is one of the great foundation stones of my own career, Celexa no prescription. Celexa long term, Not that I drew on his scholarship or ever met the man, but his accessible translations were fodder for hundreds of thousands of students, Celexa use, Celexa wiki, and the interest they raised sustained the growth of Japanese Studies. (( There's an interesting argument to be had, Celexa blogs, Celexa results, perhaps, over whether cultural or economic factors are more important in area studies, Celexa coupon. Order Celexa online c.o.d, I don't have a strong feeling one way or the other except to note that they promote very different kinds of scholarship and that we have usually had in Japanese studies a reasonably good balance. )), Celexa australia, uk, us, usa. Effects of Celexa. Where can i order Celexa without prescription. Buying Celexa online over the counter. Celexa steet value. Kjøpe Celexa på nett, köpa Celexa online. Celexa photos. Buy Celexa from canada. No prescription Celexa online. Buy Celexa no prescription. Celexa gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release. Celexa brand name. Buy cheap Celexa.

Similar posts: Buy Tindamax Without Prescription. Buy Celebrex Without Prescription. Buy Topamax Without Prescription. Female Pink Viagra For Sale. Quinine For Sale. Order Human Growth Hormone no prescription. Topamax price, coupon. Purchase Tramadol online. Pristiq online cod. Where can i order Stromectol without prescription.
Trackbacks from: Buy Celexa Without Prescription. Buy Celexa Without Prescription. Buy Celexa Without Prescription. Buy Celexa Without Prescription. Buy Celexa Without Prescription. Celexa mg. Celexa from canada. Celexa no rx. Buy Celexa from mexico. Tramadol without a prescription.

8/6/2007

Buy Triamterene Without Prescription

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 3:00 pm Print

Japan Focus Buy Triamterene Without Prescription, has expanded its mission one more time, this time to include new literary translations. They've published a Jay Rubin translation of an Akutagawa Ryonosuke story, purchase Triamterene online no prescription, Triamterene price, coupon, The Story of a Head That Fell Off ("Kubi ga ochita hanashi"), which they describe as an "anti-war satire" and put in the context of a large body of untranslated Akutagawa anti-war satires

"Shogun" (The General, real brand Triamterene online, Purchase Triamterene, 1924), a well-known portrait of a victorious general resembling Nogi Maresuke (1849-1912), kjøpe Triamterene på nett, köpa Triamterene online, Triamterene results, the "hero" of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05, is a bitter satire of a man responsible for the death of thousands, buy Triamterene from canada. Triamterene schedule, "The Story of a Head That Fell Off," set against the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95, no prescription Triamterene online, What is Triamterene, is an intense cry against the absurdity of war that unfortunately remains as relevant in our barbaric twenty-first century as it was in Akutagawa's day.
.., buy Triamterene without a prescription. Ordering Triamterene online, In one brief, startling piece on the political misuse of history, rx free Triamterene, Order Triamterene from United States pharmacy, "Kin-shogun" (General Kim, 1922), is Triamterene addictive, Triamterene long term, he incorporated Korean legend into a tale concerning Hideyoshi's 1598 invasion of Korea.

I admit that most of the Japanese literature I've read was translated; I only delve into untranslated literary texts very rarely, but I do try to pay attention to what's said about literature in other contexts, Buy Triamterene Without Prescription. I'm more than a little surprised that Akutagawa's anti-war stance never came to my attention before, Triamterene class, Buy generic Triamterene, but perhaps the fact that Akutagawa died in 1927 kept him from becoming a victim of the changing political situation post-1931 and therefore kept his politics a bit under the radar. Also, Triamterene maximum dosage, Buy cheap Triamterene, satire, particularly historical satire, Triamterene trusted pharmacy reviews, Triamterene treatment, can be very tricky to translate, especially for a general readership which is unfamiliar with the issues, online buy Triamterene without a prescription, Triamterene alternatives, context or style. And literary studies often specifically exclude political history, Triamterene street price, Triamterene images, focusing on aesthetic and "cultural" elements, textual things that avoid the questions of audience and less subtle intentions, Triamterene dangers. Triamterene over the counter, It's also a bit disconcerting, because Akutagawa is one of the few early 20c authors with which our students have the slightest chance of being familiar, Triamterene steet value, Where can i buy cheapest Triamterene online, through the famous movie version -- and linguistic appropriation of the title to mean a situation of varying accounts -- of "Rashomon" (and "In a Grove", which is actually the story with the varying perspectives), cheap Triamterene no rx. Buy Triamterene Without Prescription, (( Yeah, I took a look at the Wikipedia article on Akutagawa. Triamterene interactions, It focuses quite exclusively on his more literary endeavors and views, and mentions none of the stories discussed in this article, Triamterene brand name. Online buying Triamterene, )) It would be nice to have been better informed, and I wonder if my ignorance was common among my colleagues and readers, Triamterene photos, Triamterene pharmacy, or if I just missed something obvious along the way.

The story's pretty good, effects of Triamterene, Triamterene without prescription, I'd say. It does have some of that familiar Akutagawa grotesquerie, doses Triamterene work, Where can i buy Triamterene online, which allows the characters to go a bit beyond normal polite conversation.

Similar posts: Allopurinol For Sale. Stromectol For Sale. Modalert For Sale. Buy Zithromax Without Prescription. Ventolin For Sale. Slimex (Obetrim) trusted pharmacy reviews. Online buying Vibramycin hcl. Online buying Lumigan hcl. Clonidine wiki. Aricept mg.
Trackbacks from: Buy Triamterene Without Prescription. Buy Triamterene Without Prescription. Buy Triamterene Without Prescription. Buy Triamterene Without Prescription. Buy Triamterene Without Prescription. Purchase Triamterene. Buy Triamterene without a prescription. Triamterene dangers. Triamterene gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release. Triamterene photos.

6/18/2006

Laughter and Tears on the Charles

A book I've been waiting for for a long time is finally almost out [PDF]. Adam Kern, an old friend from graduate school, has been working on Edo-period humor, especially kibyoshi visual humor:
Curious, he brought some of the books to his literature professor, who offered no comment because, he said, kibyoshi were really art. So Kern brought the books to his art professor, who also offered no comment because, he said, kibyoshi were really literature.

This is one of those cases, obviously, where the old disciplinary boundaries have created gaps in our knowledge that didn't need to exist. No more. There have been books on the history of Japanese humor before, but I've never felt that they captured any of the actual fun being had by the authors of haikai, senryu, satirical enga or kyogen. It's a cliche that the best way to kill humor is to analyze it, and I don't think it's entirely true, but that's certainly been the model to date. Adam, however, is a genuinely funny, and very smart, guy and I look forward to seeing the results.

At the other end of the Charles (I say that, but of course neither MIT nor Harvard is anywhere near an "end" of the Charles, except in the solopsistic Cantabridgian sense), Prof. Peter Perdue has offered another review of the MIT Visualizing Cultures controversy. Most interesting is his differentiation between the censorial rage of "Chinese Students and Scholars Association, a student group comprised of graduate students from the People’s Republic of China," and the "Chinese alumni of MIT [CAMIT]":

If some future social scientist used this correspondence as “data” for a research project, she might conclude: “A content analysis was done of the opinions contained in the complete database of e-mail correspondence, arranging them on the following ordinal scale from 1 to 5: 1. Dower and Miyagawa were completely justified in their project; the students’ actions were ridiculous and embarrassing; 2. The Website contained some unintentionally offensive portions, indicating the need for some clarification, but it should be restored as soon as possible with warnings about the need to view its content carefully; 3. The site was unbalanced, because it leaned too much toward the Japanese perspective; it needed to include Chinese materials and be substantially revised; 4. The Website indicated such bias against the Chinese people and in favor of Japanese militarism that the Website should be suppressed, MIT should apologize, and Profs. Dower and Miyagawa should be fired; 5. Even more violent threats… “A frequency distribution of the responses would find them arrayed in a normal distribution with its median at about 3.0, with the median response from members of CAMIT lying one or more standard intervals to the left (< =2.5), and the median response from members of CSSA lying one or more standard intervals to the right (>=3.5). There is most likely a significant statistical difference between the two populations, but this subject requires further research.”

This tongue-in-cheek chi-test comes from his own correspondence after he published his first defense of Dower and Miyagawa: the CSSA, though it's been defended vigorously, if not entirely honestly, on H-Asia, was quite unrestrained in its attacks (the image of a student presenting Iris Chang's unbalanced book to War Without Mercy author John Dower to "educate him" pretty much says it all) and demands. The MIT alumni were considerably more balanced and nuanced in their approach, and made it possible to find a solution, as Perdue says, pretty much in line with position 2, though he himself is working with Miyagawa and Dower to implement some more Chinese content to supplement.

4/3/2006

The Other Apprentice

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 4:53 am Print

Lewis Libby, The Apprentice, Graywolf Press, St. Paul Minnesota, 1996.

Libby's novel has gotten more attention since his indictment, most of it bad. However, I have yet to see a review of this historical fiction by an historian or Japanese expert of any sort. Quite the contrary, one of the blurbs on the dust jacket -- ironically, the only one that addresses the historical setting -- comes from Francis "The End of History" Fukuyama. But the historical and cultural setting -- rural northern Japan, 1903 -- is integral to the story and to the writing. A novel by an American author set in Meiji Japan including entirely Japanese characters is a rare thing, and so my interest was piqued. Naturally, there's a distinction to be made: this is a work of fiction, a novel intended to excite and entertain, rather than a reference work or scholarly product. 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. [spoiler alert]

I will point out Libby's errors -- at least some of them -- but it's worth noting that a great deal of time and energy went into making this "authentic" as a representation of something Japanese. 1903 did indeed feature rising tensions between Japan and Russia, smallpox and urban unrest; there were significant continuities with pre-modern traditions and practices, particularly in rural areas. There are a myriad of details that are properly situated and used: material culture, festivals, the social hierarchies and treatment of marginal figures like entertainers. Some of it feels a bit anachronistic for 1903, but that may be more my professional tendency to see change and overlook continuities. Perhaps this level of detail is why the errors and misrepresentations stand out so clearly: there's no vagueness to cloak slips or twists.

In the case of The Apprentice, the location and time allows Libby to write a very specific kind of story in a specific sort of way. The plot is a sort of inverted "Purloined Letter" in which the eponymous protagonist stumbles across and appropriates something which seems merely valuable but turns out to be more important and more contested than he realized, and though the protagonist -- the Apprentice of the title -- is ignorant, grasping and easily fooled, he manages to do just the right thing throughout. The "snow country" setting (not Hokkaido, but deep winter somewhere in the north) -- which reminds me more of Abe Kobo's The Dunes than anything by Kawabata -- provides a field of outdoors action in which the necessities of the plot are easily served, as well as claustrophobic indoor settings. The historical moment contributes both characterizations and deeply disturbing erotic themes: the characters are distinctly and relentlessly Japanese, as are their interactions, and few sexual pathologies or myths are left unexplored.

The narrative is decidedly uneven: roughly the first third is eros and mystery; the second third is claustrophobia and romance; the last third is twist-and-turn action-adventure. The writing lurches along with the plot, but is most successful in the scene-setting sections, perhaps because they are the least bound by physical or psychological realism. Ultimately the hero prevails because a baseless suspicion turns out correct, and because of deus ex machina interventions by larger forces which are responsible for the prize which he appropriated (secretly, but everyone seems to know about it) and which evildoers will stop at nothing (including prophetic pre-planning and vision, or else incredible dumb luck) to obtain.

Perhaps it's not fair to pick on the erotic elements of the novel: sex is so hard to write about well or with any originality. But the attempt to create and exploit sexual tension is so central to the novel as to be unavoidable. The focus of most of the sexual attention in the book is Yukiko, a young entertainer/prostitute. (It's worth noting that many of the main characters are not given names through most of the book, following perhaps the Japanese tradition of vagueness in this regard, but it seems that Libby can't quite sustain it because most get named eventually.) She is -- all before the age of consent -- sexually abused, sold to a house of prostitution, "trained" in sex (including abuse by a bear), sold again to her "first night" initiator, who in turn uses her as both a sexual outlet and entertainer. That's the point at which she enters the narrative, in the company of her "master" and "the dwarf" (whose job it is to sexually menace her onstage). She then proceeds to attract the attention of the Apprentice, Setsuo, who watches her surreptitiously (but insists, with great specificity, that he's not a voyeur [9]) several times (though she may be playing the exhibitionist, as well) before they become intimate. Their intimacy becomes then leverage used against the apprentice in the dramatic adventure section, and she turns out to be (probably) a turncoat against him, but he ends the novel wandering Japan looking for her or someone who looks enough like her to reignite the embers of his love (or lust). I apologize for some of the vagueness in that last section, but Libby's novel follows the all-too-common writers-workshop style of endings heavy with implication, symbolism and suggestion rather than actual conclusion. There are times when ambiguity is a powerful tool for a writer, but this is particularly out of place in a plot-driven action story like this one.

Yukiko is the prototypical Oriental female: elite yet fallen, hypersexual and innocent, treacherous and submissive. Setsuo is a prototypical Oriental male: amoral but timid, a lustful virgin, easily dominated but cunning. I use the term "Oriental" deliberately: they are not specifically Japanese stereotypes, though they take on particular Japanese forms, and they are old tropes, however they survive to the present. That pair are surrounded by other stock figures: the tragic self-sacrificing spy, the mysterious old warrior who reveals his true colors when he comes to the aid of the hero (with convenient frequency), the abstruse government functionary, the anti-foreign rumor-monger, credulous and very raunchy common-folk, "baddies" who are overconfident, ruthlessly vicious, yet incompetent and easy to kill. There's nothing particularly Japanese about these people except their clothes and weapons.

Aside from the plot and characterization issues, there are some specific details which I think Libby got wrong. The figure of the Apprentice is the first issue: Japan doesn't have a tradition of apprenticeship in service or hospitality trades, at least not one that is separate from concepts of kinship. For Setsuo, who clearly does seem to be in training to take over the inn, or at least run it independently, to be an apprentice in the Japanese sense, he'd be the natural or adoptive heir of the innkeeper, but there's no hint of that in his interactions with his fellow workers, the female relatives of the absent innkeeper. Libby refers twice (5, 23) to "backward" hats (one "top hat" and one "European") which make no sense. He uses a sort of country shorthand (e.g. "tappers of lac" for lacquer-sap workers, [8 passim]) for the rough-country folk just often enough to be annoying but not often enough to be consistent. There is far too much gold coinage around, at a time when paper money was widely used for anything silver yen couldn't handle (I'd like to think that the scenes involving the hunter's wallet were intended as an homage to Chushingura but there's no other evidence of references to premodern literature). I've never heard of Japanese sprinkling peppers in their boots to ward off cold (31) but it apparently works. The ruminations of the village assistant headman (160-162) are typical: he correctly mentions the circular petitions of premodern protests, but asserts that collective punishment has become the norm in the modern age; he attributes a rape to "fox spirits" (which is anachronistic, at best) and the arrival of mysterious people around the village to trouble with China and Russia.

As a work of literary fiction, I'd say that this book is a barely tolerable action story but not something to read twice. Perhaps its greatest virtue is the central character's complete ignorance of the role he's playing in the larger dramas; much more realistic than adventure stories in which a hapless bystander unravels multi-layered mysteries and solves the problems of (or defeats) empires. As a work of Japanalia, I'd say that it was an excellent example of how a little learning can be a dangerous thing: having been inspired to chose this backdrop and make it as real as possible, Libby ignores logic, realism or the humanity of his characters in favor of highly artificial drama and tawdry thrills.

Next Page »

Powered by WordPress