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4/3/2011

Soma For Sale

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 12:13 am Print

Though I'm usually not shy about speaking historically when big events happen Soma For Sale, , I've been very reticent on the Tohoku disasters. Buy cheap Soma no rx, As others have pointed out, this is such a multi-faceted disaster -- Any movie pitch that included a massive earthquake, order Soma online c.o.d, Soma samples, historic tsunami, and a nuclear power plant meltdown would be rejected as implausible (except by the SyFy channel, Soma from canada, Real brand Soma online, maybe) -- that historical analogies seem to have very little utility. Still, Soma natural, Soma brand name, there's some value in having people who know what they're talking about contributing to the general discussion. (( Presumptuous, no prescription Soma online. Soma use, There's real social science to prove it. ))

There've been some of the inevitable discussions comparing these events to the 1995 Kobe/Hanshin disaster, to the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, to the 1755 Lisbon catastrophes, Soma For Sale. More obvious comparisons, Soma forum, After Soma, like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the recent flooding in Pakistan, don't seem to be coming into play, canada, mexico, india. Soma maximum dosage, Maybe because Western journalists just don't know enough about these societies to draw conclusions about them. Maybe because Japan's status as an industrialized society makes it conceptually different to them, my Soma experience. Soma blogs, The Katrina/New Orleans levee disaster would also seem like an obvious comparison that I haven't seen yet. (( There have also been comparisons to Godzilla and Akira Soma For Sale, , which is something that only an eminence like Bill Tsutsui could get away with. Don't try this at home, discount Soma. Buy Soma no prescription, )) Once the problem with the Fukushima nuclear power plants manifested, the discussion has ranged from Three Mile Island to Chernobyl to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Soma no rx. Get Soma, Since nuclear power accidents have been rare, there is a very rough continuum of events for comparison, buy cheap Soma, Soma photos, and it is still not clear at all what the situation is going to be. The combination of widespread tsunami destruction and nuclear dislocation which could be both widespread and nearly permanent, online buying Soma, Soma pics, plus the potential economic effects of long-term power problems in Tokyo and Eastern Japan, really does constitute a nearly unique moment in human history, Soma australia, uk, us, usa.

In the absence of clarity, there's been an immense stream of cultural commentary, Soma For Sale. Ordering Soma online, I really don't want to discuss the cultural commentary any more than I want to engage weak, off-the-cuff historical analogies, what is Soma. Soma used for, Most of it's been cliched discussions of Japanese stoicism and social order, stuff we wouldn't let our undergraduates get away with, Soma treatment. Soma street price, (( Discussions of Japanese religion have been even worse, if possible: Someone sent me a Martin Palmer interview with the BBC that just set my teeth on edge, Soma without a prescription. Buy Soma from canada, No, I'm not linking to this stuff, purchase Soma online. Soma For Sale, It's not hard to find, and I'm not giving search engines any bad ideas (see the previously linked article for details. Order Soma from mexican pharmacy, )) What I really want to discuss is the sources I have been engaging with, specifically people in Japan itself at the moment, generic Soma, Buy Soma online cod, people who have been reporting details, experiences, where can i find Soma online, Online Soma without a prescription, and doing some real reporting instead of fly-by filler.

Naturally, Soma pictures, Online buy Soma without a prescription, place of pride goes to the historically minded. Environmental historian Colin Tyner was in Tokyo, Soma reviews, and has been writing very personal responses to the experience trying to make sense of it. A few other academics in Japan have been providing interesting windows into their areas of expertise: Music anthropologist David Morris, for example, wrote a fantastic piece on a fundraising concert. The crew at Mutant Frog Travelogue has done some good work as well, especially in the early days on the unfolding nuclear disaster, Soma For Sale. And the bloggers at Japan Subculture Research Center have been translating and reporting some first-class material: the most recent articles by Sarah Noorbakhsh are must-reads.

I've also been enjoying the fruits of modern information technology. Live-streaming NHK and TBS were essential sources in the early days, when English-language outlets didn't have a clue what was where. I've been trying to get some of that information into the twitter-sphere, including translations of article briefs from the Asahi Shinbun feed that cover material just not available in English. Twitter's also been the source of some of the best reportage from Chie Matsumoto Soma For Sale, , some of which I've tried to translate. Japanese is a fantastic language for twitter, it turns out: very dense. It takes me 2-4 tweets to cover the material Matsumoto covers in a single 140-character posting.

I still don't have anything terribly profound to say at this point about the disasters. I do think this is going to be historically significant: not just big, but a potential turning point in some very important processes. I don't think anyone even knows how to ask the questions yet, Soma For Sale. Nuclear power discussions are going to be different now, certainly, but the basic tensions between pollution and productivity remain. The rural areas of the Tohoku coast may never recover, and if it does, it will be a different place. Fukushima is a center of food production, especially vegetables for Tokyo's consumption, and aside from the short-term disruption in supplies, there are going to be long-term issues with radiation exposure even if the Fukushima Daiichi plant problems are completely solved today: combining food safety issues, which make everyone panic, with radiation is a recipe for long-term avoidance. And the economic and social ramifications of prolonged rolling blackouts and power shortages in the Tokyo area haven't been seriously investigated yet.

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12/13/2008

Diflucan For Sale

Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 1:51 pm Print

The 20世紀メディア研究所 Diflucan For Sale, , which produces the wonderful journal Intelligence and helps manage the amazing online database index of the Prange archive of early postwar Japanese media that is an absolute must for anyone studying Japan during the occupation period, is helping organizing a conference at Waseda University in Tokyo on topics related to Sino-Japanese media issues.

The first day of the conference, get Diflucan, Buy Diflucan without prescription, December 21st, will be of interest to many historians, fast shipping Diflucan, Diflucan results, as it will focus on media in the foreign concessions (of China). Here is the schedule:

講演会 13:00~17:30司会進行:川崎賢子(文芸評論家)

歓迎の辞 佐藤正志(早稲田大学政治学研究科長・教授)

講演① 山本武利(早稲田大学教授) /日本の謀略新聞――『大陸新報』と『東亜新報』

講演② 黄 瑚(復旦大学教授) /上海「孤島」期(1937.11-1941.12)租界当局のメディア政策について

講演③ 黄 旦(復旦大学教授) /租界が中国新聞業に及ぼす影響について

特別講演 黄 昇民(中国伝媒大学広告学院長・教授) /歴史資料を用いたメディア研究の可能性について

Location: 早稲田大学早稲田キャンパス3号館二階第一会議室

Other sessions of the conference look at a number of issues related to media and sports, buy Diflucan from mexico, Buy Diflucan without a prescription, especially the Olympics. You can find the full schedule for the conference here, Diflucan online cod. Diflucan treatment. Diflucan maximum dosage. Doses Diflucan work. Diflucan from canadian pharmacy. Diflucan without prescription. Order Diflucan from mexican pharmacy. Diflucan pics. Purchase Diflucan online. Diflucan interactions. Online buy Diflucan without a prescription. Taking Diflucan. Diflucan photos. Diflucan no rx. Where can i order Diflucan without prescription. Diflucan dose. Diflucan used for. Herbal Diflucan. Diflucan pharmacy. Where can i buy cheapest Diflucan online. Cheap Diflucan. Diflucan cost. Diflucan steet value. Where to buy Diflucan. Australia, uk, us, usa. Where can i buy Diflucan online. Generic Diflucan. Diflucan for sale. Effects of Diflucan. Low dose Diflucan. No prescription Diflucan online. Comprar en línea Diflucan, comprar Diflucan baratos. Diflucan description. Buy Diflucan online cod.

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11/9/2008

Buy Armour Without Prescription

Buy Armour Without Prescription, WARNING: those of you interested in Japanese studies but not in internet technologies, new media, and the whole question of how digital learning does or doesn't effect academia should go no further. Here there be dragons, buy cheap Armour no rx. Get Armour, I had the chance to attend a very unusual conference this past week. Well, Armour dosage, Armour from canada, "attend" is perhaps not the best word. This particular conference was held in Second Life, is Armour safe, Armour blogs, an unusual and large online community--technically a virtual world--in which you manipulate an "avatar" (kind of like a personalized character) to navigate an incredibly diverse landscape of "sims" (simulations, which translate into islands), Armour brand name. People build buildings, art, natural environments, they buy and design and rent out sims, they sell virtual products and services, they collaborate or compete in games or educational endeavors, they socialize at dances and raves, and they do everything else that you can (or possibly can't) imagine, Buy Armour Without Prescription. Order Armour online c.o.d, I had never entered Second Life until the head of academic technology at my college informed me that we had some complementary tickets to a virtual conference on new media in the academy. I was skeptical about the whole Second Life thing but thought it might be interesting, Armour no prescription. Effects of Armour, The conference schedule is now available online at the website of the New Media Consortium, the host organization and owner of the sim in which the conference took place, Armour trusted pharmacy reviews. Armour description, The program now includes links to "videos" of the presentations in Second Life, which look a bit like small movies of someone playing a really boring video game, Armour use. Buy Armour Without Prescription, If you listen to the presentations, though, the presenters turn out to be real teachers and academic technologists talking about a range of new media tools, including familiar ones like blogs and Facebook but also a slew of new technologies, and how they can be applied in the classroom. Armour from mexico, I was most impressed by the ways in which the conference was interactive. It is hard to get a sense of this from the video, Armour pics, Armour without a prescription, but when your avatar was actually sitting there in the amphitheater listening to the presentations (which were made by people wearing headsets and presumably sitting at their own computers in various offices around the world), you could participate in an open, taking Armour, Armour treatment, text-only chat (some of the sessions listed on the program include chat transcripts) that ran concurrently with the presentation. I didn't have a mic and headset, about Armour, Armour no rx, like many other participants, so if I wanted to ask a question I just typed it into the chat window and someone not in the middle of presenting might answer it immediately, discount Armour, Armour dangers, or, alternatively, buy Armour no prescription, Low dose Armour, one of the presenters would eventually get around to answering it. This was a form of multitasking that I had not previously experienced but that, ordering Armour online, Japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, surprisingly, really worked, Armour used for. I'm sure those of you who play linked online video games have experienced this mixture of virtual action and global conversation, Buy Armour Without Prescription. Where can i cheapest Armour online, You're watching the screen (which frequently included multimedia presentations in the strange box above the presenters' heads), listening to the spoken presentation, online Armour without a prescription, Australia, uk, us, usa, and also participating in a text-only chat discussion all at the same time. And at certain moments it was very informative and interesting, what is Armour. Armour dosage, So, what are the applications for Japanese studies, order Armour online overnight delivery no prescription. Where can i buy Armour online, Well, first of all, my Armour experience, Buy cheap Armour, Second Life itself could in theory be a very interesting teaching tool if used judiciously. Buy Armour Without Prescription, I did a bit of searching in between sessions and discovered that there are a number of Japan-related sites that are open to visitors, most of them designed by Japanese users. "Bakumatsu Kyoto, Armour brand name, Armour dose, " for example, is an educational sim (meaning it does not allow violence or, order Armour no prescription, Armour wiki, ahem, mature content) that aims to recreate the imperial capital at the end of the Tokugawa period. It is sort of amazing to walk around the city, or fly above its buildings (did I mention avatars can fly?) and see the odd but compelling attempt to create a digital version of that historical place and moment. I also dropped in (actually I "teleported" but that's a whole different story) to the city of Edo, but when I saw people sword-fighting I thought, no, maybe not, and returned to the conference. Another day perhaps. Quite a few educational institutions have sims in Second Life, Buy Armour Without Prescription. The virtual campus of Princeton University, for example, is particularly impressive.

Other tools that I learned about for the first time through the conference included Voicethread and Cosketch, two websites that I could easily imagine using in a Japanese history class or, if I taught one, a language class. Voicethread allows you to create a slideshow into which viewers can embed written or spoken comments or add their own threads of information, allowing unusual and visually compelling forms of interactive information. Cosketch is like an online whiteboard that allows simultaneous discussion and visual collaboration which would be great for talking to someone in another country, planning an event, preparing for a conference, or learning about a set of images when people are not together in the same room. Buy Armour Without Prescription, The presentations ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous, particularly the concluding session which compared  proprietary course management software such as Blackboard to the zombies that increasingly infect popular culture such as movies and video games. The presenters actually arranged for a small army of virtual zombies to attack the conference, which was pretty silly. They argued for the effectiveness of open-content new media tools like Word Press (which powers this blog) and open syndication services as a way of creating "revolutionary" (their word, not mine) ways of learning.

I'm not sure what to make of all this, and when I returned to the classroom on Wednesday and Friday after experiencing these sessions I still had to figure out how to explain 18th-century Japanese intellectual developments, walk students through preparations for a presentation, and help my advisees to register for classes. Connecting the tools and idealistic visions of the presentations with the daily realities of the academy will take an investment of time and energy which will probably be worth it in the long run . . . But I also worry that because these technologies change so quickly these particular tools may be outdated as soon as I manage to figure out how to use them.

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12/24/2007

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Filed under: — Morgan Pitelka @ 7:44 pm Print

Buy Plavix Without Prescription, OK, fellow bloggers and Japan-watchers, I'd like to propose that we participate in the mass hysteria that is the year-end-review list. Where can i buy cheapest Plavix online, What media stories from or about Japan deserve our attention this year?Here are my top 10, organized roughly in chronological order (for lack of a more meaningful schema):

1, buy Plavix from mexico. Plavix no rx, Ando Momofuku (1910-2007, also Go Pek-hok), purchase Plavix online no prescription, Where can i order Plavix without prescription, inventor of Instant Ramen, died January 7, where to buy Plavix, Plavix street price, 2007. His origins in occupied Taiwan, online buy Plavix without a prescription, No prescription Plavix online, entrepreneurial rise in Taibei and later Osaka, and of course the growth of his business from a local salt producer to national noodle maker to international tycoon is a perfect metaphor for the history of Japan in the 20th century, Plavix price. Plavix from canadian pharmacy, 2. Matsuzaka Daisuke started training with the Boston Red Sox in February, 2007, Buy Plavix Without Prescription. His six-year, Plavix canada, mexico, india, Plavix blogs, fifty-two million dollar contract with the team that would go on to easily win the World Series (with significant participation from Matsuzaka) is a sign of the huge growth in value of top-flight Japanese players who choose to switch to U.S. baseball, online buying Plavix. Order Plavix from United States pharmacy, 3. The Institute of Cetacean Research, Plavix photos, Plavix online cod, Japan's pseudo-scientific cover program for ongoing commercial whaling, called off whaling for the 2007 season in late March because of a fire on the Nisshin Maru, effects of Plavix. Buy Plavix Without Prescription, This issue seems to never go away. Online buying Plavix hcl, 4. Matsuoka Toshikatsu, japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, Fast shipping Plavix, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in the Abe cabinet, Plavix duration, Buy Plavix online no prescription, committed suicide on May 28, 2007 amidst a financial scandal, Plavix natural. Taking Plavix, Looking back, this was perhaps a small sign of the imminent collapse of the Abe administration, Plavix dangers. Is Plavix safe, 5. On the same day, Mori Riyo was crowned Miss Universe, inspiring new scrutiny of the beauty pageant industry in Japan and a new representative abroad, Buy Plavix Without Prescription. Particularly fascinating was Mori's claim that she has "a samurai soul."

6, buy Plavix online cod. Where can i cheapest Plavix online, On July 16, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake off the coast of Niigata prompted worry about and international attention to the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant, about Plavix. Plavix for sale, The plant, which can contribute up to 6% of Japan's electrical energy, Plavix forum, Herbal Plavix, was shut down to allow safety inspections, which are ongoing, Plavix used for. Plavix treatment, 7. Buy Plavix Without Prescription, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo resigned on September 12, 2007. The son of Abe Shintaro and the youngest postwar Prime Minister, Plavix without a prescription, Low dose Plavix, Abe had come under increasing pressure from a divided Diet as well as strong criticism after poor election results, and himself seemed to suffer from worsening health, generic Plavix. Discount Plavix, His administration lasted for less than a year.

8, Plavix over the counter. Multiple members of Kigenkai, a religious cult, were arrested for murder after the beating death of a female member in September. Kigenkai, which was founded in 1970 and claims to be a traditional Shinto organization, produces Kigensui, a purified water that the sect claims can cure illness and disease, Buy Plavix Without Prescription.

9. English conversation school Nova filed for bankruptcy on October 26, letting go of more than 4,000 teachers and leaving hundreds of thousands of paid students without lessons. Some commentators cited Nova's huge spending on marketing and advertising as the root cause; others pointed to the government's cuts to vocational education funding in 2003.

10. As of November 20, all foreigners entering or living in Japan were required to undergo fingerprinting. This will, logically, prevent terrorism.

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1/4/2007

AHA Blogging Day One: Between Naps

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 11:20 pm Print
They call it a "red eye flight" for a reason. I really hope that none of the panelists at "Unstable Bodies, Unsettled Movements: Sport, Performance and Nation in Japan" took my nodding off personally: I really did want to hear what they had to say. (If anyone went to the Historians in Public roundtable and wants to share, I'd be grateful, by the way: that was my second choice.)

Aside from hearing the panelists, I got to meet not one, but two of my fellow Frog-bloggers: Dennis Frost, who was on the panel, and Michael Wert, who was in the audience with me. Tomorrow I get to hang out with Cliopatriots (being emeritoid, myself) and find out who won the Clios for last year! I love it.

The panel really was interesting, more so than I -- who can be a bit skeptical of cultural studies type topics -- was expecting. Our own Dr. Frost (congratulations!) talked about the remarkably career and tragic death of Kinue Hitomi, and how public discourse around her career and death both highlighted "woman problem" anxieties and also gave a huge boost to sports medicine, and to the medicalization of women's issues. The incompetence and perfidy of her Mainichi Shinbun boss and supposed sports doctor Kinoshita deserves special mention: it takes a huge dose of chutzpah to claim on the one hand that there was no medical connection between Kinue's competitions, her gender, and her death, and on the other that what's needed for women athletes is more sports medicine (in spite of the fact that having a doctor along didn't help her one bit).

Following the theme of self-contradicting dicta, Rebecca Nickerson talked about women's physical education scholar and advocate Fujimura Toyo, who apparently blamed the poor health and posture of her contemporaries (she was active in the Taisho era, mostly) on bunmei (civilization) and incompetent physical education programs. She was particularly down on tight-obi'd kimono -- which she considered an aspect of a distinctively Japanese modernity, along with physical education and compulsory classroom attendance -- arguing that the Genroku-style loose obi and a healthy rural lifestyle -- Ainu were considered very healthy, apparently -- were the key to proper posture and health. Looser, western style clothes and moderate western style calisthenics were her keys to a uniquely Japanese healthy women's lifestyle..... I was struck by the parallels to the agrarian nationalists of the same time period, who create a sort of fantastical idyllic, authentic and pre-modern past, then invoke the instruments of modernity and Westernization to try to force society back into that shape.

Paul Droubie's talk on the scientification of athletic training in the run up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics raised all kinds of great issues. That the program was partially successful (16 golds, but blanks in track and swimming) raised hackles, mostly by those who were in favor of better and more "scientific" methods. He argued that application of those technical methods of improvement to normal people would be sharply resisted, but athletes, in their capacity as national representatives, do not entirely own their bodies and as such were "fair game."

Finally, Valerie Barske presented a great wealth of material on the use and abuse of Ryukyuan dance to construct Okinawan identity, from the Edo period up to the "Wakanatsu Kokutai" event celebrating the reversion of Okinawa (half of it, anyway) to Japanese control in 1973. The most surprising section, to me, was the way in which the US admnistration in Okinawa used (and dramatically altered) Ryukyuan dances to bolster Ryukyuan identity, presumably to reduce the sense of connection to Japan and create a stronger case for continued stewardship. The Okinawans then turned that around in 1973 to use their traditional and modernized dances to present themselves as politically unified and equal to the rest of Japan, while culturally and ethnically distinct.

At least, I'm pretty sure that's what they were talking about! Any errors I'll chalk up to jet-lag, and my co-bloggers can correct me (and fill me in on the post-paper discussion, which I missed entirely) at their leisure. I rounded out the day with Fish and Chips (They were fantastic, but I better get some BBQ soon!), and now it's time to rest up for tomorrow's adventures.

4/30/2006

China-Japan Historical Struggle Reaches MIT

History, despite its wrenching pain, Cannot be unlived, and if faced With courage, need not be lived again. -- Maya Angelou, Inaugural Poem
I had planned to blog on a John Dower web project cited by Alan Baumler, because it's a fantastic collection of historical images, nicely curated. Now, if you follow the the link, you get redirected to an MIT Press Office Statement that explains that the exhibit is offline while Dower and Miyagawa negotiate with members of the MIT Chinese student community who objected to an image of a Chinese being beheaded, a classic piece of Japanese propaganda, one that sets the tone for the next half century. The problem, according to the articles I've seen (thanks to both Manan Ahmed and Ralph Luker) was a lack of "accessible historical context" clearly warning viewers of the violent and racist content of the imagery. Perhaps they need something like my syllabus boilerplate:

Advisory History is about real people, diverse cultures, interesting theories, strongly held belief systems, complex situations, conflicts and often-dramatic actions. In certain contexts, this information may be disturbing. Such is the nature of historical study.

I don't see it myself: unless you happen to read Meiji Japanese and stumble across the image by accident, and are inclined to think that we need more, not less, beheadings in the world, isn't it pretty obvious that this is old, bad, material? (the woodblock prints should be a giveaway, if nothing else) If you know anything about the history, it's pretty obvious that it's racist, that it leads to great tragedy, and that it's important visual evidence. If it wasn't obvious beforehand, then reading the attached commentary would make it pretty clear: my recollection (Alan can throw in his two cents here) is that the accompanying text was pretty clear on all these issues (Update: Alan confirms my recollection, and adds some useful thoughts, including a look at Chinese language discussions. This raises concerns for me. Part of the value of creating an on-line exhibit is to allow the images to be used by students and teachers and researchers as evidence in their own researches. Insisting on immediate warnings and commentary (and how, technically, they're going to make those inseparable from the image, I'm not sure, but I am nervous) will make it harder to use the material, pedagogically. There are those who argue that nothing offensive to anyone should be published anywhere without caveats and controls; I'm not one of those. There are those who argue that "it's only speech" excuses everything, and that we cannot have a truly free society without license to express everything, everywhere, anytime; I'm not one of those, either. There are some who say that the classroom is no place for controversy; I reject that. There are some who say that the classroom belongs to the teacher, without exception; I reject that, as well. I do think that teachers ought to be given a great deal of leeway with regard to how they present and handle sensitive topics, particularly those with track records of balanced and sophisticated scholarship, public writing and teaching, and that attacks (and it's very clear from the MIT President's statement that there have been some very vigorous attacks) without context and from outside the student and scholarly community which has some understanding of the issues and people, are injurious to academic freedom and accomplishment. Even scholars are sometimes prone to put blame before understanding, but that doesn't mean that we should privilege this. On the other hand, I have the greatest respect for John Dower as a scholar, teacher and individual: if he agrees that these images need more context, I will respect that. I think it's very important for scholars of Japanese history to be clear about the impact that Japan had on its neighbors and the world in its modern imperialist phase; I don't understand attacking a scholar who is addressing precisely these issues with evidence, publications, teaching, etc. Update: Alan Baumler found a cached version of the text, which is exceptional, and a Letter from Prof. Peter Perdue, also at MIT, defending Dower and the project. Vigorously, to say the least.

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.

3/8/2006

Symposium Commemorating the Completion of the Occupation Period Magazine Article Database

Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 11:40 am Print
The Prange Archive online magazine article database for the occupation period was an absolutely essential tool for me in my most recent research project. If you are in Tokyo in April, you might want to attend some of these great looking talks, which includes a speech discussing the database by the project's founder, 山本武利, and one panel with 鶴見俊輔 as commentator: ■占領期雑誌記事情報データベース完成記念 講演会・シンポジウム■     ——占領期の雑誌メディアをひらく—— 主催:20世紀メディア研究所/早稲田大学現代政治経済研究所 日時:2006年4月9日(日曜日)午前10時〜午後5時40分 場所:早稲田大学国際会議場 参加費:無料       司会:土屋礼子(大阪市立大学教授) ・午前10時〜午前12時 研究報告  原田健一(東洋大学講師)綴方と映画——山本嘉次郎の試み  三澤真美恵(日本大学文理学部教員)台湾総督府の映画統制:1942−1945年 ・午後1時00分〜午後1時20分  講演:山本武利(早稲田大学政治経済学術院教授)占領期雑誌記事情報データベースの性格 ・午後1時30分〜午後2時50分  記念講演:鶴見俊輔       若き哲学者の占領期雑誌ジャーナリズム活動 ・午後3時〜午後5時30分  シンポジウム:占領期雑誌の諸相    司会:谷川建司(早稲田大学政治学研究科助教授)  基調報告  川崎賢子(文芸評論家、早稲田大学講師):    占領期雑誌に読む「大衆」概念の変容と文芸ジャンルの再編  コメンテーター 鶴見俊輔  パネラー   十重田裕一(早稲田大学文学学術院教授):川端康成作品への検閲   梅森直之(早稲田大学政治経済学術院教授):右翼雑誌のGHQへの抵抗活動   加藤敬子(関西学院大学講師):婦人雑誌における生活情報   吉田則昭(立教大学社会学部・創価大学文学部講師):     占領期雑誌にみるソビエト文化の受容について ・午後5時30分〜40分   閉会にあたって:福島鋳郎(日本出版学会員)戦後雑誌蒐集の動機と当時の出版事情 *午前中の研究報告は、20世紀メディア研究所の4月の月例研究会を兼ねます。 *詳細は、20世紀メディア研究所ホームページhttp://www8.ocn.ne.jp/~m20th/をご覧ください。 *会場の定員は96名ですので、当日は、早めにお出かけください。参加予約の受け付けはいたしません。

3/2/2006

The Case of Taiwa Shinron

Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 7:00 am Print
In addition to preparing for my oral exams, the most significant project I have been working on recently involves research on the early US occupation period in Japan and especially the postwar fate of Japan's pan-Asianism. The sources I have looked at so far are almost exclusively early occupation period magazines and journals, all of which were under censorship by SCAP authorities. Despite the obstacles that a system of censorship poses for a research project like this, I found what I believe to be some interesting discoveries. 1) Wartime language, symbols, and stock phrases almost completely disappear in the early postwar publications of Japan, including those calling for political, economic, and spiritual union with Asia. 2) A significant number of intellectuals who supported Japanese imperialism and pushed for pan-Asian unity during the war, both from the "left" and the "right" join together with many old-fashioned "liberal" internationalists whose voices largely drop out during wartime to support a brief but significant movement supporting world federalism. In other words, a broader transnational idealism persists into the early postwar period and is at its strongest up until the outbreak of the Korean war. The second of these two is where I think I have something important and original to say and I will try to make time to post more about my research in this area here at some future point. The first of these, however, you might call my, "Duh!" thesis. It seems fairly obvious that in the aftermath of war, with the wartime regime fallen into almost universal disrepute, with US propaganda and occupation censorship in full swing, and with the left at its most powerful in decades, wartime language and symbols are not going to be in vogue. By making use of the wonderful Prange collection of occupation period magazines, complete with US censorship documents and the actual censors comments and markings on the original submissions, I can confirm that whether due to self-censorship or some other reason - there are few articles which even try to submit something using any of the familiar wartime expressions. However, there is at least one very interesting exception to this that I came across which, after much feedback, I have decided to drop completely from my writing on this topic. This is the case of an obscure Ibaraki prefecture publication that goes by the name of Taiwa Shinron (大和新論)and it is interesting to me because, while it is quite representative of the kind of early postwar global-oriented "transnational idealism" I have found to be so strong at the time, it continued to use the now discredited idiom of Japan's wartime empire. In May, 1946 the inaugural issue of Taiwa Shinron (New Thesis of the Great Peace) announced the goals of its new publication with an article entitled “Abandon War in Order to Establish World Peace.” It had been less than a year since Japan had surrendered to Allied forces. The General Assembly of the new United Nations had met for the first time just a few months earlier on January 10, and a draft of Japan’s new constitution, eventually promulgated in November, had been unveiled to the public only two months earlier on March 6. Before celebrating Japan’s abandonment of war in the draft constitution, proclaiming early support for the United Nations, and discussing the need to establish a new, “moral order based on coexistence and co-prosperity [共存共栄]” the magazine’s editor, Matsunobu Kitarō (松延其太郎) explains the title of the magazine:
Today [is] the second creation of Japan. We must become 8,000,000 gods and bring to realization the ideal of an exalted and beautiful state. And moreover, this must not stop at just the reconstruction of Japan. The nations of all the world, in other words, the entire world must unite in the supreme aim of our notion that is [read as] TAIWA [世界の各国家が即ち全世界が国家最高の目的に帰一する其最高目的とは即ち大和の大道に帰一することである].1
This passage failed to pass the inspection of the SCAP occupation authority’s Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD). The examiner’s notes gives us an explanation:
Ex’s Notes – Above objectionable propaganda. External meaning of world peace ok, but TAIWA has a double meaning – “Great Peace”, and when read Yamato, “Japan”. Particularly since the magazine is called TAIWA SHINRON and its nature is reactionary, the clever use of this as propaganda deserves attention. (Quotation DISAPPROVED – propaganda)2
The compound being using to describe a great peace, taiwa [大和] is most commonly read as yamato, referring to Japan. Indeed, with the exception of one name of a town in central Miyagi prefecture, there are no entries in any major Japanese dictionary that lists taiwa as the pronunciation of this compound on its own.3 And yet, beginning with the second issue and in every issue thereafter, any ambiguity surrounding the pronunciation of the two characters was removed by adding the Romanization of the publication’s title on the cover next to its Japanese equivalent: “Taiwa—Shinron.” Since the explanation quoted above was banned by the censors, however, the first issue is left without any explanation of the “reactionary” magazine’s interesting title, and its readers had to guess for themselves what the title is all about as they go on to read the next article which argued that women’s involvement in politics is crucial for the country’s reconstruction.4 Over two hundred articles from the magazine, covering the years 1946-1949 can be found, along with censorship documents, in the Gorden W. Prange collection, and their contents range from praise for land reform and democratization to local news from Ishioka and articles on developments in agriculture. In addition to adding a Romanization of the title, the second issue of the publication makes one more major adjustment by changing its motto, printed next to the header of each issue, from “Our principle is to support Great Peace for eternity” (吾が主張は萬世の大和なり) to “Harmony is a most precious thing” (和を以て貴しとなす), thus removing the only other major reference to taiwa besides the publication’s name. Somewhat ironically, however, the new motto invokes an even more powerful link to Japan’s past. The phrase is taken from the opening line of Prince Shōtoku’s famous Seventeen-Article Constitution from the early 7th century, the third article of which begins with, “When you receive the imperial commands, fail not scrupulously to obey them.”5 Wartime booklets issued by the Ministry of Education go into great detail on how exactly this harmony, or wa, is to be achieved, for example, through a “self-negating devotion” to one’s superiors.6 The censors failed to notice this reference or, for some reason, did not find it as problematic as the “clever” use of taiwa in the opening issue. Nor did censors find objectionable the name of a similarly entitled magazine Daiwa, which uses the same two characters. The only way this second more moderate magazine dedicated to politics, economics, and literature resembles Taiwa Shinron is when it justifies its choice of title to show its high regard for “peace, that is, great peace [大和].”7 This is in stark contrast to the handling of a third publication of genuinely nationalist credentials, Yamato Damashii [大和魂], a small Hokkaido literary magazine filled with poems dedicated to the Japanese emperor. The magazine’s few issues are heavily censored and suspected by some examiners of being in league with other nationalist organizations and publications.8 Censorship examiners continued to censor Taiwa Shinron in later issues however, despite increasing evidence that it had anything but “reactionary” content. The magazine uses the vocabulary and symbols of wartime Japan not only to advocate world peace, but to buttress a strong editorial policy supporting world federalism. In a September 1948 article on “The Establishment of a World Government” we find the following passage, again by Matsunobu:
There is no goal more important than to build a peaceful world without war and human conflict, that is, the world must become as one family [世界一家]. It is exactly this philosophy of the world as one family that emperor Jinmu was proclaiming when, on ascending the throne, he issued an imperial rescript which put all of mankind together, united the world as one family [天下一家], and made a roof [宇] to cover the eight corners of the world [八紘].9
Only after pre-publication censorship ended in the summer of 1948 and a more focused post-publication censorship took over could an author be confident that a passage like this would make its way to the Ibaraki reader.10 The passage almost exactly reproduces the slogan of “the eight corners of the world under one roof” [hakkō ichiu 八紘一宇] found in plans for establishing the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere and appearing frequently in wartime publications.11 Just as Nishida Kitarō [西田幾多郎] (1870-1945) tried to rehabilitate the term hakkō ichiu in his weak critique of the Japanese military’s “ethnocentric egoism,” and use it to support a conception of global unity based on independent ethnic nations, here the term is invoked to support global unity and the eradication of war without any reference to preserving nations or ethnic identities at all.12 The same kind of language could not have been used at all a few years earlier, and the CCD was sensitive to anything which even resembled wartime ideology. The censors, for example, took issue with a few poetic lines in the opening issue of Taiwa Shinron written by a far better known author, the aging parliamentarian Ozaki Yukio, entitled “The Whole World as One Family”:
[In t]his land of the Gods where now[,] because of the avarice of some, the people are starving and freezing and homeless. The name nation sounds dignified and austere, but it has become a world smaller than a clan [藩]. Because clans were abolished and provinces established, our Land of Yamato became great. If there are no clans, nor any nations, then the whole world would become as one house (family) and the people shall be prosperous. This land of the Gods where world justice [天地正大] is the aspiration, has surrendered to those republics.13
Along with the translation of most of the poem, the examiner’s notes say, “Not the famous ‘Hakko Ichiu’ phrase, but a modern version of it. Not very good…(Poems DISAPPROVED – propaganda)”14 From this brief look at a small regional publication from Ibaraki prefecture and a few of the Allied censorship documents attached to it in the Prange archives one can make a number of observations. I'll only make two here. First, one finds in this curious little journal a strong internationalist tone. However, word “internationalist” is a somewhat problematic, since this is not the classic internationalism of Nitobe Inazo [新渡戸稲造] (1862-1933) and others who believed that “internationalism was based on the nation-state, and loyalty to the international community was compatible with loyalty to one’s nation.”15 Instead, there are a number of articles throughout the issues of this magazine committed to the complete dissolution of, or transcendence of the national community to form a political unit, if not an entire moral order, on the global level. In the early aftermath of the war, those who supported more radical proposals for global union, ones which were often critical of the United Nations, often supported various conceptions of world federation, world governments, or world constitutions (such as the "Chiago Draft"). Ozaki Yukio, whose poem was quoted above, became one of the most enthusiastic spokesmen for the World Federation movement in postwar Japan, right up until his death. Like so many writings one can find in the early occupation period, Taiwa Shinron is filled with optimism for a new age of democracy, peace, and reform. However, it also embraces a transnational, or supra-national vision which we might believe to have been thoroughly discredited along with the wartime ideology proclaiming a pan-Asianist co-prosperity sphere under the tutelage of a benevolent Japanese empire. Secondly, we see that the use of symbols and language to express such idealistic visions for the future are put under unique constraints in an occupied Japan where an elaborate Allied bureaucracy is dedicated to censoring any publications that are deemed too reactionary or radical in political leanings, or which critique any of the Allied nations. Ozaki Yukio, for example, would have plenty of opportunities to support world federalism and peace among peoples in other publications, but only by using language found appropriate to the occupation authorities. His poem found here in Taiwa Shinron, mixing the story of the unification of the “land of the Gods” with dreams of world unity were censored as being too close to the wartime “propaganda” of hakkō ichiu, and contributed to the magazine's label as "reactionary," a label which could lead to far closer scrutiny of the publication by SCAP censors. My reading in dozens of other contemporary magazines reveals that Taiwa Shinron, though only a regional and obscure publication, is highly representative in terms of its content and goals. While far from the center, it shows the same interesting shift from support for Asian unity to global unity that I can show for major intellectuals supporting Japan's wartime pan-Asianism. However, it is a rare exception in terms of its language, and at the hands of occupation censors it would share the fate of those rare but more genuinely "reactionary" nationalist publications which, instead of praising peace and reform, tried to continue publishing articles and literature dedicated to emperor and empire. 1. Matsunobu Kitarō “Sensō wo suteyo, sekai heiwa kakuritsu no tame ni” Taiwa Shinron 1 (5/15/1946):1 [ZZ10 T60]. Because I am here discussing the interpretation of the CCD authorities, this passage is not my own translation but that of CCD with minor corrections for grammatical mistakes. All articles cited below that are found in the Gorden W. Prange collection are indicated by location numbers. They are all from the archive’s Magazine Collection and can be located with the magazine classification number (ZZ10) and the code number for the magazine itself (T60). General information about the collection can be found at the collection’s homepage http://www.lib.umd.edu/prange/index.jsp and a free article index database is available for search to registered members at the “Senryōki zasshi kiji jōhō dêtabêsu” located at http://www.prangedb.jp/. 2. Censorship Documents attached to Taiwa Shinron 1 (5/15/1946) [ZZ10 T60] 3. “daiwa” on the other hand is frequently found in names (such as the Daiwa bank). 4. ibid., “Nihon sai shuppatsu no jōken: fujin san seiken no igi jūdai nari” Although, I use the word “magazine” the format of the publication changes shape and form between issues, at times resembling a newspaper, a short pamphlet, or a magazine. 5. Ian Reader, Esben Andreasen & Finn Stefánsson Japanese Religions Past & Present (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1993), 167. 6. Fujiko Isono “Post-surrender democratization of Japan – was it a revolution?” in Ian Neary War, Revolution & Japan(London: Routledge, 1995), 109. 7. “Sōkan no ji” Daiwa 1.1 (2/28/1947): 2 [ZW01 D66] Emphasis in original. The pronunciation of the title is confirmed in the Romanization of the title on the magazine’s back cover. 8. See censorship documents attached to Daiwakon [ZZ10 D67]. Note how the title is Romanized in SCAP records, in later issues, an examiner writes the more likely reading “Yamato Damashii” over the original Romanization and it is referred to by this name intermittently. Examiners are confused by the origins of the magazine and one examiner (labeled as B. Inomata) suspects the whole magazine, submitted in handwritten manuscript, is published “by some senior middle school boys secretly gathered together.” See censorship documents attached to the June, 1947 issue. 9. Matsunobu Kitarō “Sekai seifu no juritsu: heiwa he no doryoku dai undō” Taiwa Shinron 29 (9/25/1948):1 [ZZ10 T60] 10. For a concise description of the CCD and the CIE (Civil Information and Education) sections and their activities during the occupation see Taketoshi Yamamoto (who manages the Prange collection’s online index) article Taketoshi Yamamoto “Senryōki no media tōsei to sengo nihon” Kan 22 (Summer 2005), 250-262. Actually, the process of moving from pre- to post-publication censorship had already started much earlier for some publications. For a more detailed analysis and chronology of this shift, including tables showing the gradual decline in military staff at the CCD, see Taketoshi Yamamoto Senryōki media bunseki (Tokyo: Hōsei daigaku shuppan kyoku, 1996), 299-303. 11. William Theodore De Bary Sources of Japanese Tradition (New York, Columbia University Press, 1964 [1958]), 294-5. The phrase is also translated as “universal brotherhood” see W. G. Beasley Japanese Imperialism 1894-1945 (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1987), 244. 12. Michiko Yusa “Nishida and Totalitarianism” in Rude Awakenings: Zen, the Kyoto School & the Question of Nationalism. ed. James W. Heisig (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1995), 127. 13. Translation is again taken, with very minor modifications, from the Censorship documents attached to Taiwa Shinron 1 (5/15/1946) [ZZ10 T60]. I would not have chosen, for example, to use the word "clan" for han. Original poems on page 3 of the issue. I have not been able to determine when Ozaki’s poems were originally written or where it was initially published. The content suggests that it was written after Japan’s defeat. The obscure nature of Taiwa Shinron makes it unlikely that the poems were written for that publication. 14. ibid. 15. Tomoko Akami Internationalizing the Pacific: The United States, Japan, and the Institute of Pacific Relations (London: Routledge, 2001), 146.

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