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Soka - PrinciplesSoka Gakkai tends to be something of a sideshow for Japan specialists -- a Nichiren sect with a political wing, it's the largest single religious institution in Japan but usually gets folded in with the rest of the Buddhist traditions; the political aspects of it get subsumed by the LDP's continuing dominance -- but it has a global reputation for peace, environmental and educational projects which goes well beyond their numbers, Buy Synthroid Without Prescription. One of the papers I heard on Sunday was a discussion of the role of foreign language study in Soka Gakkai pedagogy, real brand Synthroid online. Synthroid forum, (( The paper was arguing that Soka theory leads to a more advanced and effective language teaching system, but most of it sounded an awful lot like the dialogues, buy no prescription Synthroid online, Fast shipping Synthroid, N+1 and immersion methods I encountered in the '80s. The Makiguchi stuff was fascinating, order Synthroid no prescription, Is Synthroid addictive, though. )) Soka founder Makiguchi Tsunesaburo was an adherent of John Dewey's liberal humanism and Immanuel Kant's enlightenment philosophy before he became a Nichiren Buddhist, Synthroid natural, Buy Synthroid without prescription, making it a thoroughly global new religion. Buy Synthroid Without Prescription, (( No, I'm still not sure how you combine Kant, Dewey and Nichiren in a consistent theological fashion. The tensions between nationalism and internationalism, Synthroid street price, Order Synthroid from United States pharmacy, enlightenment ecumenicism and Lotus Sutra exclusivism, just to name a few, Synthroid from canada, Comprar en línea Synthroid, comprar Synthroid baratos, seem substantial. My personal experience with SG members in Japan suggests that it propogates as a sort of Prosperity Gospel, Synthroid coupon, Synthroid no prescription, but that doesn't actually simplify anything. )) The engraving on the left reads


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Not only is foreign language required at SUA, low dose Synthroid, Synthroid interactions, but a year of study overseas in a country that speaks the language. Since the student body is just over 400 at the moment, online buying Synthroid, Buy Synthroid from canada, that's got to make the campus seem even emptier, (( There were about a hundred people at the conference, Synthroid online cod, Synthroid brand name, plus a couple of dozen people participating in other unrelated groups, and there was clearly capacity for lots more, Synthroid long term. )) but it makes sense if you're serious about training global citizens, Buy Synthroid Without Prescription. Synthroid pictures, Soka - Founders DomeThe public centerpiece of the conference is always the banquet, held in the appropriately grand Founders Hall, Synthroid no rx. Synthroid schedule, The featured speaker is almost always the AAS President, who makes the rounds of regional and specialist conferences, Synthroid photos. Robert Hefner presented some interesting material on religious growth and change in Southeast Asia, including the growth of Pentacostalism and, though he was running out of time, some about the rise of more political Islamic movements. There was a trio of cultural performances -- Chinese music, modern Indian dance, and traditional Japanese dance -- to cap off the evening. Buy Synthroid Without Prescription, We also got some nice shamisen music -- the medly which included the Star Wars theme caught some ears -- to accompany our Friday night reception out at the Lotus ponds.

Flowers of Soka - White LotusThe private centerpiece of the conference is the board meeting, which was held on Friday night this year after the reception. My board colleagues saw fit to nominate me to another two-year term as secretary, putting my neurotic streak to good use, and that was ratified the next day. ((mostly by the board, since hardly anyone else shows up to the general business meeting)) Though I'm no longer living in the ASPAC region, I do think it's one of the nicest conferences there is: diverse, lively, nice folks, nice venues. I'll keep coming: next year's meeting will be at Portland State University.

Also, it's one of the only conferences that takes place in the summer, Buy Synthroid Without Prescription. Why aren't there more. Is it protectiveness of our summertime. Is it the desire to get away mid-semester. I don't get it: I hate losing class time to travel, and the paper writing mostly gets done in the summer anyway: the conference is a perfect venue to present a draft, get feedback, then go back and revise, submit.

Anyway, I've got a few panels and papers I want to talk about, and I'll do that over the next few days. Most of the papers I want to comment on were about Japan, which is kind of unusual, actually. There were a couple of China papers, though, so check in over there sometime soon.

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The NYTimes Lede blog Buy Macrobid Without Prescription, [thanks, Mom!] linked Michael Phelps' marijuana scandal to a scandal in Japanese sumo (( yeah, MutantFrog got there first. Buy Macrobid from mexico, )) which has resulted in four retirements.

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History Carnival #38

"For both nations and inviduals have sometimes made a virtue of neglecting history; and history has taken its revenge on them." -- H. R. Trevor-Roper "The Past and the Present: History and Sociology" (1969), cited in Tosh, ed. Historians on History, p. 197.

Welcome to the September 1, 2006 edition of history carnival. I'm finally hosting a carnival with a number as high as my age! In honor of the quotes meme making the rounds, I'm going to use my personal quotation file as, um, decoration around the rich collection of material in this carnival. As usual, I'm making up categories as I go along: anyone who treats them as strict or comprehensive cataloging gets what they deserve!

The Earliest

"Chronology, so the saying goes, is the last refuge of the feeble-minded and the only resort for historians." -- Joseph J. Ellis

Geological History (and souvenirs): John McKay recounts a visit to an erratic rock and discusses the geology, the glory of seeing natural history in situ, and the tragedy of souvenir hunters.

Jared Diamond gets another look at Salamander Candy.

Jim Davila at PaleoJudaica takes us on a photographic tour of Vindolanda "an early Roman fort near Hadrian's wall which is important for its Latin epigraphic discoveries. Vindolanda is also the setting for Barabara Bell's Minimus books -- Latin primers for children."

Military Lives

"Historical awareness is a kind of resurrection." -- William Least Heat Moon

Grant Jones presents a WWII hero and Tim Abbott presents his grandfather's story as a US Navy Surgeon in the South Pacific at Walking the Berkshires

Sayaka presents a discussion of the historical documentary ari no heitai [ant soldiers], about Japanese revisionism about the war in China, particularly the post-1945 anti-Communist campaign

Only Two Rs relates a discussion between military historians about soldiers past and present.

Miland Brown explains that "Falling into Aztecs hands in war time was a not a good idea...".

Lively Discourses

"And this is a matter of which no historian can afford to be simply a dispassionate chronicler and analyst. However great his intellectual and moral detachment, in the last resort he is committed to the values, and to the society, that enables him to remain so detached. He is a member of the polis and cannot watch its destruction without himself being destroyed." -- Michael Howard The Lessons of History (1989), cited in Tosh, ed. Historians on History, p. 187.

Brett Holman sent me Dan Todman's A step too Farr? was one of many discussions [Ed. Roundup by Brett Holman] of the proposed posthumous pardon for WWI deserters.

Trillwing's excellent post about one woman in science history at The Clutter Museum included a lament for the paucity of female history bloggers. Ralph Luker responded with a remarkable collection of women history bloggers which spurred much discussion. Here goes: I'm disappointed at the paucity of Asian History Bloggers outside of Frog In A Well....

As Ralph Luker says, "Donald Rumsfeld already has nominations for the next Bad History Carnival from Derek Catsam, Kevin Drum, Hiram Hover, and John Prados." I suspect we'll miss Rumsfeld when he's gone. I'd like to find out.

Orac took some time away from his vacation to strike back at an anti-Darwinist argumentum ad nazium posted at Respectful Insolence. Sergey Romanov also got his licks in, as did a few other folks.

An Artistic Interlude

"Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way around." -- David Lodge, British Museum (1965)

Callimachus reveals his boring old postcard collection. His description, not mine; I'm the one who picked it for the carnival!

Another one I'll admit to: John McKay's brief history of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

word into art 4 at Verbal Privilege is a dramatic demonstration of the power of modern art when it uses historical material and themes (see more here). The final piece in that post is stunning; even if (especially if) you have doubts about politically engaged modern art, look at it.

Brett Holman suggests David Tiley's art, life, terror, the fascinating tale of a women whose artistic talent allowed her to survive the Holocaust and then go on to become a Disney animator, but whose art is being held [that's carefully chosen words, there] by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.

Teaching, teaching, teaching

"A bashful person cannot learn, nor can an impatient one teach." -- Hillel

Dave Fagg's iHistory Podcast Project deserves a serious look for anyone interested in new technology teaching tools.

In honor of the new semester, Alan Baumler and I discuss our history syllabi. This is an ongoing series at Frog In A Well, and we'd love to see more folks join in: there's lots of syllabi on the web, but not a lot of discussion of syllabi content and course organization. There should be more.


"I wonder why we hate the past so." -- W.D. Howells to Mark Twain
"It's so damned humiliating." -- Twain's reply

Scott McLemee suggests YouTube as an Oral History archive. Why not: some scholars already use eBay as a source of manuscripts, etc.

Martin Rundkvist raises a more troubling issue: E-mail migration and the loss of data.

Jennie W. of American Presidents Blog shares some of Lucy Hayes’ Civil War Letters and pictures.

Natalie Bennett's Diarist Lady discusses Touching the King's Evil, in great (historical!) detail.

Kevin Levin's discussion of Ken Burns in the classroom was worthwhile.

Alan Baumler shared a fascinating Han-era document we've both used in class.

Language and history

"If the evidence that existed always spoke plainly, truthfully, and clearly to us, not only would historians have no work to do, we would have no opportunity to argue with each other." -- John H. Arnold, History: A Very Short Introduction, p.13.

How should historical fiction writers deal with archaic terminology? Carla explains her common-sense approach

Amanda McCloskey presents an etymology of biliary atresia, drawing on folklore, comparative linguistics, history and medicine.

Speaking of etymologies, Callimachus does a brief examination of fascism and it's modern applications. Popular topic these days: Shertaugh guest-blogs on it at Eric Muller's place.

Violent Death

"If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past." -- Baruch Spinoza

sepoy sent along Martyrification, a brief history of a woman sniper and her memorial.

Nene Adams is doing a series of crime recapitulations, including a fascinating example of blood libel stymied by forensic pathology and a contemporary of Jack the Ripper.

David Noon presents Nat Turner's Uprising saying, "for professional and personal reasons, my blog has been reduced to a daily recounting of horrific anniversaries -- this entry, I think, is one of the better ones in the series.... It also happens to coincide with the day Bernard Lewis stupidly predicted the world would be cast into a lake of fire...." I can't improve on that.

Scholarly Life

"Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't." -- Pete Seeger

Ralph Luker shared a piece of his own research, a lovely example of how a simple footnote can be an education if you take it seriously and do it right.

Tim Burke offers a dilemma of historical writing from his own work in You Can’t Tell the Players Without a Scorecard (also here), and discusses the dynamics of the end of Apartheid. Finally, in a challenge answered by far too few (I'll get to it after this carnival is up, really!), he asks about the cleavages and battlefields of our respective subfields.

Finally, Brian Ulrich waxes nostalgic for the "cutting edge" scholars of the past

Politics, of course, means bad history

"At a certain point one ceases to defend a certain view of history; one must defend history itself." -- E. P. Thompson

Konrad Lawson examines George Will's Yasukuni essay and finds it historically lacking. I thought the concluding point comparing Yasukuni visits with the Confederate flag issue was good, though. In related news, Yasukuni's got fiscal issues and PR problems, to boot.

Another Damned Medievalist found Creationist Beowulf, apparently a common element in hard-line Christian homeschooling

Sergey Romanov takes on The Ugly Voice denial videos at Holocaust Controversies. When he's not doing that, he's going up against David Horowitz, whose web projects have featured a hard-core Holocaust denier (and don't miss the George Soros debate, either).

Speaking of the Nazis, apparently some people can't tell the difference between an opportunism and conspiracy. Happens all the time.

Thoroughly Unclassifiable

"Children who tell adults everything are trying to make them as wise as they. Just as children who ask questions already know why the sky is blue and where the lost kitten has gone. What they need is confirmation that the odd and frightening magic which has turned adults into giants has not completely addled their brains." -- Richard Bowes, "The Mask of the Rex."

Mum to Laura guestblogs at Autism Street and attacks pseudoscience by using blindness as a metaphor for autism. It's an interesting exercise in counterfactualism as satire.

Joe Kissell presents a geographic absurdity, a group of islands off of Newfoundland which are French territory. As usual, I have another ITOD post which I think is worth reading, particularly for the mystery.

Until Next Time!

"Not only are there no happy endings, there aren't even any endings." -- Neil Gaiman, American Gods (2001: 483)

In sad news for the Carnival (a minor side effect of momentous happy news in real life), Caleb McDaniel, after hosting HC #37 is going out of blogging on a high note, while he embarks on fatherhood and assistant professorhood. There'll always be space for him in the HC!

That concludes this edition. If you think you can do better, volunteer to host an upcoming edition. Or just submit blog articles to the next edition of history carnival, to be hosted at Cliopatria (Update: The High Cliopatriarch Himself, Ralph Luker, will host!), using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our index page or our very own homepage.

"History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives." -- Abba Eban

Many thanks to those who submitted their own posts, those who submitted other folks' work, and those bloggers who I've shamelessly selected on my own authority.

Technorati tags: , .


Yasukuni and Japanese Flags

Rod Wilson and I visited Yasukuni on August 15 to check out the right-wing festivities, which was a pretty...interesting...experience. It was everything you'd expect with the ridiculously nationalistic speeches all day, right-wingers wearing all manner of Japanese military uniforms, jack-booted young wannabe fascists with shaved heads, and the black noise vans everywhere. There was even a choir of elementary school children singing gunka. Rod in particular got some nice photographs because he also went in the morning when the crowds were the largest. Unfortunately we both missed the speech by Ishihara Shintaro, but we did see a speech by an old woman who kept talking about the need to remember the sacrifices of Japanese soldiers and the "onshirazu" of Japanese today. At the climax of the speech, she dramatically revealed that that she wasn't Japanese as we had thought all along but actually a native Taiwanese, and then wrapped up with an anecdote about how kind and gentlemanly the Japanese soldiers were to her as a young girl in wartime Taiwan, before concluding with a thundering declaration in English saying "Americans go home! Stay out of Japan! Not your Business!" to the roar of the enthralled crowd. Konrad would doubtlessly have enjoyed the chance to hear the speech - apparently some World War II collaborators are alive, well, and still collaborating. On a related note, Rod and I were pondering how to refer in Japanese to the flag with the radiating rays of sun used by the Japanese navy during the war. We'd heard it referred to in English variously as the "naval ensign" or the more evocative "sunburst flag", but we weren't sure about what it's called in Japanese. We both sort of half-remembered the term "Nisshouki" (日章旗), but it turns out that that is just the official name of the regular Japanese flag more commonly known as the "hinomaru" (日乃丸). Well, we did a little research and found out that the "sunburst" flag is called the "Kyojitsuki" (旭日旗) in Japanese, which makes sense. But the question still remains, what are the best terms to use to distinguish these two flags in English? The best translation for 旭日旗 would probably be "rising sun flag", but that is problematic because the regular flag is commonly called the "rising sun flag" in English publications and even on EDICT, leaving only "naval ensign" or "sunburst flag" for the Kyojitsuki. Perhaps it would be better to come up with a more accurate translation of hinomaru/nisshouki? "Sun circle flag" perhaps? "Sun disc flag"? "Sun emblem flag"?


The Lost Tribe

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 9:27 pm Print
Ralph Luker sent me a link which I'd seen before, but lost: Arimasa Kubo's "Israelites Came To Ancient Japan" pages. It's a great mix of logical and historical fallacies, mostly having to do with ignoring actual archaeological evidence of Japanese origins and traditions. Most of the rest have to do with ignoring the commonality of certain practices among world religions (as my father says, if all you have is two points, you can draw a line). There are a few which are kind of interesting, but they are usually local customs which are not "Japanese" in the sense of being common to any significant portion of the population and which are rather poorly sourced. At some point, I suppose, I ought to check out the books that he cites, to see if they have footnotes to anything remotely credible.


Oe and Millenarian Movements

Filed under: — tak @ 7:56 am Print
I have spent the last few days working on a syllabus for a course titled "Anthropology of Social Movements," and I figure I could use some help from our regular visitors of the Well. One section of the class will be devoted to a reading of Oe Kenzaburo's The Silent Cry (Mannen gannen futtoboru). This book will be read in conjunction with E.P. Thompson's essay "The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteen Century"(Past and Present 50:76-136). Here's where I need help. I am looking for one or two short pieces that might help fill out the historical background to the novel. Basically I am looking for a piece on Anpo and another on Tokugawa period peasant insurrections (ikki and uchikowashi). The pieces have to be in English, and I'd rather have them make sweeping unprovable claims about the historical significance of these events rather than have them stuffed with historical details. If there is something out there that discusses Anpo and ikki in one broad stroke, that would be most ideal. But Anglophone scholars have only begun to explore that sort of post-Anpo New Left sensibility, perhaps most famously articulated by Yoshimoto Takaaki. Or maybe works do exist, and I'm sure they do in research on literature, so it would be great if someone could refer works here. The entire course is designed as a long argument against analyses of social movements by economistic Marxism (or in the case of Japan, koza-ha Marxists) and modernization theory. The Silent Cry section will help students understand the "human consciousness" aspects of social movements and will come right after a section on millenarian movements around the world such as the cargo cults of Melanesia and the Ghost Dance movement of North America.


The Gateless Gate Online

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 1:04 am Print
Here is the gateway to The Gateless Gate. Sorry, I couldn't resist. But it's a real treasure of a document, and a very nicely done site. Granted, much of what I understand about Zen, insofar as anyone can say with any meaning that they understand Zen, comes from Ioanna Salajan and Paul Reps (There are, I assure you, worse sources....), and I'm more of a Daoist than Zen in basic attitude (I'm a Liberal Jew, which gives you this). And, oddly enough in the same H-Japan digest, my old friends at the UIowa Center for Asian and Pacific Studies have put the papers for this panel on using digitized sources in research on Asian Buddhism up for public viewing here.


Japan’s contribution to nihilistic Islamism

The AHA's flagship journal American Historical Review doesn't run Japanese articles all that often and, to be honest, interesting ones even more rarely. But the current edition's foray is quite worth reading, though I'd like to know if other people's reactions to it were as reserved as mine. The article is Japan's Global Claim to Asia and the World of Islam: Transnational Nationalism and World Power, 1900–1945 [AHA membership required] by Selçuk Esenbel, whose previous publications are mostly in the field of Tokugawa peasant studies.

She chronicles decades of intellectual, military and cultural contacts between Japanese and Islamic activists in a variety of fields, but most sharing an anti-Western (or anti-colonial or anti-imperial) modernism. Many of the Japanese names involved are familiar to scholars of Japan's early-20c right wing, but the degree to which they concieved of political Islam as an ally and bulwark against Near/Middle Eastern colonialism is quite striking. It shouldn't be, I suppose: these thinkers were so ambitious and global in their ideas that they must have had some concept of how a major world religion fit into the scheme of things, and Japan's affinity for (i.e. sense of leadership of) modernizing societies in this period was still strong.

There were two main directions to the interaction: scholarship of Islam in Japan (including a surprising number of conversions) and spreading Japanese anti-Westernism in Islamic regions. Pan-Islamism, as Esenbel describes it, isn't that different from Pan-Asianism as the Japanese preached it, and figures like Ōkawa Shūmei made the connection explicit in print and in personal contacts.

The weakness of the article comes when she tries to make a case for the importance of these theories and contacts. Aside from the interesting new depth it gives to Pan-Asianism, and filling in some of the gaps in the "they really thought they could win these wars?" lists, Esenbel tries to draw some connections to late-20c/21c political Islam, particularly violent Islamist groups. This seems like a huge stretch to me, without making much more explicit personal or intellectual connections between modernist anti-westernism and nihilistic traditionalism in Islamic radical circles. Contemporary Islamism isn't akin to Ōkawa's pan-Asianism, but something more like Kita Ikki's agrarian nationalism: positing a perfect (unattainable) protean socio/cultural/economic "moment" against which the present does not measure up and the "re"establishment of which will require revolutionary and violent action. As others have argued, Islamism isn't anti-Orientalist as much as it is Occidentalist, and I don't see that emerging clearly in this history.

Am I looking for the wrong things here? Missing something fundamental?

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