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Money hiding Swords I'm using Ivan Morris' translation of Saikaku's The Life of an Amorous Woman and other Writings this semester Buy Alesse (Ovral L) Without Prescription, (( Thanks, Alan. Get Alesse (Ovral L), )), but one thing which is bugging me right off the bat is his habit of translating money into Pounds Sterling by converting the Tokugawa money to rice and then converting the rice to yen and the Yen to Pounds at the 1963 rate, buy cheap Alesse (Ovral L) no rx. Fast shipping Alesse (Ovral L), (( Appendix II, "Money in Saikaku's Time" )) Needless to say, Alesse (Ovral L) used for, Alesse (Ovral L) forum, neither I nor my students have any intutitive sense how much £16.70 in 1963 is worth today, but that's what he says one gold Ryo is, buy Alesse (Ovral L) without a prescription. Herbal Alesse (Ovral L), According to the first historical currency calculator I could find, that's about US$335.24 now, order Alesse (Ovral L) from mexican pharmacy. Alesse (Ovral L) without a prescription, But that's assuming that the original gold-rice/rice-yen calculation is worth anything....

I'd much rather have had a discussion about relative purchasing power, but here's my best (quick) guess:

A little more digging and I found How Much Is That? which covers a good swath of modern financial history with converters that are a bit more open about their indices, Buy Alesse (Ovral L) Without Prescription. The What Were Japanese GDP, Alesse (Ovral L) interactions, Where can i buy cheapest Alesse (Ovral L) online, CPI, Wage, Alesse (Ovral L) dosage, Comprar en línea Alesse (Ovral L), comprar Alesse (Ovral L) baratos, or Population Then? page is set up to produce "Annual Observations in Table and Graphical Format for years 1879 to Present" based on your inputs. Unfortunately, where to buy Alesse (Ovral L), Alesse (Ovral L) pharmacy, the data actually only goes back to 1952, except for the CPI, buy Alesse (Ovral L) online cod. Order Alesse (Ovral L) online overnight delivery no prescription, (( I'm very surprised: population and GDP data for those years isn't exactly hard to find.... The Historical Statistics of Japan has some data going back to the late 19c and early 20c, is Alesse (Ovral L) safe. Buy Alesse (Ovral L) Without Prescription, Not the most interesting stuff, but at least some of the basics. Purchase Alesse (Ovral L) online no prescription, The Bank of Japan statistics covers some of the early 20c in detail. is a Swedish site with some interesting stuff on it, Alesse (Ovral L) dangers, Alesse (Ovral L) treatment, like the excel spreadsheet with population and GDP estimates for the whole world going back to year 1. )) Still, low dose Alesse (Ovral L), Order Alesse (Ovral L) no prescription, plugging in the 1963 Yen values Morris uses and you get (( I'm going to use an approximation for current yen values, based on CPI and Real GDP per capita, purchase Alesse (Ovral L) online. Alesse (Ovral L) coupon, Nominal GDP numbers seem very high.... ))

Gold Oban Koban-ryo Ichibu-koban

Tokugawa1963 ¥Current ¥ Current dollars (( Using the current 90/dollar ))
1 gold ryo16,35067000742
1 Ichibu-koban4,087.517000181
1 silver chogin11717.547300525
1 silver kamme272,5001,100,00012,180
1 copper kanmon4,087.517000181
1 copper monsen (( There's an error in Morris's table, I think: he indicates the yen value of the kanmon as being 100,000 times greater than the monsen instead of 1000 times, Buy Alesse (Ovral L) Without Prescription. Since, no prescription Alesse (Ovral L) online, Alesse (Ovral L) dose, according to Morris, the kanmon should be equivalent to the ichibu-koban, order Alesse (Ovral L) from United States pharmacy, Where can i find Alesse (Ovral L) online, I have to assume that the monsen needs to be scaled up. )) 4.1 17.18

This is still not terribly satisfying, Alesse (Ovral L) steet value, Alesse (Ovral L) over the counter, since it's based on continuity in rice prices -- and if I wanted to be really thorough, I'd convert the 1963 yen value back to rice, where can i order Alesse (Ovral L) without prescription, Doses Alesse (Ovral L) work, then convert rice to yen for current prices.

Then there's specie value by weight, where can i cheapest Alesse (Ovral L) online, Alesse (Ovral L) for sale, just for kicks. Using Morris' weights:

Tokugawa Coinweight in momme (( Morris pegs the momme at 58 troy grains, ordering Alesse (Ovral L) online, Buy cheap Alesse (Ovral L), or 3.758 grams )) weight in gramsCurrent market value in dollars
1 gold ryo4.818512.45
1 Ichibu-koban1.24.5128.11
1 silver chogin43161.661.72
1 silver kamme100037581435.37
1 copper kanmon1000375812.34
1 copper monsen13.7580.012345

Silver Chogin and Kotsubu
As I said before, I much prefer a discussion of relative incomes and purchasing power, effects of Alesse (Ovral L). My Alesse (Ovral L) experience, Fortunately, I just got the announcement of the new EMJ, order Alesse (Ovral L) online c.o.d, including Constantine Vaporis, Samurai and the World of Goods: the Diaries of the Toyama Family of Hachinohe. So I have some fresh scholarship I can share along with the old.

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Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 3:26 am Print

Keene Glucophage For Sale, includes several extended reminiscences of Meiji published immediately after his death. Glucophage from mexico, Unfortunately, some are included in the original French (pp, online buy Glucophage without a prescription. Glucophage photos, 707 and 709). Many thanks to Nathanael Robinson, Glucophage alternatives, Ordering Glucophage online, who generously and meticulously translated these from the 19c formal French. I've appended these to the chapter guide for future reference.

Ito Hirobumi:

Whatever might be the causes which helped Japan in its progress, purchase Glucophage online, Glucophage treatment, and whatever part we might have had in its success over the years, all that is insignificant when compared with what the country needs from his majesty, purchase Glucophage online no prescription, Buy Glucophage from mexico, the emperor. The imperial will has always been the light that guides the nation, Glucophage For Sale. Whatever could be the contributions of those, Glucophage duration, Buy Glucophage online no prescription, like myself, who are trying to help his enlightened government, get Glucophage, Buy no prescription Glucophage online, it would have been impossible to obtain such remarkable results had it not been for his great, wise and progressive support that is always behind every new reform.

Suematsu Kencho:

His Majesty provides the steadiest attention to each area of the affairs of the state, Glucophage use. No prescription Glucophage online, Every day, from the early morning till the late hours, doses Glucophage work, Glucophage pics, he works with his cabinet on public affairs. He knows what matters concern each department, buy Glucophage without a prescription, Generic Glucophage, above all that which affects the army and navy. , online Glucophage without a prescription. . Glucophage dosage, . Sometimes he astonishes [us] with his knowledge of events among his people, Glucophage cost. Glucophage class, He takes a keen interest in everything that happens in the major countries of the world, his only desire being to learn from other nations.

The comment of the French editorialist was astute:

The emperor was able, Glucophage maximum dosage, Buy Glucophage from canada, at certain times, to influence the policy of his ministers, Glucophage overnight, Buy Glucophage online cod, because his ability to act and his intelligence were not in doubt. But his main work, my Glucophage experience, Cheap Glucophage, which he achieved with remarkable wisdom, was to be the head of state, after Glucophage, Glucophage australia, uk, us, usa, the living symbol of national life and the public interest . , Glucophage For Sale. , taking Glucophage. Kjøpe Glucophage på nett, köpa Glucophage online, . The great kings are not those who, Glucophage steet value, Glucophage no rx, like Philip II, want to manage the affairs of state by themselves, Glucophage trusted pharmacy reviews, Low dose Glucophage, but those who, having placed their trust in great ministers, purchase Glucophage for sale, Fast shipping Glucophage, support them with all the prestige of the monarchy.

Reporter for The Journal (G. de Banzemont)

Mutsu-hito was not only one of the most celebrated emperors of Japan, is Glucophage addictive, but also one of the greatest monarchs of the modern world. Glucophage For Sale, One need only recall the anguish that gripped the Japanese nation at the first news of the sovereign’s illness. Over several days, the tearful crowd marched, without concern for the torrid heat, under the windows of the imperial palace. On their knees, their foreheads covered in dust, in a common voice, they pleaded with the gods. And as soon as a dull lamp, illuminating the room of the deceased, announced that the monarch passed away in agony, there came the most violent explosion of sorrow that can be imagined.

Ito's comment seems somewhat noncommittal -- "support" and "guides" aren't specific -- but emphasizes the "progressive" modernizing elements of the regime. (( Keene, in footnotes, says that the date of this statement "is not clear" but doesn't explicitly remind the reader that Ito's been dead for three years. )) Suematsu, on the other hand, who served as an ambassador and Home minister, is effusive and clear, Glucophage For Sale. The "astute" French editorialist presents what could well be a summary of Keene's own views. (( That's what "astute" means: agrees with me )) de Banzemont's narrative is echoed, but not quite confirmed, by Japanese sources Keene cites, and seems a bit excessive. (( At some point, when I have more time, I want to go back to Japanese newspapers of the time. ))


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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.

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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.
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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.

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Japanese Culture is global culture

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 2:38 am Print

A lot of elements of Japanese culture have become part of the great global mash-up, especially food culture and pop culture. But none, I think, will have the endurance of the little poem that could, the haiku.

Via Miriam Burstein, who's usually more inclined to blog in script than in verse, comes word of an Academic Haiku Contest: summarize your research in a mere seventeen syllables! Unfortunately, the contest is ending shortly, but if anyone can dash off haiku, I image that our readers can. My own contribution was bilingual:

Yamaguchi no
Hawai deimin ga
Obon kaeri

I suppose you’d like it in English? Let’s see if I can translate it and maintain the Haiku form:

Obon dances bring
Yamaguchi emigrants
back from Hawai’i

[Obon is the a Japanese festival honoring ancestors, a time when families come together. Yamaguchi prefecture was a significant source of Japanese migration to Hawai’i]
"International Labor Migrants Return to Meiji-Era Yamaguchi and Hiroshima: Economic and Social Effects," under review.

My entry may actually have come too late to count, but that doesn't mean we can't have some fun over here. Update: In comments, Jim Gibbon says that there's a few hours left, until 8pm EST (that's 3pm, HST), so let's show 'em what we've got!

Weekend Update: Voting is open through Monday. He's divided them into four categories so you can actually vote for four favorites! (OK, I've voted. Oddly, perhaps, I didn't vote for my own haiku in the Social Science division. It's the most technically correct haiku [the only one with a seasonal reference], but there was one I liked more. Go figure.)


Autobiographical Essays by Donald Keene

Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 1:43 am Print
Yomiuri newspaper published a long series of autobiographical essays by Donald Keene which I somehow missed until today. Professor Keene is one of the most important Western scholars of Japanese literature of the past century and is still very active. Appropriately enough, his most recent work, published by Columbia University Press in 2006, is entitled Frog in the Well: Portraits of Japan by Watanabe Kazan, 1793-1841 (BF). From the historian's point of view, Keene's own life and experiences are themselves of great interest. He served the US military as a Japanese translator and interpreter in World War II before resuming his academic studies after the war. Letters by Keene, Otis Cary and others published various as War Wasted Letters, Eyewitness to History, and From a Ruined Empire give us a fascinating look into the early postwar realities of Japan and East Asia. In these essays in Yomiuri Keene shares many more of his stories from his earliest childhood to his thoughts about old age. I believe the essays were serialized in Japanese in the print version of Yomiuri (「私と20世紀のクロニクル」) but I can't seem to find the full originals (Commentators in the Japanese blogosphere abound), so perhaps they are destined for publication in book form. You can find a full listing of the 49 essays in English here: Chronicles of My Life in the 20th Century Below I have excerpted a few of the passages in the articles that I read through this evening and found especially interesting... In one article we learn that he had his first encounter with Chinese characters through a fellow Chinese student at Harvard named Lee. Keene notes his fascination with the Tale of Genji, which he read in translation but notes that his friend Lee, who by now was teaching him Chinese over lunch in a Chinese restaurant near Columbia University (Despite the time leap, I can't get an image of him sitting in Ollies, the Chinese restaurant now across from the entrance of Columbia on 116th and Broadway, out of my head), was no fan of Japan:
Until this time I had thought of Japan mainly as a menacing militaristic country. I had been charmed by Hiroshige, but Japan was for me not the land of beauty but the invader of China. Lee was bitterly anti-Japanese. When we went to the New York World's Fair we visited the various foreign pavilions, but he absolutely refused to enter the Japanese pavilion. I sympathized with him and his country, but this did not prevent me from enjoying "The Tale of Genji." No, "enjoy" is not the right word; I turned to it as a refuge from all I hated in the world around me.
In another essay Keene talks about how, together with his friend Inomata, he learned of the outbreak of war:
On December 7, 1941 I went hiking with Inomata on Staten Island. When the ferry returned to the southern tip of Manhattan Island, a man was selling newspapers with the headline "Japs Attack U.S. Hawaii, Philippines bombed by Airmen." I laughed at the headline. The newspaper, the only one published on Sunday afternoon, often had sensational headlines in order to attract customers. Inomata and I separated, he for Greenwich Village, I for Brooklyn. When I got back home I discovered that the newspaper, for once, had not exaggerated. Realizing how upset Inomata would be by the news, I wanted to find and reassure him. I searched everywhere in Greenwich Village without success. He later told me that, fearing violence against Japanese, he had spent the night in an all-night cinema where he remained undetected.
In the same article Keene reports what happened to one of his professors, Tsunoda Ryusaku:
I went as usual to Tsunoda sensei's classroom, but he did not appear. He had been interned as an enemy alien. At his trial, some weeks later, he was accused of taking long walks without a dog, proof that he was a spy. The judge dismissed the case and Tsunoda sensei returned to Columbia where he spent the war teaching as usual.
He talks about his decision to join the Navy and continue his language studies under military instruction:
Not long after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor I heard a radio commentator declare that only 50 Americans knew Japanese. I wondered if, on the basis of my summer in the mountains, I was one of the 50. The commentator was misinformed. Not fifty but hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans knew Japanese and some had been educated in Japan. The best I could do, with the help of two dictionaries, was to read a simple newspaper article. I could not utter one sentence in Japanese, and did not understand Japanese when it was spoken. I was painfully aware, of course, of these limitations. That is why, when I learned of the Navy Japanese Language School, I wrote to the Navy Department asking to be admitted. A letter came from Washington soon afterwards requesting me to appear for an interview. I don't recall what I was asked during the interview, but a few weeks later I received a notice stating that I should report to the University of California for induction into the language school.
In another installment we learn about his secretive translation work on captured Japanese documents in the military and efforts to make it more entertaining:
For the first few days we were excited to think that our secret work was going to help end the war, but the documents were so unmistakeably without value that the euphoria did not last long. The documents had been picked up on Guadalcanal, an island in the South Pacific where a long battle took place between the Japanese, who had seized the island, and the Americans who eventually succeeded in taking it back. By this time the fighting on Guadalcanal had ended and the Japanese there had been killed, but we went on translating routine reports on platoons that no longer existed or on the number of sheets of paper and bottles of ink in their possession. Translating such materials was so tedious that we tried making it more interesting by rendering the Japanese documents into old-fashioned English or into the language of popular fiction. The lieutenant, who knew Japanese, sometimes read over our translations. He would then summon us and point out our errors in a rage, translating our English into Navy language.
I was particularly moved when he discusses the diaries of dead Japanese soldiers he comes across:
One day I noticed a large wooden box containing captured documents. The documents gave off a faint, unpleasant odor. I was told that the little notebooks were diaries taken from the bodies of dead Japanese soldiers or found floating in the sea. The odor came from the bloodstains. I felt squeamish about touching the little books but, carefully selecting one that seemed free of bloodstains, I began to translate it. At first I had trouble reading the handwriting, but the diaries, unlike the printed or mimeographed documents I previously had translated, were at times almost unbearably moving, recording the suffering of a soldier in his last days. ... Sometimes the last page of a Japanese soldier's diary contained a message in English, asking the American who found the diary to return it to his family after the war. I hid such diaries, though it was forbidden, intending to return the diaries to the diarist's family, but my desk was searched and the diaries were confiscated. This was a great disappointment. The first Japanese I ever really knew were the writers of the diaries, though they were all dead by the time I met them.
In addition to translating captured documents Keene also frequently interacted with and interviewed Japanese and Korean POWs. He talks about his first prisoner on Okinawa:
Soon we had our first prisoners, an Army lieutenant and a Navy ensign. The Army officer was quite cheerful, ready to exchange jokes with his captors. After the war I had a letter from him in which he styled himself "Prisoner Number One." The Navy officer, much younger, was morose. I guessed that he was ashamed to have been taken alive. He seemed reluctant to respond to simple questions, but a few days later he asked me if I would talk with him as one student to another, not as enemies. I agreed. He asked whether there was any reason why he should remain alive. This was not the first time a prisoner had asked me this question. Although I was barely twenty-three and knew little of the world apart from books, I answered the question with confidence, urging the prisoner to stay alive and work for the new Japan.
Unlike some of his fellow translators, Keene did not go straight to Japan with its surrender but served with the Marines in Qingdao, where he had a number of unpleasant experiences he talks about in an article about his time in early postwar China:
My worst experience was investigating war crimes. One day, while talking with a Korean, I happened to mention the name of a Japanese naval officer with whom I was friendly. The Korean said with an ironic smile, "Yes, he's a nice man who eats human liver and boasts of it." I asked him in astonishment what he meant, and this led to an investigation of how Chinese, accused of various crimes, had been executed. The accused, without trial, were tied to stakes and used for bayonet practice. It was hoped that this would harden young recruits. Sometimes, I was told, a Japanese soldier cut the liver from the corpses. I had not been trained in criminal investigation and the work was distasteful especially because it involved people I knew. I asked to be allowed to return to America. I was told that if I continued my work on war crimes another month I would be given a week in Peking, but I refused. I regret now I did not see Peking. It was before the brutal modernization of the city.
I haven't read through all the postwar articles, but I found both his article on his friendship with Mishima, and reflecting on aging to be interesting as well. Keene is familiar to most students of Japan here in the West, who often find that their course reading of Japanese literature in translation is by him, but he is also widely known and loved in Japan, which perhaps explains the fact that a search on the title of the series turns web pages by many Japanese who have clearly eagerly followed each installment as it emerged.


Eloquent oddities

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 4:46 am Print

There aren't a lot of good Japanese-themed quizzes out there....

You Are a Sarariiman!
Or "salaryman." Whatever. Treadmill off, treadmill on. Most of the sleep you get is on Tokyo's extensive subway system, since you are putting in 14 hour days. You're a workaholic who works hard for no overtime. And vacations? Forget about it. You spend most of your trip hunting around for gifts to bring back all of your coworkers.
What's Your Japanese Subculture?

Moving the other direction, from English to Japanese, a friend sent along this link to a collection of Jabberwocky translations. It's been a long time since I could summon the mental energy to disagree with someone about their translation of nonsense verse, but apparently there's a lot of views on the subject, all represented here. Quite a few of the translators appear to be relying on the Gardiner annotations, is all I'll say, which is ... a choice.

Though WWII remains unsettled between Japan and Russia, The Russo-Japanese War has finally ended for Japan and Montenegro.

Finally, in art news, three times. First, an interesting discussion of private art museums in Tokyo illustrates the power of individual collectors and non-canonical thinking. Second, though I can't possibly get there for the exhibit, Hiroshi Sugimoto's Art of History is a lovely online experience, though I have mixed feelings about the "elegant mash-up" postmodern elements of the art itself. Some of it (including the Hirohito image) is chilling; others (e.g. Henry's wives) are barely clever. Finally, Ansel Adams' pictures of Japanese internment camps in the US are available online, fantastic documentation, not to mention photographs.


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"?


More On Event Names

Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 6:18 am Print
Nick's posting about Japanese and English names for historical events prompted and interesting exchange in the comments. Thomas Ekholm noted that in Kenneth G. Henshalls “A history of Japan” the “Shimabara Rebellion” is referred to as the “Shimabara Massacre" Up until that point we were discussing how the names differ in English and Japanese and why such disagreements arise. In the most recent comment, Abigail Schweber reminded us about the important interpretive dimension of naming historical events that sometimes gets forgotten, especially for older events:
To address the question of what it should be called, we first need to consider what it is that makes this one so special. The number of participants? the number killed? the connection to Christianity? the gathering in and defense of the fortress (distinctly un-peasantish behaviour, that!)? Referring to it as a ‘massacre’ places the focus on the unleashing of government fury during the final few days, diminishing the acts of the peasant participants. ‘Rebellion,’ on the other hand, focusses on their defiance. ‘Protest’ would locate it within the narrative of ikki. It seems to me that any of these could be appropriate, depending on the writer/speaker’s focus.
We are much more used to thinking about these issues for more contemporary events. The most famous examples being events like the "Nanjing Massacre" vs. the "Nanjing Incident" (this goes well beyond measuring the slaughter, as one non-revisionist scholar points out, there is also the problem of it centering everything on the city proper, rather than the surrounding areas that should be included in our narration). The other big one that comes to mind is "World War II" vs. "Pacific War" vs. "Asia-Pacific War" vs. "The Fifteen Year War" vs. "The Greater East Asian War."

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