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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #237: June 5, 2006

The Journal of Japanese Studies

Journal Name: The Journal of Japanese Studies: Winter 2006, Vol. 32, No. 1


Remembering Dōgen: Eiheiji and Dōgen Hagiography
Dōgen (1200-1253) occupies a prominent place in the history of Japanese religions as the founder of the Sōtō school of Zen Buddhism. This essay examines the religious rituals and historical vicissitudes that helped elevate Dōgen to his present position of prominence. It uses the example of Dōgen to illustrate how new historical identities are constructed in response to social imperatives and institutional struggles. It argues that we cannot fully understand Japanese religions in general and Sōtō Zen in particular unless we become more sensitive to the ways that these historical, social, and institutional factors shape our received images of the past.

Manuscript, not Print:
Scribal Culture in the Edo Period

In the early seventeenth century, printing underwent a rapid transformation in Japan in the hands of commercial publishers. However, print did not spell the end of scribal traditions and manuscripts continued to be produced in quantity, in order to preserve knowledge, to circulate news or local history, and to disseminate forms of writing that could not be printed for reasons of censorship. Among these were fictional works, known as jitsuroku, which were based on political scandals and vendettas. Using Keian taiheiki as an example, this article demonstrates that such manuscripts circulated widely even among rural cultivators.

"A Great Disobedience Against the People":
Popular Press Criticism of Japan's Siberian Intervention, 1918-22

Reports and commentary by Japanese mass-circulation newspapers on the Siberian Intervention reflect deep ambivalence about the enterprise. Some criticism of government policy reflected traditional concerns; but a new strain of criticism, unique in the prewar period, claimed that Japan was out of step with the spirit of international cooperation among the leading democratic powers that emerged victorious at the end of World War I. While initially demanding a "responsible" party government to end the intervention, as the unprofitable stalemate continued, the papers came to lambaste both ineffective party cabinets and the military for ignoring public opinion.

Writing Colonial Lineage in Sakaguchi Reiko's "Tokeisō"
This essay examines Sakaguchi Reiko's novella "Tokeisō" (Passionflower, 1943) in which the generational divide between a Japanese father and his Japanese-Aborigine son reflects an ideological division between diverse colonial subjects and different forms of Japanese colonialism. I show how Sakaguchi articulates seemingly "new" colonial lineages—political and literary—through the reformulation of the popular tropes utilized in colonial discourse, including nature, culture, family, and marriage. While these "new" lineages differ from their predecessors in form, they ultimately maintain colonial union and consequently provoke questions about the possibility of articulating resistance in the colonial context.

Invisible Immigrants: Undocumented Migration and Border Controls in Early Postwar Japan
The economic "bubble" of the 1980s is widely assumed to mark the start of large-scale immigration to postwar Japan. This article questions that assumption by examining the neglected topic of immigration to Japan in the decades immediately following the Pacific War. Though the scale of immigration to Japan in these decades is difficult to assess, there is good reason to believe that tens of thousands of "illegal" migrants (so-called mikkōsha) entered Japan, mainly from Korea, between 1946 and the 1970s. The article explores the experiences of these migrants and suggests that official responses to their presence had a lasting impact on Japan’s migration and border control policies.

Volume 32, Number 1 (Winter 2006)
©2006 Society for Japanese Studies

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Posted with permission from the publisher.

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