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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #257: November 20, 2006

The Journal of Japanese Studies

Journal Name: The Journal of Japanese Studies: Summer 2006, Vol. 32, No. 2


Matter Out of Place: Carnival, Containment, and Cultural Recovery in Miyazaki's Spirited Away
This essay deals with the recent animated film Spirited Away by the foremost Japanese animator, Miyazaki Hayao. It examines Spirited Away as a representation of "cultural boundedness," a reaction to globalization in which cultural products are used to reinforce notions of local culture as a form of resistance to perceived outside threats. It goes on to query the success of this attempt, arguing that Spirited Away undermines its overt agenda, ultimately expressing a culture beset by polluting and transgressing forces.

The Rhetoric of Annotation in Mori Ōgai's Historical Fiction and Shiden Biographies
In this study, I examine the crucial role of historical research in Ōgai's historical fiction and biographies in the 1910s. I focus on Ōgai's unique use of annotations and commentaries in works such as "Ōshio Heihachirō" (1914) and "Tsuge Shirōzaemon" (1915). While the annotation reveals visible traces of a new, disciplined mode of historical research introduced in the Meiji period, the flexibility of its format threatens to loosen the narrative structure. Ōgai's use of annotation paved the way for his stylistic innovation of shiden, a potent form of historical biography that combines the literary, the historical, and the personal in a single narrative.

Sexual Relations as Religious Practice in the Late Tokugawa Period: Fujidō
During the late Tokugawa period, some religious groups stressed regulation of the body as a focus for moral cultivation. This article reviews the eschatology of the Fujidō movement, whose members believed that the emergence of a harmonious, just society depended on the restoration of a proper balance between female (yin) and male (yang) forces. Harmonization was to be enacted on a cosmic level and also in human sexual relations. The Fujidō program of restoring proper relations between women and men, although unorthodox, was part of a larger trend to cultivate moral values through physical disciplines.

Japan in the Life of Early Ryukyu
The sources detailing the history of Ryukyu between 1372 and 1609 pay great attention to links with China. Ties to Japan, by contrast, have either gone unrecorded or else the documents describing them have been lost. The aim of this essay is to redress the balance by drawing on scattered Korean and Japanese records to demonstrate that Japan both exerted an important cultural and economic influence on Ryukyu and dominated the northward leg of Ryukyu's foreign trade.


Profound Forces in the Making of Modern Japan
The structure, governance, institutions, principles, and norms of the international system have decisively influenced modern Japan's international behavior and its domestic political structure. It is a common characteristic of the conservative elites to vigilantly monitor and to adapt to its workings. This strategic style is a legacy of premodern influences and the formative experience of the Meiji Restoration. Each of the major transformations of the international system since the mid-nineteenth century induced sweeping changes in Japan's foreign policy and domestic institutions. The end of the cold war system is doing likewise. Historiography should reflect this powerful influence.

Volume 32, Number 2 (Summer 2006)
©2006 Society for Japanese Studies

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