Events category: Book launch

4 December 2014

Japanese Tree Burial: Ecology, Kinship and the Culture of Death

Tree burial (樹木葬, jumokusou), a new form of disposing the remains of the dead in Japan, was initiated in 1999 by a Zen Buddhist temple in the northeast region of Tohoku. Unlike conventional cemeteries filled with ancestral gravestones, its graveyards are vast woodlands where newly planted trees and small wooden tablets inscribed with the names of the deceased mark the burial sites. Although varying in style and scale, over fifty cemeteries are now popularizing tree burial as an alternative mode of dealing with death in Japan.

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11 November 2014

Yukio Mishima

Yukio Mishima was the most internationally acclaimed Japanese author of the twentieth century: prodigiously talented, dazzlingly prolific and a prime candidate for the Nobel Prize. Yet in 1970 Mishima shocked the world with a bizarre attempt at a coup d’état, which ended in his suicide by ritual disembowelment. In his radically new analysis of an extraordinary life, Damian Flanagan moves away from the stereotypical depiction of Mishima as a right-wing nationalist and aesthete and presents him as a man utterly obsessed with time – time-keeping devices and symbols – arguing that this compulsion was at the heart of the author’s literature and life.

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16 October 2014

Across the Three Pagodas Pass- The Story of the Thai-Burma Railway

“Across the Three Pagodas Pass” is a translation of the only known detailed account of the building of the notorious 262-mile long Thai-Burma Railway by one of the Japanese professional engineers who was involved in its construction. The author, Yoshihiko Futamatsu, provides an invaluable new source of historical and technical reference that complements the existing large body of literature in English on this subject.

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8 October 2014

Japan’s Modern History, 1857-1937

Professor Junji Banno is a prolific and widely read writer on the political history of modern Japan, whose many insights into its kaleidoscopic politics from the middle of the nineteenth century until the late 1930s have re-written various aspects of Japanese political history. This translation of his latest work by Professor Arthur Stockwin treats eighty crucial years of history with a combination of synoptic overview and fascinating detail.

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24 June 2014

Governing Insecurity in Japan: The Domestic Discourse and Policy Response

Since the end of the Cold War, Japan’s security environment has changed significantly. While, on the global level, the United States is still Japan’s most important security partner, the nature of the partnership has changed as a result of shifting demands from the United States, new international challenges such as the North Korean nuclear programme and the rapid rise of China. At the same time, Japan has been confronted with new, ‘non-traditional’ security threats such as international terrorism, the spread of infectious diseases, and global environmental problems.

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13 May 2014

Zen-Life: Ikkyū and Beyond

This book examines the Japanese culture of the Muromachi epoch (14-16 centuries) with Ikkyū Sōjun (1394-1481), a celebrated monk and poet, as its focal point. Ikkyū’s contribution to the culture of his time was all-embracing and unique. He can be called the embodiment of his era, given that all the features typical for the Japanese culture of the High Middle Ages were concentrated in his personality. The book also discusses in great detail Ikkyū’s religious and ethical principles, as well as his attitude towards sex, and shows that his rebellious and iconoclastic ways were deeply embedded in the tradition.

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8 April 2014

The art lover’s guide to Japanese museums

We were delighted to host the London launch of the Japan Society’s latest publication, “The art lover’s guide to Japanese museums” by Sophie Richard. Japan is a ‘museum kingdom,’ operating some 5600 museums nationwide – a figure that eclipses the 1800 or so accredited museums in the UK. The museums of Japan feature rich collections and excellent exhibitions in world-class galleries. The art lover’s guide to Japanese Museums acts as a personal guide, introducing readers to some of the most distinctive and inspiring art museums in the country.

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17 January 2014

Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival

David Pilling, Asia Correspondent at the Financial Times, talked about his newly released book Bending Adversity, a portrait of contemporary Japan. Despite years of stagnation, Japan remains one of the world’s largest economies and a country which exerts a remarkable cultural fascination. David Pilling’s new book is an entertaining, deeply knowledgeable and surprising analysis of a group of islands which have shown great resilience, both in the face of financial distress and when confronted with the overwhelming disaster of the 2011 earthquake.

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6 December 2013

Schoolgirls, Money and Rebellion in Japan

Dr Sharon Kinsella of the University of Manchester launches her new book ‘Schoolgirls, Money and Rebellion in Japan’ at Daiwa Foundation Japan House. Weaving through topics such as compensated dating (enjo kōsai), street fashion and nineteenth century black and white minstrelsy, Dr Kinsella analyses the cult of schoolgirls in contemporary Japan.

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