JapanKnowledgeJapanKnowledge is an extensive database, mostly in Japanese, with information about Japanese language, culture, history, and more. It Includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, ebooks, news articles, and multimedia.
A Tokyo Anthology : Literature from Japan's Modern Metropolis, 1850-1920 by Sumie Jones (Editor)The city of Tokyo, renamed after the Meiji Restoration, developed an urban culture that was a dynamic integration of Edo's highly developed traditions and Meiji renovations, some of which reflected the influence of Western culture. This wide-ranging anthology--including fictional and dramatic works, essays, newspaper articles, political manifestos, and cartoons--tells the story of how the city's literature and arts grew out of an often chaotic and sometimes paradoxical political environment to move toward a consummate Japanese "modernity." Tokyo's downtown audience constituted a market that demanded visuality and spectacle, while the educated uptown favored written, realistic literature. The literary products resulting from these conflicting consumer bases were therefore hybrid entities of old and new technologies. A Tokyo Anthology guides the reader through Japanese literature's journey from classical to spoken, pictocentric to logocentric, and fantastic to realistic--making the novel the dominant form of modern literature. The volume highlights not only familiar masterpieces but also lesser known examples chosen from the city's downtown life and counterculture. Imitating the custom of creative artists of the Edo period, scholars from the United States, Canada, England, and Japan have collaborated in order to produce this intriguing sampling of Meiji works in the best possible translations. The editors have sought out the most reliable first editions of texts, also reproducing most of their original illustrations. With few exceptions the translations presented here are the first in the English language. This rich anthology will be welcomed by students and scholars of Japan studies and by a wide general audience interested in Japan's popular culture, media culture, and literature in translation.
Publication Date: 2017
Imaging Disaster : Tokyo and the Visual Culture of Japan's Great Earthquake of 1923 by Gennifer S. WeisenfeldFocusing on one landmark catastrophic event in the history of an emerging modern nation--the Great Kanto Earthquake that devastated Tokyo and surrounding areas in 1923--this fascinating volume examines the history of the visual production of the disaster. The Kanto earthquake triggered cultural responses that ran the gamut from voyeuristic and macabre thrill to the romantic sublime, media spectacle to sacred space, mournful commemoration to emancipatory euphoria, and national solidarity to racist vigilantism and sociopolitical critique. Looking at photography, cinema, painting, postcards, sketching, urban planning, and even scientific visualizations, Weisenfeld demonstrates how visual culture has powerfully mediated the evolving historical understanding of this major national disaster, ultimately enfolding mourning and memory into modernization.
Publication Date: 2012
The Making of Urban Japan: Cities and Planning from Edo to the Twenty First Century by André SorensenDuring the twentieth century, Japan was transformed from a poor, primarily rural country into one of the world's largest industrial powers and most highly urbanised countries. Interestingly, while Japanese governments and planners borrowed carefully from the planning ideas and methods of many other countries, Japanese urban planning, urban governance and cities developed very differently from those of other developed countries. Japan's distinctive patterns of urbanisation are partly a product of the highly developed urban system, urban traditions and material culture of the pre-modern period, which remained influential until well after the Pacific War. A second key influence has been the dominance of central government in urban affairs, and its consistent prioritisation of economic growth over the public welfare or urban quality of life. André Sorensen examines Japan's urban trajectory from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, paying particular attention to the weak development of Japanese civil society, local governments, and land development and planning regulations.
Publication Date: 2005
Noir Urbanisms: Dystopic Images of the Modern City by G. Prakash; Gyan Prakash (Editor)Dystopic imagery has figured prominently in modern depictions of the urban landscape. The city is often portrayed as a terrifying world of darkness, crisis, and catastrophe. Noir Urbanisms traces the history of the modern city through its critical representations in art, cinema, print journalism, literature, sociology, and architecture. It focuses on visual forms of dystopic representation--because the history of the modern city is inseparable from the production and circulation of images--and examines their strengths and limits as urban criticism. Contributors explore dystopic images of the modern city in Germany, Mexico, Japan, India, South Africa, China, and the United States. Their topics include Weimar representations of urban dystopia in Fritz Lang's 1927 film Metropolis; 1960s modernist architecture in Mexico City; Hollywood film noir of the 1940s and 1950s; the recurring fictional destruction of Tokyo in postwar Japan's sci-fi doom culture; the urban fringe in Bombay cinema; fictional explorations of urban dystopia in postapartheid Johannesburg; and Delhi's out-of-control and media-saturated urbanism in the 1980s and 1990s. What emerges in Noir Urbanisms is the unsettling and disorienting alchemy between dark representations and the modern urban experience. In addition to the editor, the contributors are David R. Ambaras, James Donald, Rubén Gallo, Anton Kaes, Ranjani Mazumdar, Jennifer Robinson, Mark Shiel, Ravi Sundaram, William M. Tsutsui, and Li Zhang.
Publication Date: 2010
Writing Technology in Meiji Japan: A Media History of Modern Japanese Literature and Visual Culture by Seth JacobowitzWriting Technology in Meiji Japan boldly rethinks the origins of modern Japanese language, literature, and visual culture from the perspective of media history. Drawing upon methodological insights by Friedrich Kittler and extensive archival research, Seth Jacobowitz investigates a range of epistemic transformations in the Meiji era (1868-1912), from the rise of communication networks such as telegraph and post to debates over national language and script reform. He documents the changing discursive practices and conceptual constellations that reshaped the verbal, visual, and literary regimes from the Tokugawa era. These changes culminate in the discovery of a new vernacular literary style from the shorthand transcriptions of theatrical storytelling (rakugo) that was subsequently championed by major writers such as Masaoka Shiki and Natsume Sōseki as the basis for a new mode of transparently objective, "transcriptive" realism. The birth of modern Japanese literature is thus located not only in shorthand alone, but within the emergent, multimedia channels that were arriving from the West. This book represents the first systematic study of the ways in which media and inscriptive technologies available in Japan at its threshold of modernization in the late nineteenth to early twentieth century shaped and brought into being modern Japanese literature.