Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask

4.0 1
by Ian Buruma

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Ian Buruma is currently Luce Professor at Bard College. His previous books include God's Dust, Behind the Mask, The Missionary & The Libertine, Playing the Game, The Wages of Guilt, Anglomania, and Bad Elements. He writes frequently for The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and the Financial Times.

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great, great book. It does discuss some manga and anime, if you were so inclined to read about that, but also goes into Japanese movies, books, cultural norms. etc. More importantly, it is a concerted effort to understand norms of Japanese culture we find bizarre, confusing and even disgusting. You really get to understand them better as a culture. Please note this does not necessarily talk about individual Japanese, or about the Japanese as a people. Rather, you'll better understand their seemingly difficult obsessions with young gay men (who look womanly), really really violent fights, scary long haired women, their peculiar taste for humor, as well as more inncuous but equally curious interests. The Japanese do retain a big deal of their very very conservative family values, in spite of evidence to the contrary in the many modern and liberal things we get imported from them. Collectively, their media propagates a form of 'release' for their many needs that cannot be expressed or indicated out in the open. This generally explains the extreme degrees of sex and violence we would see in their media, but even that is just on the surface. The specific culture-based obsessions discussed in 'Behind The Mask' may make you squirm, but will pique the interest and make you think how 'normal' you think you are. Really, the Japanese are not all that different from the rest of the world, only outside appearances make them seem different.