Japan Encountered: A Brief (Ans Highly-Selective) Survey of Famous Westerners in the Land of the Rising Sun

Japan Encountered: A Brief (Ans Highly-Selective) Survey of Famous Westerners in the Land of the Rising Sun

by Scott Wright
     
 

Japan Encountered is a series of sixteen essays on famous Westerners in Japan from the mid-sixteenth century to the present. Here, Japan is seen through the eyes of various outsiders at widely divergent points in Japanese history. The individuals included are: St. Francis Xavier, Will Adams, Dr. Engelbert Kaempfer, Commodore Matthew C. Perry, Townsend Harris,

Overview

Japan Encountered is a series of sixteen essays on famous Westerners in Japan from the mid-sixteenth century to the present. Here, Japan is seen through the eyes of various outsiders at widely divergent points in Japanese history. The individuals included are: St. Francis Xavier, Will Adams, Dr. Engelbert Kaempfer, Commodore Matthew C. Perry, Townsend Harris, Lafcadio Hearn, Isabella Bird, William Smith Clark, Frank Lloyd Wright, Arthur Waley, Joseph Grew, General Douglas MacArthur, Ruth Benedict, James Michener, and Edwin Reischauer. Also included is a chapter which examines the experiences of American baseball players and sumo wrestlers attempting to pursue their sports in Japan, one of whom is Jesse Kuhaulua, the first American to successfully compete in the Japanese sport of sumo.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Both of these books strive to promote a better understanding of Japan among Western readers. Littlewood (English, Sussex Univ., England) does so by examining popular Western impressions of Japan from 16th-century Jesuits through 19th-century visitors to present-day views using journals, books, and movies. These impressions formed stereotypes of Japan in Western minds. On the one hand, there is the aesthetic Japan of politely civilized, bowing people; on the other is the aggressive, violent Japan. Littlewood believes that relying on these and other simplistic views of Japan leads to misunderstandings and that "the only prospect of real change lies in the gradual humanistic effect of individual contact." In Japan Encountered, Wright (history, Univ. of St. Thomas, Minnesota) has put together 16 essays dealing with Westerners in Japan. The individuals selected represent missionaries, diplomats, soldiers, architects, writers, and travelers, for example, St. Francis Xavier, Will Adams (Anjin-san of Clavell's Shogun), Commodore Perry, Frank Lloyd Wright (who designed Tokyo's Imperial Hotel), Douglas MacArthur, Ruth Benedict, and James Michener. Planned as a supplemental text for a college course, the work includes study and discussion questions. Academic libraries that support Asian studies programs will benefit from acquiring Japan Encountered, while The Idea of Japan is recommended for academic libraries and larger public libraries.William L. Wuerch, Univ. of Guam

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761804277
Publisher:
UPA
Publication date:
07/25/1996
Pages:
204
Product dimensions:
6.16(w) x 9.28(h) x 0.66(d)

Meet the Author

Scott Wright is Associate Professor of History at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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