The Monkey as Mirror: Symbolic Transformations in Japanese History and Ritual / Edition 1

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Overview

This tripartite study of the monkey metaphor, the monkey performance, and the 'special status' people traces changes in Japanese culture from the eighth century to the present. During early periods of Japanese history the monkey's nearness to the human-animal boundary made it a revered mediator or an animal deity closest to humans. Later it became a scapegoat mocked for its vain efforts to behave in a human fashion. Modern Japanese have begun to see a new meaning in the monkey--a clown who turns itself into an object of laughter while challenging the basic assumptions of Japanese culture and society.

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Editorial Reviews

The Japan Times - Donald Richie
In an important and interesting new work the anthropologist author examines the historical transformations of the concept of self and other in Japan. This subject, basic in any culture, sometimes seems central in Japan, and any elucidation it can receive is to be welcomed. . . . [This] is a fair, impartial, balanced reading of a neglected chain of metaphors which can teach us much about this country.
From the Publisher

"In an important and interesting new work the anthropologist author examines the historical transformations of the concept of self and other in Japan. This subject, basic in any culture, sometimes seems central in Japan, and any elucidation it can receive is to be welcomed. . . . [This] is a fair, impartial, balanced reading of a neglected chain of metaphors which can teach us much about this country."--Donald Richie, The Japan Times
The Japan Times
In an important and interesting new work the anthropologist author examines the historical transformations of the concept of self and other in Japan. This subject, basic in any culture, sometimes seems central in Japan, and any elucidation it can receive is to be welcomed. . . . [This] is a fair, impartial, balanced reading of a neglected chain of metaphors which can teach us much about this country.
— Donald Richie
The Japan Times

In an important and interesting new work the anthropologist author examines the historical transformations of the concept of self and other in Japan. This subject, basic in any culture, sometimes seems central in Japan, and any elucidation it can receive is to be welcomed. . . . [This] is a fair, impartial, balanced reading of a neglected chain of metaphors which can teach us much about this country.
— Donald Richie
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691028460
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1989
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.49 (h) x 0.76 (d)

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