CULTURE AND HISTORY
[Cultural Reconstruction Theory]
Seidosha, 2013. 420 pp. ¥2,200. ISBN 978-4-7917-6733-5.
Also published in: n/a
Building on an idea of this grand scale, Fukushima argues the length and breadth of Japanese history, citing poets of the eighth-century Man’yōshū (Japan’s oldest anthology), military tales of the Kamakura period (1185–1333) like the Tale of the Heike, and novelists of our own time and the anime of Miyazaki Hayao (1941–) for a bold and provocative view of the development of culture. His comparisons with Chinese history, which produced a very robust culture through the rise and fall of dynasties, are also insightful.
Although not stated directly, the motive for writing this book was quite likely the March 11, 2011, disaster. We are soon convinced that Japanese do have the ability to turn crisis into the opportunity for cultural rebirth. This is an excellent work endowed with an energy that can fill readers with a sense of hope. (NK)
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