JOURNAL> Publication of Japan Studies Review vol. XXI (2017)

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The latest issue of the Japan Studies Review is now available. This is a refereed journal published annually by the Southern Japan Seminar and the Asian Studies Program at Florida International University. As a publication which addresses a variety of cross-disciplinary issues in Japanese studies, Japan Studies Review includes contributions dealing with practical and theoretical topics in the areas of business and economic issues, politics, education and curriculum development, philosophy and aesthetics, gender issues, popular culture, and immigration issues.

ISSN 1550-0713

The current JSR 2017 issue [Volume XXI] includes research articles covering varied interdisciplinary topics and a special section featuring a bibliographical essay plus additional essays and book reviews.

Appearing in this issue are four articles dealing with a variety of topics on Japanese society and culture. The first article is by Ben Van Overmeire, who analyzes Zen Buddhism in the twentieth century in terms of “frame-stories” from Daisetz Teitarō Suzuki’s book An Introduction to Zen Buddhism in relation to Janwillem Van de Wetering’s The Empty Mirror. The second article, by Rebecca Richko, presents a study of Japan’s low birth rate and the role of women in contemporary society. The next article is by Shiho Futugami and Marilyn M. Helms, who explore the underlying factors behind employment challenges in Japan by reviewing current policies for work involving age and gender equality. The fourth article, by Bernice J. deGannes Scott, presents an economic analysis of the United States-Japan automobile trade conflict of the 1980s.

The special section in this year’s issue contains a biographical essay by Steven Heine with assistance from Katrina Ankrum. It provides a detailed overview of compilations of traditional Sōtō Zen commentaries, primarily from the Edo period but also including some medieval and modern examples. These manifold works, with more than eighty examples, examine the content of Eihei Dōgen’s masterwork, the Shōbōgenzō, as well as the factors that led to the formation of the 95-Fascicle Honzan Edition first published in 1906.

This issue includes two additional essays. The first one by Junko Baba is a discussion on the military government’s food policies in World War II Japan. The second essay is by Cassandra Atherton, who focuses her analysis of “ocean plain” (wata no hara) imagery in the animated film Gake no Ue no Ponyo directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

Furthermore, this volume contains three book reviews of recent publications on Japanese studies. Daniel A. Métraux reviews a book by Janice P. Nimura, Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back, and a volume by Richard Reeves titled Infamy: The Shocking Story of Japanese Internment in World War II. Finally, Yuichi Tamura reviews a book by Peter Cave titled Schooling Selves: Autonomy, Interdependence, and Reform in Japanese Junior High Education.



Portraying Zen Buddhism in the Twentieth Century: Encounter
Dialogues as Frame-Stories in Daisetz Suzuki’s Introduction to
Zen Buddhism
and Janwillem Van de Wetering’s The Empty Mirror
Ben Van Overmeire                                                                                                 

Society’s Influence on Women’s Childbearing Decision in
Contemporary Japan
Rebecca Richko                                                                                                      25

Employment Challenges in Japan: Age and Gender Dimensions
Shiho Futagami and Marilyn M. Helms                                                                   51

Government Intervention versus the Market System:                                     
The United States-Japan Automobile Trade
Crisis of the 1980s Revisited
Bernice J. deGannes Scott                                                                                    69


Outside of a Small Circle: Sōtō Zen Commentaries on Dōgen’s
Shōbōgenzō and the Formation of the 95-Fascicle Honzan
(Main Temple) Edition
Steven Heine with Katrina Ankrum                                                                        85


Discourse on Food in World War II Japan
Junko Baba                                                                                                           131

“Put it Back in the Ocean. Don’t You Realize It’ll Cause
a Tsunami?”: The Power of Wata No Hara (The Ocean Plain)
in Gake No Ue No Ponyo
Cassandra Atherton                                                                                            


Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back 
By Janice P. Nimura

Reviewed by Daniel A. Métraux                                                                           175

Infamy: The Shocking Story of Japanese Internment in
World War II

By Richard Reeves

Reviewed by Daniel A. Métraux                                                                           177

Schooling Selves: Autonomy, Interdependence, and Reform
in Japanese Junior High Education
By Peter Cave

Reviewed by Yuichi Tamura                                                                                 181

JSR is now planning the next two issues and invites submissions, whether articles, essays, or book reviews, on topics dealing with Japan or comparative studies. Submissions can be sent as email attachment to The editor, Steven Heine, and members of the editorial board will referee all submissions.Please visit our archive for PDF versions of the current and past volumes.