The Japan Studies Review is a refereed journal published annually by the Southern Japan Seminar and Asian Studies 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.
This year’s issue features various topics in Japanese studies. In “Going Postal: Empire Building through Miniature Messages on German and Japanese Stamps,” Fabian Bauwens offers an comparison of Japanese and German depictions of political space displayed on postage stamps past World War II. Next, Peter L. Doebler provides a comparison of paintings by the modern Japanese artist Hiroshi Senju and the transitions from tradition to innovation in relation to art history in “Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue: Hiroshi Senju’s Waterfall Paintings as Intersections of Innovation.” Jason Jones’s “Delightfully Sauced: Wine Manga and the Japanese Sommelier’s Rise to the Top of the French Wine World” offers a cultural and socioeconomic study of Joh Araki’s works on wine manga and how the sommelier functions as a cultural steward that parallels the wine boom in Japan. Yoneyuki Sugita’s “‘Fairness’ and Japanese Government Subsidies for Sickness Insurances” examines the disputes subsidies regarding the Japanese sickness insurance from the first Health Insurance law enacted in 1922 to the Advisory Council Recommendation in 1950.
There are two essays in this issue. Bradly Hammond carefully examines specific Japanese political terminology that emerged during the early Meiji period, highlighting how these terms became standardized amidst the political debates of the 1870s and 1880s. Eric Esteban provides a detailed explanation and annotated translation with a historical and literary outlook of Nun Abutsu’s epistolary work, Yoru no tsuru (The Night Crane), a poetic treatise (karon) in a genre largely dominated by men.
For book reviews, Julia C. Bullock comments the radical feminist movement in Japan during the 1960s through the study of ūman ribu as explained in the book Scream from the Shadows: The Women’s Liberation Movement in Japan by Setsu Shigematsu. Steven Heine reviews the ideals as well as the global impact of an approach termed Critical Buddhism within a philosophical and sociopolitical standpoint, as described by James Mark Shields in Critical Buddhism: Engaging with Modern Japanese Buddhist Thought. Daniel A. Métraux reviews Robert K. Fitts’s Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, & Assassination During the 1934 Tour of Japan to explore the perspective of baseball as “soft-power diplomacy” and the history of this American sport during the 1930s. The final review by Métraux examines the life of General Douglas MacArthur as one of the most controversial characters in American history as described in Seymour Morris’s book, Supreme Commander: MacArthur’s Triumph in Japan.
This year's Japan Studies Review (JSR) is now available online as a PDF. Hard copies will be available soon.
JSR 2015 is also featured on the Asian Studies Newsletter for 2014-2015.
Please visit our archive for PDF versions of the current and past volumes.
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