BEHIND THE MASK. On Sexual Demons, Sacred Mothers, Transvestites, Gangsters, Drifters And Other Japanese Cultural Heroes. by Ian. Ian Buruma, Behind the Mask: On Sexual Demons, Sacred Mothers, Transvestites, Gangsters, Drifters, and Other Japanese Cultural Heroes. Behind the mask: on sexual demons, sacred mothers, transvestites, gangsters, and other Japanese cultural heroes. Front Cover. Ian Buruma. New American.

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That annoying characteristic aside, he does manage a pretty compelling hypothesis about the transmission of certain characteristics prominent in the Japanese psyche from the earliest historical records benind the present. Ian Buruma’s ‘Japanese Mirror: He weaves his narrative using literature, theatre, art, and films from imperial and modern Japan.

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Behind the Mask by Ian Buruma

His deliberately weird method of romanizing certain Japanese words was probably meant for businessmen and those only tangentially interested in Japan who he figured would otherwise never figure out how to Ian Buruma is a great writer: It probably took about two chapters for me to completely accept the idea that this book looks at Japanese figures through the lens of important fiction in Japan and once I did I was even more intrigued than when I read the description of the book.

Jul 07, Adam rated it did not like it. In some cases, these concepts have formal names, like giri, and in others they are less easy to encapsulate, but equally important in understanding why characters behave the way they do.

One of the first books I got into with respect to Japanese sub-culture. I fully understand why Buruma declined to revise this book, because his life too has moved on and Japan is no longer the primary focus of his interest.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. An insightful overview of Japanese culture, and pleasing introduction into a new world of literature. Hardcoverpages. Film, theatre, comics, poetry and literary works are the media through which the examines these themes.


Behind the Mask : Ian Buruma :

Japan has strong links with its past. Behlnd to Book Page. I would love to see a second edition of this book published, but I wouldn’t say that this book has become dated. Ian Buruma’s preface to the re-issue of this book, first published inpoints out that the popular culture he wrote about in the early s will have changed greatly 30 years later, and will be unfamiliar to many young Japanese.

The fantasies and stories he analyses revolve around sex prostitution, pornography and the pure idealrelationships between men and women, loyalty amongst men and from women for men – it thw work the other wayYakuza tough guys, violence and cruelty. In the hermit’s cave where I live I’d never heard of Buruma. To ask other readers questions about Behind the Maskplease sign up.

Liz rated it it was amazing Jun 07, Ian Buruma’s nonfiction tends to be wonderful, and this book is no exception. Idolised cultural figures are frequently outsiders who defy pervasive social norms.

First of all, it is likely dated since it was written in the 80s, almost 30 years ago. The only downside I can find with the book is unsystematic presentation since it is unclear what the author was trying to accomplish by compiling essays on behibd topics and giving us random glimpses into the core of the Japanese society and their way of thinking.

I will be actively seeking his work out which rarely say about anyone. Each of these characteristics occupy a separate chapter: Please provide an email address. Open Preview See a Problem? Jul 30, Channing rated it really liked it. By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Buruma begins with Japanese founding myths, which in a few crucial ways differ greatly from those of Ancient Greece and Rome or even other Asian nations. My biggest criticism would be that the introduction of each section didn’t always provide the most solid foundation for what would be presented throughout the chapter which made it feel like the lack of fully formed ideas was being supplemented by examples.


Behind the Mask

Buruma’s observations of Japanese culture oscillates between genuine affection and bemused exacerbation. The book predates the relatively recent Japan-mania, or Japanophilia, that large swathes of Westerners exhibit today, with the increase in interest in Japanese music, manga and anime, so there is little reference to anime characters familiar with many of us. Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert.

This book is a very ina insight into the soul of Japanese culture.

It helps if this spirit is Japanese. There was a problem adding your email address. Vera rated it really liked it May 08, Jul 21, Sarah – There is nothing that upsets me more than a bad book!

May 14, Kimberlee Kimura rated it it was amazing.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Reading this book effectively made me want to experience all of the fiction referenced throughout, and it gave me a perspective I hadn Going into this book, I was expecting a more clear cut historical look at these figures stated in the title in Japan.

The hero’s individuality is therefore a public reassertion of personality free from artificially created social strictures, and their actions are an expression of purity resulting from baser human character. I’d recommend this book, despite its age, to anyone interested in bufuma survey of Japanese fiction and film, and also to anyone curious about Japan in general.

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