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New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics


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Table of Contents

Foreword Stephen Addiss Preface A. Minh Nguyen Introduction: Historical Overview of Japanese Aesthetics Yuriko Saito Introduction: New Contributions to Japanese Aesthetics A. Minh Nguyen I: Japanese Aesthetics and Philosophy 1 A Philosophic Grounding for Japanese Aesthetics Robert E. Carter 2 Cloud, Mist, Shadow, Shakuhachi: The Aesthetics of the Indistinct David E. Cooper 3 Authority in Taste Richard Bullen 4 Beauty as Ecstasy in the Aesthetics of Nishida and Schopenhauer Steve Odin 5 Bodily Aesthetics and the Cultivation of Moral Virtues Yuriko Saito II: Japanese Aesthetics and Culture 6 Beyond Zeami: Innovating Mise en Sc ne in Contemporary No Theatre Performance C. Michael Rich 7 The Appreciative Paradox of Japanese Gardens Allen Carlson 8 Savoring Tastes: Appreciating Food in Japan Graham Parkes 9 Art of War, Art of Self: Aesthetic Cultivation in Japanese Martial Arts James McRae III: Japanese Aesthetics and Cultural Politics 10 Ainu Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art: Replication, Remembering, Recovery Koji Yamasaki and Mara Miller 11 The Idea of Greece in Modern Japan's Cultural Dreams Hiroshi Nara 12 Yashiro Yukio and the Aesthetics of Japanese Art History J. Thomas Rimer 13 Aestheticizing Sacrifice: Ritual, Education, and Media during the Asia-Pacific War Akiko Takenaka 14 Nagai Kafu and the Aesthetics of Urban Strolling Timothy Unverzagt Goddard 15 Cool-Kawaii Aesthetics and New World Modernity Thorsten Botz-Bornstein IV: Japanese Aesthetics and Literature 16 Basho and the Art of Eternal Now Michiko Yusa 17 Knowing Elegance: The Ideals of the Bunjin (Literatus) in Early Modern Haikai Cheryl Crowley 18 The Measure of Comparison: Correspondence and Collision in Japanese Aesthetics Meera Viswanathan 19 On Kawabata, Kishida, and Barefoot Gen: Agency, Identity, and Aesthetic Experience in Post-Atomic Japanese Narrative Mara Miller 20 Japanese Poetry and the Aesthetics of Disaster Roy Starrs V: Japanese Aesthetics and the Visual Arts 21 Inner Beauty: Kishida Ryusei's Concept of Realism and Pre-Modern Asian Aesthetics Mikiko Hirayama 22 The Pan Real Art Association's Revolt against "the Beauties of Nature" Matthew Larking 23 The Aesthetics of Emptiness in Japanese Calligraphy and Abstract Expressionism John C. Maraldo 24 On Not Disturbing Still Water: Ozu Yasujiro and the Technical-Aesthetic Product Jason M. Wirth VI: The Legacy of Kuki Shuzo 25 Finding Iki: Iki and the Floating World David Bell 26 Iki and Glamour as Aesthetic Properties of Persons: Reflections in a Cross-Cultural Mirror Carol Steinberg Gould 27 Scents and Sensibility: Kuki Shuzo and Olfactory Aesthetics Peter Leech Contributors

About the Author

A. Minh Nguyen is professor of philosophy and Asian studies at Eastern Kentucky University.


Aesthetic concerns permeate Japanese culture; thus, a comprehensive understanding of Japanese culture requires a comprehensive understanding of Japanese aesthetics. Nguyen (Eastern Kentucky Univ.) achieves just that in this collection. The volume opens with two introductory essays: an excellent overview of central Japanese aesthetic concepts, practices, and their histories by Yuriko Saito, and a comprehensive overview of contents by Nguyen and the contributors to the volume. The 27 original essays are divided into six parts, each covering Japanese aesthetics in combination with another topic, namely philosophy, culture, cultural politics, literature, visual arts, and the legacy of Kuki Shuzo, author of "Iki" no ko zo (The Structure of Iki), 1930, regarded as the most important book on Japanese aesthetics of the 20th century. The strengths of this volume are many, and included among them are its breadth and depth, its deft engagement with both contemporary and historical concepts and issues, and its cross-cultural (East and West) nature. With regard to the last, Western philosophers are used to helping readers understand the Japanese concepts, and Japanese concepts are used to explore issues not usually treated in Western philosophy. This rich cultural/historical reciprocity permeates the book. This reviewer came away with the feeling that a lifetime could fruitfully and joyfully be spent studying this text. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above. * CHOICE *
A. Minh Nguyen's New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics is an important, comprehensive, and fascinating collection. Beginning with historical and systematic overviews of the philosophical tenets of Japanese aesthetics and treatments of central themes in Japanese art and aesthetics, this is a book of enormous scope, including discussions of traditional art forms such as the tea ceremony, calligraphy, haiku, No drama, pottery, and the martial arts, quotidian activities such as gift wrapping, flower arranging, cooking, etiquette, and gardening, and contemporary movements in Japanese literature, film, and the visual arts. This is a book that no student of Japanese aesthetics, whether beginning or advanced, should be without. -- Philip Alperson, Temple University
A. Minh Nguyen's New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics is a kaleidoscope of twenty-seven new contributions on the unrelenting pursuit of elegance across Japanese culture that have been written specifically for this volume by nothing less than a cadre of the world's most distinguished Japanologists. As it is turned in the hand of the reader, it reveals from a bottomless array of angles the different strategies this always unique and yet porous culture has deployed to enchant the human experience, aspiring as it does to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary and the mundane into the sublime. -- Roger T. Ames, Peking University
A. Minh Nguyen's New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics is a most impressive collection. This volume provides important information to all who study Japanese aesthetics. I know of no other book that covers the subject so completely. -- Donald Keene, Columbia University
A. Minh Nguyen has put together an important volume that gives us, in one place, the tools to understand the knotty subject of Japanese aesthetics. The most notable scholars address these questions from various perspectives: some of them walk us through the history of aesthetics in Japan, others explicate the broad issues and ramifications of these ideas, while others take us deep into particular artists, genres, and works. This is an impressive achievement of long-lived value. -- Doug Slaymaker, University of Kentucky
Japanese aesthetics, famous throughout the world, is more often revered and celebrated than meticulously analyzed. New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics goes beyond surface pleasures to uncover the relations and tensions that shape aesthetic worlds in Japan. Encyclopedic in breadth, the book is a must-have for anyone seeking to better understand this intriguing and elegant domain. -- Kristin Surak, School of Oriental and African Studies
A trove of treasures for thinking across the history of Japanese artistic practice and aesthetic thought, ranging from literature and the visual arts to philosophy, politics, and the aesthetics of daily life, this is a compendious work that will return many readers and introduce many more to the most vital topics and motifs of the Japanese cultural tradition with fresh insights and lucid clarifications of complex matters. A perfect text for reading in and for teaching from. -- Alan Tansman, University of California, Berkeley

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