Inexorable Modernity: Japan's Grappling with Modernity in the Arts

Inexorable Modernity: Japan's Grappling with Modernity in the Arts


Edited by Hiroshi Nara, Contributions by John K. Gillespie, Contributions by David G. Goodman, Contributions by Charles Shiro Inouye, Contributions by Mikiko Hirayama, Contributions by Brenda G. Jordan, Contributions by David Jortner, Contributions by Keiko I. McDonald, Contributions by Jonah Salz, Contributions by Mayu Tsuruya


Free delivery worldwide
Dispatched in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?

  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Format: Paperback | 284 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 224mm x 20mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 16 February 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Lanham, MD
  • ISBN 10: 0739118420
  • ISBN 13: 9780739118429
  • Edition: Annotated
  • Sales rank: 1,661,649

Product description

Beginning in late Edo, the Japanese faced a rapidly and irreversibly changing world in which industrialization, westernization, and internationalization was exerting pressure upon an entrenched traditional culture. The Japanese themselves felt threatened by Western powers, with their sense of superiority and military might. Yet, the Japanese were more prepared to meet this challenge than was thought at the time, and they used a variety of strategies to address the tension between modernity and tradition. Inexorable Modernity illuminates our understanding of how Japan has dealt with modernity and of what mechanisms, universal and local, we can attribute to the mode of negotiation between tradition and modernity in three major forms of art-theater, the visual arts, and literature. Dr. Hiroshi Nara brings together a thoughtful collection of essays that demonstrate that traditional and modern approaches to life feed off of one other, and tradition, whether real or created, was sought out in order to find a way to live with the burden of modernity. Inexorable Modernity is a valuable and enlightening read for those interested in Asian studies and history.

Other people who viewed this bought:

Showing items 1 to 10 of 10

Other books in this category

Showing items 1 to 11 of 11

Author information

Hiroshi Nara is professor of Japanese language and Japanese linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh.

Review quote

Inexorable Modernity has the clear virtue of addressing modern Japanese aesthetics, painting, and theater in a single volume, one of very few recent works to do so. Journal of Japanese Studies By drawing together essays on art and aesthetics, theatre, film, and literature, this volume provides a broad, nuanced view of the landscape of modernity in Japan. It is a most interesting and useful resource for teaching-a fine tribute to an outstanding scholar and teacher whose erudition and creativity have afforded pleasure and insight to so many readers over the years. -- Elaine Gerbert, associate professor of modern Japanese literature, University of Kansas

Table of contents

Part 1 Inexorable Modernity Part 2 Art and Aesthetics Chapter 3 Potentially Disruptive: Censorship and the Painter Kawanabe Kyosai Chapter 4 "Modernite in Art": Kojima Kikuo's Critique of Contemporary Japanese Painting, 1931-1940 Chapter 5 The Ascent of Yoga in Modern Japan and the Pacific War Chapter 6 Art and Ethics in Watsuji Tetsuro's Philosophy Part 7 Theatre Chapter 9 Contesting Authority through Comic Disruption: Mixed Marriages as Metaphor in Postwar Kyogen Experiments Chapter 10 An Aesthetic of Destruction: Mishima Yukio's My Friend Hitler Chapter 11 Remembered Idylls, Forgotten Truths: Nostalgia and Geography in the Drama of Shimizu Kunio Chapter 12 Healing the (Metaphysically) Sick (Theatre): A Buddhist Ibsen in Christian Japan Part 13 Literature Chapter 14 The Wild Geese Revisited: Mori Ogai's Mix of Old and New Chapter 15 Public Space and the Nature of Modern Fiction: Izumi Kyoka's Noble Blood, Heroic Blood Chapter 16 Yokomitsu Riichi's Two Machines