Hanatsumi Nikki - The Flowers of Italy
Masaharu Anesaki (1873-1949) was a leading member of Japan's most interesting generation: the second generation of Meiji scholars, who lived in a highly-educated if not rarefied world that blended Japanese and Western traditions in a way that made them unique in their country's long history. This neglected classic of travel writing, philosophy, history, and comparative religion has been out of print in Japan for nearly a century. Its publication in English translation will open a fascinating vista for scholars and general readers, into the mind of modern Japan as it stood at the crossroads of modernity. In the late fall of 1907, Anesaki left Japan to travel around the world on a travel grant from the Kahn Foundation, a philanthropic organization that funded scholars' overseas travel in the interest of promoting international understanding. Three months of his journey in the spring of 1908 were spent in Switzerland and Italy. He wrote at length about his experience, focusing on a few key subjects: St. Francis of Assisi, whom he admired, the painter Fra Angelico, whom he also admired, and their connection (as he saw it) to the Japanese Buddhist saint Honen. Published in 1909, Hanatsumi Nikki is the record of his travels in Italy. But it is more than a memoir: it is an extended meditation on art, human life, European and Japanese culture, Buddhism, Christianity, and faith. Anesaki was a leading member of a generation of Japanese scholars and public intellectuals who helped to introduce Japan to the West. He also attempted to integrate his understanding of Western culture in his own study of Japanese religion. The full range of his erudition, sensibility, and passionate humanity shines through the pages of The Flowers of Italy.
- Paperback | 364 pages
- 152.4 x 226.06 x 25.4mm | 544.31g
- 28 Feb 2009
- Kurodahan Press
- black & white illustrations