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Print (Japan) ¥1000
(International) ¥1400

KJ 4
published September 1, 1987
66 pages

Cover Image by Jean Kugler

North Americans who have lived in Japan for any length of time soon come to realize that, in spite of superficial similarities, the Japanese culture is quite different from their own, and that there is practically nothing that an individual North American can do to change this culture. The “shikata ga nai” (it can’t be helped) philosophy comes as a shock to those North Americans who were raised to believe that if one just rolls up one’s sleeves and gets to work, all kinds of change can be realized: “.. .the all-American hero can never accept the world for what it is: it can always be better; that is what he originally came to America for.” (Buruma, p. 184) A tremendous amount of the stress of acculturation for North Americans in Japan arises from the interpersonal tension between their self-assertive and individualized selves and the self-effacing and collectively-minded Japanese.
—Kate Partridge, How to Become Japanese: a Guide for North Americans


Although Tokyoites often call it furukusai (stinking of antiquity), Kyoto is a modern city, too. It has not rushed headlong into “Goodbye History, Hello Hamburger”1 development, nor has it become a dead urban museum. It has taken a middle way that allowed American historian John Whitney Hall to say: “Kyoto more than Tokyo forces upon us an awareness of the conflicts and tensions which still can be found in Japanese life, posing constantly the question of where Japan’s historical past fits into its modern present.”
Gunter Nitschke, A Sense of Place: Urban Preservation and Renewal in Kyoto

Contents:

Open Letter to the Delegates of the World Conference of Historical Cities
Hal Gold

Towards the export of ideas: a conversation with Inamori Kazuo
W. David Kubiak

How to become Japanese: A guide for North Americans – Kate Partridge

Getting Home Robert Brady

TITLE – AUTHOR

Goat bites Man: Questioning modern Japanese architecture – Ian Perlman

Six buildings that work – Ian Perlman

A glimpse of emptiness – Nishitani Keiji

The vanishing radish – Richard Opheim

Sekitei– Inoue Yasushi

Poems by Japanese children – Selection by Harold Wright

Poetry– Ralph Nelson, Margaret Chula

Teachers’ meeting – Alex Shishin

It sounds crazy now….bu they’ll listen later: an interview with Aioidayu
Dan and Kimie Furst

The idea of World Music – Don Nilson

Changing clothes: recession and innovation in the kimono business
Jennifer Kresh

The themes of the market – David Anderson

Chernobyl and Japan’s Nuclear Future – Ken Rodgers

Reviews:


 Lost Innocence: Folk Craft Potters of Onta, Japan, by Brian Moeran — Steve Tomaszewski


 

 

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