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By Rebecca Otowa

At domestic in Japan tells the real tale of a international lady who has been, for 30 years, the housewife, custodian and chatelaine of a 350-year-old farmhouse in rural Japan. This impressive ebook lines a round direction, from the elemental actual information of existence in the home and village, via relationships with kin, pals and the ordinary and supernatural entities with whom the relations stocks the home. Rebecca Otowa then makes a speciality of her internal existence, concerning a few of the pivotal stories of her time in Japan, the teachings in notion that Japan has taught her and, eventually, the ways that she has been replaced by means of dwelling in Japan.
An insightful and compelling learn, At domestic in Japan is a superbly written and illustrated memory of an easy existence made outstanding.

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At the same time, we are bound to spare thinkers whose work was shaped by the “differential of contemporaneousness” the condescension of our improved vantage point: we stand, after all, on their shoulders. • • • To turn now to Japan. The theme of Japan as the only successful modernizer or “power” in Asia has been endlessly played out since the 1890s. Determined to resist Western domination, Japanese elites undertook a forced march to industrialization and military strength based for some decades on the relentless taxation of peasant production.

It is obvious that within the context of consumer culture no room is left for the intellectual as legislator. In the market, there is no one centre of power, nor any aspiration to create one. . There is no site from which authoritative pronouncements could be made, and no power resources concentrated and exclusive enough to serve as levers of a massive proselytizing campaign. With that, the traditional, real or hoped for, means of “intellectual legislation” are absent. Intellectuals (like everybody else) have no control over market forces and cannot realistically expect to acquire any.

In its origins and development, Japanese social science provides a window on why this should be the case. Unquestionably, elements of alienation were shared by Japanese with German and Russian thinkers, with differing inflections among the three. For Japan, Bismarck’s Germany was an official model (“how to cope with developmental alienation”) in ways that Russia was not; Russia provides a complex and fascinating subtheme. Imperial Japan’s tutelage to a newly unified Germany covered vast areas of political administration and jurisprudence and extended deep into the sphere of expressive culture, as generations of young, future elites cut their intellectual teeth on, for example, Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther.

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