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36 Views of Mount Fuji: On Finding Myself in Japan (Hardback)
  • 36 Views of Mount Fuji: On Finding Myself in Japan (Hardback)
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36 Views of Mount Fuji: On Finding Myself in Japan (Hardback)

(author)
£86.00
Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 25/10/2006
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In 1980 Cathy N. Davidson traveled to Japan to teach English at a leading all-women's university. It was the first of many journeys and the beginning of a deep and abiding fascination. In this extraordinary book, Davidson depicts a series of intimate moments and small epiphanies that together make up a panoramic view of Japan. With wit, candor, and a lover's keen eye, she tells captivating stories-from that of a Buddhist funeral laden with ritual to an exhilarating evening spent touring the "Floating World," the sensual demimonde in which salaryman meets geisha and the normal rules are suspended. On a remote island inhabited by one of the last matriarchal societies in the world, a disconcertingly down-to-earth priestess leads her to the heart of a sacred grove. And she spends a few unforgettable weeks in a quasi-Victorian residence called the Practice House, where, until recently, Japanese women were taught American customs so that they would make proper wives for husbands who might be stationed abroad. In an afterword new to this edition, Davidson tells of a poignant trip back to Japan in 2005 to visit friends who had remade their lives after the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, which had devastated the city of Kobe, as well as the small town where Davidson had lived and the university where she taught.

36 Views of Mount Fuji not only transforms our image of Japan, it offers a stirring look at the very nature of culture and identity. Often funny, sometimes liltingly sad, it is as intimate and irresistible as a long-awaited letter from a good friend.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822338604
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 526 g
Dimensions: 243 x 162 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"A delightful read, offering insight not only into Japan but into the adventure of living in a foreign culture anywhere in the world."-Mary Catherine Bateson, author of Composing a Life
"Beautifully written. . . . I did not want to put it down."-Susan Allen Toth, author of Blooming: A Small-Town Girlhood
"Brilliant, wise, and witty . . . as enjoyable a read as Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence."-Louise DeSalvo, author of Vertigo: A Memoir
"Davidson is inquisitive and careful: observations serve as prompts for thoughtful appraisals of her native US, and stereotypes of Japan are questioned. . . . It's when Japan is clearly in focus - especially when revealed through the author's experiences and conversations with locals - that the narrative is most engaging." -- Laura Crawford * Lonely Planet *
"Davidson's memoir, shimmering with poetic insights and poignant observations, stands out from the rest. . . . [A] compelling read for anyone considering a trip to Japan-or who has recently returned from one." -- Corrie Pikul * Bust *
"Intelligent, sympathetic . . . and quick-witted." -- Elizabeth Ward * Washington Post Book World *
"Luminous . . . Nuanced and passionate, [Davidson's] book achieves what many travel writers can only aspire to: the sense of being both inside and outside of a culture at the same time." * Booklist *
"No one could have tried harder to fathom Japanese culture [than Davidson]. The result is a series of illuminations not unlike the sudden break in the clouds that finally lets her glimpse Mount Fuji from the window of a bullet train." -- Francine Prose * New York Times Book Review *

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