Holy Ghosts: The Christian Century in Modern Japanese Fiction (Paperback)Rebecca Suter (author)
- We can order this
Of particular interest is the repeated reappearance in modern fiction of the so-called "Christian century" of Japan (1549-1638), the period between the arrival of the Jesuit missionaries and the last Christian revolt before the final ban on the foreign religion. Literary authors as different as Akutagawa Ryu-nosuke, Endo- Shu-saku, Yamada Fu-taro-, and Takemoto Novala, as well as film directors, manga and anime authors, and videogame producers have all expressed their fascination with the lives and works of Catholic missionaries and Japanese converts and produced imaginative reinterpretations of the period. In Holy Ghosts, Rebecca Suter explores the reasons behind the popularity of the Christian century in modern Japanese fiction and reflects on the role of cross-cultural representations in Japan. Since the opening of the ports in the Meiji period, Japan's relationship with Euro-American culture has oscillated between a drive towards Westernization and an antithetical urge to "return to Asia." Exploring the twentieth-century's fascination with the Christian Century enables Suter to reflect on modern Japan's complex combination of Orientalism, self-Orientalism, and Occidentalism.
By looking back at a time when the Japanese interacted with Europeans in ways that were both similar to and different from modern dealings, fictional representations of the Christian century offer an opportunity to reflect critically not only on cross-cultural negotiation but also more broadly on both Japanese and Western social and political formations. The ghosts of the Christian century that haunt modern Japanese fiction thus prompt us to rethink conventional notions of East-West exchanges, mutual representations, and power relations, complicating our understanding of global modernity.
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Number of pages: 208
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
Overall, Suter provides a comprehensive picture of Japanese popular culture in which some Kirishitan fi gures are separated from their Christian context and are used for "entertainment" exactly because of their Christian background. Her book offers a further example of Japan's ambivalent attitudes toward Christianity, found for example in today's Japanese weddings, often presided over by "false pastors" in "fake churches," which manifest both respect and disrespect for Christianity in Japan. This is indeed one aspect of constant "cultural negotiation."-- "Journal of Japanese Studies"
The book's strength lies in the fascinating collection of media featuring the Christian figures, and in Suter's analyses of the significance of those figures' evolving gender and cultural ambiguity. . . . the book succeeds in offering an invaluable study of the ways in which the Christian figures of the Tokugawa period are used by modern authors to reflect and also affect the discourse of their times.-- "Asian Studies Review"
You may also be interested in...
Would you like to proceed to the App store to download the Waterstones App?