The Search for the Beautiful Woman: A Cultural History of Japanese and Chinese Beauty - Asia/Pacific/Perspectives (Hardback)
  • The Search for the Beautiful Woman: A Cultural History of Japanese and Chinese Beauty - Asia/Pacific/Perspectives (Hardback)
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The Search for the Beautiful Woman: A Cultural History of Japanese and Chinese Beauty - Asia/Pacific/Perspectives (Hardback)

(author), (translator)
£44.95
Hardback 302 Pages / Published: 12/10/2012
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For centuries, Japanese culture, including ideals of feminine beauty, was profoundly shaped by China. In this first full comparative history on the subject, Cho Kyo explores changing standards of beauty in China and Japan, ranging from plumpness to bound feet to blackened teeth. Drawing on a rich array of sources gathered over a decade of research, he considers which Chinese representations were rejected or accepted and transformed in Japan. He then traces the introduction of Western aesthetics into Japan starting in the Meiji era, leading to slowly developing but radical changes in the representation of beauty. Through fiction, poetry, art, advertisements, and photographs, the author vividly demonstrates how criteria of beauty differ greatly by era and culture and how aesthetic sense changed in the course of extended transformations that were influenced by both China and the West.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442218932
Number of pages: 302
Weight: 644 g
Dimensions: 235 x 161 x 29 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In this ambitious volume Professor Cho, one of Japan's most knowledgeable scholars of comparative cultures, takes up the timeless topic of female beauty from the perspectives of China, Japan, and the West. At ease with a rich variety of literary and visual materials from all eras of Chinese and Japanese history, the author offers learned insights into classic tropes of East Asian female beauty and their encounter with Western aesthetics in modern times. Readers in many fields will find much to engage their imaginations here. -- Thomas R. H. Havens, Northeastern University; author of Radicals and Realists in the Japanese Nonverbal Arts
"The Search for the Beautiful Woman" is a scholarly, enjoyable historical exploration of the beautiful woman in two neighboring Asian cultures. Kyoko Selden, recently deceased, must be commended for clarifying layered references in Chinese, Japanese, English and other languages in her translation * Japan Times *
In his "search for the beautiful woman," Cho (comparative culture and literature, Meiji Univ., Japan) demonstrates an extensive knowledge of East Asian literature and aesthetics. Concentrating on the Warring States, Song, late Ming, Heian, Kamakura, and Edo periods, he delves into rarely discussed topics: how "good looks changed in Chinese history" and how "ethnic cultures influenced women's aesthetic sense." The comparison of Chinese with Heian era literature in chapter 5 best explains the argument of distinctly national ideas of what constitutes beauty: the author's use of Michizume's manipulating Chinese literature to reflect a Japanese aesthetic clearly upholds Cho's own conclusion. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers. * CHOICE *

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