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The culture of copying in Japan : Critical and Historical Perspectives : [book review] Jordan, Brenda G. 2010

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 71 Electronic Book Review: Northeast Asia on the influence of changes in company training systems on the relative importance of skills acquired in different types of higher education. The last part of the book, on “class strategies,” illuminates how patterns of behaviour can be traced back to class-based resources and attitudes. Aya Ezawa gives an account of gender ideals of single mothers and shows how their idea of being a “good mother” is closely connected to their initial class location. In her study on Peruvian migrants to Japan, Ayumi Takenaka turns to the intersection of ethnicity and finds that coming from a different class background back in Peru, migrants of Japanese and non-Japanese ancestry show different strategies of adaptation and status achievement when coming to Japan. With its structured analysis of processes of class formation and reproduction based on recent original research by the authors, this book fills a gap in the current discourse on social stratification in contemporary Japan. In bringing together different areas and topics of class analysis, the book paints a broad and lively picture of Japanese society. At the same time, it points to areas in which further research is still needed, i.e., a more detailed investigation of aspects of the role of the state in creating new groups at the margins of society—one of which is discussed as the “new working class” by Slater. This volume is a must-read for any scholar of contemporary Japan. It is highly recommendable as a class reader in seminars on Japanese society. The introductory chapter not only gives a comprehensive account of how the analysis of social structure in Japan has shifted in focus; it is also an excellent illustration of how to place an analysis within a clearly defined theoretical frame. The single articles are well-structured and profound in content as well as research method. This not only makes them an informative read but also good examples of academic analysis valuable to students (and researchers) in the fields of social sciences and ethnography. German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo, Japan carola HommericH THE CULTURE OF COPYING IN JAPAN: Critical and Historical Perspectives. Edited by Rupert Cox. London and New York: Routledge, 2008. xii, 275 pp. (Tables, figures, B&W photos.) US$150.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0- 415-30752-9. The Culture of Copying in Japan: Critical and Historical Perspectives is a useful scholarly endeavour in a field of research that has not received as much attention in Japan Studies as comparable work in European or American studies. The book follows earlier publications on this topic, notably John Singleton’s edited Learning in Likely Places: Varieties of Apprenticeship in Japan (1998) and Brenda G. Jordan and Victoria Weston’s edited Copying the Master Pacific Affairs: Volume 83, No. 4 – December 2010  72 and Stealing His Secrets: Talent and Training in Japanese Painting (2003). The Culture of Copying in Japan builds on this and other research, contributing not only new material, but an approach that specifically addresses negative Western perceptions about Japanese ways of copying. This collection of papers is based on a Japan Anthropology Workshop Series and provides historical context on Japan’s practices of copying, challenging the notion of a “devious Japan that mimics and exploits the best that others have invented” (preface). As the editor Rupert Cox writes, one question that the essays address “is why the West has had such a fascination for the adeptness with which the Japanese apparently assimilate all things foreign and a fear of their skill at artificially remaking and automating the world around them” (4). The chapters in the volume use case studies that deal with concrete examples of copying, examples that give us both the details and nuances to the practice of copying in Japan over a span of centuries. In doing so, the authors of these chapters argue for an examination of the concept of copying itself. The introduction to the book provides a summary of “various assumptions and historical conditions behind the Western idea of Japanese copying.” This gives the reader perspective on the following chapters, which counter with what Japanese may understand by the practice of copying, how that practice operates in various situations and historical contexts, and expanding the range of meanings of “to copy” in Japan. In doing so, the authors also challenge the basic assumptions about copying in the West. Part 1, “Original encounters,” is a group of essays that question the importance of the original and what is meant by an original. Irit Averbuch discusses “Body-to-body transmission: the copying tradition of Kagura.” Jane Marie Law follows with “A spectrum of copies: ritual puppetry in Japan” and Keiko Clarence-Smith completes this section with “Copying in Japanese magazines: unashamed copiers.” One theme that emerges between and within essays is the necessity of not only identifying an “original” but also confronting the ideas about originality in Japan. Thus, in part 2, “Arts of citation,” the authors discuss originality and creativity of the copy, identifying processes and particular persons involved in those processes. They demonstrate that creativity in copying is the result of the individual character of practitioners as well as the kinds of materials and techniques employed. We learn about “The originality of the ‘copy’: mimesis and subversion in Hanegawa Töei’s Chösenjin Ukie” from Ronald P. Toby. Alexandra Curvelo follows with “Copy to convert: Jesuits’ missionary practice in Japan.” Morgan Pitelka takes us “Back to the fundamentals: ‘reproducing’ Rikyü and Chöjirö in Japanese tea culture.” Rein Raud follows with “An investigation of the conditions of literary borrowings in late Heian and early Kamakura Japan” and John T. Carpenter provides the final chapter in this series of essays with “Chinese calligraphic models in Heian Japan: copying practices and stylistic transmission.”  73 Electronic Book Review: Northeast Asia The chapters in part 3, “Modern exchanges,” argue that we can understand what might count as a copy better by knowing more for whom it is produced and for what purpose. Within the modern context of international exhibitions, manufacturing, cultural preservation and marketing, ideas about the “original,” “tradition” and the reproductive process may all be redefined. William H. Coaldrake begins the section with “Beyond mimesis: Japanese architectural models at the Vienna Exhibition and 1910 Japan British Exhibition.” “Copying Kyoto: the legitimacy of imitation in Kyoto’s townscape debate” by Christoph Brumann is the next chapter, followed by Christopher Madeley’s “Copying cars: forgotten licensing agreements.” Rupert Cox, who provided the detailed framework in the introduction, completes this section with “Hungry visions: the material life of Japanese food samples.” I have written elsewhere that compilations such as this are increasingly difficult to publish with academic presses yet they continue to serve useful purposes for those of us in Japan studies as well as other fields. A book such as this presents a wide range of scholarship and topics under a thematic umbrella, enabling readers to expand their knowledge and understanding of Japan and Japan’s place in the world by sampling, as it were, the scholarship of numerous specialists. One of the most appropriate things one can say to a Japanese teacher is “I learned a lot,” after a class or lecture. Indeed, I did learn a great deal from this book. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA  Brenda g. Jordan POP GOES KOREA: Behind the Revolution in Movies, Music, and Internet Culture. By Mark James Russell. Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press, 2008. xvi, 224 pp. (B&W and coloured photos.) US$19.50, paper. ISBN 978-1- 933330-68-6. Korea’s popular culture was virtually unknown outside Korea until the late 1990s and was exclusively created for and consumed by local audiences. However, as Korea’s popular cultural products, including movies, TV dramas, music, comic books, fashion, and online gaming, found popularity throughout Asia over the last decade, the local pop culture industry began to expand its scale and scope and changed its infrastructure for this extremely competitive international market. In this book Russell offers stories of some of the key players in the industry from the late 1990s and early 2000s. As he acknowledges, there can be “hundreds of stories involved in explaining the changes, challenges, and achievements that comprised that success” (xiii), but he has selected seven key players whom he believes to be the most emblematic forces behind the success of Korea’s modern pop culture. He starts with the big question: “How did Korea’s entertainment industry grow so successfully at the end of the twentieth century?” (xiii). Russell


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