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Modern Japanese Culture: The Insider View (review)

Modern Japanese Culture: The Insider View (review) as "Goto Morikazu," and Tsude Hiroshi as "Tode Hiroshi." And one mis¯ take in translation is egregious enough to merit correction here. Oguma devotes a chapter to the work of Takamure Itsue, who from the 1930s critiqued contemporary male-dominated social relations by asserting that ancient society was matrilineal and therefore more open (this led her to see Amaterasu as embracing alien nations, an image used in wartime propaganda). Takamure's assertion was indeed about matriliny, bokeisei, the tracing of descent through the maternal line, and Oguma presents it as such throughout his original text. On nearly every occasion, however, Askew translates this as a different term: "matriarchy," bokensei, the hypothetical condition in which dominant authority is held by women. Clearly he is unaware of the history of matriarchy as a concept in social science and all the intellectual baggage that attends it. But apart from these and a few other minor complaints, the translation proves to be faithful, accurate, and very readable--a tremendous accomplishment, considering the scope of the discussion as well as its length. Askew has done us a great service by making this work accessible to an English readership, just as Oguma is to be thanked for http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Japanese Studies Society for Japanese Studies

Modern Japanese Culture: The Insider View (review)

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Publisher
Society for Japanese Studies
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Society for Japanese Studies.
ISSN
1549-4721
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

as "Goto Morikazu," and Tsude Hiroshi as "Tode Hiroshi." And one mis¯ take in translation is egregious enough to merit correction here. Oguma devotes a chapter to the work of Takamure Itsue, who from the 1930s critiqued contemporary male-dominated social relations by asserting that ancient society was matrilineal and therefore more open (this led her to see Amaterasu as embracing alien nations, an image used in wartime propaganda). Takamure's assertion was indeed about matriliny, bokeisei, the tracing of descent through the maternal line, and Oguma presents it as such throughout his original text. On nearly every occasion, however, Askew translates this as a different term: "matriarchy," bokensei, the hypothetical condition in which dominant authority is held by women. Clearly he is unaware of the history of matriarchy as a concept in social science and all the intellectual baggage that attends it. But apart from these and a few other minor complaints, the translation proves to be faithful, accurate, and very readable--a tremendous accomplishment, considering the scope of the discussion as well as its length. Askew has done us a great service by making this work accessible to an English readership, just as Oguma is to be thanked for

Journal

The Journal of Japanese StudiesSociety for Japanese Studies

Published: Jul 30, 2004

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