260 BOOK REVIEWS Japan A TOKYO ROMANCE: A MEMOIR. By Ian Buruma. New York: Penguin Press, 2018. Hardcover, $26.00; paperback, $17.00. A Tokyo Romance is not the traditional style of books reviewed here. While Buruma has written several excellent cultural histories of Japan, this book delves into his own experiences as “A sensitive misfit in the world of his upper-middle-class youth” in Tokyo in 1975. Normally, this style of book would not warrant a review in Asian Theatre Journal, but Buruma had the unusual experience of being heavily involved with Tenjō Sajiki and Terayama Shūji. While not a scholarly work per se, A Tokyo Romance is an easy and worthwhile read for those interested in Japan and Japanese cultural figures during the explosive postwar period. A Tokyo Romance in many ways is an example of a traditional literary genre that has been a part of Western discourse about Japan: the autobiography of a Westerner within the country. In similar works by foreigners, from Joao Rodrigues Historia da Igreja do Japao (ca. 1749), through Lafcadio Hearn’s and others, the trope of Westerner engagement with Japan has proven to be fertile literary ground. After the Second World War, the influx of
Asian Theatre Journal – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 13, 2019
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