Shelves: history-politics-culture , solid-read A gem of a book I accidentally stumbled upon. Ian Buruma knows what he is writing about small wonder since he had been living in Japan for seven years and has very insightful and sharp remarks about the Japanese society and some of its particularities the cult of mother, the worship of immaculate beauty that reaches its peak in destruction, etc. The only downside I can find with the book is A gem of a book I accidentally stumbled upon. The only downside I can find with the book is unsystematic presentation since it is unclear what the author was trying to accomplish by compiling essays on various topics and giving us random glimpses into the core of the Japanese society and their way of thinking. Nevertheless, be careful reading it as it is 30 years old and some aspects of society of course have changed.
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He went to school in both Holland and Japan, and he has spent a great deal of time in Japan. The book, Behind the Mask, was a very interesting one. This book is filled with lots of Japans history that most people know nothing about. Much of the content in Behind the Mask is focused on sexuality and violence.
The book has thirteen chapters each dealing with a different topic. It starts out with a kind of mythology about the origins of Japan.
It is then followed by chapters on mothers in Japan and marriage. Some of the other topics focus on women, geisha, and yakuza. Behind the Mask is a great book explaining a great deal of the sexuality related to the culture and religion of Japan. To the Japanese, sex is a part of nature; it is not considered a sin. The worst thing that can happen to an individual in Japan is to be socially shamed or dishonored.
They fear being unclean, death, and blood, among other things. Purification is a big deal in Japan. Ian Buruma, the author, not only explains in great detail much of the history and practices of the Japanese, but he also writes much about significant people and places dealing with the topic. There were many significant people who contributed a great deal to the practices in Japan. He also describes many of the important places where certain events occurred. He explains what the kabuki theaters looked like and also the famous strip clubs.
It fishes its insights from the rich and muddy river of popular culture that the Foreign Ministry has always tried to screen from foreign view. Through skillfully chosen subjects — sex, gender, the mother — we find a comprehensible if sometimes surprising fantasy persona behind the inscrutable mask…fascinating, imaginative, highly polished, entertaining.
Tauzuru I fully understand why Buruma declined to revise this book, because his life too has moved on and Japan is no longer the primary focus of his interest. Yet another book about Japan, but I totally loved it! The final chapter on methods of blowing off steam in a relatively conformist society e. To ask other readers questions about Behind the Maskplease sign up.
Ian Buruma's Behind the Mask
Overview[ edit ] Buruma lived in Japan from to , where he worked as a film reviewer, photographer and documentary filmmaker. He later traveled throughout Asia working as a freelance writer. In , he delivered the Huizinga Lecture on " Neoromanticism of writers in exile" in the Pieterskerk in Leiden , Netherlands. Ghomeshi was acquitted in of one count of choking and four counts of sexual assault, after over 20 women complained either to the police or in the media. The publication of the essay was controversial, in part because Ghomeshi wrote that the allegations against him were "inaccurate".
IAN BURUMA BEHIND THE MASK PDF
BEHIND THE MASK