BEHIND THE MASK. On Sexual Demons, Sacred Mothers, Transvestites, Gangsters, Drifters And Other Japanese Cultural Heroes. by Ian. Ian Buruma, Behind the Mask: On Sexual Demons, Sacred Mothers, Transvestites, Gangsters, Drifters, and Other Japanese Cultural Heroes. Behind the mask: on sexual demons, sacred mothers, transvestites, gangsters, and other Japanese cultural heroes. Front Cover. Ian Buruma. New American.

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I don’t know how beneficial it was for me to read this. I still behiind know, and this much time put into a book should not make me feel that way accidentally.

Overall, the book had some interesting insights into why certain aspects of Japanese society are the way they are, but it felt negative and biased in one direction. Ian Buruma’s ‘Japanese Mirror: Heroes and Villains in Japanese Culture’ opens by exploring Japan’s eighth-century foundational myth. What makes them tick? Feb 02, Jenna rated it it was ok Shelves: Books by Ian Buruma.

This has been a fascinating book to read, always lively, sometimes dealing with subject matter I found so horrifying I had to go and read something hhe before coming back.

Across the board, high to low, “everyone is dressed for his or her part. We are sometimes presented with contextual information and close-reading of a few works by the one author; other sources receive just a cursory glance as they relate to an overarching theme. The only burumaa I can find with the book is unsy A gem of a book I accidentally stumbled upon.

There are no discussion burumaa on this book yet. Going into this book, I was expecting a more clear cut historical look at these figures stated in the title in Japan. Unless you don’t want to.


After living in Japan for a couple years I thought this book would be interesting. Want to Read saving…. Jan 07, Jap Hengky rated it really liked it Shelves: There are enough tidbits in here about things that sound crazy from the perspective of a Westerner, but make sense in the Japanese way of thinking He excels at tying these works together by explaining core concepts which aid in elucidating the emotional reactions of both the characters and the audience.

Oct 21, Iztok rated it really liked it. How it is developed from ancient empire time through modern era nowadays. Others have given extensive glowing reviews all justified. There’s a glitch in Goodreads. I had to power through almost all of this, and though I did learn something every page, every chapter seemed to contradict what the previous chapter had said. Nov 30, Kit Fox rated it it was amazing.

Ginzburg’s peasant radicalism runs deep in Japan, and one only need peel away a thin veneer to discover its presence. That annoying characteristic aside, he does manage a pretty compelling hypothesis about the transmission of certain characteristics prominent in the Japanese psyche from the earliest historical records to the present.

Behind the Mask

Trivia About Behind the Mask: Sep 25, Kim rated it liked it. For most, it remains an aspiration which is beyond the realms of possibility, except when indulging imagination freed from such conventions.

So now I ixn two copies. If you have the slightest interest in Japanese film, this book’s more or less a must. The final chapter on methods of blowing off steam in a relatively conformist society e. Nevertheless, be careful reading it as it is 30 years old and some aspects of society of course have changed.




Aug 30, Marija S. These dated from years after Buruma’s book, but fit perfectly with his thesis. The book predates the relatively recent Japan-mania, or Japanophilia, that large swathes of Westerners exhibit today, with the increase in interest in Japanese music, manga and anime, so there burjma little reference to anime characters familiar with many of us.

It cannot and should [not] be taread as a definitive take on the Japanese character.

Ian Buruma’s nonfiction tends to be wonderful, and this book is no exception. Be the first to discover new talent!

Behind the Mask : Ian Buruma :

His deliberately weird method of romanizing certain Japanese words was probably meant for businessmen and those only tangentially interested in Japan who he figured would th never figure out how to pronouce the words correctly Ian Buruma is a great writer: The depth in which Buruma engages varies from source to source. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts.

The term is not really used for foreigners who, one can only assume, lack such a thing.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Buruma goes on to examine various dominant cultural traits in Japanese society.