Read Kansai Cool: A Journey into the Cultural Heartland of Japan by Christal Whelan Free Online
Book Title: Kansai Cool: A Journey into the Cultural Heartland of Japan|
The author of the book: Christal Whelan
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.91 MB
Edition: Tuttle Publishing
Date of issue: March 25th 2014
ISBN 13: 9784805312803
Read full description of the books Kansai Cool: A Journey into the Cultural Heartland of Japan:In Kansai Cool, anthropologist, writer and filmmaker Christal Whelan offers deep insights into the clash of old and new, traditional and modern that plays out on a daily basis in Japan's ancient heartland.
The western region of Japan is known as Kansai—centering around the ancient capitals of Kyoto and Nara, and the sprawling, modern port cities of Osaka and Kobe. Kansai is Japan's "second region" after Tokyo—and is at once home to Japan's most traditional cultural centers and its most modern culture.
From the ancient beliefs of Kyoto to the contemporary otaku or "geek" culture of manga, anime, costume play, robots and video games, readers will see how cultures collide in:
The needs of the spirit: Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples
The arts: dance, painting, anime and martial combat
The relationship between hi-tech and old-tech: bikes and robots
Fashion trends: from exquisite kimonos to hip haute couture
The meaning of landscape: man-made islands and the mystical power of water
In this unique collection of 25 essays, Whelan dives beneath the surface of Japan to let readers experience how art, science, faith and history mesh in the Kansai region to produce a singular wellspring of traditional and modern Japanese culture.
Read information about the authorChristal Whelan, author-anthropologist, grew up in Munich, Honolulu, and Washington D.C., and has lived and worked in Japan intermittently since 1990. Six years after her arrival, she published The Beginning of Heaven and Earth: The Sacred Book of Japan's Hidden Christians, a book based on her experiences among the few remaining clandestine communities with whom she lived on the remote Goto Islands, and about whom she later made the documentary Otaiya, screened at the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival. From a focus on rural and local religion, Whelan's interest expanded to include monastic Buddhism, Shinto, and even the country's newer globalizing religious movements. As a stringer for RNS, she was the first person in the U.S. media to break the news of the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway as perpetrated by the cult Aum Shinrikyo.
Her new book Kansai Cool (2014) is a collection of twenty-five short essays about the Kansai region—the font of Japan's unique cultural traditions, and draws from Whelan's ten years of experience in the country, including her work for The Daily Yomiuri newspaper as columnist of "Kansai Culturescapes." A contributor to Fodor's Japan, her work has also appeared in The Japan Times, Kyoto Journal, and various publications of the Asahi Shimbun. From memorial services for needles to anime, fashion, Buddhist temples, and the culinary arts, Kansai Cool provides a cultural compass to a region vibrant in diversity.
Since 2007 Whelan began to visit Mongolia where she has worked in both the contemporary capital of Ulaan Baatar and in Kharkhorum, the ancient capital of the Mongolian Empire. Fascinated by the current trend of nomadic herders quitting the land for an urban lifestyle, the reinvention of Genghis Khan as the father of Mongolian democracy, the expanding sphere of Korean influence from hospitals and universities to television docudramas, and by the dilemmas generated by religious options in this post-Soviet democracy—Tibetan Buddhism, American Mormonism, Korean Protestantism, and Mongolian shamanism—Whelan's upcoming book on Mongolia will offer an unusual portrait of a country and its people as they navigate a complex political, social, and spiritual landscape.
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