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36 Views of Mount Fuji : On Finding Myself in Japan - Cathy N. Davidson

36 Views of Mount Fuji

On Finding Myself in Japan

Paperback Published: 30th October 2006
ISBN: 9780822339137
Number Of Pages: 272

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In 1980 Cathy N. Davidson traveled to Japan to teach English at a leading all-women's university. It was the first of many journeys and the beginning of a deep and abiding fascination. In this extraordinary book, Davidson depicts a series of intimate moments and small epiphanies that together make up a panoramic view of Japan. With wit, candor, and a lover's keen eye, she tells captivating stories--from that of a Buddhist funeral laden with ritual to an exhilarating evening spent touring the "Floating World," the sensual demimonde in which salaryman meets geisha and the normal rules are suspended. On a remote island inhabited by one of the last matriarchal societies in the world, a disconcertingly down-to-earth priestess leads her to the heart of a sacred grove. And she spends a few unforgettable weeks in a quasi-Victorian residence called the Practice House, where, until recently, Japanese women were taught American customs so that they would make proper wives for husbands who might be stationed abroad. In an afterword new to this edition, Davidson tells of a poignant trip back to Japan in 2005 to visit friends who had remade their lives after the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, which had devastated the city of Kobe, as well as the small town where Davidson had lived and the university where she taught.

"36 Views of Mount Fuji" not only transforms our image of Japan, it offers a stirring look at the very nature of culture and identity. Often funny, sometimes liltingly sad, it is as intimate and irresistible as a long-awaited letter from a good friend.

Industry Reviews

"No one could have tried harder to fathom Japanese culture [than Davidson]. The result is a series of illuminations not unlike the sudden break in the clouds that finally lets her glimpse Mount Fuji from the window of a bullet train." Francine Prose, New York Times Book Review "Appealing."--Francine Prose, New York Times Book Review "Quick-witted."--Elizabeth Ward, Washington Post Book World "Davidson is a droll guide and a questing soul."--Elle "Beautifully written."--Susan Allen Toth, author of Blooming: A Small-Town Girlhood "Luminous... Nuanced and passionate."--Booklist "[Davidson's] charmingly drawn word-pictures resonate."--Publishers Weekly "A delightful read."--Mary Catherine Bateson, author of Composing a Life "Brilliant, wise, and witty."--Louise DeSalvo, author of Virginia Woolf "A lovely book."--Marilyn French, author of The Women's Room "Davidson is a sensitive observer."--Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Perceptive, frank, and personal."--Library Journal "Superb ... a jewel."--Trenton Times "Honest and even-handed."--Lincoln Journal-Star "Brimming with understated emotion."--Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star "Top drawer."--Kirkus Reviews "Trust us. Try it."--New York Daily News

A Note on Japanese Names
List of Illustrations
Seeing and Being Seen
After School
From the Best Families
Typical Japanese Women
Night Moves
Sacred Places
Going Home
Sea of Japan, Oki, 1987
Tatami Room in Cedar Grove
Festival of the Dead
Photo Album: The Fourth Journey
The Practice House
House Guest
Climbing the Mountain
Afterword (2005)
Acknowledgments to the First Edition
Acknowledgments to the Second Edition
Glossary of Japanese Words and Expressions
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780822339137
ISBN-10: 0822339137
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 30th October 2006
Publisher: Duke University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.39
Edition Number: 2

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