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The Monkey as Mirror : Symbolic Transformations in Japanese History and Ritual - Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney

The Monkey as Mirror

Symbolic Transformations in Japanese History and Ritual

Paperback Published: 21st April 1989
ISBN: 9780691028460
Number Of Pages: 288

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This tripartite study of the monkey metaphor, the monkey performance, and the 'special status' people traces changes in Japanese culture from the eighth century to the present. During early periods of Japanese history the monkey's nearness to the human-animal boundary made it a revered mediator or an animal deity closest to humans. Later it became a scapegoat mocked for its vain efforts to behave in a human fashion. Modern Japanese have begun to see a new meaning in the monkey--a clown who turns itself into an object of laughter while challenging the basic assumptions of Japanese culture and society.

"In an important and interesting new work the anthropologist author examines the historical transformations of the concept of self and other in Japan. This subject, basic in any culture, sometimes seems central in Japan, and any elucidation it can receive is to be welcomed... [This] is a fair, impartial, balanced reading of a neglected chain of metaphors which can teach us much about this country."--Donald Richie, The Japan Times

ISBN: 9780691028460
ISBN-10: 069102846X
Series: Asian Studies/Anthropology
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 21st April 1989
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 13.97  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.34