New Books Network

Danny Orbach, “Curse on This Country: The Rebellious Army of Imperial Japan” (Cornell UP, 2017)
Danny Orbach’s Curse on This Country: The Rebellious Army of Imperial Japan (Cornell University Press, 2017) provides new insights into the origins of the insubordination that plagued and characterized the Imperial Japanese Army in the 1930s. Orbach identifies the causes of insubordination in both the political culture of the military... Read More
Melissa McCormick, “The Tale of Genji: A Visual Companion” (Princeton UP, 2018)
The Genji Album (1510) in the Harvard Art Museums is the oldest dated set of Genji illustrations known to exist. In The Tale of Genji. A Visual Companion, published by Princeton University Press in 2018, Melissa McCormick discusses all of the fifty-four paintings by Tosa Mitsunobu and calligraphies in the album, thus providing a... Read More
Nancy S. Steinhardt, “Chinese Architecture: A History” (Princeton UP, 2019)
If there’s one thing that conjures up the – rightly contested – idea of a ‘civilisation’, it is grand palatial or religious buildings, and many such structures are foremost in how China is imagined throughout the world. But as Nancy S. Steinhardt notes in Chinese Architecture: A History (Princeton University... Read More
Chika Watanabe, “Becoming One: Religion, Development, and Environmentalism in a Japanese NGO in Myanmar” (U Hawaii Press, 2019)
Chika Watanabe’s Becoming One: Religion, Development, and Environmentalism in a Japanese NGO in Myanmar (University of Hawaii Press, 2019) is a rich ethnographic study of the work of a Japanese NGO called the Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement. Watanabe’s deep dive into the daily workings of OISCA explores... Read More
Jeremy Friedman, “Shadow Cold War: The Sino-Soviet Competition for the Third World” (UNC Press, 2018)
If today’s geopolitical fragmentation and the complexities of a ‘multipolar’ world order have led some to reminisce about the apparent stability of the Cold War era’s two ‘camps’, it should be remembered that things were of course never so straightforward. As Jeremy Friedman shows in Shadow Cold War: The Sino-Soviet... Read More
Kate Harris, “Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road” (Dey Street Books, 2019)
Kate Harris — writer, scientist, and extreme cyclist – talks about the trip she made with her friend Mel, tracing Marco Polo’s route across Central Asia and Tibet. The journey is the subject of Harris’s book, Lands of Lost Borders: a Journey on the Silk Road (Dey Street Books, 2019).... Read More
Jakobina Arch, “Bringing Whales Ashore: Oceans and the Environment of Early Modern Japan” (U Washington Press, 2018)
Bringing Whales Ashore: Oceans and the Environment of Early Modern Japan (University of Washington Press, 2018) is more than a history of whaling in Japan. Jakobina K. Arch weaves together a wealth of diverse materials to demonstrate and explore the social, cultural, economic, intellectual, and religious impacts of whales on... Read More