New Books Network

Judith Farquhar and Qicheng Zhang, “Ten Thousand Things: Nurturing Life in Contemporary Beijing” (Zone Press, 2012)
What do walking backward, water calligraphy, and belting out popular songs in public have in common? All of them can be conceived as techniques for cultivating life, or yangsheng, and they are all featured in Judith Farquhar and Qicheng Zhang‘s wonderful new book. Ten Thousand Things: Nurturing Life in Contemporary... Read More
Ethan Segal, “Coins, Trade, and the State: Economic Growth in Early Medieval Japan” (Harvard University Asia Center, 2011)
What did money mean to the people of medieval Japan? In Coins, Trade, and the State: Economic Growth in Early Medieval Japan (Harvard University Asia Center, 2011), Ethan Segal takes readers through a fascinating exploration of the politics, society, and culture of pre-1600 Japan. One of the wonderful things about... Read More
Merry White, “Coffee Life in Japan” (University of California Press, 2012)
Merry (Corky) White‘s new book Coffee Life in Japan (University of California Press, 2012) opens with a memory of stripping naked and being painted blue in an underground coffeehouse, and closes with a guide to some of the author’s favorite cafes in Japan. This framing alone is worth the price... Read More
Gail Hershatter, “The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China’s Collective Past” (University of California Press, 2011)
When I teach my course on gender, sexuality, and human rights, my students invariably want to talk about China’s one-child policy. They imagine living in a state where the government tells you how many children you can have – and they’re horrified. One thing I learned from reading Gail Hershatter‘s... Read More
Hank Glassman, “The Face of Jizō: Image and Cult in Medieval Japanese Buddhism” (University of Hawai’i Press, 2012)
In this episode, we talk with Prof. Hank Glassman who’s written a new book titled The Face of Jizo : Image and Cult in Medieval Japanese Buddhism (University of Hawaii Press, 2012). Jizo is a Buddhist Bodhisattva whose presence has become ubiquitous throughout Japan as the protector of travelers, women,... Read More
Robert K. Fitts, “Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, and Assassination during the 1934 Tour of Japan” (University of Nebraska Press, 2012)
There are three Americans in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. One is Horace Wilson, the professor of English who brought his students outside for a game in 1872, thus introducing baseball to Japan. Another is Wally Yonamine, the Hawaii-born Nisei who played professional baseball in Japan in the 1950s... Read More
Laurence Monnais, C. Michele Thompson, and Ayo Wahlberg, “Southern Medicine for Southern People: Vietnamese Medicine in the Making” (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012)
Southern Medicine for Southern People: Vietnamese Medicine in the Making (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012) gives me hope for the future of edited volumes. Not only is it a fascinating and coherent treatment of the history and practice of Vietnamese medicine, but it’s also a wonderfully interdisciplinary collection of approaches that... Read More