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Gathering for the 1st time all of Claude Lévi-Strauss’s writings on jap civilization, The different Face of the Moon kinds a sustained meditation into the French anthropologist’s dictum that to appreciate one’s personal tradition, one needs to regard it from the perspective of another.

publicity to jap paintings was once influential in Lévi-Strauss’s early highbrow development, and among 1977 and 1988 he visited the rustic 5 occasions. The essays, lectures, and interviews of this quantity, written among 1979 and 2001, are the made of those trips. They examine an marvelous diversity of subjects—among them Japan’s founding myths, Noh and Kabuki theater, the uniqueness of the japanese musical scale, the artisanship of Jomon pottery, and the connection among jap photograph arts and delicacies. For Lévi-Strauss, Japan occupied a distinct position between international cultures. Molded within the old prior by means of chinese language impacts, it had extra lately included a lot from Europe and the us. however the substance of those borrowings was once so conscientiously assimilated that jap tradition by no means misplaced its specificity. as if considered from the hidden part of the moon, Asia, Europe, and the US all locate, in Japan, photos of themselves profoundly transformed.

As in Lévi-Strauss’s vintage ethnography Tristes Tropiques, this new English translation provides the voice of 1 of France’s such a lot public intellectuals at its so much personal.

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J. Kawada:  based on a delusion that unfold between overseas Japanophiles, the japanese have the knowledge to stay in concord with nature. however, of their concrete relatives with nature within the wild, the japanese don't have a well-­developed perform. quite, they put aside the wild components, which characterize approximately two-­thirds of the realm of Japan— those are referred to as yama, which accurately skill “mountain,” yet with a connotation of “wild land. ” The pollutants and destruction of our environment are prog­ress­ing at a livid speed in Japan, as you've gotten obvious, and at an excellent extra speeded up cost, possibly, when you consider that your final stopover at to Japan in 1988. How do you spot the current scenario of the connection among guy and nature in Japan, in comparison to the conventional concept of nature for the japanese, conventionally conceived in idealized instead of genuine phrases? 148 interview with junzo kawada C. Lévi-­S trauss:  You’re altogether correct. We shaped a fake proposal on that rating. In touring on the subject of ev­erywhere, within the inside, in Shikoku, in Kyushu, besides such a lot of extraordinary impressions, i discovered the brutality with which Japan treats nature painful. yet while, you should supply Japan credits; you acknowledged it your self, two-­thirds of Japan is uninhabited nature. There should not many nations that have been capable of do so feat of making a ravishing city civilization that's at the related time respectful of a big a part of its territory. however the Western phantasm ­comes, i feel, from the truth that the japanese confirmed the West that it was once attainable to take advantage of nature as a uncooked fabric, to create an paintings established solely on traditional parts. that's what you do with ikebana, and that's additionally what you do with eastern gardens. i might effortlessly say that standard eastern nature, the only humans see, already represents a backyard of types, when put next to our personal. And that your gardens characterize gardens to the second one strength. I had a truly profound experience of that during Kyushu, whereas vacationing that village of Chiran. J. Kawada:  Of Chiran, yes . . . 149 interview with junzo kawada C. Lévi-­S trauss:  it truly is nonetheless virtually intact. you discover dwellings there that belonged to historic Samurai from the daimyÇ of where, and every one with a really attractive residence and a small backyard. yet a small backyard of a luxurious and re­finement that, as you went from one apartment to a different, have been of a very good variety; as though each one proprietor, along with his personal character, had desired to create from ordinary parts an unique paintings that stands except that of his neighbor, up to the paintings of a very good painter should be unusual from that of one other. That’s what has been taken within the West to be a love of nature. So the truth is extra com­pli­cated! J. Kawada:  via your anthropological learn, you could have revalorized the wild, the sauvage. may possibly you let us know very in short, may possibly you inform the Japanese—and given the present kingdom of jap culture—why it truly is im­por­t ant to maintain the sauvage? C. Lévi-­S trauss:  i didn't loads valorize the sauvage, I simply desired to exhibit that the sauvage persists in we all.

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