The Japanese Discovery of America: A Brief History with by Peter Duus

By Peter Duus

Ebook via Duus, Peter

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By Peter Duus

Ebook via Duus, Peter

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Additional info for The Japanese Discovery of America: A Brief History with Documents (The Bedford Series in History and Culture)

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It was, for example, pages from his earliest Japan journals that he used when, nearly forty-five years later, he wrote an account intended as the opening chapter for a memoir (later published as an essay in The Donald Richie Reader). The extant diary segments often begin with an occurrence that Richie wanted to save—perhaps for eventual further use, but often also for its own sake since otherwise it would have been lost. Indeed, such threatening loss is one of the themes of the journals. At the same time, this method of journal-keeping cannot be said to faithfully reflect the shape of the author’s life.

And now, chilled by that great sky, we went down the steep stairs, companionable but inarticulate. I had given him an outing; he had given me his bird’s eye view of Asakusa. early summer 1947—kita kamakura. I stood before the great gate at Engakuji. The naked guardians grimaced, the carved eaves stretched above me, the roof soared and touched the pines. I was about to enter the abode of the Buddha, the world of Daruma, the land of Zen. I said the word softly to myself—the cicada-like drone of the syllable, the sudden halt of the consonant.

Others, less wounded, hung from the roof and the sides. He could have arrived sooner by walking. At his uncle’s house he found his brother and, surprisingly, his uncle. The latter’s arm was badly burned. He had come home that afternoon, walking the entire distance. He told them about their family. They had been sitting at the table, his sister and himself. The younger girls had already gone to bed and his brother-in-law was at Susaki. The first planes bombed around Fukagawa, and then closed the circle, making it smaller and smaller.

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