Edo Japan Encounters the World

Edo Japan Encounters the World

Conversations Between Donald Keene and Shiba Ryotaro

Donald Keene and Shiba Ryotaro
Translated by Tony Gonzalez

Published by JPIC | Hardcover | ISBN 978-4-86658-018-0 | 140 pages | 210mm (h) x 148mm (w) | March 2018


―十六世紀まで遡って見る 「ドナルド・キーン著作集第九巻 所収」
ドナルド・キーン、司馬 遼太郎 著
新潮社 刊



About the Book

Edo Japan Encounters the World continues the conversation, begun nearly twenty years earlier in The People and Culture of Japan, between scholar of Japanese literature Donald Keene and historical novelist Shiba Ryotaro. In discussions that took place in Osaka and Kyoto from 1989 to 1990, these two penetrating and original observers of Japanese culture turn their attention to the long peace of the Edo period (1603-1868), when Japan developed in relative isolation from outside influence. From analysis of literary masters like Basho and Chikamatsu to critiques of the repressive aspects of Edo life, their exchanges bring much insight to this often romanticized period of Japanese history.

About the Author

Donald KEENE

Donald Keene was born in New York in 1922. He graduated from Columbia University in 1942 and immediately entered the Navy Japanese Language School. He served as a translator and interpreter during World War II. Afterwards, he obtained a doctoral degree from Columbia. He first taught at Cambridge University in 1948–53. He spent 1953–55 at Kyoto University, then became a professor at Columbia in 1955. Since then, he has published over 50 books related to Japan’s literature and culture in Japanese and English. He received Japan’s Order of Culture in 2008.

SHIBA Ryotaro

Shiba Ryotaro was born in Osaka in 1923, and graduated from the Mongolian department at the Osaka Foreign Language School. In 1960, while working as a newspaper reporter, he received the Naoki Prize for his first novel Fukurō no shiro (Castle of Owls), after which he became a full-time novelist. He has received many other awards, including the Japan Art Academy’s Imperial Award, for his many historical works such as Kūkai no fūkei (Kūkai the Universal: Scenes from his Life). He received the Order of Culture in 1993. Other main works include Ryōma ga yuku (Ryōma Goes his Way), Kaidō o yuku (On the Highway), Kono kuni no katachi (The Form of Our Country), and Saka no ue no kumo (Clouds above the Hill: A Historical Novel of the Russo-Japanese War). He died in February 1996.