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Jews in the Japanese mind : the history and uses of a cultural stereotype

Author: David G Goodman; Masanori Miyazawa; Mazal Holocaust Collection.
Publisher: New York : Free Press, ©1995.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The popularity in Japan of books about Jews has climbed to staggering proportions. Such books have sold millions of copies and often top the best-seller list. What explains the virtual obsession with Jews in Japan - a country that has no Jews? Many of the Japanese books about Jews are overtly antisemitic; but even a large number of otherwise respectable scholarly books are replete with egregious distortions and  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Goodman, David G., 1946-
Jews in the Japanese mind.
New York : Free Press, ©1995
(OCoLC)622927800
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: David G Goodman; Masanori Miyazawa; Mazal Holocaust Collection.
ISBN: 0029124824 9780029124826
OCLC Number: 30919798
Description: xi, 360 pages, [8] pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Responsibility: David G. Goodman, Masanori Miyazawa.
More information:

Abstract:

The popularity in Japan of books about Jews has climbed to staggering proportions. Such books have sold millions of copies and often top the best-seller list. What explains the virtual obsession with Jews in Japan - a country that has no Jews? Many of the Japanese books about Jews are overtly antisemitic; but even a large number of otherwise respectable scholarly books are replete with egregious distortions and antisemitic canards, such as references to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious antisemitic forgery, as though it were a serious work of social and historical analysis; and most propagate the myth that Jews control the American media and dominate international finance. How can we account for the indiscriminate mixture of fact and fantasy in the Japanese view of the Jews? Is Japanese antisemitism a growing phenomenon, and what does it portend for Japan's relations with the West as a whole? In this highly original cultural and intellectual history of modern Japan, authors David Goodman and Masanori Miyazawa use the Japanese image of the Jews to illuminate the Japanese mind. Skillfully tracing the sources and historical development of this image of the Jews against the background of Japan's emergence from centuries of cultural isolation, the authors reveal how its subtle alterations over time also reflect the changing character of Japanese social and political experience in this century. But while the Japanese do seem to have accepted all of the worst anti-Jewish stereotypes at face value, the remarkable fact is that, unlike Western antisemites, the Japanese frequently admire the Jews for achieving such disproportionate power, and argue that their countrymen should follow their example. This history of the Jewish image in Japan thus sheds important light on the ambiguous character of philosemitism for Jews and non-Jews alike, as well as affording valuable insight into the Japanese penchant for adapting imported ideas and images to peculiar cultural ends.

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