LIST OF JOURNALS REVIEWED:
Archives of Asian Art [formerly: Archives of the Chinese Art Society]
Asian Art and Culture [formerly: Asian Art]
Asian Folklore Studies
Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars (BCAS)
The Developing Economies
East Asian History [formerly: Papers on Far Eastern History]
Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies (HJAS)
Japan Quarterly (JQ).
Japanese Economic Studies
Japanese Journal of Religious Studies (JJRS) [formerly: Contemporary Religions in Japan]
Japanese Literature Today [formerly: Japan P.E.N. News]
Japanese Yearbook on Business History
Journal of American-East Asian Relations
Journal of the American Oriental Society (JAOS)
Journal of Asian Studies (JAS)
Journal of the Association of Teachers of Japanese (JATJ)
Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies
Journal of Japanese Studies
Modern Asian Studies (MAS)
Monumenta Nipponica (MN)
Nichibunken Japan Review
positions: east asia cultures critique
Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan (TASJ)
1) Indexes of the contents of the particular journal, typically published every so many years in the journal itself.
2) General indexes: here it should first be noted that ALL of the following journals (with the exception, as of summer 1995, of Japanese Business Yearbook and Sino-Japanese Studies), are indexed in UnCover. Since UnCover only goes back to 1988 (at the latest), however, indication is provided below, under the rubric "General indexes," of whether the journal is listed in any of these three major indexes: Humanities Index, Social Science Index, and Art Index. All of these began in printed form before UnCover, so are useful for finding older articles; they also continue in online forms that will be found in Clio Plus. The situation will be greatly improved, at least for the period before 1988, with the promised release in the near future of the Bibliography of Asian Studies on CD-ROM, which will be retrospective back to at least 1970 (before which a cumulative printed index is available). It will probably never be as up-to-date as UnCover for recent articles, but will at least make it unnecessary to consult the three more specialized indexes for pre-1988 materials.
Translations of Japanese scholarly research and essays collected by the Tôhô Gakkai and issued irregularly, one to three issues annually. Covers a range of topics in the history and culture of Japan, China and India, and occasionally of other regions of East Asia (an "Orient" of inexplicit geographical boundaries). The Tôhô Gakkai annual conferences are a significant event in the Japanese studies community. The institute also publishes a newsletter.
The preface to the first issue includes such disturbing locutions as "To refrain ourselves from repeating to paint the lily in the Western proverb . . . ," but the body of the journal appears better edited, with damage limited to the misuse of definite and indefinite articles. This is not to vouch for the accuracy of the translations, however.
The early issues (until around 1970) are miscellaneous in content. No.18 (March 1970) is a special issue on Southeast Asia. No.22 (March 1972) is a special on the Tokugawa exclusion policy. Subsequent issues each take a single theme. The emphasis is ancient-premodern; there are comparatively few articles on topics in 20th century society.
BOOK REVIEWS: None.
OVERALL EVALUATION: The quality of translations in more recent issues appears high, making the journal a valuable source for specialists in the fields covered. Indeed, if one is dependent on work in translation, the journal is indispensible, as it is the only consistent source for translations of mainstream Japanese scholars. Always worth checking for items of interest.
INDEXES: No.24 (1973) reprints the tables of contents of issues 1-23 (1960-1972). No.40 (1981) does the same for nos.30-39 (1976-1980). There is no listing for the intervening years.
SUBSCRIPTION: Contact the Tokyo branch of the Tôhô Gakkai, 4-1 Nishi-Kanda 2-chôme, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 101
Under the auspices of the Friends of Asia Society since 1967, this was originally the Bulletin of the Chinese Art Society of America which started publication in 1946 "to disseminate knowledge of Chinese Art." The original roster was comprised of some of the biggest names in American Asian art: Alexander Soper, George Rowley, and Lawrence Sickman, for example. It is generally an annual but occasionally a biennual. The earliest articles helped to set the framework for the field today, alongside lengthy obituaries which honor important scholars of the passing generation. As its title indicated, the earlier Archives concentrated on Chinese art, with virtually no exception until the early 60s. Since it became Archives of Asian Art, the balance between Chinese art and Indian art has evened, with a constant interspersal of Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian art articles.
There is a complete list of American museum accessions in Asian art, the more important ones illustrated, through 1976-77 (published in vol. XXXI - 77-78). From 1979, they publish only the more important works with photographs. The "Brief Notes" section is usually obituaries with bibliographies but sometimes work in progress reports or corrections.
BOOK REVIEWS: Other than a general review of catalogues (and collections) of Shang bronzes, there are none.
OVERALL EVALUATION: One of the few scholarly journals in English on Asian Art, it must be digested to keep up in the field.
INDEXES: There are cumulative indexes of the contents published in the 1987 and 1992 issues. General indexes: Art Index.
SUBSCRIPTION: $25/year plus $2.50 shipping charge for the first year and $1.50 thereafter (within the U.S.). Back issues are $23 when available. [MW]
Published by: The Museum Rietberg Zurich with the Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian
Call No.: Fine Arts N3 Ar78
Library Has: vol. 1 (1925/26) to present
Artibus Asiae started in 1925 as a biannual journal of western scholarship of Asian art., published in Dresden. Well over half of the articles in the early issues are in French or German, with a focus on Chinese and Ancient Near Eastern art in European collections. After World War II, Artibus Asiae came under the general editorship of the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University, and continues to present as a sporadic quarterly of primarily American scholarship of Asian art.
Although there are not very many articles about the arts of Japan, enough important "milestone" articles have appeared to list this journal among the most vital for the student of Japanese civilization. Each volume presents a fairly even distribution of articles by geographical area and medium, offering especially rich material on architecture, ceramics, and other "decorative" arts. Since Chinese art historian Alexander Soper of NYU was long one of the chief editors of Artibus Asiae, the journal has been the center of much important work on Chinese art, particularly reports of recent excavations. As the field of Japanese art in America and Europe continues to develop, Artibus Asiae will likely serve as a major forum for its publication.
BOOK REVIEWS: Most, but not all issues include a "Bibliographia" section at the end, with reviews of around 6 or 7 books published in North America and Europe.
OVERALL EVALUATION: As one of the oldest continuous scholarly journals on Asian art, Artibus Asiae is a valuable tool for gauging how the field has developed since the early twentieth century. Although the journal's (and the field's) center has shifted to the United States, it remains an important source for European scholarship in Asian art history. Of the various journals related to the arts of Japan and Asia Artibus Asiae is generally recognized to be the most academic. The journal also publishes occasional Artibus Asiae Supplementum volumes.
INDEXES: General indexes: Art Index, Avery Index (architectural periodicals).
SUBSCRIPTION: $75 per year
Published since September 1987, this quarterly has articles on Asian painting, sculpture, decorative arts, ceramics, textiles, photography, architecture, and folk traditions from the ancient to the modern. By "developing its focus from the gallery's program, Asian Art will investigate the visual arts of Asia in relation to their cultural, historical, and social milieus." The first volume concentrates on the arts of China, India, and the Near East; the second on Iran and India; and the third on China and Japan. There are also articles on the art of collecting and extensive references to further reading. Maps are also provided. In winter 1994, the title was changed to Asian Art and Culture to indicate the wide variety of material covered.
BOOK REVIEWS: none
OVERALL EVALUATION: Outstanding illustrations, with articles by specialists in the field. This journal contains material that is accessible to the lay reader and still useful and informative for scholars. Heavily oriented to Chinese art, and relatively lacking in Japanese and Korean. The journal is organized so that each issue is devoted to one specific area.
INDEX: None yet.
SUBSCRIPTION: $35 per year
Published by: Anthropological Institute, Nanzan University
Call no.: East Asian GR330 .F71
Library has: Vol. 1 - present (1942-)
Asian Folklore Studies, originally published annually by the Museum of Oriental Ethnology at the Catholic University of Peking, is now published biannually by the Anthropological Institute of Nanzan University in Nagoya. In the intervening years, the location of the journal's editing, printing, and publication has moved from Peking to Tokyo to Nagoya, in part reflecting the obvious difficulty of continuing to produce a critical and scholarly Western language journal after the Communist Revolution in China. The journal was founded at the Catholic University of Peking in 1942 by the Catholic priest and missionary Matthias Eder to serve as an "instrument and organ for field workers." Early editions included articles in English, German, and French with German articles often easily outnumbering articles in English or French.
The journal continued to be edited in Peking until 1949. From 1950 on, editing and printing were carried out in Tokyo, and in 1954, publication was officially moved to Tokyo and carried on by the Society of the Divine Word. Since then, the journal has been published biannually by the Society for Asian Folklore (1963-1972), the Asian Folklore Institute (1973-1975), the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture (1976-1978), the Nanzan University Institute of Anthropology (1979-1980), and presently by the Anthropological Institute of Nanzan University.
From its founding, Asian Folklore Studies has consistently averaged 300-330 pages per year, adn despite an early emphasis on Chinese anthropology and a shift in focus from China after 1949, each issue has included at least one article on Japan along with a variety of articles on other countries from ASia Minor to Northeast Asia.
BOOK REVIEWS: In a sample of the last ten years, AFS has included an average of 19-10 reviews, with the "General" category leading (average of 5) and reviews dealing with Japan second in frequency ( average of 4). The remaining reviews are spread geographically from Far Eastern Russia to Asia Minor to Hawaii.
OVERALL EVALUATION: AFS features well documented scholarly articles and helpful book reviews on topics from literature and philology to physical anthropology. However, where the depth of its scholarship is a plus (this is folklore not "fakelore"), the wide range of articles topically and geographically can be a minus. In the case of AFS, folklore seems to be at times a catch-all. Much of what is featured in AFS is of little or no use to Japan specialists.
INDEXES: Vols. 1-40, 1942-81, in v. 40. General indexes: Humanities Index.
SUBSCRIPTION: (1 year) individual US $18.00/Y3,000; institutions US $35.00/Y3,000 [LB]
Published by: Institute for International Studies at the University
Call no.: DS1 .A492
Library has: March 1961-present; lacks some issues.
Asian Survey, as the name suggests, is a journal dedicated to surveying a broad range of contemporary issues in Asian affairs. It is published monthly by the Institute for International Studies at the University of California. The first edition was published in March 1961, and it continues to the present.
The flagship issue says the journal is as much interested in topical foreground as with the background of contemporary affairs and that it will try to meet the needs of a broad readership. Ostensibly it covers material in anthropology, economics, geography, modern history, politics, sociology, literature and the creative arts. However, while earlier editions did contain some articles on sociology and history, from the 1970s on, Asian Survey has focused almost exclusively on politics, economics, and international affairs, policy and political economy. Issues in the '80s and '90s are very strong on international relations between Asian nations and trade issues in general. From the mid-70s on, the January and February editions were published as part 1 and part 2 of an "Asia Survey." It serves as a kind of review of the political and international relations issues in each Asian country for the prior year.
While the articles in Asian Survey are scholarly, they are "succinct rather than discursive." There is a 2500 word limit for entries. This editorial policy has apparently not changed from the first edition. This length of article seems about right for the issues discussed. Most articles seems to be original English-language research. Articles on Japan do not seem to include translations of Japanese-language material. Asian Survey treats topics on all Asian countries. Therefore, the coverage of Japan specifically can sometimes seem frustratingly sparse. Sometimes one has to go through several months of issues to find one article on Japan.
BOOK REVIEWS: There are no book reviews in Asian Survey, although earlier editions did offer lists of new books on Asia.
OVERALL EVALUATION: While Asian Survey was originally intended to cover a wide range of topics, it is best to think of it as a journal on political economy and international relations. It is not a history journal, nor a journal on the arts or literature. Even so, for those doing research on contemporary Japanese history, it can be a valuable source for post-war political, economic and international relations issues.
INDEXES: General indexes: Social Sciences Index.
SUBSCRIPTION: Monthly: individual $37, student $20. Single issues $6.25 Write to Univ. of California Press, Berkeley, CA 94720. [SO]
The Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars was founded in 1968 as the quarterly journal of the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars (CCAS). The CCAS began as a group of scholars opposed to the "brutal aggression of the United States in Vietman and the complicity or silence of our profession with regard to that policy." Thus, BCAS emerged as a left-aligned journal with an editorial board that included Herbert Bix, Noam Chomsky, John Dower, Helen Chauncey, and Frank Baldwin. The journal provides a forum for scholars of Asia to publish on issues not treated in mainstream journals like the JAS, and to debate "accepted" ideas from a leftist point of view; the style of articles ranges from populist to theoretical.
BCAS publishes a wide inter-disciplinary range of articles covering most countries throughout Asia; however, the articles vary considerably in quality and intent. Some are meant to raise new questions rather than resolve them. Articles are refereed. The journal is strong in social history and is committed to covering minority and women's history in a depth not found in most journals. The coverage on Japan is sporadic, but occasionally a specific edition will focus primarily on Japan and address issues such as migrant workers and women's issues in Japan. Also contains a high quality of diverse photographs on Asia and Japan, and occasional translations of short fiction.
BOOK REVIEWS: BCAS contributes a critical alternative voice in the field of Asian studies particularly through their insightful book reviews. These often appear in the form of a review essay which allows for more theoretical state-of-the-field critiques.
OVERALL EVALUATION: In addition to being a historiographically important barometer of the changes in the field during early 1970s, BCAS continues to introduce challenging perspectives to Asian Studies. Politically committed journal useful for book reviews and alternative views.
INDEXES: 1-18 (1968-1986).
SUBSCRIPTION: $22.00 per year; $16 with student discount. [JR, CLH]
ADDENDUM: This jounral suspended publication in 1999.
Subtitled "Tea and the Arts of Japan," Chanoyu Quarterly is published by the Urasenke Foundation of Kyoto and their Chanoyu Center in NYC. Since vol. 17 the Urasenke Foundation of Hawaii has joined in the publication. The journal was founded by the tea master Sen Soshitsu XV, who continues to provide a short essay for each issue. It began in 1970, halted from after 1971, resumed in 1975 and continues to the present.
The journal itself is beautifully printed with many color illustrations. Depending on the focus of the issue the articles cover all aspects of the tea ceremony, its history, procedures, impliments, and related arts such as ceramics, architecture, etc. Literature, especially poetry, calligraphy, and Zen Buddhism, are special areas of interest. Many articles are translations of work by Japanese scholars. Since 1982, each issue includes a glossary of terms in kanji and romanization. Notes and references for articles also give kanji and romanization, as well as English translations of Japanese titles. Every issue provides notes on its contributors.
BOOK REVIEWS: Each issue includes two to four reviews of books related to Japanese tea, arts, literature and religion, each about two pages long. From 1971-78, they were basically recommendations of interesting popular and art books. Since 1978 the books reviewed have become progressively more scholarly, and now include literary criticism, scholarly books on religion, especially Zen, and history.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Not a scholarly journal, but ot does occasionally provide useful articles for those interested in the arts, literature, and religion. Its book reviews are more scholarly, and worth checking.
INDEXES: A list of contents for #1-24 in #24 (1978), p. 67ff. A categorized subject index for #1-42 in #42 (1982), pp.70-80, and for #1-60 in #60 (1989), pp. 69-79. Since 1983, first issue of the year lists the contents of previous year. N.B. All lists include book reviews.
SUBSCRIPTION: In U.S. $25; elsewhere Y4,400. [HB,ES]
While The Developing Economies today publishes articles of little interest to the Japan scholar ("Rice farming in Thailand and Vietnam: Different Experiences with Mechanical Irrigation Techniques"), from its first year until the late 1970s it published numerous essays about Japan by leading Japanese social scientists (Maruyama Masao, Ôtsuka Hisao et al). Many of these were works of history. Note in particular that issue 4 of most years was a "special issue" with several essays on one topic, usually on Japan. For example, No. 4 of Volume 8 was "Postwar Japan: Aspects of Japan's Postwar Economic Development." Other special issues focused on the Meiji era or the prewar era. In any case, using the 1962-1982 index explained below, one can quickly learn if the journal contains any essays of interest. The journal would not seem to have much to offer after the period covered by the index.
BOOK REVIEWS: Generally two per issues, naturally on books with an economic focus.
INDEXES: Volume 21, No. 1 has a complete title and author index for all issues published up to that date (1962-1982). Be forewarned that for some reason this issue, No. 1., is bound at the end of Starr's copy of Volume 21 (after issues 2-4).
SUBSCRIPTION: $70 annually (4 issues). If you want to pay this much, correspondence regarding subscriptions should be sent to Maruzen Co., Ltd., P.O. Box 5050, Tokyo International 100-31, Japan. [KR]
As Papers on Far Eastern History, this journal first appeared in March, 1970. Until the mid-1980s, it remained fairly low-budget in appearance. Its new incarnation, East Asian History, is fancier, with glossy paper and illustrations, higher-quality print, and footnotes printed conveniently in the margins alongside the articles. It was originally founded as a forum for the publication of papers written by the faculty and students of Australian National University, and this group has continued to represent the large majority of its contributors, although over the years there have been increasing contributions from scholars from other universities in Australia and abroad. Each volume of Papers on Far Eastern History included on its last page a short description of the contributing authors' backgrounds; East Asian History has foregone this service.
Since the journal's inception, each volume has consisted of five or six academic papers, including full footnotes, and occasionally author's bibliographies as well. The countries covered have included Japan, China, Korea, and those of Southeast Asia. The heavy focus, however, is on China, and then Japan. A majority of the papers concern modern political and social history, though the magazine is certainly not limited to these areas. There are also translations from a variety of primary and scholarly texts, and numerous articles on ancient history, culture, and the arts, including literature, painting, and architecture.
BOOK REVIEWS: Book Reviews do not appear.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Though it gets little attention, the caliber of Australian scholarship tends to be quite high in many areas, and that appearing in this journal seems to be no exception. The first volume of East Asian History (June 1991) includes articles with such intriguing titles as "Concepts of Nature and Technology in Pre-Industrial Japan" (Tessa Morris-Suzuki) and "The Meiji Constitution: Theory and Practice" (Masuda Tomoko--trans. by A. Fraser). This journal is potentially an important source for all historians of East Asia, and should not remain "down under" in our list of consulted periodicals.
INDEXES: There is no index to date of East Asian History, but a cumulative index (by author) to the entire run of Papers on Far Eastern History can be found in vol. 41 (1990).
SUBSCRIPTION: Write to: Subscription Manager, East Asian History, Division of Pacific and Asian History, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia. Rates: US $45/yr
The Eastern Buddhist was founded in 1921 by Daisetz T. Suzuki and Beatrice Lane Suzuki as a "bi-monthly magazine devoted to the study of Mahayana Buddhism," although it became a quarterly in the mid-1920s and is published semi-annually today. There is no volume 2 in the old series because the magazine's printer in Tokyo was destroyed in the Kanto earthquake of 1923. Instead of trying to publish volume 2 belatedly, the editorial board decided to move on to volume 3 (Volume 4 does exist, but is missing from Starr library).
The Suzukis edited the magazine from its inception until 1939, when publication was halted. It was revived in 1965, again under Suzuki's leadership. Daisetz T. Suzuki died in 1966, at which point responsibility for the magazine passed to Keiji Nishitani. When he, in turn, died in 1990, stewardship of the magazine was assumed by his pupil, Masao Abe, who is now senior editor. William LaFleur also sits on the editorial board.
The magazine has a strong ideological bias, which is summed up in Article 3 of the Eastern Buddhist charter. Published in the journal's first issue, the charter states that the Eastern Buddhist Society intends to publish a magazine "aiming at the propogation of Buddhism." The magazine puts most of its emphasis on Zen Buddhism, and reflects the efforts of the "Kyoto School" to explain Zen in the context of Western philosophy.
BOOK REVIEWS: Each issue has a few reviews on works written by both Japanese and foreign scholars.
OVERALL EVALUATION: The magazine is very useful in keeping one up to date about Zen Buddhist scholarship in Japan and abroad. It's especially helpful to those interested in Suzuki and the Kyoto School of thought.
INDEXES: None known.
SUBSCRIPTION: In North America, the magazine can be ordered from Scholars Press, Box 15288, Atlanta, GA 30333. The annual subscription is $15.00. [AB]
Beginning with volume 37 (1977), HJAS has been published biannually by the Harvard-Yenching Institute. It was founded in 1936 in honor of Professor James Woods (1864-1935), one of Harvard's first orientalists, and a specialist in Buddhist studies. The first editor and founder of the journal was Serge Elisseeff, whom Reischauer calls "the first fully trained Occidental scholar in the field of Japanese studies (HJAS 20:1)." In 1912, the Russian born Elisseeff became the first westerner to receive a degree from Tokyo Imperial University. He wrote reviews of contemporary Russian literature at the request of Natsume Soseki in the *bungei-ran* of the Asahi, and hosted monthly tea parties attended by literary figures like Söseki, Nagai Kafû, Morita Söhei, Kubota Mantarö and others. Not only was Elisseeff the pre-eminent Japanologist of his time, but, in the fine tradition of European orientalism, he also knew Chinese, French, German, Russian, Latin and Greek. The pages of HJAS faithfully reflect the diversity of its founder, with articles on subjects ranging from "Chinese Inside Painted Snuff Bottles" to studies of Sanskrit sutras, to "Financial Difficulties of the Edo Bakufu." Articles are written primarily in English, although in the early years one finds several in French and German. Looking through the early issues of HJAS, it is interesting to note the number of articles by European as well as Japanese and Chinese scholars. One is reminded of the enormous debt American scholars of East Asia owe to our European orientalist predecessors. Reischauer points out that in the first several years of Elisseeff's tenure at Harvard (in the early thirties), he felt it necessary to send each of his graduate students to Institut de Langues Orientales Vivantes in Paris for two years before sending them out for field work in Asia.
Since Elisseeff's retirement in 1957, the journal has been headed by John Bishop, Donald Shiveley, and is currently under the editorship of Howard Hibbett. It is an indispensable resource for anyone doing work in East Asian history, literature, religion, economics, art, linguistics, philosophy or archeology.
BOOK REVIEWS: Each issue includes several reviews of western language materials on East Asia. They are three to five pages in length and provide concise summaries as well as critical evaluations of each work's methodology and usefulness to the field.
OVERALL EVALUATION: One of the most important journals in the field of East Asian studies. Includes a wide variety of scholarly articles as well as translations of texts from Chinese, Japanese, Sanskrit and many other languages.
INDEXES: Available for volumes 1-40. General indexes: Humanities Index (from Jan. 1940).
SUBSCRIPTION: $30.00 for Institutions and $20.00 for individuals. In UnCover from Dec. 1988. [KV,VR]
Japan Echo has been published quarterly since 1974. Each issue takes up a few general topics from current events and the Japanese media and provides from one to several translations of articles that have appeared in the Japanese press, often in abridged form.
Japan Echo is virtually useless for anyone studying art, literature, or pre-modern history. Topics in economics, politics, and society dominate, as indicated by the publications from which they are drawn, such as Chuo kôron, Seiron, Sekai, Asahi janaru, Bungei shunjû, Shokun, etc. Japan Echo might be useful to non-Japanese speakers seeking to read translations of (this is printed on the inside cover) "significant articles by prominent commentators written for a Japanese audience and published in leading Japanese-language periodicals and other publications."
On the other hand, Japan Echo is interesting as an example of what its Japanese editors deem "significant articles" and important trends in Japanese society that it also would like to "echo" to the West. This includes that breed of writing called 'Japan on Japan', Nihonjinron, and so on. In that sense, Japan Echo echos the same tradition reflected by the Japanese Foreign Ministry's annual "information bulletin" or the propagandistic magazines produced for foreign consumption throughout the Imperial period, which are incidently located in close proxity on the shelf.
The translations are fairly good, especially in sense that they preserve a Japanese tone and seem true to content rather than seeking to emulate styles of Western journalism.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Not essential but interesting selection of translations of articles on major economic, political, and social topics from the Japanese press.
INDEXES: Vol. 10 No. 4 (Winter 1983), pp. 81-116, covers 1974-1983 and can be used to search articles chronologically, by subject, or by author.
SUBSCRIPTION: Information and back issues are available from Japan Echo, , Moto Akasaka Bldg 1-7-10, Moto Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107 [GR]
Japan Forum is published semi-annually by the British Association for Asian Studies. The journal was launched in 1989 in order to provide a "European-based channel of scholarly communication" with Japan, reflecting Japan's expanded relations with Europe and the increasing prominence of Japanese studies there. The research represented here, however, is mostly British. The journal is intended to cover a wide range of disciplines, including non-academic writings, but thus far appears heavily oriented toward the social sciences. Each issue opens with a series of articles on a single topic, followed by several articles on a range of topics, including some works on literature (e.g.. they have published a series on Japanese art collections abroad). Japan Forum also includes a list of upcoming events, programs and projects throughout Western Europe.
BOOK REVIEWS: Every issue of Japan Forum includes roughly five to ten book reviews of English-language works relating to Japan in all disciplines.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Japan Forum provides important access to British scholarship on Japan; however, the journal seems to favor work on social, political, and economic issues rather than on literary and cultural history. [SL]
INDEXES: None to date.
SUBSCRIPTION: $54; single issues are $32.
A quarterly journal, published by Asahi shinbunsha from 1954 to the present, covering topics of general interest in relation to Japan, in articles predominantly translated from Japanese, with some English writing. JQ's first editor was Asahi veteran Ryû Shintarô. Editorial policy is unclear in the early issues, which contain a hodgepodge of writing on current politics, literature and short appreciations of aspects of Japanese culture. The introduction to the third issue explains that the editors see two types of reader; those wanting "to understand the Japanese mind," and those who "want facts about Japan." The journal, they state, aims to answer both of these needs. This statement represents both the effort to be all things to all people and the naivete of the project at its inception.
During the 70's, JQ content became more focused toward contemporary social and political issues. Literary translations ended in 1981. From 1969 to 1982, each issue included a summary of various topics of the quarter treated in the Japanese newspapers and news magazines, under the titles "From the Editorials," "In the Magazines," and "From the Newspapers and Magazines." These columns can be useful if one is looking at the events of these years and their treatment in the press. Unfortunately, no such column continued after '82. The chronology of Japanese news for the quarter also found in some issues is less enlightening.
BOOK REVIEWS: Issues also include 3 or 4 page-length book reviews (English-language materials related to Japan), and a couple of pages listing recent publications with brief descriptive blurbs. The book reviews generally cover works published the year before, and vary in critical value. They are in any event reviews, and not merely announcements.
OVERALL EVALUATION: A mixed bag of contemporary topics, with a concentration on politics and society, the present JQ offers comparatively little to the historian. However, editorial quality is good, and prominent writers (mostly journalists) appear frequently. Most contributors are Japanese. Issues prior to 1982 should be perused for short stories in translation.
INDEXES: An index was compiled for numbers 1 through 26 (1954-79). and is bound as a separate slim red volume on the shelf, after the 1979 issue. Since 1982, the end-of-year issue has contained an author-subject index for the year. General indexes: Social Sciences Index.
SUBSCRIPTION: As of 1994, $38.00 airmail (¥4420) annually, for four issues. [JS]
A quarterly publication containing translations from Japanese scholarship. Issues contain about three translations, usually single chapters of monographs. Because of the vast field of studies and the limited coverage, the journal is highly selective, and the reader will be lucky to find a piece in any specific area of interest.
BOOK REVIEWS: not included
OVERALL EVALUATION: Useful for browsers who want to keep up with Japanese economic scholarship generally.
INDEXES: None known. Listed online in SSCI Bulletin and Current Contents: Social and Behavioral Sciences.
SUBSCRIPTION: $310 per year for 4 issues. [SP]
JJRS has been published quarterly since 1974 by the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture (formerly the International Institute for the Study of Religion) for the purpose of promoting inter-religious understanding, furthering the study of religion, and overcoming the language barriers between Japanese and Western scholars. CRJ was published quarterly from 1960 to 1970. From 1960 to 1970, CRJ primarily provided English translations of articles by prominent Japanese religious leaders and scholars. It was much like a lengthy news letter for interested Westerners. Although non-sectarian, many articles were not written by scholars and did not rely on historical or critical methodology. Although some were historical, most concerned the contemporary religious scene as seen through the eyes of believers. Since 1974, JJRS has determined to become more scholarly, and the quality of its articles reflects this. JJRS now includes many contributions from leading Western scholars. It is now a very important resource for keeping up on research in the field.
Generally, one issue per year focuses on a special topic, i.e. Shugendo. Early issues each included statistical information, chronologies of recent religious events, news of the religious world, lists of new English translations, and complete translations of important official documents i.e. the constitution, the Shinto Directive, etc. 1963 included an extended bibliography of recent books on Buddhism, in Japanese and Western languages. All issues provide notes on contributors. Notes and references give kanji and romanization and translate Japanese titles.
BOOK REVIEWS: Each issue includes various numbers of book reviews, each about two pages long. These cover major publications on Japanese religion and related subjects, i.e. anthropology. Emphasis is on current methodologies appropriate to the field. Occasional review articles cover Jap. and Eng. books; for Japanese title they give kanji, romanization and a translation.
OVERALL EVALUATION: JJRS is essential for scholarly articles in the field. Older issues are of interest for information on contemporary religions. Translations of Japanese articles are of special interest.
INDEXES: Vol. 11 (1970) has a cumulative index for 1960-70. It lists by author and alphabetically by title; there is no subject index. Since 1974, the final issue has the annual index in the same format.
SUBSCRIPTION: Individual $25; student $20. [HB,TM]
Published by the Japan P.E.N. Club, thus bulletin was originally titled Japan P.E.N. News and was first issued in July 1958 "in order to implement the Resolution passed unanimously at the 29th International P.E.N. Congress to encourage translation of Asian works into languages of wider currency and to obtain a larger reading public in Western countries." Following this aim, Japan P.E.N. News began with its first issue to include English abstracts of Japanese novels "suggested for translation." The bulletin also included in each issue a listing of Japanese literature translated into foreign languages. A parallel list of books translated into Japanese from European languages unfortunately did not survive past the first issue. Each issue included a mix of translated short stories, poetry, criticism, literary history, and an occastional short novel. Japan P.E.N. News continued to be published biannually (Summer or early Fall plus Winter) until it was dropped aftyer 1971 in preparation for the International Conference on Japanese Culture held in Tokyo and Kyoto in 1972.
The bulletin was resumed by the Japan P.E.N. Club in March 1976 under the title Japanese Literature Today and has been since published annually. Despite a shift to a glossy stock, the content has changed little from the original Japan P.E.N. News. The bulletin continues to include a list of Japoanese works translated into Western languages, a retrospective of the work of Japanese writers in the previous year, and the usual collection of short Japanese works translated into English. Recent issues have included the Japanese text along with the English translation of some poems.
BOOK REVIEWS: none
OVERALL EVALUATION: Japan P.E.N. News and its successor Japanese Literature Today is particularly valuable in the area of literary relations between Japan and the West, in the sense that it represents what the Japanese literary establishment decided was worthy of presenting to an international audience. Also, it is a good English-language guide to the mood and trend of each year's literary work.
INDEXES: none known.
SUBSCRIPTION: May be obtained by writing to the Japan P.E.N. Club, 265 Shûwa Residential Hotel, 9-1-7 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107, Japan. Rates tend to be very high, but experience has been that the P.E.N. Club will respond to requests for free copies from those professionally engaged in the study of Japanese literature. [LB]
This small journal was originally "a quarterly issued by the Christian Center for the Study of Japanese Religions," which published English notes on the activities of the center as well as articles on Christianity and Japanese religions in both Japanese and English. With the third volume in 1963, the journal changed format. The name of both the center and the periodical changed from "Christian" to NCC, the front picture of a shining cross on top of Mount Fuji was replaced by a drab gray cover, notes on center activities were moved to the back, and articles appeared only in English. However, the journal retained its original mission "to provide a meeting ground for Christians and non-Christians in Japan through literature, conference, and joint study."
In accordance with this mission, the journal, in its alternating format as a quarterly and biannual throughout the years, has included many articles on Christian-Buddhist dialogue, primarily from a Christian perspective. Other articles focus on Japanese religion, both historical and contemporary, as well as on theoretical considerations of religious concepts and Christian, introspective questioning of what Christians seek in their religous experience and in Japan.
Recently, however, there has been an increase in articles written from a less committed viewpoint. The current editor, Yuki Hideo, is working to improve the scholarly reliability of the quarterly by attracting articles from promising graduate students of Japanese religion.
BOOK REVIEWS: Since July 1979 (Vol. 10, no. 4) there have appeared up to five reviews in each issue of works in English or German on Japanese religion and general Christian or religious theory.
OVERALL EVALUATION: This journal is second in the field of English-language periodicals on Japanese religion. It is best for articles on Christian-Buddhist dialogue from a Christian perspective, and in recent years is becoming a good forum to see the work of new Western scholars.
INDEXES: Volume 10, no. 4 (July 1979) includes a listing of contents of the first 10 volumes.
SUBSCRIPTION: US$20. Y3,600 for residents of Japan. [ST]
This journal contains translations of articles by leading Japanese scholars in this field, and over time has published articles on most current issues related to Japanese business history, as well as on historiography and the state of the field. Together with the Japanese language Keieishigaku (from which some articles are translated) and the Fuji conference series, this is one of the few journals devoted to Japanese business history.
BOOK REVIEWS: Contains three or four book reviews per issue. These are often English-language summaries of Japanese books, and as such are very useful. Little helpful criticism or airing of controversies.
OVERALL EVALUATION: An essential source for historians of Japanese business.
INDEXES: None published by the journal. Note that, as of summer '95, this publication did NOT appear in UnCover.
This is a relatively new journal, devoted exclusively to relations between the Americas (which means almost always the U.S.) and East Asia. It is described by the editors as "a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary journal" but most of the articles are in the mold of traditional diplomatic history, with a heavy focus so far on World War II and its aftermath, and the Korean War. More of the content deals with China than with Japan and Korea (the latter almost only in the context of the Korean War). The editor is Michael Barnhart from SUNY Stony Brook.
BOOK REVIEWS: To date no reviews of individual works, but several review essays have appeared.
OVERALL EVALUATION: So far a narrowly focused journal on the history of American diplomacy in 20th-century East Asia.
INDEXES: Each volume is indexed in its fourth number. General indexes: Social Science Index.
SUBSCRIPTION: Individuals $35, Students $25; single copies are $12.50 [HS]
As its title indicates, this quarterly journal published by the American Oriental Society covers an immense range of cultures scattered over a wide geographical area. Many of the articles are heavily weighted toward a philogical or linguistic approach, with the vast majority dealing with the literatures and languages of India (Sanskrit, Buddhist, Vedantic, etc.), China and Arabic countries. Considerable coverage is also given to classical Hebrew, Syriac, Old Assyrian and other near-eastern languages and literatures. For the student interested in Japanese culture, coverage from issue to issue ranges from nil to an occasional two or three book reviews (out of a total of 47 in one recent issue). Longer articles dealing exclusively with Japan are rare, and in recent issues entirely absent. The articles and reviews that do appear, however, merit close attention. These can be located by scanning the comprehensive author and title index at the head of bound volumes. The journal also publishes special issues devoted to a single field (e.g. sinological studies), and recently has begun to include useful lists of books received, though not necessarily reviewed. Notes on contributors are not generally included.
BOOK REVIEWS: As many as 70 full length and "brief" reviews per issue; however, few deal with books related to Japan (see above).
OVERALL EVALUATION: Very useful for keeping abreast of developments in the broad field of oriental studies, especially for the philologically and linquistically inclined, but extremely limited in its coverage of Japan.
INDEXES: Except for the early years of the journal's publication, no single-volume comprehensive index seems to have been issued. General indexes: Humanities Index.
SUBSCRIPTION: $50.00 through agents; $45.00 directly from society; single issues are $12.00. [DB]
This quarterly journal, aimed at scholars of Asian studies (including South and Southeast Asia), was first issued in November 1941 under the title The Far Eastern Quarterly; in September 1956 (Vol. XV), it assumed its present title. It is published by the Association for Asian Studies, formerly known as The Far Eastern Association. Each number carries several major articles, usually 10-30 pages in length, and usually over 100 pages of short book reviews. While throughout its publishing history articles on China predominate, Japan has had its fair share of important articles. History leads the list of disciplines represented; political science and economics follow; art and literature lag far behind, but when they appear they are usually substantial. Originally the editors tried to select exactly nine major articles to be published in each issue, but through the years many thick numbers have appeared. From Nov. 1978, abstracts of major articles were included in a section at the beginning of each number until this policy was discontinued in 1987. Too bad: they were very helpful.
In 1987 a new jacket design appeared, which the editors note "offers a less 'Orientalist' lettering"; they describe its new standout glossy covers as a "cheerful red color, so often associated with events of rejoicing in Asia...." (Feb.'87).
From 1946 through 1968, a subseries Bibliography of Asian Studies was published as a separate issue of the journal, and from 1954-1956, it appeared as a separate number (Sept., no. 5).
BOOK REVIEWS: As a rule, the book reviews are kept short and to the point. From the May issue of 1970, the book review section was divided into broad geographical divisions: East and Northeast Asia; South Asia; and Southeast Asia. Lately, as the number of reviews and specialized publications grows, the divisions are being made more specific: Asia General; China and Inner Asia; Japan; Korea; South Asia; and Southeast Asia.
OVERALL EVALUATION: This journal is required reading for any scholar in the field. The major articles are refereed by a committee of eminent scholars, and maintain high standards of scholarship. INDEXES: The November number of each volume has a cumulative index of articles for that year. General indexes: Social Sciences Index, Humanities Index.
SUBSCRIPTION: Included in annual membership to the Association for Asian Studies. Regular: $35; Student: $15. [JC, MJ]
Published by The Association of Teachers of Japanese, this journal was originally titled The Journal-Newsletter of the Association of Teachers of Japanese. First issued in February, 1963, it usually has come out two or three times a year, with many numbers issued jointly. In 1974, the Journal and Newsletter became separate publications: the former carrying more substantial articles, the latter covering job openings, conference announcements, and other news of the profession.
Originally JATJ was created as a means for teachers of Japanese language and literature to exchange information on the teaching of Japanese as a foreign language, and thus focused on teaching methods, texts and materials. Because of its concern with language, many articles in the early issues dealt with the problems of translating Japanese into Western languages, among them eloquent essays on the subject ever written by Morris, Seidensticker, and Keene.
As the journal evolved and grew in size (to the present approximately 150 pages per issue), it devoted more space to articles and reviews dealing with Japanese literature. The editors and members of editorial advisory board are all numbered among the best scholars in the field and help maintain the journal's high academic standards.
Frank Shulman contributes a section on dissertations and theses in Japanese language, linguistics and literature, which attempts to keep readers up-to-date on new scholarship. (Sept. 1975, April 1982, and regularly from 1984.)
BOOK REVIEWS: The earliest issues contain very brief book notes; since the 1970s, however, the book review section has grown more substantial, with 20-30 pages of 3-10 page book reviews. The focus clearly remains on Japanese literature and linguistics.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Required reading for anyone interested in Japanese linguistics or the teaching of Japanese as a foreign language. For the student of literature, many of its articles and reviews will be useful.
INDEXES: Vol. 20, no.1, has a cumulative table of contents of 1/1 through 19/2 (dates??), with classified index and combined index of authors, titles, and topics.
SUBSCRIPTION: Comes with membership in the Association of Teachers of Japanese ($25 per year for regular members, $15 for students). [JC]
The JIABS was established concurrently with the society itself in 1978, and has been published twice annually since then. Articles tend to be very buddhological in method and outlook, and there is far more emphasis on Tibetan and Indian buddhism than on the more East Asian varieties: there is an average of about one article per year dealing with Japan; China fares marginally better.
BOOK REVIEWS: Several extensive reviews in each issue.
OVERALL EVALUATION: While this journal is of little value for the historian or literary scholar looking for articles on Japanese Buddhism, it is useful for religion specialists who want to keep up with current work in general Buddhist studies.
INDEXES: None to date.
SUBSCRIPTION: Subscription comes with membership in the IABS, which is $35/year; $20/year for students.
Published twice a year by the Society for Japanese Studies, centered at the University of Washington, JJS is the primary journal for academic work on Japan. As an inter-disciplinary journal with a distinguished advisory board of American scholars, the journal is a consistently reliable reflection of the state of the field in the United States. The journal began in Autumn 1974 and has been edited by Kenneth Pyle and Susan Hanley. Financial support for the journal has varied over the years including donations from the Ford Foundation, the Japan Foundation, University of Washington, and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Committee.
The journal consists of articles, papers from symposium, and an extensive book review section. Since the Summer 1983 edition (Vol. 9, No. 1) the journal has generally included a section for comments and opinions on controversial issues in the field and to introduce questions for scholarly debate. This policy formally recognized the de facto role of the journal as a means of communicating and debating long-standing differences in the field (most probably in direct response to the now infamous E.H. Norman debates).
BOOK REVIEWS: This section of the journal has been by far the most expanding area of the publication. The book review section contains probably the most up-to-date glance at both new works as well as the reception and response from the field. The numerous review essays provide an important gauge for debates and directions in most Japan related fields and offers a more well-rounded glimpse to the field than appears in the text. Reviewing this section regularly is a must for anyone in the field and is the fastest method for state-of-the-field analysis.
OVERALL EVALUATION: A consistently excellent journal for scholarship on Japan. Through the symposium papers and the book reviews, the journal provides the most thorough insight into the field.
INDEXES: The Winter 1985 (Vol. 11, No. 1) and the Summer 1989 (Vol.15, No. 2) issues contain author indexes for each category in which the magazine is organized: Symposium, Articles, Opinion and Comment, and Book Reviews. General indexes: Social Sciences Index, Humanities Index.
SUBSCRIPTION: Issues are $13.00 for students and $20.00 for individuals; yearly subscriptions are $33.00. [JR,BK]
Modern Asian Studies is a scholarly journal published quarterly by the Cambridge University Press, London, UK. It was established on the initiative of the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), the Centre of South Asian Studies (Cambridge University), the Centre for South East Asian Studies (University of Hull), the Department of Chinese Studies (University of Leeds), and the Centre of Japanese Studies (University of Sheffield). The editorial board consists of professors at these academic institutions with the recent addition of one scholar of Princeton University. However, scholarly contributions are accepted from academics as well as "men of affairs" from around the world.
Modern Asian Studies concerns itself with modern Asian societies as seen through the social sciences and humanities, including history, geography, political science, sociology, literature, economics, and social anthropology. Geographically, it covers South Asia, South East Asia, China and Japan, with the notable exception of Korea. There appears to be an emphasis on South and South East Asia, and articles on Japan are limited in quantity though not in quality. Although there are no special issues devoted to one topic, some volumes weigh heavily on a particular area of interest, e.g. vol. 18 includes a whole collection of articles on Tokugawa and Meiji history and religion. The journal is published entirely in English, apart from brief quotations, and includes translations.
BOOK REVIEWS: Each volume includes at least four book reviews, about one page each in length, concentrating on recent academic publications in the field.
INDEXES: Each volume, which consists of four parts corresponding to one year, generally has an index of the articles and book reviews published in that volume in the front. However, there are no separate cumulative indexes covering more than one year. General indexes: Social Sciences Index.
SUBSCRIPTION: Distributors in London, UK, and New York [FS]
This quarterly journal, which moved from the long-time editorship of Fr. Michael Cooper into 1997 to that of Prof. Kate Nakai of Sophia University, has been in continuous publication for over fifty years now. It was one of the earliest journals in a Western language to be devoted exclusively to scholarship in the field of Japanese studies. Founded in 1938 by a group of mainly European scholars at Sophia University in Tokyo, the early volumes tend to reflect the Jesuit affiliation of its editors, in particular of Johannes Laures, with a large number of articles dealing with the relations between Japan of the "so-called Christian century (1550-1650)" and the Catholic Church. This evident bias, however, did not limit the range of articles published in these early volumes, which dealt with such diverse fields as literature, art, history, philosophy, science, ethnology, linquistics, music and politics. The polyglot nature of these early volumes, with many articles written in German, French, Spanish, Italian, as well as in English, and the somewhat old-fashioned continental tradition of scholarship to which they belong, can make perusal of their contents a rewarding if not always pleasurable task. Reading these early volumes certainly provides an insight into the days when the field of Japanese studies was still in its relative infancy, and although much is now dated, much remains that is still standard and classic in its field. In the post-war volumes it is especially interesting to note the first appearance of scholars who are today acknowledged experts in the field. Early reviews of translations by such notables as Donald Keene, Edward Seidensticker and Howard Hibbet, to name just a few, allow one to savor the excitement of the changes which that generation of scholars brought to Japanese studies.
While the format of the journal today remains more or less the same, several changes in content have occured. From the late 50s on, English supplants other languages as the language of publication. At the same time there is a shift away from the early emphasis on the history of Japan's relations with the Catholic Church. Another change is the increase in the relative proportion of reviews to articles, reflecting the greatly increased activity in the field since the journal's inception. The editorial policy of providing kanji "for Japanese and Chinese words and names appearing in the text and footnotes" enhances the usefulness of the articles as does the generous quotations from the original of Japanese and Chinese texts. In addition to the articles and reviews, the journal periodically includes a brief section of correspondence, which provides an open forum for scholarly debate and rebuttal. An occasional section entitled "Brief Notes" provides information of a more tendentious or immediate interest such as statistical tid-bits. Notes on contributors are generally given at the beginning of each article. While the journal continues to publish articles by acknowledged experts in the field, it is generous in the space allotted to new scholars. The importance given to translation also deserves mention.
BOOK REVIEWS: 10 to 12 books are reviewed in each issue, with reviews varying in length from one to four pages. All reviews concentrate on recent academic publications, on topics in many different fields.
OVERALL EVALUATION: A vintage journal of continuing excellence, frequently publishing works of seminal importance, and especially strong in literature of all periods, history, and religion.
INDEXES: A cumulative index for volumes 1-40 is found at the back of volume 40 (1985). Indexes for single years are found at the end of the last issue in bound volumes.
SUBSCRIPTION: Annual rate 4,200 yen; $30.00 elsewhere. [DB, MJ]
Japan Review was established in 1990 as the English-language organ for writing by scholars and affiliates of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken), which was founded in 1987. (There is a Japanese-language counterpart, Nihon kenkyû, the contents of which are summarized [in English] at the back of Japan Review starting with number 2 .) It publishes articles and research reports by "members of the research staff, joint researchers, administrative advisors and participants in the activities" of the center. Nichibunken has come under fire for being an institution devoted to the furtherance of Nihonjinron, but few of the articles appearing in this journal could be similarly accused. There is an eclectic mixture of literature, history, religion, philosophy, anthropology (including the skull-measuring physical variety), sociology, and some surprise appearances by disciplines less often included in the "Japanese Studies" rubric, such as meteorology, geology, and botany. In terms of quality as well, the journal is a mixed bag: some of the articles are reprints of lectures, some are translations of Japanese texts, some are short research reports, and some are sustained works of scholarship by well known writers.
BOOK REVIEWS: In the first five volumes, there was one book review and one review article.
OVERALL EVALUATION: This journal is well worth examining occasionally: it provides a useful index of current scholarly concerns in Japan (and it is, after all, one of the few places where English translations of Japanese academic writing are available), and also contains work by European scholars who are largely unknown in the States. Also, there are often longer works of interesting research, sometimes by more familiar scholars.
INDEXES: None to date.
SUBSCRIPTION: No information given, seems to be available only on an exchange basis. [DL]
Published since 1970, this monthly is primarily "for collectors and connoisseurs of Asian art" featuring many advertisements for gallery shows, a list of coming sales and exhibitions (under the headings of US, Europe, Asia & Australia) and a detailed analysis of the reaction and sales at previous Christies' and Sotheby's (and occasionally other) Asian art auctions with reports from New York, Paris, London, Hong Kong and Japan (the latter places sporadically reported).
Though the articles are somewhat topical (they are not footnoted though they do have a small attached bibliography), since they are written by specialists in the field, the quality is generally high. The illustrations in color are a definite advantage. Most of the articles are by the curator(s) of an exhibition on the exhibition subject. Besides revealing the thinking that goes behind exhibitions in such articles, there are sometimes articles on somewhat marginal topics of interests to collectors that might not appear in more academic journals. One strong area is the coverage of Chinese archaeology by mainland Chinese scholars, with material and photos that cannot be found outside of China. Some of the better issues concentrate on a theme, such as the collection of a certain museum, or contemporary Chinese art. Since the magazine includes histories of collections, interviews with famous collectors (and their obituaries), it is valuable for evidence of the history of collecting. There are far fewer articles on Japanese art than Chinese, reflecting the biases of the publisher in Hong Kong.
BOOK REVIEWS: There are several book reviews and exhibition reviews yearly. The reviews are of illustrated reference-type books in specialized fields, which one might not hear about otherwise.
OVERALL EVALUATION: A valuable source for keeping up on the business and exhibition end of the field. Also a good way to stay abreast in areas outside one's specialty. Worth checking for surprise articles.
INDEXES: None known.
SUBSCRIPTION: US $95 airmail; single issues $9. [MW,TL,SL]
[NOTE: Two separate reviews of this journal are offered here.]
positions was founded in 1993 as a "new forum of debate for all concerned with the social, intellectual, and political events unfolding in East Asia and within the Asian diaspora." Here "new" means theoretical and "all concerned" are, on the whole, academics. The appearance of positions marks the institutionalization of a particular type of theory in the field of East Asian studies.
The journal's stress on culture as an object of study has so far limited the disciplinary scope of its articles to the humanities (mostly cultural studies-style treatments of literature and film), anthropology, and theory. Almost all articles are concerned with twentieth-century events. positions has managed to overcome the national and regional boundaries that dominate most of the field, however, by publishing articles on comparative and transnational topics, such as the Chinese diaspora, and by including contributions from contemporary Asian scholars. Articles on Japan appear regularly.
As its title suggests, positions tries to cultivate awareness of the field as a producer of knowledge about East Asia. The editors seem to want to follow in the footsteps of the Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars in the late 60's and the 70's, but in its pages professionalism generally defeats self-criticism. positions regularly publishes trenchant critiques of the past and present practice of East Asian studies in the U.S., including reflections on methodology that open up the possibility of different ways of working. Despite the journal's aims, however, most research articles do not suggest that the authors' awareness of their positions in the institution of East Asian studies prompted them to change their basic methods. Indeed, the approach of most of the contributions so far has been uniform in its stress on the discursive anatomization of cultural practices, including the practice of the field. This perspective is a marked change from the antagonistic heyday of the BCAS in the late 60's and the 70's, when critics of the field focused on its professional and financial ties to institutions such as the CIA and the State Department.
Although occasionally monotonous in its approach, positions has regularly published innovative, challenging work during its short life. The research articles offer little to political scientists or others outside of the narrowly defined sphere of "culture," or to scholars who are not concerned with the twentieth century. The articles on methodology and the field, however, discuss issues of interest to most scholars of East Asia from an insightful perspective. [CH]
positions was formed in 1993 as a journal whose purpose in the broadest sense is to challenge established boundaries: theoretical, disciplinary, generic, amd social, in an attempt to situate scholarship on East Asia within contemporary culture and politics.
True to its stated agenda, the journal is wide-ranging in the subject matter and approaches of its articles. At the same time, editions are organized around thematic concerns (colonialism, history, sexuality), providing a useful index of the configurations of contemporary academic debates within the field of East Asian cultural studies as a whole.
Unfortunately, the journal reveals another aspect to critical praxis within the field, an aspect which is itself symptomatic of the very "positions" which we are enjoined to critique. I noticed a disturbing tendency among scholars whose ethnic/national identities were not "East Asian" to refer only to East Asian texts as primary materials. Surely this is an example of the classic manipulation of East Asia as passive register which we are to actively critique. Hopefully a later issue might address this problem. One of the grossest examples was Ackbar Abbas's "reading" of the Hong Kong writer Leung Ping-Kwan (1:1; pp. 1-23). [GH]
BOOK REVIEWS: None to date.
INDEXES: None to date.
SUBSCRIPTION: Yearly (3 issues): $24.00; single issues $9.00.
This journal, which began in November 1988 as Sino-Japanese Studies Newsletter (the word "Newsletter" was dropped after the second issue), is a one-man project, single-handedly edited and produced by the indefatigable Prof. Joshua Fogel of the University of California, Santa Barbara. It appears twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, in a simple typescript format, stapled together, so still has more the look of a newsletter than a journal. But the contents are diverse and provocative, in accord with the concept of the field of "Sino-Japanese Studies" that Fogel has himself virtually created on his own. It which covers all forms of relations between Japan and China, over all periods; the emphasis on cultural and intellectual relations is particularly strong. This is taken to include, for example, Japanese kangaku of the Tokugawa period. One of Fogel's special missions is to introduce Japanese scholarship on China, and a number of articles summarize such work. There is considerably less emphasis (perhaps inevitably) on Chinese studies and interpretations of Japan.
BOOK REVIEWS: Occasional reviews and review essays.
OVERALL EVALUATION: While perhaps not yet a full-fledged journal, this is an unusual and always interesting publication, with wide-ranging contents, worth checking from time to time, particularly since it does not yet appear to be indexed in UnCover (still unclear if in BAS).
INDEXES: None to date. Note that, as of summer '95, this publication was NOT indexed in UnCover.
SUBSCRIPTION: $15 for individuals. [HS]
TASJ has published all papers (and some entire books) presented before the Asiatic Society of Japan since its establishment in 1872. As one of the earliest scholarly publications on Japan, TASJ has been published in Japan, carrying on the work of the first generation of Japan specialists, the so called "great amateur Japanologists."
WWII, which halted publication from 1941-47, marks a dividing line between two distinct eras for TASJ. Beforehand, most papers are works by the resident pool of interested foreign employees (professors, lawyers, doctors, dentists, missionaries, diplomats and military officers) who happened to specialize in the place where they lived. The pre-war volumes were issued far more frequently than post-war, in a hodgepodge of amateur, academic, and scientific papers unified under the all-inclusive theme, "things Japanese."
Post-war volumes are issued more irregularly, and are slimmer (150 pages), but they also contain higher quality scholarship of greater substance. Contemporary TASJ papers often still maintain their distance from the mainstream of Western scholarship on Japan.
TASJ has published significant first translations of Japanese literature like B.H. Chamberlain's Kojiki; later, Edward Seidenstikker's translation of Kagero Nikki; Donald Keene's Sarashina nikki; first publications of D.C. Holtom's Modern Shinto and Hugh Borton's Peasant Uprisings in Tokugawa Japan.
Old editions of TASJ are classic, invaluable resources to anybody interested in studying early Western scholarship on Japan or the state of the field during its infancy. Early editions contain landmark research on Japanese literature and history yet to be repeated. TASJ catalogues well Western attempts at applying traditional Western scholarly methods to the study of Ainu and Japanese language, history, geography, art, and culture. Volume XIV (1886) indexes over 600 19th century titles "relating to Japan" in English, French, and German languages, alphabetically by author.
OVERALL EVALUATION: A classic source for those interested in early Western Japanology and narrow topics in Japanese culture.
INDEXES: Series 3 vol. 6 (1958) contains a classified list, as well as author and subject indexes of all papers appearing in TASJ between 1874 and 1957. No indexes since 1957.
SUBSCRIPTION: Free to members; otherwise, individual issues are ¥6000. Contact The Asiatic Society of Japan, CPO Box 592, Tokyo. [GR]