Cover of Learning from Shogun
Learning from SHOGUN:
Japanese History and Western Fantasy

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(Note: this is a searchable file)

This book appeared in September 1980, just before the television mini-series based on James Clavell's novel SHOGUN.  It was the result of a workshop
that I organized in the spring of that year at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I was then teaching, and was edited and produced in Santa Barbara over the summer.  The design was by Marc Treib of the College of Environmental Design at Berkeley, then already well known for his graphic design and books on architecture.

Learning from SHOGUN was distributed by the Japan Society of New York through the good offices of Peter Grilli, and two printings quickly sold out.  The authors are pleased to make it available here in PDF format for interested readers and teachers, but please remember that this is copyrighted material and may not be reproduced for more than personal or instructional use. Note that the PDF version is bookmarked for easy access to the separate chapters. We also want to emphasize that Learning from SHOGUN is about Clavell's novel, not about either the TV miniseries or the feature film versions. A postscript to the book does offer my own first impressions of the miniseries, however, of which I was able to see a preview before it appeared on national television.

Twenty-five years later (as of late 2005), we are saddened to note the passing of Elgin Heinz on April 26, 2005, at the age of 91. Throughout his long and remarkable life,
he served as a leading expert in the field of teaching East Asian studies in the schools; in 2001, the US-Japan Foundation honored him with the establishment of the Elgin Heinz Outstanding Teaching Award.  All of the other authors of Learning from SHOGUN remain alive and well.  Of the three co-authors from the University of Illinois, Dave Plath and Ron Toby continue to be active on that campus, while Chieko Mulhern has retired and now lives in Tokyo where she leads a busy life as a writer and speaker.  Meanwhile,  Bill Lafleur has moved from UCLA to the University of Pennsylvania, Susan Matisoff from Stanford to UC Berkeley, and myself from UCSB to Columbia.  Sandy Piercy successfully completed her UCSB dissertation in 1982 and now teaches history at the Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, California.

Henry Smith
New York
October 2005

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