Gathering for the 1st time all of Claude Lévi-Strauss’s writings on jap civilization, The different Face of the Moon kinds a sustained meditation into the French anthropologist’s dictum that to appreciate one’s personal tradition, one needs to regard it from the perspective of another.
publicity to jap artwork used to be influential in Lévi-Strauss’s early highbrow progress, and among 1977 and 1988 he visited the rustic 5 occasions. The essays, lectures, and interviews of this quantity, written among 1979 and 2001, are the manufactured from those trips. They examine an extraordinary variety of subjects—among them Japan’s founding myths, Noh and Kabuki theater, the individuality of the japanese musical scale, the artisanship of Jomon pottery, and the connection among jap photograph arts and food. For Lévi-Strauss, Japan occupied a distinct position between international cultures. Molded within the historic previous via chinese language impacts, it had extra lately included a lot from Europe and the U.S.. however the substance of those borrowings was once so conscientiously assimilated that eastern tradition by no means misplaced its specificity. as if considered from the hidden facet of the moon, Asia, Europe, and the US all locate, in Japan, photographs of themselves profoundly transformed.
As in Lévi-Strauss’s vintage ethnography Tristes Tropiques, this new English translation offers the voice of 1 of France’s such a lot public intellectuals at its such a lot personal.
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That's what you do with ikebana, and that's additionally what you do with jap gardens. i'd with no trouble say that standard jap nature, the single humans see, already represents a backyard of types, compared to our personal. And that your gardens characterize gardens to the second one energy. I had a really profound experience of that during Kyushu, whereas traveling that village of Chiran. J. Kawada: Of Chiran, yes . . . 149 interview with junzo kawada C. Lévi-S trauss: it's nonetheless virtually intact. you discover dwellings there that belonged to historical Samurai from the daimyÇ of where, and every one with a really attractive condo and a small backyard. yet a small backyard of a luxurious and refinement that, as you went from one residence to a different, have been of a superb variety; as though every one proprietor, along with his personal character, had desired to create from ordinary parts an unique paintings that stands except that of his neighbor, up to the paintings of an outstanding painter will be special from that of one other. That’s what has been taken within the West to be a love of nature. So the truth is extra complicated! J. Kawada: via your anthropological learn, you have got revalorized the wild, the sauvage. might you let us know very in brief, may possibly you inform the Japanese—and given the present country of eastern culture—why it's import ant to maintain the sauvage? C. Lévi-S trauss: i didn't a lot valorize the sauvage, I simply desired to convey that the sauvage persists in we all. and because it truly is nonetheless found in us, we'd be improper to have contempt for it while it truly is outdoor us. that's real, i feel, of all civilizations. yet what I enormously in demand as an anthropologist is the a hundred and fifty interview with junzo kawada skill of Japan, in its newest manifestations, to consider in team spirit with its such a lot distant previous. For our half, we're good conscious that we have got “roots,” yet we now have the best difficulty reconnecting with them. there's a gulf we no longer be capable to bridge. we glance at them from the opposite part of the gulf. In Japan, there's a form of continuity, so that you could converse, or of unity, which could now not be everlasting yet that also exists this day. J. Kawada: As you’ve written, Japan constitutes in lots of components “a backwards international” compared to France. In artisanry, which pursuits you particularly, it may be obvious in a reasonably general type. yet to make clear the reason for those modifications in customs, one might doubtless need to take into consideration ecological and actual elements in addition to cultural ones. C. Lévi-S trauss: we might need to qualify bit, simply because that “backwards” Japan was once first spotted no longer by way of the French yet through Portuguese and Italian missionaries within the 16th century. After that, within the overdue 19th century, Basil Chamberlain, who wrote at the topic, used to be English. So it’s now not approximately France and Japan particularly yet particularly concerning the previous global and Japan, on account that even 151 interview with junzo kawada China in that admire doesn't exhibit those inversions. i feel you're thoroughly correct to claim that one needs to take note of ecological, old components.