- Paperback: 196 pages
- Publisher: Marist Fathers Books; With revisions edition (1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0949807826
- ISBN-13: 978-0949807823
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,367,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The smile of a ragpicker Paperback – 1992
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Top Customer Reviews
But the value of the book cannot be overestimated.
It is quite unique in that it is written by a non-Japanese writer who reads and writes Japanese. There are many books written by Japanese about Japan which are translated into English, in which process some of the original book is lost in translation.
There are many books written by non-Japanese authors about Japan, which attests to the unfortunate misinformation the authors suffered due to their lack of proficiency in the Japanese language.
In contrast, this book explains the Japanese sentiment better than any other Japanology books I've read in English, because the author was able to approach the subject (Japan and its people) in their native language and relate the story in English (no translation by a third-party involved.)
Thus, the uniquely gifted author accurately understood and succeeded in explaining the Japanese experience of the militarism and the war of aggression in the 20th century, and a choice that less than 1% of the population made -- conversion to Christianity.
This book captures the unusually stoic and quasi-Franciscan version of Christianity that came to exist and continues to flourish in some corners of Japan, and explains convincingly where it comes from - a combination of bushido, Buddhism, and Shintoism.
Intriguing read for those of you who are interested in Japan and its history of the 20th century, theology, and comparative studies of religions.
Highly recommended, as the premium price suggests!