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New Book: Lust, Commerce, and Corruption

 
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Tatsunoshi
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:45 am    Post subject: New Book: Lust, Commerce, and Corruption Reply with quote
Just a short post to highly recommend the new book "Lust, Commerce, and Corruption: An Account of What I Have Seen and Heard, by an Edo Samurai". It's an 1816 social commentary by an anonymous Edo samurai translated by several noted scholars such as Mark Teeuwen, Kate Wildman Nakai, Miyazaki Fumiko, Anne Walthall, and John Breen (Walthall HATES the Tokugawa Bakufu, so you know she poured her soul into it). While at times it reads like a bitter old man's glorification of the good old days and the decay of morality and standards, it gives a ton of insight into how things really worked in the last century of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The lengthy chapters on prostitution and how the rich and powerful (in the Bakufu, world of merchants, the religious sector, etc) work together to fleece the poor and middle class are particularly interesting (and at times read like they were written about modern society). The difficulties experienced by low and middle ranking samurai are laid out as well. Really good stuff, and a good read as well, not your typical dry translation. Reading this will give you a better understanding of Edo period society in general than several other scholarly books combined.
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sounds fantastic. Thanks for letting us know about it!
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heron
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've just ordered it, Tatsu, thanks to your recommendation Smile
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