Kyoto: A Cultural and Literary History (Cities of the Imagination)

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9781904955139: Kyoto: A Cultural and Literary History (Cities of the Imagination)
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Kyoto, the ancient former capital of Japan, breathes history and mystery. Its temples, gardens and palaces are testimony to many centuries of aristocratic and religious grandeur. Under the veneer of modernity, the city remains filled with countless reminders of a proud past. John Dougill explores this most venerable of Japanese cities, revealing the spirit of place and the individuals that have shaped its often dramatic history. Courtiers and courtesans, poets and priests, samurai and geisha people the pages of his account. Covering twelve centuries in all, the book not only provides a historical overview but brings to life the cultural magnificence of the city of "Purple Hills and Crystal Streams". City of Power: The seat of aristocrats and warriors; military might and spiritual authority; unification and the transition to modernity. City of Ritual: Buddhist sects and Shinto festivals; tea ceremony; the role of the geisha; the influence of Zen. City of Arts: Poetry and fiction; architecture and garden design; Heian verse and Noh theatre; art and handicrafts; the Japanese Hollywood.

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Review:

"The book is billed as a cultural and literary history, and such it is, but Dougill's great enthusiasm for Kyoto enlivens the meticulously researched details to the point of general accessibility. The author is the ideal host: witty, with an ear for the entertaining anecdote; and at the same time effortlessly knowledgeable and unafraid of rendering an opinion where appropriate." (Richard Donovan) -- Japan Visitor

"Veteran resident John Dougill, in this timely publication, offers a peek behind Kyoto's glorious façade to reveal the history and workings of a remarkable culture. He has done his homework, which amounts to an ongoing celebration of discovery and articulation, without a moment of drudgery -- Kyoto: A Cultural and Literary History appears to have been as much a delight to research and write as it is to read. Luckily for us, Dougill's often erudite prose is matched by the infectious enthusiasm he brings to his rather complex subject." (Preston Houser) -- Kyoto Journal (No. 66, 2007)

'an engaging work of cultural geography'; 'carefully crafted structure''; 'a pensive work that is historical, literary, and a cultural profile' -- The Japan Times, June 4, 2006 (Stephen Mansfield)

About the Author:

JOHN DOUGILL is a professor at Ryukoku University, Kyoto, and the author of Oxford in English Literature (University of Michigan Press, 1998).

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Book Description Signal Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Kyoto, the ancient former capital of Japan, breathes history and mystery. Its temples, gardens and palaces are testimony to many centuries of aristocratic and religious grandeur. Under the veneer of modernity, the city remains filled with countless reminders of a proud past. John Dougill explores this most venerable of Japanese cities, revealing the spirit of place and the individuals that have shaped its often dramatic history. Courtiers and courtesans, poets and priests, samurai and geisha people the pages of his account. Covering twelve centuries in all, the book not only provides a historical overview but brings to life the cultural magnificence of the city of Purple Hills and Crystal Streams . City of Power: The seat of aristocrats and warriors; military might and spiritual authority; unification and the transition to modernity. City of Ritual: Buddhist sects and Shinto festivals; tea ceremony; the role of the geisha; the influence of Zen. City of Arts: Poetry and fiction; architecture and garden design; Heian verse and Noh theatre; art and handicrafts; the Japanese Hollywood. Seller Inventory # AA79781904955139

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Book Description Signal Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Kyoto, the ancient former capital of Japan, breathes history and mystery. Its temples, gardens and palaces are testimony to many centuries of aristocratic and religious grandeur. Under the veneer of modernity, the city remains filled with countless reminders of a proud past. John Dougill explores this most venerable of Japanese cities, revealing the spirit of place and the individuals that have shaped its often dramatic history. Courtiers and courtesans, poets and priests, samurai and geisha people the pages of his account. Covering twelve centuries in all, the book not only provides a historical overview but brings to life the cultural magnificence of the city of Purple Hills and Crystal Streams . City of Power: The seat of aristocrats and warriors; military might and spiritual authority; unification and the transition to modernity. City of Ritual: Buddhist sects and Shinto festivals; tea ceremony; the role of the geisha; the influence of Zen. City of Arts: Poetry and fiction; architecture and garden design; Heian verse and Noh theatre; art and handicrafts; the Japanese Hollywood. Seller Inventory # AA79781904955139

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