BEHIND THE MASK. On Sexual Demons, Sacred Mothers, Transvestites, Gangsters, Drifters And Other Japanese Cultural Heroes. by Ian. Ian Buruma, Behind the Mask: On Sexual Demons, Sacred Mothers, Transvestites, Gangsters, Drifters, and Other Japanese Cultural Heroes. Behind the mask: on sexual demons, sacred mothers, transvestites, gangsters, and other Japanese cultural heroes. Front Cover. Ian Buruma. New American.

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I will be actively seeking his work out which rarely say about anyone. Naturally, these reflect different times and circumstances Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. Instead, the author makes reference to obscure at least for a western audience movies and plays that are largely indecipherable to the outsider. Soph rated it liked it Iaj 25, There are enough tidbits in here about things that sound crazy from the perspective of a Westerner, but make sense in the Japanese way of thinking After living in Japan for a couple years I thought this book would be interesting.

This book is a very interesting insight into the soul of Japanese culture. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. I would love to see a second edition of this book published, but I wouldn’t say that this book has become dated.

BEHIND THE MASK by Ian Buruma | Kirkus Reviews

An utterly brilliant book by a man with the brain the size of a small planet. I’d recommend this book, despite its age, to anyone interested in a survey of Japanese fiction and film, and also to anyone curious about Japan in general. The final chapter on methods of blowing off steam in a relatively conformist society e. Yet another book about Japan, but I totally loved it! Buruma identifies three traits threaded throughout Japanese cultural practices and memory: The history is a mirror that reflects modern Japanese society and through the past you come to understand this unique country.


It probably took about two chapters for me to completely accept the idea that this book looks at Japanese figures through the lens of important fiction in Japan and once I did I was even more intrigued than when I read the description of the book.


There are rules for play as well as work and social interactions. More judgmental and less insightful than the author’s other books on Japan, with some glaring, repeated factual errors.

Burma’s culture study of Japan felt very dated, very hypocritical, and very boring byruma times. Lists with This Book.

This story is then extrapolated to explain certain notions which are ingrained in Japanese culture. Ixn observations of Japanese culture oscillates between genuine affection and bemused exacerbation. The hero’s individuality is therefore a public reassertion of personality free from artificially created social strictures, and their actions are an expression of purity resulting from baser human character.

These are actually the same book, under two different titles. Reading this book effectively made me want to experience all of the fiction referenced throughout, and it gave me thr perspective I hadn Going into this book, I was expecting a more clear cut historical look at these figures stated in the title in Japan. So now I have two copies.


But the background to the cultural elements he described go back to the emergence of Shintoism, 11th century literary tradition, 18th century visual arts and theatre traditions, as he aims to give some idea of Japanese nationl identity, of ‘Japanesness’ p xand has looked for continuities and contrasts between past and present. He excels at tying these works together by explaining core concepts which aid in elucidating the emotional reactions of both the characters and the audience.

Dec 17, Pearse Anderson rated it liked it Shelves: Nov 30, Kit Fox rated it it was amazing.

Even one more page per chapter expanding on the social aspect of things outside of fiction could have really provided that extra reinforcement for the ideas being presented that I think this tye needs.

May 14, Kimberlee Kimura rated it it was amazing. As an olla podrida of comments and description, however, this has its truths and its voyeuristic attractions.

I certainly have now. The thing is he doesn’t have the Donald Richie cool. No trivia or quizzes yet. These dated from years after Buruma’s book, but fit perfectly with his thesis.

Jul 05, Terry Travers rated it it was amazing.