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Learning from SHŌGUN: Japanese History and Western Fantasy

Smith II, Henry D.; Plath, David; Heinz, Elgin; Piercy, Sandra; Toby, Ronald; Mulhern, Chieko; LaFleur, William; Matisoff, Susan

This multi-authored work, edited and co-written by myself, was an effort to take seriously the best-selling novel of James Clavell, "SHŌGUN: A Novel of Japan" as a way of understanding changing Western images of Japan in the context of "real" Japanese history. The book appeared in September 1980, just before the television mini-series based on James Clavell's novel. It was the result of a workshop that I organized in the spring of that year at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I was then teaching, and was edited and produced in Santa Barbara over the summer. The design was by Marc Treib of the College of Environmental Design at Berkeley, then already well known for his graphic design and books on architecture. "Learning from SHŌGUN" was distributed by the Japan Society of New York, and two printings quickly sold out. The authors are pleased to make it available here in PDF format for interested readers and teachers. We also want to emphasize that "Learning from SHŌGUN" is about Clavell's novel, not about either the TV miniseries or the feature film versions. A postscript to the book does offer my own first impressions of the miniseries, however, of which I was able to see a preview before it appeared on national television.

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East Asian Languages and Cultures
Published Here
September 17, 2019