Collected Writings of J. Thomas Rimer

Collected Writings of J. Thomas Rimer

Collected Writings of J. Thomas Rimer

Collected Writings of J. Thomas Rimer

Synopsis

Widely acknowledged as the doyen of twentieth-century Japanese literature, fine art and the performing arts, as well as being renowned for his translations of Zeami and Mori Ogai. Collected Writings of J.Thomas Rimer brings together in whole or in part much of Rimer's prodigious output in these fields over the past forty years, including some of his milestone (fully illustrated) essays on Japanese Art, especially 'Tokyo in Paris/ Paris in Tokyo' (Japan Foundation, 1987).

Excerpt

I have been asked to provide an informal introduction to this collection of articles, translations, and essays I have prepared over the past several decades. in the case of those who follow academic pursuits, it seems to me, one is seldom asked to stop and reflect on the development of one's own intellectual enthusiasms, and so I have undertaken this effort with a certain amount of reticence. Nevertheless, perhaps this brief account will be of some use, perhaps as a cautionary tale, if nothing else, for those who may share my interests in the topics I have begun to explore, and, more importantly, might like to develop some of them further.

In observing the various ways in which the careers of my friends and colleagues in Japanese studies have developed, I realize that my first encounter with Japan, in the late 1950s, was a somewhat unusual one, and one which was to provide an unusual entry into this field of academic pursuit. My undergraduate studies were in English literature and theatre, and indeed, I was in England, on a fellowship from the British Council, beginning graduate studies at the University of London, when I received a long-distance call from my father, telling me that I had been drafted into the us Army. Although the Korean War hostilities were then over, the draft continued on for some time, and most of my college classmates also found themselves in some form of military service. After the usual vicissitudes of basic training, I found myself shipped off to Japan, a country about which I possessed no prior knowledge whatsoever.

When I arrived in Tokyo, however, I found to my surprise that I was quickly able to pursue a number of prior interests. I now realize that I arrived there with my personal tastes pretty well formed. I loved literature, of course, and I had developed during my college years a strong interest in opera, other forms of serious music, and in the theatre. So it

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