《在垂死皇帝的王國(世紀末的日本)》講述了︰那位被牢記為昭和天皇 (意思是“陽光普照、和平寧靜”)的人的死亡是歷史的必然。唯一沒有預料到的是他死亡過程的漫長與復雜。戰後，日本頒布了新憲法，宣揚“君權在民”的理 念，裕仁是在這部新憲法頒布後去世的第一位天皇。從他去世那一刻以後的40天時間里，日本政府為葬禮設計了一套精細、復雜的舞蹈。這套舞蹈代表了法制與神 秘，體現了西方的現代和東方的傳統，暗示了歷史的進步和魅力，嫻熟地掩蓋了戰爭的殘忍與罪惡，闡釋了戰後40年社會的繁榮發展，迎合了世界經濟發展的潮 流。此時對天皇存在的理解已經從當代資本主義資本運營的角度來考慮了︰股票交易要被關閉多少天呢？銀行要被關閉多少天呢？政府辦公室要被關閉多少天呢？說 實話，即使銀行被關閉，它們的計算機仍然保持高速運轉，繼續對世界輸送血液。
From Library JournalField, the daughter of a Japanese mother and an American father and currently an associate professor of East Asian studies at the University of Chicago, returned to Japan for a year's study just prior to the final illness and death of Emperor Hirohito on January 7, 1989. Using this event as a means to probe the nature of contemporary Japanese society, Field presents an in-depth study of three individuals who stood up against what she sees as "the death-in-life quality of daily routine" in contemporary Japan. These include an Okinawa supermarket owner who protested resurgent nationalism by burning a Japanese flag just prior to a national athletic competition, the Christian widow of a member of Japan's Self-Defense Force who fought against her husband's inclusion in a state shrine honoring the military dead, and the mayor of Nagasaki who spoke out publicly concerning the emperor's role in World War II. The book's message is both troubling (in its overall depiction of Japanese society) as well as inspirational (in the courage displayed by Field's subjects). Altogether, this is an intelligent and thought-provoking analysis. Generally recommended.
- Scott Wright, Univ. of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus ReviewsA provocative, multileveled ``meditation'' on Emperor Hirohito's 1989 death, raising dark questions about Japan's war guilt in the context of its triumphant prosperity today. As the child of a Japanese woman and an American soldier, Field (East Asian Studies/Univ. of Chicago) tells a story of postwar Japan inextricably linked to her own. She grew up in Tokyo, in her grandmother's house, ``finally'' leaving after high school to join her father in the US. In August 1988, Field returned to Tokyo for a yearlong stay. From her grandmother's oleander-filled, walled garden, she observed a driven, repressive ``democracy'' held in a deathwatch for its emperor. This ``frail embodiment of the war,'' whose funeral becomes a ``celebration of the successes of Japanese capitalism,'' Field sees as both promoter and symbol of Japan's ``national amnesia.'' The economic miracle has come at astronomical cost: ``In the society [the Japanese] are growing into,'' she writes, ``the most significant and only reliable freedom is the freedom to buy ever more refined commodities.'' Backing into her powerful points as she shifts between personal and global issues, Field structures her narrative around the stories of three ``resisters'': a supermarket owner who burns the ``Rising Sun'' flag; a widow who sues to stop the state from making her late husband a Shinto deity; and the mayor of Nagasaki, who publicly calls the emperor responsible for the war--for the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for the Battle of Okinawa. The horror the Japanese refuse to remember is here most powerfully conveyed by eyewitness accounts of ``babies' cries...stilled'' by Japanese troops hiding from the ``bloodless'' American invasion. An intelligent, informed, deeply felt interrogation of Japan that offers a rare insider-outsider point of view while implicitly questioning America's influence on this rich but troubled country. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (March 9, 1993)
- Language: English