In 1980 Cathy N. Davidson traveled to Japan to show English at a number one all-women’s college. It was the primary of many journeys and the start of a deep and abiding fascination. On this extraordinary guide, Davidson depicts a sequence of intimate moments and small epiphanies that collectively make up a panoramic view of Japan. With wit, candor, and a lover’s eager eye, she tells fascinating tales – from that of a Buddhist funeral laden with ritual to an exhilarating night spent touring the “Floating World,” the sensual demimonde through which salaryman meets geisha and the conventional guidelines are suspended. On a distant island inhabited by one of many final matriarchal societies on the planet, a disconcertingly down-to-earth priestess leads her to the center of a sacred grove. And she or he spends just a few unforgettable weeks in a quasi-Victorian residence known as the Apply Home, the place, till not too long ago, Japanese ladies have been taught American customs in order that they’d make correct wives for husbands who is likely to be stationed overseas. In an afterword new to this version, Davidson tells of a poignant journey again to Japan in 2005 to go to buddies who had remade their lives after the Nice Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, which had devastated town of Kobe, in addition to the small city the place Davidson had lived and the college the place she taught. 36 Views of Mount Fuji not solely transforms our picture of Japan, it gives a stirring take a look at the very nature of tradition and identification. Typically humorous, typically liltingly unhappy, it’s as intimate and irresistible as a long-awaited letter from an excellent buddy.
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