e-Book God's Dust : A Modern Asian Journey download

e-Book God's Dust : A Modern Asian Journey download

by Ian Buruma

ISBN: 0753810891
ISBN13: 978-0753810897
Language: English
Publisher: Orion Pub Co (November 30, 2000)
Pages: 288
Subategory: History

ePub size: 1571 kb
Fb2 size: 1882 kb
DJVU size: 1114 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 259
Other Formats: lit lrf mbr doc

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Buruma, Ian. Publication date.

God’s Dust: A Modern Asian Journey. Behind the Mask: On Sexual Demons, Sacred Mothers, Transvestites, Gangsters, Drifters and Other Japanese Cultural Heroes. text by Donald Richie; photographs by Ian Buruma). You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader. Photographs by the author. ISBN 9781101981412 (hardcover).

An eminent Asian scholar. Published by Thriftbooks. com User, 12 years ago. In a few pages, Ian Buruma sketches the essential characteristics, problems, myths and & of 8 Asian countries. Burma still hangs in the iron fist of a military dictatorship. This potential rich country is strangulated by national socialism.

God's Dust: A Modern Asian Journey (1989). ISBN 978-0-7538-1089-7. Great Cities of the World: Hong Kong (1991).

A Modern Asian Journey.

1 2 3 4 5. Want to Read. Are you sure you want to remove God's Dust from your list? God's Dust. A Modern Asian Journey. Published November 1990 by Noonday Pr. Written in English. The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan. Published in the United States by Vintage Books, a division of Random House, In. New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. Originally published in Great Britain by Faber and Faber Limited in 1996, and in hardcover in the United States by Random House, In. New York, in 2000.

Ian Buruma was educated in Holland and Japan. He has spent many years in Asia, which he has written about in God's Dust, A Japanese Mirror, and Behind the Mask. He has also written Playing the Game, The Wages of Guilt, and Anglomania. Customers Also Bought Items By.

God's Dust: A Modern Asian Journey. The Article Book: Practice toward Mastering a an and the. pangurban. Shipping: USPS calculated - check. AUTOGRAPHED Visions of the dreamer.

Investigating the question of what happens to Asian cultures when traditions of the village break down and are replaced by the complexities of the modern world, the author's travels took him from Burma to Japan, via Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan and South Korea.
Ian Buruma is a true citizen of the world. He was born of a Dutch father and a British mother. Educated in the Netherlands in Chinese literature; he studied the cinema in Japan. He now lives in the United States. But his true home seems to be that vast expanse of land that is Asia. This is one of his earlier works, concerning his travels over one year, through eight Asian countries: Burma, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. The year appears to have been 1987, and the book was published in 1989. Much has changed since those days, and, alas, much remains the same. Burma is still ruled by the generals, still mired in poverty despite its resources. The "Asian Tigers," a label for the countries that seem to have their economic act together, specifically Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea continue to prosper, surviving the economic meltdown of 2008. Japan still survives also, but no longer appears to be destined to "rule the world," as it did in the late `80's. Its star is now eclipsed by China. And Thailand and the Philippines continue to be shaped by their historical forces, while also melding into what we refer to as "globalization."

The issue of "globalization" is a central one in Buruma's book. Because all the big cities in Asia now have a McDonald's, and many listen to Western rock music, to what degree has this lessened what makes the culture of these countries unique? Buruma starts his journey in Rangoon, and ends it in Hiroshima; both places I have also visited. The author says that he first started going to Burma in 1978, always constrained by those 7-day visas. I visited Burma four times in the early `80's, and thus was able to judge the validity of Buruma's observations and insights, most of which conformed with my own. Burma, for a Westerner on a brief visit, is a wonderful outdoor museum of life at the end of the colonial era, circa 1947. For an inhabitant, it is the hell of a constant, and rather primitive, scrounge for a daily living. On to Thailand, and again Buruma confirmed my own observations. He quotes a professor from the local newspaper who said that Bangkok had "AIDS." Sadly, and for sure, due to it being the destination for sexual tourists, that disease is rampant. But the professor meant" "Architecture Identity Disaster." And he goes on to describe the Doric columns, Bavarian-style cottages, Victorian town houses and Japanese department stores. Ah, Disneyland! And Buruma made me cringe in his description of "Ed,", still hanging out in Patpong bars, "...the sad flotsam of Pax Americana..." who would have "whupped" the Vietnamese, but it was "...the liberals (who) stabbed us in the back."

With those touchstones of veracity, I felt comfortable reading about the countries I had never been, like the Philippines. Concerning the country, Buruma quotes a "cliché" I had never heard of: "...three hundred years in a Spanish convent and forty years in Hollywood have left Filipinos culturally dispossessed." In Paul Theroux review of the book in the Far Eastern Economic Review, he relates Buruma's visit to the now-deposed Marcoses in Honolulu, in which Imelda, "the selfish pudgy billionaire, whimpers to the departing journalist: `Please be kind to us poor little people. We have nothing left.'" In Malaysia Buruma visits Al Arqam, and talks to Abdul Halim, who V.S. Naipaul describes in his book Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey. Halim assures Buruma that Naipaul is a "freethinker," apparently the worst of condemnations.

In Taiwan the author remarks, and it continues to be echoed: "The mystique of being Chinese. It is a kind of racial chauvinism, something to do with an intangible ethnic spirit, closed to outsiders." Buruma saved the best for last, at least for me, Japan being my favorite country in Asia. Numerous valid observations, but one that Westerners who are enchanted should always remember. He quotes Basil Hall Chamberlain, the author of Things Japanese, written in 1891: "Whatever you do, do not expatiate, in the presence of Japanese of the new school, on those old, quaint and beautiful things Japanese which rouse our most genuine admiration...generally speaking, the educated Japanese have done with their own past. They want to be somebody else and something else other than what they have been and still partly are."

Still, a wonderful, insightful read into the heart of Asia. 5-stars.

In a few pages, Ian Buruma sketches the essential characteristics, problems, myths and `soul' of 8 Asian countries.

Burma still hangs in the iron fist of a military dictatorship. This potential rich country is strangulated by national socialism. Its population survives through a black market, `a tapeworm eating its way through a bankrupt economy'.

Thailand sticks together by three crucial elements: `Nation, Religion and Monarch'. Being a country of `hedonism without guilt', it never lost its self-respect.

The Philippines, as a nation, is still struggling with its colonial past (Spain and the US) and with its oligarchies, of which the strongest one is the Catholic Church. `As long as the US bases are here, we cannot become a modern country'.

Malaysia's main problem is the chasm between the Village (which belongs to the Malays) and the City (dominated by the Chinese). The political class tries to cement a common national identity through religion (Islam).

Singapore is a Big Brother state. Its government fears chaos and an attack on its independence.

Taiwan is still dominated by the struggle between the early- and the late- comers from the mainland, and between the lowlanders and the mountain people. It has a fundamental identity problem: `How can a modern Chinese state identify itself with Chinese civilization when it is not China?'

Korea has a precarious geographical situation. Its rulers have always been using outside powers to fight opponents at home. The legitimacy of the Korean nation is thwarted by the North/South division.

The mythical pristine Japanese identity (idealized in the Village) based on benevolent imperial will, social harmony and communion with nature is lost in modern commercialism. Jingoism is used in order to forge a new concrete for the nation.

This book is a must read for all Asian scholars and all those interested in Asian affairs.

Ian Buruma's lively writing style, familiar to readers of the New York Review of Books and the Far Eastern Economic Review, comes to the fore in this wonderful look at a variety of Asian countries. He manages to isolate scenes and trends that characterize the tension between the traditional and the modern in several Asian nations (or indeed nations in formation). The non-Asian writer on Asia is at times less forgiving, and at others brings a fresh view, but always provides insights that few other books or writers seem to produce. God's Dust lets the seasoned Asia dweller feel that she is developing her own unique perspective on life in Asia, and at the same time gives those who have never experienced Asia's intricacies and contradictions an opportunity to experience more than a travelogue or a soon-to-be-proven-wrong business trends bestseller would deliver.

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