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Civilization and Monsters


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Asserts that a discourse on the fantastic was at the heart of the historical configuration of Japanese modernity and that the fantastic is the constant condition of Japanese modernity.

About the Author

Gerald Figal is Associate Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Vanderbilt University.


"Gerald Figal's powerful study persuades us that superstition, monsters, and the fantastic are at the very heart of Japanese modernity-an argument conveyed in splendid fashion. This is an exciting, fresh, and aptly provocative work."-James Fujii, University of California at Irvine "Through the transmutation of ghosts, Figal brings out one of the central problematics of modern nation-states: what to do about pasts that are simultaneously evidence of backwardness and integral to the make-up of the nation. All scholars interested in Japan, historically and culturally, should read Civilization and Monsters."-Stefan Tanaka, University of California at San Diego

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