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Rice as Self


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This is a fascinating analysis of the meaning of rice as a symbol of personal and particularly of social identity in Japanese culture. -- Robert N. Bellah Ohnuki-Tierney usefully explodes the notion of Japanese cultural homogeneity while explaining why the idea of homogeinity and distinctness, symbolized so vividly in Japanese rice, has come to play such a significant cultural role. -- Robert N. Bellah, University of California, Berkeley

Table of Contents

*Frontmatter, pg. i*Contents, pg. vii*Acknowledgments, pg. ix*A Note to the Reader, pg. xii*One. Food as a Metaphor of Self: An Exercise in Historical Anthropology, pg. 1*Two. Rice and Rice Agriculture Today, pg. 12*Three. Rice as a Staple Food?, pg. 30*Four. Rice in Cosmogony and Cosmology CLEARLY,, pg. 44*Five. Rice as Wealth, Power, and Aesthetics, pg. 63*Six. Rice as Self, Rice Paddies as Our Land, pg. 81*Seven. Rice in the Discourse of Selves and Others, pg. 99*Eight. Foods as Selves and Others in Cross-cultural Perspective, pg. 114*Nine. Symbolic Practice through Time: Self, Ethnicity, and Nationalism, pg. 127*Notes, pg. 137*References Cited, pg. 149*Index, pg. 171

About the Author

Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney is Vilas Research Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Among her works is The Monkey as Mirror: Symbolic Transformations in Japanese History and Ritual (Princeton).


Honorable Mention for the 1993 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Sociology and Anthropology, Association of American Publishers "As in [Ohnuki-Tierney's] Monkey as Mirror, where she follows her metaphor deep into the prejudices of Japanese society, so she here finds that rice has been given a major role in historical formulation of the idea of self... Beautifully, even elegantly, presented... An important volume which traces this chosen means of identity and makes understandable the various anomalies that it would seem to have occasioned."--Donald Richie, The Japan Times "An important and timely book on the Japanese sense of self and the link to the sacredness of rice agriculture."--Drew Gerstle, The Times Higher Education Supplement

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