Isami's House: Three Centuries of a Japanese Family

Isami's House: Three Centuries of a Japanese Family[BOOKS] ✪ Isami's House: Three Centuries of a Japanese Family By Gail Lee Bernstein – Tbjewellers.co.uk In this powerful and evocative narrative, Gail Lee Bernstein vividly re creates the past three centuries of Japanese history by following the fortunes of a prominent Japanese family over fourteen gene In this powerful and evocative narrative, Gail Three Centuries ePUB ☆ Lee Bernstein vividly re creates the past three centuries of Japanese history by following the fortunes of a prominent Japanese family over fourteen generations The first of its kind in English, this book focuses on Isami, the eleventh generation patriarch and Isami's House: PDF or hereditary village head Weaving back and forth between Isami s time in the first half of the twentieth century and his ancestors lives in the Tokugawa and Meiji eras, Bernstein uses family history to convey a broad panoply of social life in Japan since the late s As the House: Three Centuries ePUB ´ story unfolds, she provides remarkable details and absorbing anecdotes about food, famines, peasant uprisings, agrarian values, marriage customs, child rearing practices, divorces, and social networks Isami s House describes the role of rural elites, the architecture of Japanese homes, the grooming of children for middle class life in Tokyo, the experiences of the Japanese in Japan s wartime empire and on the homefront, the aftermath of the country s defeat, and, finally, the efforts of family members to rebuild their lives after the Occupation The author s forty year friendship with members of the family lends a unique intimacy to her portrayal of their history Readers come away with an inside view of Japanese family life, a vivid picture of early modern and modern times, and a profound understanding of how villagers were transformed into urbanites and what was gained, and lost, in the process.

Is a well known author, some of Three Centuries ePUB ☆ his books are a fascination for readers like in the Isami's House: Three Centuries of a Japanese Family book, this is one of the most wanted Gail Lee Bernstein author readers around the world.

Isami's House: Three Centuries of a Japanese Family PDF
    Isami's House: Three Centuries of a Japanese Family PDF the experiences of the Japanese in Japan s wartime empire and on the homefront, the aftermath of the country s defeat, and, finally, the efforts of family members to rebuild their lives after the Occupation The author s forty year friendship with members of the family lends a unique intimacy to her portrayal of their history Readers come away with an inside view of Japanese family life, a vivid picture of early modern and modern times, and a profound understanding of how villagers were transformed into urbanites and what was gained, and lost, in the process."/>
  • Paperback
  • 314 pages
  • Isami's House: Three Centuries of a Japanese Family
  • Gail Lee Bernstein
  • English
  • 20 December 2019
  • 0520246977

10 thoughts on “Isami's House: Three Centuries of a Japanese Family

  1. says:

    I love when Historians tell history through familial generations Bernstein did a wonderful job interweaving national history within the life events of a local family I would have appreciated just a littleartistry in the writing, and a littlevoice from the family old letters and dialogs are included, I simply would have liked .

  2. says:

    I chose to read this book after reading and enjoying Recreating Japanese Women, 1600 1945 edited by this author Unlike Recreating, which was an academic project, this book ispersonal It arose out of the ongoing relationships that Bernstein had with members of the Matsuura family since her days as a graduate student living and studying in Japan in the early 1960 s She traces the family s history based on her translation of the 91 page book about the Matsuura family written by Isami, who I chose to read this book after reading and enjoying Recreating Japanese Women, 1600 1945 edited by this author Unlike Recreating, which was an academic project, this book ispersonal It arose out of the ongoing relationships that Bernstein had with members of the Matsuura family since her days as a graduate student living and studying in Japan in the early 1960 s She traces the family s history based on her translation of the 91 page book about the Matsuura family written by Isami, who was the 12th generation head of the small town where the family had lived As is the case with almost any biographical self report Isami s account is at the very least self serving Thus, for example he presents his forefathers as just and benevolent leaders who heralded the town and its inhabitants through the ups and downs that were part of rural life in Japan in the 18th, 19th, and early mid 20th centuries It may very well be true that his forebears did step in and pay taxes when the local farmers could not do so because of poor harvests And it may also be true that the headmen sometimes provided food for the locals when they had experienced a bad harvest Isami did acknowledge that the family became successful actually quite wealthy by rural standards anyway through its acquisition of land and development of sake, soy sauce, cotton, and tobacco production Neither he nor Bernstein noted, however, that this must have also taken place out of their ability to exploit the townspeople on some level Bernstein generally portrays Isami and his forefathers favorably and empathically But, fortunately, she does don her historian hat on occasion in the book For example, she places the stories of the headmen s lives and activities in the context of the social and political times, some of which were quite tumultuous This region of Japan became a hotbed of protest and rebellion in the late 18th century While Isami blamed this on outside forces, Bernstein notes that the local protests must have also been due to inadequate leadership on the part of the family At one point she noted that his family history was prideful and idealized At another she acknowledged that it does not give a rounded picture In my opinion, the book would have been better had Bernstein provided evenperspective like this The last few chapters of the book relate the family s development after Isami gave up his headman role in 1949 These chapters portray the profound difficulties that most of his 13 children had in adapting to an industrializing, increasingly urban life in post WW II Japan Isami blamed this on the emphasis placed on rights and individualism by the American occupation and modernization which led to a decline in their basic moral values with the focus on familial loyalty and duty that he had lived by Bernstein provides some additional perspective of the extent to which social and economic forces undermined the foundation on which Isami and his forefathers had lived their lives and led their families For a reader wanting to get some inside and fascinating information on family life and dynamics in rural Japan from 1700 it is a good read Some may find its lack of ascholarly approach without a lot of references to other texts and its overall empathy for Isami to be deficits Others, especially me, may find its huge cast of characters 13 children and their spouses in the final chaptersthan a bit daunting to follow Even with two family trees it was hard for me to keep track of who was married to who, etc in those last few chapters For those interested in Japanese family life with a focus on women I recommend Bernstein s Recreating Women And two other books as well The Japanese Family in Transition From Professional Housewife Ideal to the Dilemmas of Choice by Suzanne Hall Vogel and Steven K Vogel is an in depth study of 3 4 women and their families over the course of many years post WW II Japan Another is Women and Family in Contemporary Japan by Susan D Hollaway Both of these are written by authors trained in social work and or psychology who are also very familiar with Japanese culture and society Thus, they offer a Western perspective on Japanese marriage and family dynamics in the context of the challenges people living in post WW II Japanese society had to cope with.Finally, there is one other book which I read many years ago Japanese Inn by Oliver Statler In portraying the history of a traditional inn ryokan from the late 1500 s until 1957 Statler provides an account of one family in the context of the history of feudal and modern Japan

  3. says:

    This book tended to be a little dry at times and definitely a little confusing due to all of the family members that you have to keep track of Just to prove how difficult keeping track can be Gail Lee Bernstein has added a time line, two family trees and a list of central persons to the beginning of the book The fact that there are so many different characters represented throughout the novel makes it very hard to become attached to any specific one However, Gail Lee Bernstein does an amazing This book tended to be a little dry at times and definitely a little confusing due to all of the family members that you have to keep track of Just to prove how difficult keeping track can be Gail Lee Bernstein has added a time line, two family trees and a list of central persons to the beginning of the book The fact that there are so many different characters represented throughout the novel makes it very hard to become attached to any specific one However, Gail Lee Bernstein does an amazing job transitioning between all of the characters and different generation of families Even with all of its downfalls, Isami s House is an excellent description of how life and values changed in Japan since the Meji Restoration I also really enjoy the pictures of the family throughout the book because when it comes to memoirs I love being able to put a face to a name.I would probably only recommend this novel to people who are truly interested in the history of Japan or its culture Having a grasp on Japanese history would be helpful for the reader to posses, but it is not necessary

  4. says:

    Over the space of a few decades, from the later 19th century to the mid twentieth, Japan went through about three centuries of change No wonder people were disoriented It s a miracle Japan has done as well and become as stable as it has Bernstein tells the story of these changes through the experiences of a single family, the Matsuuras, who were successful village heads and landowners in rural Fukushima an area well north of Tokyo forthan two and a half centuries Through her close fr Over the space of a few decades, from the later 19th century to the mid twentieth, Japan went through about three centuries of change No wonder people were disoriented It s a miracle Japan has done as well and become as stable as it has Bernstein tells the story of these changes through the experiences of a single family, the Matsuuras, who were successful village heads and landowners in rural Fukushima an area well north of Tokyo forthan two and a half centuries Through her close friendships with members of the family, she has access to extensive family records and personal memories It s a fascinating story, but she s not really a fascinating writer, I m afraid The characters of these people remain pretty flat on the page, and the connections between their experiences aren t as well drawn as they might be Don t read this for the sparkling prose, but it s worth a look if you re interested in the lives of ordinary Japanese during this tumultuous period

  5. says:

    This is a book which follows a number of generations of a Japanese family It does have some material relating to the war, however, and I ll note the most important of those points.When the Japanese took over the Indies, they did so saying there were there to liberate the Indonesians, but they became another colonial power They concentrated on getting what they wanted from the natural resources and human slave labor so much that there was a lack of food for the civilians and the death rate incr This is a book which follows a number of generations of a Japanese family It does have some material relating to the war, however, and I ll note the most important of those points.When the Japanese took over the Indies, they did so saying there were there to liberate the Indonesians, but they became another colonial power They concentrated on getting what they wanted from the natural resources and human slave labor so much that there was a lack of food for the civilians and the death rate increased Many women were forced into becoming prostitutes to service the Japanese soldiers.After the Japanese seized Manchuria in 1931 the Chinese protested by boycotting Japanese goods This resulted in the Shanghai incident, where around 7,000 Chinese died, and another 10,000 were missing Food shortages in Japan appeared in 1939 Rice, salt, and soy sauce were rationed

  6. says:

    very interesting, but difficult to keep track of everybody, especially when the second world war starts From there on the Author does not follow chronological order of deaths, describing Isamis death and later referring to his reaction on things I would have liked it better if it had been in order, and it was very difficult to sort out who s family the meaning Isamis and Ko s grandchildren belonged to.

  7. says:

    It was good but perhapsscholarly than I wanted.

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