Choice Magazine’s Outstanding Academic Titles for 2012 Announced

Each year Choice Magazine, the official publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries, compiles a distinguished list of Outstanding Academic Titles. The following UH Press books were recognized for 2012. A complete list of titles will be available in Choice’s January 2013 issue.

Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook edited by James W. Heisig, Thomas P. Kasulis, and John C. Maraldo

“This massive tome will stand for the forseeable future as the gold standard for comprehensive treatment of all matters of Japanese philosophy. The three editors, all significant names within this small but growing subfield, have assembled an impressive group of established and up-and-coming scholars to translate and provide introductions to each entry, resulting in a readable sourcebook remarkable in both scope and acuity of analysis. . . . Essential.” —Choice (April 2012)

Historical Dictionary of the Indochina War (1945-1954): An International and Interdisciplinary Approach by Christopher E. Goscha

“[This] very useful, high-quality publication is a valuable acquisition for all libraries with reference collections in modern Asian history. . . . Highly recommended.” —Choice (August 2012)

Cambodian Monks under Pol Pot

Buddhism in a Dark AgeBuddhism in a Dark Age: Cambodian Monks under Pol Pot, by Ian Harris, a pioneering study of the fate of Buddhism during the communist period in Cambodia, puts a human face on a dark period in Cambodia’s history. It is the first sustained analysis of the widely held assumption that the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot had a centralized plan to liquidate the entire monastic order. Based on a thorough analysis of interview transcripts and a large body of contemporary manuscript material, it offers a nuanced view that attempts to move beyond the horrific monastic death toll and fully evaluate the damage to the Buddhist sangha under Democratic Kampuchea.

December 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3561-3 / $22.00 (PAPER)

Japanese Buddhist Temples Exhibit Opens at JCCH

An exhibition of Japanese Buddhist temple objects and furnishings will be on display at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i community gallery from December 1, 2012 through February 22, 2013. The show is curated by professors emeriti George and Willa Tanabe, based on their new book, Japanese Buddhist Temples in Hawai‘i: An Illustrated Guide. The book serves a dual role as the exhibition catalog as well as a colorful visitors’ guidebook to the 90 extant temples in the islands.

The Tanabes will also be leading a series of Saturday tours to selected temples on December 8, January 19, January 26, and February 9. For more information, see the JCCH website for details, or call (808) 945-7633 ext. 28 or email info@jcch.com to make reservations. UPDATE: After each tour, the Tanabes will discuss their book and sign copies.

UH Press at American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, November 17-20

AAA logoUniversity of Hawai‘i Press is exhibiting at this year’s annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, which is being held at McCormick Place Convention Center, November 17-20.

Press acquisitions editor Patricia Crosby and Asian studies product manager Steven Hirashima are attending. Please visit us at Booth 219.

Guide to the Sacred Sites of Japan’s Ancient Religion

Shinto Shrines
Of Japan’s two great religious traditions, Shinto is far less known and understood in the West. Although there are a number of books that explain the religion and its philosophy, Shinto Shrines: A Guide to the Sacred Sites of Japan’s Ancient Religion, by Joseph Cali and John Dougill, is the first in English to focus on sites where Shinto has been practiced since the dawn of Japanese history. In an extensive introductory section, the authors delve into the fascinating aspects of Shinto, clarifying its relationship with Buddhism as well as its customs, symbolism, and pilgrimage routes. This is followed by a fully illustrated guide to 57 major Shinto shrines throughout Japan, many of which have been designated World Heritage Sites or National Treasures.

November 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3713-6 / $24.99 (PAPER)

Shotoku Cults and the Mapping of Medieval Japanese Buddhism

Plotting the Prince Plotting the Prince: Shotoku Cults and the Mapping of Medieval Japanese Buddhism, by Kevin Gray Carr, traces the development of conceptual maps of the world created through the telling of stories about Prince Shōtoku (573?–622?), an eminent statesman who is credited with founding Buddhism in Japan. It analyzes his place in the sacred landscape and the material relics of the cult of personality dedicated to him, focusing on the art created from the tenth to fourteenth centuries. The book asks not only who Shōtoku was, but also how images of his life served the needs of devotees in early medieval Japan.

“In this remarkable study Kevin Carr shows how Prince Shōtoku became one of the most widely revered among the many nobles and priests who implanted the Buddhist faith in the hearts of the Japanese people. A crown prince who served as regent under his aunt, Empress Suiko, he directed the resources of the state to support the religion at a crucial moment in its arrival from the Asian mainland. At his country villa near Nara he built the famous Hōryū-ji monastery, whose Eastern Precinct became a shrine to his memory after his death. Carr introduces exciting new pictorial evidence of the growth of the Shōtoku cult in Japan’s Middle Ages, and he brilliantly analyzes the intriguing eleventh-century panoramic paintings of Shōtoku’s life that covered three walls of the E-den (Picture Hall) in the Eastern Precinct.” —John M. Rosenfield, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of East Asian Art, Emeritus, Harvard University

November 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3463-0 / $40.00 (CLOTH)

November 2012 Author Events

Thursday, November 8, 12 noon to 1:15 p.m.
Wendy S. Arbeit shares her experiences in researching Hawaiian cultural and utilitarian objects, her techniques used in revealing their patterns, and how she documented them with detailed line drawings in her award-winning book, Links to the Past: The Work of Early Hawaiian Artisans.

Some of the questions that will be addressed:
What went into tracking down those artifacts now scattered across the globe?
What do the 1,400 illustrations tell you about pre- and early contact Hawaiian culture and the ways it changed in response to Westerners?
What sort of questions are raised by the grouping of so many objects?

The talk is part of the Brown Bag Biography series at the Center for Biographical Research, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Henke Hall 325, 1800 East-West Road. For more information, see the UH event calendar or call 808-956-3774 or email: biograph@hawaii.edu.

Isaiah Walker

Thursday, November 8, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
BYU-Hawaii professor and former competitive surfer Isaiah Walker will  give a lecture at Arizona State University on his thought-provoking book, Waves of Resistance: Surfing and History in Twentieth-Century Hawai‘i. Walker explains how Hawaiian surfers have successfully resisted colonial encroachment in the po‘ina nalu (surf zone). In making his case, he also explores empowerment and masculinity, media representation of islanders, identity struggles, and other topics. The talk is open to the public and will be held in West Hall, Room 135, at ASU in Tempe. For more information, see the ASU calendar posting.

Tuesday, November 13, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
See below listing under November 18 for George and Willa Tanabe’s Japanese Buddhist Temples in Hawai‘i.

Saturday, November 17, 3:00 p.m.
San Diego resident Leilani Holmes will visit Basically Books in Hilo, Hawai‘i to discuss and sign copies of her recent work, Ancestry of Experience: A Journey Into Hawaiian Ways of Knowing. Born in Honolulu in 1952 to a Hawaiian mother, Holmes was adopted as an infant by a haole (Caucasian) couple who moved to Ohio when she was four years old. The book recounts, explores, and analyzes the author’s quest to reclaim her origins and come to terms with the duality inherent in being an indigenous adoptee. The two-column format of the book mirrors this dichotomy, with a personal, conversational style of narrative on one side, and academic explanatory text on the other.

Saturday, November 17, 4:00 p.m.
Seattle author/poet/artist Alan Chong Lau will be at the Wing Luke Museum’s Tateuchi Story Theatre to join his sister, food writer Linda Lau Anusasananan, as she reads from The Hakka Cookbook, published by University of California Press. (Read a related post on the UC Press blog here.) Alan Lau provided the artwork for the book, done in a similarly whimsical, sumi-e style that illustrates his UH Press-published book of poetry, Blues and Greens: A Produce Worker’s Journal.

Sunday, November 18, 2:00 p.m.
George J. Tanabe and Willa Jane Tanabe will appear at Barnes & Noble, Ala Moana Center, for a signing of their just-released guidebook, Japanese Buddhist Temples in Hawai‘i: An Illustrated Guide. The Tanabes personally visited each of the ninety temples still in existence, and took photographs not only the buildings’ exteriors but of the ornate altars and interior details. Over 360 of these color photos are contained in the book. Descriptions of each temple and explanations of the symbolism of objects and design elements will help temple visitors decipher the meaning behind these physical expressions. Also at this event, information will be distributed on the related exhibit due to open December 1 at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i.

Last-minute update: On Tuesday, November 13, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., George and Willa Tanabe will give a PowerPoint lecture at the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin Annex Temple (makai of the main temple), 1727 Pali Highway. Open to the public, with a $10 fee. For more information, click here for a link to the Dharma Light Project brochure and map, or call 808-536-7044.

Flash Sale – 4 Days Only

To celebrate the canonization of Mother Marianne Cope on October 21, we are offering these titles at 40% off at our website from Friday, October 19 (noon HST) to Monday, October 22 (noon HST):

Kalaupapa: A Collective Memory, by Anwei Skinsnes Law: Combining more than 200 hours of interviews with archival documents, including over 300 letters and petitions written by the earliest residents translated from Hawaiian, this monumental work presents at long last the story of Kalaupapa as told by its people. 40% off: $29.40 (cloth); $17.39 (paper)

Almost Heaven: On the Human and Divine, edited by Frank Stewart: This issue of Manoa journal includes the complete play Damien, by Aldyth Morris, and images made at Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i, in the early twentieth century from the collection of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts United States Province. 40% off: $12.00 (paper)

Holy Man: Father Damien of Molokai, by Gavan Daws: “May be the best biography of Damien yet written.” —Library Journal 40% off: $11.39 (paper)

Molokai, by O. A. Bushnell: “Searches the hearts of the doomed and damned with an intense compassion. The author has painted the background of his novel with a knowing brush. . . . A vivid experience for the reader.” —New York Times Book Review 40% off: $14.99 (paper)

Leper Priest of Molokai: The Father Damien Story, by Richard Stewart: “Rather than portraying his subject as a plaster saint, Stewart provides a full-bodied portrait of an inspirational, yet admittedly flawed, human being.” —Booklist 40% off: $17.99 (paper)

Anwei Skinsnes Law, author of “Kalaupapa: A Collective Memory,” attended Saint Marianne’s canonization at the Vatican on October 21, 2012.

October 2012 Author Events

Thursday, October 11, 12 noon to 1:15 p.m.
Author and filmmaker Tom Coffman will speak on his latest book, I Respectfully Dissent: A Biography of Edward H. Nakamura, as part of the Brown Bag Biography series at the Center for Biographical Research, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Henke Hall 325, 1800 East-West Road. For more information call: 808-956-3774 or email: biograph@hawaii.edu.

Thursday, October 11, 5:00 p.m.
UH Hilo associate professor Mark Panek will be on O‘ahu to kickoff Windward Communitiy College’s Common Book program, which has selected his award-winning Big Happiness: The Life and Death of a Modern Hawaiian Warrior for the 2012-2013 academic year. His talk will be held at the newly opened Library Learning Commons, the first green library in the UH system. The goal of the Common Book Program is that everyone at the college—students, faculty, and staff, as well as people in the community—read and discuss the same book over an entire semester.

Friday, October 12, 2:30 p.m.
The Department of American Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa presents “THE LEAVES KEEP FALLING,” a film screening and panel discussion at the Center for Korean Studies Auditorium. Liam Kelley, associate professor and undergraduate coordinator for UHM Department of History, will be one of the discussants. His book, Beyond the Bronze Pillars: Envoy Poetry and the Sino-Vietnamese Relationship, examined the politico-cultural relationship between Vietnam and China in the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. The event is co-sponsored with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and the Center for Pacific Islands Studies.

Sunday, October 21, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Barbara Amos will launch her new book, Bones of Contention: Animals and Religion in Contemporary Japan, on Sunday, October 21, 5-7 pm, at Linda Stein’s Gallery, New York City. For more information, see the previous post.

Saturday, October 27, 9:30-11:00 a.m.
As part of the “Saturday University—Myanmar and Its Many Peoples” lecture series, Arizona State University professor Juliane Schober will speak on “Buddhist Activism in Myanmar,” at the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Stimson Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for SAM members, $10 for nonmembers. Professor Schober’s book, Modern Buddhist Conjunctures in Myanmar: Cultural Narratives, Colonial Legacies, and Civil Society, will be available for purchase from Elliott Bay Book Company.

Illustrated Guide to Hawaii’s Japanese Buddhist Temples

Japanese Buddhist Temples of Hawaii
Upon entering a Japanese Buddhist temple in Hawai‘i, most people—whether first-time visitors or lifelong members—are overwhelmed by the elaborate and complex display of golden ornaments, intricately carved altar tables and incense burners, and images of venerable masters and bodhisattvas. These objects, as well as the architectural elements of the temple itself, have meanings that are often hidden in ancient symbolisms. Japanese Buddhist Temples in Hawai‘i: An Illustrated Giode, by George J. Tanabe and Willa Jane Tanabe, two local authorities on Japanese art and religion, provides a thorough yet accessible overview of Buddhism in Hawai‘i followed by a temple-by-temple guide to the remaining structures across the state.

October 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3663-4 / $45.00 (CLOTH)
ISBN 978-0-8248-3679-5 / $22.99 (PAPER)
A Latitude 20 Book

Zen and Swordsmanship

Sword of Zen
Takuan Sōho’s (1573–1645) two works on Zen and swordsmanship are among the most straightforward and lively presentations of Zen ever written and have enjoyed great popularity in both premodern and modern Japan. Although dealing ostensibly with the art of the sword, Record of Immovable Wisdom and On the Sword Taie are basic guides to Zen—“user’s manuals” for Zen mind that show one how to manifest it not only in sword play but from moment to moment in everyday life.

Along with translations of Record of Immovable Wisdom and On the Sword Taie (the former, composed in all likelihood for the shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu and his fencing master, Yagyū Munenori), Sword of Zen, by Peter Haskel, includes an introduction to Takuan’s distinctive approach to Zen, drawing on excerpts from the master’s other writings. It also offers an accessible overview of the actual role of the sword in Takuan’s day, a period that witnessed both a bloody age of civil warfare and Japan’s final unification under the Tokugawa shoguns. Takuan was arguably the most famous Zen priest of his time, and as a pivotal figure, bridging the Zen of the late medieval and early modern periods, his story (presented in the book’s biographical section) offers a rare picture of Japanese Zen in transition.

October 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3678-8 / $23.00 (PAPER)

Self and Image Creation in a Himalayan Valley

Making FacesTaberam Soni, Labh Singh, Amar Singh, and other artists live and work in the hill-villages of the lower Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, India. There they fashion face-images of deities (mohras) out of thin sheets of precious metal. Commissioned by upper-caste patrons, the objects are cultural embodiments of divine and earthly kinship. As the artists make the images, they also cross caste boundaries in a part of India where such differences still determine rules of contact and correspondence, proximity and association. Once a mohra has been completed and consecrated, its maker is not permitted to touch it or enter the temple in which it is housed; yet during its creation the artist is sovereign, treated deferentially as he shares living quarters with the high-caste patrons. Making Faces: Self and Image Creation in a Himalayan Valley, by Alka Hingorani, tells the story of these god-makers, the gods they make, and the communities that participate in the creative process and its accompanying rituals.

“With its close-up and theoretically sophisticated treatment of Indian artisans at work, this stimulating book raises important issues concerning the making of art in a religious setting. The author includes wonderful vignettes, such as a description of how to make a Kullu royal umbrella, and an artist’s charming story of the Sun and the Divine Architect. With its excellent and compelling color photographs, this well documented book deserves to attract a broad audience of readers interested in South Asian studies and in art history.” —Richard Davis, Bard College

September 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3525-5 / $45.00 (CLOTH)