This is a little gem of a book. The author wears her mantle of learning lightly, her theoretical sophistication (sometimes overwhelming, as e.g. in the 1990 article 'Monkey as metaphor' in Man (N.S.) 25) is engagingly disguised as light reading, the evocation of names considered nowadays to be de rigueur is kept to a minimum, and the study as a whole pulls together a number of threads which she had spun elsewhere (e.g. the imperial system; the symbolic conceptualization of 'others' and by way of the others, of self). In the present study the emphasis is on the symbolization of self and, by way of the self, of both the external and the marginalized internal 'other'. It is a happy combination of several major themes in anthropology: food symbolism, cosmology, symbolizations of identity and self, ritual, polity and economics. The historicization of anthropology is not talked about but...
Rice as Self: Japanese Identities Through Time
From: Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute(Vol. 2, Issue 2)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Document Type: Book review
Length: 594 words
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Copyright: COPYRIGHT 1996 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.