Na Kua‘aina: Living Hawaiian Culture

Due to high demand for the cloth edition, Na Kua‘aina: Living Hawaiian Culture, by Davianna Pomaika‘i McGregor has now been made available in paperback.

May 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3212-4 / $20.00 (PAPER)

“A bold intervention in modern Hawaiian politics, a summoning to the barricades that by its end will have you cheering. Na Kua‘aina is the inspiring story of a culture that refuses to die, of a resurgent nation poised to reclaim its embattled heritage. . . . This is no dry-as-dust tome destined for library basements, but a solidly grounded set of political demands cast in historical mode. It is good research leading to intellectually honest conclusions with real-world applications.” —Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Maritime Histories, Littoral Cultures, and Transoceanic Exchanges

The latest title in the series Perspectives on the Global Past looks at:

Seascapes: Maritime Histories, Littoral Cultures, and Transoceanic Exchanges, edited by Jerry H. Bentley, Renate Bridenthal, and Karen Wigen

Book coverThe world’s seas and oceans have played roles of great significance in world history, serving variously as highways of trade, routes of migrations, lifelines of empires, spawning grounds of creole cultures, and venues of opportunity for pirates and smugglers. Yet historians have only recently begun to chart the experiences of maritime regions in rich detail and penetrate the historical processes at work there. Seascapes makes a major contribution to these efforts by bringing together original scholarship on historical issues arising from maritime regions around the world.

May 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3027-4 / $52.00 (CLOTH)

Polynesia and the U.S. Imperial Imagination

The enduring popularity of Polynesia in western literature, art, and film attests to the pleasures that Pacific islands have, over the centuries, afforded the consuming gaze of the west—connoting solitude, release from cares, and, more recently, self-renewal away from urbanized modern life.

Facing the Pacific: Polynesia and the U.S. Imperial Imagination, by Jeffrey Geiger, is the first study to offer a detailed look at the United States’ intense engagement with the myth of the South Seas just after the First World War, when, at home, a popular vogue for all things Polynesian seemed to echo the expansion of U.S. imperialist activities abroad.

“An elegant, incisive account of the early 20th century fascination with ‘Polynesianess.’ Through readings of the lives, interactions, and cultural productions of a group of influential ‘ethnographic’ writers and film makers—whose refiguring of South Seas myths registered anxieties about modernity—Geiger appreciates complexities within an emergent, distinctively modernist, U.S. imperial imagination. Meticulously researched, and lucid in its applications of film, postcolonial, and gender theories, Geiger’s book is at once the most thorough account of its subject to date and the most theoretically rewarding.” —Paul Lyons, author of American Pacificism: Oceania in the U.S. Imagination

May 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3066-3 / $59.00 (CLOTH)

Remembering the Kana

Following on the phenomenal success of Remembering the Kanji, James W. Heisig has prepared a companion volume for learning the Hiragana and Katakana syllabaries of modern Japanese: Remembering the Kana: A Guide to Reading and Writing the Japanese Syllabaries in 3 Hours Each. In six short lessons of about twenty minutes, each of the two systems of “kana” writing are introduced in such a way that the absolute beginner can acquire fluency in writing in a fraction of the time normally devoted to the task.

May 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3164-6 / $15.00 (PAPER)

Remembering the Kanji

Anyone who has tried to learn to read and write Chinese characters ends up using a variety of ways to remember the component parts. Several books propose different kinds of memory aids to help kanji learners. In Remembering the Kanji 1: A Complete Course on How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Japanese Characters, James W. Heisig offers his own bag of effective tricks.

The aim of this book is to provide the student of Japanese with a simple method for correlating the writing and the meaning of Japanese characters in such a way as to make them both easy to remember. It is intended not only for the beginner, but also for the more advanced student looking for some relief from the constant frustration of how to write the kanji and some way to systematize what he or she already knows. The author begins with writing because–contrary to first impressions–it is in fact the simpler of the two. He abandons the traditional method of ordering the kanji according to their frequency of use and organizes them according to their component parts or “primitive elements.” Assigning each of these parts a distinct meaning with its own distinct image, the student is led to harness the powers of “imaginative memory” to learn the various combinations that result. In addition, each kanji is given its own key word to represent the meaning, or one of the principal meanings, of that character. These key words provide the setting for a particular kanji’s “story,” whose protagonists are the primitive elements.

May 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3165-3 / $32.00 (PAPER)

The Poetics of Motoori Norinaga

One of Japan’s most renowned intellectuals, Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801) is perhaps best known for his notion of mono no aware, a detailed description of the workings of emotions as the precondition for the poetic act. As a poet and a theoretician of poetry, Norinaga had a keen eye for etymologies and other archaeological practices aimed at recovering the depth and richness of the Japanese language.

The Poetics of Motoori Norinaga: A Hermeneutical Journey, translated and edited by Michael F. Marra, contains his major works on the Yamato region—the heartland of Japanese culture—including one of his most famous poetic diaries, The Sedge Hat Diary (Sugagasa no Nikki), translated into English here for the first time.

May 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3078-6 / $57.00 (CLOTH)