I mentioned a while back that I am giving a presentation on Confucian Cardnial relationships, so I thought I’d give a few more details about the presentation. The event begins at 10:00 AM in the Social Sciences Building at UMSL. The event is University of Missouri – St. Louis’ annual “Japan on Campus” day. I will be presenting how ancient Confucian values are still very much alive as the underpinnings of Japanese society, albeit with a twist. Certain cardinal relationships have greater meaning than others, while values of on, giri, rei, and jin are undeniably persistent. We will be applying this knowledge to contemporary Shonen animation to drive the point home. It will be fun to examine the postmodern animation in the context of Confucian values! Welcome to Mechademia – anime examined from the academic perspective.

I mentioned this book before, but since I recently re-read it, I think you may truly enjoy it. T.R. Reid presents a very positive, engaging, and entertaining take on East Asian societies, particularly Japan, and theorizes how Confucian values help keep society together. This book was published in 1999 and is a bit dated, so many other social issues have come up since then that this book could not have addressed. But, the theory and basics are still correct for most of society. Thought this would be a nice contrast to Zielenziger’s Shutting Out The Sun, which, while having good facts, is also a Western perspective and a bit negative.

I am ordering a bunch of Japanese books from Amazon.co.jp shortly that are about Shakai-Mondai (Societal problems and issues) by Japanese and for Japanese readers. I want to see their take and contrast as well.

Confucius Lives Next Door:

What Living in the East Teaches Us About Living In The West