Detailed view for the Book: Sake & Satori (Japan)


Sake & Satori (Japan)



Travel & Tourism


Asian Journals


Review Author
Joseph Campbell - Asian Journals (series) - 10 Darb


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# Date Publisher Binding Cover
1 2002-12-01 New World Library  

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IBDoF Notes: This book was edited and published posthumously by the Joseph Campbell Foundation (

Blurb: This is Joseph Campbell"s account of a journey that led him to be an icon in the field of comparitive mythology and religion. Sake and Satori covers his travels through through the second half of his year-long journey through Asia. Written from the unjaded perspective of a remarkably erudite teacher on his first trip to the Asia he had studied for most of his life, this book is a unique snapshot of 1950s Asia and its rapidly changing post-colonial and Cold War tensions. In 1954 and 1955, the famed mythologist traveled to Asia for the first time, at age fifty. In this second volume of his Asian journals, he continues east after nearly seven months in India, moving through Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and finally coming to rest, for a full five months, in Japan. The narrative is fueled by Campbell"s knack for cultural and mythological comparison. With characteristic wit and compassion, Campbell relates his experiences with a culturally intact Japan, where Noh drama, Kabuki theater, and Geisha houses are still common. He grapples with his self-discovered prejudices and opinions about how Asia is absorbing and resisting Western notions of gender, pluralism, and wealth. He relates revealing conversations with other travelers, as well as with Japanese from all walks of life, from geishas to scholars. Along the way, he allows passing asides to develop into wide-ranging philosophical explorations, augmented with his photos and specially commissioned drawings. Campbell"s life was at a turning point during his travels and many of the seeds of his transition from professor to cultural icon were planted during this Asian journey. These journals of Japan, along with its companion volume of Indian journals, Baksheesh & Brahman, impart unique and entertaining insights into both the man who wrote them and the cultures he described. It also reveals Campbell"s mind, just as he was about to embark on the career of public education and popular writing that was to bring him to the notice of a broader audience.

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