Early Buddhist Japanby J. Edward Kidder

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<ul><li><p>Early Buddhist Japan by J. Edward KidderReview by: Donald F. McCallumJournal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 95, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1975), pp. 515-516Published by: American Oriental SocietyStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/599379 .Accessed: 16/06/2014 09:40</p><p>Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms &amp; Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p><p> .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.</p><p> .</p><p>American Oriental Society is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal ofthe American Oriental Society.</p><p>http://www.jstor.org </p><p>This content downloaded from 188.72.126.181 on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 09:40:51 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=aoshttp://www.jstor.org/stable/599379?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>Reviews of Books Reviews of Books Reviews of Books </p><p>from the minka but transcended class? What themes can the historian develop, from the minka, concerning class structure within the "commoner" class of feudal Japan ? What did the minka inherit, and pass on, and precisely how did it change over time and place ? What if anything can contemporary architects learn from this heavy, somewhat impractical, yet undeniably attractive feudal architecture ? </p><p>Itoh touches these problems and makes us want to know more, which is a recommendation for the book. But he does not draw it all together, and thus has given us the most detailed, but hopefully not the last, volume on a subject of considerable interest to artists and social historians alike. </p><p>JOHN W. DOWER UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON </p><p>The Looking-Glass God: Shinto, Yin-Yang, and a Cos- mopology for Today. By NAHUM STISKIN. Pp. 156, 6t illustrations. New York and Tokyo: WEATHER- HI_L. 1971. $5.95. </p><p>The primary redeeming feature of Nahum Stiskin's niaster plan for universal salvation presented in The Looking-Glass God is its brevity. It can be read in as much time and with the same amount of attention given to a Ladies' Home Journal novella. </p><p>The author's preface promises an interpretation of the myth, ritual, and overall view of life of the Shinto religion --a promise the author fails to keep. While the author (loes show that he has studied the Kojiki and is familiar with the terminology of Shinto thought, the conclusions lie draws makes it impossible to accept his work as a serious study of traditional Shinto. The author's asser- tions that the Shinto pantheon contains vibrating deities of Derivative Energy, Centrifugality, and Centripetality, and( that the Shinto creation myth describes the union of the Centrifugal and Centripetal Deities of Dialectic Unification make his work as valuable for the study of Shinto as are the works of Norman Vincent Peale valuable to the study of the spectrum of traditional Christian theology. </p><p>The preface also promises a controversial work. Again, the promise is never kept. Controversy arises when a work's more daring interpretations contain sufficient substance to incite lively and profitable debate. The Looking-Glass God contains no such substance. The reader is asked to assume that the origin of the universe is One and No-Thing (p. 27), and that at the center of this origin One becomes two (p. 37): accepting these premises the author then "proves" that Infinity creates the known universe as a mirror-image of itself, that the </p><p>from the minka but transcended class? What themes can the historian develop, from the minka, concerning class structure within the "commoner" class of feudal Japan ? What did the minka inherit, and pass on, and precisely how did it change over time and place ? What if anything can contemporary architects learn from this heavy, somewhat impractical, yet undeniably attractive feudal architecture ? </p><p>Itoh touches these problems and makes us want to know more, which is a recommendation for the book. But he does not draw it all together, and thus has given us the most detailed, but hopefully not the last, volume on a subject of considerable interest to artists and social historians alike. </p><p>JOHN W. DOWER UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON </p><p>The Looking-Glass God: Shinto, Yin-Yang, and a Cos- mopology for Today. By NAHUM STISKIN. Pp. 156, 6t illustrations. New York and Tokyo: WEATHER- HI_L. 1971. $5.95. </p><p>The primary redeeming feature of Nahum Stiskin's niaster plan for universal salvation presented in The Looking-Glass God is its brevity. It can be read in as much time and with the same amount of attention given to a Ladies' Home Journal novella. </p><p>The author's preface promises an interpretation of the myth, ritual, and overall view of life of the Shinto religion --a promise the author fails to keep. While the author (loes show that he has studied the Kojiki and is familiar with the terminology of Shinto thought, the conclusions lie draws makes it impossible to accept his work as a serious study of traditional Shinto. The author's asser- tions that the Shinto pantheon contains vibrating deities of Derivative Energy, Centrifugality, and Centripetality, and( that the Shinto creation myth describes the union of the Centrifugal and Centripetal Deities of Dialectic Unification make his work as valuable for the study of Shinto as are the works of Norman Vincent Peale valuable to the study of the spectrum of traditional Christian theology. </p><p>The preface also promises a controversial work. Again, the promise is never kept. Controversy arises when a work's more daring interpretations contain sufficient substance to incite lively and profitable debate. The Looking-Glass God contains no such substance. The reader is asked to assume that the origin of the universe is One and No-Thing (p. 27), and that at the center of this origin One becomes two (p. 37): accepting these premises the author then "proves" that Infinity creates the known universe as a mirror-image of itself, that the </p><p>from the minka but transcended class? What themes can the historian develop, from the minka, concerning class structure within the "commoner" class of feudal Japan ? What did the minka inherit, and pass on, and precisely how did it change over time and place ? What if anything can contemporary architects learn from this heavy, somewhat impractical, yet undeniably attractive feudal architecture ? </p><p>Itoh touches these problems and makes us want to know more, which is a recommendation for the book. But he does not draw it all together, and thus has given us the most detailed, but hopefully not the last, volume on a subject of considerable interest to artists and social historians alike. </p><p>JOHN W. DOWER UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON </p><p>The Looking-Glass God: Shinto, Yin-Yang, and a Cos- mopology for Today. By NAHUM STISKIN. Pp. 156, 6t illustrations. New York and Tokyo: WEATHER- HI_L. 1971. $5.95. </p><p>The primary redeeming feature of Nahum Stiskin's niaster plan for universal salvation presented in The Looking-Glass God is its brevity. It can be read in as much time and with the same amount of attention given to a Ladies' Home Journal novella. </p><p>The author's preface promises an interpretation of the myth, ritual, and overall view of life of the Shinto religion --a promise the author fails to keep. While the author (loes show that he has studied the Kojiki and is familiar with the terminology of Shinto thought, the conclusions lie draws makes it impossible to accept his work as a serious study of traditional Shinto. The author's asser- tions that the Shinto pantheon contains vibrating deities of Derivative Energy, Centrifugality, and Centripetality, and( that the Shinto creation myth describes the union of the Centrifugal and Centripetal Deities of Dialectic Unification make his work as valuable for the study of Shinto as are the works of Norman Vincent Peale valuable to the study of the spectrum of traditional Christian theology. </p><p>The preface also promises a controversial work. Again, the promise is never kept. Controversy arises when a work's more daring interpretations contain sufficient substance to incite lively and profitable debate. The Looking-Glass God contains no such substance. The reader is asked to assume that the origin of the universe is One and No-Thing (p. 27), and that at the center of this origin One becomes two (p. 37): accepting these premises the author then "proves" that Infinity creates the known universe as a mirror-image of itself, that the </p><p>energy comprising this Infinity, like DNA moves in helix- shaped path, and that man, the crown of creation, can establish a veritable paradise on earth by living in ac- cordance with the natural balance of positive-negative, active-passive, and high and low frequency vibrations found in Infinity and in the Universe, its mirror-image. </p><p>Throughout the book, Mr. Stiskin shows himself to be not a scholar, but an evangelist, a pitchman peddling his own superscheme for the erection of a global Garden of Eden. He prescribes a regimen of vigorous physical activity, focused thought (i.e., seeing the world as two- in one), an ordered life, centripetal service to others and centrifugal self-reflection. The backbone of this new life-plan, however, is Stiskin's insistence on a macrobiotic diet, a totally vegetarian diet emphasising the consump- tion of well-cooked grains. If this regimen were followed, and the bulk of Stiskin's assertions were accepted as true, the author assures his reader that "the world beneath the sun would undergo a rebirth of justice, and all men would share in the treasures of Harmony" (p. 156). </p><p>It is the considered opinion of this reviewer that the study of Shinto and of the effect of yin-yang doctrine on Oriental thought are too important to allow private flights of fancy such as Stiskin's to stand as an example of English language scholarship in the field. What can a reader conclude from his reading of The Looking-Glass God? Perhaps if President Nixon's staff would have lunched on granola instead of cottage cheese there would not have been an enemies list, but rather an endless list of White House friends. Perhaps if this reviewer were a confirmed vegetarian who thought only focused thoughts he would have seen the eternal verity the author claims for his conclusions. Yet, The Looking-Glass God will have its effect. It will stir the ire of others who share the same temperament as this reviewer. It may incite a more jaded reader to laugh. And before the end of the year it will become the Bible for a new religious group in Southern California. </p><p>THADDEUS J. GURDAK UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN </p><p>energy comprising this Infinity, like DNA moves in helix- shaped path, and that man, the crown of creation, can establish a veritable paradise on earth by living in ac- cordance with the natural balance of positive-negative, active-passive, and high and low frequency vibrations found in Infinity and in the Universe, its mirror-image. </p><p>Throughout the book, Mr. Stiskin shows himself to be not a scholar, but an evangelist, a pitchman peddling his own superscheme for the erection of a global Garden of Eden. He prescribes a regimen of vigorous physical activity, focused thought (i.e., seeing the world as two- in one), an ordered life, centripetal service to others and centrifugal self-reflection. The backbone of this new life-plan, however, is Stiskin's insistence on a macrobiotic diet, a totally vegetarian diet emphasising the consump- tion of well-cooked grains. If this regimen were followed, and the bulk of Stiskin's assertions were accepted as true, the author assures his reader that "the world beneath the sun would undergo a rebirth of justice, and all men would share in the treasures of Harmony" (p. 156). </p><p>It is the considered opinion of this reviewer that the study of Shinto and of the effect of yin-yang doctrine on Oriental thought are too important to allow private flights of fancy such as Stiskin's to stand as an example of English language scholarship in the field. What can a reader conclude from his reading of The Looking-Glass God? Perhaps if President Nixon's staff would have lunched on granola instead of cottage cheese there would not have been an enemies list, but rather an endless list of White House friends. Perhaps if this reviewer were a confirmed vegetarian who thought only focused thoughts he would have seen the eternal verity the author claims for his conclusions. Yet, The Looking-Glass God will have its effect. It will stir the ire of others who share the same temperament as this reviewer. It may incite a more jaded reader to laugh. And before the end of the year it will become the Bible for a new religious group in Southern California. </p><p>THADDEUS J. GURDAK UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN </p><p>energy comprising this Infinity, like DNA moves in helix- shaped path, and that man, the crown of creation, can establish a veritable paradise on earth by living in ac- cordance with the natural balance of positive-negative, active-passive, and high and low frequency vibrations found in Infinity and in the Universe, its mirror-image. </p><p>Throughout the book, Mr. Stiskin shows himself to be not a scholar, but an evangelist, a pitchman peddling his own superscheme for the erection of a global Garden of Eden. He prescribes a regimen of vigorous physical activity, focused thought (i.e., seeing the world as two- in one), an ordered life, centripetal service to others and centrifugal self-reflection. The backbone of this new life-plan, however, is Stiskin's insistence on a macrobiotic diet, a totally vegetarian diet emphasising the consump- tion of well-cooked grains. If this regimen were followed, and the bulk of Stiskin's assertions were accepted as true, the author assures his reader that "the world beneath the sun would undergo a rebirth of justice, and all men would share in the treasures of Harmony" (p. 156). </p><p>It is the considered opinion of this reviewer that the study of Shinto and of the effect of yin-yang doctrine on Oriental thought are too important to allow private flights of fancy such as Stiskin's to stand as an example of English language scholarship in the field. What can a reader conclude from his reading of The Looking-Glass God? Perhaps if President Nixon's staff would have lunched on granola instead of cottage cheese there would not have been an enemies list, but rather an endless list of White House friends. Perhaps if this reviewer were a confirmed vegetarian who thought only focused thoughts he would have seen the eternal verity the author claims for his conclusions. Yet, The Looking-Glass God will have its effect. It will stir the ire of others...</p></li></ul>