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Nguyen’s Book, NEW ESSAYS IN JAPANESE AESTHETICS, Published to International Acclaim

Nguyen’s Book, NEW ESSAYS IN JAPANESE AESTHETICS, Published to International Acc

Congratulations to Dr. Minh Nguyen on the publication of his first book, New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics (526 pages), by Lexington Books, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield. The result of six years of research and development, his wide-ranging interdisciplinary edited collection has elicited high praise from leading figures in Japanese Studies, including Donald Keene, widely considered the Western world’s most celebrated scholar of Japanese literature and culture.

Joining EKU in 2003, Nguyen is currently Professor of Philosophy and Asian Studies, Director of the Interdisciplinary Asian Studies Program, Associate Director of the Honors Program, and Coordinator of National and International Scholarships and Fellowships. From 2010 to 2014, he served as Coordinator of the Chautauqua Lecture Series.

For more information, please visit and For a special 30% discount offer, see the attached flyer at the bottom of this announcement.

Book Description

This collection presents twenty-seven new essays in Japanese aesthetics by leading experts in the field. Beginning with an extended foreword by renowned scholar and artist Stephen Addiss and a comprehensive introduction that surveys the history of Japanese aesthetics and the ways in which it is similar to and different from Western aesthetics, this groundbreaking work brings together a large variety of disciplinary perspectives—including those of philosophy, literature, and cultural politics—to shed light on the artistic and aesthetic traditions of Japan and the central themes in Japanese art and aesthetics. Contributors explore topics from the philosophical groundings for Japanese aesthetics and the Japanese aesthetics of imperfection and insufficiency to the Japanese love of and respect for nature and the paradoxical ability of Japanese art and culture to absorb enormous amounts of foreign influence and yet maintain its own unique identity. Intended to advance scholarship in multiple areas of inquiry and to serve as a valuable resource for the classroom, New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics will appeal not only to a wide range of humanities scholars but also to graduate and undergraduate students of Japanese aesthetics, art, philosophy, literature, culture, and civilization. Masterfully articulating the contributors’ Japanese-aesthetical concerns and their application to Japanese arts (including literature, theater, film, drawing, painting, calligraphy, ceramics, crafts, music, fashion, comics, cooking, packaging, gardening, landscape architecture, flower arrangement, the martial arts, and the tea ceremony), these engaging and penetrating essays will also appeal to nonacademic professionals and general audiences. This seminal work will be essential reading for anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of Japanese aesthetics.

Book Endorsements

“A. Minh Nguyen’s New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics is an important, comprehensive, and fascinating collection. Beginning with historical and systematic overviews of the philosophical tenets of Japanese aesthetics and treatments of central themes in Japanese art and aesthetics, this is a book of enormous scope, including discussions of traditional art forms such as the tea ceremony, calligraphy, haiku, Nōdrama, pottery, and the martial arts, quotidian activities such as gift wrapping, flower arranging, cooking, etiquette, and gardening, and contemporary movements in Japanese literature, film, and the visual arts. This is a book that no student of Japanese aesthetics, whether beginning or advanced, should be without.”—Philip Alperson, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Temple University; Editor, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (1993-2003)

“A. Minh Nguyen’s New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics is a kaleidoscope of twenty-seven new contributions on the unrelenting pursuit of elegance across Japanese culture that have been written specifically for this volume by nothing less than a cadre of the world’s most distinguished Japanologists. As it is turned in the hand of the reader, it reveals from a bottomless array of angles the different strategies this always unique and yet porous culture has deployed to enchant the human experience, aspiring as it does to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary and the mundane into the sublime.”—Roger T. Ames, Chair Professor in the Humanities, Peking University; Editor, Philosophy East and West: A Quarterly of Comparative Philosophy (1987-2016)

“A. Minh Nguyen’s New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics is a most impressive collection. This volume provides important information to all who study Japanese aesthetics. I know of no other book that covers the subject so completely.”—Donald Keene, University Professor Emeritus and Shincho Professor Emeritus of Japanese Literature, Columbia University; Author, A History of Japanese Literature

“A. Minh Nguyen has put together an important volume that gives us, in one place, the tools to understand the knotty subject of Japanese aesthetics. The most notable scholars address these questions from various perspectives: some of them walk us through the history of aesthetics in Japan, others explicate the broad issues and ramifications of these ideas, while others take us deep into particular artists, genres, and works. This is an impressive achievement of long-lived value.”—Doug Slaymaker, Professor of Japanese, University of Kentucky; Translator, Hideo Furukawa’s Horses, Horses, in the End the Light Remains Pure: A Tale That Begins with Fukushima

“Japanese aesthetics, famous throughout the world, is more often revered and celebrated than meticulously analyzed. New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics goes beyond surface pleasures to uncover the relations and tensions that shape aesthetic worlds in Japan. Encyclopedic in breadth, the book is a must-have for anyone seeking to better understand this intriguing and elegant domain.”—Kristin Surak, Associate Professor of Japanese Politics, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; Author, Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice

A trove of treasures for thinking across the history of Japanese artistic practice and aesthetic thought, ranging from literature and the visual arts to philosophy, politics, and the aesthetics of daily life, this is a compendious work that will return many readers and introduce many more to the most vital topics and motifs of the Japanese cultural tradition with fresh insights and lucid clarifications of complex matters. A perfect text for reading in and for teaching from.”—Alan Tansman, Louis B. Agassiz Chair in Japanese and Director of the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, University of California, Berkeley; Author, The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism

Nguyen’s Book, NEW ESSAYS IN JAPANESE AESTHETICS, Published to International Acclaim

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Published on January 13, 2018

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