Russian Japanology Review

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Vol 1, No 1 (2018)
9-24 151
The article covers the biography of Sato Naotake, a prominent Japanese diplomat and statesman. He is mostly known in Russia as the last ambassador of militarist Japan in the Soviet Union. However, his career was much more comprehensive and noteworthy. Sato Naotake had become witness to the most dramatic period in the history of Japan, being a participant in many world events that had an effect on shaping Japan’s development up to 1945.
25-39 106
Iio Sogi is the best known renga master of Japan. He was of low origin (which is said by every encyclopedia and biographic essay); his family was in the service of the Sasaki clan. Some sources say the poet’s father was a Sarugaku Noh teacher, while others call him a Gigaku master; and his mother was born to an insignificant samurai clan, Ito. The image of Sogi - an old man, a traveler with a beard wearing old clothes and living in a shack - looks hagiographic and conventional Zen, rather than something real. Renga (linked-verse poetry) is a chain of tercets and distiches (17 syllables and 14 syllables), which is sometimes very long, up to a hundred, a thousand, or even 10,000 stanzas built on the same metric principle, in which a stanza comprising a group of five syllables and a group of seven syllables (5-7-5 and 7-7) in a line, is the prosodic unit. All those tercets and distiches, which are often composed by different authors in a roll call, are connected by the same subject (dai), but do not share the narrative. Every tercet and distich is an independent work on the subject of love, separation, and loneliness embedded in a landscape and can be easily removed from the poem without damaging its general context, although it is related to the adjoining stanzas.
40-54 1286
Despite the economic difficulties of the last two and a half decades, Japan remains to be one of the richest countries in the world. In addition, it is also one of the most prosperous countries - both in terms of distribution of the results of economic growth among the population, as well as by a number of characteristics of the standard of living. The article examines the influence of education democratization, the ideology of lifetime employment, government policies of equalizing revenues and support weak sectors and others on the formation of the middle class. The basic indicators of standard of living of the Japanese are given.
55-71 1401
The paper proposed deals with the history of Japanese-Mongolian relations over the period between 1997 and 2017 in the context of Eurasian diplomacy adopted by the Hashimoto cabinet in 1997. The paper on the evolution of the twenty-year bilateral political, economic and security cooperation, aligned with Eurasian policy and developed from “soft power” to “smart power”, focuses on the analysis of the Hashimoto Ryutaro, Koizumi Junichiro and Abe Shinzo administrations approaches.
72-90 115
The glory won by Yanagita (Matsuoka) Kunio (1875-1962) is rarely attained by “real” humanitarian scholars, especially as he was dealing with such a narrow field of knowledge as ethnology. Yanagita was unknown to the general public before the war, but gained official recognition and nationwide fame in the post-war period. The reason for the wide recognition was that he studied and created reality. The reality was the people of Japan, mostly Okinawa residents.
91-109 114
The article focuses on the role and place of toponyms in the medieval Japanese political culture. The toponym can be considered as a hyperlink, “clicking” which reveals an endless chain of general cultural, historical, and literary images, events, and phenomena. Place name study requires a multidisciplinary approach. The insularity of the Japanese territory, terrain features, prevalence and sustainability of animistic beliefs contributed to the fact that the exact localization of an event or phenomenon took on special significance. A detailed address of an event or phenomenon most often consists of toponyms relating to a province, county, village or some particular place, which almost always makes it possible to find the specified object on a geographical map. Moreover, once introduced into the context of culture, geographical locations become places of worship, sources of inspiration for many generations and are rarely subject to change. Toponyms are an integral part of the names of deities, emperors and their family members. Place names were also important in determining and fixing the boundaries of the state. Probably, for the first time in the Japanese literary tradition the geographical area of the entire archipelago, except for the remote north-eastern part, was referred to in the oldest existing anthology of the Japanese poetry “Manyoshu” (dated by the second half of the VIII century). This article presents a detailed analysis of the provenance and use of toponyms making up the cultural and historical image of the country, its name (Yamato - Nihon), and the name of the archipelago’s highest mountain (Fuji). Also, as an example, we examine the toponym for a barrier (Shirakawa), the site which is currently little known, though once it used to be an important element of the medieval state political and administrative structure. The toponym as a type of proper names is inherently conservative, which allows it to be the custodian of historical information, to be an indicator of time in the written culture, that is, using the term coined by M.M. Bakhtin, to shape a chronotope of culture. The geographical certainty characteristic of the insular mentality and the correlation thereof with the imperial myth that has been one of the Japanese political culture’s foundations right down to the twentieth century, have become the grounds for the increased attention to the cultural tradition toponymy.
110-119 109
Since 2014, the Kremlin treated Japan as a tool to undermine the unity of the "anti-Russian front" formed in the West. However, after 2016, this idea has lost relevance. A new understanding came that special relations with Japan front will not undermine the unity of the West, and Japan will not unilaterally withdraw from sanctions. Despite all the statements about the" turn to the East", the foreign policy thinking of the Russian elite still focuses on Europe. Apparently, Moscow, as it was during the cold war, believes that world politics is committed in the Euro-Atlantic space, and the Asia-Pacific countries are perceived rather as a "strategic rear". In the eyes of Kremlin Japan is still considered an American satellite rather than an independent player. In addition, Moscow somehow feels that even the withdrawal of Japan from sanctions would not lead to serious changes in the economic cooperation between the two countries. Japanese sanctions are rather symbolic, and the weakness of Japanese investment to Russia is related not to sanctions, but to systemic problems of the Russian economy. In Japan, the prevailing position is that the economy should follow politics: economic projects in Russia, stimulated by the Japanese government, should contribute to the solution of political problems. Therefore, investments to Russia are not necessarily viewed from the point of view of their economic efficiency - rather, it is a form of "aid" designed to encourage Moscow’s compromise on the territorial dispute. Russia, however, believes that investment projects in Siberia and the Far East are commercially attractive for both sides and that it is Russia that is doing Japan a favor by allowing it to invest in profitable enterprises.
120-136 1467
The article is dedicated to the development of the creative sector of Japan’s economy. The author analyzes specific features and key areas of the sector’s growth, as well as mechanisms of government support for creative industries in furtherance of the Cool Japan strategy and the goal of boosting the domestic demand, expanding the country’s capacity for exports, and creation of jobs. The article also analyzes main approaches of international organizations and experts to the creative economy’s phenomenon in the contemporary world, including terms, definitions, and classification of industries.
137-148 303
The purpose of this article is to analyze the selection and organization of poetic material of two medieval poetic collections, Shinsanjurokkasen and Koyasan Kongozanmai-in tanzaku, created respectively in the middle of the 13th and the middle of the 14th centuries, and to give information about the manuscripts of these collections stored at the Russian State Library in Moscow.
149-158 121
The factual head of the Japanese government, Matsudaira Sadanobu, declared the ritual and the law as the foundation for receiving Adam Laxman’s expedition, the first russian mission to Japan. The article attempts at understanding the meaning he ascribed to those notions through the lens of several sources related to Laxman’s expedition.

ISSN 2658-6444 (Print)
ISSN 2658-6789 (Online)