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Carmen Blacker

Scholar of Japanese Religion, Myth and Folklore: Writings and Reflections

Hugh Cortazzi

478 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Carmen Blacker was an outstanding scholar of Japanese culture, known internationally for her writings on religion, myth and folklore – her most notable work being The Catalpa Bow: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan. Importantly, a third of the volume comprises significant extracts from the author’s diaries covering a period of more than forty years, together with a plate section drawn from her extensive photographic archive, thus providing a rare opportunity to gain a personal insight into the author’s life and work. The volume includes a wide selection of writings from distinguished scholars such as Donald Keene and her former pupil Peter Kornicki in celebration of her work and legacy, together with various essays and papers by Carmen Blacker herself that have hitherto not been widely available. In addition to her scholarship, Carmen Blacker was also highly regarded for her work in promoting Japanese Studies at Cambridge and played a vital role in helping to re-establish The Japan Society, London, post-war.
Author Bio
Sir Hugh Cortazzi, GCMG, was British Ambassador to Japan 1980-1984 and Chairman of The Japan Society, London, 1985-1995. He has written extensively on Japan. His many books include Isles of Gold: Antique Maps of Japan (1983), The Japanese Achievement (1990) and his memoir Japan and Back and Places Elsewhere (1998). He compiled and edited seven volumes of Britain & Japan: Biographical Portraits, most recently volume X (2016), for The Japan Society, in addition to Japan Experiences: Fifty Years, One Hundred Views (2001), British Envoys in Japan, 1859-1972 (2004) and The Growing Power of Japan, 1967-1972: Analysis and Assessments from John Pilcher and the British Embassy, Tokyo (2015). He also co-edited, with Peter Kornicki, Japanese Studies in Britain: A Survey and History (2016).