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Ideas and art in Asian civilizations : India, China, and Japan /
Kenneth R. Stunkel.
Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, c2012.
xiii, 305 p. : ill., maps ; 26 cm.
0765625407 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780765625403 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, c2012.
0765625407 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780765625403 (cloth : alk. paper)
general note
"An East Gate book."
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 271-288) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-06-01:
Historian Stunkel (Monmouth Univ.) introduces the traditional civilizations of three representative Asian countries--China, Japan, and India--in terms of their natures, societies, literatures, philosophies, religions, and arts. The book is well organized by country and contains a great number of illustrations. However, the scholarship in this book needs to be updated to reflect current research and trends in the field. For instance, many of the sources cited and recommended by the author are quite out-of-date. He also leaves out a number of authoritative works in his further reading list. In addition, Stunkel indexes Romanized Chinese using the obsolete Wade-Giles Romanization system, which makes it difficult for readers to look up Chinese figures, books, and places discussed in the work. Useful to readers who know little about the three countries and their cultures and want to learn about them from the beginning. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers. T. Li Yale University
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, December 2011
Choice, June 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
This engaging book introduces readers to the civilizations of India, China, and Japan by exploring the ways that key ideas interact and are expressed in the three cultures. The narrative concentrates on the traditional phases of the three civilizations before the nineteenth century. The discussion of ideas focuses on the understandings of nature, man, and society. What is the nature of the universe? What is human nature? What is the ideal society? How and where are such issues reflected in art? The exploration of art touches on symbol, style, meaning, materials, and technique. For each civilization, the author explores ideals of beauty and explains aesthetic assumptions. Throughout the text, the author provides historical context and describes the kinds of social institutions that were formed in different circumstances. Complementing description and analysis is an assumption that Asian ideas and works of art expressing them are not merely relics of a vanished past, but can still be a living presence in the modern world.

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