As I mentioned in my very first post, I intend to publish reviews of academic articles and essays. I thought it would be good to reiterate and clarify my approach in relation to the contents of this blog. In general, the blog functions as an archive for my thoughts regarding the books and articles I read in the service of my own research or for leisure. The readings and the analyses which appear here will be strictly limited to the diverse field of Japanese Studies. With that in mind, I would like to add that I do not intend to review the strengths or weaknesses of an academic article as I think such a course of action is detrimental to the usual experience of exploring new avenues independently, without preliminary bias. I also think it is discourteous, if not outright insulting, to claim or pretend that I know more about a subject outside my academic field. The so-called 'style' of an academic paper is of peripheral importance to its content. I merely intend to list the most interesting and most valuable items contained in the article under review, performing a sort of ‘in-depth summary’ (pardon the oxymoron). I nevertheless intend to adopt a comparative method by means of which I hope to stir interest in a topic with wide-ranging scholarship; for that matter, I will try to include as many references to other works as I know (or consider to be of value). For the most part, the articles I reveal here are a welcoming distraction from my own work and, therefore, I tend to view them in a positive, favorable light. Finally, I have to say that these articles contribute a great deal to my limited knowledge of Japanese history and culture; this particular point warrants an assessment on my part.