Frederik L. Schodt | フレデリック・L・ショット

Books|本 on Japan

Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe: How an American Acrobat Introduced Circus to Japan--And Japan to the West

Stuart Thayer Prize

The unlikely history of early cross-cultural encounters between the West and Japan, featuring acrobats, jugglers, and a colorful American impresario.

“Frederik L. Schodt has at long last unveiled the fascinating story of ‘Professor Risley.’ Circus scholars, history buffs, and anyone with an ounce of curiosity should be grateful to him.” —Dominique Jando,

"Pick up Schodt's latest book and move well beyond a study of Japanese culture. Schodt takes us all around the world of 19th-century entertainment: the competition, the disdain, the copycats and the triumphs. It's a captivating story about a pioneer in international entertainment." —Japan Times

"An intriguing look at international relations, culture, the circus, and its effects on the modern day, Professor Risley is a must for anyone seeking an original and offbeat take on history, highly recommended." —Midwest Book Review

" Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe is the best book I have read on Japanese history. Period. In fact... this is perhaps the best book I have ever read about Japan."- Andrew Joseph, Japan-It's a Wonderful Rife blogsite.

The Astro Boy Essays: Osamu Tezuka, Might Atom, and the Manga/Anime Revolution

The pioneering genius of Japan’s “God of Comics,” Osamu Tezuka (1928–89), is examined through his life’s masterwork: Tetsuwan Atomu, also known as Mighty Atom or Astro Boy, a comic series featuring a cute little android who yearns to be more human. The history of Tetsuwan Atomu and Tezuka’s role in it is a road map to understanding the development of new media in Japan and the United States. Topics include Tezuka’s life, the art of animation, the connection between fantasy robots and technology, spin-offs, and Astro Boy’s cultural impact.

"To today's anime fans, Astro Boy is a historical figure more often heard of than seen. Now Frederik L. Schodt tells the full story about the little robot and his creator, Osamu Tezuka, in a delightful book that every anime fan should read." —Fred Patten, anime and comics historian, author of Watching Anime, Reading Manga

"This engaging book will be of wide interest to fans and pop-culture students; recommended for all collections."Library Journal

"Wonderful....The first comprehensive study in English about one of the most important people in the history of both comics and animation." —Animated Views

Native American in the Land of the Shogun: Ranald MacDonald and the Opening of Japan

The true story of a half-Chinook, half-Scot adventurer who entered feudal Japan in 1848 and helped pave the way for its modernization.

"What a gem! Readable and meticulously researched, this book presents a colorful character in his complex cultural context. After 150 years MacDonald finally has his story told fully and accurately."--Stephen Kohl, Associate Professor of Japanese Literature, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Oregon

Chosen by the American Library Association's Choice Magazine, as one of the "Outstanding Academic Titles" of the year.

Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga

Dreamland Japan is a collection of provocative essays on Japan's very own pictorial narrative art: manga (Japanese comics). Originally published in 1996, it prefigured much modern writing on comics and remains essential reading for fans, literati, and cultural watchdogs about the state of the manga universe as its popularity explodes on the American scene. Now available in a new casebound collector's edition, with a new introduction by the author.

"The definitive survey of the Japanese comic book mindscape..." —Alvin Lu, The San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Frederik L. Schodt is without doubt the Western world’s leading authority on Japanese manga." —Metropolis (Japan)"

Schodt gives readers a sense that manga is a vast ocean in Japan with genres undreamed of in American comics. Dreamland Japan is recommended for all comic fans—not just for the historical information, but because Japan has truly understood that comics are only limited by our imagination. —Ed Sizemore,

No one knows more about this world and conveys it with greater warmth and unpretentious insight than Frederik L. Schodt, and the timing of this collector’s edition is ideal: as Schodt notes in his new afterword, manga, Japan, and those of us interested in both are undergoing radical transformations. Luckily, we have this kick-ass book to guide us. —Roland Kelts, author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the US


America and the Four Japans: Friend, Foe, Model, Mirror

This remarkably thoughtful book is about the ever-changing relationship between Japan and the United States, the world's two largest industrial and economic powers. Drawing on history, cultural commentary, and opinion on both sides of the Pacific, it portrays two nations in conflict yet increasingly connected. Is Japan a friend, a rival, a role model? What does Japan reallymean to America? No question is more important, for our relationship with Japan and its technological and industrial juggernaut will determine our place in the world of the next century.--From the back jacket blurb, 1994.

"Here is a book that does something too often missing in the rhetoric about U.S.-Japan relations--it promotes understanding"--George Lucas, filmmaker

"Frederik Schodt's work is well known to anyone interested in Japanese popular culture. In this book, as in his legendary Manga! Manga!, he shows his deep command of the nuance of Japanese life. America and the Four Japans offers fresh, subtle, and often funny insights on the interaction between Japan and America, and provides valuable ideas about how and where the United States might apply lessons from Japan"--James Fallows, Washington editor of the Atlantic Monthly

"A clear and compelling look at Japan. Intelligent and entertaining, laced with wonderful snippets of history."--Steven Okazaki, Academy award-winning documentary producer

"Acute, up to date, and does justice to the complexity of the subject. The range of reference is highly impressive." --Peter Tasker, author of The Japanese.

"Solid and refreshingly nonbiased. Frederik Schodt lets us see Japan with a more objective eye."--Philip Kan Gotanda, playwrite, author of The Wash

[*This book is still available from third party vendors, but now officially out of print until an ebook is made available. For anyone specifically wishing an autographed copy, please contact the author directly, at fred[at mark] ]

Inside the Robot Kingdom: Japan, Mechatronics, and the Coming Robotopia

Visitors to Japan today can see robots making sushi, starring in feature films, and performing sophisticated factory assembly. Why is Japan the world's leader in applied robotics? Why are Japanese so comfortable around robots? What is the larger social and cultural significance of Japan's love of robots? This book will answer these questions and guide readers to the Robot Kingdom.—From the back jacket blurb, 1987.

"Fascinating...It is ironic— and Schodt appreciates the irony— that the Arnold Schwarzenegger filmThe Terminator ends with the berserk humanoid monster meeting its end next to two industrial robots, one made by Japan's Fanuc and the other by Japan's Yaskawa."—High Technology Business Review

"[A] sharp, singular book"Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Western industrialists will learn more about competing with Japan from this book than from all the how-to books that have proliferated since Japan Inc. became a popular ogre"—Joseph Engelberger (Father of the Industrial Robot)

"The robots are coming, and they are Japanese"Whole Earth Review

Named one of the "best sci-tech" books of the year by Library Journal in 1988.

Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics

Manga means "comics" in Japanese. In Japan, manga are read by young and old and are a monster publishing phenomenon with annual sales in the billions of dollars. In the rest of the world, thanks to Japan's economic might, manga concepts are revolutionizing the toy, cartoon, and graphic design industries. Manga can be fantastical and funny, or gritty and violent, with heroes as diverse as samurai, sushi chefs, mah jongg masters, teenagers in love, and bored office workers, to say nothing of anthropomorphic cats and warrior robots. As such, manga offer an entertaining— and sometimes disturbing— window on Japanese society. Containing a historical overview, an examination of themes and artists, and over 200 illustrations from Japanese comics magazines, this classic work remains and essential guide for anyone interested in the future of popular visual culture.—From the back jacket blurb, 1987.

"Phenomenal exceptionally literate writer."—Cat Yronwode

"..a thoroughgoing exposition of the manga genre in text and pictures."The New Yorker

"An excellent historical guide to manga, as well as a fine introduction to various artists and major thematic concerns."Variety"

"Buy this book. Read it."The Comics Buyer's Guide