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Rimer, J. Thomas 1933-

Rimer, J. Thomas 1933-

PERSONAL: Born 1933. Education: Princeton University, B.A., 1954; Columbia University, M.A., 1968, Ph.D., 1971; also attended Foreign Service Language Institute (Tokyo, Japan).

ADDRESSES: Home—4319 Redwood Ave., No. 1, Marina del Rey, CA 90292. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: English teacher at private school in Deerfield, MA, 1954–55; U.S. Information Agency, Washington, DC, assistant cultural affairs officer in Vientiane, Laos, beginning in 1958, director of American Cultural Center, Kobe, Japan, until 1967; Washington University, St. Louis, MO, assistant professor, 1971–72, associate professor, 1973–78, professor of Japanese language and literature, beginning in 1978, chair of department of Chinese and Japanese, beginning in 1973; University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, professor emeritus of Japanese literature, theatre, and art; University of California, Los Angeles, chair, 2004–. Former chief of Asian Division of Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Member of the Japan-U.S. theater group Nichibei gekijo and of the Joint Committee on Japanese Studies of the Social Science Research Council and American Council of Learned Societies. Military service: U.S. Army, 1955–58.

MEMBER: Phi Beta Kappa.

AWARDS, HONORS: British Council grant for study in London, England, 1955; National Endowment for the Humanities, fellowship, 1976–77, grant, 1979–81; Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, Consul General of Japan, 1997; Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature, Donald Keene Center of Columbia University, 1998, for Japanese and Chinese Poems to Sing: The Wakan rôeishû; Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award, University of Pittsburgh, 1999.

WRITINGS:

Toward a Modern Japanese Theatre: Kishida Kunio, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1974.

Mori Ogai, Twayne (New York, NY), 1975.

(With Robert E. Morrell) Guide to Japanese Poetry, G.K. Hall (Boston, MA), 1976.

(Editor and translator, with David Dilworth) The Historical Literature of Mori Ogai, Volume I: The Incident at Sakai and Other Stories, Volume II: Saiki Koi and Other Stories, University Press of Hawaii (Honolulu, HI), 1977.

Modern Japanese Fiction and Its Traditions: An Introduction, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1978.

(Translator) Yamazaki Masakazu, Mask and Sword: Two Plays for the Contemporary Japanese Theatre, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1980.

(Editor and translator, with Yamazaki Masakazu) Zeami, On the Art of the No Drama: The Major Treatises of Zeami, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1984.

(With Shuji Takashina and Gerald D. Bolas) Paris in Japan: The Japanese Encounter with European Painting (exhibition catalogue), Japan Foundation (Tokyo, Japan) and Washington University (St. Louis, MO), 1987.

Pilgrimages: Aspects of Japanese Literature and Culture, University of Hawaii Press (Honolulu, HI), 1988.

A Reader's Guide to Japanese Literature, Kodansha International (New York, NY), 1988.

(Editor) Culture and Identity: Japanese Intellectuals during the Interwar Years, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1990.

(Editor, with Ernestine Schlant) Legacies and Ambiguities: Postwar Fiction and Culture in West Germany and Japan, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1991.

(Editor, with David Dilworth) The Historical Fiction of Mori-Ogai, University of Hawaii Press (Honolulu, HI), 1991.

(Editor) Youth and Other Stories, University of Hawaii Press (Honolulu, HI), 1994.

(Editor) A Hidden Fire: Russian and Japanese Cultural Encounters, 1868–1926, Stanford University Press (Stanford, CA), 1995.

(Editor) Kyoto Encounters, Weatherhill (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Ellen P. Contant and Steven D. Owyoung) Nigonga: Transcending the Past: Japanese-Style Painting, 1868–1968 (exhibition catalogue), St. Louis Art Museum (St. Louis, MO), 1995.

(Editor) The Blue-Eyed Tar-Okaja: A Donald Keene Anthology, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1996.

(Translator and annotator) Japanese and Chinese Poems to Sing: The Wakan rôeishû, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1997.

(Translator and author of introduction) Senda Akihiko, The Voyage of Contemporary Japanese Theatre, University of Hawaii Press (Honolulu, HI), 1997.

(Editor, with Keiko I. McDonald) Nara Encounters, Weatherhill (New York, NY), 1997.

(Editor, with Marlene J. Mayo) War, Occupation, and Creativity: Japan and East Asia, 1920–1960, University of Hawaii Press (Honolulu, HI), 2001.

(Editor) Not a Song Like any Other: An Anthology of Writings by Mori Ogai, University of Hawaii Press (Honolulu, HI), 2004.

(Editor, with Van C. Gessel) The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2005.

(Editor, with Stephen Addiss and Gerald Groemer) Traditional Japanese Arts and Culture: An Illustrated Sourcebook, University of Hawaii Press (Honolulu, HI), 2006.

(Editor, with Jeffrey Angles) Japan: A Traveler's Literary Companion, Whereabouts Press (Berkeley, CA), 2006.

Contributor to Shisendo, Hall of the Poetry Immortals, Weatherhill (New York, NY), 1991; Kunisada's World, Japan Society (New York, NY), 1993; Old Taoist: The Life, Art, and Poetry of Kodojin (1865–1944), St. Louis Art Museum (St. Louis, MO), 2000; and Art of the Japanese Postcard: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), 2004. Also contributor to scholarly journals. Translator of Yokouchi Kensuke's The Emperor of La Mancha's Clothes, published in Half a Century of Japanese Theatre, Volume III, Kinokuniya (Tokyo, Japan), 2001. Author of introduction to Yoshioka Minoru's Lilac Garden, Chicago Review Press (Chicago, IL), 1976; coauthor of introduction to From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1981.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Biography of Japanese twentieth-century stage director Senda Koreya.

SIDELIGHTS: J. Thomas Rimer is an academic who specializes in Japanese culture, especially the fields of literature, theatre, and art. He has also written and edited numerous books covering these topics. For example, he served as editor with Ernestine Schlant of Legacies and Ambiguities: Postwar Fiction and Culture in West Germany and Japan. Writing in Pacific Affairs, M. Cody Poulton noted: "This timely book is the result of a conference at the Woodrow Wilson Center in 1988, which gathered some of the most eminent scholars and writers in their several fields for a comparison of postwar German and Japanese literature." Poulton also wrote: "The more scholarly studies (all competent) are nicely balanced by personal essays and reminiscences by leading writers and critics."

The author also served as editor of the Japanese story collection Youth and Other Stories. In a review in World Literature Today, contributor Sidney DeVere Brown wrote: "Thomas Rimer's contribution … lies in collecting Mori Ogai's short pieces from obscure places and commissioning translations of others, as well as bringing Ogai's third and last novel before the English-reading public." Brown added: "We are deeply indebted to Rimer and his brilliant corps of translators … for making Ogai come alive for the English-reading public."

A Hidden Fire: Russian and Japanese Cultural Encounters, 1868–1926 focuses on the fine arts of the Meiji and Taisho periods of Japan as they pertain to the country's relationship with Russia at the time. "The editor [Rimer] wisely commissioned additional essays from three scholars to place the conference essays into historical and theoretical contexts," Harold McCree commented in Pacific Affairs.

As well as writing the introduction, Rimer served as translator of The Voyage of Contemporary Japanese Theatre by Senda Akihiko. Pacific Affairs contributor Peter Eckersall noted that the introduction "includes a concise reading of relevant Japanese cultural history, setting the scene for the theatrical new wave." The book includes a prologue by Akihiko, as well as some of his newspaper and journal writings. Writing in the Asian Theatre Journal, Laurence Kominz called the book "a remarkable journey through two decades (1971–1987) of Japanese avant-garde theatre."

War, Occupation, and Creativity: Japan and East Asia, 1920–1960, which Rimer coedited with Marlene J. Mayo, features twelve essays by various scholars across a wide range of disciplines. Jason G. Karlin wrote in Pacific Affairs: "In essays ranging from the periods of consolidation of Japanese colonial rule in Korea and Taiwan during the 1920s and the intensification of Japanese aggression in China during the 1930s to the Allied Occupation of Japan, the editors have chosen a trans-war approach that highlights the connective links between Japanese and American imperial power and the disjunctions within national memory."

The author also contributed to Art of the Japanese Postcard: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Sheila Devaney, writing in the Library Journal, noted that "this book presents a comprehensive introduction to the Japanese postcard."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Asian Theatre Journal, fall, 2000, Laurence Kominz, review of The Voyage of Contemporary Japanese Theatre, p. 296.

Library Journal, September 1, 2004, Sheila Devaney, review of Art of the Japanese Postcard: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, p. 146.

Pacific Affairs, winter, 1992, M. Cody Poulton, review of Legacies and Ambiguities: Postwar Fiction and Culture in West Germany and Japan, p. 572; spring, 1996, Harold McCree, review of A Hidden Fire: Russian and Japanese Cultural Encounters, 1868–1926, p. 116; summer, 1999, Peter Eckersall, review of The Voyage of Contemporary Japanese Theatre, p. 275; winter, 2002, Jason G. Karlin, review of War, Occupation, and Creativity: Japan and East Asia, 1920–1960, p. 611.

World Literature Today, winter, 1995, Sidney DeVere Brown, review of Youth and Other Stories, p. 228.

ONLINE

University of Pittsburgh Web site, http://www.pitt.edu/ (February 27, 2006), faculty profile of author.

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