The Blood of Gutoku

GBP 12.29

A Jack Riddley Mystery in Japan

by J. W. Traphagan

Jack Riddley is an anthropologist all too ready to retire – he is done with university politics and is eager to start his new life in a sleepy village in northern Japan. What wasn’t involved in his retirement plan is for a murder to occur just as he arrives in town. With Jack’s passion for ethnography, he cannot help but get involved with the investigation, eager to discover not only who committed these crimes, but why. Even a village of retirees has its secrets – abandoned traditions, family rifts, and childhood traumas – all of which are perfect motives for murder.

“If you are a fan of Clavell’s Shogun looking for another entrée to Japanese culture in the form of a rattling good yarn, look no further!” Kelly Smith, Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Clemson University

“Retired anthropologist Jack Riddley helps police in rural Japan solve a perplexing mystery. In so doing, he reveals much about both Japanese culture and the nature of anthropological inquiry. Beautifully written, engaging, and insightful, this book is a winner.” Richard Scaglion, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh

J. W. Traphagan was born in Boston, Massachusetts and currently resides in Austin, Texas. He is a professor and Mitsubishi Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies and the Program in Human Dimensions of Organizations at the University of Texas at Austin and has been a visiting professor at Waseda University in Tokyo. He received his BA in political science from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, his MA in religion from Yale University, and his PhD in social anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh. Traphagan first visited Japan in the late 1980s, and in the 1990s he conducted research for almost two years there as a Fulbright scholar. He has returned annually and spent a total of almost five years in rural areas and Tokyo.

After publishing numerous scientific papers and monographs describing and analyzing Japanese culture and society, Traphagan became disenchanted and bored with the jargon and theory- laden prose that typifies academic writing. He decided to explore ethnography by drawing on his fieldnotes as a basis for creating fiction intended to capture the richness and complexity of life in the rural area where he has lived and worked. The Blood of Gutoku is the first product of that endeavor.

His two most recent books are Cosmopolitan Rurality, Depopulation, and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in 21st Century Japan (Cambria Press, 2020) and Embracing Uncertainty: Future Jazz, That 13th Century Buddhist Monk, and the Invention of Cultures (Sumeru Press, 2021). Traphagan is also host of a regular podcast on the New Books Network and performs as a jazz drummer regularly in the Austin area.

 
ISBN: 978-1-913891-08-4
Publication date: 1 September 2021
Format: Paperback 216mm x 138mm
Pages: 222

 

SKU: 9781913891084 Category:

Synopsis

Jack Riddley is an anthropologist all too ready to retire – he is done with university politics and is eager to start his new life in a sleepy village in northern Japan. What wasn’t involved in his retirement plan is for a murder to occur just as he arrives in town. With Jack’s passion for ethnography, he cannot help but get involved with the investigation, eager to discover not only who committed these crimes, but why. Even a village of retirees has its secrets – abandoned traditions, family rifts, and childhood traumas – all of which are perfect motives for murder.

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