1. What does the book tell us about the interaction of indigenous Japanese culture and larger East Asian
social systems? Do you see Buddhist, Confucian or other influences in Japanese culture?
2. What role does social class play in the book? What does it tell us about the relationship between
different classes in Japan (samurai, Merchants, Peasants etc.)
3. What are some of the tensions between social reality and ideology in Edo Japan that are portrayed in the
book. Consider their impact on social stability and people’s lives.
4. Could you possibly conceive the Musui story written from the point of view of women? Consider issues of
class, social ideology and, obviously, gender
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