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Ian Buruma

Ian Buruma talks with an attendee at the 2006 Texas Book Festival.
Born December 28, 1951 (1951-12-28) (age 58)
The Hague, Netherlands
Occupation Writer, Lecturer
Nationality Dutch
Genres Non-fiction
Subjects Japan, Occidentalism, Orientalism
Official website

Ian Buruma (born December 28, 1951) is a British-Dutch writer and academic. Much of his work focuses on Asian culture, particularly that of 20th-century Japan.

He was born in The Hague, the Netherlands, to a Dutch father and British mother. He studied Chinese literature at Leiden University, and then Japanese film at Nihon University in Tokyo. He has held a number of editorial and academic positions, and has contributed numerous articles to the New York Review of Books. He has been noted as a "well-regarded European intellectual."[1]

He has held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C and St Antony's College, Oxford. In 2003 he became Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights & Journalism at Bard College, New York.

Since 2005 he has resided in New York, USA.

In 2008 Buruma was awarded the Erasmus Prize, which is awarded to an individual who has made "an especially important contribution to culture, society or social science in Europe."[2]



  • The Japanese Tattoo (1980) with Donald Richie ISBN 978-0834802285
  • Behind the Mask: On Sexual Demons, Sacred Mothers, Transvestites, Gangsters, Drifters, and Other Japanese Cultural Heroes (1983) ISBN 978-0452007383
  • Tokyo: Form and Spirit (1986) with James R. Brandon, Kenneth Frampton, Martin Friedman, Donald Richie
  • God's Dust: A Modern Asian Journey (1989) ISBN 978-0753810897
  • Great Cities of the World: Hong Kong (1991)
  • Playing the Game (1991) novel ISBN 978-0374526337
  • The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and in Japan (1994) ISBN 978-0452011564
  • Geisha: The Life, the Voices, the Art (1998) with Jodi Cobb
  • Voltaire's Coconuts, or Anglomania in Europe (UK title) (1998) or Anglomania: a European Love Affair (US title) (1999) ISBN 978-0753809549
  • The Missionary and the Libertine: Love and War in East and West (2000) compilation ISBN 978-0571214143
  • Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing (2001) ISBN 978-0679781363
  • Inventing Japan: From Empire to Economic Miracle 1853-1964 (2003) ISBN 978-0679640851
  • Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies (2004) with Avishai Margalit ISBN 978-0143034872
  • Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance (2006) ISBN 978-1594201080 winner of The Los Angeles Times Book Prize for the Best Current Interest Book.
  • The China Lover (2008) ISBN 978-1594201943



  1. ^ Backbone, Berman, and Buruma: A Debate that Actually Matters by Peter Collier
  2. ^

External links


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