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March 06, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

FOLLOWING THE BRUSH: An American Encounter With Classical Japanese Culture by John Elder (Beacon Press: $12.; 176 pp.). Elder and his family traveled to Kyoto to study go, calligraphy and other traditional disciplines that are rapidly being replaced by electronic games and Western pop culture. As Elder notes, arts that have become increasingly marginalized in Japan hold a special fascination for Americans. He sees this interest as a search for rigorous training and the chance to study with a master who embodies a not-too-alien wisdom--the human equivalent of Yoda in the "Star Wars" trilogy.

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