Description : This elegant history considers a fascinating array of texts, cultural practices, and intellectual processes—including maps and mapmaking, poetry, travel writing, popular fiction, and encyclopedias—to chart the emergence of a new geographical consciousness in early modern Japan. Marcia Yonemoto's wide-ranging history of ideas traces changing conceptions and representations of space by looking at the roles played by writers, artists, commercial publishers, and the Shogunal government in helping to fashion a new awareness of space and place in this period. Her impressively researched study shows how spatial and geographical knowledge confined to elites in early Japan became more generalized, flexible, and widespread in the Tokugawa period. In the broadest sense, her book grasps the elusive processes through which people came to name, to know, and to interpret their worlds in narrative and visual forms.
Description : This volume presents a series of five portraits of Edo, the central region of urban space today known as Tokyo, from the great fire of 1657 to the devastating earthquake of 1855. This book endeavors to allow Edo, or at least some of the voices that constituted Edo, to do most of the speaking. These voices become audible in the work of five Japanese eye-witness observers, who notated what they saw, heard, felt, tasted, experienced, and remembered. “An Eastern Stirrup,” presents a vivid portrait of the great conflagration of 1657 that nearly wiped out the city. “Tales of Long Long Ago,” details seventeenth-century warrior-class ways as depicted by a particularly conservative samurai. “The River of Time,” describes the city and its flourishing cultural and economic development during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. “The Spider’s Reel” looks back at both the attainments and calamities of Edo in the 1780s. Finally, “Disaster Days,” offers a meticulous account of Edo life among the ruins of the catastrophic 1855 tremor. Read in sequence, these five pieces offer a unique “insider’s perspective” on the city of Edo and early modern Japan.
Description : One of the first books to focus on a city other than Edo during the Tokugawa era, this work extends our understanding of Japanese urban life during that period. Portraying Osaka as a regional center of government with vibrant economic life and high and low culture, the book reveals much about the city's distinctiveness and development.
Description : Considering the social processes that drove the information explosion of the 1600s, this is an account of the conversion of the public from an object of state surveillance into a subject of self-knowledge. It shows that public texts projected a national collectivity characterized by access to markets, mobility, sociability, and self-fashioning.
Description : Focuses on Japanese literacy in the rural farming class. This book draws on: signatures on apostasy oaths, diaries, agricultural manuals, home encyclopedias, rural poetry-contest entries, village election ballots, literacy surveys, and family account books.
Description : andbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan spans the beginning of the Kamakura period in 1185 through the end of the Edo (Tokugawa) period in 1868. The medieval and early modern eras in Japan were largely shaped by the rise of the warrior class. After 1603, with the founding of the Tokugawa shogunate, Japanese culture changed dramatically, but as cities grew and merchants thrived, the warrior class became less dominant. By the end of the Edo period, Japan's insular feudal society and military government became irrelevant in an increasingly consumer-oriented economy and thriving urban culture. The contribution of military rulers, celebrated warriors, and cultural innovators to medieval and early modern Japanese culture are well documented. However, life at the village level also had a strong impact on the culture. Covering both levels of society, this comprehensive guide provides insightful information on well-known people and peasants, artisans, shopkeepers, and others outside the periphery of power. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan introduces the reader to the significant people and events-cultural, social, political, and historical-and the everyday experiences and elements of material culture during this time. Organized thematically, the text covers: History; Land, Environment, and Population; Government; Society and Economy; Warriors and Warfare; Religion; Philosophy, Education, and Science; Language and Literature; Performing Arts; Art and Architecture; Travel and Communication; Daily Life. Each chapter includes an extensive bibliography, and photographs and maps complement the text. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan provides all the essential information for anyone interested in Japanese history, society, or culture.
Description : Japan's ability to develop its own brand of modernity has often been attributed in part to the sophistication of its cities. Concentrating on Kyoto, Edo and Tokyo, the contributors to this volume weave together the links between past and future, memory and vision, symbol and structure, between marginality and power, and between Japan's two great capital cities.
Description : A vivid, deeply researched work of history that explores the life of an unconventional woman during the first half of the 19th century in Edo—the city that would become Tokyo—and a portrait of a great city on the brink of a momentous encounter with the West. The daughter of a Buddhist priest, Tsuneno was born in a rural Japanese village and was expected to live a traditional life much like her mother’s. But after three divorces—and a temperament much too strong-willed for her family’s approval—she ran away to make a life for herself in one of the largest cities in the world: Edo, a bustling metropolis at its peak. With Tsuneno as our guide, we experience the drama and excitement of Edo just prior to the arrival of American Commodore Perry’s fleet, which transformed Japan. During this pivotal moment in Japanese history, Tsuneno bounces from tenement to tenement, marries a masterless samurai, and eventually enters the service of a famous city magistrate. Tsuneno’s life provides a window into 19th-century Japanese culture—and a rare view of an extraordinary woman who sacrificed her family and her reputation to make a new life for herself, in defiance of social conventions. Immersive and fascinating, Stranger in the Shogun’s City is a revelatory work of history, layered with rich detail and delivered with beautiful prose, about the life of a woman, a city, and a culture.