Description : This volume provides the most comprehensive treatment of the Heian period, the golden age of the Japanese imperial court, in any Western language. From Heian-kyo, founded in 794, the Japanese emperor ruled over an elaborate government modelled on China's absolute monarchy. Ambassadors to the T'ang court and students studying in China brought back laws, ideas, Buddhism, temple architecture, sculpture, and wall-painting. Chinese influences blended with native Japanese elements in courtly painting, calligraphy, poetry and prose. The world's first novel, The Tale of Genji, was completed about 1020. In 1185 the elegant and peaceful world of the court was shattered by the struggle of the Taira and Minamoto warrior clans, who usurped real political power and left the emperor with a symbolic, legitimizing role. Contributors to this volume emphasize political history, the land system, provincial administration, the capital and its society, aristocratic culture, and the acceptance of Buddhism and popular religious practices.
Description : The Cambridge History of Japanese Literature provides, for the first time, a history of Japanese literature with comprehensive coverage of the premodern and modern eras in a single volume. The book is arranged topically in a series of short, accessible chapters for easy access and reference, giving insight into both canonical texts and many lesser known, popular genres, from centuries-old folk literature to the detective fiction of modern times. The various period introductions provide an overview of recurrent issues that span many decades, if not centuries. The book also places Japanese literature in a wider East Asian tradition of Sinitic writing and provides comprehensive coverage of women's literature as well as new popular literary forms, including manga (comic books). An extensive bibliography of works in English enables readers to continue to explore this rich tradition through translations and secondary reading.
Description : Leading historians have contributed essays, based on recent Western and Japanese scholarship, dealing with the development of domestic politics, particularly the politics of representative institutions, and Japan's relations with the outside world, including its prewar territorial expansion and aggrandizement on the Asian continent. The essays also survey Japan's economic development, describe the changes that took place in the working and farming classes (which until recently constituted the majority of the Japanese population), and assess the ways in which intellectuals viewed these and other long-term social and economic changes. Although written by specialists, this volume will be an important reference work for general readers as well as scholars and students of modern Japanese history.
Description : This third volume of The Cambridge History of Japan is devoted to the three and a half centuries spanning the final decades of the twelfth century when the Kamakura bakufu was founded to the mid-sixteenth century when civil wars raged following the demise of the Muromachi bakufu. The volume creates a rich tapestry of the events that took place during these colourful centuries, when the warrior class ruled Japan, institutions underwent fundamental transformations, the economy grew steadily, and Japanese culture and society evolved with surprising vitality to leave legacies that still characterize and affect contemporary Japan. As with other volumes in The Cambridge History of Japan, Volume 3 was carefully prepared so as to be accessible to specialists and students as well as to general readers wishing to increase their understanding of the period. This is the most extensive treatment available on medieval Japan, and it will serve as an indispensible tool and authoritative guide for all interested in Japan's medieval age.
Description : Comprehensive and engaging new history charting Japan's development from its origins through to the present day.