By Curtis Andressen
A complete historical past of the land of the emerging sunlight, from its historical origins to its attention-grabbing current. Few international locations were the topic of a lot scholarly recognition but stay so elusive. An more and more commonly used state via shared tourism and enterprise relationships, there's nonetheless greatly approximately Japan and its previous that defies categorization or generalization; greatly that leaves the customer wondered. Who precisely are the japanese? Are they peace-loving or warlike? Creators of stunningly attractive paintings types or destroyers of pristine usual environments? Isolationist or expansionist? thoughtful of different cultures or arrogantly dismissive? keen contributors of the foreign neighborhood or shy and frightened of enticing with others? Deeply conventional or hugely Westernised? Wildly winning or perched at the fringe of financial disaster? Japan has lengthy been characterised through such deeply divergent interpretations. right here, Curtis Andressen delves into Japan's big heritage to provide an explanation for the present demanding situations the rustic faces. From the sunrise of time whilst the 1st settlers arrived within the islands of Japan, via feudalism with its heavy imprint of authoritarianism to 20th-century adventurism, American career, breakneck monetary progress and modern uncertainty, Andressen strains the major facets of eastern tradition and the way those have manifested within the country's political approach, economic climate and society to create a special id. it really is meant for an individual with a realistic explanation for figuring out extra approximately Japan - scholars, lecturers, travelers, enterprise humans - in addition to these for whom clean insights into Japan's wealthy tradition and particular background may make compelling examining.
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Additional resources for A Short History of Japan: From Samurai to Sony (A Short History of Asia series)
The beauty of its design and architecture, and especially its temples, reflects the increasing 36 In the beginning Korea and Japan. refinement of the time, dominated by the influence of China, but with other influences coming from as far away as India, and even Greece and Italy. Buddhism in particular was the focus of a wave of artistic expression coming from the Japanese elites expressed in architecture, sculpture, drawing and music. The great Buddhist statue in Nara—the Daibutsu of − daiji temple—was completed in 749.
Buddhism was certainly supported by a number of subsequent emperors, underscoring the point that major social changes in Japan usually occurred from the top down rather than as grassroots movements. Buddhism had other impacts too, giving rise to the theme of the transience of life that runs through Japanese art and literature and underlies the near reverence placed on, for example, cherry blossoms. Lafcadio Hearn, an expatriate American living in Japan in the late nineteenth century, reflected this mood when he spoke of their ‘melancholy brevity’.
Most Japanese authorities agree that the first emperor was named Suijin and died in AD 318 (though the Nihon Shoki puts Suijin as emperor number ten). About this time a clan emerged as the leader in the Nara area through, it appears, mostly negotiation along with occasional warfare with other clans. The result was the Yamato Court, a political union of kingdoms with kofun culture as its base. The head of this court was known as the O‘kimi (‘great king’). The process took some time, however, and it was not until the early part of the sixth century that this clan can be seen as evolving into the imperial family.
A Short History of Japan: From Samurai to Sony (A Short History of Asia series) by Curtis Andressen