A Short History of Japan: From Samurai to Sony

A Short History of Japan: From Samurai to Sony

Paperback Short History of Asia Series

By (author) Curtis Andressen

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  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin
  • Format: Paperback | 268 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 208mm x 20mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Sydney
  • ISBN 10: 1865085162
  • ISBN 13: 9781865085166
  • Illustrations note: 7 maps, 4 diagrams, 28halftones, 4 colour section, glossary, bibliog , index
  • Sales rank: 1,223,174

Product description

A comprehensive history of the land of the Rising Sun, from its ancient origins to its fascinating present. Few countries have been the subject of so much scholarly attention yet remain so elusive. An increasingly familiar nation through shared tourism and business relationships, there's still a great deal about Japan and its past that defies categorization or generalization; a great deal that leaves the visitor puzzled. Who exactly are the Japanese? Are they peace-loving or warlike? Creators of stunningly beautiful art forms or destroyers of pristine natural environments? Isolationist or expansionist? Considerate of other cultures or arrogantly dismissive? Willing members of the international community or shy and fearful of engaging with others? Deeply traditional or highly Westernised? Wildly successful or perched on the edge of economic ruin? Japan has long been characterized by such deeply divergent interpretations. Here, Curtis Andressen delves into Japan's vast history to explain the current challenges the country faces. From the dawn of time when the first settlers arrived in the islands of Japan, through feudalism with its heavy imprint of authoritarianism to 20th-century adventurism, American occupation, breakneck economic growth and contemporary uncertainty, Andressen traces the key aspects of Japanese culture and how these have manifested in the country's political system, economy and society to create a distinct identity. It is intended for anyone with a practical reason for knowing more about Japan - students, teachers, travellers, business people - as well as those for whom fresh insights into Japan's rich culture and unique history would make compelling reading.

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Author information

Curtis Andressen is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Political and International Studies at Flinders University, South Australia. He has been a willing student of Japan for over two decades and has spent several years living there. Curtis Andressen has published widely on a variety of aspects of contemporary Japanese Society. Milton Osborne has had an association with the Asian region for over 40 years as an academic, public servant and independent writer. He is the author of eight books on Asian topics, including Southeast Asia: An introductory history, first published in 1979 and now in its eighth edition, and, most recently, The Mekong: Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future, published in 2000.

Table of contents

A SHORT HISTORY OF JAPAN1 Introduction2 In the beginningThe geographical settingJapanese mythologyThe archaeological recordThe Yamamoto Court - the first Japanese stateThe Nara period (710-784)The Heian period (794-1185) 3 Chaos to unity: Feudalism in JapanThe rise of the military - the Kamakura Bakufu (1185-1333)The Hojo periodThe Muromachi period (1336-1467)The Sengoku period - the Age of Warring States (1467-1568)The Momoyama period (1573-1603)The Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1868)4 Modernisation and ImperialismThe Meiji restoration (1868-1912)The road to war5 War and peacePrelude to war (1937-41)The Pacific war (1941-45)Occupation and resurrection (1945-52)6 The miracle economyThe 1950sThe 1960s7 Japan as number one?8 Bursting bubblesThe end of the bubble economyJapan's changing international roleSocial changeUrban pressures