Japan in World History

Japan in World History

3.59 (37 ratings by Goodreads)
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Here is a page-turning, compact history of Japan from earliest times to the present, with a focus on its often tempestuous, often creative relationships with other countries. The book ranges from Japan's prehistoric interactions with Korea and China, to the Western challenge of the late 1500s, the partial isolation under the Tokugawa family (1600-1868), and the tumultuous interactions of more recent times, when Japan modernized ferociously, turned imperialist, lost a world war, then became the world's second largest economy-and its greatest foreign aid donor. Writing in a lively fashion, Huffman makes rich use of primary documents, illustrating events with comments by the people who lived through them: tellers of ancient myths, court women who dominated the early literary world, cynical priests who damned medieval materialism, travelers who marveled at "indecent" Western ballroom dancers in the mid-1800s, and the emperor who justified Pearl Harbor. Without ignoring standard political and military events, the book illuminates economic, social, and cultural factors; it also examines issues of gender as well as the roles of commoners, samurai, business leaders, novelists, and priests.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 16mm | 303.91g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 22 black and white halftones, 6 line illustrations
  • 0195368088
  • 9780195368086
  • 443,297

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Japan's Emergence (to c. 600 c.e.) ; 2. The Aristocratic Era (600-1160) ; 3. Years of War (1160-1550) ; 4. Peace and Relative Isolation (1550-1868) ; 5. Entering the Modern World (1868-1912) ; 6. At War with the World (1912-1945) ; 7. Japan in the Postwar World (1945- ) ; Chonology ; Notes ; Further Reading ; Web Sites ; Index
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Review quote

Huffman's animated writing style, coupled with intellectual research, allows for the material to be presented through a vivid world history lens...a resourceful and informative book...would benefit high school educators in preparing lessons on a similar subject or simply provide a concise synthesis to an enthusiast seeking a recapitulation of Japan's past. * World History Bulletin * Huffman manages to convey to the general reader a concise and clear sense of the sweep of Japanese history, from earliest recorded history to the turn of the millennium...James Huffman's account of Japanese history will prove eminently useful in surveys of Japanese history, especially if paired with his recently published primary source reader entitled Modern Japan: A History in Documents, also published through Oxford University Press. * Middle Ground Review *
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About James L. Huffman

James L. Huffman is H. Orth Hirt Professor of History Emeritus at Wittenberg University.
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Rating details

37 ratings
3.59 out of 5 stars
5 8% (3)
4 46% (17)
3 43% (16)
2 3% (1)
1 0% (0)
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