By Curtis Andressen
A entire background of the land of the emerging sunlight, from its historical origins to its interesting current. Few international locations were the topic of lots scholarly realization but stay so elusive. An more and more regularly occurring state via shared tourism and company relationships, there's nonetheless greatly approximately Japan and its earlier that defies categorization or generalization; greatly that leaves the customer questioned. Who precisely are the japanese? Are they peace-loving or warlike? Creators of stunningly attractive artwork kinds or destroyers of pristine traditional environments? Isolationist or expansionist? thoughtful of alternative cultures or arrogantly dismissive? prepared contributors of the overseas neighborhood or shy and scared of attractive with others? Deeply conventional or hugely Westernised? Wildly winning or perched at the fringe of financial disaster? Japan has lengthy been characterised by means of such deeply divergent interpretations. right here, Curtis Andressen delves into Japan's large heritage to give an explanation for the present demanding situations the rustic faces. From the sunrise of time while the 1st settlers arrived within the islands of Japan, via feudalism with its heavy imprint of authoritarianism to 20th-century adventurism, American career, breakneck fiscal progress and modern uncertainty, Andressen lines the major elements of jap tradition and the way those have manifested within the country's political method, economic system and society to create a special identification. it really is meant for an individual with a pragmatic cause of understanding extra approximately Japan - scholars, lecturers, guests, enterprise humans - in addition to these for whom clean insights into Japan's wealthy tradition and specified heritage could make compelling interpreting.
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Additional resources for A Short History of Japan: From Samurai to Sony (A Short History of Asia series)
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. It stands about the To 16 metres tall and weighs 560 000 kilograms, an impressive example of religious art that even today attracts visitors from throughout Japan and around the world. 37 A Shor t His tor y of Japan The Nara period may be seen as a bridge between the establishment of the Japanese state, which set in place a number of the fundamental characteristics of Japanese society, and the sophistication of the Heian period (784–1185), a time of flourishing Japanese culture which preceded control of the country by military elites.
For the first time an attempt was made to determine who owned what, which naturally allowed for more vigorous social control as well as a more efficient taxation system. As we know all too well today, the latter also increased the government’s power. By the time this first Japanese state ended a number of characteristics were apparent. The status of the imperial family had been set firmly in place, and the mythology written within the next few years accorded it divine status. An attempt to count the Japanese people was undertaken (the population was estimated at about five million), and occupational categories were recorded that would allow them to be more efficiently taxed and controlled.
The shift of leadership to warrior clans heralded the effective start of feudalism, even though its seeds had been planted centuries earlier with the growth of regional centres of wealth and power. While for most of the ensuing four centuries political power (and the imperial family) remained in Kyoto, the first of the military-dominated governments fixed its headquarters at Kamakura, on the southeast edge of presentday Tokyo, and the next chapter in Japan’s history begins there. 46 3 CHAOS TO UNITY: FEUDALISM IN JAPAN is widely recognised that feudalism long-dominated Japanese society, but this is frequently a distorted understanding, based on clichéd images drawn from popular Western films and novels.
A Short History of Japan: From Samurai to Sony (A Short History of Asia series) by Curtis Andressen