Japan Emerging: Premodern History to 1850 (Paperback)
Japan Emerging provides a comprehensive survey of Japan from prehistory to the nineteenth century. Incorporating the latest scholarship and methodology, leading authorities writing specifically for this volume outline and explore the main developments in Japanese life through ancient, classical, medieval, and early modern periods. Instead of relying solely on lists of dates and prominent names, the authors focus on why and how Japanese political, social, economic, and intellectual life evolved. Each part begins with a timeline and a set of guiding questions and issues to help orient readers and enhance continuity. Engaging, thorough, and accessible, this is an essential text for all students and scholars of Japanese history.
"A fresh look at the early history of the archipelago, thoughtfully balanced and encompassing a wide range of scholarly voices. The format is an appealing cross between textbook and course-reader, with dozens of clear, concise thematic essays. Crisp writing and up-to-date treatment of topics like gender, commerce, war, and faith make this a compelling choice." —Kären Wigen, Professor of History, Stanford University
"Japan Emerging is a greatly welcomed textbook for students who are studying early Japanese history for the first time, as well as for those who wish to further pursue their interests in the field. The contributions from leading experts in the field address some of the most critical and fundamental issues of premodern Japan, beginning with the definitions of “ancient,” “medieval,” and “early modern,” and topics ranging from political, economic, and social development of each respective period, to religion, arts and literature, and gender. The thirty-eight highly readable and insightful essays are accompanied by a comprehensive bibliography of English-language scholarship and detailed timelines that provide a chronological overview of each period. The volume should not only introduce students to the subject, but also guide and encourages them to explore deeper into the history of Japan." —Haruko Wakabayashi, Visiting Faculty, Princeton University
"Japan Emerging collects essays by the top scholars of premodern Japan in an eminently readable and accessible volume. Periods that previous textbooks had reduced to a single page are here given their due consideration. Likewise, concepts that have for generations caused bewildered head scratching among readers are now clearly explained, with nuance and sophistication but without undue reliance on specialized Japanese terminology, for the first time. No other volume covers the era from ancient times to the fall of the Tokugawa so effectively and thoroughly, with attention to issues of historiography and method, status and gender, visual culture and literary sensibilities, and politics and the economy. Teaching premodern Japanese history is going to be fun again." —Morgan Pitelka, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"Japan Emerging is a wide-ranging collection of short, readable essays by Western specialists of pre-modern Japan. Its emphasis is on political history, both thematic and topical, with some coverage of cultural, religious and economic matters as well. Numerous photographs and clear charts add to the volume’s attractiveness and accessibility: it will be useful in undergraduate teaching and to non-specialists alike." —Suzanne Gay, Oberlin College
"There has been a dearth of good textbooks that cover all the major issues for premodern Japanese history courses, but Japan Emerging has now filled that gap." —Michael Wert, Marquette University
“Almost every page presents new ways of thinking about historical change, displays scholarship in ultimately comprehensible terms, and challenges any reader to develop more sophisticated approaches to understanding processes of historical change and development. If the old-style survey text was a compendium of dates and data, this new age textbook challenges students to read thoughtfully and comprehend the deeper underlying factors that modern scholars are continuously and hypothetically developing. …The collection presents an excellent window into the mind-set of scholars on the forefront of a rapidly changing historical understanding. Highly recommended.” —Choice