Cover image for A concise history of Japan
Title:
A concise history of Japan
Author:
Walker, Brett L., 1967- , author.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, United Kingdom : Cambridge University Press, 2015.

©2015
Physical Description:
xxviii, 336 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm.
Language:
English
Contents:
Introduction: Writing Japanese history -- The birth of the Yamato State, 14,500 BCE-710 CE -- The Courtly Age, 710-1185 -- The rise of Samurai rule, 1185-1336 -- Medieval Japan and the warring states period, 1336-1573 -- Japan's encounter with Europe, 1543-1640 -- Unifying the realm, 1560-1603 -- Early modern Japan, 1600-1800 -- The rise of imperial nationalism, 1770-1854 -- Meiji enlightenment, 1868-1912 -- Meiji's discontents, 1868-1920 -- The birth of Japan's imperial state, 1800-1910 -- Empire and imperial democracy, 1905-1931 -- The Pacific War, 1931-1945 -- Japan's post-war history, 1945-present -- Natural disasters and the edge of history.
ISBN:
9780521178723

9781107004184
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

To this day, Japan's modern ascendancy challenges many assumptions about world history, particularly theories regarding the rise of the west and why the modern world looks the way it does. In this engaging new history, Brett L. Walker tackles key themes regarding Japan's relationships with its minorities, state and economic development, and the uses of science and medicine. The book begins by tracing the country's early history through archaeological remains, before proceeding to explore life in the imperial court, the rise of the samurai, civil conflict, encounters with Europe, and the advent of modernity and empire. Integrating the pageantry of a unique nation's history with today's environmental concerns, Walker's vibrant and accessible new narrative then follows Japan's ascension from the ashes of World War II into the thriving nation of today. It is a history for our times, posing important questions regarding how we should situate a nation's history in an age of environmental and climatological uncertainties.


Reviews 1

Choice Review

Walker's new history of Japan reflects a deep appreciation of the issues of concern to today's readers. This is a history of Japan unlike anything published so far in the attention given to the impact of disease, famine, deforestation, climate change, environmental pollution, and natural disasters on the story of the Japanese and their relationship with their country. In a clear, readable style, the author (Montana State Univ. Bozeman) expertly narrates the course of Japanese history, reflecting the most recent scholarship available. Along the way, he discusses topics not included in previous histories of Japan, such as the introduction and impact of both disease and medical knowledge in the premodern era, the rise of the Japanese fishing "pelagic empire" in the 20th century, and the global impact of Japan's "soft culture" in recent decades. Walker places Japan's experience in global perspective. For example, Japan's early exposure to smallpox enabled the population to develop an immunity that helped them avoid the fate of the New World when confronted by European expansion in the 16th century. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. --Mark D. Ericson, University of Maryland University College


Table of Contents

Preface
Chronology
Introduction
1 The birth of the Yamato state, 14,500 BCE-710 CE
2 The courtly age, 710-1185
3 The rise of Samurai rule, 1185-1336
4 Medieval Japan and the warring states period, 1336-1573
5 Japan's encounter with Europe, 1542-1640
6 Unifying the realm, 1560-1603
7 Early modern Japan, 1600-1800
8 The rise of imperial nationalism, 1770-1854
9 Meiji enlightenment, 1868-1912
10 Meiji's discontents, 1868-1920
11 The birth of Japan's imperial state, 1800-1910
12 Empire and imperial democracy, 1905-1931
13 The Pacific War, 1931-45
14 Japan's postwar history, 1945-present
15 Natural disasters and the edge of history
Glossary
Further reading
Index