By Curtis Andressen

A finished historical past of the land of the emerging sunlight, from its historic origins to its interesting current. Few international locations were the topic of loads scholarly cognizance but stay so elusive. An more and more primary kingdom via shared tourism and enterprise relationships, there's nonetheless greatly approximately Japan and its earlier that defies categorization or generalization; very much that leaves the customer wondered. Who precisely are the japanese? Are they peace-loving or warlike? Creators of stunningly attractive artwork varieties or destroyers of pristine typical environments? Isolationist or expansionist? thoughtful of different cultures or arrogantly dismissive? prepared contributors of the overseas group or shy and terrified of enticing with others? Deeply conventional or hugely Westernised? Wildly profitable or perched at the fringe of financial ruin? Japan has lengthy been characterised via such deeply divergent interpretations. right here, Curtis Andressen delves into Japan's colossal heritage to provide 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 profession, breakneck fiscal progress and modern uncertainty, Andressen strains the foremost elements of jap tradition and the way those have manifested within the country's political approach, economic system and society to create a unique identification. it's meant for a person with a pragmatic reason behind understanding extra approximately Japan - scholars, lecturers, travelers, enterprise humans - in addition to these for whom clean insights into Japan's wealthy tradition and specified background might make compelling examining.

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Additional info for A Short History of Japan: From Samurai to Sony (A Short History of Asia series)

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Fujiwara no Kamatari used the Chinese form of government as the basis for a number of political changes in Japan, which taken together are known as the Taika (‘Great Change’) Reform of 645. Enhancing the power of the central 35 A Shor t His tor y of Japan government was a key feature, with the result being that a very small number of people (about 400) could run the country. The other major change was the abolition of private ownership of land. Although it progressed in stages and was never fully carried out, this policy meant that farmers began to work for the state rather than individuals, and land was controlled and parcelled out by the government.

The Muromachi period (1336–1467) The battle of 1333 had been fought, presumably, to restore the emperor to power but Go-Daigo’s reign lasted less than three years. He tried to consolidate his postion by reintroducing the system under which all land belonged to the imperial family. By this time, however, the power of the samurai had grown too strong. The head of the Ashikaga family, Takauji (1305–58), defeated the emperor’s forces in 1336, and set − gun in 1338. His successors eventually eshimself up as sho tablished their administrative headquarters in an area of Kyoto called Muromachi, which gives its name to this period.

Yoritomo in particular was highly suspicious of those who might challenge his authority. This led to his liberal use of violence to control others, including murdering his brother Yoshitsune and his family. As in many other countries, an enduring theme in Japan is the desire of its leaders to hold onto power and a fear of other powerful forces, which often leads to ruthless and violent acts as well as policies to limit potential threats. This was to reach an apex centuries later under the Tokugawa sho− gunate.

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