By Curtis Andressen
A accomplished historical past of the land of the emerging sunlight, from its old origins to its interesting current. Few nations were the topic of rather a lot scholarly consciousness but stay so elusive. An more and more everyday state via shared tourism and enterprise relationships, there's nonetheless very much approximately Japan and its previous that defies categorization or generalization; greatly 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 traditional environments? Isolationist or expansionist? thoughtful of different cultures or arrogantly dismissive? prepared contributors of the overseas group or shy and scared of enticing with others? Deeply conventional or hugely Westernised? Wildly winning or perched at the fringe of financial ruin? Japan has lengthy been characterised via such deeply divergent interpretations. the following, Curtis Andressen delves into Japan's huge heritage to provide an explanation for the present demanding situations the rustic faces. From the sunrise of time whilst the 1st settlers arrived within the islands of Japan, via feudalism with its heavy imprint of authoritarianism to 20th-century adventurism, American profession, breakneck monetary development and modern uncertainty, Andressen lines the main features of eastern tradition and the way those have manifested within the country's political process, financial system and society to create a unique identification. it really is meant for an individual with a realistic cause of figuring out extra approximately Japan - scholars, academics, visitors, company humans - in addition to these for whom clean insights into Japan's wealthy tradition and particular historical past might make compelling studying.
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Additional resources for A Short History of Japan: From Samurai to Sony (A Short History of Asia series)
Eventually many began to identify with their new homes rather than Kyoto. A second reason had to do with land, the basic unit of wealth and therefore of power. It was the problem of land scarcity that led to a return to it being privately owned. The population at the time was increasing and there was a 43 A Shor t His tor y of Japan consequent need to bring more land under cultivation. To encourage this the government allowed newly cultivated land to be tax-free for three generations. Because of the already heavy demands on peasants, however, those best able to take advantage of this new policy were farmers (especially clan leaders) who already had substantial landholdings (and who, if they possessed business acumen, bought land from poorer peasants in these new areas), aristocrats and bureaucrats governing in the countryside, and those looking after larger shrines and temples.
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.
By the twelfth century about half of the agricultural land in Japan fell under such estates, with the other half belonging to the government under the old landallocation system. Ultimately, this new development reinforced the decentralisation of power away from the Chinese model of a centralised state, and strengthened the earlier Japanese structure of relatively powerful provincial leaders. The loyalty/ 44 In the beginning obligation system that formed between farmers and those to whom they looked for protection of their tax-free status also contributed to the early development of feudalism.