Download A Short History of Japan: From Samurai to Sony (A Short by Curtis Andressen PDF

By Curtis Andressen

A complete heritage of the land of the emerging solar, from its historical origins to its attention-grabbing current. Few nations were the topic of lots scholarly awareness but stay so elusive. An more and more widespread state via shared tourism and enterprise relationships, there's nonetheless very much approximately Japan and its prior 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 paintings varieties or destroyers of pristine usual environments? Isolationist or expansionist? thoughtful of different cultures or arrogantly dismissive? prepared individuals of the overseas group or shy and afraid of enticing with others? Deeply conventional or hugely Westernised? Wildly winning or perched at the fringe of financial disaster? Japan has lengthy been characterised by way of such deeply divergent interpretations. the following, Curtis Andressen delves into Japan's significant heritage to give 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 career, breakneck fiscal development and modern uncertainty, Andressen lines the major facets of eastern tradition and the way those have manifested within the country's political process, economic system and society to create a special identification. it truly is meant for somebody with a pragmatic cause of understanding extra approximately Japan - scholars, lecturers, guests, company humans - in addition to these for whom clean insights into Japan's wealthy tradition and specific heritage might make compelling analyzing.

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There were a number of subsequent visits, in both directions, over the ensuing five centuries. The chiefs of different clans were already competing, and made contact with the Chinese to obtain trade goods and especially new technology. The History of Wei, completed by Chinese scholars in AD 297, is the most thorough description of Japanese society in this period. It notes that Japan was occupied by a number of independent tribal units, headed by both men and women, who combined secular power with some degree of religious authority, and that people survived mostly through fishing and agriculture.

38 In the beginning Image Not Available Buddhist influence in a Japanese cemetery, Tokyo. Buddhism also provided hope and comfort to those in need. Kannon, for example, came to be a key figure of worship. This is the same deity as the Chinese Kuan Yin, the goddess of mercy (originally the Indian Avalokitesuara). The move of the court away from Nara seems to have been associated with competition for power between rival groups, though the growing political power of the Buddhist clergy also appears to have played a role.

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.

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