This fascinating history tells the story of the people of Japan, from ancient teenage priest-queens to teeming hordes of salarymen, a nation that once sought to conquer China, yet also shut itself away for two centuries in self-imposed seclusion.
Transnational Japan as History:
It is said that if you wish to understand something about a particular place or culture, then it is important to know every single detail about the same and that is what history helps people out in. Now, Japan is also been that major part of history having so many of those different occurrences which made it become what it is today. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Andrea Giordani. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/081673/bk_acx0_081673_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Human habitation in the Japanese archipelago can be traced back to prehistoric times. The Jōmon period, named after its cord-marked pottery, was followed by the Yayoi in the first millennium BC, when new technologies were introduced from continental Asia. During this period, in the first century AD, the first known written reference to Japan was recorded in the Chinese Book of Han. Between the third century and the eighth century, Japan´s many kingdoms and tribes gradually came to be unified under a centralized government, nominally controlled by the emperor. The imperial dynasty established at this time continues to reign over Japan to this day. In 794, a new imperial capital was established at Heian-kyō (modern Kyoto), marking the beginning of the Heian period, which lasted until 1185. The Heian period is considered a golden age of classical Japanese culture. Japanese religious life from this time and onwards was a mix of Buddhism and native religious practices known as Shinto. Over the following centuries the power of the emperor and the imperial court gradually declined and passed to the military clans and their armies of samurai warriors. The Minamoto clan under Minamoto no Yoritomo emerged victorious from the Genpei War of 1180–85. After seizing power, Yoritomo set up his capital in Kamakura and took the title of shogun. In 1274 and 1281, the Kamakura shogunate withstood two Mongol invasions, but in 1333 it was toppled by a rival claimant to the shogunate, ushering in the Muromachi period. During the Muromachi period regional warlords known as daimyō grew in power at the expense of the shogun. Eventually, Japan descended into a period of civil war. Over the course of the late sixteenth century, Japan was reunified under the leadership of the daimyō Oda Nobunaga and his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi. After Hideyoshi´s death in 1598, Tokugawa Ieyasu came to power and was appointed shogun by the emperor. The Tokugawa shogunate, which govern 1. Language: English. Narrator: Sean Lenhart. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/070573/bk_acx0_070573_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Explains the formation of a new constitution, as well as the democratization and demilitarization processes Includes a bibliography for further reading Includes a table of contents The American occupation of Japan holds a singular and problematic place in the histories both of Japan and of American foreign policy. For the Japanese, the occupation marked the transition from war to peace, from authoritarianism to democracy, and from privation to plenty, making it a passage from one of the darkest chapters in Japanese history to one of the brightest. Nevertheless, the significance of that passage was fraught with ambiguities; after all, Japan did not win its new democracy through revolution from below in the form of a popular indigenous movement pressing for increased rights and a more open, inclusive politics. Instead, Japanese democracy came as a revolution from above, a system imposed wholesale and virtually without consultation by an occupying army whose Supreme Allied Commander General Douglas MacArthur wielded power as absolute and unchecked as any emperor. Many critics at the time and since have worried that the political system established by the occupation was thus somehow hollow, a thin veneer of participatory democracy resting uncomfortably atop a deeply conservative and hierarchical culture, symbolized above all by the continuing presence of an emperor. Others have argued that the contradictions of a radical democratic revolution from above are real but irrelevant. Presented for the first time with open space for genuine political speech and action, ordinary Japanese seized the opportunity to exercise agency over the course of their own lives, pulling Japan in directions that neither the old Japanese political elite nor the new American occupation authorities had foreseen. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Tim Welch. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/034395/bk_acx0_034395_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.