A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower / Edition 3

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Overview

Japan's impact on the modern world has been enormous. It occupies just one 300th of the planet's land area, yet came to wield one sixth of the world's economic power. Just 150 years ago it was an obscure land of paddy fields and feudal despots. Within 50 years it became a major imperial power – it's so-called 'First Miracle'. After defeat in the Second World War, when Japan came close to annihilation, within 25 years it recovered remarkably to become the world's third biggest economy – it's 'Second Miracle'. It is now not only an economic superpower, but also a technological and cultural superpower. True miracles have no explanation: Japan's 'miracles' do. The nation's success lies in deeply ingrained historical values, such as a pragmatic determination to succeed. The world can learn much from Japan, and its story is told in these pages.

Covering the full sweep of Japanese history, from ancient to contemporary, this book explores Japan's enormous impact on the modern world, and how vital it is to examine the past and culture of the country in order to full understand its achievements and responses. Now in its third edition, this book is usefully updated and revised.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"One of the most important books in Japanese Studies in recent years." - Ken Coates, Professor of History, University of New Brunswick, Canada

"In making the history of this remarkable society accessible to a wider public Professor Henshall has performed a most valuable service." - Derek Massarella, Professor of Economic History, Chuo University, Japan

"An extraordinary book that will appeal to student, specialist, and general reader alike." - Laurie Barber, Professor of History, University of Waikato, NewZealand

Library Journal
Henshall, a New Zealand professor of Japanese studies, has written a lively and literate introduction to the vast sweep of Japanese history, providing a well-balanced overview that is accessible to the novice without being at all dumbed down. Although his emphasis is on political history, he devotes enough attention to cultural, literary, religious, and economic developments to give the reader a good sense of these spheres as well. He even manages to flavor the text with excerpts from poetry and key historical documents. Roughly equal weight is given to pre-modern and modern Japan. Henshall focuses on key issues in each of his six chapters and provides very useful tables summarizing both historical chronology and the main values and practices that characterized each period. A paperback version of this book, if made available, would find its way into many university surveys of East Asian history.--Steven I. Levine, Univ. of Montana, Missoula Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Henshall (Japanese studies, U. of Waikato, New Zealand) has written this to be accessible to anyone interested in the history of Japan (it will be a useful text for undergraduate courses). He begins at the very beginning, with ancient Japanese myths of creation, and covers the Stone Age and Yayoi period, moving on through the centuries, tracing dynasties and culture. Three of the six chapters are devoted to the Meiji Period up to the present. Each chapter includes a review and a list of references. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230346628
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 5/22/2012
  • Edition description: Third Edition, Revised Edition, 3rd edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 573,574
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

KENNETH HENSHALL is Professor in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He has published more than a dozen books in a range of fields. Previous editions of A History of Japan have been translated into several languages, and he has recently written on Japanese History for Lonely Planet.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the third edition
Introduction: Japan and History
From the Stone Age to Statehood: Myths, Prehistory, and Ancient History
Of Courtiers and Warriors: Early and Medieval History (710-1600)
The Closed Country: The Tokugawa Period (1600-1868)
Building a Modern Nation: The Meiji Period (1868-1912)
The Excesses of Ambition: The Pacific War and its Lead-up
A Phoenix from the Ashes: Post-War Successes and Beyond
Conclusion: Lessons for Aspiring Superpowers
References
Glossary of Japanese Terms
Index

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