By Kenneth Henshall

ISBN-10: 0230346618

ISBN-13: 9780230346611

Overlaying the whole sweep of eastern heritage, from historic to modern, Henshall explores Japan's huge, immense impression at the smooth global, and the way very important it really is to envision the previous and tradition of the rustic so that it will complete comprehend its achievements and responses. Now in its 3rd variation, this e-book is usefully up-to-date and revised.

About the Author:

Kenneth Henshall is Professor within the university of Languages and Cultures on the college of Canterbury, New Zealand. He has released greater than a dozen books in a number of fields. past versions of A background of Japan were translated into a number of languages, and he has lately written on eastern background for Lonely Planet.

Note: retail PDF; bookmarked, comprises TOC.

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Additional resources for A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower (3rd Edition)

Example text

Unauthorised weapons were confiscated. Chinese-style law codes were drawn up in connection with these reforms. They emphasised the authority of the emperor and thus the centralisation of power, and they also addressed the rationalisation of bureaucracy. 53 The population had grown markedly through the Yamato period from the estimated two to three million at the end of the Yayoi period. 54 Population growth seems to have progressed in waves. The birth rate was high but so too was the mortality rate, especially among infants.

In fact, it became so well entrenched that it still survives today, the world’s longest imperial lineage. It may seem strange that an imperial family that officially espoused Buddhism should legitimise itself through the gods of Shinto ¯ , but this is simply another example of Japanese pragmatism. To this day the Japanese continue to particularise religion, following one religion in one context and another religion in another context. This ‘pragmatic religiosity’, like the avoidance of moral distinction between good and evil that in other cultures is usually based on religious values, clearly has deep roots.

The fact that the higher authority is the guarantor of the power-holder’s legitimacy gives the higher authority too a certain guarantee of protection. The recipient of legitimacy may in turn confer legitimacy on those below them, and so on. It is in one sense a diffusion of responsibility, and in another a hierarchical ordering of authority. Yoritomo provides an especially clear example of the process. Mainly because of this need for legitimacy – but also partly because it has long been a practice in Japan to maintain some degree of continuity with the past amidst change – his government was a mixture of old and new.

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A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower (3rd Edition) by Kenneth Henshall


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