Heian Japan: Centers and Peripheries

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University of Hawaii Press, 2007 - Art - 450 pages
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This exceptionally rich set of essays substantially advances our understanding of the Heian era, presenting the period as more fascinating, multi-faceted, and integrated than it has ever been before. This volume marks a turning point in the study of early Japanese culture and will be indispensable for future explorations of the era. Andrew Edmund Goble, University of Oregon

As a Japanese historian, I enthusiastically recommend Heian Japan, Centers and Peripheries, the first multi-author English-language academic work to offer a synthetic treatment of the Heian period. Japan s emperor system is the last remaining sovereignty of its kind in human history, and this volume is indispensable when considering what sovereignty itself means in the present. To that end, the classical patterns established in the Heian period are superbly analyzed in this volume through the dual approach of centers and peripheries. Hotate Michihisa, Historiographical Institute, University of Tokyo

The first three centuries of the Heian period (794 1086) saw some of its most fertile innovations and epochal achievements in Japanese literature and the arts. It was also a time of important transitions in the spheres of religion and politics, as aristocratic authority was consolidated in Kyoto, powerful court factions and religious institutions emerged, and adjustments were made in the Chinese-style system of ruler-ship. At the same time, the era s leaders faced serious challenges from the provinces that called into question the primacy and efficiency of the governmental system and tested the social/cultural status quo. Heian Japan, Centers and Peripheries, the first book of its kind to examine the early Heian from a wide variety of multidisciplinary perspectives, offers a fresh look at these seemingly contradictory trends.

Essays by fourteen leading American, European, and Japanese scholars of art history, history, literature, and religions take up core texts and iconic images, cultural achievements and social crises, and the ever-fascinating patterns and puzzles of the time. The authors tackle some of Heian Japan s most enduring paradigms as well as hitherto unexplored problems in search of new ways of understanding the currents of change as well as the processes of institutionalization that shaped the Heian scene, defined the contours of its legacies, and make it one of the most intensely studied periods of the Japanese past.

Contributors: Ryuichi Abe, Mikael Adolphson, Bruce Batten, Robert Borgen, Wayne Farris, Karl Friday, G. Cameron Hurst III, Edward Kamens, D. Max Moerman, Samuel Morse, Joan R. Piggott, Fukuto Sanae, Ivo Smits, Charlotte von Verschuer.

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Contents

Between and Beyond Centers and Peripheries
1
From Female Sovereign to Mother of the Nation Women and Government in the Heian Period
15
Court and Provinces under Regent Fujiwara no Tadahira
35
Kugyo and Zuryo Center and Periphery in the Era of Fujiwara no Michinaga
66
The Way of the Literati Chinese Learning and Literary Practice in MidHeian Japan
105
Terrains of Text in MidHeian Court Culture
129
The Buddhist Transformation of Japan in the Ninth Century The Case of ElevenHeaded Kannon
153
Scholasticism Exegesis and Ritual Practice On Renovation in the History of Buddhist Writing in the Early Heian Period
179
Famine Climate and Farming in Japan 6701100
275
Life of Commoners in the Provinces The Owari no gebumi of 988
305
Lordship Interdicted Taira no Tadatsune and the Limited Horizons of Warrior Ambition
329
Crossborder Traffic on the Kyushu Coast 7941086
357
Jojins Travels from Center to Center with Some Periphery in between
384
References
415
GlossaryIndex
439
Contributors
449

Institutional Diversity and Religious Integration The Establishment of Temple Networks in the Heian Age
212
The Archeology of Anxiety An Underground History of Heian Religion
245

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Page 11 - Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991).
Page 11 - On the middle ground diverse peoples adjust their differences through what amounts to a process of creative, and often expedient, misunderstandings. People try to persuade others who are different from themselves by appealing to what they perceive to be the values and practices of those others. They often misinterpret and distort both the values and the practices of those they deal with, but from these misunderstandings arise new meanings and through them new practices - the shared meanings and practices...

About the author (2007)

Mikael S. Adolphson is associate professor of Japanese cultural studies at the University of Alberta.

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