Japan: A Short Cultural History

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Stanford University Press, 1978 - History - 548 pages
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Japan: A Short Cultural History was first published in 1931 by the Cresset Press in London and D. Appleton in New York. Writing in the Journal of American Oriental Society in 1959, Edwin O. Reischauer, Harvard professor and leading scholar in Japanese history and culture (and future United States Ambassador to Japan) said this of George Sansom's comprehensive account of Japanese history:

"When Sir George Sansom's Japan: A Short Cultural History appeared in 1931, it raised the study of Japanese history in the West to new levels. Its penetrating analysis of institutions, sensitive interpretations of cultural developments, and stylistic charm contrasted with the plodding pedestrian surveys and over-written anecdotal accounts that had hitherto served in the Occident as introductions to Japanese history."

The present Stanford edition, the first to appear in paperback in the United States, is a photographic reproduction of the British edition except in two particulars: eight of the original twenty plates have been dropped, and the maps have been redrawn by Margaret Kays. In redrawing the maps it was decided to retain the author's terminology, orthography, and dating even where these have been discarded or suspended by more recent scholarship.

 

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Contents

PART ONEEARLY HISTORY I The Origins I
1
Early Myths and Chronicles
22
Native Institutions and Foreign Inter course
36
The Indigenous Cult
45
The Introduction of Chinese Learning
63
Cultural Relations with China and the Political Reform of Taikwa
83
PART TWONARA VI Confucianism and Buddhism
108
Art and Letters
138
Religion and the Arts
224
Chinese Learning
232
The Native Literature
237
Late Heian Buddhism
243
Heian Art
248
A Summary of Political Events in the Heian
260
PART FOURKAMAKURA
274
PART FIVEMUROMACHI
351

Art
143
Law and Administration
161
A Summary of Political Events in the Nara Period
178
PART THREETHE HEIAN PERIOD X The New Capital and the Provinces
188
The Development of Chinese Institutions on Japanese Soil
206
PART SIXSENGOKU
404
PART SEVENYEDO
444
CHAPTER PAGE
498
Index
532
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About the author (1978)

Sir George Sansom was a British diplomat and historian of pre-modern Japan. He authored several books, including Japan: A Short Cultural History, An Historical Grammar of Japanese, The Western World and Japan, and Japan in World History.

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