A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower by K. Henshall PDF

By K. Henshall

ISBN-10: 023050292X

ISBN-13: 9780230502925

ISBN-10: 1403912726

ISBN-13: 9781403912725

In an extraordinary mix of complete assurance and sustained severe concentration, this ebook examines jap historical past in its entirety to spot the standards underlying the nation's development to superpower prestige. Japan's fulfillment is defined now not in basic terms in fiscal phrases, yet at a extra primary point, as a made from ancient styles of reaction to situation. Japan is proven to be a country traditionally impelled through a practical choice to prevail. The ebook additionally highlights unresolved questions and little-known facts.

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Extra info for A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower

Sample text

Though life for the ordinary person was far from easy, the Yamato state was in place, and the nation Japan had been formed. 56 All of these requirements were in place by the end of the Kofun period. 58 However, at least the structure was in place. The imperial family was also well entrenched, for towards the end of the period Emperor Temmu commissioned the chronicles that would legitimise the imperial line by giving it a divine heritage. In fact, it became so well entrenched that it still survives today, the world's longest imperial lineage.

The most distinctive characteristic of these was their appeal to the people at large, as opposed to Heian-period Buddhism which had generally been esoteric and confined to the ruling class. The Jodo (Pure Land) Sect, founded by the priest Honen (1133–1212), believed salvation could be attained by chanting the name of Amida Buddha. The Jodo Shin (True Pure Land) Sect, founded by Honen's disciple Shinran (1173–1263), simplified this further to just one sincere invocation of Amida's name. The type of Buddhism promoted by Nichiren (1222–82) was similarly simple, but focused on the Lotus Sutra rather than Amida.

Unlike Nara, it was to remain the official capital for more than a thousand years. At Heian the court was in many ways to reach its zenith. In its refinement, its artistic pursuits, and its etiquette, it rivalled courts of any time and place in the world. However, the more refined it became, the more it lost touch with reality, and that was to cost it dearly. The Heian court gave the world some of its finest early literature. For example, around 1004 the court lady Murasaki Shikibu wrote the world's first novel, Genji Monogatari (Tale of [Prince] Genji).

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