This authoritative and accessible book charts the history of Japan from c.8000 bc to the 1990s. Conrad Totman conceptualizes the country's history in terms of four major ages: the age of foragers, dispersed agriculturalists, intensive agriculture, and industrialism. Within this framework, he traces the changing patterns of human-environment relations and examines their interplay with the more familiar realms of political, socio-economic, and cultural history. The book treats the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries in considerable detail and gives fullest coverage to the twentieth century when this island nation became a major player on the stage of world history. In its survey of this recent history, it explores: diplomatic and domestic political affairs; economic development and change; class, gender, and ethnicity; ideology and political punditry; cultural production in the arts; letters, music, and popular entertainment; and environmental issues. For the second edition, an epilogue has been added looking at Japan today and tomorrow, paying particular attention to environmental and diplomatic issues.
"A History of Japan is a highly recommended, informative, scholarly, comprehensive, and 'reader friendly' introduction and historical survey that will be much appreciated by students of Japanese history and culture, and has a wealth of material for the non-specialist general reader seeking to understand the Japan of antiquity as well as a contemporary and influential society." The Midwest Book Review
"Not until Conrad Totman's A History of Japan has there been such a sophisticated and detailed record of Japan's past, one that combines and critiques the standard perspectives while adding a new vision all its own. In a word, this is the best single-volume examination of Japan's history available .. A History of Japan is a masterpiece." Monumenta Nipponica
"A clear and concise overview of the whole of Japanese history." History
"Students and the ... general reader ... will profit from engagement with this book." English Historical Review
"A History of Japan is one of the most perceptive and illuminating studies of Japan's history to have appeared in English in recent decades, and is likely to be widely used by teachers, students and researchers." Times Higher Education Supplement
"Totman's work reflects its author's erudition, expansive vision, and humanism. It will suit the needs of instructors and many general readers perfectly." David Howell, Princeton University, for the Journal of Japanese Studies
List of Illustrations.
Part I: Beginnings:.
1. Geology, Climate, and Biota.
2. From Origins to Agriculture.
Part II: The Age of Dispersed Agriculturalists (400 BCE - 1250 CE):.
3. Political Consolidation to 671 CE.
4. Establishing the Ritsuryô Order (672-750).
5. Ritsuryô Adaptation and Decay (750-1250).
6. Classical Higher Culture (750-1250).
Part III: The Age of Intensive Agriculture (1250-1890):.
7. The Centuries of Disorder (1250-1890).
8. Medieval Higher Culture (1250-1550).
9. Establishing the Bakuhan Order (1550-1700).
10. The Age of Growth (1590-1700).
11. Stasis and Decay (1700-1850).
12. Crisis and Redirection (1800-1890).
Part IV: The Age of Industrialism: Early Decades (1890-Present):.
13. Early Imperial Triumph (1890-1914).
14. Early Imperial Society and Culture.
15. Later Imperial Politics and Economy (1914-1945).
16. Later Imperial Society and Culture (1914-1945).
17. Drift to Disaster (1914-1945).
18. Entrepreneurial Japan: Politics and Economy (1945-1990).
19. Society and Environment (1945-1990).
20. The Culture of Entrepreneurial Japan (1945-1990).
Epilogue: Japan Today and Tomorrow.
A. Tables I-X.
B. Chinese Words: Wade-Giles & Pinyin Orthographies.
C. Glossary of Japanese Terms.