For nearly three decades Japanese Culture has garnered high praise as an accurate and well-written introduction to Japanese history and culture. This widely used undergraduate text is now available in a new edition. Thoroughly updated, the fourth edition includes expanded sections on numerous topics, among which are samurai values, Zen Buddhism, the tea ceremony, Confucianism in the Tokugawa period, the story of the forty-seven ronin, Mito scholarship in the early nineteenth century, and mass culture and comics in contemporary times.
The war tales (gunki-mono) of Japan recount the stories of warriors and their battles from the tenth century, when a warrior class first emerged in the provinces of Japan, until the seventeenth century. A blend of history and fiction, the war tales are one of the most important sources of knowledge about Japan's premodern warriors. In Warriors of Japan a leading cultural historian of premodern Japan draws a rich portrait of warrior life and society in ancient and early medieval times. Through this study, the reader enters the lives of the warriors, observing how they fought, what they believed, what their weapons, armor, and other battle accoutrements were, what customs and personal relationships governed their lives, who their heroes were. Although many of the major war tales have been translated into English, Warriors of Japan is the first book-length study of the tales and their place in Japanese history. It is a major contribution to the cultural history of the ancient and medieval periods, revealing much about the medieval psyche and the evolving perceptions of warriors, warfare, and warrior customs. Readable as well as scholarly, Warriors of Japan will appeal to the general reader with an interest in Japan as well as to Japan specialists, teachers, and students.