Pan-Asianism in Modern Japanese History provides an illuminating and extensive account of the historical backgrounds of current debates surrounding Asian identity and essential information and analyses for anyone with an interest in history as well as Asian and Japanese studies.
Farris describes how the early inhabitants of the islands moved from a forager mode of subsistence to a more predominantly agrarian base, supplemented by sophisticated industries and an advanced commercial economy. He reveals how the transition to farming took place over many centuries as people moved back and forth from settled agriculture to older forager-collector regimes in response to ecological, political, and personal factors. Economics influenced demographics, and, as the population expanded, the class structure became increasingly complex and occupational specialization and status divisions more intricate. Along with this came trends toward more tightly knit corporate organizations (village, city, market, family), and classes of servants, slaves, and outcastes formed.
In reflecting the diversity of traditional Japan s economy and society, Japan to 1600 is well suited for both undergraduate and graduate courses and will be a welcome introduction to Japan s early history for scholars and students of other disciplines and regions.