Voices of Early Modern Japan

Voices of Early Modern Japan

Voices of Early Modern Japan

In this newly revised and updated 2nd edition of Voices of Early Modern Japan, Constantine Nomikos Vaporis offers an accessible collection of annotated historical documents of an extraordinary period in Japanese history, ranging from the unification of warring states under Tokugawa Ieyasu in the early seventeenth century to the overthrow of the shogunate just after the opening of Japan by the West in the mid- nineteenth century. Through close examination of primary sources from "The Great Peace," this fascinating textbook offers fresh insights into the Tokugawa era: its political institutions, rigid class hierarchy, artistic and material culture, religious life, and more, demonstrating what historians can uncover from the words of ordinary people. New features include: • An expanded section on religion, morality and ethics; • A new selection of maps and visual documents; • Sources from government documents and household records to diaries and personal correspondence, translated and examined in light of the latest scholarship; • Updated references for student projects and research assignments. The first edition of Voices of Early Modern Japan was the winner of the 2013 Franklin R. Buchanan Prize for Curricular Materials. This fully revised textbook will prove a comprehensive resource for teachers and students of East Asian Studies, history, culture, and anthropology.

Portraits of Edo and Early Modern Japan

Portraits of Edo and Early Modern Japan

Portraits of Edo and Early Modern Japan

This volume presents a series of five portraits of Edo, the central region of urban space today known as Tokyo, from the great fire of 1657 to the devastating earthquake of 1855. This book endeavors to allow Edo, or at least some of the voices that constituted Edo, to do most of the speaking. These voices become audible in the work of five Japanese eye-witness observers, who notated what they saw, heard, felt, tasted, experienced, and remembered. “An Eastern Stirrup,” presents a vivid portrait of the great conflagration of 1657 that nearly wiped out the city. “Tales of Long Long Ago,” details seventeenth-century warrior-class ways as depicted by a particularly conservative samurai. “The River of Time,” describes the city and its flourishing cultural and economic development during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. “The Spider’s Reel” looks back at both the attainments and calamities of Edo in the 1780s. Finally, “Disaster Days,” offers a meticulous account of Edo life among the ruins of the catastrophic 1855 tremor. Read in sequence, these five pieces offer a unique “insider’s perspective” on the city of Edo and early modern Japan.

Individuality in Early Modern Japan

Individuality in Early Modern Japan

Individuality in Early Modern Japan

Two of the most commonly alleged features of Japanese society are its homogeneity and its encouragement of conformity, as represented by the saying that the nail that sticks up gets pounded. This volume’s primary goal is to challenge these and a number of other long-standing assumptions regarding Tokugawa (1600-1868) society, and thereby to open a dialogue regarding the relationship between the Japan of two centuries ago and the present. The volume’s central chapters concentrate on six aspects of Tokugawa society: the construction of individual identity, aggressive pursuit of self-interest, defiant practice of forbidden religious traditions, interest in self-cultivation and personal betterment, understandings of happiness and well-being, and embrace of "neglected" counter-ideological values. The author argues that when taken together, these point to far higher degrees of individuality in early modern Japan than has heretofore been acknowledged, and in an Afterword the author briefly examines how these indicators of individuality in early modern Japan are faring in contemporary Japan at the time of writing.

The Samurai

The Samurai

The Samurai


Literary Creations on the Road

Literary Creations on the Road

Literary Creations on the Road

In this book, originally published in Japanese, Shiba intersperses her narration with excerpts from the actual travel diaries and sheds new light on women's literary activities in early modern Japan, which are noticeably understudied compared to other genres of Japanese literary history. The translation includes notes for general English readers.

Modern Japan

Modern Japan

Modern Japan

Accompanied by black-and-white reproductions, photographs, and informative sidebars, details Japan's history from the 1600s to 2000.

Daily Life in Early Modern Japan

Daily Life in Early Modern Japan

Daily Life in Early Modern Japan

Explores the everyday life of eighteenth century Japan, a time is its history when it was relatively free from foreign influence.

Electrified Voices

Electrified Voices

Electrified Voices

Long before karaoke’s ubiquity and the rise of global brands such as Sony, Japan was a place where new audio technologies found eager users and contributed to new cultural forms. In Electrified Voices, Kerim Yasar traces the origins of the modern soundscape, showing how the revolutionary nature of sound technology and the rise of a new auditory culture played an essential role in the formation of Japanese modernity. A far-reaching cultural history of the telegraph, telephone, phonograph, radio, and early sound film in Japan, Electrified Voices shows how these technologies reshaped the production of culture. Audio technologies upended the status of the written word as the only source of prestige while revivifying traditional forms of orality. The ability to reproduce and transmit sound, freeing it from the constraints of time and space, had profound consequences on late nineteenth-century language reform; twentieth-century literary, musical, and cinematic practices; the rise of militarism and nationalism in the 1920s and 30s; and the transition to the postwar period inaugurated by Emperor Hirohito’s declaration of unconditional surrender to Allied forces—a declaration that was recorded on a gramophone record and broadcast throughout the defeated Japanese empire. The first cultural history in English of auditory technologies in modern Japan, Electrified Voices enriches our understanding of Japanese modernity and offers a major contribution to sound studies and global media history.