The Taming of the Samurai

Author: Eiko Ikegami
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674868080
Release Date: 1995
Genre: Social Science

Modern Japan offers us a view of a highly developed society with its own internal logic. Eiko Ikegami makes this logic accessible to us through a sweeping investigation into the roots of Japanese organizational structures. She accomplishes this by focusing on the diverse roles that the samurai have played in Japanese history. From their rise in ancient Japan, through their dominance as warrior lords in the medieval period, and their subsequent transformation to quasi-bureaucrats at the beginning of the Tokugawa era, the samurai held center stage in Japan until their abolishment after the opening up of Japan in the mid-nineteenth century. This book demonstrates how Japan's so-called harmonious collective culture is paradoxically connected with a history of conflict. Ikegami contends that contemporary Japanese culture is based upon two remarkably complementary ingredients, honorable competition and honorable collaboration. The historical roots of this situation can be found in the process of state formation, along very different lines from that seen in Europe at around the same time. The solution that emerged out of the turbulent beginnings of the Tokugawa state was a transformation of the samurai into a hereditary class of vassal-bureaucrats, a solution that would have many unexpected ramifications for subsequent centuries. Ikegami's approach, while sociological, draws on anthropological and historical methods to provide an answer to the question of how the Japanese managed to achieve modernity without traveling the route taken by Western countries. The result is a work of enormous depth and sensitivity that will facilitate a better understanding of, and appreciation for, Japanese society.

Bonds of Civility

Author: Eiko Ikegami
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521601150
Release Date: 2005-02-28
Genre: Social Science

Eiko Ikegami uncovers a complex history of social life in which aesthetic images became central to Japan's cultural identities.

Warriors of Japan

Author: H. Paul Varley
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
ISBN: 0824816013
Release Date: 1994-01
Genre: History

A leading cultural historian of premodern Japan draws a rich portrait of the emerging samurai culture as it is portrayed in gunki-mono, or war tales, examining eight major works spanning the mid-tenth to late fourteenth centuries. 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. The war tales are one of the most important sources of knowledge about Japan's premodern warriors, revealing much about the medieval psyche and the evolving perceptions of warriors, warfare, and warrior customs.

The Culture of Civil War in Kyoto

Author: Mary Elizabeth Berry
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520919033
Release Date: 1997-03-20
Genre: History

How do ordinary people respond to prolonged terror? The convulsion of Japan's "Warring States" period between 1467 and 1568 destroyed the medieval order and exposed the framework of an early modern polity. Mary Elizabeth Berry investigates the experience of upheaval in Kyoto during this time. Using diaries and urban records (extensively quoted in the text), Berry explores the violence of war, misrule, private justice, outlawry, and popular uprising. She also examines the structures of order, old and new, that abated chaos and abetted social transformation. The wartime culture of Kyoto comes to life in a panoramic study that covers the rebellion of the Lotus sectarians, the organization of work and power in commoner neighborhoods, the replotting of urban geography, and the redefinition of authority and prestige in the arena of play.

Hired Swords

Author: Karl F. Friday
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804726962
Release Date: 1996-03-01
Genre: History

Tracing the evolution of state military institutions from the seventh through the twelfth centuries, this book challenges much of the received wisdom of Western scholarship on the origins and early development of warriors in Japan. This prelude to the rise of the samurai, who were to become the masters of Japan's medieval and early modern eras, was initiated when the imperial court turned for its police and military protection to hired swords--professional mercenaries largely drawn from the elites of provincial society. By the middle of the tenth century, this provincial military order had been handed a virtual monopoly of Japan's martial resources. Yet it was not until near the end of the twelfth century that these warriors took the first significant steps toward asserting their independence from imperial court control. Why did they not do so earlier? Why did they remain obedient to a court without any other military sources for nearly 300 years? Why did the court put itself in the potentially (and indeed, ultimately) precarious situation of contracting for its military needs with private warriors? These and related questions are the focus of the author's study. Most of the few Western treatments see the origins of the samurai in the incompetence and inactivity of the imperial court that forced residents in the provinces to take up arms themselves. According to this view, a warrior class was spontaneously generated just as one had been in Europe a few centuries earlier, and the Japanese court was doomed to eventually perish by the sword because of its failure to live by it. Instead, the author argues that it was largely court activism that put swords in the hands of rural elites, thatcourt military policy, from the very beginning of the imperial state era, followed a long-term pattern of increasing reliance on the martial skills of the gentry. This policy reflected the court's desire for maximum efficiency in its military institutions, and the policy's succes

Heavenly Warriors

Author: William Wayne Farris
Publisher: Harvard Univ Council on East Asian
ISBN: 067438704X
Release Date: 1996-04-01
Genre: History

"In a government, military matters are the essential thing," said Japan's "Heavenly Warrior," the Emperor Temmu, in 684. Heavenly Warriors traces in detail the evolutionary development of weaponry, horsemanship, military organization, and tactics from Japan's early conflicts with Korea up to the full-blown system of the samurai. Enhanced by illustrations and maps, and with a new preface by the author, this book will be indispensable for students of military history and Japanese political history.

The Way of the Heavenly Sword

Author: Leonard A. Humphreys
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804723756
Release Date: 1995
Genre: History

The story of the bitter political struggles within a factionalized military elite, released in the 1920's from the constraints of the informal but unified system of Imperial leadership which had characterized the military in the Meiji era.

Tokugawa Ieyasu Shogun

Author: Conrad D. Totman
Publisher: Heian International Publishing Company
ISBN: 0893462101
Release Date: 1983
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Biography of one of Japan's most important leaders with descriptions of 17th century Japan.

Japan who Governs

Author: Chalmers A. Johnson
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393037398
Release Date: 1995
Genre: History

An economical analysis of Japan's current financial status notes its overall wealth during recessionary times, competitive industrial achievements, efficient and inexpensive social systems, and promising future.

Ecuador and the United States

Author: Ronn F. Pineo
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820337269
Release Date: 2010-05-29
Genre: Political Science

This history of relations between Ecuador and the United States is a revealing case study of how a small, determined country has exploited its marginal status when dealing with a global superpower. Ranging from Ecuador’s struggle for independence in the 1820s and 1830s to the present day, the book examines the misunderstandings, tensions, and--from the U.S. perspective--often unintended consequences that have sometimes arisen in relations between the two countries. Such interactions included U.S. efforts in Ecuador to stem yellow fever, build railroads, and institute economic reforms. Many of the two countries’ exchanges in the twentieth century stemmed from the global disruptions of World War II and the cold war. More recently, Ecuadorian and U.S. interests have been in contest over fishing rights, foreign development of Ecuadorian oil resources, and Ecuador’s emergence as a transit country in the drug trade. Ronn Pineo looks at these and other issues within the context of how the United States, usually preoccupied with other concerns, has often disregarded Ecuador’s internal race, class, and geographical divisions when the two countries meet on the global stage. On the whole, argues Pineo, the two countries have operated effectively as “useful strangers” throughout their mutual history. Ecuador has never been merely a passive recipient of U.S. policy or actions, and factions within Ecuador, especially regional ones, have long seen the United States as a potential ally in domestic political disputes. The United States has influenced Ecuador, but often only in ways Ecuadorians themselves want. This book is about the dynamics of power in the relations between a very large if distracted nation when dealing with a very small but determined nation, an investigation that reveals a great deal about both.

America s Forgotten Constitutions

Author: Robert L. Tsai
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674059955
Release Date: 2014-04-29
Genre: History

Robert Tsai's history invites readers into the circle of defiant groups who refused to accept the Constitution's definition of who "We the People" are and how their authority should be exercised. It is the story of America as told by dissenters: squatters, Native Americans, abolitionists, socialists, internationalists, and racial nationalists.

Vicarious Language

Author: Miyako Inoue
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520939069
Release Date: 2006-04-05
Genre: Literary Criticism

This highly original study provides an entirely new critical perspective on the central importance of ideas about language in the reproduction of gender, class, and race divisions in modern Japan. Focusing on a phenomenon commonly called "women's language," in modern Japanese society, Miyako Inoue considers the history and social effects of this language form. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in a contemporary Tokyo corporation to study the everyday linguistic experience of white-collar females office workers and on historical research from the late nineteenth century to 1930, she calls into question the claim that "women's language" is a Japanese cultural tradition of ancient origin and offers a critical geneaology showing the extent to which this language form is, in fact, a cultural construct linked with Japan's national and capitalist modernity. Her theoretically sophisticated, empirically grounded, interdisciplinary work brilliantly illuminates the relationship between culture and language, the nature of power and subject formation in modernity, and how the complex nexus of gender, language, and political economy are experienced in everyday life.