Japan Story: In Search of a Nation, 1850 to the Present

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Japan Story: In Search of a Nation, 1850 to the Present

Japan Story: In Search of a Nation, 1850 to the Present

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Why Should I Read This Book? A completely unique perspective on religion and international politics from one of Japan’s few Christian writers. Why Should I Read This Book? It is a gripping tale of crime and corruption, offering a thought-provoking exploration of Japanese society. Autobiographical and truthful to a fault, The Gossamers Years follows two decades in the life of its author, who goes by the nom de guerre Michitsuna no Haha (Michitsuna’s mother). Dissatisfied at occasionally playing second fiddle to her lordly husbands numerous wives and concubines – which was common for feudal aristocrats to have – the unnamed protagonist aims to subvert the marriage system of her day. The book’s feminist overtones are emotionally resonant in a way that few other works of millennia-old literature were ever achieved. Why Should I Read This Book? It provides a lens into the lives of aristocratic women during the Heian period.

Japanstorytravel | 日本 | Japanstorytravel

Why Should I Read This Book? A captivating crime novel that stands out with its complex characters, unexpected twists, and skillful storytelling. In 784, the capital moved briefly to Nagaoka-kyō, then again in 794 to Heian-kyō (modern Kyoto), which remained the capital until 1868. [49] Political power within the court soon passed to the Fujiwara clan, a family of court nobles who grew increasingly close to the imperial family through intermarriage. [50] Between 812 and 814 CE, a smallpox epidemic killed almost half of the Japanese population. [51] Few filmmakers in the pantheon of global cinema sit on as high a pedestal as Akira Kurosawa, the trailblazing auteur who brought us Rashomon, Yojimbo, and The Seven Samurai, and was credited as a major inspiration for the Spaghetti Western craze which engulfed Hollywood in the 1960s. In this anthology, translated by the great Japanophile Donald Richie, are three of Kurosawa’s most enduring works: Ikiru (1952), a Hemmingway-like story of a civil servant coming to terms with death; the Macbeth-inspired Throne of Blood (1957); and arguably the greatest of them all, The Seven Samurai (1954).

One of those city collections is The Book of Tokyo, a perfect introduction to the world of Japanese short story writing. The second story, Pregnancy Diary, details the feelings and experiences of a young woman as she watches her sister (and sister’s husband) go through a pregnancy. It’s unnerving and discomfiting at times, as all three tales in this Japanese story story collection are. Picnic in the Storm by Yukiko Motoya

10 Classic Japanese Stories | tsunagu Japan

Why Should I Read This Book? It is a thought-provoking reflection on the nature of identity and the importance of resistance. In 1156, a dispute over succession to the throne erupted and the two rival claimants ( Emperor Go-Shirakawa and Emperor Sutoku) hired the Taira and Minamoto clans in the hopes of securing the throne by military force. During this war, the Taira clan led by Taira no Kiyomori defeated the Minamoto clan. Kiyomori used his victory to accumulate power for himself in Kyoto and even installed his own grandson Antoku as emperor. The outcome of this war led to the rivalry between the Minamoto and Taira clans. As a result, the dispute and power struggle between both clans led to the Heiji rebellion in 1160. In 1180, Taira no Kiyomori was challenged by an uprising led by Minamoto no Yoritomo, a member of the Minamoto clan whom Kiyomori had exiled to Kamakura. [62] Though Taira no Kiyomori died in 1181, the ensuing bloody Genpei War between the Taira and Minamoto families continued for another four years. The victory of the Minamoto clan was sealed in 1185, when a force commanded by Yoritomo's younger brother, Minamoto no Yoshitsune, scored a decisive victory at the naval Battle of Dan-no-ura. Yoritomo and his retainers thus became the de facto rulers of Japan. [63] Heian culture [ edit ] A handscroll painting dated c. 1130, illustrating a scene from the "Bamboo River" chapter of The Tale of Genji Each of the three tales in this Japanese short story collection is written in a different literary style. One is a dream sequence; another is a grounded piece of biographical auto-fiction; and the third is something in-between, defined by its off-centre narration.Even when focusing on beauty, Mishima never strays far from anguish. In The Temple of The Golden Pavilion, stuttering protagonist Mizoguchi becomes an acolyte at Kyoto’s famous Golden Pavilion temple, where he obsesses over the aesthetics of the structure in reaction to the torment of his own childhood. Loosely based on a true story, this pioneering work was one of the primary catalysts in Yukio Mishima’s rise to literary stardom. The Paleolithic Period in Japan is variously dated from 30,000 to 10,000 years ago, although the argument has been made for a Lower Paleolithic culture prior to 35,000 bce. Nothing certain is known of the culture of the period, though it seems likely that people lived by hunting and gathering, used fire, and made their homes either in pit-type dwellings or in caves. No bone or horn artifacts of the kind associated with this period in other areas of the world have yet been found in Japan. Since there was no knowledge whatsoever of pottery, the period is referred to as the Pre-Ceramic era. During the early Heian period, the imperial court successfully consolidated its control over the Emishi people of northern Honshu. [58] Ōtomo no Otomaro was the first man the court granted the title of seii tai-shōgun ("Great Barbarian Subduing General"). [59] In 802, seii tai-shōgun Sakanoue no Tamuramaro subjugated the Emishi people, who were led by Aterui. [58] By 1051, members of the Abe clan, who occupied key posts in the regional government, were openly defying the central authority. The court requested the Minamoto clan to engage the Abe clan, whom they defeated in the Former Nine Years' War. [60] The court thus temporarily reasserted its authority in northern Japan. Following another civil war–the Later Three-Year War– Fujiwara no Kiyohira took full power; his family, the Northern Fujiwara, controlled northern Honshu for the next century from their capital Hiraizumi. [61] Why Should I Read This Book? It’s a rulebook on the way of the warrior from Japan’s greatest ever warrior.

Japanese Books of All Time - Japan Objects 65 Best Japanese Books of All Time - Japan Objects

Why Should I Read This Book? It is a wildly clever, amusing and unique collection of notes on imperial life more than 1000 years ago. Historians agree that there was a big struggle between the Yamato federation and the Izumo Federation centuries before written records. [29] Classical Japan [ edit ] Asuka period (538–710) [ edit ] Buddhist temple of Hōryū-ji is the oldest wooden structure in the world. It was commissioned by Prince Shotoku and represents the beginning of Buddhism in Japan. Compare “The Hachiro Lottery”, which is only quietly odd, to “Grandpa Shadows”, the short story of a man with two shadows, one far more sinister than the other. The sinister shadow has a habit of attaching itself to another person for days at a time as a kind of curse. Dragon Palace by Hiromi Kawakami Main article: Heian period Miniature model of the ancient capital Heian-kyō Later Three-Year War in the 11th century Most of the spaces presented here are either similar to our own, and the protagonist thinks and behaves in a way that doesn’t fit, or they are scary worlds that our protagonist cannot function in.Why Should I Read This Book? It is one of the most calmly and quietly aesthetic novels ever written. Why Should I Read This Book? It is a chilling and suspenseful thriller that explores the depths of human depravity and existential dread. First generation Japanese American Takashi Matsuoka fuses his Japanese blood with his American upbringing in this long and winding narrative which follows an eclectic cast of characters, both Japanese and colonial, during the last days of the Edo period. Japan has opened its doors to the West. The shogun faces revolt. A young warlord with rumored powers of foresight has ingratiated himself to a band of Christian missionaries. One of the great samurai of the era has embarked on a blood-soaked frenzy. All of these factors and more combine to tell a tale of clashing traditions, both trivial and enduring, that feels true to the struggles of late Edo. Cloud of Sparrows also perfectly tees up its sequel, Autumn Bridge, which expands further upon the cross-cultural saga. Kazuo Ishiguro, born in Japan but raised in the UK, has written two books set in Japan. His second novel, An Artist of the Floating World, is his most complex and political novel, following the later years of an aged artist who disgraced himself by drawing propaganda posters for the Japanese empire during World War II. In a post-war world, he is shunned but still living, and trying to grapple with his past, his art, and his choices. There are fewer books as moving as this masterpiece by one of Japan’s Nobel Prize winners.

Japan Family In Law - Father in law and daughter in law in Japan Family In Law - Father in law and daughter in law in

Why Should I Read This Book? It offers a rare and intimate glimpse into the secretive and enchanting world of geisha. Taro Hirai, more commonly known by his penname, Edogawa Rampo (or “Edgar Allen Poe” in Japanese), was one of the most influential figures in early 20th-century Japanese mystery fiction; so much so, that an award given out every year by the Mystery Writers of Japan bears his name. Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination is Rampo’s greatest collection, featuring nine surrealist thrillers, from the story of a chair maker who buries himself inside a sofa to the tale of a man who creates an eerie chamber of mirrors. These leaders sought and received formal diplomatic recognition from China, and Chinese accounts record five successive such leaders as the Five kings of Wa. Craftsmen and scholars from China and the Three Kingdoms of Korea played an important role in transmitting continental technologies and administrative skills to Japan during this period. [28] The stories charm, soothe, serenade. They are calming, beautiful, warm tales of love and family and history. Better known as Lafcadio Hearn, Koizumi Yakumo was to the Japanese ghost story what the Grimm Brothers were to European fairytales: a pioneering collector and publisher of long-lost folklore. After settling in Matsue, a castle town on Japan’s western coast, in the late 1800s, he married the daughter of a declassee samurai family, became enraptured by Japanese ghost stories, or kaidan (thanks in part to his deeply troubled childhood), and was eventually anointed as a Japanese subject under the name Koizumi Yakumo. Though he was more a recounter of supernatural fiction than a creator, he believed deeply in the power of these age-old narratives and portrayed them in startling prose that remains just as gripping well over a century later. His collection, Japanese Ghost Stories, is the gold-standard of the genre.The Pre-Ceramic era was followed by two better-recorded cultures, the Jōmon and the Yayoi. The former takes its name from a type of pottery found throughout the archipelago; its discoverer, the 19th-century American zoologist Edward S. Morse, called the pottery jōmon (“cord marks”) to describe the patterns pressed into the clay. A convincing theory dates the period during which Jōmon pottery was used from about 10,500 until about the 3rd century bce. Of the features common to Neolithic cultures throughout the world—progress from chipped tools to polished tools, the manufacture of pottery, the beginnings of agriculture and pasturage, the development of weaving, and the erection of monuments using massive stones—the first two are prominent features of the Jōmon period, but the remaining three did not appear until the succeeding Yayoi period. Pottery, for example, first appeared in northern Kyushu (the southernmost of the four main Japanese islands) about 10,500 bce, in an era that is called the Incipient Jōmon period. While continental influence is suspected, the fact that Kyushu pottery remains predate any Chinese findings strongly suggests that the impetus to develop pottery was local. Jōmon is thus best described as a Mesolithic culture, while Yayoi is fully Neolithic.



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