Search results for: sugawara-no-michizane-and-the-early-heian-court

Sugawara No Michizane and the Early Heian Court

Author : Robert Borgen
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Winner of the 1990 American Historical Association's James Henry Breasted Prize. A great book for anyone interested in the Heian period of Japan.

The Heian Court Poetry as World Literature

Author : Edoardo Gerlini
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Gateway to Japan

Author : Bruce L. Batten
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A thousand years ago, most visitors to Japan would have arrived by ship at Hakata Bay, the one and only authorized gateway to Japan. Hakata was the location of the Kôrokan, an official guest-house for foreign visitors that is currently yielding its secrets to the spades of Japanese archaeologists. Nearby was Dazaifu, the imperial capital of western Japan, surrounded by mountain fortresses and defended by an army of border guards. Over the ages, Hakata was a staging ground for Japanese troops on their way to Korea and ground zero for foreign invasions of Japan. Through the port passed a rich variety of diplomats, immigrants, raiders, and traders, both Japanese and foreign. Gateway to Japan spotlights four categories of cross-cultural interaction—war, diplomacy, piracy, and trade—over a period of eight hundred years to gain insight into several larger questions about Japan and its place in the world: How and why did Hakata come to serve as the country’s "front door"? How did geography influence the development of state and society in the Japanese archipelago? Has Japan been historically open or closed to outside influence? Why are Japanese so profoundly ambivalent about other places and people? Individual chapters focus on Chinese expansionism and its consequences for Japan and East Asia as a whole; the subtle (and not-so-subtle) contradictions and obfuscations of the diplomatic process as seen in Japanese treatment of Korean envoys visiting Kyushu; random but sometimes devastating attacks on Kyushu by Korean (and sometimes Japanese) pirates; and foreign commerce in and around Hakata, which turns out to be neither fully "foreign" nor fully "commerce" in the modern sense of the word. The conclusion briefly traces the story forward into medieval and early modern times. Enriched by fascinating historical vignettes and dozens of maps and photographs, this engagingly written volume explores issues not only important for Japan’s early history but also highly pertinent to Japan’s role in the world today. Now, as in the period examined here, Japan has one principal entry point (the international airport at Narita); its relationship with the outside world (both East and West) is ambivalent; and, while sometimes astonishingly open-minded, Japanese are at other times frustratingly exclusive in their dealings with non-Japanese. Gateway to Japan will be of substantial interest to all students of Japan, East Asia, and intercultural studies.

Genshin s j y sh and the Construction of Pure Land Discourse in Heian Japan

Author : Robert F. Rhodes
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The Ōjōyōshū, written by the monk Genshin (942–1017), is one of the most important texts in the history of Japanese religions. It is the first comprehensive guide to the doctrine and practice of Pure Land Buddhism written in Japan and so played a pivotal role in establishing this form of Buddhism in the country. In Genshin’s Ōjōyōshū and the Construction of Pure Land Discourse in Heian Japan, the first book in English on the Ōjōyōshū in more than forty years, Robert F. Rhodes draws on the latest scholarship to shed new light on the text, its author, and the tumultuous age in which it was written. Rhodes begins by providing substantial discussion on the development of Pure Land Buddhism before the Ōjōyōshū’s appearance and a thorough account of Genshin’s life, the full details of which have never before been available in English. Japan in the tenth century was marked by far-reaching political, social, and economic change, all of which had a significant effect on religion, including the emergence of numerous new religious movements in Kyoto. Pure Land was the most popular of these, and the faith embraced by the Tendai scholar Genshin when he became disaffected with the growing factionalism at Enrakuji, Tendai’s central temple. A significant portion of Rhodes’ study is a wide-ranging examination of the Ōjōyōshū’s Pure Land teachings in which he describes and analyzes Genshin’s interpretations of Pure Land cosmology and nenbutsu practice. For Genshin the latter encompassed an extensive range of practices for focusing the mind on Amida Buddha—from the simple recitation of Namu Amidabutsu (“recitative nenbutsu”) to the advanced meditative practice of visualizing the buddha (“meditative nenbutsu”). According to the Ōjōyōshū, all of these are effective means for ensuring birth in Amida’s Pure Land. This impressively researched and updated treatment of the formative text in the Japanese Pure Land tradition will be welcomed by all scholars and students of Japanese religions. It also offers a fascinating window into Heian (794–1185) religious life, which will be of interest to anyone concerned with medieval Japan.

Critical Readings on Pure Land Buddhism in Japan

Author : Galen Amstutz
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Pure Land was one of the main fields of mythopoesis and discourse among the Asian Buddhist traditions, and in Japan of central cultural importance from the Heian period right up to the present. The pieces reproduced in this set have been chosen as linchpin works accentuating the diversity and evolution of Pure Land Buddhism. These selections of previously published articles will serve as an essential starting-point for anyone interested in this perhaps underestimated area of Buddhist studies.

The Cambridge History of Japan

Author : Delmer M. Brown
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This volume provides the most comprehensive treatment in Western literature of the Heian period, the Japanese imperial court's golden age.

Gale Researcher Guide for Japan The Heian Period

Author : Mark Thomas McNally
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Gale Researcher Guide for: Japan: The Heian Period is selected from Gale's academic platform Gale Researcher. These study guides provide peer-reviewed articles that allow students early success in finding scholarly materials and to gain the confidence and vocabulary needed to pursue deeper research.

Heian Japan Centers and Peripheries

Author : Mikael S. Adolphson
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This exceptionally rich set of essays substantially advances our understanding of the Heian era, presenting the period as more fascinating, multi-faceted, and integrated than it has ever been before. This volume marks a turning point in the study of early Japanese culture and will be indispensable for future explorations of the era. —Andrew Edmund Goble, University of Oregon "As a Japanese historian, I enthusiastically recommend Heian Japan, Centers and Peripheries, the first multi-author English-language academic work to offer a synthetic treatment of the Heian period. Japan’s emperor system is the last remaining sovereignty of its kind in human history, and this volume is indispensable when considering what sovereignty itself means in the present. To that end, the classical patterns established in the Heian period are superbly analyzed in this volume through the dual approach of ‘centers and peripheries.’" —Hotate Michihisa, Historiographical Institute, University of Tokyo The first three centuries of the Heian period (794–1086) saw some of its most fertile innovations and epochal achievements in Japanese literature and the arts. It was also a time of important transitions in the spheres of religion and politics, as aristocratic authority was consolidated in Kyoto, powerful court factions and religious institutions emerged, and adjustments were made in the Chinese-style system of ruler-ship. At the same time, the era’s leaders faced serious challenges from the provinces that called into question the primacy and efficiency of the governmental system and tested the social/cultural status quo. Heian Japan, Centers and Peripheries, the first book of its kind to examine the early Heian from a wide variety of multidisciplinary perspectives, offers a fresh look at these seemingly contradictory trends. Essays by fourteen leading American, European, and Japanese scholars of art history, history, literature, and religions take up core texts and iconic images, cultural achievements and social crises, and the ever-fascinating patterns and puzzles of the time. The authors tackle some of Heian Japan’s most enduring paradigms as well as hitherto unexplored problems in search of new ways of understanding the currents of change as well as the processes of institutionalization that shaped the Heian scene, defined the contours of its legacies, and make it one of the most intensely studied periods of the Japanese past. Contributors: Ryûichi Abé, Mikael Adolphson, Bruce Batten, Robert Borgen, Wayne Farris, Karl Friday, G. Cameron Hurst III, Edward Kamens, D. Max Moerman, Samuel Morse, Joan R. Piggott, Fukutò Sanae, Ivo Smits, Charlotte von Verschuer.

Traditional Japanese Literature

Author : Haruo Shirane
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Haruo Shirane's critically acclaimed Traditional Japanese Literature: An Anthology, Beginnings to 1600, contains key examples of both high and low styles of poetry, drama, prose fiction, and essays. For this abridged edition, Shirane retains substantial excerpts from such masterworks as The Tale of Genji, The Tales of the Heike, The Pillow Book, the Man'yoshu, and the Kokinshu. He preserves his comprehensive survey of secular and religious anecdotes (setsuwa) as well as classical poems with extensive commentary. He features no drama; selections from influential war epics; and notable essays on poetry, fiction, history, and religion. Texts are interwoven to bring into focus common themes, styles, and allusions while inviting comparison and debate. The result is a rich encounter with ancient and medieval Japanese culture and history. Each text and genre is enhanced by extensive introductions that provide sociopolitical and cultural context. The anthology is organized by period, genre, and topic—an instructor-friendly structure—and a comprehensive bibliography guides readers toward further study. Praise for Traditional Japanese Literature: An Anthology, Beginnings to 1600 "Haruo Shirane has done a splendid job at this herculean task."—Joshua Mostow, University of British Columbia "A comprehensive and innovative anthology.... All of the introductions are excellent."—Journal of Asian Studies "One of those impressive, erudite, must-have titles for anyone interested in Asian literature."—Bloomsbury Review "An anthology that comprises superb translations of an exceptionally wide range of texts.... Highly recommended."—Choice "A wealth of material."—Monumenta Nipponica

The Boundless Sea

Author : David Abulafia
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"David Abulafia's new book guides readers along the world's greatest bodies of water to reveal their primary role in human history. The main protagonists are the three major oceans-the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian-which together comprise the majority of the earth's water and cover over half of its surface. Over time, as passage through them gradually extended and expanded, linking first islands and then continents, maritime networks developed, evolving from local exploration to lines of regional communication and commerce and eventually to major arteries. These waterways carried goods, plants, livestock, and of course people-free and enslaved-across vast expanses, transforming and ultimately linking irrevocably the economies and cultures of Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas"--