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The History of Japan (The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations) Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0313302961 ISBN-10: 0313302960 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Series: The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood Press; First Edition edition (June 30, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313302960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313302961
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,055,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Perez holds the attention of secondary school students and a general public with this topical, readable history of the country....This eminently accessible reference will be useful to students needing current information on Japan, and readable for a young history buff.... Highly Recommended.”–The Book Report

“The strength of this book lies above all in its clear and concise treatment of cultural, religious, and intellectual trends. Among the highlights of the work are the author's informed and accessible discussions of Shinto and Buddhism in early Japan, of Neo-Confucianism and its adaption in the Tokugawa period, and of the arts and popular culture in Japan today--the latter of which instructors in introductory college courses might profitably assign. Perez also pays more attention to the history of Japanese women than do most survey writers and incorporates colorful anecdotes from Japanese social history.”–The Journal of Asian Studies

“This volume is suitable for the circulating collections of public and school libraries.”–American Reference Books Annual

About the Author

LOUIS G. PEREZ is Professor of Japanese History at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful book on the history of Japan. When I looked at this book, it was because I was looking for a history of Japan (I love studying it), but I didn't want anything huge or too dry (though a little bit of that is to be expected in nearly any history book). So I picked up this volume, and was surprisingly pleased. This version of Japan's history is fairly conscise (only a couple hundred pages), and yet manages to give a pretty detailed rundown of the history. There are larger, even more detailed books on Japan's history (READ: George Samson), but this a wonderful, wonderful primer if you want to have a basic understanding of Japanese history. It goes all the way from ancient days (the Ainu and the migration of today's Japanese into Japan) up to post-World War II and present day. The book is also fairly current (only two or three years old). If you're looking for an history which will provide you with a comprehension of Japanese history in fairly short order, buy this book. Also handy as a reference for people studying Japan. ~
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm researching Japan for a business project in school. Had I not read a certain quote I will cite later in this review I would have given this book a 5 star with no question. This book is an easy read, it's informative, it's exciting, and it's a history book that kept me interested. Most of us are aware that history books omit or distort real history. I found myself confirming if the history in this book is true. I tend to think that the history in here is the real one, but the author's motives should be taken with a grain of salt.

Especially having read the following, "Feudalism, misogyny, national seclusion, religious persecution, philosophical intolerance, and social bigotry are only the top of a long list of social, political, and economic ills perpetuated by a repressive military aristocracy. But too often we have also criticized this era for what it was not. It was not "modern"; it was not democratic; it was not universal in its thinking; it was not Western; it was not Christian; in short, it was not like whatever ultimate social goal good people aspire to." (71)

Clearly, this is an opinionated perspective on Japan before the 1700's and it's a blatant one. It's unfortunate that the author published his personal opinion in a beautiful book. I lost a lot of respect for the author after reading that, but I did learn a lot about the history of Japan by reading this book.
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By Aubrey on January 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this for my sister who was very happy to receive it. Course it was on her wish list, so that was expected.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This item does a good job as a light reference source for the subject. As such, it doesn't go into sufficient detail to qualify as a "history of Japan".
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful By I. Bruckner on January 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Book arrived quickly. I paid a few more dollars than I could have paid at the on-campus bookstore, but it was worth it for the convenience.
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