By Kenneth G. Henshall

ISBN-10: 1403912726

ISBN-13: 9781403912725

In a unprecedented mixture of entire assurance and sustained severe concentration, this publication examines jap heritage in its entirety to spot the criteria underlying the nation's development to superpower prestige. Japan's fulfillment is defined no longer only in financial phrases, yet at a extra primary point, as a made of old styles of reaction to condition. Japan is proven to be a kingdom traditionally impelled through a realistic choice to prevail. The booklet additionally highlights unresolved questions and little-known facts.

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Additional resources for A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower (2nd Edition)

Sample text

Respectable citizens who ordinarily wore hats and shoes now went barefooted begging from Of Courtiers and Warriors 33 house to house. … And by the walls and in the highways you could see everywhere the bodies of those who had died of starvation. And as there was none to take them away, a terrible stench filled the streets. With the combination of natural disasters and the Genpei (MinamotoTaira) War it must certainly have seemed to many that the world was being turned upside-down, and perhaps that the final phase of humankind predicted in mappo was indeed imminent.

The recipient of legitimacy may in turn confer legitimacy on those below them, and so on. It is in one sense a diffusion of responsibility, and in another a hierarchical ordering of authority. Yoritomo provides an especially clear example of the process. Mainly because of this need for legitimacy – but also partly because it has long been a practice in Japan to maintain some degree of continuity with the past amidst change – his government was a mixture of old and new. It became known as the bakufu (tent headquarters), a term used of the headquarters of commanders in the field, and in theory was merely the military arm of the imperial central government.

Meanwhile, in the real world, provincial warriors – the early samurai – were growing ever more powerful. Their power grew in proportion to the loss of power by the central government. A main cause behind this change in the power structure was the continuing increase in private land ownership. 17 Much of this private land was exempt from tax, meaning a serious decrease in taxation revenue for the government. Private land could be acquired in a number of ways, including purchase, but most importantly by the opening up of virgin land.

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A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower (2nd Edition) by Kenneth G. Henshall

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