Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan
andbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan spans the beginning of the Kamakura period in 1185 through the end of the Edo (Tokugawa) period in 1868. The medieval and early modern eras in Japan were largely shaped by the rise of the warrior class. After 1603, with the founding of the Tokugawa shogunate, Japanese culture changed dramatically, but as cities grew and merchants thrived, the warrior class became less dominant. By the end of the Edo period, Japan's insular feudal society and military government became irrelevant in an increasingly consumer-oriented economy and thriving urban culture. The contribution of military rulers, celebrated warriors, and cultural innovators to medieval and early modern Japanese culture are well documented. However, life at the village level also had a strong impact on the culture. Covering both levels of society, this comprehensive guide provides insightful information on well-known people and peasants, artisans, shopkeepers, and others outside the periphery of power. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan introduces the reader to the significant people and events-cultural, social, political, and historical-and the everyday experiences and elements of material culture during this time. Organized thematically, the text covers: History; Land, Environment, and Population; Government; Society and Economy; Warriors and Warfare; Religion; Philosophy, Education, and Science; Language and Literature; Performing Arts; Art and Architecture; Travel and Communication; Daily Life. Each chapter includes an extensive bibliography, and photographs and maps complement the text. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan provides all the essential information for anyone interested in Japanese history, society, or culture.