Traces the history of Japanese civilization from legendary times through the end of the Shogunate in the nineteenth century
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Gr 6-10--This history of Japan commences with the appearance of humans on these islands and ends with the Meiji restoration, 10,000 B.C.E. to 1868 C.E. An introduction discusses national characteristics of the people, while the remaining eight chapters present the major periods of Japanese history and civilization. Great pains have been taken to represent Japanese viewpoints as well as traditional Euro-American ones. Substantial quotations from Japanese sources ranging from old chronicles and government documents to poetry and diaries are included. Coupled with Nardo's lively style, the result is an amazingly full and vivid account. Few history texts can lay claim to such high standards of lucidity and absorbing writing. Rarely, too, can such a fine text have been so utterly betrayed by the sloppiness of its illustrations. Pictures are mostly reproductions of paintings and prints with a few photos of historical sights. Many are anachronistic: a scribe and Fujiwara court ladies, among others, are illustrated with Edo period pictures (a millenium later and radically different in costume). Some are inaccurately captioned: courtesans are often passed off as ``polite Japanese society'' or the ``well to do.'' Others are just plain wrong: a ``land battle'' said to be between Japanese and Mongols is a well-known lithograph of fighting between Russians and Mongols. Finally, there is a picture of Confucius in which every detail is wrong, down to the gibberish and musical staves that supposedly represent Sino-Japanese writing.
John Philbrook, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Lucent Books, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1560062444