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Publisher's Summary

A classic of Japanese history, this audiobook is the preeminent work on the history of Japan. Newly revised and updated, A History of Japan is a single-volume complete history of the nation of Japan. Starting in ancient Japan during its early pre-history period, A History of Japan covers every important aspect of history and culture through feudal Japan to the post-Cold War period and collapse of the bubble economy in the early 1990s. Recent findings shed additional light on the origins of Japanese civilization and the birth of Japanese culture.   

Also included is an in-depth analysis of the Japanese religion, Japanese arts, Japanese culture, and the Japanese people from the sixth century BC to the present. This contemporary classic, now updated and revised, continues to be an essential work in Japanese studies.  

A History of Japan, Revised Edition includes:  

  • Archaic Japan - including Yamato, the creation of a unified state, the Nana Period, and the Heian period.  
  • Medieval Japan - including rule by the military houses, the failure of Ashikaga rule, Buddhism, and the Kamakura and Muroachi periods.  
  • Early modern Japan - including Japanese feudalism, administration under the Tokugawa, and society and culture in early modern Japan.  
  • Modern Japan - including the Meiji era and policies for modernization, from consensus to crisis (1912-1937), and solutions through force.  

This contemporary classic continues to be a central work in Japanese studies and is a vital addition to the collection of any student or enthusiast of Japanese history, Japanese culture, or the Japanese language.

©1997 R. H. P. Mason and J. G. Caiger (P)2018 Tantor

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What listeners say about A History of Japan

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Very informative

This book gives a full and detailed review of Japan’s history, covering major events and cultural aspects that have shaped the nation we see today. As a former student of ancient Japan, I particularly enjoyed the coverage of pre-modern periods, and was captivated throughout. My only criticism would be the pronunciation of Japanese names and words, often jarring to this speaker of Japanese. I would recommend this book to anybody interested in Japan’s history.

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  • John
  • 04-06-2019

Great re pre 19th century, but

Great re pre 19th century, but weak after that. strong on art, religion, literature etc

8 people found this helpful

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  • Dr. Tola
  • 07-01-2020

Toe-koo-guh-wuh

I like how it’s constructed but it took me multiple repeated rewinds to understand he was mispronouncing Tokugawa so painfully it made my teeth ache

4 people found this helpful

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  • Alina
  • 18-09-2019

Underwhelming?

A trove of interesting facts, but it feels incomplete. The narrator has a good cadence, but his Japanese seems severely lacking. I listened to the Great Courses series of lectures on Japan before this, and I feel I was much better able to pay attention to that.

4 people found this helpful

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  • A. Weber
  • 08-03-2019

Content great - pronunciation not so much

The narrator’s erratic japanese word pronunciation - and complete lack of a director or production guidance on the matter - didn’t destroy the book for me. It definitely detracted. Words like Tokugawa were read as “To-KUU-ga-wa”. Ka-bu-KEEEY. There are countless other examples. It led me to distrust his pronunciation of words I didn’t know and question words I did know when his pronunciation actually matched. Good in depth writing. Perspectives I hadn’t considered. Loved the writing. Narration was great EXCEPT for erratic Japanese word/place name/etc pronunciation. And it’s such an easy fix. It’s as irksome as listening to a book on George Washington and hearing it said over and over and over as “Wa-SHEENG-tun.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Jesse Street
  • 13-12-2019

Good Synopsis on Japan’s History.

I have been studying the history and culture of Japan quite extensively for about two years now, and this book is a great start for anyone curious about the history of Japan. This audiobook hits all of the key points in Japanese history from the Jomon era, to the modern era. Anyone interested in garnering a greater understanding of the history of this unique and wonderful nation should add this audiobook to their library.

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  • Stephen Astin
  • 30-11-2020

Dull and uninformative

The problem with this book is the author clearly cares more about japanese art and poetry than he does about Japanese history. Japanese civil wars, nobunaga who seemed to be their version of Julius Ceasar, their wars with korea? He will spend less time on any of these subjects than he will on explaining Japanese kabuki theater. You won't learn anymore about Japanesee history than if you go read about it on Wikipedia and it will be done in a tenth of the time. The narrator was fine, but couldn't do much as the content itself read like a textbook going by the numbers with little actual interest or passion. Which based of the introduction that is exactly what it is

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  • Eric Gage
  • 17-11-2020

More a reference volume than an audio book.

The book is useful as a broad introductory overview of Japanese history, and would help newcomers identify specific topics for further study. Despite my interest in the subject, I struggled through this book. Originally published in 1979, the language is unnecessarily wordy and awkward. The book comes to an abrupt close after the post war reconstruction. I think this book would make a very handy reference volume for would-be students of Japanese history and culture. As an audio book, it can be challenging to follow.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-09-2020

Very good

Informativo as history books are supposed to be. Good way of showing the múltiples aspects of Japan.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-08-2020

Good but showing its age

Well told and well organized history. Unfortunately, it does betray its age in some instances, especially when it down plays the Showa Emperor's culpability for the Pacific War.

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  • Nico Vela
  • 16-05-2020

An interesting listen.

This is an interesting listen that allows us a survey history of Japan. The narration is easy and allows us a listen to understand the pronunciation. While the book itself is rather short, the information contained within allows us a basic understanding of the broad history of Japan.

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  • Manish
  • 09-05-2019

Japan

There aren't many audio books or even books on Japanese history in English. This is one of the few that encompasses the totality of Japanese history. As such it is a bit Japan-lite. There is little detail on early Japanese history particularly the Tokugawa reign. It is a bit better on more recent history from the 1920s onwards but again it is a bit sparse on analysis. Overall a good introduction to Japanese history but more detail would have been better.

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  • Mr Gavin Trevor Peach
  • 14-11-2020

Japanese History Overview

Good detailed overview of Japanese History. Interesting and certainly increased my knowledge of the country.

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  • knitter
  • 03-08-2019

Fascinating

It's a really good introduction to a fascinating culture.But it's a bit like by winder and full of names and dates.

1 person found this helpful

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