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Thread: History of Japan

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    History of Japan

    The history of Japan.

    I am a bit new to anime, only about a decade's worth, but with my fascination of the art has come the fascination of it's origin. So to feed this hunger of mine, I am asking any and all AO members what their suggestions are for text books, novels, bibliographies, biographies, television programs(Ex. 'History channel'), and just plain old history articles to fulfill my want for knowledge on the subject such as history, present, and the future of Japan.

    I would rather not read anything over the internet, however vast it may be; I am more of a book in hand type person and over the years of watching anime, my eye sight hasn't necesarrily become better and I don't want to push it any further.

    I am not looking for random google searches here, actual references with opinions and reviews from members, neither a million posts for WWII or wars in general..a few will suffic for major epics. This isn't the greatest subject for response so I don't expect many posts, but anything would prove to be a descent headstart before I start classes in the near future. Just aobut anything would be appreciated.



    I have no idea if this belongs in this category so please move it without hesitation if it doesn't.

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    Re: History of Japan

    There are multiple books which cover the known history of Japan from Japanese Paleolithic to now.

    Isn't there a library you can go to in your area?

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    Re: History of Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Hassun View Post
    There are multiple books which cover the known history of Japan from Japanese Paleolithic to now.

    Isn't there a library you can go to in your area?
    Absolutely, but I would like to get an opinion from others, and honestly the response I was looking for were from others who have come across this interest and have already done some reasearch and or participated in classes.

    As I stated before, I would rather not have random google searches given to me, mainly because any monkey could do a simple search on a subject. This also applied to "go to the library" as a suggestion as well. A little bit of guidance helps out a lot, and a bit of direction never hurts. As I recall, in college proffessors don't just tell students run to the nearest library and pick out a single book from the thousands and take a chance. They tend to provide what is needed to an extent.

    I am asking for the same thing here to an extent. What those used in order to get them a descent jumpstart and move them to the next level.

    Thanks for the library post though, but on a side note, no there isn't a library sufficient enough to fulfill my needs. Nobody reads anymore and everyone works minimum wage jobs in factories.

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    Re: History of Japan

    I study Japanese at university. Are you looking for anything specific?

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    Re: History of Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Hassun View Post
    I study Japanese at university. Are you looking for anything specific?
    Brother, I could read a few hundred books in a year and set to memory. Anything would be pretty descent, especially from the college courses. It would be a nice boost if you posted some titles or gave me some info on where a good start would be. Cliffnotes as you would for the college courses being taken.

    Considering anything specific, name off what you have covered, are currently, and perhaps what you will in the future, would be a good start. After that, google can fill in the random.

    I didn't expect much from this thread though, lots of people talk about anime, but when it comes to the country itself, a lot of ???? appear on the screen.

    In a few months I am transferring to a University and planning on getting the bachelors in international business and having Japanese as my major. It wouldn't hurt to get some background info and try to study what closely resembles that of the lessons recieved by actual Japanese students.

    Ever hear the jokes about how foreigners know more about America than Americans? I want to be the foreigner.

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    Re: History of Japan

    Well I abhor economics and business so I won't be of any help to you on that level. As for books, we don't usually use books but syllabi composed by the professors themselves. They of course get their material from numerous sources.

    Check out the Cambridge History of Japan. It's extremely detailed and a hefty read though. You can read some of it online with that new google books function thing.

    Another thing you could do is looking the articles up on Wikipedia and checking the sources.

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    Re: History of Japan

    Japanese History is rather dry and uninteresting when taken in one huge academic chunk. I would suggest you start where Japanese written history starts: The Nihon Shoki and the Kojiki. They're mainly myths, but they form the framework for an entire tradition of Japanese literature and are a slightly more pleasant introduction to Japanese History than diving into the 3 volume magnum opus most college students end up using as their history textbook.

    Each major period in Japanese history beyond the writing of those two texts has quite a few literary works characteristic of it, I would recommend reading some of those and read a bit about the time period in which they were written either online or by cross-referencing with a textbook (The Man'Yoshu, Tale of Genji, The Pillow Book, Tale of the Heike, Yoshitsune, Hagakure, Five Rings, Narrow Road to the Deep North, Tales of Times Now Past, Tosa Diary, Tales of an Amorous Man, Nanshoku Okagami, etc.)

    If you can read Japanese, there are also some excellent series' of historical manga aimed at children and at least one (sono toki rekishi ga ugoita) for adults.

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    Re: History of Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by tsurara View Post
    Japanese History is rather dry and uninteresting when taken in one huge academic chunk. I would suggest you start where Japanese written history starts: The Nihon Shoki and the Kojiki. They're mainly myths, but they form the framework for an entire tradition of Japanese literature and are a slightly more pleasant introduction to Japanese History than diving into the 3 volume magnum opus most college students end up using as their history textbook.

    Each major period in Japanese history beyond the writing of those two texts has quite a few literary works characteristic of it, I would recommend reading some of those and read a bit about the time period in which they were written either online or by cross-referencing with a textbook (The Man'Yoshu, Tale of Genji, The Pillow Book, Tale of the Heike, Yoshitsune, Hagakure, Five Rings, Narrow Road to the Deep North, Tales of Times Now Past, Tosa Diary, Tales of an Amorous Man, Nanshoku Okagami, etc.)

    If you can read Japanese, there are also some excellent series' of historical manga aimed at children and at least one (sono toki rekishi ga ugoita) for adults.

    The College editions are exactly what I am looking for. The rest don't interest me in the least actually. I am not one to find history uninteresting, especially when it involves the "dry and uninteresting". As you could tell, I wasn't looking for manga or "Japanese History for Dummies", but something as a starter in allowing me to ready myself for the college classes I tend to take in a few months. The Myths I can consider an obvious part of the literature and culture and are a must, but the history is what I am looking for.

    Thanks again, but what I am asking for is what I would like to have.

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