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  • What are some sources for Japanese history?

    I need sources for research.
    Websites, books ect.
    and also available citations.
    many thanks....

  • #2
    What and Why?

    Are you expecting us to write your thesis for you? Give us more info' please on why you want this and what is the question?

    try wikipedia as well.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by KhawMengLee
      What and Why?

      Are you expecting us to write your thesis for you? Give us more info' please on why you want this and what is the question?

      try wikipedia as well.
      Sorry in a hurry...
      I tried wikipedia though. I just need a couple of reliable current sources that talk about the Age of warring states, Tokukawa Hideyoshi, Musashi(if possible).
      Im just writting a speech about it and don't whant to sound stupid again.

      Comment


      • #4
        Warring states or Sengoku Jidai. Three main guys you need to know about:

        1) Oda Nobunaga, the guy that laid the groundwork to unify Japan. He basically crushed all opposition and was considered ruthless and evil(look at depictions of Nobunaga in popular culture in Japan). He was notoriously associated with the burning of the temple complex on Mt Hiei(sic). Though his methods were harsh it was the only way to unify Japan. Nobunaga was assasinated by one of his own Generals in an act of betrayal. He was succeeded by his top General Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

        2) Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a commoner who went from being Nobunaga's sandal bearer to his top General. Nicknamed 'saru'(monkey) by Nobunaga, he went on to unifying Japan but could not maintain his title because of his common blood. When he died the country went back into civil war with Tokugawa Ieyasu finally becoming Shogun and the supreme ruler of Japan.

        3) Tokugawa Ieyasu, was originally a hostage of Nobunaga. One of the ways of ensuring loyalty was to have your Lord's children as "guests" on your estates. They were more hostages, treated extremely well, allowed to be schooled in the military arts etc but if any trouble is started by your parent...off with your head!

        Ieyasu was such a hostage. He later became a general for Nobunaga and then served under Toyotomi. When Toyotomi passed away it was basically between his son and Ieyasu. The final battle of sekigahara between the two factions saw Ieyasu triumphant and finally made Shogun of Japan. Ieyasu was part of the Matsudaira family who could trace their line back to the Emperor so his claim to the title was ensured.

        Do a wiki search on the 3 guys for more info...as its been a while since I read up on this.

        Incidentally, Musashi fought at Sekigahara but he was on the loosing side.

        Two good books to read on the subject(They are both Historical fiction) are "Musashi" and "Taiko" by Eiji Yoshikawa. Taiko is about the three men discussed above with a heavy emphasis on Hideyoshi.

        Well, that should get you started...Good hunting!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Saraito
          I need sources for research.
          Websites, books ect.
          and also available citations.
          many thanks....
          I just returned a bunch of great books to my Sensei. I'll try and find out what they were.

          Comment


          • #6
            Look for books by Conrad Tottman, Paul Varley... and I can't remember any other authors off-hand. If I remember any, I'll post again.

            Comment


            • #7
              I wouldn't bother with Yoshikawa's books if you want any semblance of historical accuracy.

              For Musashi you could read Wiliam Scott Wilson's "Lone Samurai" or Kenji Tokitsu "Musashi - His Life And Writings" I preferred the latter.

              Also reading Go Rin No Sho is not a bad idea I suppose. Don't expect to come to any conclusions from that though.

              Stephen Turnbull wrote a few good books on general Japanese History, although I dont recall the titles.

              Romulous Hillsborough's latest book on the Shinsengumi is a pretty good read if you are interested in the last days of the Tokugawa Bakufu.

              You should really narrow down your talk to a specific subject, and concentrate on that. Japanese history is pretty complicated, so a talk on the general Sengoku Jidai period would be difficult to pull off in any detail.

              Good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ZealUK
                I wouldn't bother with Yoshikawa's books if you want any semblance of historical accuracy.
                Yeah, but its a nice way to get a 'feel' of the subject. Unfortunately, James A. Michener hasn't written any on Japanese subjects.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Arigato...

                  Thanks for all your help you've all madee it very easy on me I just gave my speech and i did pretty well. I even got a goot reaction and interaction from my audiance. You have my thanks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ZealUK

                    Stephen Turnbull wrote a few good books on general Japanese History, although I dont recall the titles.

                    .
                    If I remember rightly they were called "Samurai: A Military History" and "The Samurai Sourcebook".

                    The first book covers everything from the origins of the Japanese warrior class, all the way through the battles between the Heike and Genji clans, the Onin War, Sengoku Jidai and concludes with events just after the Meiji Restoration, all told in a well written narrative. The second book is like an encyclopedia of the samurai.

                    I realise this is a bit late in the day to help with the speech but there you go.
                    Last edited by Mokujin77; 17th May 2006, 12:37 AM.

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                    • #11
                      http://www.thebrassclimaxltd.com/ima...ine-3Qview.jpg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KhawMengLee
                        Yeah, but its a nice way to get a 'feel' of the subject. Unfortunately, James A. Michener hasn't written any on Japanese subjects.
                        Yeah, and he's not likely to considering he died nine years ago. Don't confuse fiction authors for historians. As for DVD's and anime - don't even think they try to convey history.

                        For the definitive history of Japan in English there is nothing more comprehensive than Sir George Sansom's three-volume "A History of Japan". Volume 2 (Stanford University Press, 1992), ISBN: 0804705259, covers the years 1334-1615.

                        A more recent alternative is a biography that is also a history: Mary Elizabeth Berry's "Hideyoshi" (Cambridge: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1982), ISBN 0674390261. She wrote two decades after Sansom and so benefits from a great deal of original scholarship in the interim.

                        Of course this reponse comes well after your presentation was due. Still, consider it as advice on great references for your own knowledge beyond the immediate requirements of schoolwork.
                        Last edited by yoda-waza; 3rd June 2006, 03:07 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by yoda-waza
                          . . .Don't confuse fiction authors for historians. . . .
                          Even as far back as Livy and Salust and Tacitus, historical writing was often seen more as a literary work than a scholarly one. Some "historical fiction" is good history, just spiced up a bit with a "story". Otherwise it is just a list. On such and such a date, so and so did whatever.
                          I remember back in my school days big arguments about Robert Graves (I Claudius, Claudius the God) as to whether we should even bother reading historical novels. Sometimes the "history" is good and it is entertaining.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Saraito
                            Im just writting a speech about it and don't whant to sound stupid again.
                            Glad to hear the speech went well - what happened last time?

                            Comment

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