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History Recommended books on Japanese History

By JREF, Mar 1, 2017 | |
  1. JREF
    This list comprises some of the foremost resources on Japanese history. While they are largely in English, notable works in other languages are listed as well. These resources will be continually updated.

    1. Japanese History in general
      • Beasley, William G., The Japanese Experience. A Short History of Japan; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999
      • The Cambridge History of Japan, John W. Hall et al. 6 vol. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989-1999
      • Mason, R. H. P. u. John G. Caiger, A History of Japan; Rutland, Vermont; Tōkyō: Tuttle, 1997
      • Morton, W. Scott, Olenik, J. Kenneth, Japan: Its History and Culture; McGraw-Hill 2004
      • Reischauer, Edwin O. u. Albert M. Craig, Japan. Tradition and Transformation; Tōkyō: Tuttle, 1978
      • Sansom, George B., A History of Japan; 3 vols Tōkyō: Tuttle, 1974
      • Totman, Conrad, A History of Japan; Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2000
    2. Modern history
      • Beasley, William G., The Rise of Modern Japan. Political, Economic and Social Change since 1850; New York; St. Martin's Press, 1990
      • Buruma, Ian, Inventing Japan: 1853-1964; Modern Library Chronicles, 2003
      • Jansen, Marius B., The Making of Modern Japan; Cambridge, Mass.; London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000
      • McClain, James L., Japan A Modern History; New York; London: W. W. Norton and Company, 2002
      • Sims, Richard, Japanese Political History since the Meiji Renovation, 1868-2000; London: Hurst and Company, 2001
    3. Asuka, Heian and Nara Period
      • Barnes, Gina L., Protohistoric Yamato. Archaeology of the First Japanese State; Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies, 1988
      • Haku, Junko, Ancient Jōmon of Japan; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004
      • Morris, Ivan J., The World of the Shining Prince. Court Life in Ancient Japan; Tōkyō: Tuttle, 1978.
    4. Kamakura and Muromachi Period
      • Deal, William E., Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan; New York: Facts on File, 2006
      • McCullough, Helen Craig, The Heike Monogatari; Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1988
    5. Azuchi-Momoyama Period
      • Berry, Mary Elizabeth, The Culture of Civil War in Kyōto; Berkeley; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press, 1994
      • Totman, Conrad D., Tokugawa Ieyasu, Shōgun. A Biography; San Francisco: Heian International, 1983
      • Turnbull, Stephen, The Samurai Source Book; Davis Publications, 2000
    6. Edo Period
      • Bodart-Bailey, Beatrice M., The Dog Shogun. The Personality and Policies of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi; Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006
      • Bolitho, Harold, Treasures among Men. The Fudai Daimyô in Tokugawa Japan; New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1974
      • Hillsborough, Romulus, Shinsengumi: The Shogun's Last Samurai Corps; Tuttle 2005
      • Katsu Kokich, Mutsui´s Story. The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai; Teruko Craig (ed.). Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1988
      • Shiba, Ryōtarō, The Last Shogun: The Life of Tokugawa Yoshinobu; Kodansha 2004
      • Totman, Conrad D., Politics in the Tokugawa Bakufu, 1600-1843; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967
      • Totman, Conrad D., Early Modern Japan; Berkeley, Calif. et al.: University of California Press, 1993
    7. Meiji Restoration
      • Beasley, William G., The Meiji Restoration; Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1972
      • Craig, Albert M.: Chōshū in the Meiji Restoration; Second ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1973
      • Jansen, Marius B. (ed.), The Emergence of Meiji Japan; Cambridge University Press, 2006
      • Jansen, Marius B.: Sakamoto Ryōma and the Meiji Restauration; New York: Columbia University Press, 1994
      • Miyoshi, Masao, As We Saw Them. The First Japanese Embassy to the United States (1860); Berkeley, L.A.; London: University of Berkeley Press, 1979
      • Ravina, Mark, The Last Samurai. The Life and Battles of Saigō Takamori; Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley, 2004
      • Totman, Conrad, The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu, 1862-1868; Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1980
      • Wilson, George M., Patriots and Redeemers in Japan. Motives in the Meiji Restoration; Chicago; London: The University of Chicago Press, 1992
    8. Meiji Era
      • Beasley, William G., Japanese Imperialism, 1894-1945; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987
      • Fujitani, Takashi, Splendid Monarchy. Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan; Berkeley; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press, 1996
      • Keene, Donald, Emperor of Japan. Meiji and His World, 1852-1912; New York: Columbia University Press, 2002
    9. Taisho and early Showa Period
      • Bix, Herbert P., Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan; New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2000
      • Dickinson, Frederick R., War and National Reinvention: Japan in the Great War, 1914-1919; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999
      • Iriye Akira, Power and Culture. The Japanese-American War 1941-1945; Cambridge, Mass.; London: Harvard University Press, 1981
    10. Occupation
      • Dower, John W., Embracing Defeat : Japan in the Wake of World War II; New York: W.W. Norton, 1999
      • Ruoff, Kenneth J., The People's Emperor. Democracy and the Japanese Monarchy 1945-1995; Cambridge, Mass.; London: Cambridge University Press, 2001
    • Other languages
      • Inoue Kiyoshi, Geschichte Japans; 2. Auflage Frankfurt a. Main: Campus, 1995
      • Naumann, Nelly, Die Mythen des alten Japan; München: C. H. Beck, 1996

    Cover image: ukiyo-e by Watanabe Nobukazu (渡辺延一, 1872-1944)

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