History

Books and materials related to all eras and aspects of Japanese history

  1. Lords of the Samurai

    Lords of the Samurai - The Legacy of a Daimyo Family
    Japan's samurai were professional soldiers, but they could also be cultivated artists, writers and philosophers. "Samurai" means "he who serves," and these fierce warriors acted in the service of powerful feudal lords known as daimyo ("great name"). Among the most important daimyo families were members of the Hosokawa clan, whose lineage dates back some six hundred years. Lords of the Samurai brings to life the code of the samurai and the private and public lives of the daimyo by focusing...
  2. Early Japanese Railways 1853-1914

    Early Japanese Railways 1853-1914 - Engineering Triumphs That Transformed Meiji-era Japan
    Early Japanese Railways 1853-1914 is a cultural and engineering history of railway building in Japan during the Meiji era. The importance of early railways in the industrialization of the United States and Europe is a fact all of us are familiar with. To witness the amazing parallel development of the railways in Japan, happening at much the same time as America was connecting its vast hinterland to the East and West coasts, is an eye-opening realization. Early Japanese Railways, tells...
  3. Castles of the Samurai

    Castles of the Samurai: Power and Beauty
    From the Publisher The castles of Japan are both technical and aesthetic marvels. They are technical marvels in that they are perfectly suited to their roles of defensive fortresses and administrative centers in time of war. They are aesthetic marvels in that every curve and line reflects an extraordinary sense of beauty. How these castles came about, how they were built, and what their ultimate fate was, all this is depicted in sensitive prose and eye-opening photography. The great period...
  4. Okinawa: The History of an Island People

    Okinawa: The History of an Island People is the definitive book available in English on the history of Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands, and an influential scholarly work in the field of Japanese studies. The histories of Japan, Okinawa, and the entire Pacific region are crucially intertwined; therefore the review of this fascinating chain of islands is crucial to understanding all of East Asia. Few people can point to Okinawa on a map, yet this tiny island sitting between China and Japan...
  5. Shingen - The Last Campaign, The Kai Takeda 6 (1569-1573)

    Shingen - The Last Campaign, The Kai Takeda 6 (1569-1573) (Saga of the Samurai)
    Shingen - The Last Campaign. In this, the final book on Shingen, the reader will take part in the last venture of one of the most colorful characters from the Middle Ages. Shingen's final campaign westward - towards the capital, Kyoto, clames most of the contents in this final chapter - his war with Oda and Tokugawa. Was it a genuine push towards the capital, or was it just one last military campaign for glory. The book deals also with topics like the maritime organization and a closer look...
  6. Shingen - The Conqueror; The Kai Takeda 5 (1559 - 1568)

    Shingen - The Conqueror; The Kai Takeda 5 (1559 - 1568) (Saga of the Samurai)
    Shingen - the Conqueror, takes the reader a further 10 years into the life of Shingen. In this volume the fighting in Shinano and Kozuke will be the main focus, but also other subjects will be presented. The kagemusha legend, the family codex for the Takeda clan, the shinobi (spy) network and also a look into the name Shingen - when did it come into public use. The book is filled with color plates, photographs, b/w illustrations and maps. All this in order to present the exciting 16th...
  7. Shingen in Command: The Kai Takeda 1549-1558

    Shingen in Command: The Kai Takeda 1549-1558 (Saga of the Samurai)
    Takeda Shingen's history, which began in Saga of the Samurai: Takeda Shingen, continues in Saga of the Samurai: Shingen in Command. The military exploits of one of the most famous Takeda clan leaders begins in 1549 and continues in this volume through 1558. This volume also explores the history behind and the battles of his war with Uesugi Kenshin from Kasugayama Castle in Echigo, a war that started in 1553 and would last eleven long years. The clashes between these powerful samurai lords...
  8. Takeda Shingen The Kai Takeda

    Takeda Shingen The Kai Takeda (1521-1548)
    Takeda Shingen is both the third book in the Saga of the Samurai series and the third installment in the history of the famous Takeda clan. In this book the saga of the Takeda continues with the introduction of the best known member of the Takeda Family, Takeda Shingen. Shingen's life was one of almost constant warfare, and his military campaigns have earned him renown among students of the Sengoku Period. Begining with his early years, continuing through his efforts to attain clan...
  9. Takeda Nobutora: The Kai Takeda 1494-1574

    Takeda Nobutora: The Kai Takeda 1494-1574 (Saga of the Samurai)
    Beginning where Takeda Rises to Power ends, Takeda Nobutora, the Unification of Kai, leads the reader into the Sengoku Jidai, one of the most turbulent periods of Japanese history. This 150-year period began with the Onin War, which lasted from 1467 to 1477. Families of all sizes battled during this time; usually until one of the families either surrendered or was destroyed. As this conflict grew in size its original causes were soon forgotten. During this time local lords and ji-samurai...
  10. Takeda Rises To Power

    The Kai Takeda (1130-1467)
    The Saga of the Samurai is a multi-volume series bringing to life the little-known histories of the key samurai families of importance during the Sengoku Jidai (1467-1615), a 150-year period of nearly constant strife within Japan. The first book explores the beginning, and early history of the Takeda family of Kai Province. In the West, this aristocratic clan is best known for it's charismatic and able leader Takeda Shingen, who lived during the sixteenth century. The general history of the...
  11. Gamô - The Struggle Begins

    Gamô - The Struggle Begins: The Ômi Gamô (940-1557)
    In this first volume of two on the Gamô clan from Ômi province, Terje Solum traces the family origin and follows the clan and its members through the turbulent centuries leading up to 1557. Along with the Gamô there is a lot of information on many other families from Ômi, the Asai, Sasaki, Rokkaku and Kyôgoku, even the warrior monks from Mount Hiei and families from neighbouring provinces such as the Asakura, Saitô and the Ashikaga. The book contains several colour plates, colour photos,...
  12. In Search of Japan's Hidden Christians

    A journey in both space and time, In Search of Japan's Hidden Christians recounts a clash of civilizations—of East and West—that resonates to this
    John Dougill's In Search of Japan's Hidden Christians sets out to document Japan's Hidden Christians before they fade to extinction, and also to find within their story a greater understanding of the Japanese. He succeeds brilliantly with both goals. Those who are interested in Japanese religion, history, and culture will likely be as fascinated as I was. Dougill is a professor of British studies who has been in Japan since 1986. The book's introduction to him says that he has “a special...
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