Japan Before Perry: A Short History by Conrad D. Totman

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The task for the historian of Japan is to capture the essence of successive ages while preserving human drama and illuminating the themes and patterns of society's development. In Japan Before Perry, Professor Totman examines the origins of Japanese civilization and explores in detail the classical, medieval, and early-modern epochs. The historical facts are woven into interpretations of the major themes in Japanese history. While studying these epochs he also describes the gradual emergence of increasing numbers of people onto the historic stage, the long-term transformation of the economy and the society, the spread of cultural sophistication, and the ultimate rise of Japanese "nationhood."

University of California Press, 1981.
ISBN: 9780520041349. 246 pp.
Softcover. Very good.