Japan’s History – A Book Review

Are you looking for a very good book, one which will help you learn about the history of Japan? If so, there is a very good book I would like to recommend to you, one which is in my personal library, and one that I believe will give you with the overview you need to understand modern Japan. If you don’t understand the history – you probably won’t understand the culture, people, or even how Japan came to be what it is today – the name of the book is;”A History of Japan – From Stone Age to Superpower” by Kenneth G. Henshall, professor of Japanese studies at the University of Waikato, New Zealand; Published by St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1999. ISBN: 0-312-21986-5.This is a complete history book of Japan from ancient times, including all of their ancient myths to the present, or the year 2000. It takes us from the very earliest of inhabitants, which are thought to be circa 13,000 BC and all the way through this Stone Age of hunter gatherers. This book is broken into six parts in all. Part two takes us through 700 to 1600 BC where the reader will learn about the Nara, Heian, the warrior state or the Kamakura Period, and the Muromachi Period, as well as the Azuchi-Momoyama Period.In part three we learn about a closed country, drawn inwardly between 1600 and 1868, and in part four we watch as the nation of Japan is building into a modern country. We watch the economic development as well as the war and the politics. In part five we watch the preparation for war and the lead up to the war; and finally the war itself, which changed the Japanese Empire forever.Lastly, in this six part we see the incredible resurgence of a strong people who rebuilt their country into the second largest economic power house on the planet, something incredible for an island nation. You will understand why the Japanese are so proud, and how Japan came to be. I would recommend reading this book prior to reading any history in the last decade in Japan. This way you will have an overview, you can understand that context better. Indeed, hope you will please consider all this.

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