|About the Book|
A specialist in European history, wishing to deepen his knowledge of the Japanese background, should not fail to seek out this book, for it is a passport to an initial understanding of an age that is visibly linked to some extent with the modernMoreA specialist in European history, wishing to deepen his knowledge of the Japanese background, should not fail to seek out this book, for it is a passport to an initial understanding of an age that is visibly linked to some extent with the modern civilization of Japan. —English Historical ReviewIt is almost impossible to find ways to praise this work which its producers have not already thought of themselves, and they are telling the truth. . . . The genius of Professor Hall, an overpowering force in the construction of such studies on modern and Tokugawa Japan, is evident once more. —Pacific AffairsThe Muromachi age may well emerge in the eyes of historians as one of the most seminal periods in Japanese history. So concluded the participants in the 1973 Conference on Japan. The proceedings, as edited for this volume, reveal this new interpretation of the Muromachi age (1334-1573), which was among the most neglected and misunderstood chapters in Japanese history. Both Western and Japanese scholars looked upon the period chiefly as an interlude between a classical era (the Heian period) and an early modern age (the Tokugawa period), the interim being regarded as a time of social confusion and institutional decay. As they learned more, historians saw the Muromachi age giving rise to new patterns that became important elements in a distinctly Japanese tradition- e.g., the arts of noh drama, suiboku painting, landscape gardening and the tea ceremony were perfected during Muromachi times.The volume brings together the work of Japanese and American specialists and shows that many features of Edo-period culture were anticipated by Muromachi developments. Although the volume was first published nearly three decades ago, it remains of great interest for anyone wanting to know more about Japans historical development.