From the tenth century onwards the emperors of Japan gradually lost
power. The local lords or clan chiefs waged ceaseless war against
each other, while the court, wholly steeped in Chinese culture,
seemed to take no further interest in the affairs of the nation. In
1191 the Minamoto clan mastered the disturbances and finally
imposed its rule. Hard work, respect for the hierarchy, the cult of
nationalism, a sense of self-sacrifice and duty - such was the new
trend. The Buddhist doctrine of Zen made its appearance. It gave
mystical support to the samurai, and the Japanese spirit was
henceforth directed towards a political and religious asceticism
which had an enormous influence on all aspects of art, thought and
daily life. An acknowledged authority on the 'classical' period of
Japanese history, the author reveals what the life of the Japanese
people was like during these five centuries, and shows how a
transformation of heart and mind produced a civilization as
original as it was profound.
|Country of origin:
||Routledge Library Editions: Japan
||Electronic book text
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