Since it was first published more than forty years ago, "Sources
of Japanese Tradition," Volume 2, has been considered the
authoritative sourcebook for readers and scholars interested in
Japan from the eighteenth century to the post-World War II period.
Now greatly expanded to include the entire twentieth century, and
beginning in 1600, "Sources of Japanese Tradition" presents
writings from modern Japan's most important philosophers, religious
figures, writers, and political leaders. The volume also offers
extensive introductory essays and commentary to assist in
understanding the documents' historical setting and significance.
Wonderfully varied in its selections, this eagerly anticipated
expanded edition has revised many of the texts from the original
edition and added a great many not included or translated before.
New additions include documents on the postwar era, the importance
of education in the process of modernization, and women's
Beginning with documents from the founding of the Tokugawa
shogunate, the collection's essays, manifestos, religious tracts,
political documents, and memoirs reflect major Japanese religious,
philosophical, social, and political movements. Subjects covered
include the spread of neo-Confucian and Buddhist teachings,
Japanese poetry and aesthetics, and the Meiji Restoration. Other
documents reflect the major political trends and events of the
period: the abolition of feudalism, agrarian reform, the emergence
of political parties and liberalism, and the Sino-Japanese and
Russo-Japanese wars. The collection also includes Western and
Japanese impressions of each other via Western religious missions
and commercial and cultural exchanges. These selections underscore
Japanese and Western apprehension of and fascination with each
As Japan entered the twentieth century, new political and social
movements-Marxism, anarchism, socialism, feminism, and
nationalism-entered the national consciousness. Later readings in
the collection look at the buildup to war with the United States,
military defeat, and American occupation. Documents from the
postwar period echo Japan's struggle with its own history and its
development as a capitalist democracy.
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