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Home arrow eBook Categories arrow History arrow Learning from Shogun: Japanese History and Western Fantasy

Learning from Shogun: Japanese History and Western Fantasy

eBooks - History
December 14 2007

Learning from Shogun: Japanese History and Western Fantasy, Free eBook, Asiaing.comLearning from Shogun: Japanese History and Western Fantasy, Edited by Henry
Smith, Program in Asian Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, California 93106), 1980. Free Download, PDF format.

About Shogun: Shōgun (将軍, shōgun) is a military rank and historical title in Japan. The modern rank is equivalent to a Generalissimo. As a title, it is the short form of sei-i taishōgun (征夷大将軍:せいいたいしょうぐん, sei-i taishōgun?), the governing individual at various times in the history of Japan, ending when Tokugawa Yoshinobu relinquished the office to Emperor Meiji in 1867.

A shogun's office or administration is known in English as a "shogunate" or in Japanese as a bakufu (幕府:ばくふ, bakufu?), the latter of which literally means "an office in the tent", and originally meant "the house of a general", then suggests a "private government". The tent is symbolic of the field commander but also denoted that such an office was meant to be temporary.

(From wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Download Learning from Shogun: Japanese History and Western Fantasy

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This book is intended for those who have read James Clavell’s Shogun and who are curious about its educational significance as “A Novel of Japan.” Although Sh��gun, with its generous serving of sex, violence, and intrigue, is in the mainstream of current popular entertainment, it is set apart by a certain instructional tone. For one thing, Shogun provides a wealth of factual information about Japanese history and culture, information which is probably new to the majority of its readers. But Shogun is informative in a prescriptive sense as well, since the gradual acceptance of Japanese culture by the hero Blackthorne bears the clear implication that the West has something to learn from Japan....


Elgin Heinz is a consultant on the preparation of educational materials about Asia. He is a former teacher of Asian studies at the high school level, and was a member of a team which wrote Opening Doors: Contemporary Japan (The Asia Society, New York, 1979).

William LaFleur teaches Buddhism and Japanese thought in the Department of Oriental Languages at UCLA. Mirror for the Moon (New Directions) is his translation of poems by Saigyo, a monk of twelfth-century Japan. He is currently working on a book entitled The Karma of Words: Buddhism and the Literary Arts in Medieval Japan.

Susan Matisoff is an associate professor in the Department of Asian Languages at Stanford University, where she has taught since 1972. She is the author of The Legend of Semimaru, Blind Musician of Japan, and her research centers on the Muromachi through Tokugawa periods with a particular interest in drama, oral and folk literature, and popular culture.

Chieko Mulhern is associate professor of Japanese language and literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of Koda Rohan, a literary biography of a modern Japanese writer, and of “Cinderella and the Jesuits: An Otogizoshi Cycle as Christian Literature” (Monumenta Nipponica, Winter 1979). She is currently editing a volume entitled Female Heroes of Japan.

Sandra Piercy is a graduate student in English history of the Tudor-Stuart period at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation, “The Cradle of Salvation: Domestic Theology in Early Stuart England,” is in progress. She is also co-editor of King, Saints, and Parliaments: A Sourcebook for Western Civilization, 1050-1715.

David Plath is professor of anthropology and Asian studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For two decades he has been studying modern Japanese lifeways, and his latest book on the subject is Long Engagements: Maturity in Modern Japan, issued by Stanford University Press in 1980.

Henry Smith teaches Japanese history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His current interest is the history of urban culture in Japan, and he has recently written “Tokyo and London: Comparative Conceptions of the City” (in Albert Craig, ed., Japan: A Comparative View). He is currently preparing a book entitled Views of Edo: Transformations in the Japanese Visual World, 1700-1900.

Ronald Toby is assistant professor of history and Asian studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches Japanese history. Part of his current research on the interaction between domestic politics and foreign relations in the Tokugawa period has been published as “Reopening the Question of Sakoku; Diplomacy in the Legitimation of the Tokugawa Bakufu,” Journal of Japanese Studies, vol. 3, no. 2 (1977).

Visit Henry Smith's Home Page

Henry D. Smith, II

A.B. (History). Yale University, 1962

A.M. (Regional Studies, East Asia). Harvard University, 1964.

Ph.D. (History and Far Eastern Languages), Harvard University, 1970. Dissertation: "Student Radicals in Prewar Japan."

Comments (1)add comment

renee lawless said:

what was a shogun in japanese history and what was his role
March 26, 2009

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