Title: Japan: History of Japan: The Most Important People, Places and Events in Japanese History. From Japanese Art to Modern Manga. From Asian Wars to Modern Superpower
Author: Rui Kanda
Publisher: Lean Stone Publishing
Date of Publication: 15 June 2017
Genre: Self- Help
In this crisp guide Rui Kanda provides some vital information and clarifies misconceptions about the land of anime, geishas and samurais.
This short handbook elucidates in a chronological order the main events that have transformed Japan into the superpower that it is today. The book begins by elaborating about the three dynasties of the ancient period namely Jomon, Yaoyi and Kofun. It may come as a surprise but Japan has been subjected to numerous waves of Chinese and Korean immigrants. The ‘Shinto’ religion gave way to Buddhism as Japan entered into the Asuka period. Slowly but steadily Japan has been able to constitutionalise its tradition and culture. It has seen the rise of Samurais that have served as brand ambassadors of Japanese culture worldwide. Like the Samurais, Japan has become famous for its strength and meditative dedication. The book traces each period of Classical and modern Japan to the tee.
Each of the chapters end with Fun Facts and Questionnaires. Further Misconceptions are clarified in curt bullet points. Kanda mentions the foundation of the modern Japanese nation as a clash of various contradictory clans. Gory wars ripped apart the country but in turn aided in spreading Zen Buddhism. It is interesting to know the various formations and groupings that the clans made in their fierce combat against their opponents. The author uses interesting parallels between ninjas and Persian Hashshashin(s) to explain the similarities and differences which provides a better picture of the whole culture.
Though the book is loaded with information it can tend to being tedious and monotonous. Readers may find it difficult to process so much information at one time. It is easy to read but takes quite some patience especially for those who are already unfamiliar with Japanese terminology. Skimming through is not a good idea as each sentence is full of data and missing out on any of it breaks the flow of an otherwise methodical narrative. If the Choice Were Yours section makes one think differently about the flow of historical events and makes the reader place himself in history regardless of whether he’s Japanese or of some other nationality. Many may find the book too bland and factual. All throughout there is little description, commentary or the author’s added viewpoints.
Despite the challenges of feudalism, imperialism, the effects of WWII and constant threats of natural calamities, Japan has stood through all hurdles and become a global superpower. It is this perseverance in the face of odds and resilience to difficulties that gives Japan the sense of high dignity which is commendable and worth replicating. The book is a good one time read for those who may be planning a trip to Japan or for those who’re hoping to ace a quiz on Japanese history.
Click the book cover to grab your copy. Happy Reading!