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Paperback Culture of Civil War in Kyoto Book

ISBN: 0520208773

ISBN13: 9780520208773

Culture of Civil War in Kyoto

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

How do ordinary people respond to prolonged terror? The convulsion of Japan's "Warring States" period between 1467 and 1568 destroyed the medieval order and exposed the framework of an early modern polity. Mary Elizabeth Berry investigates the experience of upheaval in Kyoto during this time.Using diaries and urban records (extensively quoted in the text), Berry explores the violence of war, misrule, private justice, outlawry, and popular uprising...

Customer Reviews

2 ratings


The writer takes an interesting approach to history, looking for oddities in the historical record and then thinking them through. The result is she brings alive life in Kyoto during the diificult years of the 16th century.

Thorough and fascinating view of late-medieval Kyoto

This book is a bit of a paradox. Working with incomplete primary sources, Mary Elizabeth Berry has put together a remarkably textured and complete picture of Kyoto in the late Medieval period of Japan. The book examines the fate of 'classical' Kyoto, the political and economic changes of the time, and shows a view not commonly seen in historical Japan: that of the urban commoners who had to live underneath and among the Samurai. Well worth reading for anyone who wants a much better understanding of the period, and of Japanese history in general. The only things that keep the book from being perfect are Ms. Berry's tendency to repeat herself in order to emphasize a point, and a lack of good maps. It makes the book somewhat longer than it probably needs to be, and also somewhat dry. Best consumed in small chunks with time for reflection in between.
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