1330), Takuma Joko (ca. 1380), and perhaps Takuma Eiga (late fourteenth century)
This large, beautiful and indispensable volume...is a detailed but concise guide to Japanese history from its beginnings until now, filled with general information but with a particular emphasis on religion and the arts. It contains a detailed chronology as well as a concise bibliography. (Donald Richie Japan Times )
"Knowing Japan and the Japanese better," Louis Frederic states in the introduction to this encyclopedia, "is one of the necessities of modern life." The Japanese have a profound knowledge of every aspect and detail of Western societies. Unfortunately, we in the West cannot say the same about our knowledge of Japan. We tend to see Japan through a veil of exoticism, as a land of ancient customs and exquisite arts; or we view it as a powerful contributor to the global economy, the source of cutting-edge electronics and innovative management techniques. To go beyond these cliches, we must begin to see how apparently contradictory aspects of modern Japanese culture spring from the country's evolution through more than two millennia of history. This richly detailed yet concise encyclopedia is a guide to the full range of Japanese history and civilization, from the dawn of its prehistory to today, providing clear and accessible information on society and institutions, commerce and industry, sciences, sports, and politics, with particular emphasis on religion, material culture, and the arts. The volume is enhanced by maps and illustrations, along with a detailed chronology of more than 2,000 years of Japanese history and a comprehensive bibliography. Cross-references and an index help the reader trace themes from one article to the next. Japan Encyclopedia will be an indispensable one-volume reference for students, scholars, travelers, journalists, and anyone who wishes to learn more about the past and present of this great world civilization.
"Japan is not just the items we import; it is also a history, a people, art and literature, towns and countryside, climates, families, and more. It would be both illusory and vain to try to understand the essence of Japan through the cliched images of Sumo wrestlers, martial-arts combatants, geisha, women in kimono, and Zen monks. The reality of Japan also includes crafts and traditional industries, and is based on religions, customs, beliefs--an entire way of life--that are foreign to us. Although it is evolved from an ancient civilization, we must not lose sight of the fact that throughout its history, Japan has been resolutely turned toward the future--a future that concerns that country, of course, but also all of us." --From the Introduction