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The goal of the book is to show that the Tokugawa 'dark period' of Japanese economics wasn't really so dark after all and that comparing items like GDP with Western civilizations is an inappropriate In an innovative discussion that posits the importance of physical well-being as a key indicator of living standards, Susan B. University of California Pr Bolero Ozon.

Everyday Things in Premodern Japan: The Hidden Legacy of Material Culture

Everyday Things in Premodern Japan: The Hidden Legacy of Material Culture. Japan was the only non-Western nation to industrialize before and its leap into the modern era has stimulated vigorous debates among historians and social scientists. Ironic as it may sound, the end of the shogunate brought the "samuraisation" Hanley's term of the populace.


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On the surface Japan was modernising. In the home, it was samuraising.

True modernisation of home life didn't occur until after WWII. Jan 29, David rated it it was amazing.

A fascinating look at life in traditional Japan. What did people eat, how did they live, what were the consequences. For anyone contemplating writing historical fiction about Japan, this is a must as it gives good time lines that indicate when various features of Japanese culture arrived. It gives a technical understanding of how people lived --what they wore, what their buildings were like, what they ate, etc. Since I am focused on the Muromachi period, I now know that foundation stones were not A fascinating look at life in traditional Japan.

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Since I am focused on the Muromachi period, I now know that foundation stones were not common in that time period and as a result, houses would rot. I know that cotton was not available to the masses until Edo, and that this had serious hygiene consequences -- cotton can be cleaned and can be cleaned in boiling water which kills germs. I know that tiled roofing was rare, that pounded earth floors were common, I have thought about lighting for housing in the muromachi period, as well as heating and also what technologies were or were not available for dealing with the rainy season.

Also the related problems of delivering drinking water to cities as large as Edo and Kyoto were in the 17th century. All in all, an interesting cerebral exercise mostly because I was genuinely thinking about how people actually lived in the Muromachi period. Feb 11, Deborah rated it liked it Shelves: The focus of this book is not so much telling people how daily life was in premodern Japan but to back up the author's thesis about the reasons why Japan was able to industrialize so rapidly in comparison to the West. However, the information she gives to back her ideas up gives you a very detailed look of what life was like in the Tokugawa period.

The book can be a bit dry because it reads at times like a research paper, but it was very informative. The goal of the book is to show that the Tokugawa 'dark period' of Japanese economics wasn't really so dark after all and that comparing items like GDP with Western civilizations is an inappropriate way to measure it.

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It's a useful reference book that details social structure, clothing, housing and food. I used this for research while writing a novel and there are some interesting details that I haven't found elsewhere e. It's a The goal of the book is to show that the Tokugawa 'dark period' of Japanese economics wasn't really so dark after all and that comparing items like GDP with Western civilizations is an inappropriate way to measure it.

It's a good addition to the Tokugawa-era enthusiasts library, but you will need to supplement with other texts if you want a bigger picture. Dec 10, Susan Spann rated it really liked it Shelves: Great, informative book for anyone wanting to learn about common objects in medieval Japanese life.

Everyday things in premodern Japan: the hidden legacy of material culture

Sep 13, morning Os rated it really liked it Shelves: Very straightforward thesis and very interesting details. I would recommend this book to many people who have any vague interest in Japanese history.

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Dick Tinto rated it really liked it Jul 02, Jessica rated it liked it May 31, Kate rated it really liked it Jan 03, Miller rated it liked it Dec 27, Joshua rated it it was amazing Oct 01, By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. I accept this policy Find out more here. Cookies Shopping cart Help About Contact us. Brill Online Books and Journals.

Hanley, Everyday Things in Premodern Jap Hanley, Everyday Things in Premodern Japan: University of California Press, , xiv, pp.