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HIST 374: Premodern Japanese History: Secondary Sources

Secondary Sources

Suggested sources (provided by Prof. Eiji Okawa)


Survey and multi-era works

Haruko Wakita, et al., Women and class in Japanese history

Conrad Totman, A history of Japan

The Cambridge History of Japan (*multi-volume series covering all eras with chapters written by established historians of each period)

John Whitney Hall, Government and local power in Japan, 500-1700, a study based on Bizen province

Mikiso Hane and Louis G. Perez, Premodern Japan: a historical survey

S.N. Eisenstadt, Japanese civilization: a comparative view


Shinto, Myths

Helen Hardacre, Shinto: a history

Mark Teeuwen and John Breen, A new history of Shinto

Mark Teeuwen and John Breen, Shinto in history: ways of the kami

Michael Como, Weaving and binding: immigrant gods and female immortals in ancient Japan

David T. Bialock, Eccentric spaces, hidden histories narrative, ritual, and royal authority from The chronicles of Japan to The tale of the Heike

Herman Ooms, Imperial politics and symbolics in ancient Japan: the Tenmu dynasty, 650-800


Ancient era

J. Edward Kidder, Himiko and Japan’s elusive chiefdom of Yamatai

Gina Lee Barnes, Protohistoric Yamato: archaeology of the first Japanese state

Barnes, State formation in Japan: emergence of a 4th-century ruling elite

Barnes, Archaeology of East Asia: the rise of civilization in China, Korea, and Japan

William Wayne Farris, Sacred texts and buried treasures: issues in the historical archaeology of ancient Japan

Anne Commons, Hitomaro: poet as god

Joan R. Piggott, The emergence of Japanese kingship

Piggott, ed., Capital and countryside in Japan, 300-1180: Japanese historians in English

Gary Ebersole, Ritual poetry and the politics of death in early Japan


Foreign relations and trade

Bruce Batten, To the ends of Japan: premodern frontiers, boundaries, and interactions

Batten, Gateway to Japan: Hakata in war and peace, 500-1300

Zhenping Wang, Ambassadors from the islands of immortals: China-Japan relations in the Han-Tang period

Charlotte von Verschuer, Across the perilous sea: Japanese trade wit China and Korea from the seventh to the sixteenth centuries

Kawazoe Shoji, “Japan and East Asia,” trans., in Cameron Hurst, Cambridge History of Japan, vol.3

Jurgis Elisonas, “The inseparable trinity: Japan’s relations with China and Korea,” Cambridge History of Japan, vol.4

Derek Massarella, A world elsewhere: Europe’s encounter with Japan in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

Adam Clulow, The company and the shogun: the Dutch encounter with Tokugawa Japan

Ronald Toby, State and diplomacy in early modern Japan: Asia in the development of the Tokugawa bakufu

C.R. Boxer, The Christian century in Japan, 1549-1650

Marius Jansen, China in the Tokugawa world



Robert Borgen, Sugawara no Michizane and the early Heian court

Doris G. Bargen, A women’s weapon: spirit possession in the Tale of Genji

Richard Stanley-Baker, Reading the Tale of Genji: its picture-scrolls, texts and romance

Andrew Pekarik, Ukifune: love in The tale of Genji

Janet R. Goodwin, Selling songs and smiles: the sex trade in Heian and Kamakura Japan

Barbara Stevenson, ed., Crossing the bridge: comparative essays on medieval European and Heian Japanese women writers

Paul Gordon Schalow, A poetics of courtly male friendship in Heian Japan

Matsumoto, et al, eds., Heian Japan: centers and peripheries

Joshua S. Mostow, Courtly Visions: the Ise stories and the politics of cultural appropriation

Margaret H Childs, “The value of vulnerability: sexual coercion and the nature of love in Japanese court literature.The Journal of Asian Studies, 55/4 (Nov 1999)

Peter Nickerson, “The meaning of matrilocality: kinship, property, and politics in mid-Heian.” Monumenta Nipponica (1993)

G. Cameron Hurst, Insei: abdicated sovereigns in the politics of late Heian Japan, 1086-1185



Margaret Helen Childs, Rethinking sorrow: revelatory tales of late medieval Japan

Elizabeth Oyler, Swords, oaths, and prophetic visions: authoring warrior rule in medieval Japan

Christina Laffin, Rewriting medieval Japanese women: politics, personality, and literary production in the life of nun Abutsu

Lori Meeks, Hokkeji and the reemergence of female monastic order in premodern Japan

William Wayne Farris, Japan’s medieval population: famine, fertility, and warfare in a transformative age (also in print book!)

Farris, Japan to 1600: a social and economic history (also in print book!)

Farris, Heavenly warriors: the evolution of Japan’s military, 500-1300

Michael F. Marra, Representations of power: the literary politics of medieval Japan

Jeffrey P. Mass, The development of the Kamakura rule

Mass, Warrior government in early medieval Japan

Mass, Lordship and inheritance in early medieval Japan

Mass, Yoritomo and the founding of the first Bakufu

Mass, ed. The origins of Japan’s medieval world: courtiers, clerics, warriors, and peasants in the fourteenth century

Mass, ed., Court and bakufu in Japan: essays in Kamakura history

Hitomi Tonomura, Community and commerce in late medieval Japan: the corporate village of Tokuchin-ho

Donald Keene, Yoshimasa and the silver pavilion: the creation of the soul of Japan

Neil McMullin, Buddhism and the state in sixteenth-century Japan

Carol Richmond Tsang, War and faith: Ikko ikki in late Muromachi Japan

Morgan Pitelka, Japanese tea culture         

Thomas Conlan, From sovereignty to symbol: an age of ritual determinism in fourteenth century Japan

Conlan, State of war: the violent order of fourteenth-century Japan

Conlan, In little need of divine intervention: Takezaki Suenaga’s scrolls of the Mongol invasions of Japan

Conlan, Weapons and fighting techniques of the Samurai warrior

Lee Butler, Emperor and aristocracy in Japan, 1467-1680

Paul Varley, Warriors of Japan as portrayed in the war tales

Varley, Imperial restoration in medieval Japan

Varley, The Onin war: history of its origins and backgrounds with a selective translation of the Chronicle of Onin

Marius Jansen, ed., Warrior rule in Japan

John Whitney Hall, ed. Japan before Tokugawa: political consolidation and economic growth, 1500-1650

Karl Friday, Samurai, warfare and the state in early medieval Japan

Gordon Mark Berger, ed. Currents in medieval Japanese history

John Whitney Hall, et al., eds., Medieval Japan: essays in institutional history

Suzanne Marie Gay, The moneylenders of late medieval Kyoto


Early Modern

Conrad Totman, Early modern Japan

Gail Lee Bernstein, Recreating Japanese women, 1600-1945

William R. Lindsey, Fertility and pleasure: ritual and sexual values in Tokugawa Japan

Haruko Nawata Ward, Women religious leaders in Japan’s Christian century

Peter F. Kornicki, et al., eds., The female as subject: reading and writing in early modern Japan

Mary Elizabeth Berry, Hideyoshi

Berry, Japan in print: information and nation in the early modern period

Luke Roberts, Performing the great peace: political space and open secrets in Tokugawa Japan

Roberts, Mercantilism in a Japanese domain

Laura Nenzi, Excursions in identity: travel and the intersection of place, gender, and status in Edo Japan

Marcia Yonemoto, Mapping early modern Japan

Nakane Chie, Tokugawa Japan: the social and economic antecedents of modern Japan

Amy Stanley, Selling women: prostitution, markets, and the household in early modern Japan

David Howell, Geographies of identity in nineteenth-century Japan

Howell, Capitalism form within: economy, society, and the state in a Japanese fishery

Dani Botsman, Punishment and power in the making of modern Japan

Peter Nosco, ed., Confucianism in Tokugawa culture

Dorothy Ko, et al., Women and Confucian cultures in premodern China, Korea, and Japan

Peter Flueckiger, Imagining harmony: poetry, empathy, and community in mid-Tokugawa Confucianism and nativism

Peter Nosco, Remembering paradise: nativism and nostalgia in eighteenth-century Japan

Harold Bolitho, Bereavement and consolation: testimonies from Tokugawa Japan

Herman Ooms, Tokugawa ideology

Ooms, Charismatic bureaucrat: a political biography of Matsudaira Sadanobu, 1758-1829

Stephen Vlastos, Peasant protests and uprisings in Tokugawa Japan

J. Victor Koschmann, The Mito ideology: discourse, reform, and insurrection in late Tokugawa Japan, 1790-1864

James White, Ikki: social conflict and political protest in early modern Japan

John Whitney Hall, ed., Studies in the institutional history of early modern Japan

Mark Ravina, Land and lordship in early modern Japan

Anne Walthall, Social protest and popular culture in eighteenth-century Japan

Walthall, Peasant uprisings in Japan: a critical anthology of peasant histories

Tetsuo Najita, Japanese thought in the Tokugawa period

Wilburn Hansen, When tengu talk: Hirata Atsutane’s ethnography of the other world

John Whitney Hall, Tanuma Okitsugu, 1719-1788, forerunner of modern Japan

James McClain, Kanazawa: a seventeenth-century Japanese castle town

Constantine Vaporis, Breaking barriers: travel and the state in early modern Japan

Vaporis, Tour of Duty: samurai, military service in Edo, and the culture of early modern Japan

Nishiyama Matsunosuke, trans. Gerald Groemer, Edo culture: daily life and diversions in urban Japan, 1600-1868

Bettina Gramlich-Oka and Gregory Smits, eds. Economic thought in early modern Japan

W. Puck Brecher, The aesthetics of strangeness: eccentricity and madness in early modern Japan

Yasunori Kojima, et al, eds, Values, identity, and equality in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Japan

Fabian Drixler, Mabiki: infanticide and population growth in eastern Japan, 1660-1950

Wakita Osamu, et al, eds., Osaka, the merchant’s capital of early modern Japan

Eiko Ikegami, Bonds of civility: aesthetic networks and the political origins of Japanese culture

Ikegami, The taming of the samurai: honorific individualism and the making of modern Japan

Conrad Totman, The lumber industry in early modern Japan

Robert Bellah, Tokugawa religion: the cultural roots of modern Japan

Janine Anderson Sawada, Confucian values and popular Zen: Sekimon shingaku in eighteenth-century Japan

Sawada, Practical pursuits: religion, politics, and personal cultivation in nineteenth-century Japan



Martin Culcott, Five mountains: the Rinzai Zen monastic institutions in medieval Japan

Mark Blum, The origins and developments of Pure Land Buddhism

Blum, Rennyo and the roots of modern Japanese Buddhism

Donald F. McCallum, Zenkoji and its icon: a study in medieval Japanese religious art

Fabio Rambelli, Buddhist materiality: a cultural history of objects in Japanese Buddhism

Paul Groner, Ryogen and Mount Hiei: Japanese Tendai in the tenth century

Barbara R. Ambros, Women in Japanese religions

Ambros, Emplacing a pilgrimage: the Oyama cult and regional religion in early modern Japan

Jacqueline Stone, Original enlightenment and the transformation of medieval Japanese Buddhism

Stone, et al., eds., Death and afterlife in Japanese Buddhism

Joseph Kitagawa, Religion in Japanese history

Nam-lin Hur, Prayer and play in late Tokugawa Japan            

William E. Deal and Brian D. Ruppert, A cultural history of Japanese Buddhism

Ruppert, Jewel in the ashes: Buddha relics and power in early medieval Japan

William LaFleur, The karma of words: Buddhism and the literary arts in medieval Japan

Mikael S. Adolphson, The gates of power: monks, courtiers, and warriors in premodern Japan

Adolphson, The teeth and claws of the Buddha

Barbara Ruch, ed., Engendering faith: women and Buddhism in premodern Japan

Bernard Faure, The power of denial: Buddhism, purity, and gender

Ian Reader and George Tanabe, Practically religious: worldly benefits and the common religion of Japan