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maikeruart
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:29 am    Post subject: book and dvd recommendations Reply with quote
Hey gang, I was offered adjunct positions next year for my Alma Mater and was thinking of a History of Japan to 1650 course. Is there a set of books you think are good for a survey course? And perhaps a ñovie or 2 as a supplement. I was thinking Samson as a core and maybe Samurai Williams. I like the idea of Samurai Banners as a dvd.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Congrats!

I think Japan Emerging would actually be a more appropriate intro text for students:

http://www.amazon.com/Japan-Emerging-Premodern-History-1850/dp/0813344832/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358981795&sr=8-1&keywords=japan+emerging
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ltdomer98
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Seconded--would have been my recommendation but Nags beat me to it. I'm reading it now, and it's designed for an undergrad class. Since it's a collection of independent (meaning stand-alone) themed essays organized by time period, you can assign whatever you want in nice easy blocks, rather than overload them.

While I don't mind curling up with Sansom and a cup of tea, it's not the easiest thing to plow through for an undergrad, and the viewpoint and methodology are fairly dated. Even when he's trying to sound like an advocate for the Japanese, he frequently comes off as Orientalist. Japan Emerging is a great choice IMO.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Congrats on the position!

I would 'third' the recommendation of "Japan Emerging." You can also look at some of the other relatively recent survey texts - I believe there's one by Totman that seemed good, but, then, I haven't actually read it through, just skimmed very lightly.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Indeed -- major wootage and so on. Definitely a medetaki koto. Smile

You are living the dream, my bruvva.

Have you thought about writing your own text? That would be mondo spiff, and a great way to make sure it was exactly what you want for the class. My early Chinese history prof wrote our texts, and they were all massive piles of photocopied stuff he was still working on.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I thought about it. One of my professors did the same thing. The only problem is this University is big on dinging you for it. Even if you wrote the only book in the history of the planet on the subject and got .05 cents per year royalty, they would complain.
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maikeruart
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The Varley book on Japanese culture looks good. I know I want to End with Sekigahara, and maybe move onto a Japan 1650-present as a next semeter. Which means they can hold onto Japan Emerging.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
maikeruart wrote:
I thought about it. One of my professors did the same thing. The only problem is this University is big on dinging you for it. Even if you wrote the only book in the history of the planet on the subject and got .05 cents per year royalty, they would complain.


While a bummer, that's.... that's actually NICE. I know of so many people who have bitched about having to buy "the prof's horridly expensive textbook."

A blanket "thou shalt not" is definitely a two-edged sword.
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maikeruart
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Only way around it is to give them a free taste. I will most certainly knock points if they say write Nobunaga Oda.Now DVD choices, I think Samurai Banners would be a good supliment, but I am open to ideas.
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ltdomer98
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
This is an undergrad class, yes?

Samurai Banners might be good. I'd have a clear idea of what kind of discussion you wanted a movie to drive--it might be worth it to show clips from a few movies and compare them. Samurai Banners could certainly serve as a jumping off point for discussion of family dynamics, political and military conflict, etc.
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maikeruart
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Undergrad yes. I agree with clips, but I like Samurai Banners as a whole, it can certainly be a good representation of the Sengoku Jidai.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
maikeruart wrote:
...I think Samurai Banners would be a good supliment, but I am open to ideas.


One word...SAMURAI SEXECUTIONER. An' SAMURAI SEXECUTIONER II. The coeds will thank you.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
maikeruart wrote:
I know I want to End with Sekigahara, and maybe move onto a Japan 1650-present as a next semeter.
One of my favorite books, though it would not be a basic textbook, is Oliver Statler's Japanese Inn (1961), to which I would give the subtitle The Edo Period as the Japanese See It, though it goes before and after. Of course not all his sources (as Sadler's Ieyasu) are up to 21th-century historical standards and he talks little about politics and economics, but after decades in Japan I still keep coming across things that I first knew from that book.
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ltdomer98
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
One of my favorite books, though it would not be a basic textbook, is Oliver Statler's Japanese Inn (1961), to which I would give the subtitle The Edo Period as the Japanese See It, though it goes before and after. Of course not all his sources (as Sadler's Ieyasu) are up to 21th-century historical standards and he talks little about politics and economics, but after decades in Japan I still keep coming across things that I first knew from that book.


An absolute classic. I love that book. I'd absolutely pull vignettes from it when teaching the Edo period. It might also be useful to contrast with Vaporis on the subject of Sankin Kotai--Statler's book provides a view from the inn owner perspective that is fascinating.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I like parts of Woman of the Mito Domain if I was teaching a part 2.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
maikeruart wrote:
I like parts of Woman of the Mito Domain if I was teaching a part 2.
I think that around the time of the Isshin, Mito must have been the worst place in Japan to live.

For around the Taisho period, you might like Junichi Saga's Memories of Silk and Straw: A Self-Portrail of Small-Town Japan (Kodansha), based on the author's interviews with people, especially craftsmen, around Tsuchiura, Chiba.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
To let you guys know the undergrad class History of Japan I: beginnings to 1600 is a go. I will be using Japan Emerging, Samurai Williams and Tony's Sekigahara as books. I also plan to show Samurai Banners when I cover the Sengoku Jidai. The plan is to also devote a class each to the big three.
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ltdomer98
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Good stuff!

I think if/when I show a movie about the Sengoku in a class, it would have to be Ran or Kagemusha, though. Except the last 20 minutes of Kagemusha--anybody who watches that fails the class.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I thought about Kagemusha, but it is a tough call for me. I was going to cut out and hour of Samurai Banners. I saw the book Japan to 1600, that looks like a good supplement.I am just waiting for my desk copies to come to the department. I have my reading schedule planned out. Its 2 days of the Sengoku Jidai, but that is going to be mostly handouts as the textbooks I look at gloss over it. First day I am covering the problems with studying Japanese history, AKA Sammyrai, Ninjer, Bullshido etc. I think the tough portion will be Yayoi to Nara as a ton of the books also gloss it over, and it is not my area. I thought about using Samurai Williams but it does not fill into the plan.
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maikeruart
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I am getting a desk copy of Premodern Japan by Mikiso Hane and Japan to 1600 by Farris. They also look good, so I may switch the main text. I definitely want to use the SA podcast to discuss Nobunaga.
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maikeruart
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:
Good stuff!

I think if/when I show a movie about the Sengoku in a class, it would have to be Ran or Kagemusha, though. Except the last 20 minutes of Kagemusha--anybody who watches that fails the class.


I am now leaning towards Throne of Blood or Kagemusha. I think Kagemusha may muck up with their reading. And any English majors could appreciate the Scottish play aspect.
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maikeruart
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I just got my free desk copies of Japan Emerging and Premodern Japan by Mikiso Hane. I like Japan Emerging, but it is divided topically more than chronologically, whereas Hane's book really skims over a lot. I want to look at Japan To 1600: A Social and Economic History
By William Wayne Farris. It seems short though, but it covers what I want. So I may use Farris or Hane's book, and supplement it with parts from Friday's.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
maikeruart wrote:
I know I want to End with Sekigahara, and maybe move onto a Japan 1650-present as a next semeter.
One of my favorite books, though it would not be a basic textbook, is Oliver Statler's Japanese Inn (1961), to which I would give the subtitle The Edo Period as the Japanese See It, though it goes before and after. Of course not all his sources (as Sadler's Ieyasu) are up to 21th-century historical standards and he talks little about politics and economics, but after decades in Japan I still keep coming across things that I first knew from that book.


I think Japanese Inn was the first book I read about Japan when I was a freshman in college, before I took off for Japan my junior year. I just re-read it this year and it was more meaningful than ever.

I've found Women of the Mito Domain useful, also.
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maikeruart
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I found a translated copy of World turned Upside Down, it looks good as a narriative.
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ltdomer98
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yeah, I really like Souryi, just because he's so different.
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