The Kamakura period, 1180-1333, is known as the era of Japan's first warrior government. As the essays in this book show, however, the period was notable for the coexistence of two centers of authority, the Bakufu military government at Kamakura and the civilian court in Kyoto, with the newer warrior government gradually gaining ascendancy.
The essays in this collection are an interdisciplinary examination of various aspects of Buddhism during the Kamakura era, including religious practice, literature, and institutional history. They work toward a synchronic historiography and thus provide a broader understanding and appreciation of the complexity and richness of Buddhism during the Kamakura era and of Japanese Buddhism as a whole. Contributors: Richard K. Payne, James C. Dobbins, George S. Tanabe, Mark T. Unno, Jacqueline I. Stone, Robert E. Morrell, James H. Foard
An examination of a formative period in medieval Japanese history, this study analyzes the origins and consequences of the Jokyu War of 1221, a struggle of modest military proportions but of major political and legal importance. In defeating the traditional Court at Kyoto, the warrior government at Kamakura became the dominant national power; it subsequently created a highly efficient administration that gave Japan a century of social and political stability. Crucial to the success of Kamakura rule was the development of a system of justice that has long been recognized as one of Japan's outstanding achievements. The author studies this system in detail, describing the forms and techniques for arbitrating disputes and showing exactly how suits were brought, expedited, and resolved. The book includes annotated translations of 144 documents, a selection from the materials on which the book is based. These documents illuminate the changing power relationships after the Jokyu War and the developing stages of the judicial process.
"The essential guide for anyone undertaking the study of medieval Japan."—From the Foreword by Takeuchi Rizo. This pioneering guide to the content and use of documents in the study of medieval Japan has two parts. Part I consists of translations, arranged by topic with annotation and running commentary, of 177 edicts and land records from the time of Japan's Kamakura shogunate (1180-1333). The documents illustrate the patterns of authority, bureaucracy, and justice that emerged under Japan's first warrior government, with emphasis on the appointment of local officials and the curbing of local ambitions. The translations are offered for the historical record and as a demonstration of how medieval sources can be used by historians. Part II is an annotated and geographically classified Bibliography of nearly 600 books and articles in Japanese that present the texts of official documents (komonjo) issued from earliest times to 1600. No comparable bibliography exists even in Japanese. The work includes explanatory introductions, a glossary of terms and phrases used in the documents, alphabetical and chronological indexes of the documents and sources, and photographs of representative original documents, with comments on format and style.
Catalog of the exhibition at the Asia Society Museum, New York, February 9-May 8, 2016.
This study of the smaller, ancient sects within Buddhism during the Kamakura period is a much needed addition to the works dealing with the history and religions of Japan.