Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-8108-7871-6 • Hardback • November 2013 • $195.00 • (£150.00)
978-0-8108-7872-3 • eBook • November 2013 • $175.50 • (£137.00)
Kenneth G. Henshall is professor of Japanese studies at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He has published widely on Japan’s history, literature, and script, and his A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower has been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Henshall uses the end of the Pacific War as his cutoff point in this dictionary of more than 800 cross-referenced entries covering key people, places, and events in Japan’s history. In a structure aligned with other works in this series, a chronology and introduction set up the entries, which are followed by appendixes that include the full text of the Yalta Agreement and a particularly extensive bibliography that merits its own introduction and table of contents. VERDICT A useful look at the forces that shaped modern-day Japan.
— Library Journal
This well-written collection of over 800 entries is a useful reference tool for those quick-answer questions about this long period of Japanese history and culture, which is not widely understood in the West. The entries vary in length, from a single paragraph to a few pages, and cover the important people, events, eras, themes, and issues that are the essential elements of Japan’s history. Professor Henshall, is also an expert on the Japanese language and writing system, so in this book a word, phrase, or incident in the Japanese language is frequently followed by the Japanese writing characters, and entry titles in English are followed by a Japanese translation and writing characters. . . .[T]here is a chronology (200,000 B.C.E. to 1945 C.E.), and an extensive 67-page bibliography arranged by topic, and including some appropriate Websites and journals. As is common in these types of reference books, there are numerous see and see also and in-text, cross-references, so that the reader can jump around inside the book to find related information. The appendixes have lists of the Emperors, Shoguns, and Prime Ministers, along with the texts of important documents, such as the Meiji Constitution of 1889, and items related to the Second World War. . . .The title under review is suitable for special collections, academic, and large public libraries. The work is also available as an e-book.
— American Reference Books Annual
This book is useful as a dictionary for those with an interest in Japanese history but could also have a place in a library as a basic introductory reference work covering Japanese history and culture up to 1945.
— Reference Reviews