Cambridge History of Japan, Vol. 1: Ancient Japan (Volume 1), The

Japan's ancient age was a period of radical and political change during which a Chinese-style empire emerged. This volume of The Cambridge History of Japan spans the beginnings of human existence to the end of the eighth century, focusing on the thousand years between 300 B.C. and 784, the end of the fabulous Nara period. The volume explores this period in four stages: (1) The Yayoi period (to about 250 A.D.) when small kingdoms and kingdom federations accumulated enough power to dispatch diplomatic missions to Korea and China; (2) the Yamato period (to 587) when priestly rulers, having gained economic and military power, conquered most of Japan; (3) the Century of Reform (to 710) when Japanese leaders, pressed by China's expanding T'ang empire, set out to build a strong Chinese-style empire of their own; (4) the Nara period (to 784) when spectacular literary, artistic, architectural, and religious advances were made.

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