The Forty-Seven Ronin: The Vendetta in History

The Forty-Seven Ronin: The Vendetta in History

by John A. Tucker


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The Forty-Seven Rōnin vendetta is one of the most famous incidents in Japanese history, but it is also one of the most misunderstood. John A. Tucker seeks to provide a credible account of the vendetta and its afterlife in history. He suggests that, when considered historically and holistically, the vendetta appears as a site of contested cultural ground, with conflicts, disagreements, and debates characterizing its three-century history far more than cultural unanimity about its values, virtues, and icons. Tucker narrates the incident as the historical event that it was, within the context of Tokugawa social, political, cultural, and spiritual history, before exploring the vendetta as conflicted cultural ground, generating a steady flow of essays, novels, plays, and ideologically driven expressions intrinsic to the course of Japanese history. This engaging, accessible study provides insights into ways in which events and debates from early modern history have continued to inform developments in modern Japan.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107480759
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/15/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 332
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

John A. Tucker is a Professor of History at East Carolina University in Greenville. He has published extensively on Japanese and Chinese history, and his publications include Critical Readings on Japanese Confucianism, 4 vols. (2012), and Dao Companion to Japanese Confucian Philosophy, coedited with Chun-chieh Huang (2014).

Table of Contents

Introduction: vendetta overview; 1. Time and place; 2. Eyewitnesses to bloodshed; 3. Rōnin schisms; 4. Laying souls to rest; 5. Confucian versus Confucian debates; 6. Confucian versus Confucian, round two; 7. History on stage; 8. Domestic, foreign, and anti-foreign reflections; 9. Modern revivals; 10. The vendetta through 1945; 11. Domesticating the vendetta.

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