Durgaing Yoshimasa's reign, the aesthetic taste of the Japanese was shaped: the nõ theater flourished, Japanese gardens were developed, and the tea ceremony had its origins in a small room at the Silver Pavilion. Flower arrangement, ink painting, and shoin-zukuri architecture began or became of major importance under Yoshimasa. Poets introduced their often barely literate warlord-hosts to the literary masterpieces of the past and taught them how to compose poetry. Even the most barbarous warlord came to want the trappings of culture that would enable him to feel like a civilized man. This long-neglected but critical period in Japanese history at last has the thorough treatment it deserves.
About the Author
Donald Keene is Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature and University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. He is the author of more than thirty books, most recently Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World.
Donald Keene is Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature and University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University, and has been hailed in the NYTBR as "the century's leading expert on Japanese literature."
Table of Contents
Shoguns of the Ashikaga Family
Yoshimasa and the Silver Pavilion
What People are Saying About This
Replete with murder, mayhem, political and sexual intrigue, and a devastating war, Japan's fifteenth century seems the stuff of Jacobean drama. And like those dramas, the story can at times be devilishly difficult to follow. Yoshimasa and the Silver Pavilion offers a engaging narrative of this tumultuous, but also incredibly fertile, period in Japanese cultural history. Keene deftly unravels the complex politics of the era and offers a masterful account of the cultural developments that came together in the Higashiyama epoch. A highly readable and exceptionally accessible book, Yoshimasa is the place to start for anyone interested in the political and cultural life of late medieval Kyoto.
Thomas Keirstead, Indiana University