Kyushu: Gateway to Japan

A Concise History


In this first major study of the region in English, the author examines the key themes of Kyushu’s history from earliest times – the cultural interaction with the continental mainland, settlement, location and infrastructure as well as trade and commerce, – arguing that it was the principal stepping-stone in terms of Japan’s cultural, social and economic advance through history up to the present day. Although an integral part of Japan, Kyushu is culturally distinct in that its location on the East China Sea has exposed the region to an unusually high degree of influence from overseas. There was diplomatic exchange between this island and China, for example, even before the political entity of Japan came into existence. Kyushu, in fact, has been the setting for many of the major cultural encounters in Japan’s history, from the introduction of Buddhism, Confucianism and Christianity to gunpowder, coffee and tea. The volume also includes a colour plate section containing 60 images which support the text and provide the reader/researcher with invaluable pictorial references to Kyushu’s history from earliest times to the present day.
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Biographical Note

Andrew Cobbing graduated in History from Bristol University, received his Masters degree in Japanese History from Kyushu University in 1993 and completed his PhD at SOAS (University of London) in 1997. After several years as professor at Kyushu University he took up his current appointment as lecturer in history at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of The Japanese Discovery of Victorian Britain (1998), The Satsuma Students in Britain (2000) and Kawada Ryokichi: Jeanie Eadie’s Samurai (2006). He has also translated one of the volumes of the official record of the Iwakura Embassy’s Travels to the West.

Table of contents

List of maps; List of plates; Preface; Introduction; 1 Takachiho: The Floating Bridge of Heaven; 2 Himiko's lands: gateway to Wa; 3 Tsukushi: Isle of unknown fires; 4 Dazaifu: The distant court; 5 Hakata: The making of a mercantile centre; 6 Divine Wind: The Mongol invasions; 7 Divided loyalties: Pirates and rival courts; 8 All under Heaven: Missionaries and warlords; 9 Turbulent decades: State control and resistance; 10 The great peace in Kyushu; 11 Kyushu in the Meiji Restoration; 12 The twentieth century; Postscript; Appendix: Major domains in Kyushu circa 1850; Notes; Bibliography; Index


Professional and scholarly


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