This volume provides the most comprehensive treatment of the Heian period, the golden age of the Japanese imperial court, in any Western language. From 794 to 1185, the Japanese emperor ruled over an elaborate government modeled on China's. Native Japanese elements blended with Chinese influences in religion and the courtly arts. The world's first novel was completed about 1020. In 1185 the elegant and peaceful world of the court was shattered by the struggle of the Taira and Minamoto warrior clans, who usurped real political power.
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