The cultural foundations of Japan are intimately linked to continental Asia. China and Korea in particular helped shape the early Japanese states in many ways, over centuries of immigration and cultural exchange. The introduction of rice agriculture, the Chinese writing system, and the Chinese system of bureaucratic imperial government are perhaps the most well-known examples, but the influence of mainland cultures on the Japanese archipelago was pervasive. For the first time in English, this work presents a comprehensive, comparative study of the content of famous Chinese historical texts that are fundamental in the knowledge of Japan's ancient history. Translations of documents from the Chronicle of the Wei to the History of the Song provide an unparalleled resource for scholars, students, and general readers with an interest in Japanese history and culture, and shed new light on formerly obscure aspects of intercultural exchange, contributing to our knowledge of the whole of Eastern Asia. The book serves as a guide for scholars in the field, providing information on date of first publication, content, and authors of the different histories, with source text accompanied by translations and explanatory notes. Reprints and related academic publications are covered in an extensive multilingual bibliography, making this an essential textbook for any student of ancient Japan, and a key reference work for investigations into the spread and influence of Chinese culture.
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