Everyday Life in Traditional Japan paints a vivid portrait of Tokugawa Japan, a time when contact with the outside world was deliberately avoided and the daily life of the different classes consolidated the traditions that shaped modern Japan.
With detailed descriptions and over 100 illustrations, authentic samurai, farmers, craftsmen, merchants, courtiers, priests, entertainers and outcasts come to life in this magnificently illustrated portrait of a colorful society. Most works of Japanese history fail to provide enough details about the lives of the people who lived during the time. The level of detail in Everyday Life in Traditional Japan allows for a more complete picture of the history of Japan.
In fascinating detail, Charles J. Dunn, describes how each class lived: their food, clothing, and houses; their their beliefs and their fears. At the same time he takes account of certain important groups that fell outside the formal class structure, such as the courtiers in the emperor's palace at Kyoto, the Shinto and Buddhist priests, and the other extreme, the actors and the outcasts. he concludes with a lively account of everyday life in the capital city of Edo, the present–day Tokyo.
Charles J. Dunn was the Reader in Japanese at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He lived and traveled extensively in Japan.
"This interesting little book is invaluable for anyone researching what life was like for people in Japan before the Meiji Restoration. While it's an essential volume for a writer of historical fiction, those interested in Japan more generally will find it readable and packed with interesting tidbits of information. For example, I would recommend it for those who study traditional Japanese martial arts (i.e. kobudo)to get a better insight into the art they study through knowing the society from which it sprang." —Goodreads