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Book Cover for: The Dawn of the Warrior Age: War Tales from Medieval Japan, Royall Tyler

The Dawn of the Warrior Age: War Tales from Medieval Japan

Royall Tyler

The war between the Heike and Genji clans in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries is among the most compelling and significant moments in Japan's history, immortalized in The Tale of the Heike. Beyond the events recorded in this canonical text, the conflicts of the surrounding years are crucial to medieval Japanese culture and history. In 1156, power began to slip away from the court nobility in Kyoto. A shogunate was later founded in Kamakura, and in 1221, it won a decisive victory over the court.

The three war tales translated in this book tell the story of these critical decades, vividly recording stages in the passage from rule by the imperial court in Kyoto to rule by the warrior government in Kamakura. "The Tale of the Hōgen Years" recounts a deposed emperor's disastrous attempt to regain the throne in 1156. "The Tale of the Heiji Years" narrates a bloody clash between rival courtier factions in 1159. "An Account of the Jōkyū Years" records Kamakura's victory over the imperial attempt to overthrow it in 1221. These works do not simply complete the story of The Tale of the Heike--they are classics of Japanese literature in their own right. Royall Tyler's lively translation masterfully conveys the nature of medieval Japanese warfare, rendering aristocratic power politics and the brutal realities of violence with equal aplomb. The Dawn of the Warrior Age is an essential book for readers interested in premodern Japanese history and literature.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publish Date: Apr 2nd, 2024
  • Pages: 336
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9780231214667
  • Categories: Asian - JapaneseAsian - JapaneseMedieval

About the Author

Royall Tyler is the award-winning translator of The Tale of the Heike and The Tale of Genji. His Columbia University Press books include The Miracles of the Kasuga Deity (2016) and Joy, Despair, Illusion, Dreams: Twenty Plays from the Nō Tradition (2024). After teaching at Ohio State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Oslo, Tyler retired from the Australian National University.
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