“The best source reader yet produced in this field, this book will greatly enhance the teaching of undergraduate courses on pre-modern and early-modern Japanese and East Asian history. Vaporis’ bold choice of sources accurately represents the broadness and plurality of Tokugawa society. His commentaries and explanations are written from the perspective of the latest historiography. The wide range of historical sources presented, coupled with the historiographicaly up-to-date introductions and supplementary materials,  takes this book far superior to Sources of Japanese Tradition, and should ensure that it replaces it as the standard source book for the undergraduate teaching of pre-1868 Japanese history.”—Dr. Kiri Paramore, School of Asian Studies, Leiden University

“Filled with unusual and heretofore little known documents that bring us close to the lived experience of 17th through early 19th centuries Japan, this volume deserves to be widely used in the classroom to provide students with glimpses of another world.”—Anne Walthall, Professor of History, University of California, Irvine

“Constantine Nomikos Vaporis’ Voices of the Shogun’s Japan: Contemporary Accounts of Tokugawa Daily Life is far more than another volume in a series of reference works. The author is one of the top five historians of the Tokugawa period writing in the Western world, whose special expertise in social history is evident. But, the work is extremely well-balanced; it equally covers the period’s political, economic, cultural, intellectual, and diplomatic dimensions as well. Moreover, it masterfully conveys how historians use primary documents and why this skill is important for uncovering the texture of life in a society remote from us in time and space. Vaporis does all of this in accessibly clear, plain language. As such, his book belongs not only on the reference shelves of public libraries, but also should be required reading in university-level introductory surveys of early-modern Japanese history. Even seasoned specialists in the field will find gems of new information here and there within the book’s covers.”—Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, Professor Emeritus, York University


2 Responses to Endorsements

  1. Just finished using this book for the first time in my survey history of Japan course with 160 students at Leiden. Used the paperback version with Westgate Publishers – reasonable price, well below the paperback of Columbia University Press Sources of Japanese Tradition. Happy to say my earlier assessment of how the book would work in a class environment was right….as were the folks who awarded the book that prestigious award at AAS. The students LOVED it! ALL the students loved it, and ALL the students preferred it immensely to the Columbia Sources book which they used for the first half of the course. Interestingly, the better the student, the more they liked and got out of the book. The main useful feedback from students I got for any changes in future editions was from an excellent mature age student who sat in the first row of the lectures every week and had been an award winning computer programmer and computer journalist before retiring for academic study. She liked the book’s links to websites and her tip was that as well as just listing the url http:///blablabla.blabla, you should also include / have printed / a QR-code/picture which links to the url. She had to explain to me what a QR code is of course! . It is one of those strange box like things you see on advertisements. People hold the mobile phones up to the strange box symbol and it immediately takes them to the relevant website. Otherwise, no tips or requests for changes from students (I did ask!). From me, my only gripe was the the page numbering in the paperback was different to the hardback. But hey, that is often the case (also the case with the Columbia Sources books). I will ask the paperback publisher for a complimentary softback for next year. I was also impressed by the service from the paperback publisher. They were in email contact with me months before semester ensuring book was in stores in Leiden as well as being available online in Europe.

    All in all, a huge success.

    • cnvaporis says:

      The editor responded that they liked the idea of the QR code, had never done it before, but would consider it for Voices if there is a new edition. Thanks for the great suggestion!

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