How do ordinary people respond to prolonged terror? The convulsion of Japan's "Warring States" period between 1467 and 1568 destroyed the medieval order and exposed the framework of an early modern polity. Mary Elizabeth Berry investigates the experience of upheaval in Kyoto during this time.
Using diaries and urban records (extensively quoted in the text), Berry explores the violence of war, misrule, private justice, outlawry, and popular uprising. She also examines the structures of order, old and new, that abated chaos and abetted social transformation.
The wartime culture of Kyoto comes to life in a panoramic study that covers the rebellion of the Lotus sectarians, the organization of work and power in commoner neighborhoods, the replotting of urban geography, and the redefinition of authority and prestige in the arena of play.
Mary Elizabeth Berry is Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Hideyoshi (1982).
"Berry examines the very complex and frequently unintelligible relationships between politics and culture in sixteenth century Kyoto. It is surprising that anybody could seriously undertake this immense task. . . . A genuinely impressive accomplishment."—Harry Harootunian, University of Chicago
Co-recipient of the Berkeley Prize,, University of California Institute of East Asian Studies