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This balanced account of Japanese history focuses on developments in art, religion, literature, and thought as well as economic, political, and social history in a new four color-format. In addition to Conrad Schirokauer, this text has two new authors. Suzanne Gay is Professor of East Asian Studies at Oberlin College. Her research interests include the social and economic history of medieval Japan, with a particular emphasis on the role of commoners in history. David Lurie researches the history of writing systems in Japan and also works on the cultural and intellectual history of Japan through the Heian period. This author team combines strong research with extensive classroom teaching experience to offer a clear, consistent, and highly readable text accessible to students with no previous knowledge of the history of Japan.