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Yoshimasa and the Silver Pavilion


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Table of Contents

Chronology Shoguns of the Ashikaga Family Introduction Yoshimasa and the Silver Pavilion Notes Bibliography Index

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During Yoshimasa's reign, the aesthetic taste of the Japanese was shaped: the no theater flourished, Japanese gardens were developed, and the tea ceremony had its origins in a small room at the Silver Pavilion. Flower arrangement, ink painting, and shoin-zukuri architecture began or became of major importance under Yoshimasa. Poets introduced their often barely literate warlord-hosts to the literary masterpieces of the past and taught them how to compose poetry. Even the most barbarous warlord came to want the trappings of culture that would enable him to feel like a civilized man. This long-neglected but critical period in Japanese history at last has the thorough treatment it deserves.

About the Author

Donald Keene is Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature and University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. He is the author of more than thirty books, most recently Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World. Donald Keene is Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature and University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University, and has been hailed in the NYTBR as "the century's leading expert on Japanese literature."


"Keene's multifarious learning and engaging manner illuminate the improbable story of the fastidious aesthete whose taste has been so important in forming the look of the modern world." -- The New Yorker "With such admirable industry did then Yoshimasa create "the soul of Japan." And his assiduity has been matched by that of Keene, who in this short and elegant book contributes a popular account of the man and his times." -- Donald Richie, The Japan Times "Keene has outdone himself with this exceptional book, which is based on the idea that the modern Japanese aesthetic was the creation of an exceptionally incompetent fifteenth-century shogun." -- Colorado Springs Independent " Yoshimasa and the Silver Pavilion gives this long-neglected but critical period in Japanese history the thorough treatment it deserves." -- Sushi and Tofu "This is a book not only for all students of Japanese history but also for all who want to understand what Keen calls "the soul of Japan." -- Hugh Cortazzi, The Royal Society for Asian Affairs "Keene, the prominent scholar of Japan, brings together a masterful account." -- Yumi Sakugawa, Pacific Citizen

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