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The Taiheiki: A Chronicle of Medieval Japan
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The Taiheiki: A Chronicle of Medieval Japan

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  10 reviews

A classic tale recounting the adventures and intrigue of Emperor Go–Daigo (1288 — 1339) and his court, including his rise to power, his exile and his triumphant return to the throne. Incorporated into this story is the verse of the Six Dynasties and T'ang, and the Confucian teachings that underlie the stern warrior code of loyalty and filial piety.

Paperback, 452 pages
Published December 1st 1979 by Tuttle Publishing (first published January 1977)
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Brendan Coster
Jun 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brendan Coster by: NYPL
Rough reading, and McCoullough did her best to cut down on this version (not that there are really other translated versions...) The Translation was good, there were many phrases used to exhaustion, but that's not the the translator, from what I know, but the writer.

Usually I prefer to read the source materials, and then the other writings after, but I didn't really have a choice in this case if I wanted to keep up some kind of forward moving chronology. The last 4 or so books I've read (and
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chapter 3 is great... However... most of it is really tedious. Difficult to read, as are almost all such chronicles.
Bernie Gourley
Jan 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: readers interested in medieval Japan, samurai, and war.
Let me be blunt, “The Taiheiki” isn’t a book you pick up to read a gripping story. While it’s considered a work of fiction, it reads like a history. In some sense, it is a history. It does follow the broad brush strokes of the events in Japan in the early 14th century. However, there are way too many characters to keep track of, or to remember who is on the side of whom, or even to know whether a given individual is worth remembering or whether they’ll soon die an ignominious death. If you don’t ...more
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medieval-japan
This is a 14th century account of the political and military events that took place between 1330-1333, when the Emperor Go-Daigo and his allies challenged the authority of the Kamakura bakufu. While it's not an entirely faithful telling, it is a source many historians look back to, just hopefully not for precise details as they're rather absurd. The translation is easy to read, and while the middle chunk is incredibly redundant with what seemed like nearly every battle ending the same way - and ...more
Hilda Ellis-Davidson
Ultimately, this is the story of the battles that created modern day japan.
Ryan Doherty
May 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This chronicle of the chaos of medieval Japan is a riveting tale of political intrigue, loyalty, betrayal, clan rivalry and raging samurai warfare.

Varying families, clans and factions had been vying for power throughout the thirteenth century, and the book tells the story of how everything came to a head when Emperor Go-Daigo ascended the throne in 1318 and decided he'd had enough of the imperial throne being rendered powerless by the bakufu (military government), and more recently by the ultra
Alright - reading about some of the battles, the number of deaths - especially the number of samurai warriors who suddenly kill themselves when their lord dies in battle - is pretty cool. There really are so many insights into Samurai culture and this era of Japanese history. The problem is that it is so difficult to read. Honestly, this needs to have a sparks note. Shakespeare is easier to understand. For some things, you need to have a grounding in the culture and history in order to ...more
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: japan
Most awesome piece of classic lit I've read in years! Wish there were a sequel.
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