Table of Contents
The purpose of this page is to provide both students and researchers of the pre-modern Japanese period (defined in this instance as stemming from the Muromachi period to the outset of the Edo period) with resources to aid their study and understanding of Japan and its society before the Tokugawa era (1615-1868). The resources contained within this website predominantly consist of secondary and primary historical studies and records translated from Japanese into English. Occasionally the resources retain their original Japanese script, but wherever possible the author has tried to provide a translation.
In spite of a large amount of study conducted into pre-modern Japan over the past sixty years in English, the amount of resource material related to pre-modern Japan translated from Japanese into English remains small. Whereas Japan, in its effort to both modernise and improve its understanding of the West, undertook a systematic approach to both translating and commenting on historical resources and studies written in English. This webpage is, therefore, a small attempt to redress the balance.
The material itself consists of direct quotes from Japanese sources, with the original source identified at the head of the page, and page numbers provided after each paragraph (or nearly each paragraph) in parenthesis so that any student or researcher interested in comparing the translation to the original may do so. The material is predominantly focused on the late Muromachi period (1465 onwards), as it reflects the study interests of the author. At this stage, updates to each section will be made whenever possible, however this will of course depend on the amount of time available to the author for translations.
The website is a not-for-profit project authored by Greg Pampling. Mr Pampling has spent the past twelve years both researching into the Muromachi period (with specific recourse to the phenomena of rural unrest in the central Japanese provinces of Yamashiro, Yamato, Ōmi, Wakasa, Kii, Kawachi, Izumi, and Ise) and the influence of the Honganji lineage of the Jodō Shinshū sect on rural communities. In 2008 Mr Pampling undertook a period of research at Ōtani University in Kyoto under a Japanese government-sponsored scholarship, where he sought to further develop his ability to both read and translate Japanese-Chinese script (or Wasei Kambun, the type of script predominantly used by temple and aristocratic scholars during the pre-modern period).
The website does not claim to be the work of an expert, and those reading the material may find that certain sections are either missing from the translation, have yet to be translated, or require further explanation. Under such circumstances, the author can only express his apologies for such errors or oversights. Any suggestions for alternative translations can be forwarded to this e-mail address. The author does not hold copyright over any of the material within, and will remove materials if directed to do so by legal representatives of the publishing companies concerned.
The website itself has been optimised for Firefox and IE. In order to view these pages correctly, you will need to have Microsoft Global IME installed on your computer (for Japanese script). The download page for this can be found here.