Kyoto: An Urban History of Japan's Premodern Capital is forthcoming from the University of Hawai'i Press.
This site is under construction. Upon completion, it will provide study resources, links, and image galleries related to the book and Kyoto's history more generally. For further information, contact Matthew Stavros email@example.com
Kyoto was Japan’s political and cultural capital for over a millennium before the dawn of the modern era. Throughout most of that period, it was home and ritual center to the emperor, the focal point of both warrior and sectarian politics, and the seat of the country’s most successful industries. It was also among the world’s largest cities. Despite these and many other traits that make Kyoto a place of both Japanese and world historical importance, the physical appearance of old city has remained largely unknown, until now.
This book explores Kyoto’s urban landscape across eight centuries, beginning with foundation in 794 and concluding at the dawn of the early modern era in about 1600. Richly illustrated with original maps and diagrams, this panoramic examination of space and architecture narrates a history of Japan’s premodern capital relevant to the fields of institutional history, material culture, art history, religion, and urban planning. Students and scholars of Japan are introduced to new ways of thinking about old historical problems while readers interested in the architecture and urban planning of East Asia and beyond will benefit from a novel approach that synthesizes textual, pictorial, and archeological sources.