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Mikael S. Adolphson is associate professor of Japanese cultural studies at the University of Alberta.
"Comprehensive, lucid, and authoritative, this study is long overdue and establishes Adolphson as one of a handful of scholars who have dealt with religious protests and violence in an intelligent and captivating way." -- W.Wayne Farris What Adolphson has done to the word sohei is not unlike what his intellectual master Kuroda Toshio did for the word Shinto. He has exposed the limits of the term's historical relevance, revealed its eighteenth-century origins, underscored its ideological inflections, and shown how it can obscure rather than reveal the varied and complex historical subject it seeks to name. In doing do, Adolphson has not only changed the way that historians of Japan will look at something we long thought we knew, but will also allow future historians to pose questions we never even thought to ask.-- "Monumenta Nipponica" We should be grateful to the shortcomings of previous scholarship for the opportunity given Adolphson to write a book that should be required of all students of Japanese history, especially as a text on historical methodology. It is probably the most useful introduction to the problems of writing history since Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time.-- "American Historical Review" Well written, with extensive illustrations. . . . Highly recommended.-- "Choice" Adolphson does an outstanding job of re-incorporating armed monastic struggles into a wider socio-political and cultural context of medieval Japan.-- "Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society" An innovative and insightful study of monk-warriors that is likely to become the definitive treatment of this topic.-- "Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies" A truly fascinating book that deserves the close attention of any reader interested in Buddhism and war.-- "Religious Studies Review"