Re: Muromachi History
- I dug through my bookcase and this is all I could find that touched the 14th century.
There are some books concerning later in the Muromachi period--if you are interested, I can dig those out, but these are what I had on the 14th century.
Souyri, Pierre Francois. _The World Turned Upside Down: Medieval Japanese Society_ (Columbia University Press, New York, 1998--translation to English 2001) ISBN 0-231-11843-0
The book covers a wider period, but there are two chapters that touch on the 14th century.
Conlan, Thomas Donald. _State of War: The Violent Order of Fourteenth Century Japan_ (Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2003) ISBN 1-929280-23-8
Covers issues of war and logistics, as well as touching on the culture issues that molded Japanese warriors of the period. Very excellent book.
Keene, Donald (trans) _Essays in Idleness: The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko_ (Columbia University Press, New York, 1967) ISBN 0-231-11255-6
Classic (and charming) book of essays by a Buddhist priest, writing of a life of simplicity. It was written a few years (3 or 4) before the Muromachi period began, but is still in the 14th century.
Keene, Donald (trans) _Travelers of a Hundred Ages_ (Harry Holt & co. New York, 1989) ISBN 0-8050-1655-4
Very wide ranging collection of snippets from diaries. There is a chapter on the Muromachi period, but it does cover the entire period. However, there are 5 examples from the 14th century. In his preface to the chapter, Keene notes the lack of diary literature from this period and offers some theories to why this might be the case.
Carter, Steven D. _Waiting for the Wind: Thirty-six Poets of Japan's Late Medieval Age_ (Columbia University Press, New York, 1989) ISBN 0-231-06855-7
Starts off in the late Kamakura era, because the poets that shaped the esthetics of post-Heian tanka lived during that time. However, the last half of the book is solely dedicated to 14th century poets. Carter always prefaces each chapter with a short biographical note and ends the chapter with (romanized) version of the actual Japanese texts for each poem.
Carter, Steven D. _Just Living: Poems and Prose by the Japanese Monk Tonna_ (Columbia University Press, New York, 2003) ISBN 0-231-12553-4
Limited to just this one poet, who lived from 1289-1372. Carter puts Tonna in his historical context, includes many tanka and touches a bit on the renga that Tonna participated in. Slim volume, but well worth reading.
Hope this helps.
--Ki no Kotori