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World Within Walls:
The Tokugawa family held the shogunate from 1603 to 1867, ruling Japan and keeping the island nation isolated from the rest of the world for more than 250 years. Donald Keene looks within the "walls" of isolation and meticulously chronicles the period's vast literary output, providing both lay readers and scholars with the definitive history of premodern Japanese literature.
World Within Walls spans the age in which Japanese literature began to reach a popular audience -- as opposed to the elite aristocratic readers to whom it had previously been confined. Keene comprehensively treats each of the new, popular genres that arose, including haiku, Kabuki, and the witty, urbane prose of the newly ascendant merchant class.[via]