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I found the following while surfing for more information on Bolitho for this article. I wish I could figure out a way to incorporate the bold part of this review because it so concisely sums up how I feel about the Nanboku-cho period, but I never actually expressed the view aloud:
- Bolitho, Harold. "Book Review: State of War: The Violent Order of Fourteenth-Century Japan," The Journal of Japanese Studies. Vol. 31, No. 2, Summer 2005, pp. 470-473.
- Re: Conlon, Thomas Donald. (2003). State of War: The Violent Order of Fourteenth-Century Japan. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan.
- English-language scholarship, as if by unspoken agreement, has traditionally kept much of the history of Japan's complicated fourteenth century at arm's length. True, Andrew Goble's study of Go-Daigo's abortive attempt to revive imperial authority in his Kenmu: Go-Daigo's Revolution dealt with one crucial segment of it, the years from 1321 to 1335. But the long aftermath, the 50-odd years during which two imperial courts butted heads in the pursuit of legitimacy, has been almost totally untouched. Not since 1971, when Paul Varley devoted a chapter to the Nanboku'cho in his Imperial Restoration in Medieval Japan, has anyone dared set foot in that particular briar patch. Instead, over the intervening years, survey histories have done little more than give it an oblique and apprehensive glance before racing on, with evident relief, to the more manageable chaos of the Muromachi bakufu.