What did money mean to the people of medieval Japan?
In Coins, Trade, and the State: Economic Growth in Early Medieval Japan (Harvard University Asia Center, 2011), Ethan Segal takes readers through a fascinating exploration of the politics, society, and culture of pre-1600 Japan. One of the wonderful things about this book is the extent to which Ethan Segal very carefully contextualizes early medieval Japan within a broader global history, situating this economic history in a network of relations with the Mongols and China. East Asianists, take note: Segal’s work is of great interest to those working beyond the field of economic history, and speaks to the history of foreign policy and relations, ideas of virtue, and social history as well. Written in a very fluid and accessible style, Coins, Trade, and the State is an excellent read for anyone interested in cultures of exchange and their histories.