Academic journal article Comparative Civilizations Review

Eight Major Civilizations

Academic journal article Comparative Civilizations Review

Eight Major Civilizations

Article excerpt

Naohiko Tonomura, Eight Major Civilizations. Translated by Jeremy Breaden Tankobon hardcover, 2013

In his 241-page work the Japanese scholar Naohiko Tonomura distinguishes between "eight major civilizations" which "added their distinct flavor to world history," and the so-called "common civilizations." In order to substantiate his concept, the writer offers an elaborate scholarly apparatus.

The book consists of eight chapters. In the first chapter Prof. Tonomura reviews approaches of some of the classics of comparative civilizations theory such as Danilevsky, Breysig, Spengler, Toynbee, Bagby, Ito, his own approach, and S. Huntington's concept.

In the second chapter the author offers an analysis of the existing criteria to separate "major" civilizations from the other ones. The chapter includes a description of the author's sole criterion, which appears to be a "Procrustean bed" of mandatory requirement for a "major civilization" to progress through a sequence of stages of certain duration.

In the third chapter the author describes evolution of the thus chosen eight "major" civilizations. This review includes them in the following order: Japanese, Chinese, Sumer, Egyptian, Indian, Greco-Roman, Andean, and Western European civilizations.

In the fifth chapter Prof. Tonomura reflects on the so called "common civilizations," and the rest of the book is dedicated to various supporting considerations, for example, the styles of civilizations are described in chapter seven. …

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