AN03_Ch.12- Empires in East Asia: Feudal Powers in Japan
Timeline: ~11th – 19th C.
FQ: To what extent did the Japanese Adopt & Adapt ideas from its Neighbors?
Main Idea: The Japanese adopted elements of Chinese culture via their commercial and political contacts. These adopted cultural elements were adapted to suit the unique conditions of the people of the Japanese archipelago and developed alongside (or fused with) native traditions. The ‘offspring’ of this process is a unique culture that changes when necessary without abandoning time-honored traditions.
I. Chronology of Diffusion
A. History of Asian Mainland Influence
1. Prehistoric Contact: Series of migrations to the archipelago via Korea Strait prior to the Yayoi Period.
2. Political/ Commercial contact between societies begins in Japan’s Yayoi Period (300 BCE – 300 CE).
3. First Chinese record of Japan (as a tribute-bearing nation) dates to 2nd C. CE.
B. Political Impact
1. Missions to China
2. Taika Reform (“Great Change”) in 645
a. Modeled after Chinese Confucian State- a centralized bureaucratic state. This concentrated power within the imperial throne. (1)
b. Attempt to nationalize all land
c. Divide land equally among peasants, but not nobles
II. Japan Adopts & Adapts
A. Technological and Artistic Impact
1. Writing System
B. Philosophical/ Religious Impact
1. Buddhism and Shinto
III. The Efforts of Prince Shotoku
IV. Japan’s Warrior Clans (2)
A. Migrations from Korea Peninsula ~400 CE
B. Burial Mounds
C. Burial Objects
V. Summary Activity: Why it matters now.
An openness to adapting innovations from other cultures is a hallmark of many societies, especially those that have been subject to significant ‘historical forces’.
(1) The Unitary State tradition is a political tradition of China since the Qin dynasty.
(2) Warrior clans developed after migrations caused cultural changes in the Japanese population.
– World History: Patterns of Interaction
– (Human Record text) Read pages 305 – 307 “Zen Buddhism in Japan” source 75 “Dogen, On Life and Death”