Japan Japan sparking a great interest among them.

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Japan Japan sparking a great interest among them.

Japan is on what is known as an archipelago, a chain of islands. Japan is 100 miles from the Asian mainland and the Korean peninsula. The four mainlands are called Hokkaido which is  the second largest island, Honshu the largest island, Kyushu the third largest island, and Shikoku the smallest island. Japan’s size is about the size of Montana. Also, four fifths of its land is covered in mountains and can not be used for farming. People settled in narrow river valleys along the coastal plains. The sea isolated and protected Japan and were also trade routes. Sometimes Japan would seal themselves off from foreign influences. The Inland sea was an important link amongst the islands and offered many resources for food, thus forming a thriving fishing industry. Japan is located in a large chain of volcanoes known as the Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire surrounds the Pacific. There is also so much volcanic activity and earthquakes that they form killer tidal waves called tsunamis. There were many ways China influenced Japan. To begin, their writing and culture was spread throughout Japan sparking a great interest among them. Young scholars would frequently visit China to study, learn about the culture, and come back,  ambitious to spread Chinese thought, technology, and arts. Their ideas about government and their law code was also influenced by China. A capital was built at Nara which was where Japanese nobles were able to speak Chinese and follow their traditions or styles. Chinese dishes and drinks such as tea were a big influence there  as well. There were tea ceremonies, dances, Tang music, and many special garden designs. However, their significance began to die down and after absorbing all they could from China, they modified what they borrowed to produce their own newly improved civilization. Heian, modern-day Kyoto, was the capital of Japan from 794 to 1185. During the Heian period, emperors traditionally performed religious ceremonies. The Fujiwara possessed high power. They would marry their own daughters to keep their powerful positions. In the Heian period, noblewomen and noblemen lived in beautifully decorated settings like pools, gardens, and pavilions. The Heian court lived by etiquette rules and courtiers had fine, colorful clothing made from silk. The women in the Heian period made significant contributions to the Japanese literature, even though they were not allowed to study Chinese while the men could. The most famous writer in this period was Murasaki Shikibu. She wrote the first full-length novel known as The Tale of Genji, which describes the adventures of a fictional prince, Genji. Heian literature had a sense of sorrow which implied that love and the beauty doesn’t last forever. The Heian period came to an end after four hundred years because of war and rebellions. Disorder was caused by feudal warfare in Japan during the 1400’s. In spite of this great disturbance, an unfamiliar Japanese culture came to light. While the emperor was busy overseeing the Heian court, enemy clans fought each other to gain domination of the countryside. Some Buddhist temples and warlords made armies devoted to them only and not the government. Japan then derived a feudal system. Although the emperor was head of the Japanese society, the real power was within the shogun, the supreme military leader. Minamoto Yoritomo, a shogun designated in 1192, appointed the Kamakura shogunate. It was the first military dynasty that would last for 700 years. Furthermore, he dispersed land to vassal lords who agreed to support the shogun during times of trouble. These warrior lords were named daimyo. In return, these lords gave land to minor soldiers called samurai, meaning “those who serve”. The samurai were heavy-armored and highly skilled. The bushido, which was a code of values developed by the samurai, accentuated on honor, courage, and undivided loyalty to their lord. Moreover, noblewomen were at first trained highly in the military arts. Sometimes, noblewomen watched over their family’s estates. After the rise of samurai, the position of women slowly declined. To continue, the rank below the samurai were the peasants, merchants, and artisans. The peasants, which were three fourths of the population, were the main support in the feudal system. Some became farmers on samurai land. Others served as foot soldiers in wars. Some peasants even became samurai. Artisans supplied needed goods, such as swords and armor. Merchants were of the lowest rank in feudal society. Lastly, Mongol capture of Korea and China jeopardized Japan as well. When Japan denied Mongol rule, Kublai Khan began an assault from Korea in 1274. Although, Kublai Khan sent 30,000 men, a typhoon wrecked most of the ships and forced the surviving men back to Korea. The Mongols then proceeded to launch another attack in 1281, but was again stopped by the typhoon. The Japanese gratefully gave thanks to the kamikaze, or divine winds. This gave another reason to enjoy the wonderful conservation of the gods. Many different powerful warriors tried to unite large areas of Japan after the Kamakura shogunate ended. Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a general that was able to unite most of Japan under his control around 1590. Later in the 1600’s, a daimyo named Tokugawa Ieyasu became the master of Japan and defeated all of his adversaries. He was then named the title shogun three years later and the Tokugawa shogunate would rule Japan until around 1868. The Tokugawa shoguns were resolute in ending feudal warfare and were able to maintain forms of feudal society. The shoguns still imposed a central government authority on Japan and this form of government was called central feudalism. The Tokugawas were able to create an orderly society had a way to control the daimyos. Daimyos were required to stay at the shogun’s capital every other year while their wife and children stayed there all year long. This allowed the shoguns to keep an eye and control over the daimyo and his family. New established laws fixed the social order and maintained a strict moral code. These new laws made it so only samurais could hold government positions and serve in the army and lower class citizens were not allowed to wear extravagant clothing such as silk. Under the Tokugawas, Japanese economy increased. Agriculture expanded more and more as peace was reestablished to the countryside. Surpluses of food backed up the hasty growing population. Trade blossomed in Japan and soon, a prosperous merchant class appeared. Merchants had a low social status and improved their social class by marrying their daughters into the samurai class. In the middle of Japan’s feudal age, samurai accepted a sect of Buddhism coming from China which people called Zen Buddhism. Zen Buddhism emphasized self reliance, meditation, and devotion to duties. Zen monks were great scholars. Their monks valued an uncluttered and clear mind and strongly believed in reaching a moment of “non-knowing” Zen Buddhism required the compassion between all, but samurai continued to kill. Monks believed that they could reach enlightenment by meditation and the precise performing of certain tasks, such as elaborate timings for tea. Tea symbolized the virtues of peace, simplicity, and love of beauty. Zen also served as a reference or inspiration for landscape art. The society we know as the Japanese now probably migrated more than 2,000 years ago. Early Japanese society was divided into clans or uji. Each uji had a chief and worshipped a special god or goddess who was seen as the clan’s original ancestor.  By about A.D. 500 the Yamato clan dominated a corner of Honshu, the largest Japanese island. For the next 1,000 years the Yamato plain was the heartland of the Japanese government. The Yamato set up the first and only dynasty. The Yamato’s “original ancestor” is Amaterasu, goddess of the sun. That is why the Yamato chose the rising sun as their symbol. Later Japanese emperors were seen as living gods. Japanese emperors still trace their roots to the Yamato clan. Japanese clan would honor kami or superior natural powers. This became known as Shinto, “the way of the kami.” Japanese language is distantly related to Korean, but way different from Chinese. Korea and Japan were in constant contact with each other. Metal workers and artisans from Korea also came to Japan bring new technology. Some of the Yamato court had Korean ancestors. Edo and Osaka were the main places for art and theater to flare up. Nobles blended with the urban middle class in entertainment theaters. It greatly pointed out that it had luxuries and comforts that was very diverse from feudal traditions. During the 1300’s, the feudal system developed Noh plays, which were plays that had no scenery and was performed on square wooden stages. A lot of those plays represented Zen Buddhism, meaning to have not condone selfish behavior. Other plays had fairy tale stories and some had battles between feudal lords. Furthermore, a new type of drama formed called kabuki. Although it was inspired by noh plays, kabuki had comedy and anticlimax. Another popular type of play was bunraku. It included a puppetmaster manipulating a life-size puppet, while a narrator narrated a story. To continue, Japanese art represented China influence of landscape paintings. However, artists had their own unique style. They painted great works of art representing wars and invasions. During the 1600s, a popular new trend of art started to rise. They were colorful woodblock prints that fulfilled middle-class tastes in art. The crisp and gaudy colors gave a powerful feel of the pleasures of town life in Japan.Japan is on what is known as an archipelago, a chain of islands. Japan is 100 miles from the Asian mainland and the Korean peninsula. The four mainlands are called Hokkaido which is the second largest island, Honshu the largest island, Kyushu the third largest island, and Shikoku the smallest island. Japan’s size is about the size of Montana. Also, four-fifths of its land is covered in mountains and can not be used for farming. People settled in narrow river valleys along the coastal plains. The sea isolated and protected Japan and was also trade routes. Sometimes Japan would seal themselves off from foreign influences. The Inland sea was an important link amongst the islands and offered many resources for food, thus forming a thriving fishing industry. Japan is located in a large chain of volcanoes known as the Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire surrounds the Pacific. There is also so much volcanic activity and earthquakes that they form killer tidal waves called tsunamis. There were many ways China influenced Japan. To begin, their writing and culture were spread throughout Japan sparking a great interest among them. Young scholars would frequently visit China to study, learn about the culture, and come back,  ambitious to spread Chinese thought, technology, and arts. Their ideas about government and their law code were also influenced by China. A capital was built at Nara which was where Japanese nobles were able to speak Chinese and follow their traditions or styles. Chinese dishes and drinks such as tea were a big influence there as well. There were tea ceremonies, dances, Tang music, and many special garden designs. However, their significance began to die down and after absorbing all they could from China, they modified what they borrowed to produce their own newly improved civilization. Heian, modern-day Kyoto, was the capital of Japan from 794 to 1185. During the Heian period, emperors traditionally performed religious ceremonies. The Fujiwara possessed high power. They would marry their own daughters to keep their powerful positions. In the Heian period, noblewomen and noblemen lived in beautifully decorated settings like pools, gardens, and pavilions. The Heian court lived by etiquette rules and courtiers had fine, colorful clothing made from silk. The women in the Heian period made significant contributions to the Japanese literature, even though they were not allowed to study Chinese while the men could. The most famous writer in this period was Murasaki Shikibu. She wrote the first full-length novel known as The Tale of Genji, which describes the adventures of a fictional prince, Genji. Heian literature had a sense of sorrow which implied that love and the beauty don’t last forever. The Heian period came to an end after four hundred years because of war and rebellions. Disorder was caused by feudal warfare in Japan during the 1400’s. In spite of this great disturbance, an unfamiliar Japanese culture came to light. While the emperor was busy overseeing the Heian court, enemy clans fought each other to gain domination of the countryside. Some Buddhist temples and warlords made armies devoted to them only and not the government. Japan then derived a feudal system. Although the emperor was head of the Japanese society, the real power was within the shogun, the supreme military leader. Minamoto Yoritomo, a shogun designated in 1192, appointed the Kamakura shogunate. It was the first military dynasty that would last for 700 years. Furthermore, he dispersed land to vassal lords who agreed to support the shogun during times of trouble. These warrior lords were named daimyo. In return, these lords gave land to minor soldiers called samurai, meaning “those who serve”. The samurai were heavy-armored and highly skilled. The Bushido, which was a code of values developed by the samurai, accentuated on honor, courage, and undivided loyalty to their lord. Moreover, noblewomen were at first trained highly in the military arts. Sometimes, noblewomen watched over their family’s estates. After the rise of samurai, the position of women slowly declined. To continue, the rank below the samurai were the peasants, merchants, and artisans. The peasants, which were three-fourths of the population, were the main support in the feudal system. Some became farmers on samurai land. Others served as foot soldiers in wars. Some peasants even became samurai. Artisans supplied needed goods, such as swords and armor. Merchants were of the lowest rank in feudal society. Lastly, Mongol capture of Korea and China jeopardized Japan as well. When Japan denied Mongol rule, Kublai Khan began an assault from Korea in 1274. Although Kublai Khan sent 30,000 men, a typhoon wrecked most of the ships and forced the surviving men back to Korea. The Mongols then proceeded to launch another attack in 1281 but was again stopped by the typhoon. The Japanese gratefully gave thanks to the kamikaze or divine winds. This gave another reason to enjoy the wonderful conservation of the gods. Many different powerful warriors tried to unite large areas of Japan after the Kamakura shogunate ended. Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a general that was able to unite most of Japan under his control around 1590. Later in the 1600’s, a daimyo named Tokugawa Ieyasu became the master of Japan and defeated all of his adversaries. He was then named the title shogun three years later and the Tokugawa shogunate would rule Japan until around 1868. The Tokugawa shoguns were resolute in ending feudal warfare and were able to maintain forms of feudal society. The shoguns still imposed a central government authority on Japan and this form of government was called central feudalism. The Tokugawas were able to create an orderly society had a way to control the daimyos. Daimyos were required to stay at the shogun’s capital every other year while their wife and children stayed there all year long. This allowed the shoguns to keep an eye and control over the daimyo and his family. Newly established laws fixed the social order and maintained a strict moral code. These new laws made it so only samurais could hold government positions and serve in the army and lower class citizens were not allowed to wear extravagant clothing such as silk. Under the Tokugawas, Japanese economy increased. Agriculture expanded more and more as peace was reestablished to the countryside. Surpluses of food back up the hasty growing population. Trade blossomed in Japan and soon, a prosperous merchant class appeared. Merchants had a low social status and improved their social class by marrying their daughters into the samurai class. In the middle of Japan’s feudal age, samurai accepted a sect of Buddhism coming from China which people called Zen Buddhism. Zen Buddhism emphasized self-reliance, meditation, and devotion to duties. Zen monks were great scholars. Their monks valued an uncluttered and clear mind and strongly believed in reaching a moment of “non-knowing” Zen Buddhism required the compassion between all, but samurai continued to kill. Monks believed that they could reach enlightenment by meditation and the precise performing of certain tasks, such as elaborate timings for tea. Tea symbolized the virtues of peace, simplicity, and love of beauty. Zen also served as a reference or inspiration for landscape art. The society we know as the Japanese now probably migrated more than 2,000 years ago. Early Japanese society was divided into clans or uji. Each uji had a chief and worshipped a special god or goddess who was seen as the clan’s original ancestor.  By about A.D. 500, the Yamato clan dominated a corner of Honshu, the largest Japanese island. For the next 1,000 years, the Yamato plain was the heartland of the Japanese government. The Yamato set up the first and only dynasty. The Yamato’s “original ancestor” is Amaterasu, goddess of the sun. That is why the Yamato chose the rising sun as their symbol. Later Japanese emperors were seen as living gods. Japanese emperors still trace their roots to the Yamato clan. Japanese clan would honor kami or superior natural powers. This became known as Shinto, “the way of the kami.” The Japanese language is distantly related to Korean but way different from Chinese. Korea and Japan were in constant contact with each other. Metal workers and artisans from Korea also came to Japan bring new technology. Some of the Yamato courts had Korean ancestors.    Edo and Osaka were the main places for art and theater to flare up. Nobles blended with the urban middle class in entertainment theaters. It greatly pointed out that it had luxuries and comforts that was very diverse from feudal traditions. During the 1300’s, the feudal system developed Noh plays, which were plays that had no scenery and was performed on square wooden stages. A lot of those plays represented Zen Buddhism, meaning to have not condoned selfish behavior. Other plays had fairy tale stories and some had battles between feudal lords. Furthermore, a new type of drama formed called Kabuki. Although it was inspired by noh plays, kabuki had comedy and anticlimax. Another popular type of play was bunraku. It included a puppetmaster manipulating a life-size puppet, while a narrator narrated a story. To continue, Japanese art represented China influence of landscape paintings. However, artists had their own unique style. They painted great works of art representing wars and invasions. During the 1600s, a popular new trend of art started to rise. They were colorful woodblock prints that fulfilled middle-class tastes in art. The crisp and gaudy colors gave a powerful feel of the pleasures of town life in Japan.

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