- About 4000 islands make up the Japanese archipelago, island group. Southern Japan enjoys a mild climate with plenty of rainfall. - Only 15% of the land is suitable for farming. Natural resources are in short supply. - Late summer and early fall strong tropical storms (typhoons) occur. Earthquakes and tidal waves are also threats.
- A.D.300, Japan was not a united country; hundreds of clans controlled their own territories. - People worshiped its own nature gods and honored thousands of local deities. This religion was called Shinto. Shinto had no complex rituals; it was based on respect for the forces of nature. - Japanese adapt Chinese ideas from trading with Koreans and the migrations. -Believed system (Buddhism) brought into Japan.
Heian Society (794-1185)
- Among the upper class in Heian, a highly refined court society arose. - People of the court filled their days with elaborate ritual and artistic pursuits. Everyone at court was expected to write poetry and to paint. People are educated.
- Fujiwara family held the real power in Japan for most of the Heian period. The middle of the 11th century, the power of central government began to slip because court families grew more interested in luxury then governing. -Large landowners living away and set up their private armies. Farmers trade land for protections. Therefore, lord gained more power and it’s the beginning of feudal system. - Each lord surrounded himself with a body guard of loyal warriors called samurai. They were expected to show reckless courage, reverence for the gods and dying an honorable death was judged more important than living a long life. - During the late 1100s, Minamoto family emerged victorious. Emperor named a Minamoto leader Yoritomo the title of Shogun. They now have the power of military. - The real Center of power was at the shogun’s military headquarters at Kamakura. The pattern of government in which shoguns ruled through puppet emperors lasted in Japan until 1868. -The shoguns strengthened their own control by assigning a military governor (Daimyo) to each province.
The Tokugawa Shoguns
- From 1467 to 1568 is the warring state period. Powerful Samurai seized control of old feudal estates. -Oda Nobunaga defeated rituals and seized the imperial capital Kyoto in 1568. But he was not able to unify Japan. - Toyotomi Hideyoshi continued to set out to destroy the daimyos that remained hostile. He invaded Korea in 1592, and began a long campaign against the Koreans and their Ming Chinese allies. -Tokugawa Ieyasu completed the unification of Japan. His victory earned him the loyalty of daimyo throughout Japan and eventually became the sole ruler. -Ieyasu made alternate attendance policy and other restrictions and he tamed the daimyo. He founded the Tokugawa Shogunate, which would continue until 1867. -Under Tokugawa Shogunate, culture continued to thrive and Japan enjoyed more than 2 centuries of stability, prosperity and isolation under the Shoguns. -Japanese encountered Europeans in 1543 and they accepted Christianity. However, people rebels the Christians and policies eventually eliminated Christianity in Japan. -The persecution of Christians was part of an attempt to control foreign ideas. Tokugawa shoguns instituted a closed country policy. Only Dutch and Chinese merchants were allowed into the port. They now had a monopoly on foreign trade which still to be profitable.
- From 1641 to 1853, the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan enforced a policy which it called kaikin. The policy prohibited foreign contact with most outside countries. -The culture of Japan developed with limited influence from the outside world and had one of the longest stretches of peace in history. During this period, Japan developed thriving cities and castle towns and increasing commodification of agriculture and domestic trade, wage...
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