Influence of Buddhism and Confucianism
Before the introduction of Buddhism from India or the introduction of Confucianism from China, ancient Japanese was very much an equal society. Equal in the sense that women and men were buried the same, and ceremonies weren't separated by gender. As the society grew there were class differences but the gender aspect stayed pretty much the same. It wasn't until Confucianism was introduced that the gender separation began. Soon men were becoming higher than women and women became subservient. As seen in the examples of Lessons for Women many of the ideas that came from Chinese society seeped into Japanese society. The ideas of humility and that a woman is born 'lower' than a man continued in Japanese society, and contributed to the shaping of how Japanese society is nowadays.
With the introduction of Buddhism and Confucianism, Japanese society was changed from it's original ancient culture to a culture closer to Chinese society. With Confucianism contributing more than Buddhism, Japan became more like China than before.
A good example of Confucian influence would be the Lessons for Women. One of the first fundamental elements that women had to learn was humility. A baby girl was placed under the bed to show she was lowly and weak, a quality that, at the time, a woman needed to have. The idea that a woman needed to be modest and humble, and respect everyone else and herself last was a very sought after quality in a woman. Another quality was for her to seem like she was always trembling and fearful. A strange quality for a woman to have, but a quality that signified her meekness and her humble attitude toward others. Virtually what the lessons taught was to teach a woman how to be the perfect slave, easily controlled by the husband and family. And at the time these qualities in a woman were what every women needed, and should have.
Buddhism on the other hand was a little different than... [continues]
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