East Asia Midterm Review
Amateratsu: a part of the Japanese myth cycle and also a major deity of the Shinto religion. She is the goddess of the sun, but also of the universe. Daughter of god Izanaghi. Created 8 islands. The Emperor of Japan is said to be a direct descendant of Amaterasu. •
Tangun: mythological first king of the Koreans, the grandson of Hwanin, the creator, and the son of Hwanung, who fathered his child by breathing on a beautiful young woman. Tangun reportedly became king in 2333bc. Hwanung left heaven to rule Earth from atop Mt. T’aebaek (Daebaik). When a bear and a tiger expressed a wish to become human beings, he ordered the beasts into a cave for 100 days and gave orders that they were to eat only mugwort and garlic and avoid the sunlight. The tiger soon grew impatient and left the cave, but the bear remained and after three weeks was transformed into a beautiful woman. It was she who became the mother of Tangun. The myth is important inasmuch as it links the Korean people with a heavenly origin. •
Mandate of Heaven: way for a ruler to derive legitimacy. Core concept of Chinese political history that goes back to the first historical dynasty (Shang, no writing system and history before that). Zhou made it to all families. Heaven gives rulers the right to rule because they are virtuous rulers; rule is conditional and ruler can lose the mandate if he becomes corrupt, at which point someone better suited can take over. Because heaven gives the ruler the right to rule, they have control over all land and all people in it, but people can revolt if unjust. •
Civil Service Examination: Started in Sui Dynasty China. With a centralized bureaucracy need to come good/virtuous officials; done through civil service exams to eliminate the great families and allocate very high status jobs. Synthesis between legalism and Confucianism: exam (quality/skill) but on Confucian principles. Created a lot of social mobility because it was open to anyone with any education. Created elite gentry class (anyone who passed these exams). Standardized written language and political thought because everyone had to study Confucians texts and not anything practical. In Korea, exams were adopted during the Choson dynasty, which was founded by Confucian educated reformists; wanted to stop power and corruption of aristocracy but access to exams more limited than in China and those that passed were from leading families. Compared to Han where paternalism and families controlled. •
Shogun: was often one of the hereditary military governors of Japan from 1192 to 1867; ruling warrior class. In this period, the shōguns, or their shikken regents (1203–1333), were the de facto rulers of Japan though they were nominally appointed by the emperor and hence got their legitimacy from him. Line of power ran from the shogun, to the feudal lord daimyo, to the samurai living in the daimyo’s han domain. Summurai where also schooled in Confucianism, the arts, and politics, and had roles of civil servants. The shogun's officials (daimyo) and his tent government were as a collective the bakufu, and were those who carried out the actual duties of administration while the Imperial court retained only nominal authority. Before Hideyoshi the daimyo had a lot of independent power and Japan was decentralized into different domains; he was able to get their loyalty. •
Shinto: is the indigenous spirituality of Japan and the people of Japan. It is a set of practices, to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient past. Not unified "Shinto religion", but rather to disorganized folklore, history, and mythology. Shinto today is a term that applies to public shrines suited to various purposes such as war memorials, harvest festivals, romance, and historical monuments, as well as various sectarian organizations. Animism, worship of kami (spirits, natural forces). Indigenous religion related to...
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