History of Japan
Ancient mythology holds that Japan’s history is tied to the sun goddess, called Amterasu. Legend has it that Amaterasu sent one of her descendants to unify people on the island of Kyushu. At the core of this unification was Shintoism a religion that is native to Japan.
In the 6th century Buddhism, was introduced to Japan by the virtue of China and Korea. In the early 7th century Prince Regent Shotku, an adherent of Buddhism and a highly regarded figure to this day in Japan, carried out political reforms, established a constitutional government, sent Japanese scholars to China to study Buddhist teaching and went on to construct a multitude of temples.
The Nara Period (710-784)
Prior to the year 710, the site of the capital was moved each time a new Emperor came to the throne. In 710, a permanent court was established in the city of Nara. There was seven successive Emperors witnessed by Nara over the next 77 years. Buddhism was prospering, and thousands of temples were constructed throughout Japan.
The Heian Period (794-1185)
The capital of Japan was moved to Heiankyo, which is present-day Kyoto. The new city streets were laid out in a grid fashion. New ideologies and practices were flowing into Japan from China and abroad, and then were being modified to become uniquely Japanese. A new Japanese writing system was created from China characters. Towards the end of the Heian period military clans in the provinces began clashing for power, which ultimately pushed Japans into a series of civil wars and eventually led to the feudal era.
The Kamakura Period (1185-1333)
After the military clan called the “Genji Clan” emerged victorious in battles with the “Heike Clan”, the head of the Genji Clan, Yoritomo, established a military government in a fishing village called Kamakura and became the nations firsts military leader. This marked the beginning of Japan’s 700 years of military leader rule, and the ascendancy of the warrior caste...
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