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Japanese History - Jōmon to Sengoku

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Xuan Yuan Huang

on 12 December 2013

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Transcript of Japanese History - Jōmon to Sengoku

Japanese History - Jōmon to Sengoku
Jōmon Period
[~11,000 to 400 BCE]
Appearance of pottery, often decorated by rolling rope knots on clay
Pottey, or food storage, indicative of the beginnings of civilization
Increasingly ornate over time, indicating possible ritual usages
Hunter-gatherer societies reliant on bountiful fish and game in Japan
W/o agriculture, could only sustain small villages
Dispersed throughout Japan
Yayoi Period
[400 BCE - Mid-3rd CE]
Japan and Korea at this period virtually one region - note their geographical proximity
Approximately 400 BCE: mass migrations of peoples (not necessarily Korean themselves) through Korea
Spreads throughout western Japan, especially Kyūshū, but fail to reach Eastern Honshū or Hokkaido, where Jōmon culture persists for several centuries
International politics in East Asia revolves around China, ruled by the Han from 206 BCE to 220 CE and by the Three Kingdoms afterward
First appearance of Japan in historical record as "Wa" in Wei records
A Yayoi state, Yamatai, ruled by a "Himiko" sends an embassy to China ca. 228 CE in an attempt to establish its own legitimacy
Yayoi migrants bring iron, bronze, glass, cloth - Jōmon relied on wood only - and, most critically, wet rice agriculture
Rice agriculture sustains much larger settlements
Yayoi had relatively simple pottery and used bells decorated with flowing water or drawings instead of rope pattern pottery or figures
Emergence of Japanese taste for mirrors
Writing on mirrors, often clearly copied, demonstrate the reverence of an illiterate culture towards the power of the written word
Warfare indicates the beginnings of significant political structures, necessary to manage the Yayoi's larger and fortified settlements, and social hierarchies
Japan and China
Sudden emergence of massive burial mounds indicate increasing social stratification
May have been tributes by local chiefs to emerging central court
Grew increasingly larger until the end of the period
Evidence of Korean burial methods emphasize continued connections to Korea
[~Mid 3rd - Late 6th]
Burial Mounds
Central Court
A central court - the Yamato - rises in the Kinai plain and becomes dominant in central Japan
Based at Nara
Rise of the "uji" kinship groups and "be" craftsmen, some with clear lines of descent from Korea
Yamato court shows close ties, possibly familial, with Paekchae in Korea; maintains contact with other Korean kingdoms and China
Japanese nobility likely dressed and acted like their Korean counterparts
Horse artifacts first appear during this period
Indigenous horses had existed in Japan since the Paleolithic but had played little role in agriculture or war
Critical future role in Japanese warfare began with the import of continental horses in the 4th century
Asuka and Nara
[592 - 794]
[592 - 710]
[710 - 794]

Rise of the Soga uji led by Soga no Umako
Ruled indirectly - married into royal family and built the power of the new court at Asuka
645: Coup d'etat of the Soga
Led by Nakatomi no Kamatari and Tenji
663: Defeat on Paekchon River forces Yamato to withdraw from Korean peninsula
Fear of Tang or Silla invasion leads Tenji to begin massive fortification efforts at Kyūshū as well as to reform the Yamato government along Chinese lines (Taika Reforms, ritsuryō)
Flood of Korean refugees, many literate, bolster expansion of administration; Yamato court welcomes Paekchae nobles with ranks and titles equal to those in Paekchae
672: Jinshin War - Tenji's brother Tenmu defeats Tenji's son and rules alongside his wife Jitō
Renames Wa to "Nihon" and the kingship to "tennō", continuing reorganization of Japanese government along Chinese lines
Reforms of the Asuka Period
Bureaucracy based on written records
Formal taxation
Constructions of capitals
Beginnings of the imperial provincial system
Census and draft
Tenmu's Reforms
Promulgation of complete legal codes and writing of histories (including the partly mythological Kojiki)
New palace compounds
Official control over religious institutions
Control over Buddhism wrested from kinship groups through state sponsorship
Beginnings of organized kami worship
Adoption of Chinese concept of heavenly sovereign to Japanese hereditary rule and government (Taihō)
Capital moved by Jitō to Nara in 710 to facilitate construction of an imposing capital in the style of Chang'an
Promulgation of Yōrō Code (revision of Taihō)
Continued state sponsorship of Buddhism
Shinto temples partially systematized into a network of shrines ruled by the court
Hierarchy begins to develop within the court itself
An official's rank is depicted in the color of his clothing
[794 - 1185]
794 - 806: Kanmu's attempt to assert imperial power
Capital moved to Heian to limit strength of urban Buddhist sects
858: Fujiwara no Yoshifusa assumes title of regent over an adult emperor
995 - 1027: Fujiwara no Michinaga rules without an official title
1068 - 1160: In system - retired emperors replace Fujiwara as rulers
1159 - 1185: Taira Clan of warriors controls the capital
Heian Court
Development of highly refined imperial court culture at the new capital of Heian
Trademarks: effeminate personality, love for poetry and nature, many-layered clothing
Heian itself laid out like Nara, emphasizing the central position of the imperial court in cultural life
Nepotism over Chinese-style meritocracy
Evolution from Taihō Code
Lower ranked officials studied at state universities - higher ranked officials received private tutoring
Closer ties to the imperial family meant greater rank and being allowed physically closer to the emperor himself
Division of government into a powerful Council of State baesd on Chinese model and a weak Council of Shrine Affairs and
Council of State dominated by Fujiwara
Heian women were cultivated and often well educated by their fathers so that they could be used as pawns in political marriages. Nonetheless, an intelligent woman, as defined by knowledge of poetry and skill at writing, could stand out on her own merit. Although they were supposed to write in kana, some still learned to write in classical Chinese, the language of government and the sophisticated. Women could even be landed during this period.

Famous Heian women writers include Sei Shōnagon (The Pillow Book) and Murasaki Shikibu (Tale of Genji, perhaps the world's first novel).
Tendai (Saichō)
Center: Mt. Hiei
Main Text: Lotus Sutra
Chinese origin: Tiantai School
Perfectly Harmonious Threefold Truth
Quickly came to be influenced by Shingon Buddhism
Buddhist sects during this era often became sources of economic, political, and even military power. They shared central Buddhist tenets and motifs like uncountable numbers. However, they were primarily the religion of the court, not the common people.
Shingon (Kūkai)
Center: Mt. Kōya
Main Text: Mahavairocana Sutra (Dainichi)
Chinese Origin: Zhenyan
Indian Origin: Mantra
Enlightenment in this bodily existence
Esoteric practices - mudras, mandalas, mantras
Kūkai's blending of local and foreign schools into his "Ten Stages" ranking
Tenji, Kamatari, and their emperor had adopted a system similar to the Chinese equal-field system during the Taika Reforms of the Asuka period
Land was (theoretically) owned by the Emperor and divided among the people, ensuring a source of taxes, agricultural productivity, and prevention of land accumulation by potentially rebellious nobles
In practice, system was essentially nominal in the frontier regions but remained in place
As the Heian era progressed, emperors began to give more and more land (shōen, estates) to officials as political gifts
These estates were tax-free and immune from inspection; they inevitably began to grow independent of the imperial provincial system
By the end of the Heian era, perhaps as much as half of Japan's land was enclosed in such estates, eroding the power of the central court
Heian Era
1159: Hōgen War - Taira Kiyomori and Minamoto Yoshitomo enable Go-Shirakawa's overthrow of the cloistered emperor and Minamoto no Tameyoshi
1159: Heiji War - Kiyomori defeats Yoshitomo, leading the Taira to temporary dominance in the capital
Marries into imperial family for power, but the weakened imperial government proves not to be a very valuable gain
1180 - 1185: Genpei Wars - Minamoto overthrows Taira
Yoshitomo's son Yoritomo rallies Minamoto and the other eastern clans
Yoritomo's younger brother Yoshitsune helps, but the suspicious Yoritomo has him assasinated
Minamoto establish a "Shogunate" at Kamakura
Kamakura Era
1199 - 1333: Hōjō clan control of the Shogunate
Hōjō were the family of Yoritomo's widow Masako
After 1219, the shogun was not even of the Minamoto clan
1221: Jōkyū Disturbance provokes shogunate into reducing the power of the cloistered emperors
1274 - 1281: 1st and 2nd Mongol Invasions
[1185 - 1333]
The Kamakura Shogunate
Shoguns were (ideologically) deployed by the emperor with delegated powers
In reality, shoguns were controlled by their Hōjō regents; emperors were dominated by their cloistered counterparts, although less so after the Jōkyū Disturbance
Kamakura, in the Kantō Plain of eastern Japan, was the site of Yoritomo's bakafu
Split of Japan between East and West once again, now with two poles - Heian-kyo and Kamakura
Complex system of dual rule
Land often belonged to both nobles and warriors
Both civil government and military stewards (jitō) had taxation rights
Civil governors clashed with military governors (shugo) at the provincial level
A country where neither the civil government nor the military government, still trying to adopt imperial manners of rule, were strong enough to govern
Jōei Code (1232) highlight's shogunate's primary role - arbitration of disputes, usually over land
Ryōan-ji (Zen)
Pure Land
Worship of Amida's Pure Land
Tendai priest Genshin (942 - 1017) write Essentials of Salvation
Tendai priest Hōnen (1133 - 1212) argues that recitation of the nenbutsu is the best and only method of salvation
Displacement of esoteric practices and holy texts renders Buddhism much more accessible
Followers of Shinran (1173 - 1262) establish the True Pure Land School
Ippen (1239 - 1288) argues that nenbutsu is enough - even faith is unnecessary
Chaos of late Heian, transitory Kamakura led many to believe it was the advent of the mappō; accessible Pure Land Buddhism soon became popular among the common people
Common ritual at death: clutching string on deathbed, hoping Amida would pull one to the Pure Land and salvation
Emphasis on meditation; rejection of prayer, study, or complex rituals
Eisai (1141 - 1215) and Rinzai Zen: Accommodated Zen to Tendai, Shingon, and Pure Land practices; received Kamakura sponsorship; emphasized severe monastic discipline
Dōgen (1200 - 1253) and Sōtō Zen: Sitting in silent meditation (zazen) - no specific object in mind to realize Buddha's nature
Softer than Rinzai Zen

Zen Buddhism emerged during this period but was not particularly popular until the Muromachi period.
[c. 1336 - c. 1573]
1333-1336: Kenmu Restoration under Go-Daigo
Dynastic succession dispute resolved by Go-Daigo's coalition, led by Ashikaga Takauji (bakufu general that switched sides) and Nitta Yoshisada (who ended Hōjō, Kamakura bakufu)
1336-1392: Northern and Southern Courts
Go-Daigo attempts to strip military supporters of powers
Takuji betrays Yoshisada and dethrones Go-Daigo
Go-Daigo flees to Yoshino (Nara)
1336-1573: Ashikaga Shogunate
Takauji rebases bakufu in Muromachi, northeast Kyoto
Lord-vassal system gains power, reversing Go-Daigo's pro-imperial policies
Shoguns take control of imperial budget
1392: 3rd Shogun, Yoshimitsu, unifies courts
1467-1477: Ōnin War cripples the Shogunate
First appearance of religion recognizable as Shintō during Kenmu Restoration, emerging from Buddhism
Dual Shinto of Honji Suijaku (Original Ground and Manifest Trace): Shintō kami are Buddhist gods and vice versa
Kitabake Chikafusa's Chronicles of Gods and Sovereigns rewrites the Kojiki and Nihonshoki from a Shintō perspective
Muromachi Religion
Zen Buddhism becomes popular among the warrior class. Its origins in China and the influence of its monks eventually convince Go-Daigo and then the Ashikaga to send embassies to China for the first time in centuries

Chinese Zen of the Five Mountains (Gozen) system copied during the Kamakura, controlled by the Ashikaga
Ink paintings (suiboku-ga) brought by Zen monks
Zen temples and gardens
Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, 3rd Shogun
[r. 1368 - 1394]
Born in Kyōto, Yoshimitsu was steeped in court culture even more than previous warrior rulers, especially since the shogunate had relocated to Kyōto
Built the Kitayama Estate in northeast Kyōto for himself
Zen Kinkakuji (1397)
Major patron of the arts
Collection of Chinese paintings (landscape)
Linked poems (renga)
Collaborative composition
Traditional poem (waka) split in two halves
Yoshimitsu taught by courtier Nijou Yoshimoto
Nō theater
Origins obscure; appears only in 14th century
Elements: main actor (shite, always masked), secondary actor (waki, rarely masked), chorus, musicians
Types: gods, warriors, women, fourth, demons; mugen-nō (supernatural) v. genzai-nō (natural)
Ashikaga Yoshimasa, 8th Shogun
[r. 1449 - 1473]
Higashiyama Estate
Ginkakuji (1474)
Tea Ceremony (sadō)
Nō theater
Ink Painting (Four Seasons)

By the time Yoshimasa ruled, the central system was beginning to collapse. However, the shogunate maintained revenue through taxation of commerece, and the elite surrounded their estates in ink landscape paintings even as the country declined.
[c. Mid-15th - c. 1603]
Highlights of the Era:
Dissolution of shōnen system
Gekokujō (the low overcoming the high) - the introduction of a form of meritocracy to Japanese politics thanks to a weak aristocracy
Introduction of firearms
Use of mass foot soldiers (samurai had fought primarily on horseback)
Development of castle building
Oda Nobunaga
[1534 - 1582]
Often portrayed as clever, patient, and a Buddhist hater (not at all certain)
1560: Crucial battle against the Imagawa clan
1571: Destroys Enryakuji, the powerful Buddhist sect on Mt. Hiei
1573: Takeda Shingen dies; Nobunaga expels the last Ashikaga Shogun
1575: Battle of Nagashino (Oda + Tokugawa v. Takeda)
1576: Battle of Tedorigawa (Uesugi v. Oda)
1578: Uesugi Kenshin dies
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
[1536 - 1598]
As a former peasant, often portrayed as dimwitted
Appointed Nobunaga's regent (an ancient title associated with the Fujiwara clan of the early Heian era)
1587: Issues edict expelling Christian missionaries after foreigners less accommodating than the Portuguese Jesuits start to arrive (word of Spain's colonization of the Philippines does not help)
1588: Edict prohibits farmers from bearing arms, preventing peasant uprisings and mass conscription/arming
1591: Edict restricts change of social status
Hideyoshi wants stability in his now mostly unified realm
1592: Hideyoshi invades Korea
1597: 2nd Invasion
Tokugawa Ieyasu
[1542 - 1616]
1561: Alliance with Nobunaga
1571-84: War with Takeda
1584: Supports Nobunaga's son Nobuo against Hideyosh
1590: Takes Hideyoshi's offer of land exchange; peace
1573: Last Ashikaga Shogun driven out of Kyoto by Oda Nobunaga
1592: Invasion of Choson - the Imjin War
1600: Battle of Sekigahara
672: Almost exact place Tenmu won the Jinshin war
1603: Establishment of Tokugawa Shogunate
Tokugawa Ieyasu was an eastern daimyō who, essentially, had been carefully orchestrating his rise to power in eastern Japan while Nobunaga and Hideyoshi consolidated western and central Japan for him. He bode his time until both were dead, then struck.
760: Chinese scholar Lu Yu's "Classic of Tea"
9th c.: Tea introduced to Japan
Song Dynasty develops tea ceremony
Eisai (1141-1215): Rinzai zen brings Song-style tea to Japan
Zen becomes associated with tea
Murata Shuuko (1422 - 1502)
Sen no Rikyu (1521 - 1591), Nobunaga and Hideyoshi's tea master
The Way of Tea (Sadō)
The Christian Century
1549: Francisco Xavier lands in Kyūshū
1587: Hideyoshi's edict expelling Christian misionaries, which is mostly unenforced
1592: Franciscans arrive
1606: Tokugawa declare Christianity illegal
1614: Campaign to eradicate Christianity (300k converts by this point)

Interestingly, Portuguese described Japan as highly civilized and "white" - race as we know it didn't exist as a concept.
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