Global History Regents

Note by , created almost 5 years ago

Notes on Global History Regents, early Japan.

Created by philip.ellis almost 5 years ago
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Page 1

Early Japanese culture was heavily influenced by Korean and Chinese civilization, with Korea often acting as the bridge between the other two.  This method of cultural diffusion lasted from the early 100s CE until approximately 600 CE.  At that point, Japan began to have direct contact with China, which was ruled by the Tang Dynasty.  For a five hundred year period, Japan selectively borrowed many aspects of Chinese civilization while maintaining a distinctly Japanese culture.

The Japanese borrowed various ideas from Chinese culture.  The Chinese system of writing was carried to Japan by the Koreans. The Japanese later modified this system by adding Kana, which are phonetic symbols representing syllables.  This is similar to a western alphabet.  Japan also adapted Buddhist and Confucian ideas to their civilization, with Zen Buddhism becoming very popular among the people.  Cultural ideas such as tea drinking, and the elaborate tea ceremony were also adapted from China, as well as the architectural designs for the pagoda.



Japan's feudal period extended from the 12th century until the 19th century.  During this time, society was divided in different classes.  Starting at the top was:   the Emperor, although he had little real power.   Japan was ruled by the Shogun, who was a military leader with near absolute control.  Under the Tokugawa Shoguns, Japan experience a time of peace and stability.  


Zen beliefs such as, devotion to duty and the accurate performance of everyday tasks, helped to shape Japan.  These practices translated in cultural achievements like the tea ceremony and landscape gardening.  Also, Zen Buddhist brought the architectural style of the pagoda to Japan.  This style of building can be seen throughout their society.



Have a look at some of these Japanese question words.

Early Japan