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China and Japan. Part II, Sui-Tang, China thru Heian, Japan. Gov/Hist 352 Campbell University. Tang Dynasty (617-907). The Tang was a hi-point in Chinese civilization. The population reached 50-60 million. It was cosmopolitan, composed of Nestorians, Manicheans, Buddhist and Muslims.

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china and japan

China and Japan

Part II, Sui-Tang, China thruHeian, Japan

Gov/Hist 352

Campbell University

tang dynasty 617 907
Tang Dynasty (617-907)
  • The Tang was a hi-point in Chinese civilization. The population reached 50-60 million.
  • It was cosmopolitan, composed of Nestorians, Manicheans, Buddhist and Muslims.
  • The capital had a population of a million within its walls and another million outside.

The empire was 5,640 miles N-S and 3,170 miles E-W. The Tang reached the Caspian and Roman empire.

tang dynasty cont d
Tang Dynasty (Cont’d)
  • The annual tax revenues of the Tang treasury were:
    • 2 million plus strings of cash.
    • 125, 000 lbs of Silver.
    • 1,060,714 tons of grain.
    • 1,800,000 rolls of silk.
    • 1,350,000 pieces of other cloth.
  • In one year, the mines of the empire produced:
    • 390 tons of Copper -317 tons of Iron
    • 85 tons of Lead
    • 15 tons of Tin
qin han vs sui tang
Qin-Han vs. Sui-Tang
  • There are many similarities between the Sui-Tang Dynasties and the Qin-Han Dynasties as well as notable differences. Similarities include:
    • Dynastic Cycle.
      • Proceeded by a short unifying dynasty.
      • Initially vigorous, innovative and expansionistic.
      • Each suffered a dynastic break.
      • Later period was less self confident and more conservative
    • Capital. Chang’an was the capital of both
    • Borders. Both contended with nomadic barbarians.
    • Western expansion. Both expanded into Central Asia leading to contacts with the West.
qin han vs sui tang cont d
Qin-Han vs. Sui-Tang (Cont’d)
  • Role of Confucianism. Both respected Confucianism but tended to rely on Legalism.
  • Land Distribution. Both used the equal field system, although eventually forced to modify it.
  • Monopolies. Both used monopolies as a source of government revenue, particularly salt.
  • Stabilization. Both were involved in commodity price stabilization.
  • Public Works. Both consolidating dynasties were responsible for major public works, i.e., the Great Wall and the Grand Canal.
sui unification 581 617
Sui Unification (581-617)
  • The founder of the Sui was Yang Jian (Chien), reign name, Wendi. He was of Sino-Barbarian stock, known for his violent temper. He personally beat several officials to death.
  • He usurped the Northern Zhou (had replaced the Northern Wei) throne, then conquered the remainder of China..
  • Wendi was followed by his son, Yangdi.

The Grand Canal

sui accomplishments
Sui Accomplishments
  • Reestablished the capital at Chang’an.
  • Revived the centralized bureaucracy to combat feudalism and instituted the Jinshi examination degree.
  • Instituted “rule of avoidance.”
  • Constructed the Grand Canal (684-689).
  • Repaired the Great Wall.
  • Resettled land and reinstated the equal field system.

The Grand Canal links the Yellow and Yangzi

sui accomplishments cont d
Sui Accomplishments (Cont’d)
  • Combined the Northern and Southern legal systems to produce the 500 article code of 581.
  • Established official granaries to stabilize prices.
  • Exchanged envoys with Japan three times. Each exchange involved 500 persons.
  • Launched military expeditions against Central Vietnam, Taiwan and into Central Asia.
  • Sent three expeditions against Koguryo (N. Korea and Manchuria). The Korean wars required heavy taxes, corves labor and extensive conscription.
the tang 617 907
The Tang (617-907)
  • The Tang was founded by Li Yuan (Gaozu). He served as the Sui’s top general and was related to the Sui thru his mother.
  • He was forced to abdicate by his son, Li Shi Minh (Taizong) (626-649). Wei Zheng was Taizong’s trusted minister.
  • Tang policies followed the initiatives of the Sui.

Tang China and its tributaries.

tang government
Tang Government
  • Tang Taizong was a strong and energetic leader. He instituted the following:
    • Restructured the central government into three Departments and Six Ministries The departments were the Secretariat, Chancellery and State Affairs. The Six Ministries functioned under State Affairs.

-Personnel -Revenue -Justice

-Rites (Protocol) -War -Public Works

    • Divided China into Ten Circuits for regular inspection.
    • Refined the law code into primary laws (permanent and universal) and second laws (adjustable to meet local conditions).
tang government cont d
Tang Government (Cont’d)
  • Promulgated new criminal and administrative law codes.
  • Built additional granaries and schools.
  • Sustained two capitals at great expense, Chang’an and Louyang.
  • Expanded the militia (called the Intrepid Militia) to 630 units. 1/3 to ½ were stationed around the capital.
  • Crushed the power of the eastern Turks in 630 and reduced the western Turks to vassalage, thereby opening the Silk Road to a huge influx of people and trade.
  • Xuanzang was one of many persons who traveled the Silk Road. He was a Buddhist monk who traveled to India in 627 and returned in 643 with many Buddhist sutras which he spent his life translating.
  • At Emperor Taizong’s request, he wrote a description of the lands through which he traveled, Xuanzang’s Record of the Western Regions. It became the source of fantastic legends, plays and novels.
  • It was translated by Samuel Beale in 1884.
empress wu
Empress Wu
  • In 690, she founded the Zhou Dynasty and ruled in her own name until 705.
  • Wu Zhao (age 12) became a concubine to Taizong in 637.
  • She was sent to a Buddhist nunnery in 649 when Taizong died. She returned to court in 651 as Gaozong’s concubine.
  • In 660, she began to rule in Gaozong’s name from behind the screen.
xuanzong 713 756
Xuanzong (713-756)
  • Xuanzong (Minghuang) was the 6th Tang emperor and grandson of Empress Wu.
  • His reign was the high point of the Tang Dynasty. He was a lover of horses and a patron of the arts.
  • During the kaiyuan period (first 20 years of Xuanzong’s reign), he reformed the bureaucracy, increased revenue and secured China’s borders.
xuanzong s accomplishments
Xuanzong’s Accomplishments
  • Xuanzong was given the title Minghuang, meaning brilliant. His accomplishments include:
    • Support of the arts,i.e., painting, poetry and music..
    • Support and interest in Daoism and Buddhism.
    • Reformed coinage.
    • Land registration yielding 800,000 new households.
    • Repaired and extended grand canal.
    • Established the Censorate.
    • Established the Council of Chief Ministers and the position of Prime Minister. This position was held by Li Linfu and later Yang Guozhong.
xuanzong and yang gueifei
Xuanzong and Yang Gueifei
  • During the tianbao period of Xuanzong’s reign, he allowed his chief ministers to run the country. Li Linfu (736-752) was competent but corrupt. He was succeeded by Yang Guozhong, who was Yang Gueifei cousin (or brother).
  • Yang Gueifei completely captivated Xuanzong. She had been his son’s concubine, but by 745 Xuanzong arranged for his son to have another bride.
  • Yang Gueifei introduced An Lushan into the court. Under her sponsorship, he was adopted into the royal family.



an lushan rebellion
An Lushan Rebellion
  • An Lushan led a rebellion in 755 with 155,000 troops from the Beijing area. He captured Louyang and proclaimed himself emperor of the Yan Dynasty. He then marched on Chang’an.
  • The court abandoned Chang’an and fled to Sichuan. Along the route, the troops mutinied and demanded Yang Guozhong’s and Yang Gueifei’s lives. The emperor demurred. He was 72.
  • The Tang Dynasty was saved by the use Uigur and frontier garrison troops. The rebellion ended in 762. Thirty million persons had perished.
reasons for the an lushan rebellion
Reasons for the An Lushan Rebellion
  • The equal field system worked poorly when land was scarce and tenure provisions were ignored.
  • The collection of taxes in kind on a large scale was cumbersome, requiring transportation and storage facilities.
  • The militia system of maintaining armies proved inadequate to the demands of the border wars.
  • Constant border warfare and natural disasters.
  • Rise of provincial armies and warlordism.
  • Corruption and the collapse of central government authority.
legacy of the an lushan rebellion
Legacy of the An Lushan Rebellion
  • Military governors essentially became autonomous. They kept tax receipts and even claimed hereditary succession.
  • Eunuch power increased as attempts were made to restore the power of the central government.
  • Large estates (aristocratic and Buddhist) became increasingly common as the equal field system was abandoned. A free economy in land led to increased tenancy.
  • A wealthy merchant class arose in the south associated with increased urbanization.
huang chao rebellion
Huang Chao Rebellion
  • During the 870s northern and central China suffered sever drought and famine.
  • Huang Chao, a salt merchant, raised a bandit force in 875 and joined another bandit leader, Wang Xianshi. He succeeded Wang 878.
  • As Huang marched south, the ranks of his forces swelled. He took Canton, killing 120,000 and then marched north to capture Louyang and Chang’an with a force of 600,000.
  • He proclaimed the Great Qi Dynasty, but was driven from Chang’an by loyalist forces in 883. He committed suicide in 884.
final collapse
Final Collapse
  • The throne was usurped by Zhu Wen, who established the Later Liang Dynasty in 907. This was the first of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms that separate the Tang and Song Dynasties.
  • Zhu Wen had been a general in Huang Chao’s army, defected in 882 and drove Huang Chao forces into the Tai Shan Mountains.
  • He was awarded a regional military governorship which he expanded to the point of forcing the imperial government to move to Louyang.
reasons for tang collapse
Reasons for Tang Collapse

1. Tianbao Crisis of Xuanzong’s Reign.

2. An Lushan Rebellion.

  • Separatist Reigns of Regional Military Governors.
  • Monopolization of Power by Eunuchs and Dissension between Parties.
  • Peasant Uprisings, Huang Chao’s in Particular.
li bai li po
Li Bai (Li Po)
  • Called the Poet Immortal, Li Bai (701 –762) is often regarded, along with Du Fu, as one of the two greatest poets in China's literary history.
  • Li Bai is best known for his extravagant imagination, striking Taoist imagery and his great love for liquor.
  • Legend has it that he drowned after falling out of his boat while trying to grasp the image of the moon on the water.
du fu
Du Fu
  • Du Fu (712-770) is considered China’s greatest poet, admired for his social consciousness and compassion.
  • Compelled by poverty and the social upheaval of the An Lushan Rebellion, he moved from Gansu to a thatched cottage in Chengdu in 759. He wrote 240 poems while there.
  • The recreated Thatched Cottage is preserved as a shrine and park.
tiantai tendai buddhism
Tiantai/Tendai Buddhism
  • Tiantai was the first native Chinese Buddhist school, founded by Zhiyi (538-597). It was named for its origin on Mount Tiantai.
  • It accepted diverse sutras as progressive revelation. Considered the Lotus Sutra to be the ultimate truth.
  • The Triple Truth was a central teaching:
    • All things are void and without essential reality.
    • All things have a provisional reality.
    • All things are both absolutely unreal and provisionally real at once.

Sui Dynasty pagoda on Mount Tiantai

pure land buddhism
Pure Land Buddhism
  • The Pure Land is the Western Paradise over which Amida, the Buddha of Infinite Light, presides.
  • Rebirth in paradise is possible by invoking the name of the Amida Buddha.
  • Pure Land became most popular in Japan under the teachings of Shinran (1173-1262).

The Great Amida Buddha at Kamakura, near Tokyo

chan zen esoteric buddhism
Chan/Zen & Esoteric Buddhism
  • Chan/Zen originated in China, although it became most popular in Japan.
  • Considers meditation to be the only route to enlightenment.
  • Gong’s/Koans are enigmatic statements which students ponder to transcend everyday reasoning.
  • Both esoteric and Chan/Zen have affinities for Daoism. Esoteric Buddhism emphasizes mantras, mudras and mandalas.
nestorian christianity
Nestorian Christianity
  • Christianity reached ninth-century China in the form of Nestorianism, named for Nestorios, the bishop of Constantinople.
  • Nestorians had flourishing communities in China, including cities along the Silk Road. A wall painting attests to the popularity of Christian worship in the Turfan area.


The Nestorian cross celebrates the victory of the resurrection rather than the crucifixion. The swastika symbolizes the radiance of the sun.

  • Foot binding began to be practiced on an increasing scale during the Tang Dynasty.
  • The use of tea as a drink became popular during the Tang Dynasty in connection with meditation.
  • The secret of paper making was revealed to the Islamic world by Chinese prisoners taken at the battle of Tallas (near Samarkand) in 751. Paper was being manufactured and used in China as early as 200 BCE.

Mount Fuji (Fujisan) is Japan's highest mountain and a frequent symbol. It is 12,388 feet high and can be seen from Tokyo and Yokohama on a clear day. Many Japanese believe it possesses superior Kami.

  • Nihon or Nippon is the native word for Japan. It is derived from Chinese and means “Sun Origin” or “Land of the Rising of Sun.”
  • Japan is composed of four major islands plus 3,000 lesser islands.
  • Four fifths of the land is mountainous. There are two major plains regions:
    • Kanto
    • Kansai (Kinki Plain)
jommon culture
Jommon Culture
  • The nominal dates for the period are 10,000 to 200 BCE.
  • The period is named for the rope pottery produced by the culture.
  • The dominate people were probably Ainu. The population may have reached 250,000. Average life expectancy was 15 years.
  • They were primarily hunter-gatherers who lived on deer, wild bore and fish.
  • Villages consisted of 6-10 pit dwellings and were marked by huge shell mounds.
  • Human remains indicate tooth mutilation, a Southeast Asian initiation practice.

Jomon figure shows signs of sympathetic magic.

yayoi culture
Yayoi Culture
  • The Yayoi period was 200 BCE-300 CE. It was Japan’s iron age.
  • The population increased by ten to 15 times suggesting a major influx of people who settled in Kyushu and the Kansai area. Skeletal remains indicate anatomical differences from the existing population.
  • DNA samples suggest migrants were from China’s lower Yangze River basin.
  • The period is marked by settled wet-rice agriculture and metallurgy. Metals were used to produced weapons, tools, mirrors & ceremonial bells.
  • Shamanism and fertility cults were common.

Yayoi pots were wheel thrown and hi temp fired.

ainu settler conflict
Ainu-Settler Conflict
  • The long standing conflict of immigrant settlers with the Ainu and each other shaped the history and warrior culture of the country.
    • Yayoi communities were located on hill tops with watchtowers and surrounded by moats and stockades.
    • Numerous weapons have been found at these sites plus skeletal remains with missing heads and/or with embedded arrow heads.
  • The insecurity of constant warfare favored the development of a patriarchal society in which land was held by force of arms.
tomb kofun culture
Tomb/Kofun Culture
  • Kofuns are the tombs of powerful people. They were built from the 3rd to the 7th Century.
  • 150,000 kofun have been found. The largest were 400 meters in length.
  • The tombs indicate the increasing organization of society and the existence of surplus labor.

Tomb of Emperor Nintoku

burial practices
This Tall Pine Burial Mound near Nara was decorated with paintings and star patterns on the ceiling.

Haniwa are clay figures & objects that were placed around tombs.

Burial Practices
structure of society
Structure of Society
  • The Chinese Book of Han, 57CE, relates that
    • The country of Wa (Japan) was as divided into more than 100 warring tribes.
    • The Wa kingdom of Na sent an emissary to pay tribute and receive a golden seal.
  • According to the Book of Wei in the 3rd Century:
    • The most powerful kingdom was Yamataikoku.
    • Yamataikoku was a confederation of chieftains ruled by Queen Himiko/Pimiko who possessed magical powers and was assisted by her brother.
shinto way of the gods
Shinto/Way of the Gods
  • Began about 500 BCE as an amorphous mix of nature worship, fertility cults, divination and shamanism
  • At heart, Shinto is Kami (spirit) worship, a form of animism.
  • The founding ancestors of the various Uji were worshipped as Kami.
  • Shinto became formalized thru contact with Buddhism and Taoism.

Amaterasu Omikami from whom the Yamato descended.

shinto cont d
Shinto (Cont’d)
  • Shinto contains the story of Yamato divine ancestry (Amaterasu) & creation (Izanagi & Izanami). Both support Yamato preeminence.
  • Emphasizes ritual purity and cleanliness.
  • Is expressed thru shrines and rituals.
  • Is imbedded in the culture.
  • Formalized in the Kojiki (712) & Nihon Shoki (720).

Shrine at Ise, founded by Emperor Temmu (678-686) & rebuilt by Jito

asuka transformation
Asuka Transformation
  • The Asuka period is the first when the Japanese imperial court ruled relatively uncontested.
  • The court was located in the Asuka region of Yamato Province, but had no permanent capital.
  • The period (538-646 CE) overlaps the late Tomb period and extends to the Taika Reform.
  • The Yamato court exercised power over clans on Honshu and Kyushu. They suppressed warring clans, awarded titles to subordinated chieftains and acquired agricultural land.
asuka period cont d
Asuka Period (Cont’d)
  • The written Chinese language was adopted.
  • The name of the country was change from Wa to Nihon or Nippon in communications with China.
  • Society was organized into counties, clans (uji) and occupational groups (be).
  • Most people were farmers; other were fishers, weavers, potters, artisans, armorers, and ritual specialists.
  • There was a loose connection to the Mimana (G/Kaya) confederacy on the Korean Peninsula.
korean connection
Korean Connection
  • The late Asuka period was greatly influenced by contact with Korea, especially thru refugees.
    • Buddhism was introduced under the sponsorship of the King of Paekche (552).
    • Warfare on the peninsula included an attempted invasions by Sui (611-614) and a struggle for supremacy between Paekche, Koguryo & Silla, prompting Korean immigration to Japan.
    • The perceived threat to Japan of a unified Korea under Silla and Tang control spurred domestic reform.
the soga
The Soga
  • The Soga rise to power was connected to its Paekche origins & patronage of Buddhism which was a vehicle for cultural transmission.
  • The Soga acted as regents, marrying daughters into the Yamato clan and manipulating the succession.
  • Increased centralization enhanced the power of both the Soga and Yamato clans.
  • Queen Suiko and Prince Shotoku were models of the new monarchy.

Horyuji was built in 607 by Prince Shotoku

shotoku taishi s injunctions
Shotoku Taishi’s Injunctions
  • Prince Shotoku Taishi issued a set of injunctions in 604.
    • Contained seventeen articles urging the observation of Confucian virtues.
    • The emphasis is on harmony between classes thru complementary relationships. The inferior is to obey; the superior is to observe proper decorum.
    • Contains an appeal for justice for inferiors in law suits.
    • Cautions against excessive exactions by governors and chieftains in taxing the people.
    • Warns against gluttony,covetousness, flattery, patronage, anger, neglect of office, & envy.
taika reform
Taika Reform
  • The Taika Reform (646) was the result of a coup led by Prince Tenji and Nakatomi no Kamatari (who later took the name of Fujiwara).
  • The Taika attempted to impose a Chinese style centralized government on a “feudal” structure.
    • Private land holdings replaced with equal field system.
    • Governors were appointed, provinces divided into districts and townships of 50 households each.
    • A road and postal structure was established with guards and roadhouses for safe travel.
    • The population and land were registered; a new, sophisticated and more flexible tax system imposed.
taiho code
Taiho Code
  • The Taiho Code (701) further refined the administration of the provinces (66) & districts (592) and established the form of the central bureaucracy.
  • The top tier of the central government was composed of a Council of State and a Department of Religion.
  • The Council of State included a chancellor and ministers of the left and right. This was the decision making body.

Map of Provinces in 701

taiho code cont d
Taiho Code (Cont’d)
  • The ministries were responsible for executing the decisions of the Council of State.
    • Central Office - Ceremonies (Protocol)
    • Civil Affairs - Public Works
    • War - Justice
    • Treasury - Imperial Household
  • The system copied the Tang government in form but ignored two key underlying factors.
    • Mandate of Heaven - Aristocracy of Learning.
nara 710 784
Nara (710-784)
  • Tenmu and Jito were the first to adopt the title of “Emperor” and the first to build a Chinese style capital.
  • Nara became the first permanent capital. It was modeled after Chang An.
  • It became a major administrative, population and Buddhist center and spurred the writing of the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki

Deer Park (Nara) celebrates the descent of Emperor Jimmu from heaven on the back of a sacred deer.

kojiki nihon shoki
Kojiki & Nihon Shoki
  • Both the Kojiki (712) and Nihon Shoki (720) were produced under imperial sponsorship.
  • The Kojiki is based on aural tradition and mythology. It contains Japan’s creation story and supports the Yamato reign.
  • Much of the Nihon Shoki is based on historical records. It post dates Yamato rule to 660BC, but is an accurate record of later times.

The Imperial Regalia of Japan. Part of the coronation since 690.


Todaiji is the Great Eastern Temple at Nara. It is the largest wooden structure in the world (330 ft hi & 280 ft wide) It contains the Dainichi, the Great Sun Buddha (50 ft tall). The court at Nara actively promoted Buddhism as the guardian of the state.

empress shotoku dokyo
Empress Shotoku & Dokyo
  • The extent to which Buddhism dominated the court is illustrated by Shotoku and Dokyo.
  • Empress Shotoku (764-770) became enamored with a Buddhist faith healer, Dokyo, upon whom she heaped titles and power. She even had a million prayer charms printed to please him.
  • Her alleged affair with Dokyo led to fears that she would place him on the throne as emperor, ending the Yamato line. She died of small pox.
  • Buddhist dominance of the court led to its move to Kyoto and the prohibition of women as rulers.
heian kyoto period
Heian/Kyoto Period
  • Emperor Kammu moved the capital to Kyoto in 794. It remained there until 1085, when it was moved to Kamakura at the end of the Gempei civil war.
  • Like Nara, Chang An was the model for construction. The scale was considerably larger, ½ million persons.
  • The Heian period was one of peace and prosperity, a high point in Japanese culture.
  • The Fujiwara clan dominated Japanese politics during the late Asuka and Heian periods.
  • The clan rose to power through a coup in 645 led by Nakatomi no Kamatari. By 858, Fujiwara Yoshifusa was able to place his grandson on the throne and rule first as regent to a minor (sessho) and later as regent to an adult (kampaku).
  • The clan’s greatest power occurred under Fujiwara Michinaga (966-1027), who enthroned and dethroned emperors at will. Nevertheless, one emperor, Daigo, ruled directly (897-930).
retired emperors
Retired Emperors
  • Go-Sanjo’s (r. 1068-1072) abdication in favor of his son, Shirakawa, established a precedent for government by retired emperor which lasted thru the reign of four emperors.
  • The system was called insei and functionedmuch like the Fujiwara regency. It freed the retired emperor of ceremonial duties.
  • The opportunity challenge the Fujiwara regency came when Go-Sanjo’s brother’s Fujiwara empress was childless.
shoen private estates
Shoen(Private Estates)
  • Enforcement of the equal field system (Taika) began to deteriorate during the 8th Century. Why?
    • When instituted, the reform applied to existing rice land only. That was probably only ½ the total cultivated.
    • Exemptions were made for land held by the aristocracy and religious orders. The number of exemptions expanded with time.
    • Newly developed (reclaimed) fields became exempt.
    • Tax exemptions and immunity from inspection led to a system of commendation. Freeholders placed their fields under the protection of a powerful family to gain tax exemption and immunities in exchange for rent.
shiki rights
Shiki (Rights)
  • An elaborate system evolved over time involving many levels of administration and rights to income, called shiki. Shiki could be bought and sold like common stock.The typical structure:
    • The grand patron (honke).
    • Central proprietors (ryoke)
    • Resident aristocracy (shoke) and officials (shokan).
    • Estate managers (ryoshu).
    • Peasant cultivators (shomin)
  • The honke and ryoke normally resided in the capital.
privatization refeudalization
  • By the 12th Century, ½ the rice land was privately held in Shoens. Why?
    • The central imperial government became less competent due to offices being filled on the basis of heredity and less relevant as lands were privatized.
    • New exempt lands were being reclaimed.
    • The demand for taxes from a shrinking tax base led to tax farming, further accelerating commendation.
    • Great families began to administer their private holdings as separate entities apart from government control thru administrative councils (mandokoro) with formalized bureaucracies. Fujiwara Michinaga actually governed the entire country thru his mandokoro.
The samurai class emerged from the need to defend shoens and maintain provincial order. Many became associated with with great collateral families such as the Minamoto (Genji) and Taira (Heike) in their recurring conflicts to gain control of new lands.
heian architecture
Heian Architecture

The Heian Jingu shrine was constructed in 1895 as a partial replica of the Imperial Palace (2/3rds scale) on the occasion of the 1,100 anniversary of the founding of the capital by Emperor Kammu.

heian royal court
The luxury of the court extended to every aspect of the lives of about 10,000 persons.

The buildings were all wooden, most with thatched roofs. The great hall of state was 170 ft. by 50 ft. and its roof was supported by 52 red columns. The roof was blue tile, the lattices were green, and gold characters decorated everything.

There was a hall for banquets, a hall of military virtues, ceremonial and religious halls, pavilions, a parade ground, archery range, and an equestrian area.

Heian Royal Court
phoenix hall
Phoenix Hall
  • Byodoin (Phoenix Hall) was built in 998 by Fujiwara Michinaga and converted to a temple dedicated to the Amida Buddha in 1052.
  • The temple is in Uji about 10 miles from Kyoto. The area and Michinaga were models for the Tales of Genji.
  • Byodoin is a registered national treasure

There are two bronze of phoenixes on the roof. The interior includes raigo paintings and sculptures of the Amida Buddha.

appearance etiquette
Appearance & Etiquette
  • Both men and women whitened their faces and wore perfume.
  • Women plucked their eyebrows, wore rouge& lipstick and blackened their teeth.
  • Multiple silk gowns and coats (between 5 and 12) were worn, one over another, all color coordinated.
  • The colors that could be worn as well as who bowed and who sat, stood, or prostrated themselves was all regulated.
  • There were endless rounds of rituals, politics and dinner parties.
  • Asceticism and romantic love came to dominate the court. Men fell in love with the sleeves of court ladies who remained hidden behind screens.
  • Literature reflected court life. Women excelled in developing the language of the time including Hiragana and Katakana.
  • The undisputed classic of the period is Tale of Genji written by Murasaki Shikibu. It is a story of court life, romance, eroticism and tragedy. Another later classic, Tales of Times Now Past, contains stories of common life and fantasy.
esoteric buddhism
Esoteric Buddhism
  • Two schools of Buddhism flourished during the Heian period: Tendai and Shingon. Both were brought from China.
  • Saicho (767-822) established Tendai, grounded in the Lotus Sutra. Later, Ennin expanded its esoteric qualities.
  • Kukai (774-835) established Shingon or “True Word.” Dainichi, the cosmic, Great Sun Buddha is central.

Shingon Womb Mandala

amida buddhism
Amida Buddhism
  • Kuya (903-972) and Genshin (942-1017) popularized the concept of salvation thru faith in the Amida Buddha. It was a reaction to the formalism of esoteric Buddhism and insecurity due to the weakening of central power.
  • To be saved, one only need invoke the nembutsu (name of the Amida Buddha).

The Amida Buddha is shown leading all humanity to salvation. He will not ascend into heaven until all souls are saved.

the end of part ii

The End of Part II

The first Japanese Sumo match occurred in 453 between Chinese envoys at a royal funeral.