Japan: Land of the Rising Sun
Sea of Japan Sea of Okhotsk Hokkaido Tsuguru Strait Mt. Fuji Korea Strait Honshu Inland Sea Kyushu Shikoku East China Sea
Japan is an archipelago, or chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean that is shaped like a dragon. 4/5 of Japan is mountainous so most people settled in arable or farmable river valleys and along coastal plains.
Ring of Fire Japan is in the Ring of Fire or Pacific Rim of Fire, a region with many earthquakes and volcanoes.
A Tsunami is a huge tidal wave. A Typhoonare hurricanes in the Pacific Ocean. Japan is also called the “Land of the Rising Sun.”
Farming is harder Mountains Less unity Geography of Japan Islands Shintoism- religion based on nature spirits Sea provides food, transportation, isolation, protection Close to China and Korea Cultural diffusion
Feudalism A political, economic, and social system that exchanges land for loyalty and military service.
Japanese Feudalism Japan had an emperor, but rival clans battled for land. Warlords formed groups loyal to them, not the emperor.
Ashogun is supreme military commander. A daimyo isa powerful landowner. The shogun gave land to daimyo in exchange for protection.
Daimyos gave land to lesser warriors called samurai, or warriors whose name means “those who serve.”
Samurai followed a code of honor, bravery, and loyalty known as bushido, or “way of the warrior.”
A samurai who betrayed the code of bushido was expected to commit seppuku, or ritual suicide, rather than live without honor. • The samurai would impale himself on his sword.
Unlike the solid steel plates used by European knights, Japanese armor consisted of thin strips of steel held together by brightly colored silk cords.
The true samurai was supposed to have no fear of death. • “If you think of saving your life,” it was said, “you had better not go to war at all.” • Samurai prepared for hardship by going hungry or walking barefoot in the snow. • It was said, “When a samurai’s stomach is empty, it is a disgrace to feel hungry.”
Below the samurai were the peasants (75-90% of Japan), artisans, and merchants. Peasants formed the backbone of feudal society. What does that mean? Don’t write!
Don’t write! Peasant families cultivated rice and other crops on estates of samurai. Some peasants served as soldiers; rarely, some even became samurai.
Noblewomen Don’t write! Some noblewomen trained in the military and became warriors. There was no chivalry; warriors’ wives endured hardships and also owed loyalty to the lords.
Writing China’s influence on Japan • Buddhism • Spread and flourished • Zen Buddhism • Values peace, simple living, nature and beauty. • Confucianism • proper behavior, • loyalty, • honoring parents (filial piety) and • respect for learning Japan adapted the Chinese writing system to their language.
“Harmony should be valued and quarrels (argument) should be avoided. Everyone has his bias (prejudice) and few men are far-sighted. Therefore some disobey their lords and fathers and keep up feuds (arguments) with their neighbors. But when superiors are in harmony with each other an inferiors are friendly, then affairs are discussed quietly and the right view of matters prevails (do well).” ~Prince Shotoku What philosophy does Prince Shotoku seem to be influenced by? Why?
The Japanese practiced Selective borrowing, keeping some Chinese ideas and rejected others.
Don’t write! AncestorWorship Polytheism Natural features Trees, rocks, and mountains Shinto GreatCreator The Worldof the kami Minimizesin &guilt
Don’t write! Failure to Conquer Japan • In 1274 and again in 1281, Kublai Khan sent huge fleets to invade Japan. • Both times, the Japanese turned them back. • A typhoon (kamikaze) even destroyed one Mongol fleet.
Japanese Art Title: The Great Wave Off Kanagawa Artist: Katsushika Hokusai Date: Edo period, c. 1828 Museum/ Source: Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii Medium: Polychrome woodblock print on paper Size: 9 7/8" X 14 5/8" (25 X 37.1 cm)
Japanese Theater • Kabuki plays often portrayed family or historical events. • Dressed in colorful costumes, actors used exaggerated movements to convey action.
Kabuki Theater An interior of a Kabuki theater.
Literature Japanese poets adapted Chinese models, creating miniature poems called haiku. In only 3 lines and 17 syllables, a feeling is expressed.
Haiku : 17-syllable poem Spring departs.Birds cryFishes' eyes are filled with tears. Matsuo Basho, Master of Haiku
Zen Buddhism • During Japan’s feudal age, Zen Buddhism emphasized meditation and duty. • Zen stressed compassion for all yet samurai fought to kill.
At Zen monasteries, upper-class men learned to express devotion to nature in such activities as landscape gardening.
Zen monks were the leading scholars and artisans of feudal Japan. The temple served as a Zen monastery and a peaceful retreat for visiting shoguns seeking advice.