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Published by: Marc Angelo Villalobos Bantug on Mar 31, 2011
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The Influence Of Chinese Culture On Japanese Culture

by Char4U.com The Chinese civilization was a much older civilization than the Japanese civilization. The Chinese and the Japanese had cultural and commercial relations that date back to 200 A.D. Chinese culture flowed out of China and into Japan to influence Japanese culture in several waves. The degree to which the Japanese adopted Chinese cultural influences depended on the receptivity of the latter at that particular historical juncture. Chinese influence on Japanese culture is readily apparent. Some of these influences are: • Language. The Japanese had no written language at the time of their first contact with the Chinese and their use of Chinese proved important for the purpose of political unification under the Japanese Emperor. • Religion. Buddhism and Confucianism are important features of Chinese culture. As a systematic belief system, Buddhism forced the local Japanese religions, which were less coherent systems, to define themselves in relation to Buddhism. Confucianism, a systematic religious belief system, had a lot to say about governance and society and proved attractive for the Japanese. Consequently it had an important influence on Japanese culture. • System of government. The method of organization of the Imperial Court, a significant element of ancient Chinese culture, was also adopted by the Japanese. The Japanese Imperial Court as well as its bureaucracy, including titles, ranks and functions, soon came to be modeled after Confucian principles. City-planning is also an aspect of Chinese culture borrowed by the Japanese. Kyoto and Nara, capital cities constructed along these lines, are examples. Several localities around these old capital cities reveal a system of fields and irrigation systems divided into even rectangles based on the ancient Chinese model of city planning. The use of a road system to hasten communication and control rebelling localities are also important features of this system of planning.

In 108 B.C, North Western Korea was colonized by the Han dynasty in China, which set up military posts. Trade flourished between the two cultures. Buddhism spread to south from China to Korea. They Began sending Buddhist scholars and priests to Japan. Buddhist priests brought Chinese language, arts, mathematics, and agricultural techniques to Japan. The calligraphic writing system "Kanji" in Japan bears a clear resemblance to Mandarin. Buddhism was accepted, because it met spiritual needs promising rewards to the faithful and good. Japan’s Shinto religion was influenced by China’s Taoism. Japanese government imposed Chinese-style changes called Taika Reforms.

Samurai

The samurai (or bushi) were the members of the military class, the Japanesewarriors. Samurai employed a range of weapons such as bows and arrows, spears and guns; but their most famous weapon and their symbol was the sword. Samurai were supposed to lead their lives according to the ethic code of bushido ("the way of the warrior"). Strongly Confucian in nature, Bushido stressed concepts such as loyalty to one's master, self discipline and respectful, ethical behavior.

the shogun seized power from the Imperial Court in Kyoto. including the Satsuma Rebellion (Seinan Sensō) in 1877.After a defeat. There are several opinions concerning the event and the year that marked the beginning of the Meiji Restoration. also known as the Meiji Ishin. The Japanese term shōgun means "general. the short title is still in use as a military rank.” but in general the term “Meiji Restoration” refers to the series of reformations that took place after the return of political power to the Emperor by the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1867 and the restoration of Imperial rule. "a commander of a force") is a military rank and historical title for (in most cases) hereditary military dictator of Japan. the English term is shogunate. a Shōgun (将軍) was the practical ruler of Japan for most of the time from 1192 to the Meiji Era beginning in 1868. and were those who carried out the actual duties of administration while the Imperial court retained only nominal authority.[3] The tent symbolized the field commander but also denoted that such an office was meant to be temporary. Shogun (将軍 shōgun?) (literally. . as a title. In Japanese. Although the original meaning of "shogun" is simply "a general". it is used as the short form of seii taishōgun 征夷大将軍 . becoming the practical ruler of Japan until the Meiji Restoration. or Renewal." and the longer title Seii Taishōgun (征夷大将軍) means "generalissimo who overcomes the barbarians". The shogun's officials were as a collective the bakufu. was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868. also known as the Meiji Ishin.[1] The modern rank is equivalent to a Generalissimo. At the launch of the Kamakura shogunate. some samurai chose to commit ritual suicide (seppuku) by cutting their abdomen rather than being captured or dying a dishonorable death. It occurred during a three-year period from 1866 to 1869 that traversed the end of the Edo period (often called Late Tokugawa shogunate) and beginning of the Meiji Era. In Japanese history. In Japanese it was known as bakufu (幕府?) which literally means "tent office". the opening of the Diet in 1885. On October 23. as well as a contraction of the long title for the historical rank.[4] Meiji Restoration (明治維新 Meiji Ishin?). and spanned both the late Edo period (often called Late Tokugawa shogunate) and the beginning of the Meiji Era. Revolution. 1868 the era was changed to “Meiji. Several events have been designated as the end of the Meiji Restoration. was a chain of events that led to enormous changes in Japan's political and social structure. the governing individual at various times in the history of Japan. ending when Tokugawa Yoshinobu relinquished the office to the Meiji Emperor in 1867. Perry. Probably the most important foreign account of the events of 1862-1869 is contained in A Diplomat in Japan by Sir Ernest Satow. The Restoration led to enormous changes in Japan's political and social structure. and later also suggested a private government. and originally meant "house of the general". Revolution or Renewal. or the official promulgation of the constitution in 1889. The Meiji Restoration (明治維新). The restoration was a direct response to the opening of Japan by the arrival of the Black Ships of United States Navy Commodore Matthew C. Bakufu could also mean "tent government" and was the way the government was run under a shogun.[2] A shogun's office or administration is known in English as a "shogunate".Bakufu (幕府) is a Japanese word for the administration of a Shogun.

Furthermore. numerous prefectures were merged in several steps to reduce their number to 75. 富 国強兵) and “Flourishing Industries and Start Up Businesses”(殖産興業)。 The Meiji oligarchy that formed the government under the rule of the Emperor first introduced measures to consolidate their power against the remnants of the Edo period government. in 1876. this ancient privilege was suddenly extended to every male in the nation. the daimyo. past and present. the government instituted nation-wide conscription in 1873. The daimyo were promised 1/10 of their fiefs' income as private income. daimyo and the samuraiclass. the daimyo of the Tosa Han. This sent a . Finally. in 1873. The roughly three hundred domains (han) were turned into prefectures. In 1869. although the samurai in Japan included not merely the lords.9 million. it was announced that the samurai stipends were to be taxed on a rolling basis. Hizen Han. were persuaded to return their domains to the Emperor. Until 1888. This led to a series of riots by disgruntled samurai. Throughout Japan at the time. under the slogan of "National Wealth and Military Strength" (fukoku kyohei]. their debts and payments of samurai stipends were to be taken over by the state. put down swiftly by the newly formed imperial army. One of the primary differences between the samurai and peasant class was the right to bear arms. (For comparison. who were most fiercely opposing the shogunate. The oligarchs also endeavored to abolish the four divisions of society. which was formed largely of former samurai. the shogunate. which eventually turned into a civil war. who actually performed labor). in 1874. the Emperor took all land from the Tokugawa and put it under his own control. To reform the military. The fixed stipends paid to each samurai presented a tremendous financial burden on the government. This rebellion was. One of the major riots was the one led by Saigo Takamori. Finally. trained in Western tactics and weapons. in 1871. the Satsuma rebellion. the samurai numbered 1. where it was declared that all domains were now to be returned to the Emperor. In 1868. mandating that every male serve in the armed forces for three years upon turning 21. Whatever their true intentions.Effects of the Meiji Restoration The Meiji Restoration was a catalyst for the industrialization of Japan that led to the rise of the island nation as a military power by 1905. were summoned before the Emperor. which may have prompted the oligarchs to action. but also the higher retainers. however. Satsuma Han and Choshu Han domains. the oligarchs embarked on another slow and deliberate process to abolish the samurai class. this was more than 10 times the size of the French privileged class before the 1789 French Revolution. The core of the new army was the TokyoPolice force. First. each under the control of a state-appointed governor. Later. this commutation was made compulsory. the samurai were given the option to convert their stipends into government bonds. Other daimyo were subsequently persuaded to do so.

kampaku and regency took place. As the Tokugawa shogunate collapsed. The new Meiji government experimented with several reforms and finally. became teachers. After the declaration of the Restoration of Imperial Reign. In particular. becoming rich in the process. but opposition made it necessary to wait until the system of public government offices had been reformed. The majority of samurai were content despite having their status abolished. The formal title of samurai was abolished. but because Emperor Meiji was still very young. A privy council (a body . Political Reformation The Central Administration The Meiji Restoration was perfunctorily the revival of a system of centralized government based on the “ritsuryo” legal code of the Nara (710-794) and Heian (794-1185) periods. government officials or military officers. As the reformations matured and the Movement for Civic Rights and Freedom rose during the 1880s. several steps such as “the order of setting up an assembly by Emperor Meiji” in 1881. but the elitist spirit which characterized the samurai class lived on even beyond the 1870s. and became a partial cause of their eventual downfall. being better educated than most of the population. Okubo Toshimichi maintained a system of political reform centered upon the bureaucrats of the former Satsuma – Chosu domains. The oligarchs also embarked on a series of land reforms. to enact the constitution in earnest. Although some official terms were adopted from the “ritsuryo” legal code. were taken by Ito Hirubumi and others. There were fewer subsequent samurai uprisings and the distinction became all but a name as the samurai joined the new society. and until a certain level of national education and cultural understanding had been achieved. Kido Takayoshi had been insistent on setting up a legislative branch of the government from the first year of Meiji. Despite the bakufu's efforts to cement the four classes of society in place. This disrupted the clearly defined class system which the bakufu had envisaged. adopted a cabinet system of government. Upper (Gitei and Sanyo) and lower (Sanji and Koshi) legislative bodies were created under the Emperor. Many found employment in the government bureaucracy. which resembled an elite class in its own right. in 1885. a political system was needed to assist him. the abolitions of the shogunate. The samurai. The ideal of samurai military spirit lived on in a romanticized form and was often used as propaganda for Imperial Japan's wars during the early twentieth century.strong message to the dissenting samurai. the new Meiji government urgently needed to centralize administrative power. during their rule villagers had begun to lease land out to other farmers. the actual form of the new government was different. they legitimized the tenancy system which had been established during the Tokugawa period.

architecture and intellectual trends. Unequal treaties that had granted foreign powers extraterritoriality and judicial privileges were revised in 1894. eventually Edo was changed to Tokyo and became the new capital. The first railroad was completed in 1872. Resistance among the formal feudal lords was tempered by treating them as kazoku (special class). and Japan was becoming a modern. and Japan’s victory in the Sino-Japanese War (1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1905) gave Japan new international status as a major world power. Social and Diplomatic Changes The political transformations of the Meiji period were mirrored by economic and social changes. in 1889 the Meiji Constitution was promulgated. though it made use of Western theory and practice. Finally.400 miles (2. Art and literature turned from outright imitation of the West to a synthesis of Japanese and Western influences. a renewed appreciation of traditional Japanese values slowed this trend. clans (domains) were abolished and prefectures established. and a program of “Civilization and Enlightenment” (bunmei kaika) promoted Western culture. and the next year the Diet was opened. Local Administration The new Meiji government had been maintaining in principle the former feudal domain systems until the first year of Meiji. industrial nation." In the second year of Meiji (1869). Okubo Toshimichi and others wanted to move the capital to Osaka. stressed traditional samurai loyalty and social harmony. The Anglo-Japanese alliance of 1902. and by 1890 there were more than 1. but the government directed the development of strategic industries. In the 1880s. clothing. transportation and communication.that advises a nation’s head of state) was established for deliberation of the constitution. The government gave financial support to private companies and instituted a European-style banking system in 1882. but the new centralized government needed strong control over local administrations in order to advance the construction of the modern nation and advance the goal of "National Wealth and Military Strength. was established. In the fourth year of Meiji (1871). By the beginning of the twentieth century. An educational system was developed which. which guaranteed their status and their possessions. the goals of the Meiji Restoration had been largely accomplished.250 kilometers) of railroad. Western science and technology were imported. but as Emperor Meiji Edo several times. the daimyo (feudal lords) returned their domains and the people living in them to the Emperor. Economic. . All major cities were linked by telegraph by 1880. The economy remained dependent on agriculture. A political system in which the central government dispatched governors to each prefectures.

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