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ëV China-centred universe was assumed by both the Chinese and the Japaneseʹ referred to as the
͞sinosphere͟. ͞The Japanese understood the centrality of the Han court to the universe͟
ëV or the Japanese (Wa people), it was their strong desire to be accepted as a vassal within that sinosphere
orb that led to them recognising themselves as subservient.
ëV The relationship was political and ceremonial; there was no mention of trade, just tribute and gifts, and no
mention of religion at the beginning.
ëV To be part of the Sinosphere did not require behaving exactly like the Chinese. It did, however, required
accepting the superiority of the Chinese court, carrying out all the rituals attendant on that acceptance, and
accordingly pay tribute at designated times.
ëV ct first, the bond was characterized as political and ritual, as the Wa felt a need for inclusion in the
ëV The central motivating force of politics in driving the relations later changed completely => new foundation.
ëV Japan planned to remain within the Sinosphere, but it intended to uphold its independence and would no
longer accept the lowly ͞subject͟ status expected of tribute bearing countries.
ëV The Wa thrust an effort to acquire some greater degree of parity with the Chinese court => first serious
breach of diplomatic language (missing some requisite language of Was as subordinateʹ letters referred to
both rulers as ͞son of heaven͟, thus implicitly placing them on an equal footing.)
ëV ruring year 600, start of nearly two and one-half centuries of increasingly large-scale embassies from Japan
to China. In which nonmartial, civil culture of China was studied.
ëV ruring China͛s Sui dynasty, as the empire fell into a state of disorder, the objective of Japan͛s missions and
relationship to China went from political to cultural (Japan͛s broad range of institutional, religious and
cultural changes based on Sui-Tang China)
ëV The disorder in Tang China slowly began to tarnish the cultural luster associated with the Tang. Japanese
thus reduced the intensity of their studies of Chinese.
͞But the era in which China was revered as the source of all culture, secular or religious, was waning͟
͞In the centuries following the Tang, cultural contacts continued but never again with such frequency or
volume and never with such enthusiasm.͟
ëV Trade began in the immediate post-Tang years = ͞considerable volume of trade with Japan͟
ëV Tang-Song dynasties divide marked in Sino-Japanese interactions the transition from a largely cultural to a
more economic basis
riffering periods/ relations so far: political => cultural => commercial (with each motivating force ͞painted
over rather than scraped off and completely replaced͟
ëV Changes in Japan: transition from late Heian to Kamakura marks a shift away from regimes with a literary
based cultural priority toward a series of military-based regimes.
ëV Contacts with China continued, but the nature of bond changing. ͞after 3 centuries of Chinese cultural
sharing and Japanese masticating on it, the attitude of China toward Japanese appears much reduced in
paternalism͟. ͞ In Song dynastic history, all earlier references to ͞foreign barbarians͟ are gone and replaced
by waiguo (foreign lands)͟
ëV ͞The Song dynasty was admired in Kamakura Japan as an incomparable rich and cultured place͟, but its
destruction by the alien Mongols ͞fed the growing sense of self-confidence that Japan was in no way inferior
to its mainland neighbour͟ (as Mongols failed in its invasion of Japan)
ëV ruring Ming China, Japan argued that it had attained parity with China in international relations and ͞had no
need to accept subject status in the Sinosphere͟. ʹ i.e. China no longer had exclusive right to dictate
positions within Sinosphere.
ëV Tokugawa Japan: defiance of the Qing China and refused to accept Qing calendar and send tribute missions.
Japanese ruling regime has reached a level of political self-confidence and self-assurance that no longer
required the intermediacy of any mainland dynasty.
ëV Trade boomed throughout Edo period, with the two countries now in highly productive trade and
commercial ties without recognizing each other diplomatically.
ëV ruring the late imperial period for China and the late shogunal government for Japan: no single factor is now
driving the relationship. It is now a mixture of commerce and culture as ͞prime movers͟ in keeping China
and Japan in close touch.
ëV pineteenth-century failures of China ʹ Opium war and unequal treaties, extraterritoriality ʹ ͞not only served
up a powerful warning to Japan but also equally diminished the residual importance of the original land of
Sinic culture͟
ëV ͞By the time of the Meiji Restoration in the late 1860s, the best that the Chinese could hope for on the part
of the Japanese was pity or perhaps pan-csian resentment͟
ëV But, there was no longer regularized way ʹ or even the desire for it ʹ to acquire mainland culture directly.
ëV In the last years of the Qing dynasty, and the Meiji regime ʹ culture as a factor in the Sino-Japanese bond
was completely turned on its head. ͞pow, Chinese flocked to Japan͙through learning Japanese to acquire
Western culture͟ † Completely turned the hierarchy within Sino-sphere around
ëV Several years later, as Japan achieved it modernization through the element of West introduced by Perry,
Japan joined the international community.