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Brief overview of Japanese geography.
island country lying off the east coast of Asia. It consists of a great string of islands in a northeast-southwest arc that stretches for approximately 1,500 miles (2,400 km) through the western North Pacific Ocean. Nearly the entire land area is taken up by the country's four main islands; from north to south these are Hokkaido (Hokkaid ), Honshu (Honsh ), Shikoku, and Kyushu (Ky sh ). Honshu is the largest of the four, followed in size by Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. In addition, there are numerous smaller islands, the major groups of which are the Ryukyu (Nansei) Islands (including the island of Okinawa) to the south and west of Kyushu and the Izu, Bonin (Ogsawara), and Volcano (Kazan) islands to the south and east of central Honshu. The national capital, Tokyo (T ky ), in east-central Honshu, is one of the world's most populous cities. The Japanese landscape is rugged, with more than four-fifths of the land surface consisting of mountains. There are many active and dormant volcanoes, including Mount Fuji (Fuji-san), which, at an elevation of 12,388 feet (3,776 metres), is Japan's highest mountain. Abundant precipitation and the generally mild temperatures throughout most of the country have produced a lush vegetation cover and, despite the mountainous terrain and generally poor soils, have made it possible to raise a variety of crops. Japan has a large and, to a great extent, ethnically homogeneous population, which is heavily concentrated in the low-lying areas along the Pacific coast of Honshu.
The Kinkaku Temple (Golden Pavilion) in Ky to, Japan, was originally built in the 15th «
Complexity and contrast are the keynotes of life in Japan²a country possessing an intricate and ancient cultural tradition yet one that, since 1950, has emerged as one of the world's most economically and technologically advanced societies. Heavy emphasis is placed on education, and Japan is one of the world's most literate countries. Tension between old and new is apparent in all phases of Japanese life. A characteristic sensitivity to natural beauty and a concern with form and balance are evident in such cities as Ky to and Nara, as well as in Japan's ubiquitous gardens. Even in the countryside, however, the impact of rapid Westernization is evident in many aspects of Japanese life. The agricultural regions are characterized by low population densities and well-ordered rice fields and fruit orchards, whereas the industrial and urbanized belt along the Pacific coast of Honshu is noted for its highly concentrated population, heavy industrialization, and environmental pollution.
Humans have occupied Japan for tens of thousands of years, but Japan's recorded history begins only in the 1st century BCE, with mention in Chinese sources. Contact with China and Korea in the early centuries CE brought profound changes to Japan, including the Chinese writing system, Buddhism, and many artistic forms from the continent. The first steps at political unification of the country occurred in the late 4th and early 5th centuries CE under the Yamato court. A great civilization then developed first at Nara in the 8th century and then at Heian-ky (now Ky to) from the late 8th to the late 12th century. The seven centuries thereafter were a period of domination by military rulers culminating in near isolation from the outside world from the early 17th to the mid-19th century. The reopening of the country ushered in contact with the West and a time of unprecedented change. Japan sought to become a modern industrialized nation and pursued the acquisition of a large overseas empire, initially in Korea and China. By late 1941 this latter policy caused direct confrontation with the United States and its allies and to defeat in World War II (1939± 45). Since the war, however, Japan's spectacular economic growth²one of the greatest of any nation in that period²brought the country to the forefront of the world economy. It now is one of the world's foremost manufacturing countries and traders of goods and is a global financial leader. Akira WatanabeGil Latz
Japan is bounded to the west by the Sea of Japan (East Sea), which separates it from the eastern shores of South and North Korea and southeastern Siberia (Russia); to the north by La Perouse (S ya) Strait, separating it from Russian-held Sakhalin Island, and by the Sea of Okhotsk; to the northeast by the southern Kuril Islands (since World War II under Soviet and then Russian administration); to the east and south by the Pacific; and to the southwest by the East China Sea, which separates it from China. The island of Tsushima lies between northwestern Kyushu and southeastern South Korea and defines the Korea Strait on the Korean side and the Tsushima Strait on the Japanese side.
Cliffs at T jimb Point on the coast of the Sea of Japan (East Sea), Fukui prefecture, «
The mountainous character of the country is the outcome of orogenic (mountain-building) forces largely during Quaternary time (roughly, the past 2.6 million years), as evidenced by the frequent occurrence of violent earthquakes, volcanic activity, and signs of change in sea levels along the coast. There are no sizable structural plains and peneplains (large land areas leveled by erosion), features that usually occur in more stable regions of the Earth. The mountains are for the most part in a youthful stage of dissection in which steep slopes are incised by dense river-valley networks. Rivers are mostly torrential, and their valleys are accompanied by series of river terraces that are the result of movements in the Earth's crust, as well as climatic and sea-level changes in Holocene times (i.e., the past 11,700 years). Recent volcanoes are juxtaposed with old and highly dissected ones. The shores are characterized by elevated and depressed features such as headlands and bays, which display an incipient stage of development. The mountains are divided into many small land blocks that are separated by lowlands or deep saddles; there is no long or continuous mountain range. These land blocks are the result of intense faulting (movement of adjacent rock masses along a fracture) and warping (bending of the Earth's crust); the former process is regarded as dominant. One consequence is that mountain blocks are often bounded by fault scarps and flexure slopes that descend in step formation to the adjacent lowlands. Coalescing alluvial fans²cone-shaped deposits of alluvium that run together²are formed where rivers emerge from the mountains. When the rivers are large enough to extend their courses to the sea, low deltaic plains develop in front of the fans; this occurs most frequently where the rivers empty into shallow and sheltered bays, as in the deltas of Kant (Kwanto), N bi, and saka. In most places, however, fan surfaces plunge directly into the sea and are separated by low, sandy beach ridges. Dissected plains are common. Intense disturbances have caused many former alluvial fans, deltas, and sea bottoms to be substantially uplifted to form flat-topped uplands such as those found in the Kant Plain. Frequently the uplands have been overlain with volcanic ash, as in the Kant and Tokachi plains.
The near-perfect volcanic cone of Japan's Mount Fuji.
Japan is one of the world's most geologically unstable areas. The country experiences some 1,000 tremors annually, most of them minor, though major quakes²as in Tokyo-Yokohama in 1923 and K be in 1995²cause considerable loss of life and widespread destruction. Violent volcanic eruptions occur frequently, and at least 60 volcanoes have been active within historical time. Volcanoes born since 1900 include Sh wa Volcano on Hokkaido and
. The Kitakami and Abukuma ranges on the east coast are somewhat oblique to the general trend. Conspicuous shield volcanoes (broad. the Northeast. many of which are filled with water. and plateaulike landforms survive in the centre. Towada-Hachimantai National Park. and volcanic zones are closely oriented to the general trend of the insular arc of this region.g. circular. basinshaped volcanic depressions). northern Honshu. The Hokkaido Region was formed by the coalescence of the Chishima and Karafuto arcs. The movements of these plates have formed six mountain arcs off the northeastern coast of Asia: from northeast to southwest. and extensive lava plateaus are lacking. The Chishima arc enters Hokkaido as three volcanic chains with elevations above 6. In the western zone the formations conform to the . Mount Fuji). and Southwestern²and the Ryukyu and Bonin archipelagoes. Central (Ch bu).My jin Rock off the Beyoneisu (or Bayonnaise) Rocks in the Pacific. Several rows of mountains. which is convex toward the Pacific Ocean. The backbone of the region is aligned north to south. Many of the gigantic volcanoes are conical in shape (e. Southwest. and Ashi. One of the characteristics of the volcanic areas is the prevalence of calderas (large. such as Lakes Kutcharo. Towada. especially in the northeast and southwest. generally correspond to Japan's major physiographic regions: the four regions of Japan proper (Hondo)²Hokkaido. upon which Japan lies. The country's abundant hot springs are mostly of volcanic origin. the Karafuto (Sakhalin) Mountain system of Hokkaido. the Chishima Range of the Kuril Islands. Mounts Dai and Unzen). and the Ryukyu Island formations. gently sloping volcanic cones) are rare. in turn. and Shichito-Mariana ranges of Honshu. these are arranged in ladder formation and terminate in the heart of the region. Chief components of the mountain system are the Kitami Mountains in the north and the Hidaka Range in the south. the reason for Japan's existence²is the tectonic movement of several of the Earth's major crustal plates in the vicinity of the archipelago. y Lake Towada. while others form steep lava domes (e. The major physiographic regions These mountain arcs. The Northeastern Region nearly coincides with the northeastern mountain arc and stretches from southwest Hokkaido to central Honshu.. Most important is the subduction (sinking) of the Pacific Plate (in the north) and the Philippine Plate (in the south) beneath the Eurasian Plate. lowlands. Japan.g.800 metres). they are chiefly composed of older rocks. Northeastern (T hoku). The cause of this instability²indeed. Among the major eruptions since 1980 are those of Mounts O (1983) and Mihara (1986) in the Izu Islands and Mount Unzen (1991) in Kyushu.000 feet (1.
and the general trend of highlands and lowlands is roughly convex toward the Sea of Japan. which are arranged in complicated juxtaposition. Kii. are separated from the coastal ranges by the Kitakami-Abukuma lowlands to the east and by a row of basins in the west. covering a vast area of the plain. Shikoku. and Shichito-Mariana mountain arcs near Mount Fuji. y Coast of the Inland Sea. The Outer Zone. and the Outer Zone. and geologically more recent volcanic rocks. Intermontane basins are sandwiched between the lofty. The u Mountains. y Limestone outcroppings on the southwestern Honshu. and volcanic zones intersects the island almost at right angles. consisting of the Akaishi. The most notable physical feature is the Fossa Magna. Okayama prefecture. The shallow structural basin of the Kant Plain. capped with towering volcanoes that form the main part of the East Japan Volcanic Belt. The Central Region of central and western Honshu is dominated by the coalescence of the Northeast. It is partially occupied by mountains and volcanoes of the southern part of the East Japan Volcanic Belt. which stretches to the east of the Kant Range. Japan. a great rift lowland that traverses the widest portion of Honshu from the Sea of Japan to the Pacific. rocks of Paleozoic age (250 to 540 million years old). Southwest. lowlands. The trend of the mountains. and Hida ranges (which together form the Japanese Alps) to the west and the Kant Range to the east. as well as Shikoku and northern Kyushu²generally coincides with the southwestern mountain arc. and Kyushu mountain groups.general trend and are composed of a basement complex overlain by thick accumulations of young rocks that have been subjected to mild folding. partially glaciated central mountain knots of the Akaishi. is characterized by a regular zonal . The region is divided into the Inner Zone. The Southwestern Region²which includes western Honshu (Ch goku). is the most extensive lowland of Japan. Kiso. Yamaguchi prefecture. formed by warping. formed by complex faulting. the immense metropolis of Tokyo spreads out from its centre. Japan. The Inner Zone is chiefly composed of ancient granites. in contrast. Akiyoshi Plateau.
Difficulties of supply lie in the paucity of natural water reservoirs. The northern edge of the Inner Zone is studded with gigantic lava domes formed by Mount Dai. including the Koshiki. which include Peel Island and Iwo Jima (I -t ). Japan The Ryukyu Islands Region constitutes the main portion of the Ryukyu arc. bury a considerable part of the western extension of the Inland Sea in central Kyushu. together with volcanic Mount Aso. Mesozoic (65 to 250 million years old). Got .arrangement from north to south of crystalline schists and Paleozoic. Drainage and soils Drainage y Waterfall in Yamanashi prefecture. to the east of the Ryukyu arc. which. Japan. y The caldera of Mount Aso in central Kyushu. east-central Honshu. The islands of the Izu-Ogasawara Region. consist of a number of volcanoes on the submarine ridge of the IzuMarina arc and the Bonin Islands. which penetrates into Kyushu as the West Japan Volcanic Belt and terminates at Mount Aso. and Tsushima islands. and Cenozoic (formed within the past 65 million years) formations. The outstanding surface features of the Inner Zone (centred on the Ch goku Range) present a highly complex mosaic of numerous fault blocks. The Inland Sea (Seto-naikai) is the region where the greater amount of depression has resulted in the invasion of sea waters. the swift runoff of the rivers. while those of the Outer Zone are continuous except where the sea straits separate them into the four independent groups. The influence of the arc is also seen in the trend of the many elongated islands off western Kyushu. . The increasing demand for freshwater for use in paddy (wet-rice) cultivation and industry and for domestic consumption is a serious problem. and the engineering difficulties of constructing large-scale dams in the rugged mountains.
Some of the rivers from the volcanic areas of northeastern Honshu are acidic and are useless for irrigation and other purposes. covers 259 square miles (670 square km) of central Honshu. hills. The northern half of the T hoku area of northern Honshu is included in the area of brown forest soils. Muck (dark soil. while gley (sticky. western Hokkaido. Japan. Soils The soils of Japan are customarily divided from northeast to southwest into a weak podzolic (soils with a thin organic mineral layer over a gray leached layer) zone.y Ishikari River. Kuroboku soils (black soils rich in humus content) are found on terraces. are drowned former valleys.g. Japan's rivers are generally short and swift-running and are supplied by small drainage basins. Lakes of volcanic origin (e. a brown earth zone. more humid climate. and Tenry rivers of Honshu.. Suwa. The widespread reddish soils are generally regarded as the products of a former warmer. and a red earth zone. The northern tip of Hokkaido is classed as a subzone of the podzolic soils. and Inawashiro of Honshu occupy tectonic depressions of geologically recent fault origin. the Kitakami. the bay mouths of which have been dammed by sandbars. There are some local variations. All other major lakes are in the northeast. and gentle slopes throughout Japan. Inland lakes such as Biwa. y Ukimi Temple. Immature volcanic ash soils occur on the uplands. central Honshu. Yellow-brown forest soils extend along the Pacific coast from southern T hoku to southern Kyushu. blue-gray compact) soils are found in the poorly drained lowlands. Most of the coastal lakes. and the Chikugo River of Kyushu. Shiga prefecture. Lake Biwa. while red and yellow soils are confined to the Ryukyu Islands. Peat soils occupy the moors in Hokkaido and T hoku. such as Lakes Kasumi and Hamana of Honshu. Lake Biwa. Kiso. the remainder of the island is included in the subzone of the acidic brown forest soils. Shinano. Most of western Honshu is a transitional zone. The most significant rivers are the Teshio and Ishikari rivers of Hokkaido. the largest in Japan. Tone. Japan. Kutcharo of Hokkaido and Towada and Ashi of Honshu) outnumber all other types. containing a high percentage of organic matter) and gley paddy soils are the products of years .
and its proximity to the neighbouring Asian landmass.of rice cultivation. flow northward along Japan's Pacific coast as far as latitude 35° N. which corresponds in latitude and general directional flow to the Gulf Stream of the Atlantic. causing dense sea fogs in summer. The winter monsoon deposits its moisture as rain or snow on the side of Japan facing the Sea of Japan and brings dry. The Pacific counterpart of the Atlantic's Labrador Current.. In general. The main influences are the country's latitudinal extent. the surrounding oceans.e. governed by wet and dry seasonal winds). the result of relief features. it is this current that lends moisture to the winter monsoon. but they drop noticeably in the mountainous interior. Its waters meet those of the Kuroshio. the result of a combination of natural alluvium washed down from the uplands and centuries of intense reworking of the soil medium by rice farmers. the cold Oya (Kuril) Current. The ranges interrupt the monsoonal winds and cause the gloomy weather and heavy snows of winter along the Sea of Japan coast and the bright and windy winter weather along the Pacific. There are numerous local climatic variations. especially off Hokkaido. Japan's climate is characterized as monsoonal (i. Climate y East Asian weather patterns. flows southeastward from the Bering Sea along the east coast of Hokkaido and northeastern Honshu. and air movements from the east and south (the summer monsoon) from mid-April to early September bring warmer temperatures and rain. In winter the high pressure zone over eastern Siberia and the low pressure zone over the western Pacific result in an eastward flow of cold air (the winter monsoon) from late September to late March that picks up moisture over the Sea of Japan. The pressure systems are reversed during the summer. Temperature . Temperatures and annual precipitation are about the same on both coasts. The physical feature that most affects climate is the mountainous backbone of the islands. Polder soils (those reclaimed from the sea) are widely distributed. especially in the southwest. Cyclonic storms and frequent and destructive typhoons (tropical cyclones) occur during late summer and early fall. windy weather to the Pacific side. The warm waters of the Kuroshio (Japan Current). Soil fertility increases in the lowlands where agriculture is practiced. The Tsushima Current branches westward from the Kuroshio off southern Kyushu and washes the coasts of Honshu and Hokkaido along the Sea of Japan.
and the average temperature in August. the coldest month. Torrential rains accompany the typhoons.060 mm) annually. Precipitation Precipitation in the form of rain and snow is plentiful throughout the islands. Japan. and the annual average 61 °F (16 °C). it is known as the baiu (³plum rain´) because it begins when the plums ripen. which receives the country's highest snowfall. with an annual average temperature of 44 °F (7 °C). There are a few mangrove swamps along the southern coast of Kyushu. whereas an annual average of 57 °F (14 °C) occurs on the Sea of Japan coast at Kanazawa. In the Amami Islands this type of plant life occurs only on lowlands. where only 36 inches (920 mm) fall annually at Obihiro. northern and interior Honshu. At Tokyo the average temperature for January is 42 °F (6 °C). with an annual average temperature of 53 °F (12 °C). but it grows at higher elevations to the south. is 70 °F (21 °C). the mean for August is 82 °F (28 °C). the average for August 81 °F (27 °C). the warmest month. Precipitation patterns vary with topography. . Varying amounts of snow fall on Japan. the mean temperature for January is 46 °F (8 °C). in central Hokkaido.020 mm) annually. at Kagoshima. Inland from Tokyo. Much of the original vegetation has been replaced by agriculture or by the introduction of foreign species to the islands. but most of the country receives more than 40 inches (1. whereas the mountainous interior of the Kii Peninsula of central Honshu receives more than 160 inches (4.Temperatures are generally warmer in the south than in the north. At Asahikawa. is 18 °F (í8 °C). and the northwest coast. oaks. and the transitional seasons of spring and fall are shorter in the north. the average temperature in January. madder and lianas are found as undergrowth. The warmest temperatures occur on Kyushu and the southern islands. and ferns (including tree ferns). and the minimum occurs in winter²except on the Sea of Japan coast. and the average is 64 °F (18 °C). camphor. The smallest amount of precipitation occurs on eastern Hokkaido. Maximum precipitation falls in the early summer. The summer rainy season occurs through June and July. mainly as rain during the summer. Plant and animal life Flora y Spring cherry blossoms surrounding a pagoda in Ky to. From November to April snow blankets Hokkaido. Nagano is cooler. Semitropical rainforest prevails in the Ryukyu and Bonin archipelagoes and contains various kinds of mulberries.
000 metres).600 feet (1.The laurel forest zone of evergreen. The cherry tree (sakura). High-elevation small shrubs. at about 3. camellias. and maples and dense undergrowth of mosses and lichens. Japanese red pines.300 feet (700 metres) on Yaku Island. Representative trees are beeches. oaks. at 4. is planted throughout the country. In Kyushu. In Kyushu. and Japanese evergreen oak in the foggy and cloudy inlands. Natural stands of Japanese cedars. Japanese evergreen oaks.300 feet. false arborvitaes.800 metres) in Shikoku and 5. with various kinds of ferns as undergrowth. rising above an undergrowth of various species of bamboo. occur above 2. where beeches terminate at the southwestern peninsula and further northeastward are replaced by basswoods and maples. The coastal dunes are dominated by pine trees. some containing trees that are more than 2.500 metres) in central Honshu. central Honshu. katsura trees. and alpine plants grow in the high mountain knots of central Honshu above 8. Deciduous broad-leaved forests develop in the higher and more northerly portions of the laurel forest zone. camphor dominates in the littoral lowlands. Japanese black pines. Sakhalin firs. oaks. maples. Japanese cedars. Many varieties have been cultivated. and birches. Sakhalin spruces. and other coniferous species. celebrated for its spring blossoms. and natural stands are also found in the mountains.300 feet.600 feet (1. All these trees. Some stands of conifers are mixed with the representative forests of this zone. Camphor.000 feet (1. blue firs. broad-leaved trees extends from the southwestern islands northward to the lowlands of northern Honshu. The deciduous trees have been occasionally replaced by larches.400 metres) and to the Daisetsu Mountains. long one of the symbols of Japan. pasania in sunny and well-drained sites. In general.300 feet (1. Shikoku. are admired for their beautiful fall colours. Coniferous trees are numerous in the north and eastern periphery of Hokkaido up to elevations of 2. . In the southwestern Hondo region (western Honshu. creeping pines. south of Kyushu. Its upper limit reaches 6. pasanias. and Kyushu) are ficus and fan palm.000 feet (1. Coniferous trees are mixed with deciduous vegetation in southwestern Hokkaido and occur in the higher portion of central Honshu and Shikoku. in northern Honshu. Japan. this type of forest occurs above 3. but its vertical limit decreases northeastward across Honshu. the evergreen zone reaches elevations above 3.000 years old.100 metres). y Autumn foliage along a stone path. This zone gradually descends northward to the Hakk da Mountains. false cypresses.400 metres). but it gradually descends northward to sea level in northern Honshu. and hollies are typical trees. and Yezo spruces are mixed with such deciduous trees as birches. Shiga prefecture.000 feet (2. in central Hokkaido. The deciduous zone extends into western Hokkaido. but especially the maples.
but most of the snakes. Despite the country's large human population. The environment . and cod. Toads. prawns. Reptiles include sea turtles. hares. smelts. and the endemic Japanese giant salamander of Kyushu and western Honshu can attain a length of four feet or more.Fauna y Japanese sika (Cervus nippon nippon). Japanese waters are inhabited by whales. and newts are common. The cormorant is sometimes trained to catch fish. quail. falcons. auks. the land mammals of Japan are relatively numerous in the remote. sea bream. swans. These animals include bears. and weasels. The rivers and lakes abound in trout. geese. hawks. Carp (koi) are often kept in ponds. dolphins. and fish such as salmon. and woodpeckers. foxes. Water birds are abundant and include gulls. The confluence of cold and warm ocean currents near Japan has produced a rich sea life. several species have seasonal associations in literature and popular culture. deer (including sikas). some species are distinct from those of the neighbouring Asian continent. ducks. Wild monkeys (the Japanese macaque) inhabit many places. both for commercial food production and for decorative purposes. wild boars. frogs. shrimp. salmon. sardines. and lizards. gray mullet. shearwaters. and some 600 bird species are either resident or transitory. mackerel. owls. ptarmigan. Insect life is typical of a temperate humid climate. are harmless. such as cicadas and dragonflies (summer) and crickets (autumn). tuna. heavily forested mountain regions. and crayfish. There are about 150 species of songbirds. herring. clams. and oysters. pheasant. freshwater tortoises. those found at the northern tip of Honshu represent the northern limit of monkey habitation in the world. and cranes. including the 5-foot. Crustaceans and mollusks include crabs.(1. as well as eagles. porpoises. herons. The Japanese archipelago constitutes a major East Asian flyway. raccoon dogs (tanuki). sea snakes. There are two species of poisonous snakes. trout. albatrosses. grebes.5-metre-) long Japanese rat snake. antelope.
the descendants of the former outcast class. The few exceptions include those classified as resident aliens (particularly Koreans) . Japan Insofar as a social class system does persist. Ky to. craftsman. farmer. and after 1970 a number of strict measures were taken.The tremendous growth in population from the late 19th to the mid-20th century and the rapid industrialization after 1945 put increased pressure on Japan's natural plant and animal communities. ³people of the hamlet´). air pollution from the East Asian mainland increased the incidence of acid rain in Japan. are still subject to varying degrees of discrimination. The Japanese people constitute the overwhelming majority of the population. With the exception of the burakumin (literally. primarily through loss of habitat and environmental pollution. y Ainu people dancing before a palace made of snow at the Asahikawa Snow Festival. have become extinct. this social class system has almost disappeared. there was a social division of the populace into four classes²warrior. since the Japanese regard themselves as belonging to a single ethnic group. During the Edo (Tokugawa) period (1603±1867). They are ethnically closely akin to the other peoples of eastern Asia. and merchant²with a peer class above and an outcast class below. Awareness of pollution grew from the 1960s. Although domestic air and water quality improved. however. The burakumin. People Ethnic groups y Purification shrine in Kiyomizu Temple. such as the eastern white stork (k notori) and the Japanese crested ibis (toki). it does not have the ethnic basis that can exist in multiracial societies. Once-abundant creatures.
Japan also has a small population of Chinese descent. Until that time Japanese had no written form. The indigenous Ainu largely were assimilated into the general population centuries ago. The Japanese language is generally included in the Altaic linguistic group and is especially akin to Korean. principally from English. do not have Japanese citizenship and face considerable discrimination. Although some 3. by the 9th century two syllabaries. this tendency has diminished but not disappeared. There are many local dialects. The Hondo dialect is used throughout Japan and may be divided into three major subdialects: . to a lesser degree. is understood nationwide. Japanese is broadly divided linguistically into the two major dialects of Hondo and Nant . was established in the late 19th century through the creation of a national educational system and through more widespread communication. and at first Chinese characters (called kanji in Japanese) were used to write Japanese. when Korea was a Japanese colony. including its dialect and religion. however. which are often mutually unintelligible.000. those remaining after the war and their descendants. Standard Japanese. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans migrated to Japan (a great many against their will) before and during World War II. the latter born and raised in Japan. although the vocabularies differ. have maintained their identity in Hokkaido. Languages y A computer keyboard with Roman letters and Japanese kana « Japanese is the national language. after World War II the number of characters necessary for a basic vocabulary was reduced to about 2. were developed from them. Since then. a few small. and the writing of these characters was simplified. and worked mainly as labourers.000 kanji are in general use.and Japanese citizens of Ainu and. Both Ainu and Okinawans are often relegated to a second-class status. and Ainu is almost extinct. scattered groups. a combination of kanji and kana has been used for written Japanese. The introduction of the Chinese writing system and of Chinese literature about the 4th century CE enriched the Japanese vocabulary. also have been adopted. Okinawan culture.000 to 5. widely used in broadcasting. based on the dialect spoken in Tokyo. is now recognized as sharing many traits with Japanese culture. but standard Japanese. Before the war there was a tendency to distinguish the people of Okinawa from other Japanese because of perceived physical and cultural differences. The distribution of Japanese nearly coincides with the territory of Japan. known collectively as kana (katakana and hiragana). Tens of thousands of Western loanwords. Some linguists also contend that Japanese contains elements of Southeast Asian languages. Okinawan origin.
which was the foundation of standard Japanese. at which various rituals² some on a daily basis²commemorate deceased family members. After the 17th century there was a vigorous influx of the Kamigata (Kinai) subdialect. many Japanese homes contain a Buddhist altar (butsudan). Western. The Eastern subdialects were established in the 7th and 8th centuries and became known as the Azuma (³Eastern´) language. Among the Western subdialects. Japanese children usually do not receive formal religious training. The Kyushu subdialects have been placed outside the mainstream of linguistic change of the Western dialects and retain some of the 16th-century forms of the latter. They extend as far south as Tanega and Yaku islands. although the present Kamigata subdialect of the Ky to. Religion y Torii (gateway) at the entrance to a Shint shrine on Mount Hakone. the Kinki version was long the standard language of Japan. Long placed outside the mainstream of linguistic change. « The indigenous religion of Japan. y Strips of paper with prayers written on them outside a Shint shrine in Japan. . Christianity. Shint . The Nant dialects are used by Okinawa islanders from the Amami Islands in Kagoshima prefecture to Yonaguni Island at the western end of the archipelago. east-central Honshu.Eastern. coexists with various sects of Buddhism. Thus. they strongly retain their ancient forms. as well as a number of ³new religions´ (shink shuky ) that have emerged since the 19th century. and some ancient shamanistic practices. On the other hand.saka region is of relatively recent origin. and each is affected by the others. and Kyushu. Intense religious feelings are generally lacking except among the adherents of some of the new religions. it is typical for one person or family to believe in several Shint gods and at the same time belong to a Buddhist sect. Not one of the religions is dominant.
who established a number of Russian Orthodox. and Nichiren. and several sects were introduced. the development of which dates to the late 12th century. commonly major historical figures. Some of the Hindu gods and Chinese spirits were also introduced and Japanized. The Tendai (Tiantai) and Shingon sects were founded in the early 9th century. Roman Catholic. who established an offshoot of Pure Land (J do) Buddhism called the True Pure Land sect (J do Shinsh ). and they have continued to exert profound influence in some parts of Japan. who founded Nichiren Buddhism. Christianity was introduced into Japan by first Jesuit and then Franciscan missionaries in the mid. both as a religion and as a symbol of European culture. People. It initially was well received. and monasteries were built throughout the country. Most of the major Buddhist sects of modern Japan. y Heigen Temple. Japan. Direct contact with central China was maintained. nunneries. In the 8th century Buddhism was adopted as the national religion. and national and provincial temples. Inaccessible and isolated islands and the peninsula of western Kyushu continued to harbour ³hiding Christian´ villages until the ban was lifted by the Meiji government in 1873. Shint was restructured as a state-supported religion. however. has maintained a large following. but this institution was abolished after World War II. Christianity was reintroduced by Western missionaries. Japan. which claims the largest number of adherents after Shint . as well as natural objects have been enshrined as gods. have descended from those that were modified in the 13th century by monks such as Shinran. the most important of which is the Grand Shrine of Ise in Mie prefecture. and . Kawasaki. Shint is a polytheistic religion. After the Meiji Restoration (1868). Each rural settlement has at least one shrine of its own. and Christianity was totally banned in the 1630s.y Entrance to the Outer Shrine of the Grand Shrine of Ise. After the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603). Zen Buddhism. Christians were persecuted. and there are several shrines of national significance. was officially introduced into the imperial court from Korea in the mid-6th century CE. Many of the ceremonies associated with the birth of a child and the rites of passage to adulthood are associated with Shint . founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism Buddhism.to late 16th century. dedicated to K kai.
Protestant congregations. Practicing Christians account for only a tiny fraction of the total population. The great majority of what are now called the ³new religions´ were founded after the mid19th century. Most have their roots in Shint and shamanism, but they also were influenced by Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism, and Christianity. One of the largest, the S ka Gakkai (³Value Creation Society´), is based on a sect of Nichiren Buddhism. Another new Nichiren sect to attract a large following is the Rissh K sei-kai. New Shint cults include Tenriky and Konk ky .
Traditional regions The concept of regions in Japan is inseparable from the historical development of administrative units. Care was always taken to include various physical features in the larger administrative units so as to create a well-balanced geographic whole. Many of the ancient terms for administrative units have survived in the form of place-names. The Taika-era reforms of the 7th century established the ri (roughly corresponding to the later village community) as the basic social and economic unit and the gun (district) as the smallest political unit to be governed by the central government. The gun were grouped to form more than 60 kuni (provinces), the largest political units, which were ruled by governors appointed by the central government. Each kuni was composed of maritime plains, interior basins, and mountains to constitute a more or less independent geographic entity. Several adjacent kuni that were linked by a trunk road or a convenient sea route were grouped into a d , the term signifying both the route and the region. The core region of the country was called the Kinai²i.e., the land adjacent to the shifting imperial capitals. During the Nara (710±784) and Heian (794±1185) periods, the region of Honshu to the east of the three great mountain barriers of Arachi, Fuwa, and Suzuka north, east, and southeast of Lake Biwa was called Kant and that to the west Kansai (kan, ³barrier´; t , ³east´; sai, ³west´). As the empire's frontier shifted to the northeast, Kant came to signify the region to the east of the Hakone Barrier (a pass near the town of Hakone), and Kansai gradually came to include limited areas near the capital of Ky to as far as saka and present-day K be. Northern areas that had not come under direct control of the central government were called Ezochi (or Yezochi), ³Land of the Ezo (Ainu).´ A third regional system was applied after the 10th century, in which kuni were amalgamated according to their distance from Ky to. The larger units were kingoku, or proximate kuni; ch goku, or intermediate kuni; and engoku, or remote kuni. Mutsu and Dewa in northeastern Honshu and islands such as Sado, Oki, Tsushima, and Iki were termed henky , or peripheral, lands. In 1871 the feudal system was dissolved and the ken, or prefectural, system was established. At first the more than 300 prefectures were mostly the former fiefs of feudal lords, who were appointed as governors. Through amalgamation and partition there were frequent changes in the ken pattern, until by 1888 the present configuration of 43 ken (including Okinawa), three
fu (urban prefectures) of Tokyo, saka, and Ky to, and one d (Hokkaido) was established; in 1943 Tokyo was given the status of to, or metropolis. Early in the 20th century it was recognized that larger geographic divisions were needed. By 1905 a system of eight chih (regions) had been set up, dividing the country from northeast to southwest. The chih are Hokkaido, T hoku (northern Honshu), Kant (eastern Honshu), Ch bu (central Honshu), Kinki (west-central Honshu), Ch goku (western Honshu), Shikoku, and Kyushu (including the Ryukyus). Another system used by some governmental agencies is a modification of the chih system. The Ch bu region, for example, is subdivided into Hokuriku, T san, and T kai. This system is devised so as to group prefectures of similar geographic character into one chih and is more effective for illustrating regional contrasts and comparing statistics. In addition, planners have come to refer to the string of industrialized and urbanized areas along the Pacific seaboard between Kant and northern Kyushu as the Pacific Belt Zone (Taihei-y Beruto Chitai). This zone includes most of the Japanese cities with populations of more than one million, as well as more than half of the country's total population.
Traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, Gifu prefecture, «
From the late 19th century, economic and social changes affected even the remotest rural villages, but many traditional aspects of rural life have survived. In the villages, many features that are in common with those of other Asian villages are well preserved. Autonomous and cooperative systems of agricultural practices and rituals, as well as mutual assistance among the villagers, have been handed down to the present. These traditions are mixed with modernized farming practices and employment diversification. An autonomous rural unit, generally known as a mura, consists of some 30 to 50 or more households. Now called an aza, this unit should not be confused with the administrative terms mura or son in use after 1888. The origins and histories of most rural settlements are lost in time. Historically traceable settlements largely originated through land reclamation after the 16th century. They are commonly called shinden, ³new paddy fields,´ but in terms of social structure they do not radically differ from the older settlements. Considerable local difference is evident in the settlement pattern. Some villages are agglomerated, as are those of the Kinki region; some are dispersed, as in northeastern Shikoku; some are elongated, such as those on the rows of sand dunes in the Niigata Plain and on the natural levees of deltas; while others are scattered on the steeper mountain slopes. Although these differences are only superficial, the traditional ties that bind the inhabitants
together to form a firm village community are changing as industry moves into the countryside and offers farmers attractive employment options. No village is regarded as purely rural. Those that are near industrialized urban centres include large numbers of commuters and industrial workers. The more remote settlements send out seasonal labourers during the winter months, though outright migration to urban centres is now more common. The villages of Hokkaido are based on commercial agriculture, and each household has direct contact with a nearby town. Fishing villages were absent in T hoku until the beginning of the 17th century, when northward movement began. They originally depended on nearby rice-producing villages, although some dried, salted, or smoked fish found more distant markets. The fishing villages are most numerous in the southwest, where an exchange economy has long been in practice. Mountain villages that rely solely on local products other than rice are exceedingly rare. Many of them were founded after the 17th century, when lumber, charcoal, and other such commodities found markets in the growing towns on the plains. There were also some villages in the mountainous interior of western T hoku that relied purely upon hunting, but these have all but disappeared.
Castle at Matsumoto, Japan.
Urbanization is generally of relatively recent origin. Except for the former capital cities of Nara, Ky to, and Kamakura, no sizable town of any significance appeared before the 16th century. Most of the provincial capitals, or koku-fu, of ancient Japan were only administrative centres that contained official residences and were not developed towns. After the latter part of the 16th century, influential temples and feudal lords began to build towns by gathering merchants and craftsmen close to their headquarters. The power of the feudal lords stabilized when they built j ka-machi (castle towns), which were located so as to command and control the main transportation routes and surrounding areas; the majority of Japan's important cities, including Tokyo, developed from them. Next in importance were the port towns, such as Hakata and Sakai, which experienced more vicissitudes than the castle towns. In addition, some of the religious towns eventually grew to a considerable size, as in the case of Ise and Izumo. Under the regime of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603±1867), peaceful conditions fostered nationwide pilgrimages on a scale unknown in the preceding periods, and temple and shrine towns such as Ky to and Nara flourished.
patchwork pattern of landownership is a formidable obstacle in ever-expanding cities of skyscrapers. and some of them declined. With industrialization came the rapid growth of Japanese cities. Japan experienced spectacular population growth after 1868. was absorbed into the expanding urban areas. Nobeoka. environmental pollution. East and West. growing industrial cities and mining towns absorbed a large population. including agricultural activity. the population increased nearly fourfold since then. The increased population there. and the constant menace of earthquakes and floods. After 1945 the repatriated population of nearly 9 million and the temporarily explosive increase in the birth rate caused abnormally high growth. the population numbered more than 42 million. T hoku. and underground plazas. Yawata. and Minamata. During World War II there was a marked migration to the rural areas to avoid aerial bombing. At the same time. Other serious problems are the shortage of better housing. when the first precise census was conducted. Japanese cities are jumbled mixtures of old and new. Kawasaki. some of the smaller cities lost their ability to sustain a growing population. and Amagasaki) were founded in response to economic development. and the introduction of commercial agriculture. In Hokkaido and southern Kyushu. and Nagasaki and the naval bases of Yokosuka. however. From 1898 to 1918. Yokohama. raw materials and power resources have attracted a limited number of industrial plants. Hakodate. saka-K be-Ky to (Keihanshin). This increase was directly related to slow but steady urban growth. The mountainous character of the country has caused the population to concentrate within the limited plains and lowlands²notably along the Pacific littoral. By 1940 the population had grown to more than double that of 1868. the shortage of open space for recreation. Mixed land use. Demographic trends Japan's population distribution is highly variable. Most of the former castle towns. have been expanded directly or indirectly by industrialization. can be found side by side with the most modernized business centres and industrial establishments. this had the effect of further concentrating population in a limited area. Kure. In 1920. as did Hokkaido and the sericultural (silkworm-raising) rural districts. such as saka. The expansion of the Keihin area was not confined to Tokyo. Yokohama. The rapid rehabilitation of industry after 1950 resulted in the continued concentration of population in the Pacific coastal areas. and northern Kyushu developed as the country's four major industrial districts. which alone are responsible for the existence of cities such as Tomakomai. and southern Kyushu. In 1897. the population was nearly 57 million. when industrialization first began. Rural areas outside the direct influence of . Muroran. overcrowded public transportation systems. and the fragmented. and Sasebo.g. The same was true of the Keihanshin and Ch ky areas. subways. while the population of rural districts declined considerably. the development of Hokkaido. some cities. Nagoya (Ch ky ).. and especially those along the Pacific side of the country. and some of the industrial towns (e.Widespread urban growth began in the late 19th century with the development of the international ports of K be. were reduced to one-third their previous size. the increasing use of the automobile. Between 1919 and 1945 Tokyo-Yokohama (Keihin). Niigata. and their adjacent suburbs but extended to a much wider circle. Niihama.
ranking behind only the United States. a common indicator of a country's wealth. During periods when labour is scarce. and people have been leaving city centres for outlying districts and suburbs. This growth was based on unprecedented expansion of industrial production and the development of an enormous domestic market. though such arrangements are suspended during economic downturns. The striking demographic feature in post-World War II Japan is the decline of birth and death rates. although rural-to-urban migration slowed somewhat. or gross national income). however. emigration was so marked that the remaining population could not maintain a balanced community. In many places. creating a constant outflow of population from the mountainous areas and isolated islands. and many of those who remained at home periodically left as temporary labourers. Generally. especially in the first several decades after World War II. and its life expectancy is among the world's highest. low-skilled job needs at least have been met by a growing number of temporary foreign workers. Japan's rate of population increase slowed dramatically at the end of the 20th century and became essentially stagnant in the first decade of the 21st century. as well as on an aggressive export trade policy. the result of families having fewer children and of health conditions improving markedly. The emphasis on trade stems from Japan's lack of the natural resources needed to support its industrial economy. Japan is the world's second largest economic power. It has developed a highly diversified manufacturing and service economy and is one of the world's largest producers of motor vehicles. a circumstance that at times has created severe labour shortages for its vast economy. the limited amount of arable land in the country forces Japan to import much of its food needs. In addition. notably fossil fuels and most minerals.urbanization were subjected to a marked decline. The service sector has come to dominate the economy in terms of its overall proportion of the gross domestic product (GDP) and of employment. Consequently. . steel. Japan is remarkable for its extraordinarily rapid rate of economic growth in the 20th century. In terms of gross national product (GNP. and high-technology manufactured goods (notably consumer electronics). Japan now has one of the world's lowest birth rates. Adult males migrated to the Pacific coast. These trends continued in the early 21st century. and whole settlements were abandoned. the country has a rapidly aging population. Akira WatanabeYasuo MasaiGil Latz Economy General considerations y A worker from India learning to tighten bolts at an automobile-assembly training facility in Japan.
like the rest of the world. and overall global demand for Japanese goods weakened. While investment in plants and equipment was spurred by an expanding domestic market. The outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 created a huge demand for Japanese goods and set off an investment drive that laid the foundations for a long period of extraordinary economic activity. Growing demand overseas for Japanese goods led to annual trade surpluses. . The Nikkei 225 average (the main stock-price index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange). By the mid-1980s Japan's standard of living had increased to the point that it was comparable to that found in other developed countries. Conditions improved after the turn of the 21st century. The country experienced a serious recession at the end of the decade. In addition. and its bursting at the beginning of the 1990s sparked a severe economic downturn. the value of the national currency. Nonetheless. as the price of imported petroleum soared. Japan. and it experienced continued annual trade surpluses until the recession of 2008. which (with a brief interlude in 1979±80) became perennial by the late 1960s. while.Japan's strong domestic market has reduced the country's dependence on trade in terms of the proportion trade contributes to the GDP when compared with that of many other countries. by 2000 Japan was facing the fact that an increasing number of postwar ³baby boom´ workers would be retiring. with the country's population growth also stagnant. though growth rates were modest and were punctuated with periodic slumps. In addition. in 1985 Japan agreed with its trading partners to let the yen appreciate against the U. The immediate postwar period was one of hard struggle to achieve reconstruction and stability. rose against foreign currencies. In addition. distortions resulting from the earlier quick pace of growth had begun to show: Japan's standard of living had not increased as rapidly as had the overall economy up to that point²in large part because of the high percentage of capital reinvestment in those years²but also Japan was under increasing pressure from its trading partners (notably the United States) to allow the yen to appreciate even more in value and to liberalize strong import restrictions that had been enacted to protect Japan's domestic market. Background The Japanese economy lay utterly devastated at the end of World War II (1945). labour costs increased. and the plan for creating a self-sustaining economy was mapped out by American banker Joseph Dodge. At the same time. was hard hit by the global economic recession that began at the end of 2007 and took hold in earnest in 2008. Japan also began pursuing strong export policies. a speculative ³bubble´ arose in the prices of stock shares and real estate. which led to a doubling of the yen's value within two years. dollar. This action and other efforts at restraining exports encouraged Japanese companies to begin moving production bases overseas. land and labour reforms were carried out.S. dropped to only half that much within a year. However. and housing prices in urban areas also plunged. Under the Allied occupation forces. By the early 1970s Japan's rapid rate of economic growth had begun to slacken. fewer young people would be entering the workforce. Japan continued to have one of the world's highest per capita gross national products. Economic growth was essentially stagnant throughout the 1990s²in what came to be known in Japan as the ³lost decade´²even though a variety of economic policies were adopted and tried. which had reached an all-time high in 1989. the yen.
notably nuclear power generation. Control has been underpinned by the detailed regulation of business activities. various policy measures have been used to shift the allocation of resources among industrial sectors and to influence the organization of specific industries. investment.The role of government Japan's system of economic management is probably without parallel in the world. The most important of these agencies is the Economic Planning Agency. thus revitalizing what was then a moribund economy. In the 1980s the government relinquished to the private sector its monopolies over the tobacco and salt industries and domestic telephone and telegraph services. the government's control and influence over business is stronger and more pervasive than in most other countries with market economies. efforts have been made to limit the use of such unwritten orders. Agriculture. and fishing Agriculture . and the publicly owned Japanese National Railways was privatized as the Japan Railways (JR) Group. According to the economic objectives of the government. nearly every branch and sector of the economy. since the early 1990s. The government also retains an interest in radio and television broadcasting. as well as with overall economic growth. This control is exercised primarily through the government's constant consultation with business and through the authorities' deep indirect involvement in banking. forestry. particularly in the financial sector. also is responsible for long-term planning. Most of the remaining public corporations are special-purpose entities (e. It remains active in matters deemed to be of strategic interest. by the early 1990s reducing government intervention in the economy had become a major objective of the authorities. A number of deregulation packages to remove and ease controls subsequently were introduced and implemented. imports.g. and Industry (until 2001 the Ministry of International Trade and Industry) and. Consultation is mainly done by means of joint committees and groups that monitor the performance of. This was viewed as a way to create new business opportunities and as a necessity for making Japanese domestic markets more accessible to foreign business.. However. which have been castigated for creating an atmosphere of collusion between the authorities and big business. which is under the Ministry of Economy. and prices. Though the extent of direct state participation in economic activities is limited. The practice of long-term planning has been a major force in the functioning of the Japanese economy. which is subsidized through a major program to increase generating capacity. Trade. for nuclear power generation) that would be unprofitable to operate privately or are government financial institutions. There are several agencies and government departments that concern themselves with such aspects of the economy as exports. Japanese bureaucrats utilize broad discretionary power rather than written directives to offer ³administrative guidance´ in their interaction with the private sector in order to implement official policies. and set targets for. apart from monitoring the daily running of the economy. However.
Hokkaido. however. Because of the country's mountainous terrain. The agricultural sector continues to employ a relatively large proportion of the working population compared with its contribution to national income. for many years agriculture has accounted for only a tiny fraction of the GDP.y A levee between rice paddies leading to two thatched traditional houses. The general reliability of the precipitation pattern. and most others rely on outside occupations for a . the supply of agricultural land is limited. Japan's largely infertile and immature soils require careful husbandry and fertilization. However. y Terrace cultivation in Fukuoka prefecture. coupled with Japan's extensive network of rivers that can be used for irrigation. Japan's relatively wet climate provides the country with considerable freshwater supplies. Kyushu. make possible extensive wet-rice (paddy) cultivation. but many farmers have left agriculture for employment in manufacturing and the service sector. Japan Agricultural production has remained relatively stable since the 1990s. central Japan. y Farms on the Obihiro Plain. Japan.
Rice imports were partially liberalized that same year. foreign competition began forcing farmers to adopt more efficient production methods and sped up the process of creating larger. and production costs are high. Nagano prefecture. more commercial livestock operations. nearly half the country's food requirements must be imported. In addition. and the ban on imported rice was removed in 1999. an important farming activity. Thus. Japan The government's agricultural policy has encouraged self-sufficiency in the more important commodities. vegetables. Forestry and fishing y Silver birch forest. in reality. though steep customs duties have remained in place. Other important farm products include wheat. is generally practiced on a small scale. potatoes. Most feeds must be imported. . Larger farms generally are found in Hokkaido. the largest dairy and beef cattle herds are in Hokkaido. A central feature of the policy of self-sufficiency has been strong protection for local rice production and an artificially high producer price for rice.substantial part of their income. although that goal has been achieved only for rice and sweet potatoes (and by 2000 domestic production for both commodities was less than what was needed). Japan. Tottori prefecture. after beef imports were liberalized in 1991. Livestock raising. The country's principal crop is rice. the median age of farmers rose steadily. and tea. Legislation enacted in 1995 sought to introduce market principles in the agricultural pricing structure and to place more importance on the needs of consumers. As younger people left the farms. y Burial ground with harvested rice fields in the distance. where units of 25 acres (10 hectares) or more are fairly common. Japanese agriculture is characterized by a large number of small and often inefficient farms. fruits. barley.
domestic production cannot come close to satisfying Japan's huge demand for timber. Japan. the Japanese fishing sector faces some serious problems. beset with high labour costs. Local fisheries are depleted by overfishing and pollution. forestry is a marginal activity. and. cultured pearls long have been significant. especially those that were excessively logged before and during World War II. large-scale reforestation has taken place in these areas. but it is also because the domestic logging sector is highly unprofitable. Thus. Aquaculture of fish. and seaweed is of increasing importance.Timber resources are extensive. The rest is publicly owned. in addition. Most of the forest area is privately owned. Even with the addition of limited logging in reforested areas. despite Japan's considerable forest cover. and imports of fishery products exceed exports. The number of workers engaged in fishing has declined sharply. while deep-sea fishing must contend with restrictions placed upon it by countries that claim a 200nautical-mile (370-km) economic zone in their coastal waters. in Fukushima prefecture. domestic production has been edging down for decades. y Drying edible algae on a beach near Hisanohama. However. an aging workforce. y Drying fish at Nakamura port in K chi prefecture. especially in the Inland Sea. It has one of the largest fish catches of any country in the world. Resources and power . and the great bulk of Japan's wood needs are imported. but much of the forestland is located in inaccessible mountain areas. Japan. In spite of its dominant international position. as with agriculture. consisting of broad-leaved and coniferous forests. the fishery worker population has aged rapidly. In part this is because of the inaccessibility of many of the best stands. Japan relies heavily on the sea as a source of food. and other inefficiencies. shellfish (notably clams and oysters). much of it derived from long-distance deep-sea fisheries. and much of it is distributed among a large number of relatively small holders.
Natural gas reserves also have been found in eastern Chiba prefecture and offshore east of T hoku. With few exceptions. with lesser quantities of tungsten. Reserves of copper. Oil deposits are meagre. Coal reserves are concentrated in Hokkaido and Kyushu. phosphates. bauxite (the ore of aluminum). are nearly depleted. and zinc. lead. The main oiland gas-bearing belt extends from northern Honshu on the Sea of Japan to the IshikariY futsu lowlands in Hokkaido. lead. Iizuka.Minerals y Petroleum plant. potash. With the exception of gold extraction. rock salt. There is an almost complete lack of nickel. domestic oil production accounting for a negligible fraction of Japan's oil consumption. Keihin Industrial Zone. Japan also has large deposits of limestone. and crude petroleum and natural gas. Other metallic ores of economic significance include silver. The extractive industry is characterized by small and relatively inefficient mines that do not lend themselves to the application of modern. mining for metallic ores plummeted in the early 21st century. Fukuoka « Mining is an unimportant and declining branch of the economy. chromite. Japan. Japan's mineral reserves are small. zinc. once Japan's most important metallic ore. Mining and quarrying y Mine waste remaining from a defunct mine at the Chikuh Coalfield. sulfur. Mining for iron and copper essentially ceased after 2000. lead and zinc are often found in conjunction with copper. and manganese. nitrates. gold. Limestone quarrying is widespread throughout the Japanese archipelago. and silver are among the most abundant minerals (in relative terms). iron ore. copper. . and the quality of those mined is often poor. Coal. cobalt. and Japan now imports virtually all its needs for those two ores. large-scale mining methods. Japanese iron ore is of poor quality and is obtained mostly from northern and western Honshu.
Most of Japan's total electric power is generated by thermal plants. This program raised the contribution of nuclear power to approximately one-third of the country's total installed electric-generating capacity. Most of the remaining production is in Hokkaido. the best sites already have been utilized for large plants. The largest single source of energy is oil. As a result of Japan's mountainous terrain. Gas production is greatest for natural gas and liquefied natural gas and in terms of energy output is comparable to that for coal. domestically produced energy source. because of seasonal variations in precipitation and the difficulty of constructing adequate storage facilities. Per capita consumption of electricity is comparable to that for most industrialized countries. but generation by coal-fired plants has increased significantly as part of the effort to reduce Japan's dependency on foreign oil. In . Virtually the whole of the country's output of petroleum and natural gas comes from Niigata prefecture. largely imported. This pattern of distribution ensures that Japan's hydroelectric capabilities are well located in relation to the important industrial areas. For decades oil was the most important fuel source. but that for oil and natural gas is considerably lower. almost the entire demand is satisfied through imports. Also of growing importance are power stations burning liquefied natural gas. and further additions to capacity have consisted of smaller-scale operations. an important share of which comes from fields developed by Japanese companies. and the general use of oil since World War II. and Kiso rivers). in T hoku. especially as a means of reducing levels of greenhouse gases and other pollutants emitted. competition from cheaper foreign coal. Coal. many hydroelectric power plants cannot operate at full capacity for more than a few months of the year. Power y Radioactive-waste storage facility at Rokkasho-mura. Japan. Tenry . Tone. Several dozen nuclear plants are now in operation throughout the country. In addition. constitutes a much smaller proportion of overall consumption. Natural gas also is produced in Chiba and Fukushima prefectures. is now extracted as a marginal operation. the most important mineral mined throughout most of Japan's industrial period. The coal industry suffers from uneconomic production. the country's ample hydroelectric potential is distributed unevenly. and in some parts of Kyushu. Hydroelectric development is largely concentrated in central Honshu (along the Shinano. Although there is still undeveloped potential. The rate of Japan's consumption of energy leveled off in the mid-1990s. after having increased steadily for decades.Coal. Since the 1970s the government has promoted an energy policy that favours the development of nuclear power generation as a nonpolluting.
a number of pumped storage plants have been constructed. a variety of chemicals and petrochemicals. Imabari.addition. Manufacturing y Towel factory. Thus. aluminum. . including computers and microelectronics. and efficiency. Subsequently the country became noted for advanced electronic products. sulfuric acid. some of the older industries. and precision equipment (notably cameras). cement. have declined considerably in relative importance. Japan The most notable feature of Japan's economic growth since World War II is the rapid development of manufacturing. Emphasis has shifted from light to heavy industries and to a higher degree of processing. and consumer goods. It has some of the world's largest and most-advanced industrial plants. machinery (including robots). with progress in quantitative growth. including lumber and wood processing and the manufacture of textiles and foodstuffs. variety. quality. y A shipyard in Kure. iron and steel. in which water is pumped up to a reservoir above the hydroelectric facility during off-peak hours to be released for power generation during periods of peak demand. and textiles. Japan Japan is one of the world's principal shipbuilders and automakers and is a major producer of such basic products as crude steel. synthetic rubber. telecommunications equipment. plastics. pulp and paper. In the late 20th century the most spectacular growth was in the production of motor vehicles.
A principal reason for Japan's postwar industrial performance was the high level and rapid growth of capital investment. A boom in equipment investment provided the iron-and-steel and machine-building industries with a rapidly growing home market. allowed for a spectacular increase in productive capacity and in the scale of operations. in what is called the keiretsu system. The existence of close-knit corporate groups. distribution. was to set up overseas facilities in parts of Asia. especially in the 1960s and '70s. Another strategy. North America. mergers. keiretsu groups collaborated on long-range strategies aimed at garnering market share without regard to short-term profit and managed the risks of manufacturing.y Iron mill in Muroran. has played an important role in the successful structural adjustments Japanese industry made to changing economic circumstances. and as a result the country's exports soared. y Robotic welding on the automobile assembly line at the Toyota Motor Corporation. Japan. Through extensive crossholding of company stocks. despite an acute shortage of skilled labour and rising wages. and sales. as changes in the financial environment made Japanese industry more willing to enter tie-ups. and led to a rapid replacement of old machinery. This in turn resulted in considerable improvement in productivity throughout the economy and enabled manufacturing industries to grow. Such actions were made possible by the gradual relaxation and increasingly flexible interpretation of the country's antimonopoly laws enacted after World War II that had broken up the old zaibatsu conglomerates. Finance . which was pursued in part to reduce trade friction with foreign competitors and also to cut costs as the yen appreciated in value. the system has weakened over time. The extensive use of technological innovations and the implementation of superior production systems gave many sectors of Japanese manufacturing a formidable advantage over their rivals. and Europe. However. and takeovers that cross traditional keiretsu boundaries. This approach was carried out with particular success by manufacturers of automobiles and advanced electronic products. Japan.
However. and insurance companies was liberalized. However. some government financial institutions²including the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. but legislation enacted at that time made it autonomous of the ministry. is the sole bank that issues the yen. securities. and many of the large commercial banks have been transformed by mergers and acquisitions. By the 1980s the Japanese financial establishment had become a major international force: Japan's banks had come to dominate international banking. The bulk of domestic banking business is transacted through commercial banks. and many mutual savings and loan banks and credit associations. However. as has been the case for decades. while the Tokyo Stock Exchange emerged as one of the largest securities markets in the world. and the operation of banks. y One-thousand-yen banknote from Japan (reverse). the laws regulating the financial system gradually were revised. The bursting of the bubble in the early 1990s seriously affected both banking and the securities market into the early 21st century and precipitated a prolonged period of recovery. regulatory reforms have broken down the barriers that traditionally segmented the Japanese banking system into several types of lending establishments. since the late 1990s. Also in the late 1990s a new Financial Supervisory Agency (since 2000 called the Financial Services Agency) was established to take over auditing and supervisory operations formerly performed by the Ministry of Finance. and the Development Bank of Japan²several dozen foreign banks. Until the late 1990s the bank was under the indirect control of the Ministry of Finance. much of this growth was based on speculation in the ³bubble´ economy of highly inflated real estate values. these differences gradually disappeared as markets were deregulated and internationalized. There are also a number of trust banks and long-term credit banks. the Japan Finance Corporation for Small and Medium Enterprise. One of the more significant developments in the early 21st . established in 1882. Meanwhile. Japan's complex financial system was significantly different from that of other developed countries in several respects. Banking The Bank of Japan. In the first decades after World War II. most notably in the major role played by banking and the relatively minor position of securities. over a period of some two decades beginning in the mid-1980s. in terms of capitalization.y One-thousand-yen banknote from Japan (obverse). it also plays an important role in determining and enforcing the government's economic and financial policies.
A step toward improving the efficiency of the bond market was made in the early 1990s.century has been the 10-year privatization program (completed 2007) of the Japan Post Bank. and the existence of a large amount of capital for financial investment. which are expected to purchase government and government-guaranteed bonds according to an unofficial allocation quota. Traditionally. and industry. account for almost all the business. and. . the two most important. their influence on their client companies is considerable. Recovery was slow. Since the commercial banks are responsible for so much of the credit extended to industry. and banks again found themselves in trouble with the start of the global recession in 2007±08. With the bursting bubble economy. Tokyo and saka. In the 1980s efforts were made to expand the bond market by introducing a greater diversity of bond instruments and by establishing a number of bond-rating institutions. a significant proportion of the business consists of trading in financial debentures. although over-the-counter transactions have risen rapidly. Stock trading grew rapidly during the late 1980s. manufacturers relied on banks for a large part of their borrowing requirements. later. and was hit again by the economic downturn that began in 2008. Their active lending policy also means that their liquidity ratios have tended to be low by Western standards and that they have been forced to rely on call money (money that is readily available to banks as loans) and on large-scale borrowing from the Bank of Japan. Japan's bond market is relatively undeveloped because the government's low long-term interest rate policy has made bonds unattractive against the comparatively high level of shortterm rates. when the market was partially deregulated and banks were allowed to participate in the corporate market through subsidiaries. private and government financial institutions still account for a substantial part of the total borrowed. The central bank thereby has been in a strong position to influence bank operations and to bring about a quick adjustment in the volume of credit through credit ceilings. many private financial institutions were saddled with massive bad loans. therefore. Bond buying. mirroring the slow growth pace of Japan's economy in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Securities Japan's capital market has become one of the pillars of the global 24-hour securities market. and the advances were followed by a serious decline. and. which has the largest deposit holdings of any bank in the country. There are several stock exchanges in Japan. The process of banks merging continued into the early 21st century. temporarily nationalizing some banks and forcing others into mergers. nonresident institutions were allowed to issue bonds in foreign currency denominations. at that time the market also was highly speculative. However. The Tokyo market became involved in international capital transactions in 1971. although the importance of the manufacturers' own capital has increased. when yen-dominated foreign bond-issue offerings were first introduced. is confined chiefly to banks and other financial institutions. partly in response to a stronger yen. The secondary bond market has been in operation since the mid1960s. the commercial banks. The Japanese financial system long was characterized by the high degree of interdependence between the central bank. and the government was forced to intervene. Individuals and institutional investors tend to buy discount debentures only. declining interest rates.
notably of motor vehicles. exports are much more important than their contribution to the national income suggests. other countries of East and Southeast Asia and the countries of the European Union (EU) are also important export destinations. Textiles and food products constituted a considerably decreased share of total exports. together accounting for the largest proportion of exports.Trade External trade Exports y Port facilities on the industrial channel of Onomichi. An outstanding feature of Japan's economic development after World War II was the rapid advance in overseas sales. However. Japanese exports face increasing challenges. the shift to products with a relatively high value added. the country's export competitiveness. though in the early 21st century China's position rose to rival that of the United States. the valuation of the yen compared with that of other currencies. and a falloff in exports caused by the increased production of Japanese companies abroad. South Korea. with the size of the surplus often being the largest in the world. Japan has had a trade surplus nearly every year. Most notable is strong competition from Japan's industrial neighbours China. However. Other important exports included chemicals. Imports . The United States is Japan's largest export market. and metals. while exports of a wide variety of machinery and apparatuses (including electronic equipment and components) and transport equipment grew dramatically. Other factors include protectionist sentiments among Japan's chief trading partners. and Taiwan. as well as from the countries of Southeast Asia. the global recession that began in 2007±08 is having a significant impact on Japan's exports. Reasons for this spectacular export performance are the wide variety of Japan's industrial output. from the point of view of individual industries and as a generator of growth. Japan. A major change in the composition of exports occurred in the late 20th century. In addition. even though the share of exports in the country's gross national product generally remained relatively constant. Since the late 1960s. chemical products. and the dominant position of its industry in a number of fields.
occupation forces introduced legislation that gave workers the right to organize. and in many cases there were different organizations for different plants of the same company.S. trade unions became important only after the U. Interest in uniting the rival national organizations deepened during the 1980s. Japan's largest suppliers include East and Southeast Asia (notably China). Consistently high trade surpluses led to mounting pressure by Japan's trading partners²notably the United States²for Japan to open its domestic market to foreign goods. for years threatened by Japan's large department stores. such as the Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers' Unions (Jid sha Soren). characterized by numerous intermediary levels in the distribution of goods and small. mainly because of the trend toward ever greater concentration in industry and greater cooperation between the various employers' organizations. to bargain with employers. Sales traditionally have been transacted in cash. Japan has a long-established and complex system of wholesale distribution and retail marketing. This system. and Australia. Imports have grown steadily as Japan's trade structure has become more open. more recently. In the late 1980s the major national organizations and other private. Internal trade y Shibuya shopping district. and foodstuffs. but the use of charge accounts and credit cards has become widespread. raw materials. the bulk of its imports are fuels.After World War II. often family-run retail outlets. Most of these in turn became affiliated with one of four major national labour organizations established after the war. online commerce. Although there were several labour organizations before World War II. and to strike. Because Japanese trade unions were generally organized on a plant or enterprise basis.and . also has been challenged by the growth of supermarket and discount-store chains and by mail-order sales and. the Middle East. their number was relatively large. the United States. Because of Japan's meagre natural resources. Labour and taxation Trade unions and employers' associations Japanese trade unions have had a relatively short history. western Europe. The major components of imported manufactured goods are machinery and allied products and chemicals. Tokyo. Japan established relatively high tariffs and instituted restrictive nontariff barriers for many products in order to protect domestic markets. The great majority of the enterprise unions became affiliated to federations that were loosely organized on craft lines.
Among the bestknown are the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren). and by the early 21st century the number of employees who were organized was less than half of what it had been 50 years earlier. in relation to national income. discuss and advise on strategy. These groups serve as a sounding board and make policy recommendations while interacting with politicians. and certain levies were lifted. but. and labour. the total tax burden for Japan is considerably lower than it is for most other developed countries. However. at a time when Japan was troubled by a series of protracted confrontations between labour and management. JTUC-Reng serves as a voice for the unions in general. especially during the annual institutionalized ³spring offensive´ (shunt ) wage drive. publicizing their demands and dealing with the government and other business organizations. Membership gradually fell off.public-sector unions were reorganized into the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUCReng ). Transportation and telecommunications . government bureaucracies. in which tax rates were cut. those unions politically more to the left of JTUC-Reng formed the much smaller National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenr ren). The unionization rate peaked in the mid-1950s at around two-fifths of the workforce. new deductions were introduced. the number of tax brackets was reduced. However. serious negotiations are usually conducted on an enterprise basis by individual unions and the employees. coupled with the increasing number of part-time and temporary workers. Taxation Tax revenues account for the single largest source of the government's total income. The major reason for the decline has been the shift in the employment structure itself from manufacturing to trade. and steeply progressive income taxes on individuals and high corporate taxes have constituted most of the tax revenues. Since World War II the tax system has been characterized by heavy dependence on direct taxes. While the craft and national federations formulate general policy. labour-management relations generally have become nonconfrontational and are now characterized by cooperation. after it was increased to 5 percent in the late 1990s. the latter formed in 2002 by the merger of the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren) and the Japan Federation of Employers' Association (Nikkeiren). Initially. the tax rate was 3 percent. Japan has a well-developed system of chambers of commerce and trade and industry associations. with few working days lost through labour action. the government undertook a general overhaul of the tax system. and coordinate wage offensives. In the late 1980s an indirect consumption (value-added) tax was imposed on most goods and services to augment the tax structure.
and Hiroshima²function as regional hubs. Sendai. Fukuoka. however. though the rugged terrain required the construction of many tunnels and bridges. and Ky to² and Nagoya. Road construction is hampered by the limited area of land in proportion to population. « Until the latter part of the 19th century. With the opening in 1988 of a railway tunnel between Hokkaido and Honshu and of multiple-span railway-road bridges between Honshu and Shikoku. Honshu. The metropolitan regions of Tokyo and saka have fairly extensive expressway networks within their respective built-up areas. and by the early 21st century a growing network of such highways had been built throughout the country. and modern ports were constructed. and often hamper the flow of . Other cities²notably Kita-Ky sh . Roads y Pedestrian and automobile traffic competing for space in a busy Japanese intersection. the majority of Japanese people traveled on foot. by an undersea double-decked road tunnel (built in 1958). Sapporo. Vehicular traffic was limited to small wagons. Japan now has one of the world's most developed transport and communications networks. carts. or palanquins (kago) carried by men or animals. resulting in the present congestion of most urban areas. K be. Iron ships were built about the same time. Kyushu is connected with Honshu by the world's first undersea railway tunnel (built in 1941). and others soon followed. Tokyo especially is an incomparably large focus for transportation. The first railway was built between Tokyo and Yokohama in 1872.y The multiple-span Seto Great Bridge over the Inland Sea. The development of Japan's road network lags behind the country's general economic progress and is especially inadequate for the large number of cars. The first limited-access expressway opened in the early 1960s. Surface street patterns in Japanese cities are manifold. tended to lag behind the development of other means of transport. with Sakaide. also important are the Keihanshin metropolitan area²which includes the three cities of saka. all four of Japan's main islands are now linked by surface transport. however. linking Kojima. The largest volume of intercity or interregional transport of both passengers and goods moves between the two largest metropolitan regions. Road construction. and by a huge suspension bridge (opened in 1973).
though with modifications in built-up inner parts of the cities. Trucks represent a much higher proportion of vehicular traffic than in other major motorized countries. The mainstay of the country's extensive passenger rail network is the Japan Railways (JR) Group of companies that was formed in 1987 when the state-run Japan National Railways (JNR) was privatized. and part of a line that eventually will link Fukuoka and Kagoshima on Kyushu has been completed. Many families now have two or more automobiles and are more likely to drive to a destination than in the past. the period between the two World Wars in particular was one during which many railroad lines to the suburbs were built to serve the needs of growing numbers of middle-income people. Japan has an extremely high density of motor vehicles per unit area in the plains and in other inhabited areas. because many opposed the expansion of foreign economic and political influence. This original Shinkansen line subsequently was extended by lines westward to Fukuoka on Kyushu and northward to Hachinohe in far northern Honshu. may have somewhat similar street patterns. Although there was strong opposition to its construction. Railways Railways play an extremely important role in passenger travel. resulting in road congestion in the big cities and in industrial areas. the JR Group has conducted extensive research and development on high-speed train operations utilizing magnetic levitation and propulsion. the ancient pattern of land division and the resultant road pattern take the rectangular gridiron form. speeds on the Shinkansen lines have been increased. In order to compete with growing passenger air transport. the ancient highway between Ky to and Tokyo. The great bulk of domestic freight transport is by truck. Although railways still play the major role in carrying commuters. The first streetcar line was constructed in Ky to in 1891 and used the electricity from the country's first power station. and over time it was expanded into one of the most extensive systems in the world. though in many cases these are modified (generally in the form of concentric rings) to follow former defensive lines. though they continue to give way to competition especially from road transport but also from air travel. especially fortified (castle) towns. Feudal towns. Steps taken to alleviate them include stringent pollution-control standards for automobiles and the installation of noise barriers on highways in densely populated areas. named for the T kaid . In addition. The first Japanese rail line was financed by the British and built by British engineers. In subsequent years Japan developed extensive intraurban and suburban railroad systems. which provides frequent service on an electrified double-track route between Tokyo and saka. The increases in noxious exhaust gases and in the noise of the traffic are serious problems. Subways subsequently were built in most of Japan's largest cities. there appears to be no practical solution to the problem of how to reduce the number of cars on the roads. . In many rural areas as well. The first trains began operations in 1964 on the New T kaid Line.traffic. branchlines also have been built to several cities on Honshu. In 1927 the first subway was built in Tokyo's downtown district. the development of a modern rail network was an early and farsighted goal of the government after the Meiji Restoration (1868). The jewel of the JR Group's operations is the high-speed Shinkansen (³New Trunk Line´). Cities such as Ky to and Nara still preserve the gridiron street pattern of the ancient Chinese city plan.
Despite competition by railways. the Japanese shipping sector has declined steadily since the 1970s. after the country had reopened to foreign trade following a period of near isolation from the rest of the world. In addition to JAL. with some trains carrying many more than the number of passengers for which they were designed. and safety. Mizushima. Shipowners have been forced to streamline operations and scrap ships in order to cut rising operating costs. Congestion on commuter rail transport has remained a serious problem within the large cities. the volume of domestic air transport has continued to increase. the former being the outport of Tokyo and the latter the outport for saka and Ky to. foreign charters and ships of foreign registry have risen in use. air transportation in Japan was considerably restricted. most are extremely crowded during rush hours. Ltd. the country's other major airline is All Nippon Airways Co. Nagoya. punctuality. remain Japan's leading trade entrepôts. both in terms of cargo tonnage hauled and number of ships. Although these commuter trains are renowned for their cleanliness. and Sakai. Air transport Before World War II.. commercial air travel to both domestic and international destinations has become commonplace and widespread.There are dozens of other private railway companies operating outside the JR Group. but large modern trading ports were not developed until the second half of the 19th century. Other important modern ports include Chiba. Services have been gradually expanded to cope with the high demand. Port facilities y The Landmark Tower rising above Yokohama Harbour. Most of them are long-established regional operators of commuter train service and members of larger conglomerates engaged in diverse businesses. Yokohama and K be. since the foundation of Japan Airlines (JAL). As a result. Although total annual shipping to and from Japan has continued to rise. The first of these. Kawasaki. especially the Shinkansen. but. Kita-Ky sh . and there are several smaller carriers.. . Japan has engaged in seafaring since early times. Japan is one of the world's principal seagoing countries and has one of the world's largest merchant fleets.
despite the addition of new airports on artificial islands near saka (1994). The growth in air travel has severely strained the country's airport capacity. Tokyo is the main centre of the country's domestic and international air travel. Japan is now a world leader in the use of advanced telecommunications. was renamed KDDI Corporation. rather than being the embodiment of all sovereign authority (as he was previously). checking for unlawful activities « The Japanese networks of telecommunications and of postal services are among the best and most sophisticated in the world. Also at that time the monopoly on international telecommunications services that long had been held by the semipublic Kokusai Denshin Denwa (KDD) was lifted. A number of other private telecommunications companies also operate in the country. Nagoya (2005) and K be (2006) and expansion at existing facilities in Tokyo and saka. starting with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT). and. after a series of mergers. Sapporo. NTT became one of the largest private firms in the world. KDD subsequently was wholly privatized. Government and society Constitutional framework Japan's constitution was promulgated in 1946 and came into force in 1947. are effectively linked by these services. Telecommunications y Officers of the Metropolitan Police Department in Tokyo. as well as the remotest villages deep in the mountains. and Fukuoka. Per capita telephone ownership is high. The hundreds of islands. followed by saka. It differs from the earlier document in two fundamental ways: the principle of sovereignty and the stated aim of maintaining Japan as a peaceful and democratic country in perpetuity. The use of personal computers and connections to the Internet have become nearly universal throughout the country. but in 1999 it was broken up into a number of subsidiary companies under the name NTT Group.All metropolitan areas in Japan are connected by air routes. is the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people. The government began privatizing the telecommunications industry in the mid-1980s. mobile-phone subscriptions have soared. Japan. Other major airports are in Nagoya. although the number of landlines has steadily declined since the late 1990s. superseding the Meiji Constitution of 1889. The emperor. provider of domestic telecommunications services. while sovereign power rests with the people (whose fundamental human rights are explicitly . including satellite and fibre-optic transmission networks.
which are elected by direct public vote. convoking sessions of the Diet. which is organized and headed by the prime minister. All offices of the central government are located in and around the Kasumigaseki district in central Tokyo. The government is now based on a constitution that stipulates the separation of powers between the legislative. disaster prevention.876 square km). which are administered by governors and assemblies. An independent constitutional body called the Board of Audit is responsible for the annual auditing of the accounts of the state. Hokkaido is a d (district). vary considerably both in area and in population. in matters of passing legislation. and judicial branches. Japan is divided into 47 prefectures. unless the House of Representatives is dissolved within 10 days of such action. Executive power is vested in the cabinet. as are their chief executive officers. education. of the remainder. Prefectures. An . ultimately takes precedence over the House of Councillors (Sangiin). or upper house. and awarding state honours² all with the advice and approval of the cabinet (naikaku). social welfare. If the House of Representatives passes a resolution of no confidence or refuses to pass a vote of confidence in the government. though formally appointed by the House of Representatives. There are governmental ministries and agencies in addition to the Prime Minister's Office. Local government The 1947 constitution establishes the principle of autonomy for local public entities. the most populous prefecture. y Prime Minister Abe Shinzo opening the first session of the Diet in 2007. and pollution control²are dealt with by local governing bodies. executive. and health²as well as land preservation and development. promulgating laws and treaties. or lower house. while the smallest is Kagawa. and approving treaties with foreign powers. and saka and Ky to are fu (urban prefectures). controlling the budget. is some 20 times greater than that of Tottori. the least populous. Article 9 of the constitution states that Japan ³forever renounces war as a sovereign right of the nation´²a clause that has been much debated since the constitution's promulgation. with an area of 32. with 724 square miles (1. The largest prefecture is Hokkaido. The population of Tokyo. The emperor's major role now consists of such formalities as appointing the prime minister²who is first designated by the Diet (Kokkai)²and appointing the chief justice of the Supreme Court (Saik Saibansho). Many matters related to labour.453 square km).guaranteed). Significant powers are allotted to local assemblies. 43 of which are ken (prefectures proper).221 square miles (83. The House of Representatives (Sh giin). Tokyo is a to (metropolitan prefecture). which is popularly elected and consists of two houses. Legislative powers are vested in the Diet. the cabinet must resign.
intermediate level of governmental services is formed between the central and prefecture levels. The branch offices of several central ministries are located in certain cities, which²as regional centres²generally administer several prefectures together. Prefectures are further subdivided into minor civil divisions; these include shi (cities), machi or ch (towns), and mura or son (villages). All these local government units have their own mayors, or chiefs, and assemblies. In addition, a city that has a population of at least 500,000 can be given the status of shitei toshi (designated city). Designated cities are divided into ku (wards), each of which has a chief and an assembly, the former being nominated by the mayor and the latter elected by the residents. The number of these cities has steadily increased since the first five (Yokohama, saka, Nagoya, Ky to, and K be) were named in the mid-1950s. Tokyo has 23 tokubetsu ku (special wards), the chiefs of which are elected by the residents. These special wards, created after the metropolitan prefecture was established in 1943, demarcate the city of Tokyo from the other cities and towns that make up the metropolitan prefecture; the city proper, however, no longer exists as an administrative unit.
The judiciary is completely independent of the executive and legislative branches of the government. The judicial system consists of three levels: the Supreme Court, eight high (appellate) courts, and a district court and a family court in each prefecture (except for Hokkaido, which has four). In addition, there are many summary (informal) courts, which hear cases for some minor offenses or those involving small sums of money. Other than those minor cases, district and family courts are the courts of first instance²except for cases involving insurrection, which are tried in the high courts. The Supreme Court consists of a chief justice and 14 other justices. The chief justice is appointed by the emperor upon designation by the cabinet, while the other justices are appointed by the cabinet. The appointment of the justices of the Supreme Court is subject to review in a national referendum, first at the time of the general election following their appointment and then at the general election every 10 years thereafter. An impeachment system also exists; the court of impeachment consists of members of the House of Representatives and of the House of Councillors. The Supreme Court is the body of final review, and its rulings set the precedent for all final decisions in the administration of justice. The Supreme Court also exercises the power of judicial review, enabling it to determine the constitutionality of any law, order, regulation, or official act. Lower-court judges are appointed by the cabinet from a list of persons nominated by the Supreme Court. The appointment term is for 10 years, and reappointment is allowed. All judges of lower courts are required by law to retire at the age of 70.
Elections Japan has universal adult suffrage for all citizens age 20 or older. Members of the House of Representatives must be at least age 25; the minimum age for those in the House of
Councillors is 30. The number of seats for each Diet constituency was determined largely on the basis of the population in each area in 1947, with some modifications resulting from the population increase in urban constituencies. Over the next several decades, Japan's population distribution changed so much that the value of a vote in a sparsely populated rural district might be five times that of one in an urban district. A limited amount of reapportionment was done in the mid-1980s, which somewhat redressed this imbalance, and in 1994 legislation that reduced the size of the lower house to 500 was passed; in 2000 the number of seats was reduced to 480. Similar seat reductions were carried out in the House of Councillors, with the number brought down from 252 to 247 in 2000 (effective in 2001) and then to 242 in 2004. Members of the House of Representatives are elected to four-year terms, which may be terminated early if the house is dissolved. The country is divided into 300 single-member constituencies, with the remaining members being elected from large electoral districts based on proportional representation. Members of the House of Councillors are elected to six-year terms, with half the members being elected every three years. The electoral procedure for the upper house differs from that for the lower house in that about two-fifths of the total are elected on a proportional basis from a national constituency; the remaining members are elected from the prefectural constituencies. Heads of local governmental units, such as prefectures, cities, special wards, towns, and villages, are elected by local residents.
Former Japanese prime minister Koizumi Jun'ichir headquarters «
at Liberal-Democratic Party
Party politics in Japan was inaugurated during the Meiji period (1868±1912), although it subsequently was suppressed during the war years of the 1930s and '40s. The freedom to organize political parties was guaranteed by the 1947 constitution. Any organization that supports a candidate for political office is required to be registered as a political party; thousands of parties, most of them of local or regional significance, have since been organized, merged, or dissolved. Several parties rose to national prominence. Chief among these is the Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP), generally conservative and pro-business and the dominant force in government for most of the period since its founding in the mid-1950s. The moderately socialist New K meit (New Clean Government Party)²traditionally an important opposition party and (since 1999) part of a government coalition with the LDP²originally drew its main support from the S ka Gakkai, although the religious organization subsequently renounced any formal ties with the party. The Social Democratic Party (SDP), originally called the Japan Socialist Party (JSP), long was the major opposition party, drawing much of its support from
labour unions and inhabitants of the large cities. More recently, the main party in opposition has been the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), formed initially in the mid-1990s by the shortlived New Party Harbinger and gradually enlarged by absorbing other smaller parties. The Japanese Communist Party (JCP), small but influential for its size, has remained on the fringe of the opposition.
Armed forces As mentioned above, Japan's 1947 constitution stipulates that the country cannot maintain armed forces for purposes of aggression. Between 1945 and 1950, Japan had no armed forces except for police. After the outbreak of the Korean War, however, the government, at the suggestion of the Allied occupation forces, established a National Police Reserve, which later became the Self-Defense Forces (SDF; Jieitai). The SDF consist of ground, maritime, and air branches and are administered by the cabinet-level Ministry of Defense, although overall policy is deliberated and set by the Security Council (consisting of the prime minister and several high-level cabinet ministers). Japan's national defense also is maintained by collective security arrangements with the United States that have been in place since the early 1950s. Through the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security²concluded between Japan and the United States in 1960, reaffirmed in 1970, and further corroborated and slightly revised in the late 1990s²the United States operates military bases in Japan, primarily in Okinawa. The treaty may be terminated one year after either signatory indicates such an intention. The existence of the SDF and of the treaty have provoked considerable controversy. A continuing dispute has been the constitutionality of the SDF, although in 1959 the Supreme Court ruled that the SDF did not violate the constitution because of their defensive nature. The antiwar provision of the constitution also has been challenged, especially by nationalist groups. In 1992 the government authorized the first postwar use of Japanese forces outside the country for noncombatant UN-sponsored peacekeeping operations. The first deployment of Japanese combatant forces outside the country was in 2009, when destroyers were sent to the Gulf of Aden to counteract pirate operations against Japanese shipping off the coast of Somalia.
Command centre of the Metropolitan Police Department, Tokyo, Japan.
Japan's police services are under the administration of the National Public Safety Commission, headed by a cabinet minister. The commission has supervisory authority over the National Police Agency. This body in turn supervises, guides, and coordinates the activities of separate prefectural forces that are directly under the control of a commission for public safety in each prefecture. Administrative areas are further divided into precincts, each headed by a police station. Law enforcement is aided by the existence of an extensive network of small neighbourhood police boxes (k ban). There also are a number of more specialized policing bodies, the largest of which, the Maritime Safety Agency, patrols Japan's coastal waters. Japan's crime rate is low compared with that of most countries, especially for violent crimes²in part because of the severe restrictions placed on the possession of firearms. There has been a gradual rise in the overall crime rate through the years, notably in property crimes. However, arrest and conviction rates are high. The police have stepped up their efforts to crack down on the crime syndicates (b ryokudan, or yakuza), but by the early 21st century there were still some two dozen organized crime groups and tens of thousands of gang members.
Health and welfare
Health Japan has a high standard of living, which contributes much to the general good health of the Japanese people. However, because of the country's low birth rate and high life expectancy, its population has aged considerably since the mid-20th century, and the number of those who are infirm or who seek medical treatment has shifted disproportionately to the elderly. The country has one of the most comprehensive health care systems in the world, with national health insurance covering all citizens. Malignant neoplasms (cancers) have been the leading cause of death in Japan since about 1980; the cancer death rate per 100,000 people roughly tripled between 1955 and 2005. Conversely, the rate for cerebrovascular diseases (formerly the highest) generally has declined. These two causes alone account for more than half of the country's annual death total. Other leading causes of death include heart disease, pneumonia, accidents, and suicide. Most of the country's hospitals are operated by unions, associations, or individuals and the remainder by local governments and the national government. The cost of health care has been rising gradually, partly because of the rapidly growing numbers of elderly people. The Japanese people enjoy a varied diet. Traditional Japanese foods are being supplemented or replaced by Western types of food (notably red meats and dairy products). In addition, particularly Chinese but also Korean and other Asian cuisines are now commonplace on the Japanese menu. Although Japanese per capita consumption of calories and fat is generally lower than that of Europeans or Americans, many more Japanese are overweight now than in the past.
Welfare The vast discrepancies that existed between the conditions of the wealthy and the poor before World War II have been reduced, largely as a result of the agricultural land reforms between 1946 and 1950 and of the application of a graduated income tax. The great majority of Japanese now regard themselves as middle class, although within this designation there still are considerable differences in income levels and property ownership. Most of those in the upper middle income group own their own homes, usually houses with several rooms surrounded by a garden; those in the lower middle-income group usually live in a two- to five-room house or (more commonly in urban areas) in an apartment house. Social welfare services were vastly improved and expanded during the period of strong economic growth from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s. Programs include social insurance (health insurance, pension insurance, unemployment insurance, and worker's accident compensation insurance), services for the elderly and the physically and mentally handicapped, and care for disadvantaged children. The health insurance system, established in 1961, covers all citizens. The scale of payments into it varies, and in some cases no payments are required. Elderly people may receive many services, including medical examinations, home-help services, recreational services, and institutional care, as well as varying amounts of financial aid. Local governments are obliged to provide welfare services for the physically and mentally handicapped. Various children's welfare programs also exist; for example, medical care services are free to expectant mothers and to young children from low-income families. Employers and employees bear most of the costs of pension and health care plans for working people and their families, but the costs of most other social welfare programs are shouldered by national and local governments. Demographic changes and rapidly rising costs since the 1980s forced the government to introduce various reforms of the social security system, particularly in such areas as care of the elderly, health care, and old-age pensions. Although the government has tried to increase the quantity and quality of available old-age care, it also raised the eligibility age to receive full social-security pension benefits from 60 to 65 and enacted a revised nursing-care law that increases the portion of expenses borne by the beneficiaries.
To cope with the initial postwar housing shortage, a semigovernmental agency, the Housing Loan Corporation, was established in 1950 to finance house construction at low interest rates. In 1955 another semigovernmental agency, the Japan Housing Corporation (in 1981±2004 called the Housing and Urban Development Corporation), was organized; it at first contributed significantly to the construction of low-priced housing and later focused more on developing transportation and utilities infrastructure. Since 2004 these activities have been part of the broader-based Urban Development Agency, which also is responsible for rehabilitating existing housing, implementing longer-range urban planning, and providing disaster relief and recovery. Local governments have built a number of units, mostly of the apartment-house type and primarily for low-income families, and many large corporations maintain low-cost apartment
or dormitory-style housing for their employees. However, the proportion of people living in public and corporate-owned dwellings is small and is gradually declining, while the larger majority of people (more than three-fifths) live in owner-occupied housing units²an increasing number of which are detached houses. In addition, the area of living space per person and number of rooms per dwelling has gradually increased. Despite the increases in Japan's overall housing stock, housing shortages persist in large metropolitan areas. The primary cause of this is high urban population concentrations, which create steep land prices and housing costs. Even though housing prices fell significantly after the real-estate boom of the late 1980s, the prices of homes in these urban markets usually has continued to far exceed average incomes. The absence of strict zoning in urban areas has contributed to the mixed land uses characteristic of Japan's cities. Thus, the same urban district may include shops, factories, offices, and homes²sometimes interspersed with plots of agricultural land. The shortages of land for residential use and the high cost of housing in city centres have forced people farther into outlying areas. As a result, for years the length of daily commuting to and from jobs steadily increased, although this trend showed signs of reversing in the early 21st century. Still, it is not uncommon for commuters to travel two or more hours each way.
Japan's modern education system has been a key element in the country's emergence as a highly industrialized country. The social and economic benefits of education long have been recognized in Japan, and education has been seen as the all-important means to achieve personal advancement. Thus, attending the ³right´ schools tends to become the critical factor in determining an individual's ultimate social status and earning power. From the elementary to the university level, students are screened and selected for advancement, and students from a young age work extremely hard to qualify for the best possible schools. Merit-based admission has led to strict ranking among the schools and severely intensified competition, which has contributed to a number of problems²notably bullying and other violence and absenteeism²that have beset the Japanese educational system for years. Higher education is greatly desired. The rigorous high-school curriculum is largely designed as preparation for the difficult and highly competitive university entrance examinations, which are given once per year. The two great former imperial universities²Tokyo and Ky to²represent the pinnacle of academic success, and competition to enter one of them is particularly intense. However, once students are enrolled, requirements are usually lenient, and it is rare for someone to fail. The graduates of these universities are considered the best prospects by public and private employers. Most high-school students attend one of the large number of extracurricular ³cram´ schools (juku) that help them prepare for the examinations. High-school graduates who do not pass the examinations on their first attempt often study intensively for a year and retake the tests. Juku-type schools now exist on all levels, including those catering to preschool children.
Development of the modern system
mostly in towns. whose programs last four years. functioned as elementary schools. Some reforms of the public system. were undertaken in the early 21st century. six years. and ordinary colleges and universities. Free compulsory education was introduced in 1900. System organization Primary and secondary education The primary and secondary educational systems are organized as follows: kindergarten (not compulsory). In addition. the ministry keeps a tight rein on curriculum and other aspects of primary and secondary instruction. attendance at both has become virtually universal. Numerous private temple schools (terakoya). compulsory elementary school. there are five-year technological colleges that combine high school and junior college education. however. another three years. Provincial lords (daimyo) also established special schools for children of the warrior class. and high school (not compulsory). responsibilities for the budget. . beginning at the age of six. and in 1908 it was extended to a period of six years. compulsory middle school.Many educational institutions existed in Japan even in the feudal period preceding the Meiji Restoration of 1868. The modern Japanese educational system was introduced immediately after the Meiji Restoration. teacher appointments. unemployed warriors. writing. Higher education Institutions of higher education²of which there are some 1. a number of which had been subjected to Chinese cultural influences since ancient times. curriculum. and arithmetic were taught by monks. has a high concentration of both institutions and college students. including modifying the curriculum to make it less regimented and eliminating classes on Saturdays (which had begun to be phased out in the mid-1990s). with the Ministry of Education playing a coordinating role. Public elementary and middle schools are free. The introduction of modern education did not encounter many problems. The government set up elementary and secondary schools throughout the country in 1872. Although neither kindergartens nor high schools are compulsory. including Yokohama and many other satellite cities. educational administration is decentralized. Since 1947. reading. and there are numerous private institutions. A master's degree can be obtained in two years after a bachelor's degree is earned and a doctor's degree in three years after completion of a master's degree program. In practice. In principle. or others. The Tokyo metropolitan area. from one to three years.200²consist of junior colleges. Japan is one of the few countries in the world that provide a complete and thorough education for almost all their people. and the supervision of elementary and middle schools are in the hands of local educational boards. education has been compulsory for a nine-year period. with degree programs that last two to three years. three years. Yet another type of school instructed primarily the children of wealthier merchants and farmers. and in 1886 a system providing three to four years of education was inaugurated. primarily because it utilized the existing system.
The Japanese long have been intensely aware of and have responded with great curiosity to powerful outside influences. The great variety of instruction offered and the large number of people it attracts shows a strong enthusiasm for continued adult learning. In addition to the two major public universities in Tokyo and Ky to. a play « It is common for Western observers of contemporary Japan to emphasize its great economic achievement without equal regard to cultural attributes. the great majority of them coming from China and South Korea. and recreation. Cultural life Cultural milieu Influences y A Bunraku performance of Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees. The number of foreign students attending Japanese colleges and universities also has increased considerably since the 1980s. first from the Asian mainland (notably China) and more recently . The number of female undergraduate students and their proportion of the overall student body has grown significantly since 1980. females still constitute somewhat than less than half of the total number of students.Of note is Tsukuba Science City. In 1985 the University of the Air (renamed the Open University of Japan in 2007) began operation as a means of providing opportunities for higher education via television broadcasts. Yet Japanese cultural distinctiveness and the manner in which it developed are instructive in understanding how it is that Japan came to be the first non-Western country to attain great-power status. however. technology. Continuing education Education in Japan extends well beyond formal schooling. physical education. Foreign-language schools have become especially popular. Both local governments and private institutions offer classes in general education. located about 40 miles (65 km) northeast of Tokyo. vocational training. homemaking. home economics. arts. prominent private institutions include Waseda and Kei universities in Tokyo and D shisha University in Ky to. The government has worked to advance the cause of adult education through legislation and by developing facilities for such activities. which consists of research facilities and educational institutions (especially the University of Tsukuba).
One consequence of these influences was the imposition of the gridiron system of land division. although over the course of time it was modified profoundly from its antecedent forms. The Japanization of introduced cultural elements was greatly accelerated during the 250-year period of near-isolation that ended in the mid-19th century. and in building materials. Aesthetics . outside influences were assimilated. Similarly. and ideology. Japan's effort to modernize quickly in the late 19th and 20th centuries²albeit undertaken at great national and personal sacrifice²was really an extension of the same processes at work in the country for centuries. this latter process often occurring during periods of relative political isolation. became inseparably related to everyday Japanese life. many contemporary Japanese houses are significantly different from the traditional ones. Buddhist deities were adopted into the Shint pantheon. education. China. use more colours. almost as a folk event. Christmas (or the outer trappings of it) is widely observed. science. Modernization was accompanied by cultural changes. Japan began to modernize and to industrialize on the European and American pattern. although women may wear formal kimonos at certain celebrations. music. Chinese urban design was introduced in the layouts of the ancient capital cities of Nara and Ky to but did not proliferate in the archipelago. After the Meiji Restoration (1868). in colour. House construction also was changed considerably by the introduction of Western architectural forms and functions. and Korea before reaching Japan about the 6th century²also exerted a profound influence on Japanese cultural life. Western cultural traits were introduced on a large scale through the schools and the mass communication media. it is still possible to trace the ancient place-names and field division lines of this system. Western scientific and technical terms have been widely diffused in translation and have even been reexported to China and Korea. since it did not fit the Japanese language. for example. recreation. Rationalism and socialism based on Christianity. Although Japanese Christians form a tiny percentage of the population. Thus. long ago became commonplace. they now have more modernistic shapes. and both men and women may use casual styles for home wear. as well as Marxism. and are more often made of concrete and stucco. The use of Western dress among the Japanese. Western or Westernized music generally is more common than traditional Japanese music in many social settings. American and European influences on Japanese culture are in evidence in literature. which long endured. In shape. the visual arts. but the basic sense of Japaneseness was unaffected. in place of the traditional kimono. Prehistoric Japanese culture was exposed to ancient Chinese cultural influences beginning some two millennia ago.from the Western world. Japan has followed a cycle of selectively absorbing foreign cultural values and institutions and then adapting these to existing indigenous patterns. Buddhism²which originated in India and underwent modification in Central Asia. Chinese writing and many other Chinese developments were introduced in the early centuries CE. the writing system underwent many modifications over the centuries.
family. or refined understatement in all manner of artistic representation.y Interior of a cha-shitsu (tea house). which is linked to Buddhist thought (particularly Zen) but can be traced to the earliest examples of Japanese literature. together with simplicity. ³astringent´). in the intricate detail. This aesthetic is best captured in the Japanese concept of shibui (literally. y Rock and gravel kare sansui (³dry mountain « The dual influences of East and West have helped construct a modern Japanese culture that offers familiar elements to the Westerner but that also contains a powerful and distinctive traditional cultural aesthetic. This can be seen. The more recently introduced Western arts are felt to suffer from flaws of exuberant self-realization at the expense of earnest exploration of the conflicts in human relations. and concepts of subtlety that have transformed imported visual art forms. for example. Traditional forms . Closely related are the twin ideals of cultivated simplicity and poverty (wabi) and of the celebration of that which is old and faded (sabi). and self that create the bittersweet melancholy so pervasive in Japanese traditional drama. in particular the notions of divided loyalties between community. miniaturization. The Japanese tend to view the traditional Chinese arts generally as being too grandiose or showy. The arts Delicacy and exquisiteness of form. characterize traditional Japanese artistic taste. Underlying all three is the notion of life's transitory and evanescent nature.
and drama. still enjoy a great popularity. However. for example. Japan. The major traditional theatrical forms (roughly in chronological order of their appearance) are bugaku (court dance and music). and sculpture. rooted in different eras of the past. Some. lacquerwork. Ikebana. traditional Japanese painting. dance. folk and popular songs are often sung. Noh (N . since local cultures are directly related to dialects. Traditional handicrafts constitute some of Japan's finest examples of visual arts. many folk traditions and forms of folklore are disappearing. particularly as aesthetic accomplishments for women. Newer genres include Western-style shingeki (³new theatre´) dramas and butoh. and calligraphy are popular pursuits. Notable are the various styles of pottery. The highly refined traditional arts of Japan include such forms as the tea ceremony. and music have lost much of their earlier popularity. On informal social occasions. and Kabuki (drama with singing and dancing). Folk songs.y A woman performing a traditional tea ceremony. calligraphy.The performing arts are distinguished by their blending of music. which has been increased through the mass media. the tea ceremony. though the poetic forms of haiku and waka have continued to flourish. as well as architecture. a highly stylized dance form. dance. painting. kyogen (a type of comic opera). are generally no longer commonly sung except in some remote areas in northern and southwestern Japan. cloisonné. agriculture. and cloth dyeing. as well as papermaking. or human relations (including the theme of love). With the advance of modernization. Western forms . or Buddhist). Folk music and dance are related to local life and are often significantly concerned with the local religion (whether animistic. Bunraku (the puppet theatre). and ikebana (flower arranging) and gardening. and bamboo ware. the classic form of dance-drama). even in the large cities. y Ikebana master demonstrating one of her floral arrangements. however. The widespread use of standard Japanese has accelerated this trend. silk weaving. Shint .
Mizoguchi Kenji. Designated ³living national treasures. The National Diet Library in Tokyo (which also includes branch libraries) is the single largest library in Japan. who incorporated avant-garde musical styles and traditional Japanese instruments into his classical music compositions.´ these individuals receive an annual stipend that allows them to practice their skills and to pass them along to apprentices. whose method of violin instruction for children became world-renowned. 2004. Major cities often have several symphony orchestras. is fairly new in Japan. Also notable are conductor Takemitsu T ru. Western art forms have been fully embraced by the Japanese. The concept of the public lending library. In addition. The Japanese are among the most literate peoples in the world. internationally acclaimed Japanese film directors include Kurosawa Akira. which partially explains the country's high incidence of commercial book sales. but innovations such as multiplex theatres (venues with multiple auditoriums) have increased attendance. . This program helps preserve many of the forms and styles that otherwise might disappear. including conductor Seiji Ozawa (music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for three decades) and violinist Got Midori. and artisans of traditional Japanese art forms. A number of national museums and research institutes of cultural properties are attached to the agency. performers. as well as preserving cultural properties and historical sites. videotapes (and later DVDs).y Conductor Seiji Ozawa directing the Sait Kinen Orchestra of Matsumoto. and Western-style painting. sculpture. and architecture are widely practiced. The cinema has been highly successful at taking a Western form and putting it through a Japanese aesthetic filter to produce a distinctive style. 1985. and Itami J z . The number of Japanese moviegoers has dropped from its high point in the mid-20th century. Cultural institutions The national government's Agency for Cultural Affairs (established 1968) is responsible for promoting and disseminating different aspects of culture. have built reputations abroad. because of competition from television. and music educator Suzuki Shin'ichi. Numerous venues for Western classical music have been constructed throughout the country since the 1980s. Of particular note is the agency's practice of identifying and recognizing various artists. a growing number of Japanese classical performers. Japan. however. Ozu Yasujir . y Kurosawa Akira during the filming of Ran. and video games.
notably the Atomic Bomb Dome (Genbaku d mu) at Hiroshima (1996) and a silver-mining area in Shimane prefecture of western Honshu (2007). and the National Theatre²and many of its most prestigious universities² e. Nara. y Great Buddha Hall (Daibutsu-den) of the T dai Temple. Japan's numerous Buddhist temples also contain a great many cultural properties. Japan is home to more than a dozen UNESCO World Heritage sites. theatres.. and gardens throughout the country. Others recognize more-recent history. respectively). The original building was « Most of Japan's major cultural institutions²including the Japan Academy. Katsura Imperial Gardens.g. Ky to. Japan. the Tokyo National Museum. Daily life and social customs Popular culture . Japan. including the historic monuments at Ky to and Nara (designated in 1993 and 1998.y Pond and moss-covered bridge. art galleries. In addition to the many public institutions. especially those located in Ky to and Nara. the public University of Tokyo and private Waseda and Keio universities²are located in Tokyo. there are numerous private museums. Most reflect the country's rich cultural traditions. and Japanese department stores also play a role in the dissemination of culture by offering free or low-cost exhibitions.
in part because of the small size of most Japanese homes and also because much of it is business-related. Role specialization between men and women. Japan is renowned for its green tea. which often is served raw or only lightly cooked. and care of the extended family. Jazz. and served over steamed rice. Contemporary Japanese society is decidedly urban. The two orbits around which family life typically revolves are the workplace and school. much of it cultivated on or near the slopes of Mount Fuji in Shizuoka prefecture. gradually has been changing. Young urban Japanese in particular have become known for their conspicuous consumption and their penchant for trends and fads that quickly go in and out of fashion. Men traditionally are the family breadwinners. work outside the home. Entertaining typically is not done at home. Sake. while women are responsible for home finances. sashimi is commonly served on its own. Karaoke (in Japanese. although often in part-time jobs. in addition. women have growing responsibilities in running agricultural operations. but urban culture is transmitted throughout the country by a mass media largely concentrated in Tokyo. invented in Japan in the early 1970s. vinegared rice served with a variety of vegetable. including soba (made from buckwheat and often served cold) and udon (made from wheat and usually served after quick-frying on a hot grill or in hot broth). popular music is ubiquitous in Japan. In rural agricultural areas. Not only do the vast majority of Japanese live in urban settings. Japanese or otherwise. since many male heads of household are engaged in full-time employment in manufacturing facilities often at some distance from the family farm. However. usually Western. can be found. where all manner of food. deep-fried. Many basically Japanese songs are sung to the accompaniment of Western musical instruments. Also popular inside and outside Japan is tempura. Modern. along with halfWesternized or half-Japanized folk and popular songs. The commercial landscape of most Japanese cities is among the most diverse and service-oriented in the world. the sector has been subject to downturns in the economy that affect the corporate world. rock. literally ³empty orchestra´). and various dishes made with tofu (soybean curd). and many basically Western subjects are treated in Japanese-style drama or song. Other notable dishes include sukiyaki and its variation shabushabu (which both involve cooking meat and other ingredients in a shallow pot at the table) and various noodle preparations. is also . because such a large portion of the entertainment sector depends on business clientele. once widespread. Tokyo. sashimi (raw seafood). child rearing. a brewed alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice. tofu may be served on its own or in preparations such as miso soup (made from fermented soybeans). and egg garnishes and formed into various shapes. and the blues are enjoyed by the generations of Japanese who were born after World War II. an increasing number of women. usually consisting of portions of seafood and vegetables dipped in a rice-flour batter. Cuisine Japanese cuisine. Perhaps the best-known dish worldwide is sushi² cooked. is a popular form of nightlife entertainment. is noted for its subtle and delicate flavours.y Shibuya shopping district. the majority of them married.
Beer production in Japan dates to the mid-1870s. and village authorities. when the spirits of deceased ancestors are honoured. May Day (May 1) is celebrated by many workers. and seven. and several brands have become well known throughout the world. Most popular are the cherry blossoms of spring (in some areas. For three days thereafter people visit shrines and temples. as is the week of the Bon festival in mid-July or mid-August. or Girls' Day (March 3). typically is followed by a Christian-style observance. It is still common for a family friend. The occurrence of multiple holidays in late April±early May (popularly called Golden Week) is one of the most popular vacation times for the Japanese.especially associated with Japan. with millions of people engaging in a kind of pilgrimage to shrines and temples starting at midnight of December 31. town. Many temples and shrines celebrate their own specific festivals. five. New Year's Day is traditionally regarded as the most important of these holidays. the traditional arranged marriage (miaikekkon) is being replaced by the love match. in which the bride and groom wear elaborate kimonos. notably whiskey. Social customs Especially in the more anonymous world of the city. relative. as well as local communal bodies. which is comparable to Boys' Day (May 5)²now officially celebrated as Children's Day (a national holiday)²and the Shichi-go-san (³Seven-five-three´. where typically it is served heated in small porcelain cups. . and the homes of friends. even if the marriage is a love match. Japan also produces a variety of distilled beverages. Japan Japan has 15 national holidays. In addition to the national holidays. often organize local festivals. The wedding ceremony itself often consists of a blend of East and West: a traditional Shint ceremony. with the participants in formal Western attire. y Tanabata Matsuri (Star Festival) in Sendai. November 15) festival for children reaching the ages of three. their families.´ This is mirrored in the fall to a lesser degree by the southward progress of the turning maple leaves. Each year the entire country is captivated by the northward progress of the trees' blossoming²the so-called ³cherry blossom front. City. attracting large numbers of people. or mentor to act as a go-between (nakodo). The Japanese have a great fondness for seasonal blossom and leaf viewing. around Golden Week). there are also such nationwide festivities as the Doll Festival.
has grown to include more than two dozen teams. established in 1993. volleyball. the annual National Invitational High School Baseball Tournament is televised nationwide and is eagerly followed throughout the country. Many other sports were introduced to Japan in Meiji times as contact with the West increased. y Suzuki Ichir . These include team sports such as basketball. Baseball was introduced to Japan in the 1870s and soon became the country's favourite team sport. and football (soccer) and more individual activities such as golf. By the 1950s two professional leagues were in operation²the Central League and the Pacific League²and many baseball stars. 2006. The Japanese are ardent sports fans and competitors. An emphasis on sports in the military and in schools contributed to the popularization of sports in general. including the 2002 World Cup finals. A professional football league. and there are numerous youth leagues. to the point of rivaling baseball. which Japan cohosted with South Korea. and badminton.Sports and recreation y Oh Sadaharu. In addition. . Still other players have found stardom in Major League Baseball in the United States. including Nomo Hideo and Suzuki Ichir . notably slugger Oh Sadaharu. Japan's national football team has made strong showings in international competition. Football has grown considerably in popularity. tennis. have ranked among the country's best-known national celebrities.
the origins of which can be traced to the 8th century. and karate. Other. y Anton Geesink of The Netherlands on his way to defeating Kaminaga Akio of Japan in the judo open « Japan began competing in the Olympic Games in 1912. The cultural capitals of Europe. As the country became increasingly affluent. judo. and the best wrestlers²notably the grand champions (yokozuna)²often become enormously popular. it became more common for Japanese to travel abroad. as well as Australia and the Pacific Islands are favourite destinations. national lodging houses. The six major professional tournaments held annually are avidly followed throughout the country. . The country has hosted the Olympics three times: the Summer Games in 1964 at Tokyo (the first time the Olympic Games had been held in Asia) and the winter games in 1972 and 1998. the Japanese are fond of playing board and card games. In addition to pursuing a great variety of indoor and outdoor recreational. Japanese athletes have excelled in many sports and have been especially strong in gymnastics and judo competitions. quasinational parks. and national vacation villages. at Sapporo and Nagano. Notable among these are kendo. generally noncompetitive. Japan has an extensive and well-utilized system of national parks. notably shogi and go (both similar to chess) and mahjongg. nearby South Korea and Hong Kong. respectively. For much of the postwar period Japanese workers did not exploit the full allowance of vacation time allotted to them. the latter two also widely practiced worldwide. Many institutions help promote nature studies and recreation through public and private youth hostels. Japan has developed several competition styles based on bushid . and as a result the Japanese are highly knowledgeable about their cultural geography. Tokyo. The great traditional sport of Japan is sumo wrestling. Individual bouts between two wrestlers are often brief and are preceded by sequences of ritualistic preparations. the American West Coast. the martial tradition of the samurai. also have large numbers of practitioners in Japan and throughout the world. Travel within Japan is widespread. and sports activities. In addition to introduced sports. martial arts. and prefectural natural parks.y Two sumo wrestlers competing during the 2007 summer championship tournament. Japan. such as jujitsu and aikido. but since the 1980s the country as a whole has become more leisure-conscious. fitness.
they now operate in an atmosphere of considerable freedom. produced in 770 CE. is immensely popular in the country and has influenced a worldwide audience. covering a very wide variety of fields. Television and newspapers long were the most important advertising media. when new printing techniques became available at the beginning of the Meiji period. Japan's foremost business daily. Tens of thousands of book titles are published annually. beginning with the Yokohama mainichi shimbun (1871) and followed by the Yomiuri shimbun (1774) and the Asahi shimbun (1879). and Tokyo is the centre of the Japanese publishing industry. after the United States. Printing with moveable type was introduced into Japan from Europe and from the Korean peninsula at the end of the 16th century. The genre of Japanese comic books. with one of the world's highest per capita consumption rates for books and periodicals. and daily circulation is high. with the majority of these being monthlies. and some local . but a mass market did not emerge until a century later. and Japan emerged as the second largest market. Also established at that time was Nihon keizai shimbun (1876). a number of which became the cornerstones for some of Japan's large present-day publishing houses. however. Although their activities were circumscribed by the government until the end of World War II and were subject to censorship during the postwar Allied occupation. and interest in new books is fanned by the many literary prizes offered. A number of newspapers have nationwide circulation. Internet advertising and marketing have made significant inroads. The Japanese are voracious readers. manga. The role of newspapers has continued to be of great importance. and all the large papers are generally considered to maintain high editorial standards. the Hyuakumant darani (³Mantras of the Million Pagodas´). Several thousand magazines are published annually. Major newspapers print both morning and evening daily editions. The postwar climate of democracy and economic growth facilitated a rapid expansion of the mass media. with magazine and radio advertising being less significant. In addition. Japan's largest dailies rank among the highest in the world in circulation. Japan ranks as one of the major book-publishing countries in the world. The most prestigious awards are the Akutagawa Prize and the Naoki Prize. Books began to reach a wider audience in the latter half of the 18th century. Literature accounts for roughly one-sixth of all titles. Books and magazines Japan is home to one of the oldest existing printed works in the world. Notable among these is the K dansha publishing house. The press Japan's first modern newspapers also appeared early in the Meiji period. the largest papers each have daily press runs of several million. during the Edo period.Media and publishing The print and broadcast media have long been influential in Japan. commercial advertising became an immense industry. A great many magazines were launched during the Meiji.
It broadcasts quality. Yasuo MasaiGil LatzShigeki Hijino History Ancient Japan to 1185 Prehistoric Japan Pre-Ceramic culture y Important Japanese historical sites. Regular television broadcasts by NHK began in 1953 and by commercial stations in 1955. but since World War II thousands of sites . many of them owned by newspaper companies. it now produces radio broadcasts in dozens of languages and provides satellite television broadcasting that reaches most of the world. The first commercial radio stations began broadcasting in 1951. The wide variety of private radio and television networks. NHK is now a public corporation financed by license fees that are paid by television-set owners. In addition. Japan has been a pioneer in the development of highdefinition television (HDTV). as is digital broadcasting. Radio and television Regular radio broadcasting in Japan began in 1926 with the establishment of the nonprofit Nippon H s Ky kai (NHK. NHK began broadcasting overseas radio programs in 1953. which until the end of World War II was completely under government control and had a monopoly on the airwaves. It was long believed that there was no Paleolithic occupation in Japan. commercial-free programming on both radio and television. Ky d Ts shinsha and Jiji Press are Japan's largest news agencies. augments the NHK channels. Private commercial broadcasting has gained widespread popularity in Japan. It is not known when humans first settled on the Japanese archipelago.papers also have large circulations. Japan Broadcasting Corporation). satellite and cable television reception is common. Changes to broadcasting laws in 1950 prohibited the government from direct interference with programming²though its board of governors is still appointed by the prime minister and its budget approved by the Diet²and permitted the establishment of private commercial broadcasting stations.
it also developed regional differences. the beginnings of agriculture and pasturage.000 years ago. middle. Pottery. land connections via what are now the Korea and Tsushima straits made immigration from the Korean peninsula possible. although the argument has been made for a Lower Paleolithic culture prior to 35. the development of weaving. via what are now the S ya and Tsugaru straits. At one stage. the manufacture of pottery. Climatic changes help to account for the existence of a Mesolithic stage in early Japanese culture. The manufacture of pottery. J mon culture (7500 BC to c. Nothing certain is known of the culture of the period. the period is referred to as the Pre-Ceramic era. and the erection of monuments using massive stones²the first two are prominent features of the J mon period. and made their homes either in pit-type dwellings or in caves.have been unearthed throughout the country. There is little doubt that the people who used these implements moved to Japan from the Asian continent. 250 BC) The Pre-Ceramic era was followed by two better-recorded cultures. It is customary to regard changes in pottery types as a basis for subdividing the age into six periods: incipient. made by chipping away the surface of a stone. The Paleolithic Period in Japan is variously dated from 30. a time when much of the abundant fauna of earlier times became depleted by the expanding human population of the archipelago. No bone or horn artifacts of the kind associated with this period in other areas of the world have yet been found in Japan. very early. Since J mon culture spread over the entire archipelago. called the pottery j mon (³cord marks´) to describe the patterns pressed into the clay. the 19th-century American zoologist Edward S. while another connection.000 to 10. the fact that Kyushu pottery remains predate any Chinese findings strongly suggests that the impetus to develop pottery was local. and very late. Of the features common to Neolithic cultures throughout the world² progress from chipped tools to polished tools. early. and the work of J mon peoples has a diversity and complexity of form and an exuberance of artistic decoration. The introduction of the bow and arrow is regarded as a local response to a decrease in game available for food. Morse. however. first appeared in northern Kyushu (the southernmost of the four main Japanese islands) about 10. A convincing theory dates the period during which J mon pottery was used from about 10. was highly developed. allowed people to come in from northeastern Asia. While continental influence is suspected. used fire. yielding a wide variety of Paleolithic tools. Since there was no knowledge whatsoever of pottery. but the remaining three did not appear until the succeeding Yayoi period. made by working with a stone flake broken off from a larger piece of stone.000 years ago until the 2nd or 3rd century BC.000 BC. The former takes its name from a type of pottery found throughout the archipelago. and this combination of both chronological and regional variations gives the evolution of J mon pottery a high degree of complexity. in an era that is sometimes called the ³incipient´ J mon period.000 BC. and flake tools. its discoverer. J mon is thus best described as a Mesolithic culture. late. for example. though it seems likely that people lived by hunting and gathering. the J mon and the Yayoi. . while Yayoi is fully Neolithic. These include both core tools.
Scientific investigation of the bones of J mon people carried out since the beginning of the 20th century. The surface of these normally cylindrical vessels is covered with complex patterns of raised lines. and the dead were buried in a small pit dug near the dwelling. the custom also spread throughout the archipelago of extracting or pointing certain teeth. They can be classified into two types: one. J mon dwelling sites have been found in various parts of the country. with a space in the centre that seems to have been used for communal purposes. the other was made by laying a circular or oval floor of clay or stones on the surface of the ground and covering it with a roof.000 years. Weaving was still unknown. Body ornamentation included bracelets made of seashells. an aboriginal people often regarded as having European (Caucasian) racial connections who now are found in northern Japan. It can be deduced that each household was made up of several family members and that the settlement made up of such households was led by a headman or shaman. has disproved this theory. No especially elaborate rites of burial evolved. a procedure that probably had some religious or magical significance. Most of these settlements form a horseshoe shape. A large number of clay figurines have been found. the pit-type dwelling. were raised. The people of the J mon period lived mainly by hunting and fishing and by gathering edible nuts and roots. Despite certain variations in . however.The pottery of the very early period includes many deep. and powerfully decorative projections rise from the rim to form handles. Sometimes the body was buried with its knees drawn up or with a stone clasped to its chest. the starch from them formed into a type of bread. probably performed as a rite marking the attainment of adulthood. apparently representing the size of human settlements at the time. and the walls contain an admixture of vegetable fibre. This incipient agriculture seems related to a cultural florescence in mid-J mon times that lasted about 1. Nothing certain is known. The J mon people might be called protoJapanese. and a clear distinction developed between high-quality ware using elaborate techniques and simpler pots made for purely practical use. however. consisted of a shallow pit with a floor of trodden earth and a roof. For years certain scholars have claimed that the bearers of the J mon culture were not of Japanese ethnicity but were ancestors of the Ainu. concerning social or political organization at this period. many representing female forms that were probably magical objects associated with primitive fertility cults. bulletshaped bases. Doubtless there was some form of cultivation: starchy yams and taro. with flat bases. In the early period the vessels of eastern Japan become roughly cylindrical in shape. urnlike vessels with tapered. The appearance of large settlements from the middle period onward has been interpreted by some scholars as implying the cultivation of certain types of crop²a hypothesis seemingly supported by the fact that the chipped-stone axes of this period are not sharp but seem to have been used for digging soil. the pots produced during this time in the central mountain areas are generally considered to be the finest of the whole J mon era. From the middle period onward there is increasing variety in the types of vessels. Remains of such dwellings have been found in groups ranging from five or six to several dozen. From the latter part of the period. preparing the way for the transition to Yayoi pottery. probably originating from the continent. and archaeological findings indicate that clothes were largely made of bark. and they were spread throughout the archipelago. The amount of the latter increases steadily. earrings of stone or clay. and necklaces and hair ornaments of stone or bone and horn. In the middle period there were rapid strides in pottery techniques.
In China the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC correspond with the period of the unified empire under the Ch'in (221±206 BC) and Han (206 BC±AD 220) dynasties. overwhelming the J mon culture as it went. they seem to have constituted a single ethnic stock with more or less consistent characteristics. The present Japanese people were produced by an admixture of certain strains from the Asian continent and from the South Pacific. Nothing can yet be proved concerning their relationship with the people of the Pre-Ceramic period. in short. the Yayoi represents a notable advance over the J mon period and is believed to have lasted for some five or six centuries. in 1884. together with adaptations made in accordance with environmental changes.character arising from differences in period or place. The Yayoi period (c. Japanese. while the J mon culture was still undergoing development elsewhere. The name Yayoi derives from the name of the district in Tokyo where. from the 3rd or 2nd century BC to the 2nd or 3rd century AD. the unearthing of pottery of this type first drew the attention of scholars. Culturally.. Yayoi pottery was fired at higher temperatures than J mon pottery and was turned on wheels. as pottery for practical use. which already had entered the . It is accompanied by metal objects and is associated with the wet (i. « The new Yayoi culture that arose in Kyushu. Linguistic evidence suggests that a people speaking a language belonging to the Ural-Altaic family moved eastward across Siberia and entered Japan via Sakhalin Island and Hokkaido.e. It developed. irrigated) cultivation of rice. spread gradually eastward. It is distinguished partly by this marked advance in technique and partly by an absence of the proliferating decoration that characterized J mon pottery. 250 BC±c. y Two d taku (bronze bells). but it cannot be asserted that they were entirely unrelated. AD 250) y Important Japanese historical sites. until it reached the northern districts of Honshu (the largest island of Japan). Yayoi period.
are believed to be a sign of an influx of continental culture. Generally speaking. and bronze implements somewhat later. and mirrors. too. showing that techniques of making and maintaining paddy fields were quite advanced. including halberds.. The graves were usually marked by mounds of earth or circles of stones. their divisions marked with wooden piles. It is not clear whether this was dictated by the needs of defense or whether dry cultivation was being practiced. probably introduced from the Yangtze River delta area of southern China. The cloth was woven on primitive looms using vegetable fibres. raised-floor structures appeared and were used for storing grain out of the reach of rodents. clothing made great strides compared with the J mon period. In 108 BC the armies of the emperor Wu Ti occupied Manchuria and the northern part of the Korean peninsula. These colonies served as a base for a strong influx of Chinese culture into Korea. but a special type employed a dolmen (a large slab of stone supported over the grave by a number of smaller stones). there were two types of dwelling²the pit type and the type built on the surface²but in addition to these. discovered in northern Kyushu. however. in turn. this suggests that rice growing was carried on in Japan from the earliest days of the culture. Since iron rusts easily. whence. nonirrigated) fields and marshy areas. and mirrors buried along with the dead. The bronze objects are also varied. and capital²came to predominate. The halberds. similar urns and coffins also are found on the Korean peninsula. spears. have been found close to sites of settlements in various districts. was one of the most important features of Yayoi culture. Differences in J mon and Yayoi skeletal remains can better be explained by . but occasionally one is found apart. comparatively few objects have been found. surrounded by a ditch and with swords. Normally. but it seems likely that the chief strain of proto-Japanese found throughout the country during the J mon period was not disrupted but was carried over into later ages. the migration was not of a magnitude to change the character of the people who had inhabited the islands from J mon times. have yielded marks of rice husks as well as carbonized grains of rice. Such special graves suggest that society was already divided into classes. where they probably originated. graves occur in clusters. sickles and hoes. Both were common in northern Kyushu and neighbouring areas. Rice was first grown in dry (i. The earliest Yayoi pottery and sites. and spears seem not to have been used in Japan for the practical purposes for which they were evolved in China but rather to have been prized as precious objects. Since the erection of dolmens was widely practiced in Manchuria and Korea.Iron Age. the settlements of this period were built on low-lying alluvial land to facilitate the irrigation of the paddies. These include axes. labour. where they established Lo-lang and three other colonies. swords. Yayoi culture undoubtedly represents an admixture of new sanguineous elements. beads. The dead were buried in either large clay urns or heavy stone coffins. it spread to Japan. swords. but at one stage they were built instead in the hills or on high ground. taku (bell-shaped devotional objects from China). knives. arrowheads. probably indicates borrowings from Han culture. The cultivation of rice. Much as in the J mon period. The fact that Yayoi culture had iron implements from the outset. these. along with irrigation channels equipped with dams and underdrains. before paddy cultivation²involving considerable investment of time. Traces of paddy fields. but they seem to have been widespread at the time. and swords. While these new cultural elements represent a migration to Japan from the Korean peninsula or China.e. With the acquisition of a knowledge of textiles.
it seems. and who bring tribute at fixed intervals. The Tumulus (Tomb) period (c. In the latter half of the 2nd century. Chinese chronicles Japan first appears in Chinese chronicles under the name of Wo (in Japanese. that Japan had already achieved a considerable degree of political unification. Queen Himiko had pacified the land and. Wei. but if it was in the Kinai district.´ Scholars are divided as to whether Yamatai was located in northern Kyushu or in the Kinai district (central Honshu). It seems most likely. This would suggest.´ located around what is now Hakata Bay. Society had clear-cut divisions of rank. was one of more than 100 states that constituted Wo. Wa). The various provinces held fairs where goods were bartered. The ³state of Nu. that Yamatai was a local centre of power in Kyushu. A history of the Later (Eastern) Han (AD 25± 220) records that in AD 57 the ³state of Nu in Wo´ sent emissaries to the Later Han court and that the emperor gave them a gold seal. and the people paid taxes. in 1748. too. The Han histories relate that ³in the seas off Lo-lang lie the people of Wo. ruled over a confederation of more than 30 states that maintained communications with the Wei dynasty (220±264) in China. The Wei chih contains a detailed account of the route from Lo-lang to the court of the Wo queen in ³Yamatai. at the mouth of Hakata Bay. in turn. then the union of states was a purely local government. relying on her religious powers. and friendly relations between the two sides continued during the first half of the 3rd century. too. unearthed on the island of Shikano. then it would be natural to see it as the ancestor of that court. and that further unification did not take place until at least a century later. Since there were exchanges of letters with Wo. There were impressive raised-floor buildings. This account was confirmed by a gold seal. This point of view is supported by the accounts of the ³people of Wo. apparently the identical seal awarded by the Chinese emperor. there was civil war in the state of Wo. however.nutritional than genetic reasons. If it was in northern Kyushu.´ Lo-lang was one of the Han colonies established in the Korean peninsula. that there were already some who could read and write. the people of Wo already had reached a fairly high degree of civilization. Japanese historians long sought to emphasize the antiquity and degree of unity of Yamatai in order to aggrandize Japan's relations with other East Asian nations. sent emissaries to Wo. in Kyushu. unrelated to the Yamato court of later times. 250±552) The unification of the nation .´ found in the Chinese history Wei chih. who are divided into more than 100 states. According to the Wei chih.
all records of exchanges cease. 37 BC±AD 668). with the tenn (³emperor of heaven´) at its centre. Whereas J mon and Yayoi burial practices were rather primitive. makes special mention of a great army sent to the peninsula in 391 by Wo. downplaying the degree of control the Japanese formerly asserted that Yamato held over the Korean peninsula in ancient times. it is possible to get at least an approximate idea of the date by which substantial unification had occurred. came into being in central Honshu have inspired many hypotheses. Most divide this period into three stages: a time of growth and expansion from about 250 to the end of the 4th century. from an examination of the grave goods. in 413 during the Eastern Chin dynasty (317±419). Such displays of strength would hardly have been possible unless Japan were already significantly unified. The relations that Yamatai had begun with Wei were continued with the successor Chin dynasty (265±317). The questions of how the unification of Japan was first achieved and of how the Yamato court. It is possible to push the date of unification of the nation back a few decades earlier than 413: a memorial erected in 414 commemorating the achievements of King Kwanggaet'o of Kogury (a Korean state. its most common archaeological feature. from the 3rd century large tombs. and the date of the unification of the country may therefore be about the mid-4th century at the latest. marked most especially by the enormous tumuli in and around the saka area. The 8th-century Nihon shoki (³Chronicles of Japan´). a period of florescence that covers the 5th century. or Tomb. Cameron Hurst III The Yamato court Post-World War II historians have greatly revised the view of the place of Yamato in Asian affairs. It is most likely that the blank period resulted from conditions within Japan that made exchanges with other countries impossible. Such military success presupposes a long period of preparation.y Important Japanese historical sites. however. both circular and uniquely keystone-shaped. mentions the dispatch of troops by Japan in 369. It is from the very construction of the tombs themselves. and then a period of decline from the early 6th century. one of Japan's two oldest histories. period from the presence of large burial mounds (kofun). but. and it is not until 147 years later. describing the fighting between Wo and Kogury on the Korean peninsula from the end of the 4th century into the beginning of the 5th century. none of which has so far proved entirely convincing. that the name of Wo again appears in Chinese documents. following the dispatch of a mission in 266. Taro SakamotoG. Rise and expansion of Yamato The period is commonly called the Tumulus. The collapse of Yamatai and the birth pangs of the Yamato kingdom that took its place probably occurred during this period. began to proliferate throughout Japan. With the help of Chinese and Korean records. as well as from increasingly .
The rulers there seem to have been somewhat more military in nature than their Miwa predecessors. The move into this region is thought to have resulted in a power shift either among or within clan federations. Archaeological findings suggest. Yamato was a kingdom well settled on the Nara plain with considerable control over the peoples of the archipelago.reliable written sources both domestic and foreign that a picture of the Yamato kingdom has emerged. The Yamato court reached its peak in the early 5th century. although involving conflict. south of Nara. smiths. during the second stage of its existence. Thus. in the southwestern corner of the Nara (Yamato) Basin. It is now customary to regard the 5th-century rulers as a new line. Weavers.´ Contact with the mainland. that improved agricultural techniques²such as the use of iron tools for cultivation and improved techniques for leveling and flooding paddy fields²allowed the Yamato rulers to exercise control over significant manpower resources. It was in contact with Chinese rulers. there was a shift in the centre of power. where. Although the kimi exercised both secular and sacred functions. its armies were engaged in the warfare among the three Korean kingdoms on the peninsula. The Yamato kings (called kimi and written with the appropriated Chinese characters for ³great ruler´) were centred around Mount Miwa. both to construct large tombs and to expand the area under their control outward from the Nara plain. which now is designated a National Treasure. however. by the end of the 4th century. as evidenced by the enormous keyhole-shaped tombs in the suburbs of the modern saka region. and archaeological findings suggest that the most treasured items of the Isonokami Shrine were in fact weapons²especially the so-called ³seven-pronged sword´ (shichishit ). Rulers there held sway over an expanding portion of the archipelago. the object of worship. tombs clustered around the Shiki area of Yamato province (modern Nara prefecture). the religious focus of the court seems to have been concentrated upon the Isonokami Shrine at Tenri. and the Chinese ideographic script also was introduced at that time. near the present city of Nara. and irrigation experts migrated to Japan. Although the rulers continued to worship Mount Miwa. In the first stage of Yamato development. The nature of the burial goods in the tombs constructed there. together with Confucian works written in this script. Yamato was most closely associated with the southeastern kingdom of Paekche. as mentioned above. The 5th century was one of spectacular development for Yamato. which then dominated the peninsula. and was even strong enough to have sent an army against the powerful state of Kogury . . distinct from those of the Shiki and Saki areas. whence came the ³seven-pronged sword. the legendary accounts in Kojiki and Nihon shoki. and that Japan conquered the southern tip of the peninsula where it established a ³colony´ called Mimana have since been largely discounted by historians in both Japan and Korea. based on a sacred connection with Mount Miwa. this time directly westward to the provinces of Kawachi and Izumi (modern saka urban prefecture). it seems that their primary focus was a priestly one. as well as records from the continent all indicate that this was a period of Yamato expansion throughout the archipelago and even into the Korean peninsula. also encouraged a marked rise in standards of living in the archipelago. power shifted north to the Saki area. as many of the fruits of advanced Chinese civilization reached Japan via people from the peninsula. exchanged diplomatic envoys with several of the kingdoms on the Korean peninsula. Claims by historians prior to World War II that Paekche paid ³tribute´ to Japan. From about 350. Once again.
these groups.´ Essentially. and tools. the location of the centre of power at the port of Naniwa (modern saka). The highest officers of the emerging state were the -muraji and the -omi. who developed close ties with the ruler over time. While most historians regard the 5th-century rulers as representing a new line.000 labourers. As clans joined together²probably largely by conquest²vertical relationships began to develop between heads of the communities and the queen or king at emergent courts. Heads of the community functioned primarily as priests. By the 5th century. and the awesome size of the tombs (which suggest excess slave labour available for their construction)²all these hint tantalizingly at a conquest theory. perhaps what early Chinese records referred to as ³states. four years to complete. Uji is usually translated as ³clan´ in English. distant clans who nonetheless swore allegiance. still supports an indigenous shift in leaders relying on control of increased agricultural output and monopolizing superior military technology. . the heads and representatives of those two groups. jin's arrival there by boat. in close association with the court.What distinguishes the 5th-century tombs from earlier ones is both their enormous size²the tomb attributed to the semilegendary emperor jin is some 1. the Yamato ruler was designating the heads of the most powerful uji. armour. there is disagreement over their origin. religious and familial ties with the Yamato kings. so designated by the Yamato ruler. working from morning to night. The uji are thought to be extensions of original agricultural communities. military. It has been estimated that the construction of jin's tomb would have taken 1.380 feet (420 metres) in length²as well as their character. From the court at Yamato. The Yamato polity The pattern of administrative control established is called the uji-kabane system. however. united by the belief that harvests would be bountiful if proper respect was paid to the group's ancestral deity (kami). Myths related to jin's birth on the Korean peninsula while his mother was supposedly leading Yamato armies there. The two major titles appear to have been muraji and omi. The consensus. The Yamato court was thus headed by a hereditary ruler. The goods associated with these tombs are far more military in nature than those found in the earlier tombs: iron swords. uji appeared in other areas as well. Some have postulated an invasion of continental ³horse riders´ who seized control in the archipelago and established a new line of rulers. arrowheads. Uji appeared first in the Nara Basin. its rulers extended control along the Inland Sea and beyond. Some scholars have even argued that uji were purely political units. secular line of leaders in comparison with the priestly kings of the earlier Yamato area. All this suggests that the 5th-century rulers represent a more military. and all the trappings of a mounted warrior culture. Lowerranking titles were awarded to leaders of smaller. held only by clan leaders of powerful communities serving in the area of the Yamato court. By the 5th century. These rulers had access to great power in order to construct their tombs. mediating the relationship between the group and its deity. possibly already called uji. were drawn together into economic. developing more sophisticated offices and units to control the peoples of the archipelago. farming communities were associated into lineal groups. while its members were drawn from the group of powerful clan leaders awarded kabane (titles). as the Yamato kingdom developed greater power.
while the latter looked to northern Chinese kingdoms for support and legitimation. especially iron. Others were controlled by powerful clans directly in the service of the court. Paekche and Yamato found themselves allied against Silla or Kogury (or both). Yamato decline and the introduction of Buddhism The 6th century. but as the power of the Yamato court spread throughout the archipelago in the 5th century. which was especially plentiful near the lower reaches of the Naktong River in the south. A large force assembled to be sent against Silla. Yet. this time back to the old region around Mount Miwa sometime late in the reign of Keitai (507±c. who were attached to the tomo clan. At the time of Yamato's expedition against Kogury in the late 4th century. such as the yugei. Yamato relations with Korean states If the 5th century represents an expansion of power throughout the archipelago. Yamato apparently gained a modicum of power in this region. a major military support group for the Yamato ruling house. although a lengthy memorial sent with the embassy of 478 and presented to the Southern Sung emperor requested that the Yamato king Y ryaku be appointed commander of a large army being raised for dispatch against Kogury . the quiver bearers. armour. Many of them were composed of recent migrants from Paekche who specialized in raising horses or ironworking. these occupational groups were distinguished by providing a special service to the court or to a superior clan. the term be itself is of Korean origin. including special ones called nashiro and koshiro set up for the support of certain royal relatives. attached to the court and its supporting uji. called be or tomo. in fact. and Yamato faced several reversals in the area. represented a decline of Yamato power both at home and abroad. it is recorded that Paekche even sent a crown prince to Yamato as a hostage on one occasion and the mother of the king on another. controlled by the league of the Kaya (Japanese: Mimana) states between Paekche and Silla. It was also marked by another shift of the court. From Keitai's reign there was a marked reduction in royal power. 531). Yamato and Paekche usually turned to southern China. Some be were directly controlled by the court. Yamato dispatched some 10 embassies to the Southern Sung between 421 and 478. ultimately being driven entirely from the peninsula when Silla annexed the Kaya league in 562. But in the 6th century. Yamato did not dispatch any troops to the peninsula. probably because of internal dissension. newer be came to be involved with the production of weapons. Silla became militarily powerful. In fact. for . prompting continued requests for assistance from Yamato. Structurally somewhat similar to clans. Earlier be were more likely to provide personal services or specialize in religious functions. though the exact relationship²whether ally or tributary²is unclear. Paekche was frequently attacked by Kogury during the century. it also was a time of involvement in Korean affairs. in fact. Yamato's interest in Korea was apparently a desire for access to improved continental technology and resources. and mirrors or with the construction of irrigation systems. as the struggle for peninsular hegemony intensified.Another factor that aided the expansion of the emergent state was the economic and military support of occupational groups.
Cameron Hurst III y The Great Buddha. G. Sushun (it was during Suiko's reign that the . or Daibutsu. who had apparently refused to raise soldiers and supplies for the continental campaign. signaling the decline of Yamato power. at Kamakura. The age of reform (552±710) The idealized government of Prince Sh toku The Yamato court was resuscitated by efforts made within the royal family itself. especially after the destruction of the Mononobe clan in a major battle in 587. Possessed of administrative and technical skills. Japan had reached a low point in both foreign and domestic affairs. as well as the rise of new clans. but it seems likely that Buddhist beliefs had begun spreading among the Japanese at a much earlier date. the Soga established marriage connections with the royal house that permitted them considerable influence at court. had to be detoured to Kyushu in 527 to put down the rebellion of a local chieftain named Iwai. The Soga are also known as sponsors of Buddhism at the Yamato court. Japan. The Buddhism that first spread among the Japanese was almost certainly a simple reliance on the magical aspects of the religion in seeking various benefits in the present world. A true understanding of its doctrines did not come until the time of Prince Sh toku (Sh toku Taishi). there was one event of the utmost cultural importance: the introduction of Buddhism from Paekche. who under the successive chieftains Iname and his son Umako rose to positions of dominance at court. By the end of the 6th century. and dominated the political scene. Buddhism at first was an object of wonder and admiration. Ultimately. Chief among them were the Soga. however. a rare item of foreign culture symbolized by its beautiful statuary. During the declining years of the Yamato court. the empress Suiko (ruled 592±628). mostly of recent continental origin. efforts that in the course of a century reformed the government of the country and set it moving toward formation of a centralized state more suited to the new age. It was regarded as especially important in protecting the state. the Soga clan eclipsed all other clans at court. The rest of the 6th century can be characterized by the growing accumulation of power by regional clan leaders and a weakening of royal power. especially in the fiscal area. That campaign on the continent also ended in defeat. its imposing religious paraphernalia. The movement was touched off by the theories of ideal government expounded by Prince Sh toku. Sh toku served as regent for his aunt. This era is sometimes called the Asuka period for the region south of modern Nara where the royal courts were located. The date of its introduction is traditionally set at either 538 or 552. who was enthroned after the murder of her predecessor. who managed technical service groups. and its majestic temples.example.
The constitution set forth the ideals of the state and rules for human conduct. government ministers. through the ideas of Buddhism. supposedly shocking the Chinese emperor by addressing him as the ruler of the nation ³where the sun sets. faith. part of « . were based squarely on Chinese Confucian ideals. Sh toku took the Buddhist principles of peace and salvation for all beings as the ideal underlying his government. The former. The exchanges between Japan and China in the 5th century had placed Japan in the position of a tributary state.term tenn . aimed to encourage the appointment of men of ability and give the court a proper organization and etiquette of its own. 680. of the wrong he had done. The prince's political policies. Sh toku was a profound student of Buddhism who gave lectures on the scriptures and himself wrote commentaries. however. four volumes of which survive in the original draft written by the prince himself. The document not only shows the influence of Buddhism²of which the prince can be counted as the first major propagator in Japan²but it also embodies many of the ethical and political doctrines of Confucian government. righteousness. it thus established the ideal of a centralized state presided over by a single ruler. y The five-story wood-and-stucco pagoda. each in greater and lesser grades. originally built in 607. may be called the oldest written work of known authorship in Japan. He made no move.´ Envoys were exchanged by the two countries. He also sent Japanese students to China to learn directly from Chinese culture. which had hitherto reached Japan via the states of Korea. or emperor. and it provided a kind of basic law of the nation. The prince's most striking domestic achievements were the establishment of a system of 12 court ranks in 603 and the Seventeen-Article Constitution in 604. decorum. which made clear the relative stations of court officials by giving them caps of different colours. Sh toku attempted to buttress the legitimacy of the royal house. was adopted). His commentary on the Lotus Sutra. and knowledge. humanity. The ranks themselves were named for Confucian values²virtue.´ while he was the ruler of the nation ³where the sun rises. even. It distinguished the ruler. and the people as the three human elements making up the state and clearly laid down the duties and rights of each. By borrowing the ideas and vocabulary of continental government. reconstructed c. Sh toku's chief achievement in foreign relations was the opening of relations with the Sui dynasty (581±618) of China. which had suffered diminution at the hands of great clans. Prince Sh toku opened relations with Sui on an equal basis. to charge the murderer of Sushun but worked to convince him gradually. long since established in China and subsequently implemented in the kingdoms on the Korean peninsula as well.
become involved in a dispute that led it to again send troops to Korea. but the H ry Temple. called on Japan for help. the empress Saimei. Thus. They then set about establishing a system of centralized government with the emperor as absolute monarch at its head. still preserves its ancient wooden structures. with the right to cultivate. by a T'ang-Silla army at the mouth of the Kum River. even though she was already 67 at the time. however. . are the oldest wooden structures in the world. Paekche. The fierce competition for peninsular dominance among Silla. The land thus taken over by the state was to be allocated among all who had attained a certain age. The Taika reforms The death of Prince Sh toku in 622 prevented his ideals of government from bearing full fruit. whose capital fell in 660 to the combined forces of T'ang (China) and Silla. A new civilization descended on Japan almost overnight. dating from the late 7th and early 8th centuries. Kogury had contributed to the downfall of Sui by defeating two massive campaigns launched against it and remained an implacable foe of T'ang. may well be imagined. The Japanese ruler of the time. strengthen the power of the state. It was not idle worry that Japan might itself be drawn into the conflict. however. which had traditionally been friendly with Paekche. went to northern Kyushu and directed operations personally. They are given the name Taika reforms for the neng (³year name´)²the first such in Japanese history²that was given to the era at that time. and take every step to prepare against possible pressure from outside. In 645 Prince Nakano e and Nakatomi Kamatari engineered a coup d'état within the palace. Japan did. killed Sh toku's son Yamashiro e and all his family in 643. founded between 601 and 607 at Ikaruga in present Nara prefecture. Japan withdrew entirely and gave up any further intervention on the Korean peninsula. in 663. in fact. all that has survived of most of them are the foundation stones. At the same time. in exchange for which the tenants were to pay a fixed tax. imposing temples were built in the Chinese style. Paekche. The Soga family. and Kogury continued. its extant buildings. a sign that the sovereign's authority is effective. East Asia remained in a state of turmoil. An edict issued in 646 abolished private ownership of land and people by powerful uji. era names are a symbol of an independent nation. Provisions also were made for a governmental system embracing a capital city and local administration and for defense and communications facilities. thatched houses. These accounts impressed on educated men the need to reform the government. The astonishment aroused by these great wooded buildings²often built with more than one story and with massive tiled roofs. pressures for a cohesive. In the countries of East Asia. which had overthrown the Sui dynasty and unified China. the students whom Sh toku had sent to China were returning to Japan with accounts of the power and efficiency of the T'ang dynasty (618±907). Of the temples built at the time. it was crushed. sent a large army. where previously there had been only low.As Buddhism gained ground. killing the Soga family and wiping out all forces opposed to the imperial family. Not long after the Taika reforms. A system also was established whereby a kind of ³complaint box´ was installed at court to give people a chance to appeal directly to the emperor. unified state were strong. regaining its former powers. Japan. The main outlines of the reforms were drawn up in about five years.
too. and rich . Under the ritsury system. but then were refined²perhaps first by Tenji in the Omi Code and then by Temmu²and certainly given final form in the Taih Code of 701 and its successor. The features were first delineated in rough form in the Taika edicts. the k ri. or gun (county). The people were divided into two main classes. making it the fountainhead of the dynasty's legitimacy. He upgraded the status of the Shint shrine at Ise. directed his attention to domestic affairs. the examinations were soon dropped. as the emperor Temmu. Such a system had long been in force in China. the aristocracy. or ri (village). This. but their total number accounted for less than one- . they were obliged to provide unlimited labour. the Japanese emperor. the criminal code. was a compromise between the new principles of the ritsury system and the old spirit of respect for birth. ascending the throne as the emperor Tenji. gunji. and the shrines and temples. but the posts of gunji and rich were staffed by members of prominent local families.Saimei was succeeded by Prince Nakano e. consequently. Upon Tenji's death. The provinces were divided into three types of administrative division: the kuni. or koku (province). In fact. devoted his energies to strengthening imperial government. they were made without hesitation. yet the ritsury system was not too bound by its provisions to provide special favours for men of high rank and good family. and their rank and position were adjusted in accordance with the results. which combined within its functions the various practical aspects of administration. however. The recruitment of officials via examination was based on the highly developed bureaucratic system of China. to be administered by officials known as kokushi. The slaves were the possession of the government. and the Office of Deities (Jingikan). The ritsury system The ritsury system refers to the governmental structure defined by ritsu. and. a fierce succession dispute erupted into warfare between the supporters of his younger brother and those of his uncle. for example. ordered the compilation of official histories to enhance the prestige of the nation and. like his brother. His younger brother was victorious. freemen and slaves. Prospective bureaucrats were required to study at a central college and to pass prescribed examinations. Where different local conditions called for amendment. from which the ritsury political structure emerged. the Y r Code of 718. respectively. Thus. it is a good early example of the skill of the Japanese in adapting foreign culture. he. during their term of office their performance was subjected to scrutiny once a year. He built fortifications in Kyushu to prepare for an expected T'ang and Silla invasion and amended the system established by the Taika reforms so as to make it more suitable to the practical needs of the state. was in some respects an absolute monarch who ruled over the whole country as the head of a bureaucracy in the same manner as the emperor of China. who. and had the Taika reforms codified as the Asuka Kiyomihara Code. a parallel bureaucracy for the worship of the deities. the dynasty. and the sato. the administrative and civil codes. propagated Buddhism nationwide as a means of protecting and strengthening the state. the central government was headed by twin agencies²the Council of State (Daj kan). Yet at the same time. and the Japanese ritsury was an imitation of the lü-ling of T'ang China and incorporated many of its original articles. The posts of kokushi were filled by members of the central bureaucracy in turn. and ry . as such. he was also the traditional high priest who maintained peace for the land and people by paying tribute to the deities and sounding out their will.
and in 743 the law was changed to allow permanent private possession of land to the person who had first put it under cultivation. The Nara period (710±784) Beginning of the imperial state y Important Japanese historical sites. The majority of the free population were farmers. In 710 the imperial capital was shifted a short distance from Asuka to Nara. The principle of public ownership of land provided for in the ritsury system began to crumble. Moreover. payable in handicrafts such as silk and hemp. At the age of six. imposed a heavy burden. In fact. the aristocrats and the shrines and temples set about putting land under cultivation in order to increase their own privately owned territories. in principle. Since the government's finances depended on such tribute from the common people. the transport of the goods from the provinces to the capital was the responsibility of the taxed. amounting to not more than 60 days per year. As a result. They were mostly the descendants of those with be status who inherited their trades and paid their taxes in the form of manufactured goods or by working for fixed periods in the government workshops. but the head tax. Nara was the seat of government. but. and as it did so the whole system of government grew increasingly shaky. and a head tax was levied on adult males. the complex taxation and allotment system discouraged the heavy investment necessary to open new paddy fields. and the old custom of changing the . Ultimately. For the next 75 years. whenever the latter found the burden too much and fled to avoid paying taxes. All land was. A tax was levied on the produce of the paddies. government revenues quickly declined. Adult males were also obliged to give military service and to provide labour for public works at the command of the local kokushi. the government had to encourage the opening up of new land by offering incentives. The paddy field tax was low (about 3 percent of the crop). the property of the state.tenth of the population. which involved an enormous labour for those living in distant parts. each male child was apportioned paddy fields that remained his to cultivate for life. but the ritsury system made inadequate provision for this process. and others engaged in manufacturing. tanners. There was a need to open up new paddy fields as a means of providing for a growing population. apart from this. Most of the land was distributed equally among the people. with minor gaps. The lowest-ranking freemen were the groups of smiths. Land other than paddy fields was left to individuals to use as they pleased. land of a certain annual yield was given to bureaucrats and other high-ranking persons as stipends and to Shint shrines and Buddhist temples as sources of revenue.
to attend to the spiritual needs of the people. each nunnery 10 nuns. but the emperor called on the people at large to contribute to the project. K my . and thereby partake of the grace of the Buddha. One of the measures he took was the founding of the provincial temples known as kokubunji. it was a time of atypical social mobility based on merit. in the Hekked (Sangatsud ). still stands in the T dai Temple and is famous the world over as the Great Buddha of Nara. Perhaps the most conspicuous feature is the brilliant flowering of culture. whose constant task would be to recite the scriptures and offer up prayers for the welfare of the nation. in however humble a way.capital with each successive emperor was finally discarded. especially Buddhist culture. The original Late Nara « y Sh kong jin. Sh mu²who from childhood had been given a thorough schooling as future emperor²showed an eager concern to promote the stable livelihood of the people. Convinced that the Buddhist faith was a means to ensure both the happiness of the individual and peace for the country as a whole. each with a seven-story pagoda and each housing a statue of the akyamuni Buddha. so the spiritual world would have officially appointed monks and nuns. Japan. though damaged in later ages. distributed evenly among the provinces. The casting of the Great Buddha (Daibutsu) was a tremendously difficult task. The court also tried to . 733. The leaders in its promotion were the emperor Sh mu and his consort. Nara. the centralized government provided for under the ritsury structure worked reasonably well. T dai « The second measure taken by Sh mu was the construction of the T dai Temple as kokubunji of the capital and the installation within it of a huge bronze figure of the Vairocana Buddha as supreme guardian deity of the nation. Each province was to build a monastery (kokubunji) and a nunnery (kokubun niji). y Great Buddha Hall (Daibutsu-den) of the T dai Temple. he introduced strong doses of Buddhism into his government. The great image that was produced as a result. Immediately on his accession. painted clay. Each monastery was to have 20 monks. where those with Chinese learning or Buddhist knowledge enjoyed access to power. During this period. Just as the temporal world had its kokushi (governors) in each province to attend to its administrative and juridical matters.
Nara culture. The poems deal directly and powerfully with basic human themes. borrowing from the T'ang. Kammu's accession also represented a shift from the descendants of the emperor Temmu back to those of Tenji. the powerful priest-premier D ky rose to a position of undisputed hegemony under Sh mu's daughter. Sh mu's marriage to Fuhito's second daughter (who became known as the empress K my ) created the precedent for a marital relationship with the imperial house that was to last throughout much of premodern Japanese history. But despite this internationalism. Ousting D ky following the death of the empress.attract Chinese monks to Nara. the emphasis on Buddhism undercut the family's influence. was a great international city. who was less enthralled with Buddhism. an anthology of 4. as the empress K ken and then as Sh toku. K nin's son. who reigned twice.500 poems both ancient and contemporary. the leaders of the movement being the Fujiwara family. who was of a similar mind. The temples gradually amassed vast wealth. soldiers. K nin. however. Ch'ang-an. such as love between men . the emperor Kammu. the site of the new capital. from the emperor and members of the imperial family through the aristocracy and the priesthood to farmers. and prostitutes. respect was also shown for traditional Japanese cultural forms. each mission accompanied by a large number of students who went to study in China. Four times within 70 years the government sent official missions to the T'ang court. was conducted by a Brahman high priest born in India. By this time T'ang had formed a great empire that controlled not only the central plains of China but parts of Mongolia and Siberia to the north and of Central Asia to the west. Kamatari and his son Fuhito (both later given the surname Fujiwara) had supervised compilation of the Taih and Y r codes that formalized the ritsury system and had become prominent figures at court as a new type of bureaucrat-noble. evinced a marked international flavour itself. and the scenery celebrated in the verse represents districts throughout the country. A movement to counter such abuses arose among the aristocracy. An outstanding example of this respect is the collection of Japanese verse known as Man'y sh (c. At the end of the 8th century. while the music was played by musicians from throughout East Asia. Culture in the Nara period The cultural flowering centring on Buddhism was an outcome of lively exchanges with other nations. shifted the capital first to Nagaoka and in 794 to Heian (or Heianky . In particular. The marriage of Buddhism and politics that was Sh mu's ideal was to cause trouble after his death. 8th century AD). whose capital. for example. The subsequent progress of the family's fortunes in the Nara period was not always smooth. who had played such an important role in the Taika reforms. present Ky to) to sever connections with the temples of Nara and reestablished government in accordance with the ritsury system. The consecration ceremony of the Great Buddha of T dai Temple. descendants of Nakatomi Kamatari. The most important of these was Ganjin (Chinese: Chienchen). and Fujiwara nobles feared that the priestly domination of government threatened the future of the nation. they set on the throne a new emperor. Moreover. and the monks acquired high political positions and began to interfere in secular affairs. Poets represented in the anthology range over all classes of society. who finally reached Nara in 753 on his sixth attempt and founded the Ritsu sect at T sh dai Temple. whose base of power was located in Yamashiro province.
established a new sect of Japanese Buddhism: the Tendai sect. established by K kai. founded by Saich . also took place at the beginning of the 8th century. Both works are extremely important. historical fact² were highly political in nature: by stressing the connection between the imperial family and the sun goddess (Amaterasu). the emperor Kammu shifted his capital to Heian. scarcely influenced at all by Buddhist or Confucian ideas. on his return to Japan. Commanding that the provisions of the ritsury system be enforced. as they near the contemporary age. and are deeply imbued with the traditional spirit of Japan. and attempted to revive government in accordance with the ritsury . the compilers sought to raise the level of national sophistication in Chinese and Korean eyes. The Heian period (794±1185) Changes in ritsury government y Important Japanese historical sites. as noted above. but they were encouraged to see that Buddhism fulfilled its proper functions. they provided a written legitimation of the rule of the imperial house. and. Each of them. Those Ezo who submitted to government forces were resettled throughout the empire and largely assimilated into the existing population.and women or between parents and children. and the Shingon sect. By purposely dating Japanese history back as far as 660 BC. Kammu was a supporter of Buddhism for both national and individual purposes. he also amended those articles that were no longer relevant to the age. The histories²a combination of myth. for they draw on oral or written traditions handed down from much earlier times. folk belief. A tighter watch was imposed on corruption among local officials. He dispatched two brilliant monks. Saich and K kai. and soldiers were thenceforth selected from among the sons of local officials with martial prowess. diluted the ties between government and Buddhism. In the Nara period. this was amended to once in 12 years. continuing campaigns that had plagued the regime since Nara times. a nonsubject tribal group in the northern districts of Honshu who were regarded as aliens. to China to study. The original system of raising conscript troops from among the peasantry was abolished. Buddhism had been no more than a transplantation . The anthology had immense influence on all subsequent Japanese culture. although the northern border was never fully brought under the control of the central government. Interference in affairs of state by religious authorities was forbidden. The compilation of Japan's two most ancient histories. dispatched large conscript armies against the Ezo (Emishi). In 794. Kammu. The Ezo eventually were pacified. the Kojiki and Nihon shoki. Since it was difficult in practice to carry out the allocation of rice fields once every 6 years.
while temporarily shoring up government finances. and the supplementing of the legal codes. a kind of secretary and archivist to the emperor. and then in the reign of the emperor Uda he created the post of kampaku. Another example of the divergence between form and reality is the fact that while. eventually led to further erosion of the ideals of the authority-intensive ritsury system. who ultimately developed powers to investigate crimes and determine punishments. the state decided to calculate taxes on the basis of land units rather than individuals. but the two new sects. leaving local matters to governors (now increasingly called zury . Neither post had been foreseen by the ritsury system. were carefully observed. all sovereigns had been adults. In other words. In the mid-9th century. Yoshifusa's son Mototsune became sessh during the minority of the succeeding emperor Y zei. on the surface. The government set up taxation units based on paddy fields upon which both rent and corvée could easily be assessed. Fujiwara Yoshifusa. or ³tax managers´) and local resident officials (zaich kanjin) who were mainly responsible for forwarding to Heian a specified tax amount. real power shifted to other posts that were newly created outside the codes as the occasion demanded. Second. The social reality. The two most important posts developed outside the ritsury codes were those of sessh (regent) and kampaku (chief councillor). In order to hold the sekkan offices. sekkan (regency). so that form and actuality were soon traveling along quite different courses. Early examples were the two new posts created during the early 9th century: kur do. The original role of the sessh was to attend to affairs of state during the minority of the emperor. It now became easier to calculate the amount of taxable public land (k den) in each province. his maternal grandfather. the indispensable qualification was that one should be the emperor's maternal grandfather or . based on the post once held by imperial family members such as the empress Jing and the princes Nakano e and Sh toku. the central government gave up the details of administering provincial affairs. then establish the resulting offspring as emperor. respectively. though derived from China. The very foundations of ritsury government began to crumble because of the difficulty of carrying out the allotment system based on census registers and the consequent decline in government revenue. which was based on the principle of direct rule by the emperor. and society enjoyed some 150 years of peace.of the Buddhism of T'ang China. at least. it was necessary that the person concerned should marry his daughter into the imperial family. the reality of Heian society continued to deviate from the ritsury ideal. and kebiishi. the compilation of histories. After Kammu. when nineyear-old Seiwa ascended the throne. Thus. The two sects were thenceforth to form the mainstream of Japanese Buddhism. while the kampaku's role was to attend to state matters for the emperor even after he had come of age. and the minting of coins all took place frequently in accordance with precedent. The formal aspects of government. and seemingly no one had envisioned the enthronement of a child emperor. the Enryaku Temple on Mount Hiei and the Kong bu Temple on Mount K ya. Two changes were instituted early in the 10th century that. First. developed in a characteristically Japanese fashion. As headquarters of their new sects. however. Prior to the early Heian period. appointments to official posts were made in accord with ritsury stipulations. especially the possibilities of increasing the amount of lands held in tax-free estates. however. the imperial police. Saich and K kai founded. created the office of sessh . but entrusting so much authority to governors opened the gates for further abuse. became increasingly chaotic. successive emperors carried on his policies. It thus became the established custom that a member of the Fujiwara family should serve as sessh and kampaku. better known by an abbreviated combination of the two terms.
The practical result was the stimulation of a more purely Japanese cultural tradition. Buddhist monks continued to travel to China to bring back as yet unknown scriptures and iconographic pictures. and the wealth that poured into their coffers enabled them to lead lives . to whom the emperor had no connection. centre detail of left screen of a pair « From the 10th century and through the 11th. the emperor Uda singled Michizane out for an attempt to break the authority of the Fujiwara family. One of the most celebrated affairs involving the expulsion of a member of another family by the Fujiwara was the removal of Sugawara Michizane from his post as minister and his exile to Kyushu. simultaneously appointed Tokihira and Michizane as his two top ministers. Japanese touches were gradually added to the basically T'ang styles. In 901 Tokihira. At the end of the 9th century. Aristocratic government at its peak y Genji monogatari: Miotsukushi. effectively sending him and his family into exile. The writing of Chinese prose and verse was popular among scholars. Recognizing his talent. however. the Japanese court no longer had a model worthy of emulation. Uda appointed Michizane and Fujiwara Tokihira to a succession of government posts. Michizane was demoted to a ministerial post in Kyushu. The culture of the 9th century was a continuation of that of the 8th. and great respect for Chinese customs was shown in the daily lives of the aristocracy. falsely reported to Daigo (who was sympathetic to the Fujiwara) that Michizane was plotting treason. there were constant struggles at court involving the expulsion of members of other families by the Fujiwara family or wrangling among the branches of extensive Fujiwara clan itself. and a new culture slowly came into being. While not totally new with the Fujiwara²the maternal relatives of the early Yamato rulers (notably the Soga) were the important powers at court²the system reached its height and perfection under the Fujiwara.father-in-law. Buddhist sculpture and paintings produced in Japan were done in the T'ang style. the emperor Daigo. but it was not until the 10th century and later that this tendency became a strong current. In 899 Uda's successor. Born into a family of scholars. In fact. nor did it need one. insofar as its foundations were predominantly Chinese. Japan cut off formal relations with T'ang China. successive generations of the northern branch of the Fujiwara clan continued to control the nation's government by monopolizing the posts of sessh and kampaku. jealous of Michizane's influence. As a result of this complex system. both because of the expense involved in sending regular envoys and because of the political unrest accompanying the breakup of the T'ang empire. Michizane was an outstanding scholar whose ability in writing Chinese verse and prose was said to rival that of the Chinese themselves.
the same privileges were not available to powerful families in the provinces. temples and aristocrats with resources at their disposal had hastened to develop new areas. Since many of these local officials had for centuries practiced martial skills. These. they began to organize local inhabitants (especially the zaich kanjin) into service. The high-water mark was reached in the time of Fujiwara Michinaga (966±1028). so that by mid-Heian times the sh en gradually became nontaxable estates. In order to protect their territories or expand their power. The increase in sh en thus came to pose a serious threat to the government. and vast private lands had accrued to them. acquired lands of their own. Finally. Younger members of the imperial family and lower-ranking aristocrats dissatisfied with the Fujiwara monopoly of high government offices would take up posts as local officials in the provinces. Government during this period was based mostly on precedent. a number of powerful provincial aristocrats developed significant armed forces. the estates of the aristocracy increased steadily. The risings of Taira Masakado (d. these conflicts had an enormous effect in lowering the government's prestige and encouraging the desolation of the provinces. The fiscal changes of the early 10th century did not bring enough paddy fields into production. Four of his daughters became consorts of four successive emperors. 941) in western Japan are examples of large war bands extending their control in the provinces. The sh en of the Fujiwara family expanded greatly. to establish more firmly the position of those already existing and failed to halt the tendency for such land to increase. Although the government was able to suppress the rebellions. This merely served. 940) in the Kant district and of Fujiwara Sumitomo (d. thus legitimizing the accumulation of private estates. where they settled permanently. or samurai. . The ritsury system of public ownership of land and people survived in name alone. and their incomes swelled proportionately. the first stirrings of a new power in the land²the warrior. however. Thanks to such agreements. and the court had become little more than a centre for highly ritualized ceremonies. Public revenue²the income of the Heian aristocrats²continued to decline. Privately owned lands were known as sh en (³manors´). which accordingly issued edicts intended to check the formation of new estates. Masakado controlled as many as seven provinces. and tax rates remained high. commended their holdings to members of the imperial family or the aristocracy. and three of their sons became emperors. Since the owners of the sh en were the same high officials that constituted the government. class²were taking place in the provinces.of the greatest brilliance. Although the aristocracy and temples around the capital enjoyed exemption from taxes on their private lands. when such men of true martial ability and sufficient autonomy emerged. for a time. the slightest incident involving any one of them might provoke armed conflict. especially in the 11th and 12th centuries. land passed into private hands. Since the government-encouraged opening up of new land during the Nara period. and the incentive to seek new private lands increased. Originally private lands had been taxable. concluding agreements with them that the latter should become owners in name while the former retained rights as actual administrators of the property. it was extremely difficult to change the situation. While the aristocracy was leading a life of luxury on the proceeds from its estates. accordingly. As a consequence. an edict issued in 1069 recognized all estates established before 1045 and set up an office to investigate sh en records. but sh en owners developed various techniques to obtain special exemption from taxes. and established their own power. which developed primarily on the basis of rice fields under cultivation since the adoption of the ritsury system. and people became private citizens.
and The Pillow Book of Sei Sh nagon (Makura no s shi). teaching that in order to achieve rebirth it was necessary only to invoke the name of Amida and dwell on the marks of his divinity. By Heian times. consisting of 31 syllables. So popular was the craze for composition that formal and informal poetic competitions were common among the aristocracy. . and their invention was an epoch-making event in the history of the expression of ideas in Japan. Chinese ideographs were used both for their meaning and for their pronunciation in order to represent the Japanese language. and it was left to the Pure Land (J do) sect of Buddhism to preach a religion that sought to arouse a desire for salvation in ordinary people. made it possible to write the national language with complete freedom. the first of a series of anthologies of verse made at imperial command. Thanks to the kana. This same teaching also inspired artists to produce an astonishing number of representations of Amida in both sculpture and painting. a collection of vivid scenes and incidents of court life by Sei Sh nagon. was an indispensable part of the daily lives of the aristocracy. Japan had no writing of its own. Among such works. are masterpieces of world literature. who composed official documents in stilted Chinese²provided such women with an opportunity to create works of literature. who. to flourish. which became a distinct sect only in the 12th and 13th centuries. became the consorts of successive emperors and surrounded themselves with talented women who vied with each other in learning and the ability to produce fine writing. they tended to pursue worldly wealth and riches at the expense of purely religious goals. The value placed on the skillful composition of poetry led to the compilation in 905 of the Kokinsh (or Kokin wakash ). another script was created by abbreviating Chinese characters. one of the most important contributing factors being the emergence of indigenous scripts. The hiragana script²largely shunned by men. These two scripts. a great amount of verse and prose in Japanese was to be produced. and proficiency in verse-making was counted an essential accomplishment for a courtier. who was a lady-in-waiting to the empress Sadako. Educated men and women of the day. The mildness of his countenance and the softly curving folds of his robe contrasted strongly with the grotesque Buddhist sculpture in the preceding age and represented a much more truly Japanese taste. It grew in popularity as society began to unravel and violence spread at the end of the Heian period. careers and even love affairs depended on one's skill at versification. being closely connected with the court and aristocracy. The waka. Particularly noteworthy in this respect were the daughters of the Fujiwara. the diverse poetic forms found in the Man'y sh had been refined into one form called waka. the kana syllabaries. gradually evolved a system of writing that used a purely phonetic. syllabic script formed by simplifying a certain number of the Chinese characters. Both the Tendai and Shingon sects produced a succession of gifted monks and continued.During the 10th century a truly Japanese culture developed. which was entirely different grammatically from Chinese. respectively. expounded the glories of the paradise of Amida (Amit bha. as sects. it seemed to offer an ideal hope of salvation in the midst of the disorder and decay of the old order. Pure Land was a very approachable religion in that it eschewed difficult theories and ascetic practices. or Buddha of Infinite Light)²the world after death²and urged all to renounce the defilements of the present world for the sake of rebirth in that paradise. Pure Land Buddhism. called hiragana and katakana. The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari). But. under the aristocratic government of the day. a novel by Murasaki Shikibu. however. The same trend toward the development of purely Japanese qualities became strongly marked in Buddhism as well. Until then.
were an indication that. the fortunes of the house increased immeasurably. what happened in late Heian times. it represented a shift of access to power from matrilineal to patrilineal relatives of the emperor. and Go-Shirakawa²who exercised sovereign power both as emperors and then even more effectively as retired emperors. and the opportunity to attract sh en holdings of its own. and Go-Shirakawa were the only ones to wield absolute. The signs of the growing independence of Japanese culture. by now. This is. the ability to attract clients among the nobility. his era is often regarded as the institutionalization of rule by retired or cloistered emperors.Another example of this Japanization of culture is the style called Yamato-e (³Japanese painting´). now. Insei represented a revival of imperial family fortunes: with a vibrant household organization. Toba. the majority of whom were now clients of the retired emperor rather than the Fujiwara regent. behind-the-scenes power. two centuries after the first ingestion of continental culture. Decisions continued to be made by a relatively small group of high-ranking nobles. but he was followed by three successive rulers² Shirakawa. . the imperial family had eclipsed the Fujiwara as the largest sh en holder in the land. were designed both to strengthen the weakening economic institutions of the state and to bolster the fortunes of the imperial family itself. By the end of the Heian period. although the emperors Shirakawa. the process of naturalization was nearing completion. the career of Sugawara Michizane or The Tale of Genji²and there were even satirical works lampooning the behaviour of the court nobles. Most Yamato-e dealt with secular affairs²for example. His policies. Go-Sanj abdicated and. the adult Go-Sanj . This system. After only four years on the throne. Toba. apparent in every field. in fact. in fact. allowing it to compete more effectively for the rewards of power. control over this position returned to the hands of imperial family. their power was bound to weaken. in accord with the precedent established by earlier emperors. The reigning emperor was largely treated as a figurehead. however. no Fujiwara-related heirs resulted from these unions. Based on the bureaucratic offices of the ritsury system. the first sovereign in more than a century not born of a daughter of the Fujiwara. who had prepared assiduously for ruling. Go-Sanj died shortly after abdicating. known as insei (³cloistered government´) because the retired emperors all took Buddhist vows and retired to cloisters (in). Since Go-Sanj clearly meant to participate in politics even from retirement. such as the sh en regulation edict. was not dramatically different from the manner in which Fujiwara regents had ruled. once such a relationship disappeared. Government by cloistered emperors The powerful authority wielded by the Fujiwara regents was maintained by their maternal relationship to successive emperors. As a result. Governmental control in Japan thus passed from Fujiwara regents to the ³cloistered emperors´ who wielded real power behind the scenes during the late 11th and 12th centuries. especially to direct the imperial succession to his non-Fujiwara sons. began to rule free of the strong control of a Fujiwara regent. The emperor Go-Sanj ascended the throne in 1068. opened an office of the retired emperor (in no ch ). while Michinaga's sons Yorimichi and Norimichi both gave their daughters to be imperial consorts. The cloistered emperor system continued for a long period.
as noted above in Aristocratic government at its peak. it was an age in which some members of a priesthood ostensibly committed to compassion and respect for life in all its forms could openly bear arms and engage in slaughter. the more powerful of the samurai. where they served both the military needs of the state against potential outbreaks of rebellion and also as bodyguards for the great noble houses. This effectively closed advancement to commoners. Late Heian times were the ³latter days´ (mapp ) of Buddhist calculation. many aristocrats donated funds to construct temples or took holy vows and went to live in temples. Through association with the aristocracy. and many . late 12th century. Outstanding among these samurai were the branch of the Minamoto (or Genji) family descended from the emperor Seiwa and the Taira (Heike) family lineage that traced its roots to the emperor Kammu. The rise of the warrior class y Portrait of Taira Shigemori attributed to Fujiwara Takanobu. The victorious Minamoto leader Yoshiie became the nation's most celebrated warrior. Most higher positions in the religious world were occupied by members of the imperial family and former aristocrats. Whenever some particularly serious grievance arose. temples also were endowed with sh en commended by clients of the imperial family. which thus became centres of political intrigue. and the lower-ranking monks in the temples often resented their superiors on this account. however. Some idea of the nuisance they constituted can be gleaned from the fact that even the most powerful of the retired emperors. they would march in a body on the capital and try to force acceptance of their demands by a direct appeal to the court. The Seiwa Genji established themselves as clients in the service of successive Fujiwara regents even before Michinaga was regent. first established their power in the provinces. In practice. who. in which one could rely upon nothing but faith in some Buddhist deity or doctrine for salvation. Their fame as a warrior clan was greatly heightened in the mid-11th century when they quelled a rebellion in northeastern Japan. Shirakawa. ranked them with the waters of the Kamo River and the dice in games of chance as one of three forces that he was powerless to control. Nor did the monks hesitate to resort to armed force. in « In the late Heian period.One common feature of each reign was that the retired sovereign became a Buddhist priest and governed in a way that theoretically respected the teachings of Buddhism. retired emperors seemed more concerned with the construction of ostentatious temples. a common phenomenon in the last century of the Heian period. Kamakura period. The secularization of Buddhism continued apace. some of them coming to possess large numbers of estates for the support of a grand lifestyle. gradually gathered in or near the capital. In hopes of salvation. they gradually established a foothold at court.
who grew up in exile at Izu. he became. and one even became the consort of the emperor Takakura. Because they were clients of the retired emperor. the Taira curried favour with the retired emperors. (Not being a Fujiwara. so that Tadamori's son Kiyomori broke into the ranks of the nobility. but they had suffered a setback with the defeat of Taira Masakado and had finally lost their hold in the Kant district as the result of another later uprising by Masakado's descendant Tadatsune. naturally provoked reaction. the oldest surviving son of Yoshitomo. Tadamori also initiated trade with Sung dynasty China as a means of amassing wealth. however. and many other official posts were filled by members of his family. which represented a return to government by matrilineal relatives of the emperor. Kiyomori never became regent. The two factions eventually clashed openly in Ky to in what is known as the H gen Disturbance (1156). Kiyomori and his kinsmen gradually assumed power at court. and. however. In a single move. The high-handed manner in which Kiyomori and his kinsmen dominated the court. where they extended their influence over a wide area. Although Kiyomori was born into a middle-ranking provincial warrior family. Minamoto Yoshitomo and Taira Kiyomori. Finally Yoritomo. With the revitalization of the imperial family. The Taira had at first settled in the Kant district. the two warrior clans were pitted against one another. and he razed to the ground such troublesome places as the T dai and K fuku temples. The Minamoto were thoroughly defeated. however. Discord within both the imperial family and the Fujiwara regent's house split the nobility into two factions. invoked the authority of a passedover imperial prince to rally the Minamoto and other great warrior families in eastern Japan in insurrection. Taira Masamori and his son Tadamori served as governors in several western provinces. and aided the retired emperors' programs of temple building by erecting and endowing a number of new temples.) Kiyomori's rule also had its more drastic aspects. each of which enlisted warriors from the Minamoto and the Taira. in the Heiji Disturbance (1159) that followed. From the initial uprising in 1180 to the final sea battle at Dannoura at the . Yoshiie's sudden rise to power forced the court to view him warily. His repairing of the Inland Sea route. building up their own power in the area. Kiyomori himself became prime minister (daj -daijin). the social position of the Taira rose steadily. and Kiyomori's power rose even higher through his influence over the throne. and his encouragement of trade with Sung China²by which the Taira became wealthy²were farseeing measures that distinguished Kiyomori from earlier Fujiwara regents. a military noble and dominated the political scene in ways reminiscent of the Fujiwara. The infant prince born of their union ascended to the throne in 1180 as the emperor Antoku. While the Taira thrived in the capital. Over the two decades following the Heiji Disturbance. All his daughters were married into powerful noble families. The conflict was on a small scale²the outcome determined by a single night's fighting²yet it was highly significant in that it demonstrated the inability of the courtiers to settle major differences without reliance on the power of the warriors. the descendants of the Minamoto quietly built up their strength in the provinces.local figures made voluntary vows of allegiance to him and commended lands to him in return for his protection. for example. even denying the commendation of estates from would-be clients. in effect. Conflicts over rewards arose between the two successful H gen generals. and Taira Kiyomori emerged as a major power in the land. The Taira took advantage of this relative decline to advance their own fortunes again. at first under the sponsorship of the retired emperor Go-Shirakawa but ultimately by seizing power from his patron in 1179. he swept 42 court officials from their posts and into exile.
Cameron Hurst III Medieval Japan The Kamakura period (1185±1333) The establishment of warrior government y Minamoto Yoritomo obtaining Buddhist favour by releasing wild cranes on the beach near his castle « The establishment of the bakufu by Minamoto Yoritomo at the end of the 12th century can be regarded as the beginning of a new era. the so-called Gempei (Genji and Heike) War engulfed Japan in warfare on a scale theretofore unseen.´ the name for the field headquarters of a campaigning warrior).southernmost tip of Honshu. however. the Gempei War was in actuality a combination of interclan and intraclan fighting. however. During the Kamakura period. Although traditionally portrayed as a simple Taira-versus-Minamoto conflict. organizing institutions of control and reward. one in which independent government by the warrior class successfully opposed the political authority of the civil aristocracy. The final rout of the fleeing Taira forces on the sea. and planning strategy. Yoritomo himself spent most of the five years recruiting warrior vassals. It also marked an important turning point in Japanese history. put a more or less decisive end to the swing of fortune between Minamoto and Taira. Institutions of the Heian imperial-aristocratic system remained in place . Taro SakamotoG. as well as a struggle between central control and forces for local autonomy combined under the larger banner of clan rivalry. as it is often called in English) in Kamakura may be seen as the commencement of rule by a samurai class and at least the beginning of the end of the ancient monarchical system of court and aristocracy. instead. He relied on his younger brothers Yoshitsune and Noriyori and his cousin Yoshinaka to attack Ky to and carry the fight against the Taira-led court forces. There was. or shogunate. since Yoritomo's establishment of a military government (bakufu. In one form or another. total warrior dominance was not achieved. ³tent government. has retreated from recognizing a major break and the establishment of feudal institutions with the founding of the Kamakura regime. what approached a dyarchy with civil power in Ky to and military power in Kamakura sharing authority for governing the nation. was to hold effective political control in Japan until the restoration of imperial power in 1868. Modern scholarly interpretation. a bakufu (literally.
replaced with new feudal institutions when Kamakura passed from the scene. The H j regency . ³shogun´ ultimately emerged as the title associated with the head of a bakufu. In 1185. when Yoritomo finally destroyed the northern Fujiwara family of Mutsu province (modern Aomori prefecture). Yoritomo established his headquarters in Kamakura and entrusted the suppression of the Taira to his younger brothers Noriyori and Yoshitsune. Meanwhile. At first the chief base of the Kamakura bakufu lay in the sh en seized from the Taira family and in the limited administrative revenues from public estates in provinces granted to Yoritomo by the imperial court. But later the bakufu was able to expand its influence over lands that were still controlled by the civil provincial governors. Yoritomo set up the Samurai-dokoro (Board of Retainers). and maintained public order. In 1180. Three years later Yoritomo went to Ky to and was appointed shogun (an abbreviation of seii taish gun. or gokenin (³housemen´) as military governors (shugo) in the provinces and military stewards (jit ) in both public and private landed estates. as well as the private estates of the civil aristocracy and the temples and shrines. which had sheltered his rebellious brother. Although the Gempei War ended in 1185. the Monch jo. Though he kept the title only briefly and was not known by that term in the documents he issued to manage Kamakura affairs. 1886. During the Gempei War.throughout the Kamakura age. a disciplinary board to control his multiplying military vassals. General administration was handled by a secretariat. ³barbarian-quelling generalissimo´). illustration by Utagawa Yoshimori. Yoritomo was granted the right to appoint his vassals. a dispute between Yoritomo and his brother Yoshitsune resulted in continued warfare until 1189. after the destruction of the Taira family at the Battle of Dannoura. y Minamoto Yoshitsune on horseback. was set up to handle lawsuits and appeals. It was the job of the shugo to recruit metropolitan guards and keep strict control over subversives and criminals. These institutions represent the emergence of Yoritomo's regime (the term bakufu was used only later in retrospect). The jit collected taxes. a judicial board. he gathered a following of great eastern warrior leaders and began to lay the foundation for a new military government. In addition. which was opened four years later and known as the Kumonjo (later renamed the Mandokoro). for example. the highest honour that could be accorded a warrior. supervised the management of landed estates.
Masako. In essence. the regent H j Yasutoki. the emperor Go-Toba.y Important Japanese historical sites. Instead. seeing in the demise of the Minamoto family a good opportunity to restore his political power. it was a body of pragmatic law laid down for the proper conduct of the warriors in administering justice. real power in the bakufu passed into the hands of the H j family. Shoguns were selected only from the Fujiwara or imperial houses. The political power of the bakufu now extended over the whole country. to strengthen the base of his political power. while Tokimasa's son H j Yoshitoki (shikken 1205±24) handled most government business. The bakufu now set up a headquarters in Ky to to supervise the court and to control the legal and administrative business of the western provinces. Its 51 articles set down in writing for the first time the legal precedents of the bakufu. was appointed shogun. Kuj Yoritsune. the old legal and political system of the Nara and Heian civil aristocracy. had come. from which Yoritomo's wife. The Mongol invasions . named for the era name J ky (1219±22). the Hikitsuke-sh . reorganized the council of leading retainers into a Council of State (Hy j -sh ). This incident is known as the J ky Disturbance. the H j family was of low social rank. In 1203 H j Tokimasa. Thereafter. however. Hence. responded to his call. The increasing political power of the military led to a conflict with the aristocracy. and Kamakura vassals were appointed to jit posts in them as rewards. in 1221 issued a mandate to the country for the overthrow of Yoshitoki. Its purpose was simpler than that of the ritsury . and its leaders could not aspire to become shoguns themselves. assumed the position of regent (shikken) for the shogun. In 1232 the council drew up a legal code known as the J ei Formulary (J ei Shikimoku). to secure greater impartiality and promptness in legal decisions. and Go-Toba was arrested and banished to the island of Oki. Masako's father. After the death of Yoritomo in 1199. In 1249 the regent H j Tokiyori also set up a judicial court. the H j overthrew and outmaneuvered their rivals. and after three generations the direct line of descent from Yoritomo had become extinct. an office that was held until 1333 by nine successive members of the H j family. Few warriors. Taking advantage of disputes among Yoritomo's generals. The several thousand estates of the civil aristocrats and warriors who had joined Go-Toba were confiscated. out of concern for pedigree. Though wielding actual power. Meanwhile. the appointment and dismissal of the shogun followed the wishes of the H j family. the H j family dispatched a bakufu army that occupied Ky to. a Fujiwara scion and distant relative of Yoritomo.
The defeat of the Mongol invasions was of crucial importance in Japanese history. The invasions also led to another prolonged period of isolation from China that was to last until the 14th century. Samurai groups and farming villages . the victory gave a great impetus to a feeling of national pride. and the Kyushu military vassals were mobilized for defense. in the space of barely half a century. and the kamikaze (³divine wind´) that destroyed the invading hosts gave the Japanese the belief that they were a divinely protected people. continuous vigil. The bond between the H j and the Kamakura vassals was strained to the breaking point. these public works took five years to complete and required considerable expenditure. Meanwhile. and a second army of about 100. Coastal defenses were strengthened. Kublai.000 Mongol. fewer than one in five escaped.000 troops from southern China under the command of the Mongol general Hung Ch'a-ch'iu. The establishment of the regency government coincided with the rise of the Mongols under Genghis Khan in Central Asia. forcing the Japanese defenders to retreat to Dazaifu. northern Chinese. The military expenditure on preparations. and Korean troops set out from South Korea. they had established an empire extending from the Korean peninsula in the east to as far west as Russia and Poland.y Important Japanese historical sites. and actual fighting undermined the economic stability of the Kamakura government and led to the insolvency of many of the jit . it is said that of 140. In 1271 Kublai adopted the dynastic title of Yüan. The bakufu took measures to better prepare for a renewed invasion. became Great Khan in China and fixed his capital at present-day Peking (Beijing). In the autumn of 1274 a Mongol and Korean army of some 40. the Mongols made plans for a second expedition. forcing Hung Ch'a-ch'iu to retreat precipitately.000 men set out from presentday South Korea. A Mongol army landed in Hakata Bay. destroying more than 200 ships of the invaders. But again a fierce typhoon destroyed nearly all of the invading fleet. The bakufu appointed Sh ni Sukeyoshi as military commander. Apportioned among the Kyushu vassals. but a typhoon suddenly arose. Beginning in 1206. and a stone wall was constructed extending for several miles around Hakata Bay to thwart the powerful Mongol cavalry. On landing in Kyushu it occupied a portion of Hizen province (part of present-day Saga prefecture) and advanced to Chikuzen. In 1260 Genghis Khan's successor.000 invaders. The remnants of the invading army were captured by the Japanese. Moreover. and shortly thereafter the Mongols began preparations for an invasion of Japan. The two armies met at Hirado and in a combined assault breached the defenses at Hakata Bay. and the survivors returned to southern Korea. In 1281 two separate armies were arrayed: an eastern army consisting of about 40.
The jit owed their loyalty to the shogun. This connection between lord and vassal. as well as to enlarge their holdings within the sh en or kokugary . There were several different statuses among the peasantry. or aristocratic or royal family²who maintained substantial control over the land. stemming from the efforts of the former to increase personal and economic autonomy. issuing countless orders of admonition to its vassals to follow the precedents on the land in question. named fields (my den) of significant size and long standing. called genin (³low person´). These sh en were managed by influential resident landlords who had become warriors. there was a nominal absentee central proprietor² temple. the primary focus of Kamakura activity became the dispensing of justice in legal cases involving land disputes. shrine. These groups. Among these landlords. were also quite separate from transient agriculturalists present in many estates. Conflict also was endemic between the farming population and the warriors. Warrior-landlords lived in farming villages and supervised peasant labour or themselves carried on agriculture. disputes flooded the warrior headquarters from landowners seeking to curtail jit encroachments. . Thus. The Kamakura bakufu gained a reputation for fairness. while the central civil aristocracy and the temples and shrines held huge public lands (kokugary ) and private estates in various provinces and wielded power comparable to that of the bakufu. By various means. But these lands were by no means complete fiefs: the Kamakura bakufu did not possess large tracts of its own land that it could grant to its vassals as fiefs in return for service. Conflict was endemic between central proprietor (usually a local representative of the proprietor) and jit : the former wished to maintain as much control and income as possible while the latter was concerned with expanding his share. these jit laboured to develop the rice fields and irrigation works in the areas under their jurisdiction. Kamakura warriors managed to whittle away significantly the absentee control of sh en proprietors. many such individuals became gokenin and were appointed jit in lands where the bakufu were allowed access. the shogun not only guaranteed these men security of tenure in their traditional landholdings but rewarded them with new holdings in confiscated lands²such as from the Taira or the supporters of Go-Toba. there was a limit on the degree to which the Kamakura warrior could exploit the land and people under his control. In either case. on which grants of landownership or management were based. Kamakura warriors could control traditional land types (sh en and kokugary ) or be newly appointed into confiscated lands. was made up of people who were essentially household servants with no land rights. The lowest peasant category. small cultivators with precarious and shifting tenures. for whom they performed public services such as guard duty in Ky to and Kamakura. As leaders of a large number of villagers. Since the jit was entirely under the control of Kamakura. and they and other influential landlords constructed spacious homes for themselves in the villages and hamlets where they lived. and others who paid only labour services to the proprietor or jit . They were often the original developers of their districts who became officials of the provincial government and agents of the sh en. In return. gave Japanese society a somewhat feudal character. some were vassals of the shogun. prominent farmers with taxable. including my shu. while others were connected to the aristocracy or the temples and shrines.The Japanese feudal system began to take shape under the Kamakura bakufu. though it remained only inchoate during the Kamakura period. Thus. however. while distinct from one another. Under the Kamakura bakufu.
as contractors. performed military service on the battlefield and during times of peace. Pride of family name was especially valued. transported. Centres for metal casting and metalworking. Chinese influences could be seen in monochrome painting style (suiboku-ga). . a practice that gradually came to be restricted. in theory. or civil aristocrats. other aspects of society were changing as well. paper manufacture. fostering the introduction of Zen Buddhism (in Chinese. and other skills appeared outside the capital. while itinerant merchants increased their activity. it became common for many merchants and artisans to form guilds. like their Heian predecessors. the Kamakura warrior was a mounted knight whose primary martial skill was equestrian archery. shrines. known as za. Like his Heian predecessor. and nourishing a rugged and practical character. and loyal service to one's overlord became the fundamental ethic. became common.The samurai. architecture. Further. After the middle of the Kamakura period. responding to a specific growth of consumer demand. engaging in hunting and training in the martial arts. stored. they were allowed to inherit a portion of the estates and even jit posts. The status of women in warrior families was comparatively high. Copper coins from Sung China circulated in these markets. the farming villages in which the warriors resided underwent changes as agricultural practices advanced. In the large ports along the Inland Sea and Lake Biwa. for the first time. indicating that there was an emerging sense of ideal warrior behaviour that grew out of this daily training and the experience of actual warfare. and the custom of tea drinking²all of which contributed to the formation of early medieval culture and exerted an enormous influence on everyday life in Japan. Bills of exchange were also used for payments to distant localities. specialized wholesale merchants (toimaru) appeared who. in addition to managing agricultural holdings. local markets. which nonetheless continued to maintain the classical culture. or yumiya toru mi no narai (³the practices of those who use the bow and arrow´). This was the origin of the more highly developed sense of a warrior code of later ages. in various provincial localities. and other products thrived. The exchange of agricultural products. Kamakura culture: the new Buddhism and its influence During the Kamakura period the newly arisen samurai class began to supercede the ancient civil aristocracy. manufactured goods. held on three fixed days a month. organized under the temples. and sold goods. Vigorous overseas trade expanded contacts with the continent. from whom they gained special monopoly privileges and exemptions from customs duties. certain skills in pottery manufacture. Medieval texts speak of ky ba no michi (³the way of the bow and horse´). Artisans were frequently attached to the proprietors of the sh en and progressively became more specialized. Ch'an) and Neo-Confucianism from Sung China.
demanded a religion that would suit their personal experience. in particular. One was H j Sanetoki. In matters of religion. By contrast. hence. The most famous is the anonymously written The Tale of the Heike (Heike monogatari). 1252. At the same time. sect mentioned earlier and its offshoot. the Ky to nobility confined themselves largely to the annotation and interpretation of the ancient classics and to the study of precedents and ceremonies. Reflecting the rise of the warrior class. as Buddhist pessimism grew fainter. This is the first work of historical philosophy in Japan to incorporate a notion of historical causality. .y Great bronze Amida (Daibutsu) at Kamakura. which sought reliance on the saving grace of Amida. Nonetheless. or Pure Land. the new forms of worship expanded popular participation in Buddhism tremendously. But at the beginning of the Kamakura period. Japan. and it provides an interpretive picture of the rise and fall of political powers from a Buddhist viewpoint. as warriors began to contend and mingle with court nobles. scholarship and the arts were still deeply linked with the Tendai and Shingon sects of esoteric Buddhism. and the sect established by the former Tendai priest Nichiren. a 30volume history of Buddhism in Japan. the Zen school sought to open the way to insight by self-effort (jiriki). In scholarly and literary circles. The warriors of the farming villages. satisfying the demands of many samurai. which may be described as a mood both profound and mysterious. the various tales of which were first recited throughout the country by Buddhist troubadours called biwa h shi. Several new Buddhist sects sprang up that eschewed difficult ascetic practices and recondite scholarship. in the Sh my Temple (at what is now Yokohama). which was a vigorous influence even in Shint circles. which sought salvation in the Lotus Sutra. the Kanazawa Bunko. a brilliant circle of waka poets around the retired emperor Go-Toba produced a new imperial selection of poems entitled the Shin kokin wakash . The new nationalistic fervour aroused by the successful struggle against the Mongols found expression in Kokan Shiren's Genk shakusho (1332). Among these may be included the J do. many warrior leaders developed a love of scholarship and a delight in waka poetry. The waka of this period is characterized by the term y gen. who collected Japanese and Chinese books and founded a famous library. various kinds of instruction manuals and family injunctions were composed. military epics became popular. Meanwhile. while collections of essays such as Yoshida Kenk 's Essays in Idleness (Tsurezuregusa) also made their appearance. After the middle Kamakura period. it met with a ready response. Just before the J ky Disturbance the Tendai monk Jien (a member of the Fujiwara family) completed his Gukansh (³Jottings of a Fool´). in place of the complicated teachings and ceremonies of the ancient Buddhism. the Shin (True) school. the great social changes that took place between the end of the Heian period and the early Kamakura period fostered a sense of crisis and religious awakening and caused the people to demand a simple standard of faith.
But landowners were often unable to meet their expenditures from the income of their limited holdings.y The priest Koya (Kuya). Kamakura period. since warriors proliferated over generations while landholdings remained constant. even if they practiced single inheritance. since no lands or other wealth were confiscated from the invaders. important structural changes occurred in warrior houses. often entirely to the eldest son. wood sculpture by K sh . the gokenin faced difficult times. and. who had the right to raise troops. the practice of dividing lands among heirs gave way to single inheritance. They formed strong ties with other local warrior houses. and. trade was flourishing. which gave temporary relief but neglected the long-term problem. Minimally. and the urban lifestyle began to be imitated in the provinces. perhaps even becoming vassals of a shugo. General economic conditions began to undermine the position of the bakufu vassals. the biographies of founders of religious sects. their ties to the Kamakura regime weakened. especially popular were picture scrolls (emakimono). Decline of Kamakura society During the troubled state of society at the end of the Kamakura period. after the middle of the Kamakura period. Consequently. Second. military epics and the secular life of both courtiers and warriors. The shift from divided to single inheritance was accelerated in the post-Mongol era and became the primary means of inheritance in warrior families. First. Yet. but their claims for reward went largely unanswered. increasingly. they were financially pressed and often in debt. which took as their themes the history of temples and shrines. Coins came increasingly into circulation. the vassalage . deputies sent out by the heads of eastern warrior families to oversee their distant landholdings often broke with the main family. to whom other family members were of necessity subordinated. despite the social crises among the landholders. some shugo. In painting as well as sculpture. Therefore. In particular. Thus. they borrowed money at high rates of interest from rich moneylenders. Thus. and many were forced to surrender their holdings when unable to repay their loans. The bakufu responded with debt-cancellation edicts. Buddhist themes began to give way to more secular works. Chinese styles of the Sung dynasty also influenced Kamakura wood carving. the gap between rich and poor became marked among the bakufu. At the same time. attempted to turn resident landlords into their vassals. They had borne virtually all the expense of military service against the Mongols. Power thus became concentrated in the head of the house. in the « In the visual arts the carving of wooden images of famous monks flourished.
but the decisive victory was brought about by the two powerful Kant warrior families of Ashikaga Takauji and Nitta Yoshisada. the entire authority of the imperial government was concentrated in the hands of a single emperor. and Shimazu families were among the most powerful among these. further alienating other vassal houses. and he was arrested and exiled to Oki Island. who strove to renovate the government. The occasion was provided by the question of the imperial succession.structure of the Kamakura regime began to unravel. GoDaigo. Cultivators as well took advantage of unsettled times to rise up against jit or sh en proprietors. the main H j house turned increasingly inward and autocratic. began to challenge the authority of the H j regents in the bakufu. But to realize his ideal of a true imperial restoration. aggrieved peasants. In addition. In the last half of the century. The imperial forces were led by Prince Morinaga (or Moriyoshi) and Kusunoki Masashige. Subsequently. Sasaki. raised an army to overthrow the bakufu. the bakufu found it difficult to suppress. nominally Kamakura vassals. When the And family raised a revolt in Mutsu province at the end of the Kamakura period. partly because of the remoteness of the site of the uprising. The Adachi family was forced into revolt and defeated by the H j in 1285. shaken also by the disputes between the H j family and the rival shugo. seizing crops or otherwise disturbing local order. the bakufu government was brought to an end. The Ashikaga. discontented vassals of the H j family. at which time most of the H j leaders perished in battle or by their own hand. along with other warrior houses accused of plotting with them. But in the Kinai area. and ordinary robbers. These accumulating weaknesses of the bakufu prompted a movement among the Ky to nobility to regain political power from the military. The Muromachi (or Ashikaga) period (1338±1573) The Kemmu Restoration and the dual dynasties On the accession of Go-Daigo. His plans for its overthrow were discovered. Finally. Buffeted by economic changes beyond its control. local warriors with grievances increasingly took the law into their own hands. Thus. after 140 years' rule. As a result. pirates. in 1318 Prince Takaharu of the junior line acceded to the throne as the emperor Go-Daigo. . In 1333 Takauji turned on the H j and attacked the H j headquarters in Ky to. however. In the mid-13th century two competing lines for the succession emerged²the senior line centred on the Jimy Temple in Ky to and the junior line centred on the Daikaku Temple on the western edge of the city. In 1317 Kamakura proposed a compromise that would allow the two lines to alternate the succession. supported by militant Buddhist monks. they included many different elements: frustrated local warriors. A party of young reforming court nobles gathered around the emperor. local leaders. Sh ni. the retired emperor Go-Uda broke the long-established custom and dissolved the office of retired emperor (in no ch ). each side sought to win the support of the bakufu. But the dispute did not cease. regional unions of small landlords developed in the Kinai (the five home provinces centered around Ky to). Yoshisada meanwhile destroyed the bakufu in Kamakura. and powerful local magnates. the bakufu began to totter. it was necessary for Go-Daigo to rid himself of the interference of the bakufu. Elsewhere as well. Termed akut by the authorities.
however. attacked and destroyed the great shugo uchi Yoshihiro. Yoshimitsu. But in 1378 Takauji's grandson. moved the bakufu to the Muromachi district in Ky to. however. Throughout the long dispute. Many local warriors. and also reestablished trade and diplomacy with Ming dynasty China under the title ³King of Japan.´ Muromachi government structure . assisted by the successive shogunal deputies (kanrei) Hosokawa Yoriyuki and Shiba Yoshimasa. The establishment of the Muromachi bakufu y Important Japanese historical sites. He abolished the powerful office of kampaku and set up a central bureaucracy. Ashikaga Takauji now turned against Go-Daigo.The return of Go-Daigo to Ky to in 1333 is known as the Kemmu Restoration. while Go-Daigo and his followers set up a rival court in the Yoshino Mountains near Nara. raising a revolt that in 1336 drove the emperor from Ky to. gradually overcame the power of the great military governors (shugo) who had been so important in the founding of the new regime. and. Ashikaga Takauji set up a bakufu at Nij Takakura in Ky to. where it remained and took final shape. see below The establishment of warrior culture) northeast of the capital in Kitayama. He constructed the famed Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji. After the withdrawal of Go-Daigo to Yoshino. in uniting the Northern and Southern courts. It remained for Takauji's grandson Yoshimitsu to establish peace (1392) between the two courts. Takauji enthroned an emperor from the senior imperial line. He destroyed the Yamana family in 1391. taking great pride in its luxurious display. He revived the Records Office (Kirokusho) to settle lawsuits in the provinces and established the Court of Miscellaneous Claims (Zassho Ketsudansho) to handle minor suits and a guard station (musha-dokoro) to keep order among the warriors in Ky to. who had joined the imperial forces in the overthrow of the bakufu were disappointed in the division of the spoils and the direction of the emperor's reforms. thereafter. the shogun Yoshimitsu. local warriors attached themselves to shugo. He placed Morinaga in charge of his military forces and set up members of the imperial family as provincial leaders in the north and east. thus gaining control of the Inland Sea. who increasingly asserted their independence from central authority. For the next 60 years political power was divided between the Southern Court in Yoshino and the Northern Court in Ky to. The emperor immediately set about to restore direct imperial rule. imperial succession remained with the descendants of the Northern Court. Yoshimitsu was now raised to the highest office of prime minister. or daj -daijin.
who were hereditary retainers of the Ashikaga. however. Appointed first by Takauji in the chaos of the war between the courts. the controlling power of the Ashikaga bakufu was . In local administration. also was not fully effective in meeting financial needs. many rose to positions of great power in one or several provinces under their purview. according to bakufu needs. and they often sent out deputies to manage their provincial areas in their absence. or hanzei. and half their yearly taxes were given to the shugo. was the difference in the role of the shugo. their executive power over the areas under their control was increased. The foundations of the bakufu began to be shaken by the increasing power of the shugo and by the frequent uprisings of local samurai and farmers. Monch jo. who were among the wealthiest merchants of the time. Yoshimitsu made them all establish primary residence in Ky to. they gained wide powers of military command. and the Ashikaga maintained their own private guard. apprehending murderers. This office came to be held by heads of the Ashikaga Motouji family. Despite this more diversified tax structure. But after the appointment of Hosokawa Yoriyuki as kanrei. In the Kamakura period the authority of the shugo was essentially limited to security matters²suppressing rebellion. From the outset. the h k sh . New offices were established to streamline judicial decisions and handle financial matters. This retarded their abilities to develop stronger vassalage ties with local warriors in their provinces. this. where they ruled in council with the shogun. came to inherit this office. The finances of the Muromachi bakufu could not be met simply from its receipts from the lands under its direct control. the shugo and jit of each province were ordered to levy monetary taxes on either every unit of land or every household. as Kamakura had managed to do. The Samurai-dokoro.The Muromachi bakufu inherited almost unchanged the structure of its Kamakura predecessor (see above The establishment of warrior government). Consequently. As the number of disturbances grew. The official business of the Mandokoro was to control the finances of the bakufu. setting up a Mandokoro. in later years many powerful shugo from the early and middle parts of the Muromachi period were overthrown by their own deputies. the shugo was the defining office of the Muromachi regime. But the structure of the bakufu was essentially a delicate balance between the Ashikaga shogunal house and about a dozen major shugo houses. The crucial difference between the two bakufu. This was called the equal tax division. and mustering out vassals for service in Ky to. besides handling legal judgments. In the latter half of the Northern and Southern courts period. their number had been reduced and their powers somewhat curtailed. Sometimes estates were made depots for military supplies on the pretext of protecting them from the depredations of local warriors. Leading officials called shoshi who held the additional post of shugo of Yamashiro province (now in Ky to urban prefecture) were next in importance to the kanrei. Financial deficiencies also were supplemented by trading with China. the Muromachi regime maintained only a shaky hold on the nation. The 11 provinces of Kyushu were placed under control of an office known as the Kyushu tandai. By Yoshimitsu's time. and Samurai-dokoro. this post became the most important in the bakufu government. and in cases such as that of the Yamana family a single shugo sometimes held a number of provinces. As a result. the bakufu extracted taxes from such dealers as pawnbrokers and sake brewers. If the primary agent of the Kamakura bakufu had been the jit . a special administrator was set up in Kamakura to control the 10 provinces of the Kant area. and later the Ise family. Many shugo succeeded to their domains by inheritance. almost evenly divided between collateral Ashikaga houses and nonrelated warrior families. was entrusted with the control of the capital. however. So.
Yoshimitsu. These smaller landlords endeavoured to defend themselves against the ravages of local warfare. A large-scale uprising of this kind took place in 1428 in the last years of Yoshimitsu's rule. Thereafter. Trade between China and Japan Trade with Ming dynasty China began after the bakufu agreed to suppress Japanese piracy. a leader called the elder (otona) would be selected to head village government. Hence. hoping to suppress piracy. As self-government became strong in the communities. In such confederations. the resistance of farmers became fierce. as time passed the office of shogun became increasingly impotent. ³King of Japan. Assemblies were held regularly among its members at the village shrine or temple. hence the use of the term kang . trade. and Sakai. The growth of local autonomy In the villages around Ky to. In response. After . repatriating a large number of Chinese who had been taken captive by the pirates. the Ming also began to trade with Japan. confederations of the middle and small landlords. they both requested that the bakufu open formal trade relations. Such confederations appeared where farming by the larger my shu had dissolved and middle and small my shu had established themselves on a wide scale. In 1429 an uprising broke out in Harima province (now part of modern Hy g prefecture) aimed at the expulsion of the warriors from the province. armed uprisings broke out among the farming villages. the status of farmers rose markedly as agriculture became more highly developed. and. and pirates from the maritime districts of western Japan raided both China and the Korean peninsula. In order to distinguish between pirate ships and trading ships. under whose protection trading merchants became active in the ports of Hakata. Hy go. under the form of tribute from Yoshimitsu. or my shu. seals received from the Ming called kang fu were used. uprisings occurred on a greater or lesser scale almost yearly²testimony to the fading power of both the sh en system and the bakufu. and commerce and small-scale manufacturing prospered. especially after the death of Yoshimitsu.relatively weak. Ashikaga Takauji had sent ships of the Tenry Temple to trade with the Yüan (Mongol) dynasty.´ to the emperor of China. Also. Profits from the China trade were important to the bakufu. But trade then ceased because of the internal disturbances. and regulations were drawn up for the maintenance of community life. proceeded apace and often led to uprisings against absentee control. but control of this trade later came into the hands of the western shugo families of the Hosokawa and uchi. In 1441 farmers living around Ky to attacked the pawnbrokers and demanded that the bakufu declare a moratorium on debts. forming unions to manage the forests in common and to maintain irrigation works. After the unification of the Northern and Southern courts. both in response to the desires of the merchants and in order to supplement bakufu finances. the tendency for powerful shugo to defect became marked. the peasants demanding reductions in yearly taxes from the old proprietors and a moratorium on debts owed to the moneylenders. or tally. When Korea came under the control of the Chos n (Yi) dynasty and in China the Ming dynasty emerged. began formal trade relations with Ming China and Korea.
Old traditions were destroyed. and dye materials. Such men frequently established themselves as domain lords (daimyo) during the disturbances. and large numbers of citizens fled the city. paying little attention to matters of government. recovered its power. and real power came into the hands of the chief administrators of the Hosokawa family (1490±1558). but the fighting spread to the provinces. and other special products from the South Seas. As a result. Indeed. assisted by the uchi family. Trade with Chos n dynasty Korea was carried on through the agency of the S family of Tsushima. 36 representatives of the local warriors of southern Yamashiro province met in the By d Temple at Uji and successfully demanded the withdrawal of the two Hatakeyama armies. Japanese traders even established settlements in southeastern Korea. but from the ashes a new culture was born. including Pusan. The eastern army had the advantage of the support of both the emperor and the shogun. or ³acts of grace. in any event. Destruction around Ky to was severe. The leaders of these uprisings were local samurai with village roots. but the western army. for example. the uchi controlled the trade²albeit in competition and often conflict with the Hosokawa²but with the destruction of the uchi the kang trade ceased and piracy again became rife. During this constant warfare. had been declining. and fighting raged mainly in and around Ky to. But when he later fathered a child a serious dispute arose over control of the Ashikaga family. The nin War (1467±77) During the rule of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa a general civil war broke out in the area around Ky to. and various shugo and the merchants of Hakata were actively involved in it. fighting broke out between the ³eastern´ army of the Hosokawa party and the ³western´ army of the Yamana faction. This migration of aristocrats and priests functioned to diffuse the higher culture of the capital to the provinces. the civil aristocracy and temple complexes lost much of their income from sh en. They formed associations and often mounted uprisings that extended over an entire province and challenged the great shugo. As a result. Shiba and Hatakeyama. importing cotton and other goods. ultimately turned his back on a troubled world and built a detached residence²the Silver Pavilion (Ginkaku-ji)²in the Higashiyama section of Ky to. The two chief administrators. Many of them left the capital. The political power of the bakufu thus became virtually nonexistent. . pepper. The shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa. the first year of the nin era. moving to Sakai or Nara or even taking up residence in the castle towns under the protection of local daimyo. In the autumn of 1485. many large temples and residences were burned. with Hosokawa Katsumoto and Yamana S zen (Yamana Mochitoyo) at the head. severe famines engendered rebellion nearly every autumn. caused by economic distress and precipitated by a dispute over the shogunal succession. Also included in the trade with China and Korea were goods imported by Japanese merchants from the Ryukyu Islands. lying between Japan and Taiwan.´ Lacking children of his own. and most of the remaining shugo also took sides in the power dispute. farming villages held conferences and frequently mounted armed uprisings in self-defense. for example. where he lived in elegance and refinement. which. and it is said that during his term as shogun Yoshimasa issued 13 edicts for the cancellation of debts known as tokuseirei. After 11 years the war itself ended.the nin War (see below The nin War [1467±77]). Yoshimasa at first proposed that his younger brother should succeed him. southern Yamashiro became self-governing for more than eight years. In 1467.
the Miyoshi family (1558±65). In principle. Until the first half of the 16th century. These provincial laws. To concentrate their power they also readjusted the disposition of local fortified strongholds. In large cities such as Ky to. specialized in dealings with distant areas. for example. the Matsunaga family (1565±68). fish. commodity exchange markets were set up to handle huge quantities of rice. the provinces held by the daimyo were almost completely free of bakufu control. the previous shugo almost completely disappeared from Ky to and the surrounding provinces. also built irrigation dikes and opened new rice fields in order to stimulate production. a new type of domain lord. In farming villages the daimyo. and in many instances deputies of great shugo houses usurped the domains of their superiors. also included regulations for farmers and applied strict controls over retainers. Periodic markets also sprang up throughout the country. to administer their own territories. and reorganized roads and post stations to centre on their castle towns (j kamachi).In the 16th century actual power devolved into the hands of their retainers. During this period. in addition to carrying out detailed land surveys. called bunkoku-h . named for a somewhat similar period in ancient Chinese history. Because of this tendency for ³inferiors to overcome superiors´ (gekokuj ). daimyo in the various localities were thus building up strong military bases. while drawing on the precedent of warrior codes of the J ei Formulary. and branch families seized power from main families. The daimyo turned local leaders into their retainers. inheritance by retainers was restricted to the main heir alone. The Sengoku (³Warring States´) period The emergence of new forces. The circulation of coined money also became . retainers overthrew their overlords. and the lord's permission was necessary for his vassals to inherit property or to marry. y Important Japanese historical sites. salt. After the nin War. Despite the obstructions of customs barriers (erected by both bakufu and private interests). the daimyo. and uchi issued their own laws. took their place. until it was finally usurped by their own retainers. it is called the Sengoku (³Warring States´) period. or toiya. Daimyo such as the Imagawa. Since this time was marked by constant warfare among many such lords. Date. Commerce and towns made marked development at this time in Japan's history. and other goods. the power of independent local leaders increased markedly. products from all parts of the country were available in these markets. wholesalers. gathered their retainers into castles. taking away their independence by enforcing land surveys and directly controlling the farming villages.
After missionary work for more than two years. and there were cases in which merchant ships would not enter the ports of daimyo who did not show good will toward missionary activity. brokers. and other towns sprang up outside the gates of major temples and shrines. but in addition to the various kinds of copper coin imported from China of the Sung.vigorous. The arrival of the Europeans As the warring daimyo carved out their territories. towns naturally grew up around the castles of the daimyo. and town elders (otona) were chosen to carry on local government through assemblies. This new technology. markets were opened outside the castle walls. Thus. Harbour towns (minato machi) such as Sakai. Suruga and Obama on the Sea of Japan. . Arima Harunobu. the daimyo of the Sengoku era. protected Christianity. Yüan. next to Ky to and Nara. seeking profits of foreign trade and the acquisition of military equipment and supplies. privately minted coins also circulated within the country. Hy go. Among the cities of the time. and merchants and artisans gathered there to live. As the castles shifted from serving as defensive mountain fortresses to administrative strongholds in the plains. The Jesuit missionaries (see below) compared Sakai to the free cities of Europe in the Middle Ages and described its flourishing condition in their reports. and Kuwana and minato on Ise Bay also flourished as exchange centres. Besides these. let alone control overseas trade. and wholesale merchants were leading townsmen (machishu). Three Kyushu Christian lords² tomo S rin. Muromachi guilds showed a strong monopolistic tendency in trying to protect themselves against new-style merchants who emerged. revolutionized warfare in Japan. for example. They maintained soldiers and constructed moats and other defenses. It was at this point in Japanese history that the Spanish and Portuguese made their appearance in the archipelago. In the trading port of Sakai. and the art of musket construction they passed on at this time immediately spread to Sakai and other places. Japanese marauders in association with Chinese pirates again became active. In 1549 the Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier arrived in Kagoshima. and Odawara of the later H j . they resisted their domination. while new guilds were set up in the castle towns under the direct control of the daimyo. and Ming dynasties. but thereafter Jesuit missionaries arrived continuously. Farmers also increasingly became converts. such as Naoetsu of the Uesugi family. Further. giving rise to confusion of exchange rates. Ichij dani of the Asakura family. Sake brewers. and while profiting from the confrontation between daimyo. The missionaries utilized trade in goods from the Portuguese ships to propagate Christianity. an assembly of 36 men drawn from the wholesale guilds administered the city. and mura Sumitada²even sent an embassy to Rome. in part because of the influence of the social relief work and medical aid that accompanied missionary activity. Uji-Yamada. neither emperor nor shogun was able to govern the domestic scene. he left Japan. These were the first Europeans to arrive in Japan. and Onomichi on the Inland Sea. eagerly sought by the daimyo. off southern Kyushu. The bakufu and daimyo issued laws to prohibit people from hoarding good coins but with little success. In 1543 several Portuguese were shipwrecked on the island of Tanega. Some daimyo became Christian converts. Sakamoto. Yamaguchi of the uchi family.
to the Shint shrines at Ise. which flourished in the Gozan monasteries (the five most important Zen monasteries) in Ky to. while its upper story is in the kara (³Chinese´) style of the Zen school. the Golden Pavilion is built in the Japanese shinden style (a style of mansion construction developed in the Heian period) in its first and second stories. Higashiyama culture also spurred the development of a new culture centred on the townspeople of Ky to and Sakai and was as well the forerunner of the Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo cultures. was one of an even deeper Zen flavour and showed a refined appreciation of simplicity and quiet profundity. where the Hongan Temple was reestablished and achieved its golden age. however. Yüan. following the destruction caused by the nin War. In contrast. Yoshimasa's Silver Pavilion and its garden in eastern Ky to (now part of the Jish Temple) truly reflect Higashiyama (³Eastern Mountain´) culture. who propagated his own special form of teaching. and consequently they ceased to prosper as the bakufu declined. Renga (linked verse) and n drama flourished. His base. the latter perhaps best known for the work of the monk Ikky . While adopted by the daimyo. was attacked and burned. In Buddhism. Destroyed by an arsonist in 1950 and rebuilt in 1955. it is now officially called the Rokuon Temple and is located in northwestern Ky to. Gozan monks advised the bakufu in matters of government. by the still-powerful Enryaku Temple. especially the culture associated with Zen Buddhism. when scholarship and the arts flourished in the five Zen monasteries of Ky to under shogunal patronage.The establishment of warrior culture While absorbing the traditional culture of the civil aristocracy. Facing a garden of refined elegance. with silver) and its serene surroundings²in marked contrast to the ostentation of the Golden Pavilion²represent the essence of this polished cultural style. This somber temple (never covered. Thus Kitayama culture. the Hokke (Lotus) sect continued to gain adherents among warriors and merchants. retained much of the earlier native aristocratic culture. The era of the shogun Yoshimasa. and wrote poetry and prose in the Chinese style. it was during this time that the custom of pilgrimages to the holy places of the Buddhist deity Kannon. Rennyo was forced to flee north to the coast of the Sea of Japan. The Muromachi shogunal family (the Ashikaga) gave special protection to followers of the priest Mus Soseki of this sect. the My shin and Daitoku temples²also of the Rinzai sect but outside the Gozan system²rose to prominence. the new Rinzai Zen sect had been especially favoured by high-ranking warrior houses. diplomacy. the great ancient temples like the Enryaku Temple became mere shadows of their former greatness with the gradual diminution of their sh en. Since the Kamakura period. It was during this period that Rennyo (1415±99) of the Shin (True) sect of Pure Land Buddhism rose to prominence. and Ming dynasties. the Hongan Temple in Ky to. and culture. But the Gozan monasteries became somewhat vulgarized because of their excessive links with the political world. they studied the Neo-Confucian philosophy of Chu Hsi that came from China along with Zen. as planned. While also persecuted by longestablished temples. published books. where he established a school at Yoshizaki. and to the summit of Mount . Moreover. thus fashioning a new warrior culture. The essence of this culture found concrete expression in Yoshimitsu's Golden Pavilion at Kitayama (³Northern Mountain´). teaching his principles in simple phrases. He then returned to the capital area. the warrior houses that established themselves in Ky to during Muromachi times also introduced the continental culture of the Sung. This process began with the golden age of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu at the end of the 14th century. while absorbing new Zen influences from China.
the free-style verse called haikai was born. under the patronage of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. he believed that only a deep religious faith in Shint could cure the people of their despondency. but renga (linked verse) became ever more popular and was enjoyed by the warriors and the common people alike. Based on themes from the everyday life of the common people. Japan. y The middle gate of the Grand Shrine of Kasuga. especially because they satirized the upper class. Accompanying this trend was the development of a worldly Shint belief. y Shoin-zukuri interior in the Ginkaku Temple. and lost its freshness. which developed from the comic elements of an older form of entertainment called sarugaku. the shoin had several distinctive features: an entrance called a genkan. straw mats called tatami laid out over the entire floor of the room. Traditional Japanese waka verse was still composed. Ky to. In the arts the n drama developed in the Kamakura period out of the older tradition of agricultural festival dances. Ky gen (dialogue plays with dance). and an alcove (tokonoma) and shelves at different levels (chigai-dana) for displaying works of art. showing a chigai-dana (left « As Zen prospered.Fuji also became popular. paper-covered sliding partitions (shoji) between rooms. becoming the foundation of present-day Japanese domestic architecture. Nara. Four such actor guilds were attached to the K fuku Temple and the Kasuga Shrine of Yamato province (present Nara prefecture). they laid the foundations for a flourishing n drama. hence. and guilds (za) were formed to serve at the ceremonies of temples and shrines and at funeral services. from which came the father and son Kan'ami and Zeami Motokiyo. the shoin architectural style closely connected with this school was widely adopted by both warriors and civil aristocrats in the construction of their residences. After a time. even renga became overly formal. The custom of hanging a . as the waka had. ky gen were widely appreciated by them. In the 15th century the scholar Yoshida Kanetomo attempted to free Shint shrines from Buddhist control. Originally a room in which monks read the Buddhist scriptures. establishing the guidelines for performance and bequeathing many texts. however. were performed in the intervals of n drama.
the tea ceremony. and the picture-scrolls lost their freshness. being easy to read. eager to enhance their dignity as lords by building . The development of the tea ceremony stimulated new forms in tearoom architecture. This new form spread among the warriors and great merchants and was further stylized by the Sakai merchant Takeno J . and renga. the increased interest in Zen led to the introduction of monochrome painting in the Sung and Yüan style by the Gozan monks. introduced from Sung China by the Zen priest Eisai in the Kamakura period. Fairy tales were also widely enjoyed. pottery. delight was taken in adding the Zen mood of retreat from the world to the old shinden style. and included stories that had been related among the people since ancient times. came to enjoy n and ky gen dramas. and new ones arose. y The sukiya-style Tai-an tea room. flowers. even more symbolic gardens were constructed using arrangements only of stones. These became popular not only among the children of the nobility and warriors but also among those of the townspeople who were educated in temples and shrines. Muromachi fiction celebrated the life of the burgeoning artisan and merchant classes.monochrome painting in the tokonoma and placing flowers or an incense bowl before it also became popular at this time. a man of merchant background from Nara. By the time of Yoshimasa. however. portion of a hand scroll in the suiboku-ga « The carving of images of the Buddha and the Buddhist paintings that had flourished in the Kamakura period declined in later Muromachi times. so. In the time of the shogun Yoshimasa. the great painter Sessh broke away from imitation of Chinese models and opened new frontiers in monochrome paintings. making symbolic use of streams. In the construction of gardens. spread among warriors and even common people from the mid-14th century. The Higashiyama cultural tradition was further diffused among the common people. began the wabi-cha form of tea ceremony by bringing together the cha-no-yu of the civil aristocracy and the cha-yoriai of the common people. Murata Shuk . Local daimyo also promoted culture within their domains. Later. did the ancient sects themselves. too. and even the Japanese cakes served with tea. and as the levels of wealth and education of urban merchants and artisans rose. and bushes. In their place. flower arrangement. raked sand. too. y Ama-no-Hashidate. and gravel. they. The father and son Kan Masanobu and Kan Motonobu introduced the gentle forms of Yamato-e to monochrome painting and became the founders of the new Kan school. Yamato-e painting also declined. used for the tea « Tea drinking.
by trying to seize control of the whole country. That. he at first recognized them. the political centre of Japan since ancient times. he established control by dividing his new domain among his commanders. These powerful daimyo were harassed not only by each other but also by the rise of common people within their domains. waged against both other daimyo and recalcitrant religious communities. shrines. finally. and local landlords (kokujin). In the Kinai district. Oda was a military genius. Cadastral surveys aimed at strengthening feudal landownership were at this stage carried out not so much to gain control over the complicated landholding and taxation system of the farmers as to define the size of fiefs (chigy ) of Nobunaga's retainers in order to confirm the extent of their military services and obligations to him. where Nobunaga's conquered territory was centred. The daimyo sought to resolve their dilemma by acquiring land and people to widen their domains and. required the control of Ky to. The emergence of Nobunaga's regime reversed the feudal disintegration of the previous century and moved the country toward unification. Out of these bloody struggles emerged one Sengoku daimyo. regarding them as an important adjunct to the strengthening of his military power and using them as followers in his battles for unification. Takeshi ToyodaG. moved into an even fiercer stage of mutual conflict. led to a great redrawing of the political map of Japan. it gave Japan some of its most distinctive cultural institutions. His bold wars of suppression. while warfare was rife in the Muromachi period.temples and shrines in their castle towns and by employing artists and scholars who helped spread the culture of Ky to. In the 1550±60 period the Sengoku daimyo. . who succeeded in occupying the capital as the first feudal unifier. however. previously split up among daimyo throughout the country. Oda Nobunaga of Owari province (in modern Aichi prefecture). Rather than completely abrogating the long-established privileges of the temples. who had survived the wars of the previous 100 years. of course. who was the first to successfully adapt firearms to Japanese warfare. Cameron Hurst III Early modern Japan (1550±1850) Unification The Oda regime y Important Japanese historical sites. Thus.
and he soon rose to become one of Nobunaga's most powerful commanders. especially several major Buddhist temples. on the actual product of the land. to Tokugawa Ieyasu. firmly establishing himself as successor. but unification was hampered because of resistance from old political forces. Unification proceeded further during the era of Nobunaga's successor. built in the 14th century by the Akamatsu family. At the core of Hideyoshi's unification policy was its firm establishment in the principle of the separation between warriors and peasants.Nobunaga's unification policy was predicated on a separation of warriors from the farmers. the kokudaka system also applied to the landholdings of the daimyo for distribution among their retainers. The former sh en system of complex landholding had been obliterated by Sengoku daimyo. A koku represented the amount of rice consumed . The ³reward´ forced Ieyasu to move to Edo (modern Tokyo). As an example of Hideyoshi's shrewd judgment. Taik was a traditional title for the former office of kampaku (chancellor) which Hideyoshi assumed in 1591. Japan. whereas Hideyoshi was the son of a peasant from the same province. Hideyoshi proceeded to unify the whole country at a rapid pace. which had been its power base. being completed just before Hideyoshi's death. formerly controlled by the H j family. Landowning relations were now based on kokudaka²i. In place of previous land taxes (nengu) assessed in money as so many hundred or ten thousand kan of silver. Like Nobunaga. the disarmament of the peasantry. in fact. The Hideyoshi regime y Himeji Castle. nominally as a reward for distinguished service. « Nobunaga's father was a minor Owari daimyo. a stratagem to remove the Tokugawa family from the Ch bu region around modern-day Nagoya. an assessment of kokudaka was made as so many hundred or ten thousand koku of rice. Hideyoshi impressed all with his brilliant talents. and by 1590 all Japan²from Kyushu in the southwest to T hoku in the northeast²had come under his control. In addition to this definition of the rights held by the farming population.e. and the separation of the classes. Hy go prefecture. The Taik land survey was carried out throughout the country from 1583 to 1598. he gave the Kant domain. Following in Nobunaga's footsteps. After entering Nobunaga's service. Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi adopted several major policies to accomplish this end: a comprehensive land survey (kenchi). After Nobunaga's death²his vassal Akechi Mitsuhide assassinated him²Hideyoshi eliminated many rivals by relying on his superb political judgment and shrewd actions. Hideyoshi felt constrained by lineage not to make himself shogun and thus sought other titles to legitimize his rule. the complicated relationships of rights to landownership that had developed since the Kamakura period were now clarified.. Moreover. this was. this kokudaka now came within the landlord's grasp in every village. As a result of this survey. The so-called Taik land survey played a crucial role in this process. and land taxes were levied on the village as a unit.
Hideyori. amounted to more than 2. The provincial daimyo all submitted to Hideyoshi's regime. which had already virtually disappeared under the onslaught of the Sengoku daimyo. however. artisans. a register was drawn up in every village. was established throughout the country. peasants were thus tied more closely to the land. These two illadvised adventures were designed to bring China under Hideyoshi's sway and to provide an outlet for tens of thousands of warlike samurai only recently²and loosely²brought under Hideyoshi's vassalage. four-fifths of these were managed by officials known as gundai and daikan. the kurairechi (lands under its direct control). As part of the process. these lands were in many cases divided among the distant. The political structure of the Hideyoshi regime was not yet fully sufficient. The ordinance required that peasants remain in villages and not flee to cities. Such lands were thus not firmly in the grasp of the regime. the lands that later came under the direct control of the Tokugawa shogunate amounted to more than four million koku. farmers. Hideyoshi's regime collapsed on the failure of the second Korean expedition and as the direct result of Hideyoshi's subsequent death. or nearly double those of the Hideyoshi regime. and the management of these lands was entrusted to them. allowing for easier exploitation. independent tozama (³outside´) daimyo. the Taik land survey delivered the final blow to the sh en system of manorial holdings. and merchants. This limitation of Hideyoshi's regime gave rise to internal power struggles and finally drove Hideyoshi to such reckless actions as the invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597. In return for a certain security of tenure. Azuchi-Momoyama culture . But aside from those in the metropolitan and surrounding provinces. it also forbade artisans and merchants from residing in villages. which attempted to disarm the peasantry and melt the confiscated arms into an enormous statue of the Buddha. and Tokugawa Ieyasu emerged as the strongest candidate to succeed him. Hideyoshi's so-called ³sword hunt´ (katana-gari) of 1588. in return. which were the immediate financial base of the regime. alliance-like relationship between Nobunaga and the former Sengoku daimyo was replaced by a clear lord-vassal relationship. and the more egalitarian. By contrast. Peasants had their rights as cultivators recognized to the extent that their land was duly registered. based on the kokudaka assessment. to be the unified governing authority for the whole country. Hideyoshi failed to bequeath his power to his heir. the amount also was used as a standard on which military services were levied in proportion. who were direct retainers of the shogunate. nearly one-eighth of Japan's cultivated land. was an important prerequisite for this policy. thus extending Nobunaga's attempt to separate warriors and farmers into a socialclass system of warriors. The feudal chigy system.by one person in one year (about five bushels). they were bound to pay land taxes in rice and were forbidden to neglect the cultivation of their fields or to move elsewhere. For example. with only a fifth entrusted to daimyo.2 million koku by the time of Hideyoshi's death. The promulgation of an order of socialstatus control in 1591 prohibited warriors from taking up farming and forbade other daimyo from employing a samurai who left his master. With the establishment of the kokudaka system.
Hideyoshi extended his patronage to the tea master Sen no Riky . Both men collected valuable tea bowls. overlooking Lake Biwa at Hikone. produced colourful pictures of animals and landscapes. fusuma (sliding doors). Characterized by rich pigments on reflective. surrounded by wide moats and topped by graceful ramparts and donjons²that dotted the landscape between the 1580s and 1630s. and other implements associated with the rituals of the ceremony. simply. silk decorated with a design « The castles were often filled with items reflecting the personalities of the rulers. and Hideyoshi favoured enormous social events. Not always devoted to ostentation. The bakuhan system The establishment of the system . Momoyama paintings provide a vivid contrast to the somber tones of the monochrome paintings of the Muromachi era. southeast of Ky to. it is characterized by gaudy splendour celebrating the ego of the two great rulers. the figure from whom all current tea masters trace their lineage. saka. drawing on the old Yamato-e style. In particular. since they represent both the European priests and traders² referred to as ³southern barbarians´ since they had entered Japan from the South Seas²of the day and their magnificent ships. an Azuchi-Momoyama-style building « Cultural historians often refer to the last few decades of this era as the Azuchi-Momoyama period.y Goten (³palace´) of Nijo Castle. Riky brought the tea ceremony to new heights before he was forced to commit suicide by the impetuous Hideyoshi in 1591. Momoyama culture is noted for the magnificent standing screens. such as the massive tea party scheduled to last for several days in Ky to in 1587. Often abbreviated as. Hiroshima. Many of the associated castle towns were the forerunners of Japan's present provincial capitals (e. these paintings are thought to have enhanced the poor illumination in the massive rooms of these castles. and Matsuyama). especially the tea ceremony (cha-no-yu).g. Whatever the reason for the strikingly rich colours and great reliance on gold. and wall paintings of a monumental nature that decorated the castles. The defining feature of the age is the castles ²magnificent structures of stone. A specific genre within this tradition is often referred to as namban (³southern barbarian´) pictures. Kanazawa. Ky to. Artists of the Kan school. y Kosode (short-sleeved robe). and Hideyoshi's magnificent edifice in the Momoyama district. taking the name from Oda Nobunaga's massive fortress at Azuchi. gold-leaf backgrounds. Nobunaga and Hideyoshi spent great amounts of time and money indulging their cultural proclivities. Okayama.. the Momoyama period. caddies.
launching him on his course of unification. When. Assuming the title shogun. Oda Nobunaga destroyed the Imagawa family in the Battle of Okehazama. possessing. y Gate of Sunlight (Yomei-mon) of the T sh Shrine. he exercised firm control over the remaining daimyo at this time. Ieyasu at first opposed him. he dispossessed. in addition to his home province of Mikawa. the highest officers of the Hideyoshi regime. Furthermore. were the Matsudaira. and. After his father's death Ieyasu was sent to the Imagawa family and spent 12 years there under detention. where Ieyasu won a decisive victory and established his national supremacy. As Oda's ally. Kai (Yamanashi prefecture). Ieyasu had seen the failure of both Nobunaga and Hideyoshi to consolidate a lasting regime. Hirotada. Ieyasu returned to Okazaki in Mikawa and brought this province under his control.y Important Japanese historical sites. or transferred a large number of daimyo who opposed him. he became chief of the five tair (senior ministers). But when they were attacked and defeated by the powerful Oda family from the west. was killed. or he reserved them as Tokugawa house domains. Hideyoshi's son . the four provinces of Suruga and T t mi (modern Shizuoka prefecture). Their confiscated lands he either gave to relatives and Tokugawa family retainers to establish them as daimyo and to increase their holdings. the founder of the Edo bakufu. he guarded the rear for the advance on Ky to. The ancestors of Tokugawa Ieyasu. reduced. and in 1603 he set up the Edo bakufu (more commonly known as the Tokugawa shogunate [1603±1867]) to legalize this position. rising to be the most powerful daimyo among Hideyoshi's vassals. and he thereafter fought his own military campaigns. Ieyasu was finally released. But he then submitted. painted wood decorated with « When Hideyoshi seized power. After Hideyoshi's death the daimyo split between those supporting Hideyori and those siding with Ieyasu. and southern Shinano (Nagano prefecture). Ieyasu had earlier been sent to the Imagawa family as a hostage to cement an alliance but had been captured en route by the Oda family. in 1560. Matters came to a head at the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. a Sengoku daimyo family from the mountainous region of Mikawa province (in present Aichi prefecture) who had built up their base as daimyo by advancing into the plains of Mikawa. On the pretext of allotting rewards after Sekigahara. Ieyasu's father. By 1582 he was a powerful daimyo. advancing steadily eastward. carved.
saka. The bakufu also revised the Laws for the Military Houses and established a system called sankin k tai (alternative attendance). it was necessary for them to tighten this connection. literally a combination of bakufu and han (the domain of a daimyo)²reached its completion. The most important cities²Ky to. By reorganizations in 1633±42 the executive of the bakafu government was almost completed. and three million koku were distributed among the hatamoto and gokenin. a warrior had to control lands producing at least 10. Two years after the establishment of the bakufu. Immediately afterward. Tokugawa bakufu domains now amounted to more than seven million koku²about one-fourth of the whole country. this policy . the land belonged to the shogun. it had considerably greater financial resources than did the daimyo. or subdomains. thus increasing their dependence on the daimyo. Of these lands. In military strength as well. thus keeping the ³outside´ (tozama) lords in check. the domain administration (hansei) of the daimyo also progressively took shape. In 1616 Ieyasu died. the bakufu control policy advanced further until the bakuhan system²the government system of the Tokugawa shogunate. or go-on. In 1615 Ieyasu stormed and captured saka Castle. the island of Sado) also were placed under direct bakufu administration and used to control commerce. Ieyasu relinquished the post of shogun to his son Hidetada. industry. At the same time. it was also far more powerful than any individual daimyo. the succession already having been established. distributing the strategic districts of Kant . Kinki. more than four million koku were under its direct control. In theory. Precisely the same connection existed between the domain lords and their retainers. the Laws for the Military Houses (Buke Shohatto) and the Laws for the Imperial and Court Officials (Kinch Narabi ni Kuge Shohatto) were promulgated as the legal basis for bakufu control of the daimyo and the imperial court. the liege vassals to the bakufu. based on the feudal chigy system.000 koku. destroying Hideyori and the Toyotomi family. as represented by the offices of senior councillors (r j ). The system also forced the daimyo²especially the potentially dangerous tozama who lived farthest away²to spend large sums of money to support two separate administrative structures and trips to and from Edo. Confiscations and reductions of domains continued. the lands under the direct control of the bakufu also were increased at key points throughout the country. Iemitsu. In step with the structural organization of the bakufu as the supreme power. Under the second and third shoguns. In addition. junior councillors (wakadoshiyori).and heir Hideyori was reduced to the position of a daimyo of the Kinki ( saka area) district. because the bakufu declared a monopoly over foreign trade and alone had the right to issue currency. the daimyo incurred the obligation to provide military and other services to the shogun. In return. and wide-scale transfers of daimyo also took place. the daimyo were forced to assist in such public works as the construction of castles in the bakufu domains. and for the daimyo to concentrate and strengthen their rule. In addition. by which the daimyo were required to pay ceremonial visits to Edo every other year. In order to rank as a daimyo. and three commissioners (bugy ) for the temples and shrines of the country. and the treasury of the bakufu. and T kaid among the daimyo who were relatives and retainers of the bakufu. while their wives and children resided permanently in Edo as hostages. The relationship between the shogun and the daimyo was that of lord and vassal. Along with the rearrangement of the daimyo. the shogun's capital. Hidetada and his successor. In order to restrict the traditional right of their vassals to chigy . who divided this among the lords as a special favour. and Nagasaki²and mines (notably. retiring to Sumpu (modern city of Shizuoka) to devote himself to strengthening the foundations of the bakufu. and trade. thus being kept in financial difficulties. daimyo rewarded them instead with rice stipends (kuramai).
The Keian no Ofuregaki (³Proclamations of the Keian era´). generally called hyakush . who formed a guild and then distributed this silk to the domestic retail merchants. and he took steps to prohibit Christianity before his destruction of the Toyotomi family. the daimyo employed the same methods toward their own vassals as the bakufu used to control them. The inhabitants of towns and villages throughout the country were required to form goningumi (³five-household groups´). and hyakush dai²to carry out its functions. In this way. a special system for the purchase of silk was established: Chinese silk imported to Japan by Portuguese ships was sold at fixed prices to the powerful merchants of Ky to. made efforts to trade not only with the Portuguese Roman Catholics but also with Protestant Holland and England. The seeds of this policy had been sown in trade control and in measures against Christianity by the Nobunaga and Hideyoshi regimes. Ieyasu. Thus. or my shu. Eager for trade. to prevent offenses against the laws of their overlords. and housing. food. In 1604. although strongly attracted to trade as a source of national wealth and military strength. and the persecution of its . a three-tiered system of village officers was established²nanushi (or sh ya). or abandoning their land or from changing their occupation. however. or ³official silk´) prior to the guild's allotment and reaped a huge profit on releasing this to the domestic markets. which extended from the shogun through the daimyo to their retainers. to oceangoing merchant ships. The Taik land survey had recognized the rights of the peasants as actual cultivators of the land and made them responsible for taxes. Sakai. kumigashira. ³closed country´). minute restrictions were also placed on their attire. and Nagasaki. Hideyoshi. a hierarchical. protecting trade with the southern regions by granting special licenses. as they were. strengthening the economic base of the domain. Control over the agricultural populace was now further strengthened. Economic controls over peasants were further strengthened. Tokugawa villages thus differed from those of the preceding ages. Ieyasu was initially tolerant of Christian proselytization. But Ieyasu's encouragement of trade was aimed at establishing a bakufu trade monopoly. enjoyed a preferential purchase of a part of the imported silk (the goy ito. had issued an order for the exclusion of the missionaries. to foster joint responsibility for tax payment.increased the lands under the direct control of the daimyo. even more strongly attracted by profits. selling. or shuin-j (³red-seal license´). Since villages were now administrative units of the new regime. but later he came to fear that the Christians would join Hideyoshi's heir Hideyori to resist the bakufu. They were strictly prohibited from buying. ³feudal´ regime was established by means of the kokudaka system. for example. was a compendium of bakufu policies designed to control rural administration. with extracting the greatest possible tax yield. The Tokugawa villages were composed of a main core of small farmers. The enforcement of national seclusion The 1630s also marked an important dividing line in foreign relations with the issuance of a series of directives enforcing a policy of national seclusion. and to keep a general watch on one another. which had been controlled by local landlords. Ieyasu. or neighbourhood associations. concerned. the land surveys of the bakufu and the daimyo were much more detailed and precise. Similar in intent. Decrees prohibiting Christianity were promulgated in 1612 and 1614. later called sakoku (literally. promulgated by the bakufu in 1649. to provide one another with mutual assistance.
by law. but the distinction between the samurai and the other three classes was especially strict. Pax Tokugawa may have helped foster commerce and given rise to a unique popular culture. although this trade was restricted and confined to the island of Dejima at Nagasaki. if not to foreigners themselves. which was a severe blow to Japan's traders. it became official policy to stamp out Christianity even at the sacrifice of trade. the status of women was especially low. in 1635 Japanese were forbidden to make overseas voyages or to return to Japan from overseas. the seclusion policy was instrumental in enabling the Tokugawa bakufu to establish a prolonged peace of nearly 300 years. as absolute obedience was demanded from members of the family toward the house head (kach ). which every year had to guarantee that the parishioner was not a Christian. at length. but its impact on Japan was profound. In 1637. Symbolizing their dominance of society by force of arms. Certainly. . The bakufu having been hard-pressed to quell the rebellion. in resistance to heavy taxes and the prohibition of Christianity. This policy became manifest with the seclusion orders of the 1630s. the other classes were forbidden to wear them. Distinctions between the statuses of warriors. until. thus carrying the policies of Nobunaga and Hideyoshi to their logical conclusion. but it also was a narrowly chauvinistic culture with no international dimension. one viewpoint is that it produced in the Japanese a unique sense of insularity. samurai wore two swords. and the idea of danson-johi (³respect for the male. The establishment of a strict class structure of warriors. farmers. and merchants were strictly enforced. Amakusa Shiro. Forming barely 7 percent of Japan's total population. and merchants (shi-n k -sh ) represents the final consummation of the system. The system of registration at Buddhist temples was instituted: all Japanese were required to register as parishioners to a parent Buddhist temple. a Christian masterless samurai (r nin). warriors levied taxes on the farmers. who formed more than fourfifths of the population and who thus provided the economic foundation of the system. The Dutch and the Chinese were allowed to trade as before. it has been argued that this simply prolonged a rigid feudal system to an extent unknown elsewhere in the world. Iemitsu also allowed a certain amount of trade with Korea and the Ryukyu Islands. When in 1639 Portuguese ships were forbidden to visit Japan. The vigorous desire of the Japanese of the Sengoku era to expand overseas was thenceforth transformed into an attitude hostile to foreign trade. On the one hand. Concern for strict status differentiation was evident even in family relationships. contempt for the female´) was prevalent. the bakuhan system was firmly solidified by the second half of the 17th century. the sakoku orders were completed. farmers. artisans. yet on the other. Persecution became much more severe under Hidetada and Iemitsu. in which one was made to trample on an image of Christ or the Virgin Mary. Scholars continue to debate the effects of national seclusion. called a danna-dera (³family temple´). The Tokugawa status system Thus. led an uprising of peasants and Christians in the Shimabara Peninsula of Kyushu. Thus. artisans.adherents began immediately thereafter. thereafter stepped up its strict controls on Christians and attempted to root them out by such means as fumi-e. For five months they put up a fierce fight before their defeat by the bakufu army. Among the family members.
The two central moral ideals of Confucianism were ch . completed by his son Gah ²provided a historical justification for the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate. But the ideas of Neo-Confucianism.´ and k . or ³loyalty. Razan stressed the Chinese idea that. it was the most systematic doctrine. were quite practical since they emphasized the unity of thought and deed. Neither the Shint nor the Buddhist ideologies of the earlier medieval society was adequate. which had been the ideology of the medieval era. Wang Yang-ming. Seika's student. Some argued for a return to the original teaching of Confucius himself. . Orthodox Chu Hsi thought was a perfect conservative philosophy of statecraft that valued loyalty and order above all else. The philosophy of yet another Sung thinker. just as there is order between heaven and earth. Tokugawa thinkers like Razan placed more emphasis on ch as a support for feudal lord-vassal relations than on k . Virtue had to be not only cultivated in the abstract but practiced as well. Wang Yang-ming studies ( y meigaku in Japanese) were characterized by a strong subjective idealism but. and Razan and other Confucian thinkers provided an explanation and justification for changes in rulers through the process of gekokuj (overthrow of superiors by inferiors) of the Sengoku period. which was a family ethic. a new worldview.´ or ³loyalty´). among the various schools of Confucianism. Chu Hsi studies opposed the new worldview and logic introduced by Christianity. served as advisor to the first three shoguns. linking this to Confucian moral concepts. He established what was to become the official Confucian school. the Chu Hsi scholar Hayashi Razan.´ But in contrast to China. Razan is said to have had a hand in the drafting of all bakufu official documents and in the formulation of bakufu laws. Japanese thinkers of the 17th century could hardly have been expected to fully ingest a foreign political philosophy already several hundred years old. lecturing even to Ieyasu himself. and challenges to orthodox Chu Hsi thought were many. which provided philosophical guidance to the shogunal house and high bakufu officials throughout the period. who criticized the growing autocracy in the politics of his day. Thus he argued that the separation of the four classes of society was in accord with the teachings of Confucius. and a system of ethics to support it. especially of the Sung dynasty Chu Hsi school (Shushigaku)²which had been well-known to political and ethical thinkers since the 13th century²provided an intellectual rationalization for the statusoriented social structure of the bakuhan system. Tend essentially took on the connotation of the Chinese term t'ien-ming (³mandate of heaven´. or ³filial piety. at the same time. Shushigaku appealed especially to the feudal rulers because. Nakae T ju. which gave more importance to God than to the ruler-subject relationship. and also bitterly criticized the other-worldly aspects of Buddhism. One of his followers. Japanese: tenmei). based upon the concept of tend (³way of heaven´). Fujiwara Seika is regarded as the father of Tokugawa Neo-Confucianism. often regarded as the father of Japanese Wang Yang-ming studies. His political ideas²as seen in such works as Honch hennen-roku (³Chronological History of Japan´) and Honch tsugan (³Survey History of Japan´). Kumazawa Banzan. was so earnest in performing virtuous acts that he was called the sage of mi. also held a special place in Confucian circles in the early Edo period. transformed Wang Yang-ming studies from a means for individual spiritual training into a method for political reformation. there needed to be order between rulers and subjects. emphasizing instead the idea of kenshin (³devotion. emulating a reform movement already under way in China.The establishment of the Tokugawa regime created a need for legitimation. But the role of Chu Hsi politicalethical thought in Tokugawa times was to repudiate the revolutionary idea of gekokuj by stressing the legitimacy of Ieyasu's new regime.
were allowed by the bakufu to have but one castle. the name more broadly denoting a golden age of cultural development roughly 50 years long during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. producing about 20 masterpieces in succession. and began to write ukiyo-z shi. As a result of the development of commerce and communications. which had meant ³sad world´ in Buddhist terms during medieval . Among these commercial crops were cotton and rapeseed oil in the Kinki region and silk in eastern Japan. where productive capacity was the most advanced. By 1682 Saikaku largely had given up haikai. centred in the Kinki region. The early and mid-Edo periods produced many remarkable figures in the fine arts and crafts. He was especially skilled at yakazu haikai. the Tokugawa regime brought to an end the period of violence and ushered in an era of unprecedented domestic peace. and thus there was a move to pull down other castles and concentrate the samurai of each han in a capital castle town. beginning with K shoku ichidai otoko (1682. These daimyo. new-style merchants such as wholesalers and brokers to handle commercial crops came to the fore. The Life of an Amorous Man). In addition to their primary efforts as cultivators. Saikaku was an saka townsman who first aspired to write haikai²humorous renga (linked-verse) poetry from which the more serious haiku was derived²and for more than 30 years he was active as a haikai composer. Saikaku set a new record by composing 23. they reclaimed new lands and produced various commercial crops and handicraft goods for sale in the city and town markets. saka. as some farmers abandoned the countryside and merchants emerged to serve the needs of the burgeoning urban population. and Matsuo Bash in haiku poetry. All three flourished during the Genroku era (1688±1704). These castle towns gradually came to acquire the character of commercial cities.000. The three main cities of Edo. While most cities averaged between 10. Communications and transportation also developed for the circulation of such goods. numbering some 250 for most of the period. Widespread commercialization occurred in the latter half of the 17th century. and powerful financiers also appeared. Purely commercial cities and post towns (towns along highways) also arose throughout the country as part of this massive urbanization. The unique urban spirit of the age can be seen in the word ukiyo. many had populations exceeding 100. a competition to compose as many haikai as possible within a fixed period of time that derived its name from a popular arrow-shooting competition (yakazu).000 and 20.500 haikai in a single day and night²one verse every four seconds. As a result. cities. Perhaps the three artists most representative of the culture were Ihara Saikaku in ukiyo-z shi (³tales of the floating world´) genre novels. commerce was promoted and cities developed. sought the means to enjoy a better standard of living. and Ky to. The ukiyo-z shi developed out of the so-called kana-z shi (storybooks written in kana script) into a more thoroughly urban commoner's form of literature after the latter had themselves replaced the previous otogi-z shi (³fairy-tale books´) in popularity. mainly represented by the castle towns of the various daimyo. thanks to the earlier efforts of various daimyo to maximize production in their domains and to the increased mobility caused by the sankin k tai system. under the direct control of the bakufu.000 inhabitants. Chikamatsu Monzaemon in j ruri (³puppet play´) drama. were especially developed. although subject to heavy taxes and various kinds of labour services. There was a massive growth of urban centres in the first half of the Edo period. however. When its warrior inhabitants are included. and culture By reducing saka Castle and quelling the Shimabara Rebellion.Commerce. Now the nationwide farming populace (hyakush ) of independent landowners. Edo in the early years of the 18th century had a population of more than one million and thus became one of the largest cities in the world.
which drew on the traditions of the medieval narrative story. which is to be understood not so much as feudal morality enforced from above but rather as the traditional consciousness of honour and dignity in one's motives and of social consciousness in human relations.´ Bash proclaimed what he called makoto no (³true´) haiku. it now came to mean ³floating world´ and implied pleasure²specifically from the pleasure quarters of the great Edo cities.´ especially love). He also introduced a new beauty to haiku by using simple words. . The Love Suicide of Amijima). He also wrote more than 30 kabuki plays. Bash was born into a warrior family.times. enjoyed by all classes of society. It continued to develop until the three great masters²Takemoto Giday as narrator. but after becoming a r nin he devoted himself to the development of haiku as a literary form. Bash found the existing haikai style unsatisfying. Bash essentially grafted the aristocratic conceptions of medieval poetry onto the more mundane feelings of Tokugawa urban culture. came from a warrior family. The compositions of Chikamatsu's later years seek the motif of tragedy in the fact that this giri. the J rurihime monogatari (a type of romantic ballad). Chikamatsu Monzaemon as composer. the leading male and female characters in his sewamono dramas are unable to resolve the contradictions between giri and ninj in this world and so die by shinj (a suicide pact between lovers) in order to realize their love in a future life. both for j ruri. was for the first time arranged as a form of dramatic literature accompanied by puppetry and the samisen (a lutelike musical instrument). Beginning with his Shinj ten no Amijima (1720. like Bash . The chief theme running through Chikamatsu's works is the idea of giri (³duty´). Rather than repudiating tradition. while proof that people have humanity. Chikamatsu. Saikaku consistently attempted to create an accurate depiction of the human desire for love and profit. Matsuo Bash became closely attached to haiku (although the word itself was not coined until the 19th century) and fashioned it into a popular form of poetry. wrote more than 80 jidaimono (historical dramas) and 20 sewamono (domestic dramas focusing on urban society). creating a highly popular poetic form. About the turn of the 17th century. While Buddhist elements can be detected in these tragic endings. He began writing hokku (17-syllable opening verses for renga) as separate poems. and Tatsumatsu Hachirobei as puppeteer² made j ruri into a highly popular Tokugawa performing art. and this tension provides the drama in many of his works. cannot be thoroughly achieved because of their immorality and lack of principle. Chikamatsu. Giri is constantly in conflict with ninj (³human feelings. Bash 's haiku brought it to completion. they also graphically capture the unresolvable contradictions that faced townspeople in Genroku society. seeking the spirit of this poetic form in sincerity and truthfulness. Written with a different Chinese ideogram in Edo times. developing a new style called sh f or ³Bash style. a prolific writer. His works offer sharp criticism of the Edo samurai as men so bound by social status and moral principles that they could not live a free life.
women were banned from kabuki. The tea ceremony (cha-no-yu) in particular became popular and was practiced not only by the shogun and daimyo but also by the newly risen merchants. theatrical districts also flourished in the Genroku era. meaning ³inclined. Okuni kabuki. Ultimately. brought decorative painting to its highest stage of perfection. this also was prohibited because of widespread homosexuality. it was only by breaking away from the iemoto that innovation could proceed. which had a pronounced comical element and concentrated on love. became popular at the turn of the 17th century and is conventionally regarded as the origin of this dramatic form. All kabuki was banned following the death of the shogun Iemitsu in 1652. inlaid lead. y Tokugawa-period writing box of black lacquered wood decorated in gold paint. 1800. for example.y Interior of a Kabuki theatre. but only after substantial reform. Often. One result of this segmentation into traditionconscious schools was that it inhibited further development of these artistic forms. by contrast. bequeathing to posterity many splendid masterpieces in gold lacquer (maki-e) and other media. This Edo form of kabuki seemed to suit the rowdy elements of society. It was allowed once again. and « Distinctive development also occurred in the fine arts and crafts. traditional arts of n drama. Kabuki drama also developed in the early Edo period. coloured woodcut triptych by Utagawa Toyokuni. and flower arrangement also reached new stages of development in the period. most notably the Sen-ke (Sen house). A further development was the wakash (³young-man style´) kabuki. in which even women's parts were played by adult males (who were distinguished from the wakash by shaved forelocks). developing into y jo (³prostitutes' ´) kabuki. and actors and prostitutes separated into distinct quarters. run by brothel owners. This ³house head´ (iemoto) system also spread to flower arrangement and to other arts and became a distinguishing feature of the Edo period. in which the young men were also available as sexual partners. which focused on the rash actions of historical heroes. In western Japan (Ky to and saka). c. the style that emerged was called wagoto (³tender business´). the tea ceremony. the popular form of Edo kabuki was aragoto (³rough business´).´ was first used by wild gangs of outrageously dressed young men called kabukimono. The art of the tea ceremony came to be monopolized by the house heads of the various schools. in the « Besides the licensed quarters for prostitutes. As the tea ceremony became popular. many schools emerged. who used their wealth to become eager collectors of famous antique tea-ceremony utensils. fostering the development of the ³profession´ of tea master. named for the female dancing troupe led by Izumo Okuni. the school of Sen Riky . indeed the word kabuki itself (using different Chinese ideograms). Techniques of dyeing and . Kabuki now developed from its previous dancing-act form into a theatrical form centred on a dramatic plot with realistic acting. Despite the popularity of these new theatrical forms. Other troupes imitated her work. Ogata K rin.
which met a growing popular demand. Rice and other crops were then transported to the great central cities of Edo and saka. The weakening of the bakuhan system As Japan entered the 18th century. But Moronobu's real contribution was to develop the Chinese technique of woodblock printing to produce the ukiyo-e (³pictures of the floating world´) style. y Five-case inro with samurai design done in taka-makie « Both the old ceremonies of the imperial court and the various forms of warrior etiquette developed by the successive bakufu were codified. Many great Edo-period artists²e. centred on the annual crop. If commercial development had been largely a phenomenon of the cities in the 17th century. in the 18th and 19th centuries it spread to the hinterlands of . who not only depicted the usual courtesans and actors but also vividly portrayed various aspects of the lives of ordinary people. where they were exchanged for money. This activity radiated outward to the various daimyo castle towns and. like Hagi. even the rural areas of Japan were increasingly drawn into a monetized economy. studied. in which administrators endeavoured to levy taxes to be paid in kind. The extremely diverse economic and social life of these cities was based upon a money economy in which people and produce were constantly exchanged. food. and even extended to the common people. into the countryside as well. the bakuhan system began to show signs of weakness.. Thus. and the weaving and decorating of the traditional kimono became even more colourful. Famous centres of pottery production also flourished at various places throughout the country. and peasants everywhere paid part of their taxes in money. but others. inevitably. stimulated by the influence of Korean potters captured during Hideyoshi's invasions. mostly in rice. helping to shape manners throughout the country. like Seto. Even eating habits changed from two to three meals a day. and a rich variety of cakes and sweets were consumed by urban dwellers. The finances of both the bakufu and the han were theoretically based on a rice-producing economy. drawing in traditional styles was further developed by Hishikawa Moronobu. some ancient. In Edo.g. and housing became established and somewhat standardized during the Edo period. And Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai²developed the ukiyo-e genre into a unique Japanese art form. In Ky to.weaving were also improved in the Edo period. Miyazaki Y zen developed the splendid techniques of y zen-zome (a rice-paste batik method of dyeing). Indeed. in the cities rice became the standard food. Japanese customs in dress.
depended upon taxes paid by the farmers²found themselves in serious financial difficulty. Tax collection became unstable. and the majority of peasants remained impoverished. and some were directed not at feudal warrior overlords but at wealthy peasant landlords and village headmen who also had become exploitative. resulted in people starving or fleeing their villages. both the bakufu and the domains tried to suppress commercial production as a means of alleviating the suffering of their vassals. Political reform in the bakufu and the han . where small-scale producers of goods. despite a spate of bakufu and domain exhortations to practice frugality. a majority of small-scale independent landholders. As noted above. in any event. as the commercial economy extended into rural villages. Meanwhile. Few farmers.Japan. and especially during certain eras. and exploitation by feudal lords forced some peasants into uprisings (hyakush ikki). productivity was uneven. but from the 18th century peasant protest became increasingly violent and widespread. seeking to supplement their finances by monopolizing the farmers' commercial goods and selling them themselves. driven to the edge of starvation by the rising prices of rice and other commodities. on top of excessive taxes. Stratification of rural villages²a growing gap between wealthy and poor farmers²tenancy. given the scale of commercial development nationwide. Even in early Edo times. such rural conditions led to major outbreaks of violence. Thus. a hopeless effort. Ultimately. While many wealthy merchants enjoyed luxurious lifestyles in cooperation with warrior rulers. It was. were forced to part with their lands and fell into tenancy. and many warriors²whose stipends. Inevitably. Despite the general improvement of agricultural technology and the spread of such knowledge through manuals and handbooks among an increasingly literate populace during the Edo period. farmers also were sometimes deprived of the profits of their commercial goods. however. plundering and destroying rice shops and pawnshops. economic conditions in the cities²to which frustrated peasants often fled seeking a better life²were hardly better. but this met with great resistance from merchants and affected the selfsufficient economy of the farmers as well. Thus. Living on fixed incomes. there were localized demonstrations against daimyo for excessive taxation. bakufu and han administrators encouraged such production. they now incurred increasing expenses. the city poor. the samurai class had long since taken up normal residence in the cities. often rioted. Some uprisings were directed at local lords. social divisions arose among the farmers. still calculated in koku. With the development of the urban way of life. The abandonment of cultivated land also became conspicuous. distributors. Many small-scale farmers. it meant the rise of some wealthy members of the rural populace. periodic crop failures and famines. When attempts to restrict production failed. some were more widespread. and a growing number of impoverished tenants. and in many areas. the inability of many to survive the harsh realities of commercialization. prospered through producing commercial goods. squeezed by the demands of commercial development. exacerbated by excessive taxation. many became greatly impoverished. and even retailers appeared. who used their wealth to invest in land and commercial ventures and to ³ape their betters´ in the cities in both custom and culture. Rural villages were characterized by a few wealthy farmers. At times.
This was the first such riot in Edo. while the coercive power of the bakufu was still quite strong. however. He tried²unsuccessfully²both to control the issuance of unbacked promissory notes and to issue a new silver coin. or kabu nakama. Ieharu.The second half of the Tokugawa period is characterized by continual political reforms made by the samurai overlords in response to this ongoing economic crisis. But Tanuma was nonetheless an active reformer who further developed some of Yoshimune's programs. especially on such matters as corruption and bribery. control of government by attendants of the shogun²which Yoshimune's strong personal rule had prevented²was revived. Tanuma and his associates accepted bribes. the year before his retirement. Yoshimune was regarded as the restorer of the bakufu. Tanuma chose not to suppress the activities of big-city merchants but rather used them to promote production. and he was criticized by an opposition group for corruption. More characteristic was his effort to increase tax yields by opening new lands to cultivation and revising the method of taxation. came in the area of general economic policy and the bakufu's own finances. Tokugawa Yoshimune (ruled 1716± 45). The thrust of his reform efforts. His economic reforms enjoyed no small success. He successfully revalued and standardized the currency and also brought regulation into the chaotic and disruptive world of Edo's money changers. For such reasons. Yoshimune's reforms focused heavily on currency reform. he reaffirmed the influence of the fudai daimyo. Besides consulting a group of about 20 personally selected advisers. . Such reforms began with the Ky h Reforms instituted by the eighth shogun. which he then allotted to the hatamoto to supplement their stipends. One such man was Tanuma Okitsugu. He swept out officials favoured by his two predecessors and appointed new officials to posts in finance and rural administration in order to increase government efficiency. and were published in a collection of laws (Kujikata osademegaki). however. yet it was a rational attempt to establish a gold standard in place of the confusing practice of using silver in western Japan and gold in the east. too. was concerned with a monetized economy. into monopolistic associations and to demand licensing fees seems to have been aimed not so much at gaining contributions for the bakufu treasury as much as to establish control over the circulation of commercial goods. By 1744. His attempt to control the falling price of rice earned him the name of ³the rice shogun. His decision to force commercial and industrial guilds. the traditional stalwart supporters of the regime. He was widely criticized by the people for issuing large amounts of debased coinage that caused a rise in prices. linking the city guilds with village producers. His success. the common people of Edo attacked the wholesale rice dealers who had cornered the market. Tanuma. In general. the receipts of the bakufu both in total land taxes and in tax receipts reached their highest level for the entire Edo period.´ But when the price of rice rose sharply in a great famine in the 1730s. the value of which was calculated in terms of gold. the 10th shogun. ameliorated punishments. As an emergency policy. Yoshimune's reforms also expedited the legal process. who rose from chamberlain to be senior councillor under Ieshige's son. he sought to control it. while advancing the development of the commercial economy. was possibly due to the fact that the urban and rural disturbances had not yet become that grave. Though cognizant of the problems posed by merchants and the spread of a commercial economy. he periodically set up a complaint box to gain new information. gained strong powers of authority as his spokesmen when they won the shogun's confidence. Under the rule of Yoshimune's son Ieshige. Chamberlains (soba-y nin) who handled communications with the senior councillors (r j ). especially the problem of money lenders. whose power had been undercut under Tsunayoshi and Ienobu. Yoshimune proved adept at personnel matters. Yoshimune ordered the daimyo to make rice contributions (agemai).
Again following Yoshimune. and peasant protests rose to more than 50 per year during the 1780s. landed at Nemuro in 1792 and requested trade relations. he prohibited all teachings except those of the Chu Hsi school at the Sh heik . Sadanobu sought to restore morale. but the bakufu . To combat the frustration against Tanuma's regime. Infanticide and abortion were widely used as means of limiting family size. An uncommon number of crop failures. But effective control of agriculture depended largely upon competent officials. and reinvigorate the social system. he reduced this tax and set aside 70 percent of it for relief for the poor. To relieve the hardships of the bakufu retainers. both to maximize wealth and to avoid starvation. At Sadanobu's resignation in 1793 these plans were scrapped. Tanuma had already been dismissed as senior councillor the previous year. Sadanobu was a firm admirer of Chu Hsi studies. epidemics. A great eruption of Mount Asama in 1783 was followed by a widespread famine during the Temmei era (1783± 87).Tanuma's rational and progressive political attitude is best revealed in his attempt to develop Ezo (present-day Hokkaido) as a bulwark against the southward advance of the Russians. despite heroic efforts to root out incompetence and avarice. he even considered trading with Russia. however. a Russian envoy. The farming villages. which were the foundation of the bakuhan system. The protests of the farmers were now most often directed against wealthy members of the village community. He rejected Tanuma's administration and instituted a policy of retrenchment in the spirit of Yoshimune's reforms half a century earlier. grandson of Yoshimune and the daimyo of Shirakawa domain (in modern Fukushima prefecture). and pregnant women were thus watched over in order to increase the farming populace²so that tax revenues from that sector would rise. Sadanobu had recurrent problems dealing with corrupt and ruthless local officials. and he believed that government must be conducted on the basis of Confucian benevolent rule. Sadanobu is renowned as the initiator of the Kansei reforms (1789±1801). saka. The outbreak of peasant violence. Sadanobu ordered that plans be drawn up immediately for a coastal defense system centred on Edo Bay (now called Tokyo Bay). Various natural disasters occurred in his time. Adam Laxman. and droughts reconfirmed peoples' sense of divine displeasure with the performance of the ruler. Sadanobu²himself skilled in several martial arts²urged the samurai to devote their energies to practice of the martial arts. and Matsudaira Sadanobu. In the mid-1790s. while he himself inspected the coastline of Izu. fires. He set out to reduce the high prices in the great cities and had a fund established in Edo called shichibu tsumikin (70 percent reserve fund). While Sadanobu was senior councillor. had been devastated in the Temmei famine of the 1780s. revive the economy. Those who had left villages for seasonal work in cities were given money to return to agricultural productivity. Sadanobu encouraged officials to bring land back into cultivation and to increase the population of the villages by such measures as granting parcels of land to vagabonds. he took emergency measures to cancel the debts of the hatamoto to the Edo merchants who handled the exchange of their stipends. and for more than six months the political situation remained a complete vacuum. He even instituted a five-level examination system for promotions among bakufu officials who were trained at this shogunal academy. Sagami. the bakufu official college headed by the Hayashi family. in which large numbers of people starved to death. In 1787 large-scale riots threatened Edo. and other major cities. knowing that land and house rents were high in the shogun's capital because of the heavy taxes levied on its landlords. Although the bakufu rejected the Russian proposal. and Sadanobu was appointed senior councillor. was enough to drive Tanuma's supporters from office. and B s . was selected as his successor. however. But Tanuma's supporters in the bakufu sought to prevent Sadanobu's appointment. and.
and. the bakufu had taken eastern Ezo away from the jurisdiction of the Matsumae domain in northern Honshu and placed it under its direct control.M. and during the next three years Russians attacked Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. Ultimately. but.councillors of this era were the first to react to the threat of foreign nations advancing on Japan. which national seclusion policies had been designed to avoid. In 1808 the English warship Phaeton made an incursion on Nagasaki. disturbances continued apace. and three years later the Russian naval lieutenant V. Even so. Some Tanuma supporters remained in bakufu posts through his early years. and it ordered the villages of Kant to form associations to assist this office. when the latter left the bakufu council. which now could be heard through the wall of national seclusion. The bakufu therefore set up an office called the Kant Torishimari-deyaku (³Supervisors of the Kant District´) to strengthen police control of the area.P. In conjunction with the bakufu programs. and the corruption of the bakufu increased considerably. disliked him since he had purged some women who had become involved with Buddhist priests. rose to power as a personal attendant to Ienari. During the period 1804±31 these men died one after another. the seat of the bakufu. where the Dutch by law were allowed to call²to request commercial relations. Mizuno Tadaakira. and in 1807 the bakufu also took direct control of both eastern and western Ezo for defensive purposes. while officially despised merchants became incredibly wealthy. a senior councillor with acute business acumen. was that they tried to apply stronger regulations and control over the commercial economy of the farmers. English ships often appeared in Japanese waters after the Phaeton incident. Golovnin landed on Kunashiri Island. In 1804 another Russian envoy. the number of tenants soared as the gap between rich and poor farmers widened. Sadanobu's reforms appear to be an overreaction to Tanuma's administration. Ienari was restrained by Sadanobu's strict political reforms. and now the ominous spectre of a foreign threat loomed on the horizon. Even in the villages of Kant . Within the bakufu Sadanobu had his enemies. in addition. returning all Ezo to the control of the Matsumae domain in 1821. but underneath the stagnation of the feudal system became even more grave. the shogun was able to relax. A distinctive feature of han reforms at this time. the shogun's harem). When these various incidents were resolved. The bakufu refused Rezanov's request. But he and other high officials seemed as addicted to bribery as earlier regimes. reforms were carried out within the various daimyo domains. where he was arrested by bakufu authorities. whereas people at first welcomed them. the oku (women's quarter. peace continued for a time in the northern regions. became a pressing problem for the bakufu. On the surface things seemed peaceful. In the south. rural and urban unrest threatened the stability of society. But the impetus to reform had faded. and the bakufu government became lax once again. The growth of the northern problem In the early 1800s foreign relations. and the bakufu failed to adopt a . and the situation in Ezo became especially worrisome. Rezanov. Earlier in 1804. however. he lost the confidence of the shogun Ienari and resigned. as almost a century of bakufu efforts to deal effectively with vastly changed socioeconomic conditions had proved ineffective: many samurai ³rulers´ lived in poverty. antipathy gradually increased. visited Japan²this time at Nagasaki. the bakufu relaxed its precautions. commercialization proceeded far beyond the understanding as well as the control of the regime. N. Ienari was not completely free while the councillors who had supported Sadanobu's reforms were still alive.
Two of the most important thinkers articulating this view were It Jinsai and Ogy Sorai. Ironically. acknowledged to be the seminal thinker of Edo times. and agricultural self-sufficiency was being undermined by unintended economic changes released by those policies themselves. and the authority of Chu Hsi studies grew weak. It was never fully carried out because of opposition by a number of officials. as discussed above. but the attempt was destined to failure. was especially concerned with the contradictions between social theory and reality. driving foreign ships away at one point and treating them with leniency at others. Confucianism. which also enjoined coastal authorities to arrest or kill any foreigners who came ashore. especially with the establishment of domain . and other orders of society²especially the peasants²would respect them. Sorai insisted that the main reason for the financial distress of the warrior class in both the bakufu and the domains was that warriors had moved to the cities. Various other schools of Confucianism arose. bakufu policy was thus inconsistent. The midTokugawa period. While attempting to preserve the iron law of seclusion to the bitter end.consistent policy. including Matsudaira Sadanobu. Heterodox Confucian schools Already in the second half of the 17th century the scholars of the kogaku (³study of antiquity´) school criticized Chu Hsi studies and advocated a return to the original ideals of Confucianism. now spread widely throughout the provinces. national isolation. the bakufu responded to foreign demands for the right to refuel in Japan by canceling that order and adopting the Order for the Provision of Firewood and Water (Shinsui ky yorei). Critical of the rise of merchants and farmers at the expense of the samurai. In 1842. the ideological foundations of Edo rule²orthodox Chu Hsi philosophy²came into question. And it proved to be utterly powerless when it was faced with the full weight of foreign pressure later in the 1840s. both Chu Hsi orthodoxy and other types. Edo authorities promulgated the Order to Drive Away Foreign Ships (Ikokusen uchiharairei). The bakufu attempted to reinvigorate Chu Hsi orthodoxy by prohibiting all other schools of Confucianism in the college of the bakufu. Samurai leaders of bakufu and han alike sought to grapple with the disturbing fact that the great peace envisioned as resulting from policies of rigid class separation. responding to a proposal by Takahashi Kageyasu. If they would return to the villages. roughly the 18th century. In 1825. This was also known as the ninen nashi or ³no second thought´ law. In his work Seidan. such as setch gaku (³eclectic school´) and k sh gaku (³positivistic school´). And many of those who were led into such speculation were not samurai but commoners. where they were at the mercy of a monetary economy. Sorai. The proper relations between the classes could thus be restored. Conflict between the various schools became fierce. the ideal of ³the investigation of things´ inherent in Chu Hsi philosophy encouraged speculation that inevitably led to questioning Chu Hsi orthodoxy itself. Kogaku critics of orthodoxy were hardly alone. the result of many new movements that took place in scholarship and culture. he tried to find a way to revive the deteriorating conditions of warriors. In the area of thought. which explains Sadanobu's prohibition of heterodox studies during the Kansei reforms. New learning and thought Underlying this weakening of the bakuhan political system was an ideological crisis. for example. was a time of considerable unrest. upon hearing the news of China's defeat in the Opium War. they could be self-sufficient once again.
This popularity was spurred by public lectures that explained Shint in terms easily understood by the common people.´ Kokugaku (³national learning´) also arose from a similar social background. Anzai. The Confucian scholar Yamazaki Ansai. Shint . accompanied by a growth of scholarship with local colouring. he studied several forms of Shint ²notably Watarai and Yoshida²before formulating his own syncretic Shint ideals. Another important figure in the kokugaku stream was Hirata Atsutane. which. in so stressing a prudent and disciplined lifestyle grounded in the value of work. and Buddhism. who had urged samurai to cultivate themselves thoroughly so as to better lead the people. the Man'y sh . explaining it from a Confucian perspective. also formulated a Shint ideology with a distinctly Confucian bent. and samurai and merchants sat together to hear lectures. provided the ideological underpinnings of the ³Sonn j i´ (³Revere the Emperor! Expel the Barbarians!´) movement of the last years of the Tokugawa period. Kamo Mabuchi focused on a study of Japan's most ancient poetry anthology. called the Suika form of Shint . An amalgamation of ideas from the three teachings of Confucianism.´ This school was founded cooperatively by Confucian scholars and wealthy merchants in 1724. New currents also appeared in Shint . Perhaps the best-known and most unique thinker to come out of the school was Yamagata Bant . Shingaku held forth a code of self-cultivation that valued performance of one's tasks. the Kojiki (³Records of Ancient Matters´). which became the focus of mass pilgrimages. furthermore. After years of teaching Confucianism. as an adherent of the belief in Japan as a divine country (shinkoku). urging a return to ancient ways before Japan had been ³defiled´ by foreign ideas. which articulated a ³way´ for townsmen and farmers. the Kaitoku-d in saka became famous as the ³townspeople's university. Mabuchi's pupil Motoori Norinaga tried to explicate Japan's ancient system of morality. and others decoupled Shint from its previous amalgamation with medieval Buddhism.´ or ³Revival´) Shint and regarded Japan as the centre of the world. Atsutane accepted Norinaga's explanation of Fukko (³Restoration. Western studies . and other ancient writings. along with the Confucian-inspired loyalism of the Mito school. he strongly advocated reverence for the imperial house. Anzai was only somewhat atypical of Edo thinkers: born in Ky to. often mixed with Confucianism and Buddhism. called kannagara no michi (³way of the gods´). Watarai Nobuyoshi. he became a Zen monk but later returned to lay life and embraced Confucianism. Among such schools. served as the ideology of popular education. Beginning in the 18th century. such as Confucianism and Buddhism. Thus. Shint and kokugaku The intellectual vitality of the 18th century was not limited to Confucianism. learning and culture arose in the domains. Ishida Baigan developed a religious tradition called Shingaku (³Heart Learning´). In the later Tokugawa period popular interest in Shint grew progressively stronger. Ishida's ideas have sometimes been regarded as a Japanese version of the ³Protestant ethic. centred especially on faith in the shrine at Ise.schools (hank ) for the education of the domain samurai. By studying the ancient language of Japan's oldest classic. Hirata's thought. but continuing until the end of the Edo period. domains one after another opened such schools to train their warrior-administrators in both civil and military skills.
and surveying and developing mines in various provinces of the country. For example. in 1774. as consciousness of the foreign threat grew stronger. several rangaku scholars criticized the bakufu plan to attack an American merchant ship. As an advocate of the idea that Japan prevent the outflow of gold and silver by promoting domestic production and exchanging these products for foreign goods. both urban and rural dwellers. discussed above. by the very fact of their integration into a nationwide economic system of some technological sophistication. he reconstructed Japanese history in the age of gods on the basis of natural science. thus insisting on human equality. He is known as the pioneer of etching in Japan. Western studies became increasingly dynamic. Two other noteworthy scholars of the late 18th and early 19th century were Shiba K kan and Yamagata Bant . rejecting the fixed ³way´ of orthodox Neo-Confucianism. he became a r nin and moved to Edo. where he thought and acted freely. others developed critical antifeudal worldviews that were directly or indirectly influenced by empirical science and Western studies. a translation by Sugita Gempaku and others of an anatomical book imported from the Netherlands. it contained a dialectical method of thought that. saw the world as being constantly in flux. from the Takamatsu domain in Shikoku. but in his writings. preaching in its place a ³natural society´ in which all were equal. rejected the restricted life of the warrior. 1753). adherents of Western studies placed heavy emphasis on the study of military technology. Hiraga agreed substantially with Tanuma Okitsugu's desire to promote the production of various goods. termed y gaku (³Western learning´) or rangaku (³Dutch learning´). focusing primarily on medicine. K kan also criticized the Tokugawa status system on the ground that the emperor and the beggar were similar human beings. and other scholars by bakufu officials in the so-called bansha no goku incident dealt a serious blow to Western studies in Japan.The study of modern European science. also attracted the attention of curious scholars. Miura Baien of Kyushu called his learning j rigaku (³rational studies´). especially as the regime began to lose its efficacy. Growth of popular knowledge The common people of the Tokugawa period. But as the systemic crisis grew more severe. The naturalist Hiraga Gennai. The resulting persecution of Watanabe Kazan. Bant was chief manager for a wealthy saka merchant and a noted student of the Kaitokud . In his Shizen shin'eid (c. A great stimulus to the concrete development of Western studies was provided by the publication. Thereafter. Sh eki portrayed an ideal society in which all people equally engaged in farming. Hiraga was employed by Tanuma and sent to Nagasaki. K kan was widely influenced by Dutch studies and Western rationalism in general. Takano Choei. And Sh eki rejected the stratified society established by rulers as no more than a fabrication. many scholars of Western studies began to criticize the seclusion policy. arousing the ire of the bakufu. . Other philosophers also appeared who repudiated feudal society. An artist who began within the Kan school tradition and then studied ukiyo-e with Harunobu. While Sh eki may be considered exceptional in the degree of his criticism of the society. Thereafter. He also produced a number of significant works as a dramatist. Gennai gave full play to his genius by cultivating sugarcane and carrots. producing Dutch-style pottery. While experimenting with such things as dynamos and thermometers. of the Kaitai shinsho (³New Book of Anatomy´). In his work Yume no shiro (³Instead of Dreams´). without social distinctions or exploitation.
demonstrating how far peasant self-consciousness and sociopolitical sophistication had progressed. In response to these practical desires and needs. Buddhism nonetheless retained a strong influence over the lives of the common people. there was a marked growth in popular knowledge over the two and half centuries of Tokugawa rule. it remained important in the lives of the people. Zen. they now were charged with the official state functions of registering citizens and conducting the census. Yet. such as for commercial prosperity or restoration of health²rather than wait for happiness after their death. the educational organs of the common people. or urban merchants were literate. and the Meguro Fud (better known as the Ry sen Temple) were famous. As they were thus exceedingly closely connected to the daily lives of the people. ³village conflicts´ (murakata s d ) became more fierce in the later part of this period. Tomitsuki was an officially authorized lottery. and in Edo the raffles at such temples as Yanaka Tenn . Gradually this ceremony came to be performed by transporting the image to other cities and villages for display. the continued existence of Buddhist temples was guaranteed. and their self-awareness as human beings rose accordingly. and elsewhere to meet the religious feelings of the people. For example. In any case. A new faith in healing spirits arose. Though hardly a new phenomenon. Many Buddhist priests profited from these activities. with the exception of the very lowest class. as the farmers sought to censure the improper acts of village officials and to make the village more democratic. Shugend . temples conducted various ceremonies and concocted other means to increase their income. despite official disapproval. While its teachings centred on traditional Tendai and Shingon Buddhism. who offered prayers to cure illness or bring happiness. if only because their temples were guaranteed privileged status by the implementation of the terauke (³temple certificate´) system of the bakufu. sparked by the view that human suffering could be cured only by those who had suffered similar hardships themselves. it also contained beliefs drawn from Shint . Various sorts of popular faiths flourished also in the cities and villages of Edo times. and Nichiren made striking advances during the Edo period. for example. Besides their previous roles conducting funeral rites and other more strictly ³religious´ functions. more people in Edo times tended to engage in what was termed genze riyaku²i. they prayed for happiness during their lifetime. the medieval sects of J do. was an ancient form of ascetic practice preached by itinerant monks (yamabushi). such as the sh ya or nanushi. Two of the most important such ceremonies were kaich (³displaying temple treasures´) and tomitsuki. At the outset of the period only a handful of upper-class farmers. providing orthodox Confucian scholars reasons for demanding that Buddhism be stamped out.e. Yushima Tenjin. farmers were all at least partly literate. by the end of this period. as had been more common in medieval Buddhism. and some led rather profligate private lives. This spread of literacy was to some extent facilitated by the diffusion of temple schools (terakoya). Religious attitudes Despite official hostility toward systems of thought and belief other than Neo-Confucianism.were increasingly reared in a world of empirical knowledge. J do Shin.and lowerclass farmers. Kaich consisted of allowing the people to worship a Buddhist image that was normally kept concealed and not generally displayed. Leadership in these conflicts was often taken by middle. and in the late Tokugawa period there developed a belief in living gods (ikigami) who could respond to the various needs and desires of the common people and who became revered as founders (ky so) of new religious . As an example. religious Taoism..
sects. Nakayama became a shaman and a faith healer and attracted a widespread following. became popular. called okage-mairi or nuke-mairi. In contrast. The maturity of Edo culture In the early 19th century the urban culture that had arisen in the 17th century reached full maturity. and Tenjin became associated with local gods (ujigami) and developed into objects of local worship. In a similar manner. founded by Kurozumi Munetada. ukiyo-e reached maturity in both form and content and was unquestionably the most popular art form. ³Satomi and the Eight Dogs´) is a didactic tale about the attempt to restore the fortunes of a warrior house. Literary styles took various forms. And Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai. They examined in detail such things as the townspeople's way of life. Hachiman. but artists had experimented with colour. was invented by Suzuki Harunobu in 1765 and entered its golden age with the prints of kabuki actors by Tsh sai Sharaku and of courtesans by Kitagawa Utamaro. all of which remain active in present-day Japan. a humorous and bawdy tale of adventures on the T kaid . Pilgrimages could consist of groups of several hundreds of thousands of commoners. and Tenriky of Nakayama Miki. espousing utopian causes and leading millenarian movements. Ikku is best known for his T kai d chu hizakurige (1802±22. y Woodcutter Gazing at Waterfall. Many such people founded new religions. conceptions of beauty. A peasant girl who suffered great hardship in her personal life. Early wood-block printing had been simply in black and white. People like Nakayama Miki. this Edo urban culture spread widely among the urban dwellers of Japan's major cities and castle towns. and ways of thinking. others were influenced by the growth of the cult of Shint shrines. such major deities as Inari. In the 17th century literary and artistic production had centered in the Ky to. detail of a paper scroll in ink and « In the world of art. Konk ky of Kawate Bunjir . reflected the confused social conditions of the late Tokugawa period. Jippensha Ikku in the kokkeibon (comic novel). Supported originally by wealthy townspeople and warriors. Bakin's lengthy Nans Satomi hakkenden (1814±42. Among such sects were Kurozumiky . their advocacy of yo-naoshi. In the last years of the Edo period. the masters of woodblock landscape prints. Not only Ise but other shrines as well became the focus of popular pilgrimages. and Takizawa Bakin in the yomihon (regular novel). and periodic pilgrimages to Ise. representative authors are Sant Ky den in the sharebon (genre novel).saka area. but late Tokugawa culture was primarily produced in Edo. had clear political overtones. literally ³brocade pictures´ (wood-block printing in many colours). for example. Nishiki-e. or relief of the world by social reform. extended the boundaries of . Among these masses of Shint pilgrims were many harbouring the same social and political hopes for yo-naoshi expressed in the faiths of the founders of new sects. customs. Shank's Mare).
Tadakuni planned to force temporary residents in Edo to return to their home villages and to restrict the commercial-goods production of the farmers to make them concentrate on rice farming. There were signs of stagnation and corruption in some aspects of Edo culture²a reflection of the crisis in the bakuhan system.wood-block prints far beyond the world of the pleasure quarters. urged the bakufu to institute drastic political reforms: he called the outbreak of rural and urban violence ³domestic anxiety´ and the pressure of the foreign powers ³foreign anxiety.000 participants and for a time reduced the centre of Kai to anarchy. The crisis had reached new levels by the 1830s. the bakufu was again shocked. an uprising in Gunnai district of Kai province (Yamanashi prefecture). where crafts and products with distinctive local colouring were supported by landlords and merchants. In 1836. named for the Temp era (1830±44). a former city official. literature. The Opium War (1839±42) broke out between Ch'ing dynasty China and Britain. A national culture emerged and became the foundation of a modern Japanese culture that developed after 1868. He also aimed to restore the farming villages devastated by the great famine. Tadakuni further ordered the dissolution of . Both peasant uprisings and city riots over food shortages and intolerable living conditions reached unprecedented peaks. eventually attracted more than 50. Based on the earlier K hy and Kansei reforms and equally conservative. Mizuno Tadakuni. Tadakuni's efforts lasted only from 1841 to 1843. the chief senior councillor (tair ). scholarship. and foreign encroachments on Chinese territory following the British victory filled bakufu authorities with a sense of crisis.´ The last years of the bakuhan The Temp reforms Thus beset by crises in both domestic and foreign affairs. Although the uprising was speedily suppressed. then under direct bakufu control. the European powers also began to press more heavily upon Japan. and art not only spread to but even was produced in regional towns and villages. shio Heihachir . He tried to lower the prices of commodities in the cities through detailed regulations on the lives of townspeople. At the same time that the bakufu was facing these serious domestic disturbances. to cite one extreme example. a Tokugawa collateral domain. Just a year later in the bakufu-controlled city of saka. Yet the spread of literacy and a nationwide culture could not mask contradictions in the political sphere. He revised the regulations for the government officials and encouraged the samurai to practice frugality and diligently study the literary and martial arts. While their prints show how Japanese artists had absorbed some techniques from Western art. Stricter than earlier reformers. Tokugawa Nariaki. lasted several years and dealt a savage blow to the impoverished villages. the popularity of their works outside Japan and influence on foreign art is a measure of the sophistication Japanese culture reached in Edo times. lord of Mito han. The depth of the bakufu's shock can be gauged from the fact that they sentenced 562 persons to crucifixion for their part in the uprising. incredulous that a former faithful official would lead a revolt. instituted the Temp reforms. As a result of the development of complex transportation links and market networks between city and countryside. led a revolt aimed at overthrowing city officials and wealthy merchants and relieving the plight of the poor. the result of abnormal weather conditions and resultant crop failures. A great famine then.
however. the only European power trading with Japan. and the major stumbling block facing the bakufu was the foreign problem. Tadakuni also promulgated a land-requisition (agechi) order to bring daimyo and hatamoto domains surrounding Edo and saka under direct bakufu control: the stated object of this was the defense of Edo. and Hizen in particular²were especially noteworthy. there were various reactions against the Temp reforms. and people of the domains affected. Nagasaki. The opening of Japan y Important Japanese historical sites. these new officials were able to institute policies that improved domain finances and modernized their military capabilities. the merchant and artisan guilds. Strengthen the Military´). The reforms of the powerful domains in southwestern Japan² Ch sh . In 1844. he planned to reclaim the Imba Swamp (in modern Chiba prefecture) so that food supplies could easily be conveyed to nearby Edo if Edo Bay were blockaded by foreign ships. if Britain succeeded in forcing Japan to open the country. In 1845. but Abe and the bakufu rulers refused this suggestion. and 1846. set about to strengthen their domains and expressed opinions on the national situation as well. since he regarded them as the cause of rising commodity prices. Tadakuni predicted that. it would lose its monopoly. Adopting the slogan ³Fukoku ky hei´ (³Enrich the Country. and Ky to. In 1844 the Dutch sent a diplomatic mission urging the bakufu to open the country. It was. motivated by a sense of loyalty to the han and frustrated at having been denied participation in domain administration.kabu nakama. almost 30 years after his reforms (1867) that the bakufu was toppled by the combined forces of several tozama lords. Tadakuni was driven from power in 1845. Reaction against domestic reform was comparatively calm.and lower-class samurai. in the face of fierce opposition from the daimyo. and. these young reformers. British and French warships visited the Ryukyu Islands . hatamoto. The Netherlands. often with a more realistic knowledge of the outside world gained through study in Edo. realized that. Plans for the defense of the bay also were formulated. when Abe Masahiro replaced Mizuno Tadakuni as head of the r j . administrative reforms were carried out in many of the domains. as a direct result of this failure. so the Dutch now planned to seize the initiative in opening Japan and thus to turn the situation to their own advantage. Concerned as well with the foreign threat. Satsuma. where middle. however. During the Temp period. 1845. Replacing the previous conservative officials. thanks to his reforms. The way was thus gradually being prepared for the emergence of the leaders of the Meiji Restoration (1868) and of modern Japan. but it also was designed to supplement the finances of the bakufu. the Tokugawa regime would survive for another 30 years. came forward as reformers. Yet visits by foreign ships proliferated. often with far more success than those of the bakufu. The agechi order was finally withdrawn. in fact.
S. Opinion among the daimyo and samurai was split between seclusion and opening the country. the bakufu in 1845 established a new office for coastal defense and various diplomatic posts. and it could not muster up the resolution necessary to open the country. y Matthew Perry. The opening of Japan was thus postponed until the last possible moment and had to be effected unilaterally by foreign pressure. In 1848 the bakufu decided not to revive the Order to Drive Away Foreign Ships.S. c. In 1846 Commander James Biddle of the American East Indian fleet appeared with two warships in Uraga Harbour (near Yokohama) and held consultations with bakufu representatives on the question of opening commercial relations. The defense system of Edo Bay also was revived. 1853. detail of a Japanese watercolour. government would send an expeditionary fleet to Japan.and Nagasaki to request commercial relations. Kitajima MasamotoG. eagerly desired ports for fuel and provisions for its Pacific merchant and whaling ships and was not willing to give up attempts to open Japan. Perry that entered Uraga Bay in July 1853. The United States. When refused by the bakufu. in the Chrysler Museum of Art. Biddle returned empty-handed. « Rumours had long circulated among the various Western powers that the U. This pressure was initiated by the squadron of U. backed by massive naval strength. warships commanded by Commodore Matthew C. and new gun emplacements were built. however. but decided instead to continue extensive military preparations against potential attack. In response. Cameron Hurst III Japan from 1850 to 1945 The Meiji restoration . the number of domains on guard duty was increased. which had been rescinded during the Temp reforms. But the bakufu had for two centuries retained its political dominance through strict adherence to the policy of seclusion.
only to discover that they were firmly xenophobic and called for the expulsion of Westerners. samurai activists used their antiforeign slogans primarily to obstruct and embarrass the bakufu. or ³Enlightened Rule´²replaced the Tokugawa bakufu. or shogunate. By the early 1860s the Tokugawa bakufu found itself in a dilemma. At the same time. the lord of Mito domain (han). nurtured by years of peace and study. On the other it knew that providing the economic means for self-defense meant giving up shogunal controls that kept competing lords financially weak. received support even within the shogunal camp from men such as Tokugawa Nariaki. in particular. In this Nariaki was opposed by the bakufu's chief councillor (tair ). the changes initiated during the Meiji period (1868±1912) constituted a social and political revolution that began in the late Tokugawa period and was not completed until the promulgation of the Meiji constitution in 1889. while foreigners were assured that it remained committed to ³opening the country´ and abiding by the treaties. Ii's death inaugurated years of violence during which activist samurai used their swords against the hated ³barbarians´ and all who consorted with them. already weakened by an eroding economic base and ossified political structure. who tried to steer the nation toward self-strengthening and gradual opening. they exacted a heavy toll from political enemies. the shogun's claim of loyalty to the throne and his role as ³subduer of barbarians´ came to be questioned. The bakufu. In that year the boy emperor Mutsuhito²later known by his reign name Meiji. the shogun elicited support from the daimyo through consultation. After the arrival of the British minister Sir Harry Parkes in 1865. Both sides saw it as prevaricating and ineffectual. If swords proved of little use against Western guns. antiforeign acts provoked stern countermeasures and diplomatic indemnities. at the political centre of the nation. Great Britain. The fall of the Tokugawa The arrival of Americans and Europeans in the 1850s increased domestic tensions. To bolster his position. But Ii's effort to restore the bakufu was short-lived. On the one hand it had to strengthen the country against foreigners.y Important Japanese historical sites. When the bakufu. Thereafter. which retained little room to maneuver. Ii Naosuke. Although phrased in traditional terms as a restoration of imperial rule. Nariaki and his followers sought to involve the Ky to court directly in shogunal affairs in order to establish a nationwide program of preparedness. The term restoration is commonly applied to the political changes in Japan that returned power to the imperial house in 1868. despite opposition from the throne in Ky to. signed the Treaty of Kanagawa (or Perry Convention. saw no reason to negotiate further with the bakufu and decided to deal directly with the imperial court in Ky to. . tried to push their feudal superiors into more strongly antiforeign positions. now found itself challenged by Western powers intent on opening Japan to trade and foreign intercourse. Most samurai soon realized that expelling foreigners by force was impossible. for their part. The growing influence of imperial loyalism. Activist samurai. In the spring of 1860 he was assassinated by men from Mito and Satsuma. Domestically it was forced to make antiforeign concessions to placate the loyalist camp. Foreign military superiority was demonstrated conclusively with the bombardment of Kagoshima in 1863 and Shimonoseki in 1864. Activists used the slogan ³Sonn j i´ (³Revere the emperor! Expel the barbarians!´) not only to support the throne but also to embarrass the bakufu. 1854) and the Harris Treaty (1858).
They were convinced that Japan needed a unified national government to achieve military and material equality with the West. and on a well-trained military for national security. In 1867 he resigned his powers rather than risk a full-scale military confrontation with Satsuma and Ch sh . and Tosa units. as the daimyo's counselors. like Kido K in and It Hirobumi of Ch sh and Saig Takamori and kubo Toshimichi of Satsuma. . Later that year the emperor moved into the Tokugawa castle in Edo. The cooperation of the impressionable young emperor was essential to these efforts. Several of these had secretly traveled to England and were consequently no longer blindly xenophobic. But this was not to be.Samurai in several domains also revealed their dissatisfaction with the bakufu's management of national affairs. or appearing disobedient. ³Fukoku ky hei´ (³Enrich the country. which was surrendered without battle. Most. who realized the pressing need for national unity. Yoshinobu. Saga. strengthen the military´) became the Meiji slogan. In January 1868 the principal daimyo were summoned to Ky to to learn of the restoration of imperial rule. The same men organized militia units that utilized Western training methods and arms and included nonsamurai troops. This led to bombardment of Ch sh 's fortifications by Western ships in 1864 and a shogunal expedition that forced the domain to resubmit to Tokugawa authority. With the emperor and his supporters now in control. Indeed. One domain in which the call for more direct action emerged was Ch sh (now part of Yamaguchi prefecture). In 1866 Ch sh allied itself with neighbouring Satsuma. and a few court nobles who maintained close ties with Satsuma and Ch sh . It was believed that the West depended on constitutionalism for national unity. their measures destroyed the samurai class. Echizen²and court nobles like Iwakura Tomomi and Sanj Sanetomi. a group of men who had originally led the radical antiforeign movement. the Tokugawa cause was doomed. Ch sh . doing so in the belief that he would retain an important place in any emerging national administration. Ch sh . the shogun faced the choice of giving up his lands. Again shogunal armies were sent to control Ch sh in 1866. and a military coup in 1864 brought to power. Meanwhile. which would risk revolt from his vassals. and those of the court who had sided with the emperor. on industrialization for material strength. While sporadic fighting continued until the summer of 1869. were young samurai of modest rank. the death of the shogun Iemochi in 1866 brought to power the last shogun. who succeeded to the throne in 1867. which fired on foreign shipping in the Shimonoseki Strait in 1863. In order to gain backing for their policies. From feudal to modern state The Meiji government was dominated by men from Satsuma. advanced on Edo. the building of the modern state began. and the city was renamed Tokyo (³Eastern Capital´). Ch sh became the centre for discontented samurai from other domains who were impatient with their leaders' caution. In the wake of this defeat. Outmaneuvered by the young Meiji emperor. but they did not represent in any sense a class interest. fearing a Tokugawa attempt to crush all opponents to create a centralized despotism with French help. Yoshinobu tried to move troops against Ky to. they enlisted the support of leaders from domains with which they had worked²Tosa. which would justify punitive measures against him. Satsuma. The defeat of these troops by Ch sh forces led to further loss of power and prestige. now the imperial army. only to be defeated. Their aims were national²to overthrow the shogunate and create a new government headed by the emperor. But many of Ch sh 's samurai refused to accept this decision.
The court took steps to standardize the administration of the domains. modern communications. In 1871 the governor-daimyo were summoned to Tokyo and told that the domains were officially abolished. fertilizers. Others quickly followed suit. who were released from feudal controls. appointing their former daimyo as governors. the most serious occurring in the southwest. former samurai. but in the end superior transport. but financial duress forced the conversion of these into lump-sum payments of interest-bearing but nonconvertible bonds in 1876. and the loyalties of most Satsuma men in the central government remained with the imperial cause. and measures to promote new technology. Starting in 1869 the old hierarchy was replaced by a simpler division that established three orders: court nobles and former feudal lords became kazoku (³peers´). The 250 former domains now became 72 prefectures and three metropolitan districts. Samurai discontent resulted in numerous revolts. produced a rise in agricultural . and by far the greatest. and seeds. Tosa. In 1871 Iwakura Tomomi led a large number of government officials on a mission to the United States and Europe. Ch sh . In the process. A national conscription system instituted in 1873 further deprived samurai of their monopoly on military service. where the restoration movement had started and warriors expected the greatest rewards. Yet. This rebellion was led by the restoration hero Saig Takamori and lasted six months. In 1869 the lords of Satsuma. samurai called for a foreign war to provide employment for their class. In Saga.Knowledge was to be sought in the West. and better weapons assured victory for the government. Other symbolic class distinctions such as the hairstyle of samurai and the privilege of wearing swords were abolished. and there was widespread confusion and uncertainty among farmers that expressed itself in the form of short-lived revolts and demonstrations. The Meiji leaders also realized that they had to end the complex class system that had existed under feudalism. Their experiences strengthened convictions already formed on the requisites for modernization. issues were localized. and though rewarded with titles in a new European-style peerage in 1884. Land surveys were begun in 1873 to determine the amount and value of land based on average rice yields in recent years. a number later reduced by one-third. it was difficult to deal with the samurai. But the establishment of private ownership. the goodwill of which was essential for revising the unequal treaties. almost two million in 1868. The land measures involved basic changes. Abolition of feudalism The Meiji reformers began with measures that addressed the decentralized feudal structure to which they attributed Japan's weakness. Many former samurai lacked commercial experience and squandered their bonds. The same surveys led to certificates of land ownership for farmers. were effectively removed from political power. An uprising in Ch sh expressed dissatisfaction with administrative measures that deprived the samurai of their status and income. The imperial government's conscript levies were hard-pressed to defeat Saig . and Saga were persuaded to return their lands to the throne. The last. Inflation also undercut their value. and a monetary tax of 3 percent of land value was established. and all others (including outcast groups) now became heimin (³commoners´). who numbered. The samurai were initially given annual pensions. most daimyo were eased out of administrative roles. with dependents. In this. shizoku. as in the other revolts. revolt came in Satsuma in 1877.
For a time its organization and philosophy were Western. Constitutional movement Many Japanese believed that constitutions provided the unity that gave Western nations their strength. became the centre of a citizen's ideology. The education system also was utilized to project into the citizenry at large the ideal of samurai loyalty that had been the heritage of the ruling class. a small group of men came to dominate many industries. but the unequal treaties enacted with foreign powers made it impossible to protect industries with tariffs until 1911. permitting ³religious freedom´ while requiring a form of worship as the patriotic duty of all Japanese. but. To avoid charges of indoctrination. Collectively they became known as the zaibatsu. the government initiated a program of industrialization. True national unity required the propagation of new loyalties among the general populace and the transformation of powerless and inarticulate peasants into citizens of a centralized state. In the 1880s fear of excessive inflation led the government to sell its remaining plants to private investors²usually individuals with close ties to those in power. the emperor's charter oath of April 1868 committed the government to establishing . became the principal source of government revenue for several decades. which proved unworkable. while important for some intellectuals. this program was largely in private hands. Meanwhile. loyalty to the emperor. The use of religion and ideology was vital to this process. In 1868 the government experimented with a two-chamber house. Although it was hard-pressed for money. which constituted the moral content of later Japanese education. and that of Mitsubishi was founded by a Tosa samurai who had been an associate of those within the government's inner circle. replacing Buddhism with a cult of national deities that supported the throne. Equally important for building a modern state was the development of national identity. Trade and manufacturing benefited from a growing national market and legal security. was on friendly terms with many of the Meiji oligarchs. Thus. The land tax. As a result. therefore. By the 1890s the education system provided the ideal vehicle to inculcate the new ideological orientation. these men maintained close ties to the government leadership. the state distinguished between this secular cult and actual religion. With great opportunities and few competitors. A system of universal education had been announced in 1872.output. Except for military industries and strategic communications. supplemented by printed money. Early Meiji policy. who was hedged about with Confucian teachings and Shint reverence. The House of Mitsui. which was seen as essential for national strength. The challenge remained how to use traditional values without risking foreign condemnation that the government was forcing a state religion upon the Japanese. it was treated with suspicion by many in the government. or financial cliques. elevated Shint to the highest position in the new religious hierarchy. The Meiji leaders therefore sought to transform Japan in this direction. for instance. Christianity was reluctantly legalized in 1873. In 1890 the Imperial Rescript on Education (Ky iku Chokugo) laid out the lines of Confucian and Shint ideology. zaibatsu firms came to dominate enterprise after enterprise. although the government set up pilot plants to provide encouragement. but during the 1880s a new emphasis on ethics emerged as the government tried to counter excessive Westernization and followed European ideas on nationalist education. Sharing a similar vision for the country.
The constitution was drafted behind the scenes by a commission headed by It Hirobumi and aided by the German constitutional scholar Hermann Roesler. and it could be amended only upon . In Germany he found an appropriate balance of imperial power and constitutional forms that seemed to offer modernity without sacrificing effective control. It also traveled to Europe as part of the work to prepare the new constitution. To balance a popularly elected lower house. designed to judge and safeguard the constitution. was set up in 1888. Village leaders. At odds with Iwakura and kubo. which attracted considerable support among urban business and journalistic communities. He also revealed sensational evidence of corruption in the disposal of government assets in Hokkaido. whose members were largely wealthy farmers. and former daimyo were given titles and readied for future seats in a house of peers. Government leaders. submitted a relatively liberal constitutional draft in 1881. was installed in 1885. In 1881 he organized the Liberal Party (Jiy t ). It became head of the council. Former samurai realized that a parliamentary system might allow them to recoup their lost positions. It established a new European-style peerage in 1884. In 1880 nearly 250. wanted a more participatory system that could reflect their emerging bourgeois interests. in which ministers were directly appointed by the emperor. The constitution took the form of a gracious gift from the sovereign to his people. The clamour of 1881 resulted in an imperial promise of a constitution by 1889. which met in 1890. For this he was forced out of the government's inner circle. Echoing the government's call for greater participation were voices from below. Starting with self-help samurai organizations. military commanders. In the interim Itagaki traveled to Europe and returned convinced more than ever of the need for national unity in the face of Western condescension. the parties were encouraged to await its promulgation quietly. calling for a popularly elected assembly so that future decisions might reflect the will of the people²by which they largely meant the former samurai. Under these circumstances. the parties decided to dissolve temporarily in 1884. Consequently. who insisted on domestic reform over risky foreign ventures. Samurai interest was sparked by a split in the government's inner circle over a proposed Korean invasion in 1873. became less inclined to support liberal ideas. and several incidents of this type led to severe government reprisals and increased police controls and press restrictions. The period of its drafting coincided with an era of great economic distress in the countryside. and to the pursuit by all Japanese of their individual callings. Itagaki expanded his movement for ³freedom and popular rights´ to include other groups.´ to a worldwide search for knowledge. and a Privy Council. Village leaders. and elections for the lower house were held to prepare for the initial Diet (Kokkai). Meanwhile. confronted by unruly members of their community whose land faced imminent foreclosure. a leader from Saga. A cabinet system. Itagaki Taisuke and several fellow samurai from Tosa and Saga left the government in protest. which he published without official approval. The constitution was formally promulgated in 1889. kuma organized the Progressive Party (Kaishint ) in 1882 to further his British-based constitutional ideals. kuma Shigenobu. the emperor requested the advice of his ministers on constitutional matters. to the abrogation of past customs.³deliberative assemblies´ and ³public discussion. This provided an environment in which party agitation could easily kindle direct action and violence. who had benefited from the commercialization of agriculture in the late Tokugawa period.000 signatures were gathered on petitions demanding a national assembly.
a tax qualification of 15 yen limited the electorate to about 500.´ If the Diet refused to approve a budget. The government leaders found it harder to control the lower house than initially anticipated. the one from the previous year could be followed. the constitution provided a much greater arena for dissent and debate than had previously existed. With the new institutions in place. Asian relations were seen as less important than domestic development. It was not until 1894. at times. The emperor was ³sacred and inviolable´. Rights and liberties were granted ³except as regulated by law. to cooperate with the oligarchs. that they could not revise the treaties until Japanese legal institutions were reformed along European and American lines. The Western powers insisted.000. made war and peace. In 1874 a punitive expedition was launched against Formosa (Taiwan) to chastise the aborigines for murdering Ryukyuan fishermen. and in 1925 universal manhood suffrage came into effect. Achieving equality with the West was one of the primary goals of the Meiji leaders. Treaty reform. Initially. Efforts to reach a compromise settlement in the 1880s were rejected by the press and opposition groups in Japan. The lower house could initiate legislation. this was lowered in 1900 and 1920. that treaty provisions for extraterritoriality were formally changed. Despite its antidemocratic features. Even military budgets required Diet approval for increases. however. he commanded the armies. were greater than before.imperial initiative. Private property was inviolate. Its provisions were couched in general terms. therefore. and freedoms. This lent support to . and dissolved the lower house at will. designed to end the foreigners' judicial and economic privileges provided by extraterritoriality and fixed customs duties was sought as early as 1871 when the Iwakura mission went to the United States and Europe. the oligarchs withdrew from power and were content to maintain and conserve the ideological and political institutions they had created through their roles as elder statesmen (genr ). though subject to legislation. which could claim to represent the imperial will. The emergence of imperial Japan Foreign affairs y Japanese expansion in the late 19th and 20th centuries. It also ended the revolutionary phase of the Meiji Restoration. The constitution thus basically redefined politics for both sides. and party leaders found it advantageous. Effective power thus lay with the executive. The rescript on education guaranteed that future generations would accept imperial authority without question. During the first half of the Meiji period.
Port Arthur (now Lü-shun). which China still viewed as a tributary state. A commercial treaty giving Japan special tax exemptions and other trade and manufacturing privileges was signed in 1896. With the rebellion crushed. President Theodore Roosevelt offered to mediate a peace settlement. But the war was extremely costly in Japanese lives and treasure. Russia. the Ryukyus were incorporated into Japan in 1879. and in 1885 China and Japan agreed that neither would send troops to Korea without first informing the other. granted Japan all rights enjoyed by European powers. and China ceded to Japan Formosa. and Germany were not willing to endorse Japanese gains and forced the return of the Liaotung Peninsula to China. including the opening of new treaty ports and a large indemnity in gold. In this pact both countries agreed to aid the other in the event of an attack by two or more powers but remain neutral if the other went to war with a single enemy. China became increasingly concerned about expanding Japanese influence in Korea. The peace treaty negotiated at Shimonoseki was formally signed on April 17. aired by Japanese nationalists and some liberals. with the loss of its northern fleet. Japanese forces proved to be superior on both land and sea. Meanwhile. and Japan was relieved when U. The Russo-Japanese War Reluctant to accept Japanese leadership. During the Boxer Rebellion (1900) in China. the Pescadores Islands. 1895. Japan quickly rushed troops to Korea. and. Insult was added to injury when Russia leased the same territory with its important naval base. the most spectacular victory occurred in the Tsushima Strait. Realizing the need for protection against multiple European enemies. which had been under Satsuma influence in Tokugawa times. where the ships of Admiral T g Heihachir destroyed the Russian Baltic fleet. thereby strengthening its links with Korea. The Sino-Japanese War By the early 1890s Chinese influence in Korea had increased. Japanese arms were everywhere successful. it also strengthened the hand of the military in national affairs. At the same time. and made significant economic concessions. When the Chinese notified Tokyo of this. At the same time. The Treaty of Portsmouth. the Japanese began talks with England that led to the Anglo-Japanese Alliance (1902). In 1894 Korea requested Chinese assistance in putting down a local rebellion. both sides recognized the independence of Korea. Japanese troops played a major part in the allied expedition to rescue foreign nationals in Beijing. and the Liaotung Peninsula. it proved a tremendous source of prestige for Japan and brought the government much internal support. Incidents on the peninsula in 1882 and 1884 that might have involved China and Japan in war were settled by compromise. Despite Chinese protests. Backed by Britain. China sued for peace. neither side withdrew. The war thus demonstrated that the Japanese could not maintain Asian military victories without Western sufferance.S. Meanwhile. France. were steadily rejected by the Meiji leaders. Tokyo was prepared to take a firmer stand against Russian advances in Manchuria and Korea. Korea instead sought Russia's help. The Sino-Japanese War formally erupted in July 1894. Japan thus marked its own emancipation from the unequal treaties by imposing even harsher terms on its neighbour. signed on . but Russia occupied southern Manchuria.Japanese claims to the Ryukyu Islands. from China in 1898. calls for an aggressive foreign policy in Korea. In 1904 Japanese ships attacked the Russian fleet at Port Arthur without warning. In the Russo-Japanese War (1904±05) that followed.
1905. It 's assassination in 1909 led to Korea's annexation by Japan the following year. By 1912. and Russia granted to Japan its economic and political interests in southern Manchuria. Russia also ceded to Japan the southern half of the island of Sakhalin. Subsequent Japanese sponsorship of corrupt warlord regimes in Manchuria and North China helped to confirm the anti-Japanese nature of modern Chinese nationalism. But at home Japan's failure to gain an indemnity to pay for the heavy war costs made the treaty unpopular. These treaties included a Four-Power Pact. the Chinese resisted the most extreme Japanese demands that would have turned China into a Japanese ward. After the conclusion of the war. The part played by Japan in the Allied intervention in Siberia following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1918 caused further concerns about Japanese expansion. was to reduce Japanese influence. forced through treaties that gave Korea little more than protectorate status and ordered the abdication of the Korean king. A network of treaties was designed to place restraints on Japanese ambitions while guaranteeing Japanese security. D. Japan had abundant opportunity to use its new power in the years that followed.. Korean opposition to Japanese ³reforms´ was no longer tolerated. While giving in on a number of specific issues. including the Liaotung Peninsula. It Hirobumi. The rapaciousness of Japanese demands and China's chagrin at its failure to recover its losses in the Treaty of Versailles (1919) cost Japan any hope of Chinese friendship. in 1921±22. During World War I it fought on the Allied side but limited its activities to seizing German possessions in China and the Pacific. Despite its economic gains. and it encouraged nationalist movements in India and the Middle East. that tried to pressure China into widespread concessions ranging from extended leases in Manchuria and joint control of China's coal and iron resources to policy matters regarding harbours and the policing of Chinese cities. Japanese leaders gained a free hand in Korea. One of the principal reasons for the disarmament conference held in Washington. sent to Korea as resident general. Japan had not only achieved equality with the West but also had become the strongest imperialist power in East Asia. Japan's World War I China policy left behind a legacy of ill feeling and distrust. when the Meiji emperor died.September 5. Korean liberties and resistance were crushed. issued in 1915. both in China and in the West. The victory over Russia altered the balance of power in East Asia.C. Japanese expansionism y Japanese expansion in the late 19th and 20th centuries. . When China sought the return of former German holdings in Shantung province. Japan responded with the so-called Twenty-one Demands. gave Japan primacy in Korea.
and were allowed to form a government. which enlisted most of the former followers of Itagaki's Jiy t . and it was only a general determination to convince Western skeptics that constitutional government could work in Japan that forced party and government leaders to cooperate. which represented the emperor. Thereafter.between Japan. by the mid-1920s Japan's great surge forward in Asia and the Pacific had ended. Saionji was the last leader recruited into this extraconstitutional body. protect China from further unilateral demands. based on the absence of irritating reminders of inferiority and weakness. Japan subsequently agreed to retire from Shantung. continued to be made by the elder statesmen.R. this gave the army and navy power to break cabinets. Basic decisions on politics and policy. Japanese armies withdrew from Siberia and northern Sakhalin. It Hirobumi endorsed the party trend by forming the Friends of Constitutional Government Party (Rikken Seiy kai) in 1900. Meanwhile. who advised the emperor on all important matters and selected prime ministers by rotating power between the two principal factions. This brought hope that a new quality of moderation and reasonableness. Thereafter. and It . In 1898 Itagaki and kuma combined forces to form a single party. Thus. however. After 1901 both It and Yamagata retired from active participation in politics. This policy failed because the parties tried to increase their power and patronage and therefore sought cabinets responsible to the Diet. maintained the principle that the government. These arrangements proved unsatisfactory. In power for two years after the Kenseit cabinet. practical political goals of power and patronage softened the hostility between oligarchs and politicians. In 1925 a treaty with the Soviet Union extended recognition to the U. might characterize Japanese policy. he strengthened legal and institutional safeguards against rule by political parties and secured an imperial ordinance that service ministers should be career officers on active duty. led by Yamagata Aritomo. . and ended active hostilities.S. Only the Sino-Japanese War produced the kind of unity the constitution's makers had envisaged. But their alliance was brittle as long-standing animosities and jealousies enabled antiparty forces among the bureaucracy and oligarchy to force their resignation within a few months. A discernible division developed among the dwindling group of Meiji leaders. it was hoped. usually exchanging cabinet seats for support in the lower house.S. the Constitutional Party (Kenseit ). Matsukata Masayoshi. shortly thereafter. must be aloof from parties and that the lower house should approve government requests. Yamagata Aritomo dominated the army and much of the bureaucracy. that replaced the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. and a Five-Power Naval Limitation Treaty (with Italy) that set limits for battleships at a ratio of five for Great Britain and the United States to three for Japan. An agreement on the fortification of Pacific island bases was intended to assure Japan of security in its home waters. Great Britain. the oligarchs formed alliances with the two parties. and until 1913 cabinets were led by their protégés Saionji Kimmochi and Katsura Tar . The first cabinets. when party leaders raised their sights. the United States. and France. Finally a Nine-Power Pact would. and. however. Constitutional government The inauguration of parliament in 1890 was accompanied by a vigorous and often obstreperous opposition in the lower house.
Therefore. moderate social legislation was enacted. Many were closely related to the growth and development of industry. This was strengthened under Kat in 1925 as conservatives generally began to fear subversion in labour and tenant movements. which came into production in 1901 and greatly expanded Japan's heavy industrial sector. Immigration Act of 1924 to warn of the futility of cooperating with Western countries. textile and other consumer-goods industries expanded to meet Japanese needs and to earn credits required for the import of raw materials. After several short-lived cabinets. and interest in Marxism expanded in intellectual circles. but mental illness prevented him from approximating his father's fame. But. despite demands from nationalists. which provided needed . they needed to work out their ideas for reform with utmost caution. Meanwhile. The growing prestige and power of businessmen found expression in their control of the political parties and resulted in an increasing role for professional party politicians. Heavy industry was encouraged by government-controlled banks. The genr 's last attempt to seat Katsura in 1912 ended in failure. the House of Peers. After the Treaty of Shimonoseki the government used the Chinese indemnity to subsidize the Yawata Iron and Steel Works in northern Kyushu. No subsequent group could match the prestige of the Meiji leaders. At the same time. and universal manhood suffrage extended the franchise to some 14 million voters. while his successor. and his appointment marked the first party cabinet. however. The army was reduced in size. party cabinets had to make peace with the military. reigned 1912±26). a successful party cabinet was organized by Kat Takaaki in 1924. was discredited by scandals in naval procurement. who utilized alleged outrages in China and the discriminatory U. Their anxieties mounted after the Japan Communist Party (JCP) was organized in 1922. Admiral Yamamoto Gonnohy e. Hara was the first nontitled person to hold that office. His assassination in 1921 cut short his cautious efforts to rein in military and bureaucratic power and extend the franchise. as the parties grew in power. The Diet often found itself virtually powerless. which led to disorder and corruption that did little to win popular support for representative government. kuma Shigenobu emerged from retirement to head a cabinet during World War I and was succeeded by a military cabinet under General Terauchi Masatake. In 1918. The Meiji constitution was so ambiguous in assigning executive power that without institutional reform the party prime ministers could do little but compromise with forces antagonistic to democratic government. discontent with Terauchi's reactionary posture and administrative incompetence combined with the rising power of the party professionals to bring about the appointment of Hara Takashi (Hara Kei) as prime minister. Japan avoided stronger involvement in the civil war in China and pursued a conciliatory course with the Soviet Union. The Meiji emperor died in 1912 and was succeeded by a son who took the reign name Taish (³Great Righteousness´. and the conservatives close to the throne. A growing labour movement already had been checked by a special police law introduced in 1900. Under the Meiji constitution. Social change Social and intellectual changes taking place in Japan were as important as those in politics. they tended to look to bureaucrats for leadership. The businessmen who supported the parties and the bureaucrats who led them shared a fear of the social movements that followed industrialization and the importation of foreign ideas.S.With the death or enfeeblement of the first generation of oligarchs. the pattern of political manipulation changed.
but its program was often theoretical and doctrinaire. Farmers also were handicapped by growing fragmentation of holdings and increasing tenancy. The educated class grew in size and vigour. The Tokyo-Yokohama area was devastated by the great Kant earthquake of September 1923. and sports became popular. after early improvements. notably steel and the principal rail lines. Western music. slowed and stagnated. and the region's reconstruction as a modern metropolis symbolized the growth of the urban society. domestic food production was hard-pressed to stay abreast of population increases. Peace-preservation laws were passed in 1900 and 1925 to inhibit labour organization. the Marxist influence went far . Government efforts to address the situation resulted in little more than a law in 1924 that called for mediation of landlord-tenant disputes. The rising number of tenants resulted in an expansion of tenant organizations. the countryside remained poor. where a growing labour force and new middle class were concentrated. But the early 20th century was not a time of agricultural prosperity. Agricultural productivity. but most new growth was in the private sector. By 1900 Japan's population had expanded to nearly 45 million from a late Tokugawa base of about 30 million. A financial panic in 1927 aggravated rural conditions and indebtedness. however unsuccessful. Increasing numbers of Japanese were attracted to urban industrial centres. which augmented farm income. In 1903 a small group organized the Heimin shimbun (³Commoner's Newspaper´). In the countryside the principal reflection of Japan's growing involvement in the world economy was the increased production of silkworms. and largely undeveloped. it published The Communist Manifesto and opposed the RussoJapanese War before being forced to cease publication. Meanwhile. and at times control. the political parties. the majority of which were women employed in the textile mills. In social terms.capital. Several efforts to organize socialist movements met with police repression. and the rise of a feminist movement. The most lasting social changes were found in the great metropolitan centres. At the same time. were in state hands. the increasing confidence and power of management came to influence. dancing. rural Japan provided the bulk of the labourers for the new industries. and its leaders found it difficult to make contact with workers. Cultural interests during and after World War I were uniformly international and largely American in inspiration. and in 1928 it became a capital crime to agitate against private property or the Japanese ³national polity´ (kokutai). especially during and after World War I. Colonial competition tended to depress domestic agricultural prices. marked the beginning of changes in the family system. In 1895 the industrial labour force numbered about 400. The socialist movement gained strength after World War I. and rising urban living standards and expectations produced the need for more and better higher education. and it became necessary to import food.000. Strategic industries. Police repression and the difficulties of organizing a labour movement among large numbers of women workers (who worked under three-year contracts before leaving to get married) and diverse industrial empires such as Mitsui and Mitsubishi also hampered union organizers. The participation of women in office work and other new occupations. At the same time. traditional. even before the collapse of the American silk market in 1929 spelled disaster for farmers and workers alike. and daughters from farming families were found in many textile plants. Currents of thought included Western-style democracy and the new radicalism of the Soviet Union. The enlarged urban population produced movements of social inquiry and protest.
both symbolizing and stimulating the world of advanced ideas. and occasional corruption of Diet representatives was contrasted to the poverty found in many parts of Japan.beyond the ranks of the struggling Communist Party²which. while discriminatory legislation in many countries and anti-Japanese racism served as barriers to emigration.´ The economic well-being of the urban classes depended on the continued expansion of international trade. numerous Japanese were prepared to listen to charges that the political-party government. Political liberalism was championed by the educator and politician Yoshino Sakuz . Minobe Tatsukichi. but they had great influence. dominated by selfish zaibatsu interests. imperiled morality and decency at home. and allowed subversive trends to flourish. while politicians reaped personal fortunes. Chinese and Japanese efforts to secure racial equality in the League of Nations covenant had been rejected by Western statesmen. no advances²beyond the suffrage act of 1925²were made. Such men faced sharp criticism and. which represented a self-conscious break with tradition. in any event. Western tariffs limited exports. in time. Japan had to be able to export. however. while the peace-preservation laws of 1928 established a special police corps to ferret out ³dangerous thoughts. and when the venality. When the worldwide financial collapse at the end of the decade wrecked Japan's foreign markets and removed the possibility of villagers augmenting their meagre incomes from rice farming with silk production. Politically and institutionally. The rise of the militarists y Japanese expansion in the late 19th and 20th centuries. who formed a group of students and intellectuals into the New Peoples Association (Shinjinkai). was soon crushed by the police. It was argued that the rapid growth of Japan's population²which stood at close to 65 million in 1930²necessitated large food imports. a distinguished constitutional theorist. had neglected Japan's markets in China. introduced the idea that the emperor was an organ of the state and not the sole source of sovereignty. it was argued. was precarious. were forced to resign their positions. The weakening of party government . irresponsibility. To sustain such imports. Japan had no recourse but to use force. The notion that expansion through military conquest would solve Japan's economic problems gained currency during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The base for these new currents. Thus.
By allying with other rightists. Distrustful of their senior leaders.´ A number of rightist organizations existed that were dedicated to the theme of internal purity and external expansion. or even most. Many military men objected to the restraint shown by Japan toward the Chinese Nationalists' northern expedition of 1926 and 1927 and wanted Japan to take a harder line in China. Many of them had goals that were nationalsocialist in character. The army and its supporters felt that such vacillation earned Japan ill will and boycotts in China without gaining any advantages. It is clear. contended that the Meiji constitution should be suspended in favour of a revolutionary regime advised by ³national patriots´ and headed by a military government. But Tanaka was replaced by Hamaguchi in 1929. that the terrorists never had as much influence as they claimed or as the West believed. who were largely from rural backgrounds. It would be wrong to attribute such resentment to all. These sought to preserve what they thought was unique in the Japanese spirit and fought against excessive Western influence. while the government of Prime Minister Hamaguchi Osachi in 1930 had accepted the London Naval Conference's limits on heavy cruisers over military objections. and the assassins' success in publicizing and dramatizing the virtues they claimed to embody had a considerable impact on the troubled 1930s. but enough army officers held such views to become a locus for dissatisfaction among other groups in Japanese society. Kita helped persuade a number of young officers to take part in the violence of the 1930s with the hope of achieving these ends. The principal force against parliamentary government was provided by junior military officers. Some originated in the Meiji period. and contemptuous of the urban luxuries of politicians. like the Black Dragon Society (Kokury kai). Aggression in Manchuria . Under Prime Minister Tanaka Giichi the Seiy kai cabinet reversed earlier policy by intervening in Shantung in 1927 and 1928.To these economic and racial arguments was added the military's distrust of party government. Economic pressures and political misgivings were further exploited by civilian ultranationalists who portrayed parliamentary government as being ³un-Japanese. While many military leaders chafed under the restrictions that civilian governments placed upon them. acculturation. and Westernization. end party government and the peerage. they still retained considerable power. however. ignorant of political economy. combined continental adventurism and a strong nationalist stance with opposition to party government. they alternately terrorized and intimidated their presumed opponents. limit wealth. Kita Ikki. A number of business leaders and political figures were killed. big business. The idea of the frugal and selfless samurai served as a useful contrast to the stock portrait of the selfish party politician. Most. which should nationalize large properties. and prepare to take the leadership of a revolutionary Asia. The Washington Conference had allowed a smaller ratio of naval strength than the navy desired. such officers were ready marks for rightist theorists. when nationalists had felt obliged to work for a ³fundamental settlement´ of differences with Russia. In 1925 Kat Takaaki had cut the army by four divisions. of the high command. and under his cabinet the policy of moderation was restored. a former socialist and one-time member of the Black Dragon Society.
The action. followed by the occupation of all Manchuria. Within the army. came the Mukden (or Manchurian) Incident. The only possible source of prestige sufficient to thwart the military lay with the throne. several outstanding statesmen (including Sait ) were murdered. Prime Minister Okada Keisuke escaped when the assassins mistakenly shot his brother-in-law. They hoped to place the civilian government in an untenable position and to force its hand. The next plots. 1932. Neither the cabinet nor the Diet dared to investigate and punish those responsible. Those close to the throne feared that a strong stand by the emperor would only widen the search for victims and could lead to his dethronement. helped bring about its fall. many Japanese rallied to support the army. which occupied the Kwantung (Liaotung) Peninsula and patrolled the South Manchurian Railway zone. On September 18. 1931. therefore.The Kwantung Army. naval officers took the lead in a terrorist attack in Tokyo that cost Inukai his life but failed to secure a proclamation of martial law. The Tokyo terrorists similarly sought to change foreign as well as domestic policies. Plotting continued. This convinced extremist officers that their lofty motives would make retribution impossible. taking as his reign name Sh wa (³Enlightened Peace´). and even army headquarters was not always in full control of the field commanders. and Hamaguchi was mortally wounded by an assassin in 1930. Inukai's plans to stop the army by imperial intervention were frustrated. while sharing many of the foreign-policy goals of the young fanatics. For more than three days the rebel units held much of downtown Tokyo. suggested retired Admiral Sait Makoto as prime minister. the last genr . the warlord ruler of Manchuria. The civilian government in Tokyo could not stop the army. the influence of the young extremists now gave way to more conservative officers and generals who were less concerned with domestic reform. 1936. he had traveled in the West. Prime Minister Wakatsuki Reijir gave way in December 1931 to Inukai Tsuyoshi. A Kwantung Army charge that Chinese soldiers had tried to bomb a South Manchurian Railway train (which arrived at its destination safely) resulted in a speedy and unauthorized capture of Mukden (now Shen-yang). In March 1931 a coup involving highly placed army generals was planned but abandoned. Saionji. The young emperor Hirohito had been enthroned in 1926. To forestall its desire for power. included officers who were keenly aware of Japan's continental interests and were prepared to take steps to further them. The road to World War II . As international criticism of Japan's aggression grew. which launched Japanese aggression in East Asia. On February 26. and his interests lay in marine biology. The pattern of direct action in Manchuria began with the murder in 1928 of Chang Tso-lin. On May 15. the ringleaders were quickly arrested and executed. But the senior statesmen were cautious lest they imperil the imperial institution itself. though not authorized by the Tanaka government. The succeeding government of Prime Minister Hamaguchi sought to curtail military activists and their powers. The army now announced that it would accept no party cabinet. were aimed at replacing civilian rule. culminating in a revolt of a regiment about to leave for Manchuria. When the revolt was put down on February 29. His outlook was more progressive than that of his predecessors.
was declared regent and later enthroned as emperor in 1934. P'u-i. Efforts to find a leader who could represent both military and civilian interests led to the appointment to the premiership of the popular but ineffective Konoe Fumimaro. which received 36 out of 466 seats. with surface authority vested in cooperative Chinese and Manchu. however. whose policies had brought Japan out of its economic depression. A League of Nations committee recommended in October 1932 that Japanese troops be withdrawn. Moreover. Domestic politics revealed. In politics. Further external ambitions had to wait. boundary areas were consolidated in order to enlarge Japan's economic sphere. Actual control lay with the Kwantung Army. moreover. and his opposition to further inflationary spending was thus stilled. general elections showed startling gains for the new Social Mass (or Social Masses) Party (Shakai Taish t ). Each advance by the military extremists gained them new concessions from the moderate elements in the government and brought greater foreign hostility and distrust. that the Japanese people were not yet prepared to renounce their parliamentary system. for the resolution of domestic crises. In early 1932 the Japanese navy precipitated an incident at Shanghai in order to end a boycott of Japanese goods. in China the Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek had been kidnapped in the Sian Incident in December 1936. but Japan was not yet prepared to challenge other powers for control of central China. In the spring of 1937. scion of an ancient court family. and a League of Nations commission arranged terms for a withdrawal. Events in China In northern China. The last Manchu emperor of China. Japan had made it clear that it would brook no interference in its China policy and that Chinese attempts to procure technical or military assistance elsewhere would bring Japanese opposition. Chinese sovereignty restored. and a heavy majority of the remainder went to the Seiy kai and Minseit . Rather than oppose the military. By 1934. Japan's response was to formally withdraw from the world body in 1933. Japan poured technicians and capital into Manchukuo. and a large measure of autonomy granted to Manchuria. however. which had .y Japanese expansion in the late 19th and 20th centuries. exploiting its rich resources to establish the base for the heavy-industry complex that was to undergird its ³new order´ in East Asia. all key positions were held by Japanese. and this led to an anti-Japanese united front by Nationalists and Communists. the government agreed to reconstitute Manchuria as an ³independent´ state. however. Manchukuo. The League called upon member states to withhold recognition from the new puppet state. the confrontation between the parties and the army continued. In its wake power shifted to the military conservatives. was killed. in 1937. The military revolt in Tokyo in February 1936 marked the high point of extremist action. Thereafter. Meanwhile. the finance minister Takahashi Korekiyo.
and the Germans were not told of Japan's plans to attack Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. leading to warfare between China and Japan. On discovering that the Nationalist government. Secretary of State Cordell Hull . the Imperial Rule Assistance Association was established to merge the political parties into one central organization. The time seemed ready for new efforts by civilian leaders. Constant Japanese efforts to close this route led to further tensions between Great Britain and Japan. On July 7.combined forces against the government and its policies. Wartime social and economic thought retained important vestiges of an agrarianism and familism that were in essence premodern rather than totalitarian. Foreign relations In November 1936 Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Germany and later with Italy. The emperor remained a symbol. which had retreated up the Yangtze to Chungking. the institutional structure of the Meiji constitution was never altered. The Soviets consented. and Canton despite vigorous Chinese resistance. under the second Konoe cabinet. The intended target was the United States. Anti-Japanese feeling strengthened in the United States. and no führer could compete without endangering the national polity. Nanking was brutally pillaged by Japanese troops. and the Soviets were invited to join the new agreement later in 1940. and in 1940. Japanese armies took Nanking. to sell the Chinese Eastern Railway to the South Manchurian Railway in 1935. But in April 1941 a neutrality pact was signed with the Soviet Union. albeit an increasingly military one. The United States and Great Britain did what they could to assist the Chinese Nationalist cause. and the wartime governments never achieved full control over interservice competition. refused to compromise. distrust. Hank'ou (Hankow). and in 1938 and 1939 Soviet and Japanese armies tested each other in two full-scale battles along the border of Manchukuo. The Japanese were uninformed about Nazi plans for attacking the Soviet Union.S. Germany. In 1937 the Soviet Union signed a nonaggression pact with China. Inner Mongolia and China's northern provinces were invaded. In 1939 U. The Burma Road into southern China permitted the transport of minimal supplies to Nationalist forces. which recognized Japan as the leader of a new order in Asia. however. To the north. the Japanese installed a more cooperative regime at Nanking in 1940. Japanese-German ties were never close or effective. Japan. gunboat in the Yangtze River in 1937. since the Soviets and Nazis had already signed a nonaggression pact in 1939. 1937. Japanese relations with the Soviet Union were considerably less cordial than those with Germany. This was replaced by the Tripartite Pact in September 1940. especially after the sinking of a U. Japanese troops engaged Chinese units at the Marco Polo Bridge near Beijing. thereby strengthening Manchukuo. Both parties were limited in their cooperation by distance. and Italy agreed to assist each other if they were attacked by any additional power not yet at war with them. and claims of racial superiority. Nor. did Japan's state structure approach the totalitarianism of the Nazis. but in the field the armies preempted them. The Imperial Rule Assistance Association failed to mobilize all segments of national life around a leader. despite formal statements of rapport.S. with Germany acting as intermediary. Japan's relations with the democratic powers deteriorated steadily. A national-mobilization law (1938) gave the Konoe government sweeping economic and political powers. yet.
and in July 1941 it announced a joint protectorate with Vichy France over the whole colony. Having failed in his negotiations. Konoe resigned in October 1941 and was immediately succeeded by his war minister. but. Negotiations with Washington were initiated by the second Konoe cabinet. the negotiators received instructions to continue to negotiate.´ built on a ³coprosperity´ concept that placed Japan at the centre of an economic bloc consisting of Manchuria. while inspiring these to friendship and alliance by destroying their previous masters. Konoe was willing to withdraw from Indochina. World War II and defeat Prologue to war The European war presented the Japanese with tempting opportunities.´ the slogan that headed the campaign.renounced the 1911 treaty of commerce with Japan. President Franklin Roosevelt's efforts to rally public opinion against aggressors included efforts to stop Japan. General T j Hideki.S. This opened the way for further moves into Southeast Asia. With Japan's decision for war made. cease aid to China. fleet at Pearl Harbor were already in motion. the Japanese were torn between German urgings to join the war against the Soviets and their natural inclination to seek richer prizes from the European colonial territories to the south. and possibly China. came to mean ³East Asia for Japan. and he sought a personal meeting with Roosevelt. concessions or favours would strengthen his hand against the military. In 1940 Japan occupied northern Indochina in an attempt to block access to supplies for the Chinese Nationalists. But the State Department refused to agree to such a meeting without prior Japanese concessions. Japan's war aims were to establish a ³new order in East Asia. Secretary of State Hull rejected Japan's ³final offer´: Japan would withdraw from Indochina after China had come to terms in return for U. American public opinion rejected involvement abroad.S.S. or seizing the sources of oil production in the Dutch East Indies. promises to resume oil shipments. ³East Asia for the Asiatics. hoping that any U. After the Nazi attack on Russia in 1941. In practice. and thus embargoes became possible in 1940. even after war broke out in Europe in 1939. Korea.´ Early successes . Meanwhile. and North China that would draw on the raw materials of the rich colonies of Southeast Asia. The Japanese now faced the choices of either withdrawing from Indochina. but preparations for the opening strike against the U. and unfreeze Japanese assets. The United States reacted to the occupation of Indochina by freezing Japanese assets and embargoing oil.
landings were made on Okinawa in April. to intercede with the Allies.S. who had been told only of victories. Navy had not been permanently driven from the South Pacific. although Corregidor held out until May. It also unified American opinion and determination to see the war through to a successful conclusion. The first years of the war brought Japan great success. Many in government realized that the war was lost. The attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7 [December 8 in Japan]. When U. and the chain of defenses was breached before the riches of the newly conquered territories could be effectively tapped by Japan. fleet was rebuilt with astonishing speed.S. the T j cabinet was replaced by that of Koiso Kuniaki. The Soviet government had agreed. The Potsdam Declaration issued on July 26 offered the first ray of hope with its statement that Japan would not be ³enslaved as a race. The first plan advanced was to ask the Soviet Union. Singapore fell in February. to enter the war.´ The end of the war . once they fortified their new holdings. Instead. The Allied talk of unconditional surrender provided a good excuse to continue the fight. and the battle for Guadalcanal Island in the Solomons ended with Japanese withdrawal in February 1943. Japan on the defensive After Midway. Koiso formed a supreme war-direction council designed to link the cabinet and the high command. The problem of the new premier.S. nor destroyed as a nation. The Japanese had expected that. When the fall of Saipan in July 1944 brought U. which was still at peace with Japan. The Battle of Midway in June 1942 cost the Japanese fleet four aircraft carriers and many seasoned pilots. Admiral Suzuki Kantar . but none had a program for ending the war that was acceptable to the military. The Allies had difficulty maintaining communications with Australia. the Koiso government fell. its reply was delayed while Soviet leaders participated in the Potsdam Conference in July. Japanese naval leaders secretly concluded that Japan's outlook for victory was poor. was not whether to end the war but how best to do it.S. But the U. the U. In the Philippines. confident that a major victory or protracted battle would help gain honourable terms. bombers within range of Tokyo. and the Dutch East Indies and Rangoon (Burma) in early March. T j grew in confidence and popularity and began to style himself somewhat in the manner of a fascist leader.y Japanese expansion in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Japanese troops occupied Manila in January 1942. Great firebombing raids in 1945 brought destruction to every major city except the old capital of Ky to. In February 1945 the emperor met with a group of senior statesmen to discuss steps that might be taken. consequently. a reconquest would be so expensive in lives and treasure that it would discourage the ³soft´ democracies. 1941) achieved complete surprise and success. and British naval losses promised the Japanese navy further freedom of action. however. but the generals were bent on continuing the war. There were also grave problems in breaking the news to the Japanese people.
but the emperor's prestige and personal will. Japan's largest armies. Instead. headed by the Supreme Commander for Allied Powers (SCAP). The Japanese government attempted to gain as its sole condition for surrender a qualification for the preservation of the imperial institution. The Pacific war came to an end on August 14 (August 15 in Japan). sinking merchant tonnage. represented a period of rapid social and institutional change that was based on the borrowing and incorporation of foreign models. although they probably helped to advance the date. The government stood without prestige or respect. its stockpiles exhausted. respectively. SCAP relied on the Japanese government and its organs. Japan's cities were destroyed. particularly the bureaucracy. and its industrial capacity gutted. to carry out its directives. however. The formal surrender was signed on September 2 in Tokyo Bay aboard the battleship USS Missouri. was not governed directly by foreign troops.S. supported by local ³military government´ teams. the emperor insisted on surrender. Japan since 1945 The early postwar decades Occupation From 1945 to 1952 Japan was under Allied military occupation. The destruction of the Japanese navy and air force jeopardized the home islands. once expressed.C.S. An alarming shortage of food and rising inflation threatened what remained of national strength. like the Taika Reform of the 7th century and the Meiji Restoration 80 years earlier. China. and the Commonwealth countries²the occupation was almost entirely an American affair. after the Allies agreed to respect the will of the Japanese people. where the Kwantung Army could offer only token resistance. The . Bombing brought the consciousness of defeat to the people. Military extremists attempted unsuccessfully to prevent the radio broadcast of the emperor's announcement to the nation. a position held by U. government policy statements drawn up and forwarded to MacArthur in August 1945. Postwar investigators concluded that neither the atomic bombs nor the Soviet entry into the war was central to the decision to surrender.Atomic bombs largely destroyed the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9. unlike Germany. and an Allied Council in Tokyo²which included the United States. sufficed to bring an orderly transition. General Douglas MacArthur until 1951. It was determined that submarine blockade of the Japanese islands had brought economic defeat by preventing exploitation of Japan's new colonies. There were a number of suicides among the military officers and nationalists who felt themselves dishonoured.. the Soviet Union. were never defeated. Although nominally directed by a multinational Far Eastern Commission in Washington. The occupation. While MacArthur developed a large General Headquarters in Tokyo to carry out occupation policy. D. Japan. and convincing Japanese leaders of the hopelessness of the war. the Suzuki cabinet was replaced by that of Prince Higashikuni Naruhiko. By the end of the war. General principles for the proposed governance of Japan had been spelled out in the Potsdam Declaration and elucidated in U. and this was responsible for the army's eagerness to fight on. To increase the appearance of direct rule. On August 8 the Soviet Union declared war and the next day marched into Manchuria.
When Japanese efforts to write a new document proved inadequate. An administrator of considerable skill. Sovereignty now lay with the people. The armed forces were demobilized and millions of Japanese troops and civilians abroad repatriated. he possessed elements of leadership and charisma that appealed to the defeated Japanese. no longer ³sacred´ or ³inviolable. they played a vital role in Japan's recovery as a free and independent nation. including commissioned officers of the armed services and all high executives of the principal industrial firms. A 31-article bill of rights followed. members of which would now be elected by both men and women. In the early months of the occupation. It was formally promulgated on November 3 and went into effect on May 3.´ was now described as the ³symbol of the state and of the unity of the people. The emphasis in the new constitution was clearly on the people rather than the throne. efforts would be made to develop a political system under which individual rights would be guaranteed and protected. All individuals prominent in wartime organizations and politics. MacArthur himself shared the vision of a demilitarized and democratic Japan and was well suited to the task at hand. MacArthur enthusiastically set about creating a new Japan. and nationalist organizations were abolished and their members removed from important posts. while no particular form of government would be forced upon the Japanese. SCAP acted swiftly to remove the principal supports of the militarist state. In 1945 SCAP made it clear to Japanese government leaders that revision of the Meiji constitution should receive their highest priority. The . The Education Ministry's sweeping powers over education were curtailed. another 16 were sentenced to life imprisonment. 1947. The empire was disbanded. and the establishment of an economy that could adequately support a peaceful and democratic Japan. and the House of Peers was replaced by a House of Councillors. meaning that. and. Brooking neither domestic nor foreign interference. An international tribunal was established to conduct war crimes trials. Endorsed by the emperor. with the greatest power concentrated in the House of Representatives. Japan's armament industries were dismantled. democratization.´ The emperor. and compulsory courses on ethics (sh shin) were eliminated.essence of these policies was simple and straightforward: the demilitarization of Japan. this document was placed before the first postwar Diet in April 1946. He encouraged an environment in which new forces could and did rise.´ The constitution called for a bicameral Diet. the police force was decentralized and its extensive power revoked. so that it would not again become a danger to peace. MacArthur's government section prepared its own draft and presented it to the Japanese government as a basis for further deliberations. were removed from their positions. The old peerage was dissolved. with Article 9 renouncing forever ³war as a sovereign right of the nation´ and pledging that ³land. were convicted and hanged. sea and air forces´ would ³never be maintained. The Home Ministry with its prewar powers over the police and local government was abolished. where his reforms corresponded to trends already established in Japanese society. including the wartime prime minister T j . Political reform The most important reform carried out by the occupation was the establishment of a new constitution. and seven men. State Shint was disestablished.
With nearly half of Japan's farmers subsisting as tenants. Executive leadership proved to be the chief asset of the new institutions. which on average consisted of about 2. Still. land reform and agricultural price supports contributed significantly to Japan's emergence as a consumer economy in the 1950s and '60s. and an independent judiciary was established with the right of judicial review. Supported by favourable tax and price arrangements. and an official commission favoured changes in the constitution in 1964. Despite its hasty preparation and foreign inspiration. the reforms were implemented with great efficiency and in the end proved highly successful. but also a liberation of the Japanese people from the economic forces that reinforced such a state. Through legislation a plan was devised whereby landlords. the basic principles of the constitution have enjoyed support among all factions in Japanese politics.5 acres (1 hectare) per farm. and. Given the fact that prices were set at wartime and postwar pre-inflation rates. responsible leadership gradually replaced the ambiguous claims of imperial rule of earlier days. landlords were essentially expropriated. but as one of Japan's most powerful lobbies they often successfully resisted agricultural trade liberalization. Economic and social changes The occupation's political democratization was reinforced by economic and social changes. the new constitution gained wide public support. were forced to divest themselves of a high proportion of their holdings to the government. Except for Japanese assets overseas and a small number of war plants. In a reversal of the Taish dilemma that sprang from low domestic consumption. . Occupation authorities therefore set out to establish a program of land reform that was designed to convert tenants into owner-farmers.Privy Council was abolished. Americans saw little hope for democracy in Japan without significant changes in the ownership of land. the school system. Although the ruling conservatives desired to revise it after Japan regained its sovereignty in 1952. but the unsettled state of other Asian countries that were to have been recipients brought reconsideration. many of whom lived in the cities. no political group in postwar Japan has been able to secure the two-thirds majority needed to make revisions. Japan's postwar prime ministers have found themselves firmly in charge of the administration and (with limited rearmament) the armed forces as well. Initial Allied plans had contemplated exacting heavy reparations from Japan. Thus. with the abolition of the competing forces that had hampered the premiers of the 1930s. and some spheres of local administration²and while Article 9 has been compromised by the decision to form a National Police Reserve that in 1954 became the Self-Defense Forces. the majority of Japan's new owner-farmers gained control of their land. SCAP was aware that political democracy in Japan required not only a weakening of the value structure of the hierarchic ³family state. This land was then sold to tenants on favourable terms. Benefited by agricultural subsidies and government-maintained high agricultural prices. the Japanese countryside experienced increased prosperity.´ which restricted the individual. While parts of the structure established by the document have been modified through administrative actions²including a reversal of the principle of decentralization in areas such as the police. The prime minister was to be chosen by the Diet from its members. Rural voters became not only the mainstay of the conservative LiberalDemocratic Party (LDP) after its formation in 1955 (fulfilling the original American intent).
and the purges that removed many top executives further undercut the largest firms. higher technical schools.200 concerns marked for investigation and possible dissolution. had taken place in the industrial world. Laws on trade unions and labour relations modeled on New Deal legislation in the United States were passed. which had supported the power of the male family head in the past. or universities was seen as essentially elitist. of which it became the leading supporter. too. A Fundamental Law of Education was passed in 1947. new postwar tax policies. was rewritten to allow for equality between the sexes and joint inheritance rights. fewer than 30 were broken up by SCAP. convinced that democracy and equality were best inculcated through education. Postwar social legislation also provided relief from earlier restrictions. At the same time a new labour organization. the need for an economically viable Japan changed this perspective to viewing them as essential for economic recovery. of 1. By 1950 extensive changes. In the late 1950s S hy . Educational reforms Occupation authorities. Leaders of this movement included a number of socialists and communists who had been released from prison by the occupation. but it gave way under Cold War pressures. revised the Japanese educational system. extended the length of compulsory education from six to nine years. But a proposed general strike in 1947 and the Cold War-induced shift toward rapid economic reconstruction. its Marxist and socialist orientation finding a political voice in the Japan Socialist Party (JSP). although far short of those initially proposed. though the major units of the zaibatsu empires²holding companies²were dissolved and their securities made available for public purchase. Thus. which guaranteed academic freedom. and a control of radicalism quickly resulted in a purge of left-wing labour leaders and an effort to bring labour under government control. A new Ministry of Labour was established in 1947. Strengthening the influence of labour in Japan also was seen as important for the advancement of democracy. Although the zaibatsu originally were seen as the chief potential war makers. The prewar system of special channels that led to vocational training. which had become dominated by the left. anti-inflationary policies. In 1948 SCAP ordered the government to take steps to deprive government workers²including those in communications unions²of the right to strike. Women were given the right to vote and to sit in the Diet. and provided for coeducation. and the occupation therefore supported the . New legislation sought to enforce fair trading and to guard against a return to monopolies. were not broken up and proved to be the centres for a measure of reconsolidation in the years after the occupation ended. however. the General Council of Trade Unions of Japan (S hy ). and a strong union movement was initially encouraged. The large banks.reparations were largely limited to those worked out between Japan and its Asian victims after the Treaty of Peace with Japan was signed in 1951. The war itself. had become increasingly antigovernment and anti-American. The civil code. Americans were convinced that Japanese education had been too concerned with rote memorization and indoctrination and that what Japan needed was a curriculum that encouraged initiative and self-reliance. was sponsored as a counterweight and gradual replacement for the Congress of Industrial Labour Unions of Japan (Sambetsu Kaigi). The dissolution of Japan's great financial houses (zaibatsu) also was an early occupation priority.
At the same time. reached some nine million by 1970. as was the case in the 1920s. with the American negotiator John Foster Dulles and representatives of 47 nations. By the 1960s college and university graduates numbered nearly four times their prewar counterparts. which laid the groundwork for national reconstruction and for the essential postwar U. The first trade frictions. the Americans sought to encourage the establishment of prefectural universities and junior colleges. the Seiy kai and Minseit . greatly influenced young urban dwellers. economic development and industrialization supported the emergence of a mass consumer society. To complement Japan's prewar elite institutions. restructured themselves as the Liberal and Progressive parties. Meanwhile. 1952. and exchange rates.´ Other efforts to democratize education were made. Political trends Politics under the occupation and new constitution experienced considerable flux. Initial close ties to the United States fostered by the Mutual Security Treaty gave way to occasional tensions over American policies toward Vietnam. he hammered out the final details of the Treaty of Peace with Japan. Faced with a lack of consensus. and there were some 565 universities and junior colleges. which lasted until 1954. which implemented most of the early SCAP reforms only to be replaced by an equally transitory cabinet headed by the Socialist Katayama Tetsu (1947±48). On the left wing. the economy expanded at unprecedented rates. Large numbers of Japanese who had previously resided in villages became urbanized. who in the postwar period broke with their own traditions and turned increasingly to Hollywood and American popular culture for alternatives. foreign culture. cabinets tended to be unstable and short-lived. Japan capitalized on the economic benefits of close cooperation with the United States during the Korean War (1950±53). lower secondary. Japan's new international image was projected and enhanced by events such . whose population stood at about three million in 1945. the socialists and communists also reorganized their respective parties. Thereafter. China. Entrance to high schools and universities came to depend on passing highly competitive examinations. The American 6-3-3-4 structure of elementary. A similar fate confronted Ashida Hitoshi.-Japan relationship. The era of rapid growth From 1952 to 1973 Japan experienced accelerated economic growth and social change. 1951. Tokyo. higher secondary. The treaty was formally signed on September 8. This was true of the first Yoshida Shigeru cabinet (1946±47). In 1951 Yoshida achieved what he regarded as his greatest accomplishment² the restoration of national sovereignty²by taking Japan to the San Francisco peace conference. and undergraduate higher education was adopted. respectively (the latter eventually becoming the Japan Democratic Party). Initial postwar elections included many political splinter groups. as many of Japan's prewar leaders found themselves purged from public office and the two prewar parties. over Japanese textile exports.S. took place at that time. By 1952 Japan had at last regained its prewar industrial output. who became prime minister for five months in 1948. which many Japanese young people still call ³examination hell. During those years. and the occupation of Japan ended on April 28.standardization of grade levels so that completion of any level would allow entrance to the next. such as Tokyo Imperial University (now the University of Tokyo). There. Yoshida's return to power in the fall of 1948 resulted in a more stable situation and ushered in the Yoshida era.
Japan's output shifted with world currents. steel. As the staging area for the United Nations forces on the Korean peninsula. and meat products. Improvements in transportation²e.as the highly successful 1964 Olympic Summer Games and the 1970. Agricultural yields rose as improved strains of crops and modern technology were introduced. Under these influences the structure of the Japanese economy changed to concentrate on high-quality and high-technology products designed for domestic and foreign consumption. The countryside. as household appliances appeared in remote villages. and in 1965 Japan revealed the first signs that it had a trade surplus. The Japanese economy at the return of independence in 1952 was in the process of growth and change. while also redefining growth to include consumers as well as producers. One was the complete destruction of the nation's industrial base by the war. economically advanced trading partners to replace the Asian markets to which inexpensive textiles had been sent earlier. This meant that Japan's new factories. electronics. Most important. Two elements underscored rapid growth in the 1960s. Sustained prosperity and high annual growth rates. Japan profited indirectly from the war. and as the changing patterns of urban food consumption provided an expanded market for cash crops. which had begun with the legalization of abortion in 1948 and included a national campaign to encourage family planning.. the large and growing domestic market was rendering invalid earlier generalizations about Japan's need for cheap labour and captive Asian colonies to sustain its economy. saka World Exposition of Economic transformation The Korean War marked the turn from economic depression to recovery for Japan. and high technology. as valuable procurement orders for goods and services were assigned to Japanese suppliers. vocational training. which was given a significant boost by Ikeda Hayato's Income Doubling Plan of 1960. began to feel the effects of small-scale mechanization and a continuous migration to industrial centres. precision optical equipment. were not offset by a rapidly expanding population. The era of high growth continued until the ³oil shock´ of 1973: the embargo by OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Nations). A number of factors greatly aided Japan's economic resurgence during the 1950s and '60s. In the 1960s Japanese exports expanded at an annual rate of more than 15 percent. automobiles. which averaged 10 percent in 1955±60 and later climbed to more than 13 percent. showed considerable success. The first was the development of a consumer economy. This plan reaffirmed the government's responsibility for social welfare. were often more efficient than those of their foreign competitors. cargo-handling methods and bulk transport by large ore carriers and tankers²helped to remove the disadvantage of the greater distances over which Japan's products had to be shipped. In the interim. Gains in economic output. The Japanese became enthusiastic followers of the . The production of such products also emphasized Japan's need for stable. and education.g. and steady industrial growth brought full employment and even labour shortages. changed all sectors of Japanese life. using the latest developments in technology. therefore. Efforts to control population growth. where farmers had benefited from land reform. fruits and vegetables. The second was the new industrial policy that emerged out of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI) in 1959. and its industrial expansion made it a world leader in shipbuilding. as the population stabilized and thereafter grew slowly.
and even husbands. In the Meiji period the rural population of Japan stood at 85 percent of the national total. urban dwellers also faced serious problems. Living space for most urban dwellers was infinitesimal when compared with Western societies. support. factories. The first was the significant decline in the birth rate that stabilized the Japanese population. Factories were built in the countryside as industrialists tried to tap into the still-underemployed rural labour force. and in many cases prewar village life ceased to be. Edward Deming's ideas on quality control and soon began producing goods that were more reliable and contained fewer flaws than those of the United States and western Europe. a high domestic savings rate that provided ample capital. At the same time. the face of rural Japan changed. education.saka industrial corridor. Television tied rural households to urban Japan and to the world beyond. business. both village and urban life underwent significant changes. providing considerable rural purchasing power. But while Tokyo and other large cities remained highly attractive. Although Japanese bristled when Westerners . as villages amalgamated into cities and struggled to develop new identities. by 1945 it was approximately 50 percent. The second was the population shift from the countryside to urban centres. Young women showed increasing reluctance to become farm wives. In addition to birth control. advanced foreign technology at relatively low cost. Tokyo became a magnet for many Japanese and the quintessential expression of Japanese urban life. with hard-surfaced roads. As sons. Young men brought up on visions of urban life as projected by American television programs were eager to move to the cities after graduation from high school. Rural solidarity suffered from such out-migration. By 1970 the average farm household income had risen higher than its urban counterpart. At the same time. Japan faced a labour shortage that drew workers from agriculture. By 1972 one in every nine Japanese lived in Tokyo and one in four lived in the Tokyo. notably housing. went off to the factories. and sales outlets for automobiles and farm equipment replacing the once timeless thatched-roof houses.American statistician W. As the national centre for government. and by 1970 it had fallen to less than 20 percent. Agriculture itself became increasingly mechanized and commercialized. postponement of marriage in favour of education and employment. As population growth slowed and the economy expanded. as well as from small and medium enterprises. Cities also underwent rapid change. In the process. With the addition of a youthful and welleducated workforce. Japan was able to import. and an activist government and bureaucracy that provided guidance. women. such factors as a more highly educated populace. But even with a stable population Japan remained one of the world's most densely populated countries. and in some instances villagers sought spouses for their sons in Southeast Asia. children. The resulting shift in Japan's population was dramatic. to the new large-scale industries of the cities. and a desire for greater independence in early adulthood contributed to changing fertility patterns²as did the increasing conviction among many couples that it was in their economic self-interest to have fewer children. under license. and the elderly were often left to run the family farm. Social change Two major changes were visible in the social life of the Japanese from 1952 to 1973. the ingredients were in place for rapid and sustained economic growth. and the arts. concrete schools. finance. industry. and subsidies.
and often more egotistic and brash mass culture that appealed to the young and traditional taste set by what once had been the aristocracy often accentuated how generations viewed the postwar situation. The majority of villagers actually made the transition from rural to urban life with less social stress than was the case in Europe and America. American fashions of dress and grooming. which most urban dwellers sought to keep alive.´ proliferated. Urban living promoted the ideal of the nuclear family. which strongly appealed to those feeling isolated or alienated. in particular.described them as living in ³rabbit hutches. For many of the older generation. were often far more radical than those of their teachers. the older generation seemed out of touch with the new realities that Japan faced. nightclubs and restaurants. So-called ³new´ religions such as S ka Gakkai (ValueCreation Society). was already becoming increasingly elusive by the 1970s. Most found urban employment until marriage. . There was also less need for the conformity that typified rural life²although for many recent arrivals the city-based company and factory effectively restructured village values to support an efficient workplace. subways. but overall crime rates remained low. as many more now went to high schools and colleges. Young urbanites. flourished in the 1950s and '60s. Urban life also brought about changes in traditional Japanese family and gender relationships.´ apartments with 125 square feet (12 square metres) of living space²often with shared facilities²were common. Indeed. American soft drinks and fast foods. While government and private industry were able to provide some low-cost housing. took with gusto to jazz and rock music. The dream of owning one's home. typically. movie houses. baseball. often set by movie and rock stars. As arranged marriages declined and ³love´ matches increased. and an overcrowded transportation network of trains.´ If urban life retained a number of density-induced drawbacks²which in addition to housing included few parks and open spaces. pinball machines. The impact of American culture was everywhere. limited sewage systems. coffee shops. shopping areas. In 1972 the price of land in or near Japan's largest cities was some 25 times higher than it had been in 1955. Disparities between the newly rich and the older generation living on fixed incomes and between a freer. and buses that often required ³pushers´ and ³pullers´ to get passengers on and off²it also had its compensations in a rising standard of living and the entertainments that money afforded in splendid department stores. which. Urban dwellers found themselves less dependent on the goodwill of their neighbours. marriage customs also changed. to the young. particularly as housing conditions made it difficult for the extended family to live together. where older professors were firmly in control but where young people struggled to find ways of expressing their own positions. which they attributed to the postwar system of education. and the freer social relations that typified American dating patterns. and for most Japanese urbanites housing remained the chief flaw in Japan's postwar economic ³miracle. or ³mansions. the new culture epitomized moral decay. Such a generational split was further dramatized in the universities. far surpassing the rise in the average urban worker's disposable income for the same period. Juvenile delinquency showed some increase. The position of women improved. almost every American fad from the hula hoop to hang gliding had its Japanese supporters. bars. quickly found bands of faithful imitators. franker. higher-priced housing in the form of high-rise condominiums. Such apartments were often found in drab residential developments that pushed out at greater distances from the inner wards of major cities and required increased commuting times.
for the most part. notably those of World War II. But by 1952 the Korean War (which had led SCAP to purge communists from public office). Communists who returned to Japan from foreign exile or who were released from domestic prisons played a vigorous role in the immediate postwar political arena. campaigned to rid Japan of the American bases and abrogate the Mutual Security Treaty. Factions therefore formed around such leaders. Ideologically. At the local level. But the ideological right found few adherents among the postwar generation. Three of the next six prime ministers (all from the LDP) who succeeded Yoshida² Kishi Nobusuke. and the business community. joined to found the Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP). The party depended on the financial support of business and banking. Occasionally disturbing incidents. Still. and later Maoist. bankers. succeeded in 1966). As a result. Marxist. merged to form the Japan Socialist Party (JSP). but rightists. often being elected to the Diet and becoming important cabinet members. Ikeda Hayato. are enshrined). and uncooperative Soviet attitudes in negotiations over the return of the Kuril Islands and over fishing treaties had seriously undermined public support for the communists. These close government-business ties. revive such national holidays as Foundation Day (February 11. who vied with one another for the premiership and sought to have members of their faction appointed to important cabinet posts. as did communist opposition to the imperial institution and extremist labour tactics. which inherited Yoshida's mantle. In 1949 the Japan Communist Party (JCP) elected 35 candidates to the lower house and garnered 10 percent of the vote. later were characterized as ³Japan Incorporated´ in the West. worked effectively to solidify the close ties he had created with bureaucrats. and without military or big-business support the right wing played a largely dormant role during the 1950s and '60s. ex-bureaucrats played significant roles in the LDP. Japan thus entered a period of essentially two-party politics. which became essential to domestic economic growth. and vigorously opposed all efforts to change the postwar . had a strong antinuclear stance. steady improvements in living conditions. supported mainland China. The year 1955 was highly significant in postwar politics. such as the 1960 assassination of the socialist leader Asanuma Inajir by a right-wing activist. This included a number of prewar rightists who had been active in the 1930s. and the noncommunist left became a major voice for opposition in Japanese politics. concentrated on campaigns to restore the use of the national flag. politicians who had been purged by the occupation were allowed to return to public life. and restore state sponsorship for Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo (where Japan's war dead. The right and left wings of the socialist movement. and Sat Eisaku²were ex-bureaucrats. the Liberals and the Democrats. revealed that the right was still able to intimidate. but its voter base remained in rural Japan. which had been divided since 1951 over the peace treaty. As the voice of the opposition. The dominant LDP. LDP politicians established political networks that became the hallmarks of postwar politics and emphasized the role of personal ³machine´ politics over party platforms. But individual LDP Diet members realized that in order to provide patronage for their constituents they needed the support of party leaders with access to the bureaucracy. The left fared considerably better. the LDP combined a strong commitment to economic growth with the desire to return Japan to world prominence. the JSP resisted rearmament. ideas remained highly appealing to large numbers of Japanese intellectuals and college students. Faced with this united opposition the conservative parties.Political developments With the restoration of sovereignty.
all undercut the party's popularity. the Kurils. by the late 1960s and early '70s there also were signs of a decline in LDP support.S-Japan Mutual Security Treaty. In contrast to the LDP's focus on economic growth. it focused on the urban electorate. The appeal of the JSP was directed both to urban intellectuals and to the working classes. and on the mounting problems of pollution and environmental degradation that accompanied accelerated industrial growth. combined with growing doubts about the effects of unbridled growth and the increasing dangers from pollution. while the Soviet Union occupied the entire Kuril chain and claimed southern Sakhalin. which started to substitute practical matters for ideology and won a number of mayoral elections. when the more right-wing JSP members split off to form the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) in 1959. the Republic of Korea (South Korea). In 1952 the LDP had garnered two-thirds of the Diet seats. and extensive student uprisings on university campuses. but on the whole the era was one in which the LDP remained firmly in power. however. To the right of the communists and socialists appeared the Clean Government Party (K meit . Details for such a treaty were worked out by the United States and its noncommunist allies during the command of General Matthew B. The San Francisco peace conference that convened in September 1951 thus ratified arrangements that had been worked out earlier. Given the rise of the Cold War. Japan's involvement in the Vietnam War. Japan recognized the independence of Korea and renounced all rights to Taiwan. international relations were not destined to be conducted on the pacifist lines envisioned by Article 9 of the constitution. but by 1972 it controlled only slightly more than half. Socialist influence was weakened. The United States maintained its occupancy of Okinawa and the Ryukyus. which allowed the yen to rise against the dollar and restructured the U. as in 1960 with the Kishi government and the proposed renewal of the U. which began in 1964 as the political arm of S ka Gakkai but dissociated itself from the religion by 1970. the JSP concentrated on urban issues. On occasion.-China (and hence the Japan-China) relationship. The effects of the so-called ³Nixon shocks´ in 1971. later renamed the New Clean Government Party). Ridgway. Still. on those bypassed by prosperity. and its financial support came largely from labour (S hy ). like its opposition counterparts. The Soviet Union attended the conference but . In the peace treaty that ensued. were compounded in 1973 by the OPEC oil crisis that threatened the underpinnings of Japan's postwar prosperity and the LDP's political hegemony.constitution. the opposition could mount sufficient public support to bring down an LDP cabinet. Dissatisfaction with the party's handling of domestic labour issues. The Korean War increased the urgency for a peace treaty. By the early 1970s urban issues also attracted the JCP. and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) all possessed military establishments far larger than what became Japan's Self-Defense Forces. The Republic of China (Taiwan). demands for the reversion of Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty. and agriculture. big business. International relations The Japan that returned to the international community in 1952 was considerably reduced in territory and influence.S. the People's Republic of China on the mainland. and southern Sakhalin and gave up the rights to the Pacific islands earlier mandated to it by the League of Nations. who succeeded MacArthur as supreme commander in April 1951. the Pescadores.
S. Thus. Part of the understanding that lay behind this treaty was that Japan would have access to the U.. where Japan made considerable contributions to the economy. the Great Leap Forward (1958±60) and the Cultural Revolution (1966±76)²usually were reflected in a decline or cessation of trade with Japan.S. but one that would not prejudice subsequent negotiations with Beijing. the Philippines in 1956. In 1953 an unofficial trade pact was signed between private Japanese groups and Chinese authorities. Americans promised to assist Japan's Self-Defense Forces while U. In 1972. The treaty made no arrangements for reparations to the victims of Japan's Pacific war but provided that Japan should negotiate with the countries concerned.S. In 1956 Japan restored diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union but without a formal peace treaty. and intervals of ideological tension on the mainland²e. in the hope of embarrassing or weakening Japan's conservative governments. Japan agreed not to grant similar rights to a third power without U. At the time of the peace treaty. negotiator John Foster Dulles convinced him that the treaty would be opposed in the U. subject to Japan's revocation of its treaty with Taiwan.S. and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Prime Minister Yoshida wanted to delay committing Japan to either of the two Chinas. Nevertheless. not war.g. a year after mainland China was admitted to the UN. Japanese government leaders indicated a willingness to compromise ties with Taiwan in favour of a closer relationship with Beijing. With the Soviet Union no longer blocking the way. overtures toward mainland China in 1971 led to a rapid reorientation of Japan's China policy. The peace treaty recognized Japan's ³right to individual and collective self-defense. forces remained in Japan until the Japanese secured their own defense. Japan spearheaded the creation of the Asian Development Bank in 1965±66.S. but the U. Japan simultaneously severed its ties with Taiwan. These were signed with Burma (now Myanmar) in 1954. Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei reached an agreement with Beijing on steps to normalize relations. Japan was admitted to the United Nations in late 1956 and subsequently became active in United Nations meetings and specialized agencies.refused to sign the treaty.S. which . effective resumption of relations with the countries of Asia came only after treaties covering reparations had been worked out with them. Tokyo soon negotiated a peace treaty with that regime. Beijing also revealed a new interest in formal relations with Japan. Japan gradually became China's most important trading partner. This enabled Japan to retain hope for regaining four islands of the Kurils closest to Hokkaido²territory that Japan had gained through negotiations. A lively trade developed with Taiwan. a semiofficial ³memorandum´ trade became increasingly important in the 1960s. the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). U. It also became a contributing member of the Colombo Plan group of countries for economic development in South and Southeast Asia. While the LDP saw advantages to maintaining such a quid pro quo relationship. replacing its embassy with a nonofficial office. Japan's post-occupation relationship with the United States was founded on the 1951 security treaty. The Chinese government made skillful use of trade for political purposes.´ which it exercised through the United States±Japan Security Treaty (1951) by which U. In addition. approval. market in exchange for the maintenance of American bases on Japanese soil. and Indonesia in 1958. Trade relationships with mainland China developed slowly in the absence of diplomatic ties. military units (except air detachments and naval forces) were withdrawn to Okinawa.S. Consequently. Senate unless assurances were given that Japan would recognize the Republic of China.
Outcries over urban congestion. the United States agreed to return the Ryukyus in 1972. on the eve of renewed negotiations over treaty revisions. shook Tokyo for days. Gigantic public demonstrations. but Eisenhower's visit was canceled and Kishi resigned in July 1960. His staunch anticommunist stand. there was as yet little to indicate the mounting conflict over trade that subsequently emerged. Outbreaks of panic buying by consumers brought reminders of the essential fragility of Japan's economic position. When the Kishi cabinet used its majority in the Diet to force through treaty revisions.S. who had become prime minister in 1957 after having earlier served in the T j cabinet. Marius B. The foreign trading environment also was changing. and Kennedy's designation of the popular scholar Edwin O. and. opposition increased steadily.S. While signs of change on the part of both countries could be found in their China policies. the rapid rise in the price of oil ended an .-Japan relationship had stabilized. reconnaissance plane by the Soviet Union in May 1960. Thus. Prime ministers Ikeda and Sat worked hard to remove the final reminders of war. fertilizers. President John F. The situation was complicated by domestic dislike of Kishi Nobusuke. Kishi had been named. Reischauer as ambassador further improved Japanese-American relations. now changed to allow termination by either side with a year's advanced notification. and in 1969. Added to this was the proposed visit to Japan by U.allowed Japan to dramatically expand its foreign trade while avoiding undue security costs. Tensions therefore mounted as the renewal date of the treaty (scheduled for 1960) approached. and his undemocratic tactics made him suspect among many Japanese who felt they had been only marginally involved in the making of the original treaty and were anxious about the nation's future. But by the late 1960s the unpopularity of the Vietnam War threatened to disturb the relationship once more. Japan's opposition parties were less sanguine about a relationship that tied Japan directly into the increasingly hostile Cold War. although bases were to be maintained on Okinawa under the terms of the security treaty. largely composed of students. Kennedy caught the imagination of many Japanese. by 1972 the U. Notehelfer The late 20th and early 21st centuries Economic change By the early 1970s a series of forces had combined to bring to an end the era of high growth that Japan had experienced in the 1950s and '60s. the Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands were restored to Japan. both governments hoped to extend it for 10 years as the revised Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. as a war criminal by the occupation. In the end the treaty survived. steel. aluminum. his open support of constitutional revision. JansenFred G. which depended heavily on Middle Eastern oil. In 1971 the United States devalued the U.S. and environmental degradation and dissatisfaction with ever-escalating land prices caused many middle-class Japanese to question the economic and political logic that linked growth with national success. President Dwight D. The OPEC oil embargo of 1973±74 created a further disruption of the Japanese economy. The administration of U. though not tried. dollar by 17 percent against the Japanese yen. pollution. In 1967. under Sat . These included significant advances in technology. The treaty was renewed without incident in 1970. later.S. Eisenhower that was scheduled amid new tensions caused by the downing of a U.S. the disappearance of ample rural labour for industry. and the decline in international competitiveness of heavy manufacturing industries such as shipbuilding.
by the mid-1970s many Japanese felt increasingly insecure about their place in the global economy. Restrictions on many agricultural products²including. In the 1970s exports were seen as vital to balance the deficits anticipated from rapidly rising oil prices. and electronic products. During the 1970s and '80s. By contrast. The domestic rhetoric about the hostile international environment in which Japan operated cloaked the fact that by the 1980s the Japanese economy had become one of the world's largest and most sophisticated. But. the volume of exports accelerated. began to stagnate. Japan became a firm advocate of international free trade and tried to create at least a measure of energy self-sufficiency through the increased use of nuclear power. was increasingly linked to trade. high-quality steel. British. By the mid-1980s Japan had become the world's leading net creditor nation and the largest donor of development aid. domestic consumption. Japanese dependency on fuel and food²as demonstrated by the consternation caused in 1972 when the United States temporarily embargoed soybean exports to Japan²had become increasingly clear. consequently. engaged in ³adversarial trade´ designed to benefit only Japan. congested housing. Japan's merchandise trade balance with western Europe and the United States steadily mounted in its favour. Prosperity. At the same time. Japan's financial markets were deregulated and liberalized. in the early 1990s. and long working and commuting schedules that provided little time for leisure. and pushed trade to export domestic unemployment during economic hard times. however. By the early 1990s the Japanese were consuming considerably less than their American. international economic tensions were effectively used by the ruling LDP and the bureaucracy to contain and defuse important domestic economic and political issues. Until the early 1990s. Studies showed that consumption patterns were influenced by lagging wage increases. as the Japanese economy successfully weathered the recessions induced by escalating oil prices in 1972±74 and 1979±81. Japan tried to integrate its economy more effectively into the global system and sought to diversify its markets and sources of raw materials. nationalistic sentiment that pictured Japan in a struggle with outside forces aimed at depriving the Japanese of their hard-won postwar gains. traditional savings habits. Mounting Japanese trade surpluses increased friction between Japan and its trading partners in Europe and the United States. and total gross national product stood at roughly one-tenth of world output. Slow domestic growth was offset by booming exports.era of relatively cheap and abundant energy resources. and a study commissioned under Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro in 1986 proposed the restructuring of the Japanese economy to make it rely almost entirely on domestic demand for growth. Per capita income had surpassed that of the United States. Headed by automobiles. In the early 1970s Japan had the world's second highest tariffs on manufactured goods. and there were complaints that Japan sold goods abroad at lower than domestic prices²a charge denied by Japanese business and government leaders. but two decades later such tariffs were the lowest among the economically advanced countries. The economic uncertainties of the 1970s produced a reemergence of a defensive. consumer prices in Japan were considerably higher than the world average. The government and bureaucracy responded by making efforts to ³open´ Japan. which had played such an important role in the first phase of Japan's postwar recovery. colour television sets. precision optical equipment. Plans for such changes were further taken up in the . Thus. Japan's critics charged that the country advocated free trade abroad but maintained a closed market at home. rice²were lifted. or German counterparts.
this bargain between the people and their government changed. And. At the same time. Contrary to American expectations. what came to be called Japan's ³bubble economy´ of the 1980s. was not lost on the Japanese public. while the premiership remained firmly under LDP control. and inevitably exacerbated trade tensions. At the same time. The economy also faced other challenges. there were also earlier signs of a political transition. The Japanese economy continued to stagnate. Japan's merchandise trade surplus with the world. including Koizumi Junichiro. Japan reoriented its economy to integrate it more effectively into that of the Asian economic bloc. this had only marginal effects on the trade balance. While LDP rule appeared to be strengthening. further undercut Japanese consumer confidence. and education. all governments but that of . The measures were endorsed by Hashimoto's successors. By the end of the decade it was generally acknowledged that formal barriers to trade had been largely dismantled. but they met resistance in many sectors. felt stymied by the inability of the policy changes to produce economic growth. particularly deregulation. served as further popular endorsements of the government-business alliance that the LDP represented. Unemployment. the party's share of the popular vote was declining²from three-fifths in 1969 to barely half in 1983 and to less than a third in the House of Councillors election of 1989. which typified an era that combined easy credit with unbridled speculation and eventually drove Japanese equity and real estate markets to astronomical price levels. continued to spiral up. In 1992±93 this ushered in a deep recession. Notable were the sweeping reforms (dubbed the ³Big Bang´) proposed by Hashimoto Ry tar (who served as prime minister 1996±98) in administration. as economic growth slowed and income disparities heightened public sensitivity to political corruption. the economy. the stronger Japanese currency allowed Japanese firms and individuals to invest heavily abroad by buying foreign assets (notably real estate) at bargain prices. finance. Those export surpluses finally produced a rapid appreciation of the yen against the dollar in the mid-1990s. burst. however. Political developments The LDP continued its dominance of Japanese politics until 1993. By the late 1980s and early '90s. particularly the socialists and communists. rose considerably and in 2000 surpassed 5 percent for the first time in the postwar era. however. Yet. still relatively low by Western standards. The emerging prosperity that accompanied this transition and the declining influence of the opposition parties. however. Although the bond with the United States remained the linchpin of Japan's external relations. thereby restoring Japan's international economic confidence. particularly from a rapidly aging population and rising income disparities. who became prime minister in 2001. and many cultural barriers remained. social security. the monetary system. teetering between economic recession and anemic growth as the country entered the 21st century. A series of prime ministers in the 1990s and early 21st century called for major economic reforms.so-called Structural Impediments Initiative (SII) in the late 1980s. though areas such as construction bidding were still closed. the severity of which postponed many of the earlier reform plans. Several leaders. Its success in steering Japan through the difficult years of the OPEC oil crisis and the economic transition that substituted high-technology enterprises for smokestack industries in the 1970s and '80s.
Nakasone Yasuhiro (1982±87) were short-lived. In 1989 the LDP lost control of the House of Councillors to a coalition of opposition parties headed by the socialists, who proposed Doi Takako, the first woman to head a major party in Japan, to be prime minister²a nomination rejected by the lower house. The era had begun in 1972 with considerable hope for political change, as Tanaka Kakuei, a self-made politician who defied the usual LDP bureaucratic model, sought to address the problems of pollution and urban crowding by calling for a redistribution of industry throughout the Japanese islands. Tanaka's grand plans soon encountered the reality of the OPEC oil crisis. His era ended in 1974 with little change and with him mired in a major influence-peddling scandal. Indeed, Tanaka came to symbolize the rise of ³money politics,´ as election campaigns became increasingly expensive and faction leaders²expected to provide campaign funds to their followers²became heavily entangled in questionable financial relationships. At the same time, aggressive businesses needed the cooperation of politicians and bureaucrats to expand within Japan's highly regulated economic system. As the bubble economy inflated in the 1980s, money flowed freely into political coffers. Although there were early calls for reform, few in the LDP were prepared to make changes. To some degree Tanaka, who was arrested in 1976 and convicted of bribery charges in 1983, underscored this reluctance on the part of the LDP to undertake serious reforms. Despite the guilty verdict, he served no jail time and remained a political force into the late 1980s. By that time, political corruption had become almost endemic, and the LDP was racked by a succession of scandals. Political turmoil was muted for some months during Emperor Hirohito's illness in 1988. His death, in January 1989, ended the Sh wa era, the longest recorded reign in Japanese history²some 62 years. He was succeeded by his son, Akihito, who took the reign name Heisei (³Achieving Peace´). But ³peace´ was difficult to preserve on both the domestic and foreign fronts. Later in 1989 Prime Minister Takeshita Noboru was forced out of office for involvement in a scandal involving manipulation of the stock market. Takeshita's successor Uno S suke almost instantly found himself embroiled in a sex scandal, and he resigned after only 68 days in office. Uno was replaced by the ³clean´ Kaifu Toshiki, who lacked firm support in the party. This became apparent in the lead-up to the Persian Gulf War (1990±91), when Kaifu found himself labeled ³reluctant´ and ³indecisive´ in handling Japan's response to U.S. requests for assistance. Kaifu was forced from office in late 1991 when his efforts to secure legislation for Japanese noncombat participation in UN peacekeeping efforts²which was passed in 1992² and anticorruption measures failed to gain Diet support. Miyazawa Kiichi, who succeeded Kaifu in 1991, had been a powerful figure within the LDP for several decades. Another damaging political scandal emerged, and Miyazawa, sensing the public outcry, tried to introduce reform legislation in the Diet. This cost him the support of key LDP members, and a no-confidence motion in June 1993, supported by many LDP members, toppled his government. In elections held the following month, the LDP lost its Diet majority to a coalition of opposition parties, ending its 38-year rule. The July 1993 election ushered in a period of political transition. Several new parties emerged that were essentially splinter groups off the LDP, including the Japan New Party (JNP) and the Japan Renewal Party. These joined several former opposition parties to form a coalition government with Hosokawa Morihiro, leader of the JNP, as prime minister.
Hosokawa initiated political reform, including limitations on campaign contributions and a change in the Japanese electoral system. He achieved some success in limiting contributions and managed to pass a modified elections package that included the creation of 300 singlemember constituencies (the remainder of the House of Representatives was to be elected by proportional representation in 11 regional blocs). Opposition within his coalition to tax reform and accusations of his own involvement in the Miyazawa-era scandal forced his resignation in April 1994. Hosokawa's successor, Hata Tsutomu, lasted a mere two months. In the ensuing power vacuum, socialists and remaining LDP members formed an unlikely coalition, and Murayama Tomiichi became Japan's first socialist premier since 1948. During Murayama's short tenure (1994±96), Japan experienced a devastating earthquake in K be that killed more than 5,000 people and a terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway system by AUM Shinrikyo, a small religious sect, that killed 12 people and injured thousands of others. In 1995 the House of Representatives passed a resolution expressing ³deep remorse´ for past ³acts of aggression,´ particularly in Asia, and pledging adherence to the no-war clause in the postwar constitution. Murayama followed the resolution by becoming the first Japanese prime minister to use the word owabi (unambiguously, ³apology´). That year, however, Murayama's Social Democratic Party of Japan (the former Japan Socialist Party) suffered a string of election defeats, and in early 1996 Murayama resigned as prime minister. Murayama was succeeded by LDP president Hashimoto Ry tar , who retained the support of the socialists and the smaller New Harbinger Party (Sakigake). In October the LDP won 239 of 500 seats in the House of Representatives, but with no party willing to join a coalition with the LDP, Hashimoto oversaw a minority administration. By the following year, however, the LDP was able to recruit enough independents to command a majority in the House. Nevertheless, the economic recession reduced the government's popularity and led in 1998 to legislative losses for the LDP and Hashimoto's resignation. Obuchi Keizo, who led the largest of the LDP's factions, was elected LDP president and prime minister. In April 2000 Obuchi suffered a stroke that left him comatose (he died six weeks later), and the LDP secretarygeneral, Mori Yoshiro, was quickly confirmed as prime minister. In elections that June, the LDP lost its majority and was forced into an awkward alliance with two smaller parties. Mori's many missteps²for example, he referred to Japan as a ³divine country,´ a phrase that evoked Japan's militaristic past²reduced his approval rating to an all-time low for a Japanese prime minister. In April 2001 Mori announced his intention to resign. Koizumi Jun'ichir , who urged economic reform and fiscal restraint and criticized the party's factions, defeated several rivals to win the presidency of the LDP and was confirmed as prime minister. Koizumi enjoyed widespread popularity, but some of his reforms were resisted by the LDP's conservative factions. In addition, his support for allowing Japan's military forces to exercise a full-fledged (rather than only defensive) security policy and his visits to the Yasukuni Shrine elicited outrage from some segments of the Japanese population and protests from Japan's neighbours in Asia, particularly South Korea and China. Despite the controversies, the LDP's resurgence continued, and in 2003 the party won a clear majority in the House of Representatives, securing Koizumi a second term as prime minister. Koizumi, after serving his full term, stepped down in September 2006 and was succeeded over the next two years by a string of three prime ministers²all from politically wellconnected families. Abe Shinzo, the grandson of Kishi Nobusuke and great nephew of Sat Eisaku (both former prime ministers), served in 2006±07 but resigned amid party scandals and concerns about his health and after the LDP had lost its majority in the upper house of the
Diet. His replacement, Fukuda Yasuo²whose father, Fukuda Takeo, was prime minister in 1976±78²also stepped down after a year in office (2007±08), following a nonbinding censure vote by the upper house (the first under the 1947 constitution) and continued frustration over his political agenda. Succeeding Fukuda in September 2008 was As Tar , grandson of Yoshida Shigeru and son-in-law of Suzuki Zenk , both also former prime ministers. However, As could not stem the downward spiral of the LDP's popularity with voters, who were increasingly dissatisfied with what they saw as the party's ineffectiveness, mismanagement, and corruption. A particular focus of voter anger was the apparent bureaucratic mishandling of some 50 million pension records that was revealed in 2007. Voters were also unhappy that the LDP had changed prime ministers three times in three years without an electoral mandate. In the August 2009 lower-house elections, scores of LDP candidates were soundly defeated, and the party was swept out of office. Replacing the LDP was the centrist Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which had been founded in 1996 to challenge the LDP. Soon after its formation, the DPJ emerged as the main opposition party. However, it endured several years of mixed electoral results before its first major success in the 2007 House of Councillors elections, when with its allies it became the dominant force in that chamber. The DPJ's victory was a landslide in the August 2009 elections, winning 308 seats in the lower house. The party subsequently formed a ruling coalition with the Social Democratic Party of Japan and the People's New Party, and on September 16 DPJ leader Hatoyama Yukio was elected prime minister. However, Hatoyama's tenure was ineffectual and brief, cut short after he reneged on a campaign promise to close an unpopular U.S. military base on Okinawa (it was to be moved to a different part of the island instead). He stepped down as prime minister on June 4, 2010, and was succeeded by Kan Naoto, another high-ranking member of the DPJ.
Japan has continued its transformation into a high-technology, urban, industrial society. The migration from countryside to city largely has been completed; some four-fifths of Japan's people now live in urban areas, and few families live on farms. Urbanization has resulted in further demographic change, including an accelerating decline in the birth rate that by the mid-1980s was less than the level needed to replace the population. Urban congestion, confined housing space, the cost of raising children, a trend toward delaying marriage, a growing reluctance by women to get married, and effective birth-control measures have all contributed to this phenomenon. By 2000 the proportion of Japanese age 65 or older had surpassed those 15 or younger. Thus, Japanese society faces serious demographic challenges, the most urgent being a rapidly aging population and concomitant declining active workforce. Living standards have risen dramatically since the early 1970s, supporting a strong consumer market. But the excessive crowding and congestion in major cities has been exacerbated by the high cost of real estate, making home ownership difficult for many Japanese families. Hours spent commuting also increased as people moved ever farther from city centres. By the 1990s many Japanese citizens felt confined to an urban environment designed to serve the needs of corporate Japan and not its people and were less willing to support the entrenched government-business alliance that assured majorities for the LDP.
Many of those individuals have become disenchanted with the shops and goods their parents favoured and have opted for diversity and competitive pricing.Japanese values also have been changing as generations born and raised in the city mature and replace those brought up in the villages. the degree of conformity and the acceptance of consensus appear to be lessening.´ ³my home. and full-time women employees often find it difficult to advance to management positions. Tanaka Makiko (who was chosen in 2001 as Japan's first woman foreign minister). particularly among the older members of society who see Japan losing its identity amid the influx of foreign culture. International relations . Gender relations also have undergone a gradual transition²though not at the speed hoped for by many women. Important role models. Globalization has been another important theme since the early 1970s. In the last two decades of the 20th century. Discrimination against minorities.3 million. The internationalization of Japan also has resulted in a reassertion of Japanese nationalism. but many occupy temporary or part-time positions. however² including Koreans. As the agriculture-induced submission of the individual to the group fades and as corporations. also relocated to Japan to perform many of the less desirable jobs. Despite growing dissatisfaction with traditional gender roles. as large numbers of Japanese have traveled abroad and an increasing number of foreign students and foreign workers have come to Japan. American cultural symbols²from fast-food restaurants to blue jeans and motorcycles²are now as much at home in the Harajuku district as on Venice Beach in Los Angeles. The absorption of such residents has not always been easy for a society that sees itself as ethnically distinct and homogeneous. And yet. the number of foreign residents in Japan roughly doubled to more than 1. for example. remain low by Western standards. and the Ainu²which has persisted for centuries. appears less acceptable today in a society that is not only more educated but also increasingly subject to international scrutiny and criticism. familiar brand-name items is not being continued by Japanese who reached adult age from the mid-1980s. Women now account for about two-fifths of the workforce. and Princess Masako (the Harvard-educated diplomat who married Crown Prince Naruhito in 1993). and the stability of the Japanese family continues to undergird the social system. as even a brief visit to Tokyo confirms. it has been found that the former consumer habit of buying the same. Japanese divorce rates. While Japanese society remains formally hierarchical and social distinctions based on education and family background persist. Japanese perceptions of the family and the position of the wife and mother in it have been slow to change. lose their paternalistic overtones. greater individuation is apparent. which previously served as pseudo-villages in the urban environment. the former outcast group now called burakumin. such as the socialist leader Doi Takako. In marketing. A majority of the foreign residents were Chinese or Korean. while the males devote themselves to their office culture. drawn by higher wages. are still expected to carry much of the responsibility of household management and child rearing. particularly those married to white-collar workers. Such phrases as ³my car. have helped make the place of professional women more acceptable. though rising. but foreign labourers from the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Women.´ and ³my leisure´ further underscore the growing emphasis on the individual and individual choice and on the more assertive attitude of the ordinary Japanese.
and in 1978 a peace treaty and the first of a series of economic pacts were concluded. Both trade and cultural contacts between Japan and China expanded dramatically. however. Trade issues sometimes have been particularly acrimonious. troops. Tensions occasionally have arisen between the two countries over issues such as Chinese objections to the Japanese attitude toward its wartime conduct and its colonial rule of China and to visits by Japanese officials to the Yasukuni Shrine or to Japanese protests of the Chinese repression of demonstrators in 1989. surpassed only by the United States. which included a tacit apology for the ³severe suffering´ that the Japanese had inflicted on the Chinese during the war. Economic issues have often strained U. The end of the Cold War provided Japan with the opportunity to pursue an independent China policy. Anger against Japan and feelings of Japanese exploitation in the region continued into the 1980s. the political relationship between the two countries remained uneasy into the 21st century. Taiwan continued to play an important role for Japan. when Japan sought to strengthen its ties with the so-called newly industrialized countries of Asia (South Korea.-Japanese relations. but it also has sought to rebuild relations with its Asian neighbours. Earlier Japanese concerns that these countries would become competitors with Japan for the U. troops to be stationed there. Despite the rapid political transformation of the world after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.Japan has continued its close cooperation with the United States. and Singapore. as Japan's resurgence in the early postwar decades transformed the country from a client to a competitor of the United States. however. Such a change has not been easy. Japan also made efforts to work with Vietnam and Cambodia. Although Japan's formal relationship with Taiwan was discontinued after 1978.S. Both countries officially remained committed to the Mutual Security Treaty. Lingering resentment over the war and the insensitive attitudes of Japanese businessmen toward local populations in the 1960s produced anti-Japanese riots when Prime Minister Tanaka toured the region in 1974. there nevertheless remains substantial goodwill. particularly since the late 1980s. nuclear weapons ³umbrella´ and permits thousands of U. These were all seen as areas capable of providing high-quality goods for the Japanese market and consequently as sites for direct investment by Japanese firms. as the dominant economic and military powers of the Asian Pacific region.S. Japan's interests in Vietnam . market faded as economic interaction between them created a highly dynamic economic region. Southeast Asian nations²particularly Indonesia²became recipients of extensive Japanese development aid. both countries realizing that. While friction on economic issues has removed some of the harmony that once typified the relationship between the two countries. demonstrated that Japan was determined not just to build economic ties with China but also to transcend the gap that stemmed from the war and to restore cultural ties. intensified by essential misunderstandings on solutions proposed by each side.S. particularly on Okinawa. Japan vigorously pursued trade opportunities with China. when efforts were made to improve the situation. which began the process of normalizing relations between the two countries. Nevertheless. Taiwan. Following Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei's trip to China in 1972.S. many Japanese favour redefining the relationship between the two countries and reducing the number of U.S. which keeps Japan under the U. and by the early 1990s China was Japan's second largest trading partner. The visit to China by Emperor Akihito in 1992. as well as Hong Kong when it was a British colony). Efforts to solidify relations with Southeast Asia advanced in the late 20th century. ties between the United States and Japan have been little altered in their fundamental tenets. their bilateral relationship is the most important in East Asia.
tighter labour markets. the International Monetary Fund. The Japanese government also sought to address lingering animosities that existed toward Japan on the Korean peninsula. economic bodies. have received increasing Japanese attention and participation. continued periodic prime ministerial visits to the Yasukuni Shrine. A formal peace treaty was never concluded with the Soviet Union before its dissolution. A further issue for South Korea was the status of Koreans living in Japan. visits were made by the leaders of Japan and South Korea to each other's countries. However. While Japan long has been concerned with the outside world as a source of raw materials and a market for its goods. Japan has also sought to wield more influence within the United Nations. through passage of the International Peace Cooperation Law by the Diet. As its economy matured. .S. Representing the first deployment of Japanese military units into a war zone since the end of World War II. Accordingly. the Japanese ownership of extensive manufacturing plants. Despite these differences. financial deregulation. but it also garnered support from those who believed that Japan needed to take a more active role in its defense and to break free from the constraints imposed on the country after 1945. launching a bid in the 1990s for a permanent seat on the Security Council. and the World Trade Organization. financial institutions. and real estate overseas has required Japan to be more directly involved in world affairs.-led occupation of Iraq was such a watershed in Japan's postwar history. the World Bank. such as OECD. technological success. Relations with Russia have remained decidedly cool.or fourth-generation Japanese-born. The Japanese have sought the return of these islands and have been reluctant to grant Russia development aid without an agreement. the decision elicited opposition by Japanese who believed that it violated the no-war clause of the Japanese constitution.have been largely economic. such positive steps tended to be offset by events that often angered South Korea: occasional statements by Japanese government officials that seemed to defend Japan's colonial and wartime actions (including the forced prostitution of Korean women during the war). Japan's larger role in the world has changed dramatically since the 1970s. in 2002 Japan and South Korea cohosted the association football (soccer) World Cup finals. but in Cambodia Japan played an important role in working out the 1991 UN Security Council ³peace plan´ and helped with its implementation the following year. However.´ the four small islands in the southern Kuril chain that the Russians seized following World War II. and currency appreciation²all helped to transform Japan into an important creditor nation. the first time the event was held in Asia or staged jointly by two countries. Negotiations with Russia to resolve the issue continued throughout the 1990s and into the early 21st century. unarmed troops from Japan's Self-Defense Forces participated in a UN peacekeeping operation. which is why the dispatch of troops by Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro in 2003 to support the U. The macroeconomic changes of the 1980s²slower growth. many of whom were third. a more ³activist´ foreign policy role²particularly one hinting at military participation²is not coveted by all Japanese. and revelations that Japan's colonial rule was positively depicted in Japanese textbooks. The major sticking point for the Japanese has been the disposition of the ³northern territories. swelling the country's direct foreign investments. the first time since the World War II that Japanese forces had ventured overseas. and bilateral trade agreements were negotiated. Formal statements of apology to Korea for Japan's colonial rule were issued (most notably by Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi in 1995). Japan became a leading advanced industrial country.
5(2):2±7 (Spring 1992). a thoughtful account from a European perspective. is a highly regarded study. Norton Ginsburg. reissued 1979). Prime ministers of Japan The table provides a chronological list of the prime ministers of Japan. Geography of Japan (1961). 1968). The Japanese Islands: A Physical and Social Geography (1978. pp. and Social. and supplement (1986). Marius Jansen. Additional Reading General works An excellent. Akira Ebato and Kazuo Watanabe. Glenn Thomas Trewartha. Dolan and Robert L.). and Toshio Noh (Toshio . (1983).Fred G.´ Asian Art. Toshio Noh (Toshio N ) and Douglas H. and cultural environment include Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan. Grand Atlas of Japan (1985.).´ in Arthur E. (1978). is considered the classic regional geography in English. Representative geographic works include Regional Geography of Japan. and Spanish. Cultural Atlas of Japan (1988). political. Atlas Japan: In English & Japanese (1989). published by Heibonsha. Tiedemann (ed. 9 vol. 423± 459. Ronald E. the proceedings of a conference of the International Geographical Union. with text in English. 2 vol. and Japan: Profile of a Nation (1995). Japan: A Country Study. reissued 1990).). Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Compilations of information on Japan's history and its modern physical. (ed. Association of Japanese Geographers (eds. 2nd rev. from Japanese. Japan: A Geography (1965. Geography of Japan (1980). ³The Experience of Place in Japan. (1990). Modern Japan: Land and Man. ed. social. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Japan (1993). 5th ed. rev. 6 vol. ed. Martin Collcutt. Worden (eds. Atlas of Japan: Physical. Economic.). Representative atlases of Japan include Teikoku-Shoin Co. Gordon (eds. NotehelferEd. (1974). The National Atlas of Japan. and Isao Kumakura. Emperors and empresses regnant of Japan The table provides a chronological list of the emperors and empresses regnant of Japan. French.). (1957). trans. ed. (1992). Further research can be found in Bibliography of Asian Studies (annual). An Introduction to Japanese Civilization (1974).). rev. and Jacques Pezeu-Massabuau. Geography The land Ryuziro Isida. originally published in French. and Geographical Survey Institute. textually rich. and well-illustrated compendium is Richard Bowring and Peter Kornicki (eds. (1993). Gil Latz. ³Economic and Cultural Geography. covers the country's physical geography as well as its economy and cultural environment.
contains an original assessment of Japan's urban and historical geography. Fukui (ed. Japanese Economic Development: Theory and Practice (1992). 1937±1994. The Flora and Vegetation of Japan (1974). The Japanese Woman: Traditional Image and Changing Reality (1993). Other valuable works on the economy are Richard K. Alice H. and Robert E. Japan's cities are treated in detail in Ronald P. Takie Sugiyama Lebra. rev. and Torao Yoshikawa. Japanese Social Organization (1992).N ) and John C. reissued 1970). is a basic source for understanding postWorld War II economic development. Neill McFarland. reprinted 1986). Robert B. Takafusa Nakamura. reissued 1969). The Business of the Japanese State: Energy Markets in Comparative and Historical Perspective (1987). reissued 1965).. 1945±1960 (1961). and Takie Sugiyama Lebra (ed. historical. rev. 1971). Energy and power issues are treated in Richard J. Imamura. Cogent analyses of the Japanese agricultural sector can be found in Ronald P. (1972). Yutaka Matsumura. (1981). reissued 1985). Cook. (1982). 2nd ed. Sohei Kaizuka. Numata (ed. Japan: A Regional Geography of an Island Nation. A classic field survey of village life from geographic. and Yoko Ota. Allen. Japan's Natural Resources and Their Relation to Japan's Economic Future (1953). Takeo Doi. and H. reissued 1981. Gender questions are explored in Gail Lee Bernstein. Japanese Women: Constraint and Fulfillment (1984). 2nd ed. Aono Hisao (Hisao Aono) and Birugawa Sh hei (Sh hei Birugawa) (eds. Beardsley (ed. and A Short Economic History of Modern Japan. Beardsley. reissued 1992). The State and Economic Enterprise in Japan: Essays in the Political Economy of Growth (1965. Samuels. Nihon chishi. Geomorphology is covered by Watanabe Akira (Akira Watanabe ). (1976). Village Japan (1959. (1967±80). discusses the burakumin minority. and social viewpoints is Richard K. Land Reform in Japan (1959. Urban Japanese Housewives: At Home and in the Community (1987. (1989). is a comprehensive series (in Japanese) dealing with Japan's regional geography by prefectures. and Penelope Francks. Ward. and in Japanese Cities: A Geographical Approach (1970). and Shinohata: A Portrait of a Japanese Village (1978. ed. Dore. (1973. The people Three penetrating profiles of Japanese society include Chie Nakane. Hall. Japan's Economic Expansion (1965). ed. Japanese Society. The Landforms of Japan (1981). Studies on Economic Life in Japan (1964). originally published in Japanese. A detailed survey of biogeography can be found in M. John W. George De Vos and Hiroshi Wagatsuma.). . The economy General background texts include G. ³Landform Divisions of Japan. is an illustrated description of Japan's transition to an industrial power.). William W. Kimura (eds. Hall . Japan's Invisible Race: Caste in Culture and Personality. The Climate of Japan (1977). review the distinctive regional character of the archipelago. An Introduction to Japanese Trade Unionism (1966).).´ Bulletin of the Geographic Survey Institute. City Life in Japan: A Study of a Tokyo Ward (1958.). Haruko's World: A Japanese Farm Woman and Her Community (1983). David Kornhauser. reissued 1975). Japan: Geographical Background to Urban-Industrial Development. originally published in Japanese. Jr. reissued 1994).C. Studies of Japanese religions include Ian Reader. The Rush Hour of the Gods: A Study of New Religious Movements in Japan (1967. Japan: Industrial Power of Asia. 21 vol. Dore . 4th ed.). 2nd ed. 1967). reissued 1981).).). Japan in Transition: One Hundred Years of Modernization (1968. Japan's Economic Recovery (1958. Religion in Contemporary Japan (1991). The Postwar Japanese Economy: Its Development and Structure. 2(1):81±94 (1950). and Sumiko Iwao. Japan's Economic Growth. Edward Augustus Ackerman. contains a brief analysis of post-World War II industrial development. Anne E. reissued 1984. Climatology is dealt with in E. Lockwood (ed. The Anatomy of Dependence (1973.
Japan's Unequal Trade (1990). (1985). Japan: The Story of a Nation. and Albert M. . and Yoshio Suzuki (ed. 3 vol. Reischauer. 2nd rev. and Daniel I. Thomas P. The Japanese Education Challenge: A Commitment to Children (1987). Reischauer and Albert M. The most comprehensive and detailed account in English is John W. Rohlen (eds. 3rd ed. Frank Gibney. Gil Latz H. and Modern Japan: A Historical Survey. 1978). The Japanese Way of Politics (1988). (1984). 1964). Miracle By Design: The Real Reasons Behind Japan's Economic Success (1982). MITI and the Japanese Miracle: The Growth of Industrial Policy. History of Japan. originally published in Japanese. Cultural aspects also are treated in the encyclopaedias cited above. reprinted 3 vol. (1992). reissued 1980). Japan from Prehistory to Modern Times (1970. Cultural life . (1995). reissued 1991). enlarged ed. 1986). Education and Equality in Japan (1980). (1989). (1981). and Japanese literature. The Japanese Today: Change and Continuity. The Japanese Question: Power and Purpose in a New Era (1992). is the most useful cultural history. Ardath W. and Japan: The Fragile Superpower. Craig. and updated (1991). Kenneth B. Pyle. (1990). James Murdoch. Beasley. Ronald P. Gerald L. Burks.). Japan's High Schools (1983). The Rise of Modern Japan (1990). Lincoln. Works covering more specific periods include Mikiso Hane. Thoughtful discussions of the Japanese political system include Hans H. Additional sources may be found in the bibliographies to the articles arts. Fairbank. Okimoto and Thomas P. ed. Edwin O. (eds.).G. Jansen. Krauss (eds. Conrad Totman. is a pioneer work detailing political history. reissued 1978). Reischauer and Marius B. Edwin O. rev. 2nd ed. Craig. Japan Before Perry: A Short History (1981). which updates and is based on his classic The Modern History of Japan. (1965). Curtis. Edward J. and John Whitney Hall. 1925±1975 (1982). originally published in Japanese. The Cambridge History of Japan (1988± ). offers a seminal contribution to understanding Japan's government-business relationships. 3 vol. East Asia: Tradition & Transformation. Taking Japan Seriously: A Confucian Perspective on Leading Economic Issues (1987). Premodern Japan: A Historical Survey (1991). reissued 1992. Reviews of the Japanese educational system can be found in William K. rev. Rohlen. Government and Local Power in Japan. 9th ed. Paul Varley History General works The classic survey is George Bailey Sansom. (1995. John Whitney Hall. 3rd ed. Japan: A Postindustrial Power. ed. A History of Japan. Inside the Japanese System: Readings on Contemporary Society and Political Economy (1988). ed (1989). Administration and social conditions Chalmers Johnson. though dated. Baerwald. Edwin O. rev.). Reischauer. and Japan's New Global Role (1993). East Asian. in 6. Dore. Takeshi Ishida and Ellis S. excellent interpretive works include Edwin O. 4th ed.). A History of Japan. (1958±63. Another authoritative general history is John K. Democracy in Japan (1989). (1903±26. Japan: Tradition & Transformation. and Merry White. Hall et al. 3rd ed. Shorter. Japanese Culture. Sabur Ienaga. and W. 500±1700: A Study Based on Bizen Province (1966. Cummings. Japan's Parliament: An Introduction (1974). The Japanese Financial System (1987.2nd ed.
G. and Warriors of Japan as Portrayed in the War Tales (1994). The Feast of Kingship: Accession Ceremonies in Ancient Japan (1973). Medieval Japan: Essays in Institutional History (1974. Japan's Renaissance: The Politics of the Muromachi Bakufu (1981). Ellwood. The World of The Shining Prince: Court Life in Ancient Japan (1964.). and William Wayne Farris. Martin Collcutt. 1180±1250 (1979). ed. Friday.E. and Hitomi Tonomura. Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A. and Kozo Y mamura (eds. Kojiki. The Protocol of the Gods: A Study of the Kasuga Cult in Japanese History (1992).). Mass (eds. 1500±1650 (1981. Community and Commerce in Late Medieval Japan: The Corporate Villages of Tokuchin-ho (1992). rev.). Kenneth Allen Grossberg. J. reissued 1994). The Geography of Power in Medieval Japan (1992). Hired Swords: The Rise of Private Warrior Power in Early Japan (1992).). Ancient Japanese Nobility: The Kabane Ranking System (1974). Chie Nakane and Shinzabur ishi (eds. Miller. 645±900 (1985). Mass (ed.. and Jit (1974. Court and Bakufu in Japan: Essays in Kamakura History (1982). Michiko Yamaguchi Aoki (trans. originally published in Japanese. Ivan Morris. reissued 1988). The Medieval Japanese Daimyo: The uchi Family's Rule of Su and Nagato (1979). Prehistory of Japan (1982). G. Nagahara Keiji (Keiji Nagahara).. Early modern Japan (1550±1850) . Shugo. an inventory of archaeological sites and finds. Five Mountains: The Rinzai Zen Monastic Institution in Medieval Japan (1981). Studies in the Institutional History of Early Modern Japan (1968).Ancient Japan Useful works on Japan's ancient history include C. trans. and Donald L. 2nd ed. Early Modern Japan (1993). (1968). The Founding of the Kamakura Shogunate. Barnes. and Japan's First Bureaucracy: A Study of Eighth-Century Government (1978). is a good general text. Paul Varley. Izumo Fudoki (1971. Allan G. Jr. Disease. 500±1300 (1992). Japan in the Chinese Dynastic Histories: Later Han Through Ming Dynasties.). Among the many excellent collections of essays are John Whitney Hall and Marius B. Medieval Japan Among works of note on medieval Japan are several by Jeffrey P. reissued 1992). 2 vol.). Mass: Warrior Government in Early Medieval Japan: A Study of the Kamakuru Bakufu. 1198±1261. Other useful works include H. The Development of Kamakura Rule. and Lordship and Inheritance in Early Medieval Japan: A Study of the Kamakura Sory System (1989). Kidder. and Land in Early Japan.). trans. Tokugawa Conrad Totman . The Nara and Heian periods are discussed in Robert Borgen. Protohistoric Yamato: Archaeology of the First Japanese State (1988). from Japanese and Chinese (1886. Carl Steenstrup H j Shigetoki. Minoru Shinoda.). (1966). Insei: Abdicated Sovereigns in the Politics of Late Heian Japan. Japan Before Tokugawa: Political Consolidation and Economic Growth.). Thomas Keirstead. Imperial Restoration in Medieval Japan (1971). Japan in the Muromachi Age (1977). and Heavenly Warriors: The Evolution of Japan's Military.). Further English-language materials are W. and John Whitney Hall and Toyoda Takeshi (Takeshi Toyoda) (eds. Karl F. reissued 1991). Carrington Goodrich (ed. reissued 1994). Japan Before Buddhism. 1978). Jansen (eds. from Japanese (1968. 1180±1185 (1960).D. Sugawara no Michizane and the Early Heian Court (1986. Robert S. 1086±1185 (1976). Population. John Whitney Hall. Aston (trans. and Richard J. The earliest compilations of myths and histories are contained in L. originally published in Japanese. and His Role in the History of Political and Ethical Ideas in Japan (1979). Excellent volumes of essays by Japanese and Western scholars include Jeffrey P. Peter Judd Arnesen. 1931). John Whitney Hall and Jeffrey P. 697. Grapard. Melvin Aikens and Takayasu Higuchi. reissued 1972). Philippi (trans. Cameron Hurst III. and Gina L.
Nakahara: Family Farming and Population in a Japanese Village. Thomas C. Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan. Perry. Origins of the Modern Japanese State. Johannes . Economic Institutional Change in Tokugawa Japan: saka and the Kinai Cotton Trade (1974). Hauser. Smith.G. Japan's Emergence as a Modern State: Political and Economic Problems of the Meiji Period (1940.Japan: The Social and Economic Antecedents of Modern Japan (1990). Economic and Demographic Change in Preindustrial Japan. and Anne Walthall . Norman. 1965). 3 vol. reissued 1974). Politics in the Tokugawa Bakufu. Harootunian. McClain. (1856. Works on the Meiji Restoration include W. Ch sh in the Meiji Restoration (1961). Treasures Among Men: The Fudai Daimyo in Tokugawa Japan (1974). 1853±1868 (1955. Political Change and Industrial Development in Japan: Government Enterprise. Ronald P. Huber. and Harold Bolitho. and Tetsuo Najita and Irwin (eds. reissued 1988). Sakamoto Ry ma and the Meiji Restoration (1961. The Meiji Restoration (1972). and E. Toby. Thomas C. 1858±1883 (1969). Dore. Social Protest and Popular Culture in Eighteenth-Century Japan (1986). Excellent scholarship on Tokugawa thought is found in Masao Maruyama. Buddhism and the State in Sixteenth-Century Japan (1984). Smith. H.D. and ed. Albert M. and W. rev. Herbert Norman. The Revolutionary Origins of Modern Japan (1981). Britain and Japan. 1862± 1868 (1980). Japanese Thought in the Tokugawa Period. Susan B. 1600±1843 (1967). Thomas C. Jansen. reprinted 1973). Visions of Virtue in Tokugawa Japan: The Kaitokud Merchant Academy of Osaka (1987). Bix. Thomas M. Marius B. and Neil McMullin. George Elison. Peasant Protest in Japan. Hanley and Kozo Yamamura. Things Seen and Unseen: Discourse and Idealogy in Tokugawa Nativism (1988). Beasley. Grace Fox. and The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu. reprinted 1973). Warlords. (1969). The Agrarian Origins of Modern Japan (1959. 1720±1830. reprinted 1992). Artists & Commoners: Japan in the Sixteenth Century (1981). and Herman Ooms. 1600±1868 (1977). is a collection of representative essays. reissued 1994). Smith. the themes are continued in two studies of peasant revolts: Herbert P.). Dower (1975). George Elison and Bardwell L.). and Robert Lundy. 1600±1868: Methods and Metaphors (1978. Beasley (trans. The Floating World in Japanese Fiction (1959. 1717±1830 (1977). reissued 1975). and Toward Restoration: The Growth of Political Consciousness in Tokugawa Japan (1970. James L. 1868±1880 (1955. Select Documents on Japanese Foreign Policy.). reissued 1974). Education in Tokugawa Japan (1965. Howard Hibbett . Studies in the Intellectual History of Tokugawa Japan (1974. The Rise of the Merchant Class in Tokugawa Japan. State and Diplomacy in Early Modern Japan: Asia in the Development of the Tokugawa Bakufu (1984. discusses foreign relations. ed. The emergence of the modern state during Meiji is surveyed in William W. reissued 1967). reissued 1991). The Japanese Discovery of Europe. a newer interpretation. 1590±1884 (1986). Scheiner Japan since 1850 Useful works on the opening of Japan and the fall of the shogunate include Matthew C. Charles David Sheldon. Kanazawa: A Seventeenth-Century Japanese Castle Town (1982). The Sengoku era is discussed in Mary Elizabeth Berry. ed. and Tetsuo Najita. reissued 1989. Economic history is discussed in William B. reissued 1967).G. Tokugawa Ideology: Early Constructs. The political history of the Tokugawa period is best covered in Conrad Totman. reissued 1988).H. Smith (eds. E. originally published in Japanese. expanded ed. Hideyoshi (1982). reissued 1984). Eng. The Economic Development of Japan: Growth and Structural Change. Lockwood. Robert Y. by John W. Cultural history is well covered in Ronald P. reissued 1991). Deus Destroyed: The Image of Christianity in Early Modern Japan (1973. Shimoda Story (1969. 1570±1680 (1985). Oliver Statler. Craig. (1968. reprinted 1986). and The Culture of Civil War in Kyoto (1994). and Donald Keene. 1600±1868 (1958.
Vogel. by James William Morley.Hirschmeier. Dower. reissued 1974). reissued 1975). Nakamura. Meiji political issues are the focus of Robert Arden Wilson. Japan's Modern Myths: Ideology in the Late Meiji Period (1985). reissued 1990). 1933±1941 (1983). Japan Erupts: The London Naval Conference and the Manchurian Incident. reissued as A History of Postwar Japan. Smethurst. The Fateful Choice: Japan's Advance into Southeast Asia. Robert J. Meiji social and intellectual trends can be followed in Kenneth B. The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan: Heavy Industry. Masao Maruyama. Ramon H. Crowley.. Japan's American Interlude (1960. 1931±1932 (1964. Ward (ed. 1928±1932 (1984).). Developments in late 19thand early 20th-century agriculture and industry include James I. Carol Gluck. Thomas R. and Shumpei Okamoto. Butow. and The China Quagmire: Japan's Expansion on the Asian Continent.H. Important postwar studies include Masataka Kosaka. Ronald H. Works dealing with the emergence of politics and nationalism include Tetsuo Najita. 1921±1931 (1965. Deterrent Diplomacy: Japan. Hara Kei in the Politics of Compromise.). 4 vol. reissued 1971). reprinted 1980). Havens. Japan's Decision to Surrender (1954. Party Rivalry and Political Change in Taish Japan (1968). 1939±1941 (1980). and Robert E. The State and Labor in Modern Japan (1987). Spector. . John Albert White. Pyle. ed. 1895±1945 (1984). 1982). Robert E. 1937±45 (1954. reissued 1982). reprinted 1978). all trans. expanded ed. Myers and Mark R. Ward and Sakamoto Yoshikazu (Yoshikazu Sakamoto) (eds. Japan as Number One: Lessons for America (1979. Defiance in Manchuria: The Making of Japanese Foreign Policy. 1931±1941 (1973). 1868±1871 (1957. reprinted 1986). Recreating Japanese Women. The Yoshida Memoirs (1961. Agricultural Production and the Economic Development of Japan. After Imperialism: The Search for a New Order in the Far East. Valley of Darkness: The Japanese People and World War Two (1978. Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan (1985). Peattie (eds. Nationalism in Japan: An Introductory Historical Analysis (1955. Changing Japanese Attitudes Toward Modernization (1965. Japan's New Order in East Asia: Its Rise and Fall. reissued 1967). The Japanese Oligarchy and the Russo-Japanese War (1970). Dorothy Borg and Shumpei Okamoto (eds. and Sheldon Garon. and Richard Storry. Akira Iriye. 1905±1915 (1967). reprinted 1973). 1853±1955 (1985). a four-volume series. Gordon Mark Berger. 1935±1940 (1976). The New Generation in Meiji Japan: Problems of Cultural Identity. William Miles Fletcher III.). reissued 1993). Kazuo Kawai. Francis Clifford Jones. from Japanese. Studies of the wartime period include Sadako N. 1873±1922 (1966). Germany.). Political Development in Modern Japan (1968. reissued 1973. The Search for a New Order: Intellectuals and Fascism in Prewar Japan (1982).). Agricultural Development and Tenancy Disputes in Japan. 1600±1945 (1991). Parties out of Power in Japan. Democratizing Japan: The Allied Occupation (1987). Ogata. Genesis of the Meiji Government in Japan. Sievers. Delmer Myers Brown. and the USSR. Andrew Gordon. Sharon L. Ezra F. edited by Ivan Morris (1969). Andrew Gordon (ed.). Jansen (ed. 100 Million Japanese: The Postwar Experience (1972. 1957±58). Shigeru Yoshida. 1870±1940 (1986). and Marius B. Richard J.C. 1868±1910: A Study of Realism and Idealism in International Relations (1960. Japan's Road to the Pacific War. 1868±1900 (1967). reissued 1973). 1930±1938 (1966). Postwar Japan as History (1993). The Diplomacy of the RussoJapanese War (1964.). The Double Patriots: A Study of Japanese Nationalism (1957. James B. Foreign relations are treated in Hilary Conroy. originally published in Japanese. The Japanese Seizure of Korea. George Akita. reprinted 1984). Peter Duus. reissued 1984). Robert A. Pearl Harbor as History: Japanese-American Relations. Democracy and the Party Movement in Prewar Japan (1953. reprinted 1979). 1931±1941 (1977). and Gail Lee Bernstein (ed. Flowers in Salt: The Beginnings of Feminist Consciousness in Modern Japan (1983). The Japanese Colonial Empire.. Foundations of Constitutional Government in Modern Japan. 1885±1895 (1969). and John W. Scalapino. War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (1986. Thought and Behavior in Modern Japanese Politics. Japan's Quest for Autonomy: National Security and Foreign Policy. The Origins of Entrepreneurship in Meiji Japan (1964).
3 vol. (2011). J. Frank K. Japan's New Global Role (1993). Joy Paulson. Stockwin." Encyclopædia Britannica. Weinstein. Destler et al. Notehelfer Back to Top To cite this page: y y MLA Style: "Japan. 2nd ed. .). (1982). Managing an Alliance: The Politics of U. Policy and Politics in Japan: Creative Conservatism (1982). John Owen Haley. T. (1987±92). Hugh Patrick and Henry Rosovsky (eds.).A.J. 2011.-Japanese Relations (1976).S. G. Yasutake Murakami and Hugh Patrick (eds. Encyclopædia Britannica.). Japan's Postwar Defense Policy. 1947±1968 (1971). Higher Education in Japan: Its Takeoff and Crash (1971). Dennis J. Asia's New Giant: How the Japanese Economy Works (1976). Encyclopædia Britannica India and The World.reprinted 1985). and Edward J. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica. Michio Nagai. Cameron Hurst IIIFred G.A. Chae-Jin Lee. Joyce Lebra. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica. Women in Changing Japan (1976). Pempel . Japan: Divided Politics in a Growth Economy. Encyclopædia Britannica India and The World. Martin E. China and Japan: New Economic Diplomacy (1984). APA Style: Japan. Authority Without Power: Law and the Japanese Paradox (1991). Lincoln. I.M. Rivals Beyond Trade: America Versus Japan in Global Competition (1992). Upham. The Political Economy of Japan. Encarnation. and Elizabeth Powers (eds.. Law and Social Change in Postwar Japan (1987).
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