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How did
its history?
› Japan is a nation of islands Ȃ the four
largest are called Hokkaido, Honshu,
Kyushu and Shikoku
› Japan is far enough from other countries to
discourage invasion and to remain isolated
when it chose to shut out the outside world
› It is near enough to the Asian mainland to
borrow from other civilizations, especially
the Chinese
› heir appreciation for nature is
reflected in all aspects of their culture
› he Japanese native religion of
Shintoism holds nature to be sacred
› heir love of simple, natural beauty is
seen in the arts Ȃ architecture,
sculpture, painting, and literature
mt. Fuji
in Japan

› ëy around 500 AD, a warrior chief ruling
over the Yamato plain extended his rule
over much of Japan
› Claimed descent from the Sun Goddess,
› His tokens of power (an iron sword, curved
jewel and bronze mirror) are still symbols
of the imperial family today
› Shinto: Dzthe way of the godsdz Ȃ nature is
› rince Shotoku encouraged the
spread of Chinese ways
› Acceptance of ëuddhism
› Other influences: calendar, ways of
dress and cooking, architecture,
Chinese language and script, law
code, establishment of capital city
› Capital was moved to Heian-Kyo,
later renamed Kyoto
› Japanese culture developed
› Literature flourished: Dzale of
Genjidz by Lady murasaki (prose),
tanka and haiku (forms of poetry)
Japan enters the feudal age
› minamoto Yoritomo became the
p , or supreme general
› he emperor remained a mere
figurehead in Kyoto
› he seat of government was at
Kamakura, a small coastal town
› he feudal age of Japan began
› Samurai warriors Ȃ most important
class of people during the feudal period
› ë (DzÊ Ê  dz) Ȃ
samurai code of conduct; stressed
loyalty and indifference to pain and
› Suicide by p or  
preferred to dishonor or surrender
› Groups of samurai came to follow
certain local nobles called  
(Dzgreat namedz)
› Daimyo became absolute rulers on
their lands and struggled with each
other for more power and territory
› here was no effective central
government in Japan

› Golden age of
Japanese culture
› u drama developed
› Œerfection of 3
Japanese arts: flower
arrangement, tea
ceremony and
landscape gardening
› Ieyasu okugawa
became shogun
after winning
the ëattle of
› Headquarters
was in Edo, later
known as okyo
› he power of the daimyo was weakened
› he central government grew strong
› Japan began to isolate itself from foreign
influences Ȃ no Japanese could leave
their homeland, and foreign
missionaries were expelled, or killed
› merchant and business classes became
› `
drama became popular
K During the earliest
period of Japanese
history, women enjoyed
high political, social and
cultural status
K For a hundred years, all
important authors were
› During the Kamakura period, samurai
women were expected to have spartan
virtues, and young girls were taught the
use of weapons
› ëut then society moved towards
complete male supremacy
› ëy the okugawa period, women had
become socially and legally inferior to
men Ȃ and this has changed little even