101_Japan 800 - 1400 (Week 12) RECORDING

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Japan 800 - 1400:

Japan 800 - 1400 From Artist to Samurai


Terms! Heian : A city in central Honshu, Japan which served as de jure capital from the 8 th century to the 19 th century. Also known as Kyoto Hiragana/Katakana : Japanese phonetic script developed between the 9 th and 11 th centuries; unlike Chinese, the script represents consonant-vowel combinations in Japanese, not abstract ideas or meanings Bakufu : Literally “Tent Government,” the Bakufu is based upon pragmatic solutions, local (non-Chinese) customs, and fused Buddhist/Shinto belief systems Kamakura : A city in south-central Honshu, Japan which served as de facto capital from the 12 th to the 14 th century

Previously On…:

Previously On… ~794 CE New Capital to Heian (Kyoto) Begins diverging from Chinese emulation Same capital used for more than 1000 years Diverged from Chinese culture Established Japanese phonetic script Established Japanese style of music, art, literature Tale of Genji (1000 – 1010 CE)

Building Up, Emulating:

Building Up, Emulating Majority of records are from the super elite 0.1% of the total population “Pillow Book” by Sei Shonagon Snapshot of elite life & disconnect of Aristocracy from everyday life Station Marriages Culture Fashion/Dress Pick-and-choose from Imperial China Out-of-date, out of touch?

What’s in a word?:

What’s in a word? Chinese Characters based upon ideas (originally) and are considered “logograms” – characters which represent concepts that (theoretically) can be interpreted by a non-speaker Language morphed, added to, subtracted from over time Characters borrowed into Japanese (Kanji) Japanese Hiragana script is based upon syllables and are considered “phonograms” which represent consonant-vowel combinations Unintelligible to non-speakers Characters developed into alphabet

Great, so what does that mean?:

Great, so what does that mean? Development of Japanese phonetic characters: Makes literacy more accessible Casual writing outside of official record Hence Tale of Genji , Pillow Book Creates a sense of “ Japaneseness ” to writings Not a cultural borrowing from China Sets up divergence in poetry, songs, literature from Chinese norms

Okay, so?:

Okay, so? From ‘casual writing’ we learn a host of things about Heian Japanese culture Position of women Politics Marriage Styles White face, LONG hair, black teeth Disconnect from the everyday world The more disconnected you were, the higher ranked you (probably) were Rank is everything


Example “They look like so many basket-worms as they crowded together in their hideous clothes, leaving hardly an inch of space between themselves and me. I really felt like pushing them all over sideways” The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon Class Question: What does this tell you of the distance between those who rule and those who are ruled?

Retreat of the Emperors:

Retreat of the Emperors Primacy of Buddhism Detachment from everyday living Emperors ‘retreat’ to Monasteries Keep government at hand “Cloistered Government” – literally a government in self-imposed exile Class Question: How does this fit in with the fashionable distaste for peasantry, real life? How might this affect family life of the elite?

Retreat of the Heian Period:

Retreat of the Heian Period By 12 th century, agriculture & administration of lands had become stagnant Result of distance between elite & non-elite? Civil War broke out as clans in West & East sought to wrest control of gov’t from super-elite Tiara Minamoto

Frailty of the Emperor:

Frailty of the Emperor Emperor increasingly irrelevant in Japanese society Dominant clan forces Emperor to marry clan’s women Forced Emperor to abdicate if male heir born Undermined legitimacy of government Rise of the Warrior caste system Samurai caste emerges Embraced many Buddhist beliefs, mixes with Shinto Samurai culture influences Japanese society into 20 th century & beyond

Kamakura Shogunate:

Kamakura Shogunate Minamoto clan emerges as rising power at the end of the Civil Wars of the 11 th and 12 th century Establish “Kamakura” Shogunate (named after the de facto capital city 12 th to 14 th century Elite not as distanced from non-elites Emergence of meritocracy Esp. in military New elite based upon warrior status Not education, breeding*

Complimenting Religions:

Complimenting Religions Shinto “Country” Honor the past Cleanliness Heritage Connection with spirit world Buddhism “Elite” Ceremonies for dealing with the dead Passivity in face of ‘fate’ Relinquishing worldly ties


Fusion Kamakura Shogunate promoted spread of Buddhism to lower classes 6 or 7 different interpretations (sects) of Buddhism propagated Buddhist beliefs Divergent messages helped Buddhism meld with, become symbiotic to Shintoism EX: Buddhism offered salvation and hope during pessimistic times EX: Shintoism provided cultural ties with past and sense of endurance Buddhist beliefs adopted to new Warrior mentality, socialization

Keeping the peace:

Keeping the peace Kamakura shogunate rewarded followers with lands, titles, positions of honor Pay-for-play loyalty Shogun interjected into court life Power behind the throne Established the dominance of the military over civilian gov’t, life Established a clearer, more pragmatic, more straight-forward series of laws Based upon military codes, not Confucian philosophy Established collective governance between Emperor & shogun All decisions ratified by Shogun (more or less)

Kamakura in the crosshairs:

Kamakura in the crosshairs Mongol Yuan dynasty demands tribute from Kamakura Japan Japan dismisses threats of invasion, conquest Assertion of divine nature of Emperor & protection of Shinto gods Prepares for invasion 1274 Mongol/Korean invasion of Japan Fireworks/Black powder Typhoon after 1 day 1281 Mongol/Chinese invasion of Japan Massed formations, overwhelming force Typhoon after 7 weeks Shinto Priests claim “Divine Wind” (Kamikaze) had twice protected Japan Power of the gods

Kamakura Undone:

Kamakura Undone Shogunate had levied large army, raised taxes to pay for defense of Japan Resentment of burden Army over-extended supervising Japanese frontiers No lands for loyal troops, exceptional behavior Social fabric unravels as Daimyo (warlords) lose ability to pay troops (Samurai) Some masterless Samurai (Ronin) turn to crime to support lifestyle Civil War breaks out in 14 th century Emperor Go- Daigo defies, defeats weakened Kamakura Shogunate 1333 Established a short-lived Imperial rule, replaced by Sengoku Shogunate (eventually)


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