East Asia: Japan (8,000 B.C.E - 1450 C.E)

Events

Initial Jomon

8,000 B.C.E - 5,000 B.C.E

Initial Jomon (ca. 8000–5000 B.C.).
By this period, the gradual climatic warming that had begun around 10,000 B.C. sufficiently raised sea levels, so that the southern islands of Shikoku and Kyushu were separated from the main island of Honshu. The rise in temperature also increased the food supply, which was derived from the sea as well as by hunting animals and gathering plants, fruits, and seeds. Evidence of this diet is found in shell mounds, or ancient refuse heaps. Food and other necessities of life were acquired and processed with the use of stone tools such as grinding rocks, knives, and axes.

Thesis: Governments, Changes, Continuity

8,000 B.C.E - 1450

Japan: (8,000 B.C.E - 600 C.E)
Political:
- Dynastic rule through Yamato clan (first and last); Asuka period
- Prince Shotoku adopted Chinese bureaucracy, leading to the Taika Reform in 645 CE.
Economic: agriculture-based society
Religion:
-Shinto religion (worship of kami)
- 522 CE, Buddhist missionaries spread through Japan. However, Buddhism was worshipped at the same time as Shinto.
Social: Bureaucratic and aristocratic system.
Interaction:
-Buddhism was transferred from China to Japan
-Prince Shotoku devoted to spreading Buddhism and Chinese culture
Change:
- Change of government set-up (Dynasty to bureaucracy with an emperor)
-Adaptation of Chinese culture and Prince Shotoku’s endorsement
-Introduction of Buddhism
Continuity:
- Shinto religion remained as main Japanese religion.
- Japan remained centralized
- Japan remained an agriculture-based society

Japan: (600 CE-1450)
Political:
- Power of aristocratic families rose starting with Fujiwara family after capital changed to Heian. Emperor became just a figurehead (Nara Period)
- Power shifted to shoguns when in 1192, Yorimoto Minamoto was given title of shogun.
- Shoguns ruled as the emperor remained as figurehead.
Social:
-Aristocratic families rose in the social hierarchy.
-Feudal system was set up.
-Shoguns gained political power, putting them on top.
-Classes: Shogun, daimyo, samurai, peasants and artisans
- Samurai followed Code of Bushido
-Women were not held highly
Interactions:
-Continuing influence from China.
-Friendly relations with Silla (Kingdom of Korea)
Arts: Poetry and literature thrived in Heian Period.

Change:
- Emperor became just a figurehead and Japan became run by shoguns
- Feudal system was established
- Social hierarchy was changed
- Friendly interaction with Korea began
- Arts and literature thrived.
Continuity:
- China continued to have influence on Japan.
- Women were still not equal to men.
- The Japanese state was still unified under the figurehead.

Japanese culture began known as Jomon at the time

8,000 B.C.E - 600 C.E

Initial Jomon (ca. 8000–5000 B.C.).

Early Jomon (ca. 5000–2500 B.C.).

Middle Jomon (ca. 2500–1500 B.C.).

Late Jomon (ca. 1500–1000 B.C.).

Final Jomon (ca. 1000–300 B.C.).

Early Jomon

5,000 B.C.E - 2,500 B.C.E

Early Jomon (ca. 5000–2500 B.C.).
The contents of huge shell mounds show that a high percentage of people’s daily diet continued to come from the oceans. Similarities between pottery produced in Kyushu and contemporary Korea suggest that regular commerce existed between the Japanese islands and Korean peninsula. The inhabitants of the Japanese islands lived in square-shaped pithouses that were clustered in small villages. A variety of handicrafts, including cord-marked earthenware cooking and storage vessels, woven baskets, bone needles, and stone tools, were produced for daily use.

Middle Jomon

2,500 B.C.E - 1,500 B.C.E

Middle Jomon (ca. 2500–1500 B.C.).
This period marked the high point of the Jomon culture in terms of increased population and production of handicrafts. The warming climate peaked in temperature during this era, causing a movement of communities into the mountain regions. Refuse heaps indicate that the people were sedentary for longer periods and lived in larger communities; they fished, hunted animals such as deer, bear, rabbit, and duck, and gathered nuts, berries, mushrooms, and parsley. Early attempts at plant cultivation may date to this period. The increased production of female figurines and phallic images of stone, as well as the practice of burying the deceased in shell mounds, suggest a rise in ritual practices.

Late Jomon

1,500 B.C.E - 1,000 B.C.E

Late Jomon (ca. 1500–1000 B.C.).
As the climate began to cool, the population migrated out of the mountains and settled closer to the coast, especially along Honshu’s eastern shores. Greater reliance on seafood inspired innovations in fishing technology, such as the development of the toggle harpoon and deep-sea fishing techniques. This process brought communities into closer contact, as indicated by greater similarity among artifacts. Circular ceremonial sites comprised of assembled stones, in some cases numbering in the thousands, and larger numbers of figurines show a continued increase in the importance and enactment of rituals.

Final Jomon

1,000 B.C.E - 300 B.C.E

Final Jomon (ca. 1000–300 B.C.).
As the climate cooled and food became less abundant, the population declined dramatically. Because people were assembled in smaller groups, regional differences became more pronounced. As part of the transition to the Yayoi culture, it is believed that domesticated rice, grown in dry beds or swamps, was introduced into Japan at this time.

Nara and Heian Periods

794 C.E - 1185 C.E

-In the year 710, the first permanent Japanese capital was established in Nara, a city modelled after the Chinese capital.
-Large Buddhist monasteries were built in the new capital. The monasteries quickly gained such strong political influence that, in order to protect the position of the emperor and central government.
-The capital was moved to Nagaoka in 784, and finally to Heian (Kyoto) in 794 where it would remain for over one thousand years.

Gempei War

1180 - 1185

-Pitted two of these great clans–the dominant Taira and the Minamoto–against each other in a struggle for control of the Japanese state. This war led all political power to go into the hands of the Samurai

Samurai(Prior Tokugawa/Edo period)

1185 - 1450

(Goes to 1868)
Political:
- Power of aristocratic families rose starting with Fujiwara family after capital changed to Heian. Emperor became just a figurehead (Nara Period)
- Power shifted to shoguns when in 1192, Yorimoto Minamoto was given title of shogun.
- Shoguns ruled as the emperor remained as figurehead.
Social:
-Aristocratic families rose in the social hierarchy.
-Feudal system was set up.
-Shoguns gained political power, putting them on top.
-Classes: Shogun, daimyo, samurai, peasants and artisans
- Samurai followed Code of Bushido
-Women were not held highly
Interactions:
-Continuing influence from China.
-Friendly relations with Silla (Kingdom of Korea)
Arts: Poetry and literature thrived in Heian Period.

Feudalism

1185 - 1450
  • During the feudal period, as military rule took over, the emperor's rule was restricted to religious matters. Feudalism in Japan lasted from the 12th until the 19th century. (CE: 1336)

-During this time period the power of the emperor shifted him into becoming a political figurehead. One that was only there to seem to the public that they were in charge.
-Started in this time period and goes on for hundreds of years.

Bushido

1192 - 1450

-Originated during the era of the Samurai. The name Bushidō was not used until the 16th century, but the idea of the code developed during the Kamakura period (1192–1333), as did the practice of seppuku (ritual disembowelment).
- The idea of bushido has been around for centuries, yet the name was not coined until the 16th century. Carrying on well into the later years.