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Korea and Japan During the Middle Ages C.E.

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Presentation on theme: "Korea and Japan During the Middle Ages C.E."— Presentation transcript:

1 Korea and Japan During the Middle Ages 500-1500 C.E.

2 I. Korea: 70% of Korea is mountainous, making farming difficult. Thus most Koreans live along the western coastal plain. This is Korea’s major farming area.

3 Korea has a 5,400 mile of coastline with hundreds of good harbors
Korea has a 5,400 mile of coastline with hundreds of good harbors. Since the earliest of times seafood has been important to the Korean diet.

4 Located as a peninsula of northern China, the Chinese have played an important part in Korea’s history and development.

5 A) Korean Prehistory (up till 918 C.E.):
Korean legend states that the first great ruler emerged in 2333 B.C.E., his name was Tan’gun Wang’gom. His capital was located at present day P’yong’yang, and he called his kingdom Chuson (meaning, “land of the Morning Calm.”)

6 B) Chinese Influence: In 108 B.C.E. the Han Emperor Wudi conquered Korea. During this time the Koreans absorbed many Chinese traditions, but it also preserved it separate and distinct culture. Chinese farming techniques, Confucian teachings, Buddhist influences, Chinese writing style, and China’s civil service examination were all adopted by the Koreans; however, the Chinese language was rejected.

7 Koreans learned to make porcelain from China, but then perfected the technique of making “celadon” , a porcelain with an unusual blue-green glaze.

8 C) Era of the Three Kingdoms:
Between 300 – 600 C.E., three powerful kingdoms emerged: Koguryo, Paekche, and Silla. Constantly at war, each kingdom tried to gain dominance over the region. Silla was finally able to dominate the region and establish the first dynasty, due to the aid of Korea’s warrior knights called Hwarang.

9 The Hwarang were a group of aristocratic young men who intensely studied the arts of war.
The Hwarang is actually a warrior code not a fighting style. Though part of the regular army, their spirit and devotion set them apart from other soldiers.

10 Hwarang Principles: Loyalty to one’s country.
Obedience to one’s parents. Loyalty to one’s friends. Refusal to retreat from enemy attack. Abstention from senseless killing of any living thing.

11 D) Koryo Dynasty ( C.E.) The Koryo dynasty succeeded the Silla. It saw the development Taekwondo, which became more systematic and made a required part of military training.

12 E) Yi Dynasty ( C.E.) The Mongols ruled Korea from C.E. In 1392 C.E., the Koreans overthrew their Mongol conquerors and set up the Yi Dynasty.

13 Yi contributions to Korean culture:
They reduced Buddhist influence and set up a government based upon Confucian principles. They developed the “hangul” writing system, which is simpler than Chinese. Hangul increased the number of people who could read and write.

14 The Yi Dynasty is regarded as the last traditional kingdom of Korea
The Yi Dynasty is regarded as the last traditional kingdom of Korea. It lasted until 1910 C.E. Japan controled Korea from C.E.

15 II. Japan: Japan is an archipelago, about 100 miles off the Asian mainland. It is 4/5th mountainous, and most Japanese settled in the narrow river valleys and along the coastal plains.

16 The surrounding seas have both protected and isolated Japan.
Japan is close enough to the mainland to learn from Korea and China, but too far away to be conquered.

17 A) Japanese Prehistory (till 500 C.E.)
Japanese mythology tells of a divine brother and sister who gave birth to both the islands of Japan and to the sun goddess, Amaterasu. The legend says that in 660 B.C.E., Jimmu Tenno, a descent of Amaterasu, became the first emperor of Japan.

18 Actually, Japan was first inhabited by an aborigines people called the Ainu.
The arrival of Asian people from the mainland pushed the Ainu into the northern regions of Japan. The Japanese called the Ainu “kehito” (hairy men), they were not allowed to assimilate into the Japanese culture.

19 The Ainu are similar to the American Indians; because they have been determined to preserve and promote their language and cultural heritage.

20 B) Japanese Religion: The native religion is called Shinto meaning “The way of the gods.” There is no complex rituals or philosophy to the Shinto religion. Believers strive to find beauty in “kami” (the forces of nature)

21 C) The Yamato Clan: Recorded Japanese history begins around 500 C.E., when the Yamato Clan take over most of the main Island. They are the first and only dynasty of Japan, tracing their roots back to the legendary sun goddess. Thus their kingdom is called the “Land of the Rising Sun.” Many aspects of the imperial court were adopted from the Chinese.

22 Chinese Influence on Japan:
Chinese ideas about government. Chinese fashion. Chinese language and characters. Chinese food. Confucian ideas and ethics. Chinese architecture.

23 Overtime, the Japanese lose their enthusiasm for Chinese culture, as a new cultural identity develops which supported the idea that the Japanese culture is superior to the Chinese.

24 D) The Heian Period: From 794 – 1185 C.E., the imperial court was dominated by the Fujiwara family. Since it was located at Heian (present-day Kyoto) it is called the Heian court. Elegance and culture blossomed at the Heian court, as the nobility lived in an artificial world.

25 Elaborate rules of etiquette governed court ceremony
Elaborate rules of etiquette governed court ceremony. As the court’s focus turned not to civil administration, but to poetry, literature, and the arts.

26 Heian Literature: Sei Shonagon; created “The Pillow Book”, a series of anecdotes and observations about court life. Lady Murasaki; created “The Tale of Genji” which was the world’s first full-length novel.

27 E) Japanese Feudalism:
By the 11th century C.E., large landowners (daimyo) had created private armies and were declaring their own authority independent of the Emperor.

28 Peasants gained security by pledging their lands to a daimyo in exchange for protection. Thus, Japanese farmers were reduced to the status of serfs.

29 The Heian Court was powerless to stop them, as they were too involved in luxurious living and making fortunes.

30 During this period, Japan’s central government deteriorated, which led to a series of civil wars known as the Gempei Wars ( C.E..)

31 F) Kamakura Period (1192 – 1333 C.E.)
The Gempei wars ended in 1185 C.E. when the leader of the Minamoto daimyo Minamoto Yoritomo became the first shogun in Japanese history. His capital was located in Kamakura, thus his dynasty begins the Kamakura period. Text image from: Chanting of Heike Monogatari image from:

32 Japan’s Social Structure:
In theory, the emperor was the head of Japanese feudal society. But in fact, he was powerless. Real power lay in the hands of the shogun (supreme military commander.)

33 The shogun distributed land to vassal lords (the daimyo) who agreed to protect their lands and remain loyal to the shogun. They, in turn, granted land to lesser warriors called samurai.

34 The samurai class was an hereditary membership
The samurai class was an hereditary membership. They were highly trained and received special privileges in Japanese society. They were allowed to carry swords. They were allowed to wear special headdress They were exempt from imperial taxes.

35 The Way of the Warrior: Samurai followed an unquestionable code of obedience called “Bushido” (The way of the Warrior.) Absolute loyalty to one’s lord. Honor is more important than wealth. Death before dishonor (no surrender in battle.) The practice of “seppuku” a ritual suicide.

36 G) Zen Buddhism: Zen is form of Buddhism introduced into Japan by a monk named Eisai. He taught that meditation and prayer are important for spiritual growth. It emphasis on physical and mental health, was widely popular among the Samurai class; and was spread because of their support.

37 Its popularity was also due to the fact that it co-existed easily with the Shinto beliefs of unity with nature. Buddhist monasteries became centers of Zen learning and art (landscape gardening & flower arranging.)

38 H) Mongol Invasion: In 1268 C.E., Kublai Khan sent a letter demanding the submission and tribute of Japan. The Kamakura shogun refused. So Kublai Khan sent two armies to invade Japan, by landing along the coast of Hakata Bay at Fukuoka;

39 The first invasion (1274 C. E. ) consisted of 900 ships and 40,000 men
The first invasion (1274 C.E.) consisted of 900 ships and 40,000 men. It was destroyed by a typhoon that the Japanese called “kamikaze” (divine winds.)

40 By the time of the second invasion (1281 C. E
By the time of the second invasion (1281 C.E.) Japanese samurai had built a stone wall along the coast of Hakata Bay, and were able to fight off the Mongols.

41 I) Ashikaga Period (1333 – 1573 C.E.)
Due to regional factionalism, the Kamakura shogunate fell in 1333 C.E.. It was replaced by a new shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. However, the new government was not strong enough to control the distant regions of Japan. I) Ashikaga Period (1333 – 1573 C.E.) Nishijin silk textile image from:

42 To defend their lands during this period, daimyo lords built massive stone
castles. St Francis image from:

43 The Warring States Period (1467-1573 C.E.):
The Ashikaga shogunate lost control of the country during during another series of civil wars called the Onin wars ( C.E.). The Onin Wars reestablished the autonomy of the daimyos and began 100 years of anarchy known as the Warring States period ( C.E.) Zen monk illustration from:

44 J) Creating a Strong State (1573 – 1600 C.E.):
1. The first leader to move Japan out of feudalism was Oba Nobunaga. He was the first to make use of European firearms. With them he deposed the last Ashikaga shogun, and began the process of unification of Japan. Oda Nobunaga Images from:

45 European traders brought firearms to Japan
European traders brought firearms to Japan. The ability to manufacture & use firearms helped unify Japan and end its feudal period.

46 St Ignatius Sending Xavier to the Orient
Europeans also brought Christianity. In 1549 C.E., Jesuit monks like Francis Xavier introduced Christianity throughout Japan.

47 Originally Nobunaga encouraged Jesuit missionaries; because Christianity was a counterforce to the militant Buddhist monks who wanted to remain independent of the shogun’s authority. However, in the late 1580s his views towards Christian missionaries changed.

48 Why Nobunaga forbid Christianity in Japan:
The Buddhist monks had been crushed and were no long a threat. He feared that the spread of Christian missionary would led to an invasion of Japan by Portugal.

49 Toyotomi Hideyoshi 2. Nobunaga was succeeded by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, as Shogun. By 1590 C.E., Hideyoshi had forced all the daimyos of Japan to submit to his authority. He wanted his son to succeed him but upon his death a vassal general seized power.

50 That general was Tokugawa Ieyashu, who became Shogun in 1598 C.E.
Tokugawa Ieyasu That general was Tokugawa Ieyashu, who became Shogun in 1598 C.E.

51 K) Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1868 C.E.)
Order and unity was finally restored under the leadership of Tokugawa Ieyasu. The Tokugawa shogunate was the longest period of uninterrupted peace in Japanese history.

52 Tokugawa reorganized daimyos estates calming most of their lands and giving the rest to his family.

53 He moved the capital to Edo (Tokyo), where it became the political, cultural, and artistic center of Japan.

54 He and his family directly controlled most of the lands in Central Japan, around Edo, in order to avoid rebellion.

55 The daimyo were obligated to spend every other year in Edo, and they had to leave their families there as hostages whenever they returned to their estates.

56 He created an effective bureaucratic system of administration concentrated in the hands of his loyal samurai. Edo castle remnant photo from:

57 Takeda Shingen He divided society into four distinct classes — samurai, farmers, artisans, and merchants (in order of prestige)

58 He established The Closed Country Edict of 1635 C.E.
It banned Christianity in Japan. It forbid Japanese ships to trade overseas. It banned Western books. It confined foreigners to the city of Nagasaki only.

59 This policy of isolationism, and its governmental schools of national learning were designed to emphasize Japan’s unique and indigenous culture. Thus creating a social conscience of superiority.

60 L) Tokugawa Art: During the Tokugawa shogunate, “bunraku” (puppet theater) became a traditional art from in Japan. It involves three puppeteers, while being accompanied by music and narrative song.

61 Also popular during the Tokugawa shogunate was “Noh theater
Also popular during the Tokugawa shogunate was “Noh theater.” It is a form of musical dance drama. And is the oldest theater art form in Japan.

62 Created during the Tokugawa period, Kabuki is still the most popular form of traditional Japanese theater. It is characterized with bright colors, exaggerated acting, music and dancing. Similar to traditional Shakespearian theater, both male and female characters are played by men.


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