haniwa [textbook, p. 141, 142]
The Haniwa (1
) are funerary figures, found in thousands of
tombs (3rd-6th century CE) scattered
throughout Japan. The Kofun period’s
wore iron armor, carried
weapons, and used advanced military methods like those of Northeast Asia. Many of them are represented
in Haniwa figurines for funerary purposes. The haniwa protects the emperor in his after life for decorative
and spiritual reasons.
Himiko/Pimiko [textbook, p. 140-141]
was a female ruler of Yamataikoku, an ancient state thought to have been located either in
, an old Japanese history book, notes that Himiko was actually
, the mother of
, but historians disagree. Himiko never married and it is recorded that her
younger brother assisted her as a political advisor.
Shintō [textbook, p. 141]
The indigenous religion of Japan, ‘the way of the spirits’. It emerged from the nature-worship of Japanese
folk religions, and this is reflected in ceremonies appealing to the mysterious powers of nature (kami) for
benevolent treatment and protection. By the 8th-c, divine origins were ascribed to the imperial family and
the Japanese islands. In time these became the basis for State Shintoism and its loyalty and obedience to the
Prince Shōtoku [textbook, p. 143]
Japanese Yamato period ruler. A member of the Soga ruling clan, he was regent to Empress Suiko.
Influenced by Chinese culture, he sent four embassies to the Sui court in China. His patronage of
Buddhism, including importing Korean monks, and extensive temple building, aided its ascendancy from
, Nihongi (Nihonshoki) 1
[textbook, p. 148]
The Kojiki and Nihongi relate histories of Japan from the creation of the cosmos to the establishment of the
centered stated in the seventh century. Kojiki, which details the age of the gods, can be read as an attempt
by the Yamato court to justify its preeminence over other lineages. Nihongi opens with a passage that
draws on Chinese yin- yang theory and cosmology. It narrates the history of the Yamato rulers in a straight
line of descent from the sun goddess. Both histories exaggerate the antiquity of the early Japanese stat and
its control over local political arrangements.
Amaterasu [textbook, p. 144; 466, lecture notes]
The principal deity in the Shinto religion of Japan. She is both the Sun-goddess who rules all the gods and
the mother-goddess who ensures fertility. Once when she shut herself in her cave, the whole world became
darkened and no plants could grow. The other gods played music and offered presents to make her return.