ch13 - The Spread of Chinese Civilization Japan Korea and...

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The Spread of Chinese Civilization: Japan, Korea and Vietnam 1. Stearns, Chapter 13 a. Describe the influence of Chinese culture on Heian Japan. The emperor and his advices introduced the far-reaching Taika reforms in 646, aimed at completely revamping the imperial administration along Chinese lines. Japanese court scholars struggled to master thousands of Chinese characters, which bore little relationship to the language they spoke. They wrote dynastic histories patterned after those commissioned by the emperor in China, and followed an elaborate court etiquette that somewhat uneasily combined Chinese protocol with ancient Japanese ideas about politeness and decorum. The Japanese aristocracy struggled to master Confucian ways, worshiped in Chinese-style temples, and admired Buddhist art that was Chinese in subject matter and technique. The central objectives of the proposed changes were to remark the Japanese monarchy into an absolutist Chinese-style peasant conscript army in Japan to match those of Han and Tang China. However, the changes necessary for these goals to be achieved were frustrated by the resistance of the aristocratic orders, who dominated both the emperor and the capital as a whole. b. What led to the decline of imperial power within Japan? Fujiwara, one of the families that was busy running the rapidly shrinking imperial bureaucracy, exercised exceptional influence over imperial affairs. Not only did they pack the

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