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5_the_ancient_way_of_japan - The Ancient Way of Japan...

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The Ancient Way of Japan 05/02/2008 12:13:00 Founding of Japan First emperor of the Qin dynasty sought immortality (he had conquered all of  china and was afraid that his empire would fall if he died).  Legend: He sent people to the fabled “islands of immortality”—they landed in  Japan and began populating it. Historically, Japan was inhabited as far back as the stone age (100,000- 200,000 years ago) by the Jomon Jomon “rope pattern” Had pottery, clay vessels (some surviving pottery has rope patterns on them) Did not engage in (systematic?) agriculture yet Have distinct culture and physical features compared to the rest of Japan (but  are now the minority) Yayoi (3 rd  century BC; named after a village where evidence was discovered) Engaged in agriculture; irrigation (wet rice culture) Made pottery with wheels (Jamon didn’t) Started using bronze and metal implements (picked up influences from Asian  mainland) Tomb culture—constructed large-scale tombs for their leaders o Received a lot of influence from Korean peninsula o Aristocratic rulers w/ aristocratic clans; used iron weapons and a  curved tool (shaped like jellybean) o Thatched houses (even the palaces) o Concentrated in the Western part of Japan (Honshu) o Yamato (representative city: Nara; first permanent capital of Japan  established in 3 rd  century) o Division of society (clans)- Uji- worshipped a god (the sun) as their common ancestor;  dominant Uji in the Yamato region became the imperial family
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Be- engaged in fishing, weaving, pottery, divining;  Scribes from Korea came to Japan to introduce Chinese writing Native Japanese Religion Shinto: “the way of the gods” Kami: “god”- some being or spirit that is out of the ordinary (extraordinarily  ugly, extraordinarily beautiful, etc.) o Anything with great influence—mountains, great trees, beautiful  waterfalls, unusual rocks, rice as a cultural subsistence, etc.—could  have spiritual power Emperors were entitled to “kami” status after death Distinctions of Kami o Localisms—each region in Japan has their own Kami and shrine o Great attention to purity and cleanliness—exorcism (of things that  “pollute”) and cleansing ceremonies, abstain from certain practices at  certain times/events Pollutants: dirt, excrement, sexual intercourse, anything  involving blood (wounds, child birth, menstruation), sickness,  corpses Japanese cleansed their bodies every day with hot water  (religion and daily life); fondness for bathing—natural  connection
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5_the_ancient_way_of_japan - The Ancient Way of Japan...

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