JS1101E Introduction to JapanWeek 3 Gender, arts and culture in history Part II•27 August 2020•Dr. YUEN Shu Min•[email protected]•NUS Department of Japanese Studies
Week 2: Key themes•State formation in early Japan •Yayoi period: divided into more than a hundred “countries” vs. Yamato period: consolidation of power, imperial rule. Evidence: kofun•Buddhism and politics/state management •Yamato period: imported Buddhism as part of power struggle in the court; Nara period: spiritual protection of state [influence from Tang China]—> dual territorial hierarchy•Early international relations •Yayoi period: “Friend of Wei, Queen of Wa [eastern barbarians]” vs. Yamato period: “tennō”, “land of the rising sun”•Cultural borrowing from the continent•Yayoi period: wet-rice cultivation; Yamato period: state management technologies, the Chinese script, etc—> leading to development of native Japanese culture (e.g. writing system, literary works)
TodayHistory of Japan from Kamakura period to early Meiji period, with a focus on: •Rise and fall of warrior rule•“Seclusion” and forced opening of Japan•Arts and cultural developments in times of war and peace
ActivityRead:“The sound of the Gion Shōja (temple) bells echoes the impermanence of all things; the color of the sāla flowers reveals the truth that the prosperous must decline. The proud do not endure, they are like a dream on a spring night; the mighty fall at last, they are as dust before the wind.” (From the opening lines of The Tale of the Heike, translated by Helen Craig McCullough. Stanford University Press,1988) Watch: “Tale of Heike”: re=emb_logoThink:•How do you interpret the meaning of the opening passage above? •What is the overall mood of the Tale of Heike? •What can we learn about the samurai from a war tale like the Tale of Heike?
Rise of the warriors•Growth of tax-free land throughout the Heian period: accumulation of tax-free/private land by temples, local leaders, rich landholders, court nobles, aristocrats •Increase in land that could not be taxed =•Lost of direct control over tax-free land owners by imperial court•Depletion of tax revenue for the imperial court•Unable to afford police/military presence in the provinces
•From local military/police to powerful military families: •Farmer-warriors: workers/farmers who inhabit/work on the private/tax-free land; displaced farmers who gave up their land to become warriors (increased taxes—> too expensive to farm)•Formation of lord-vassal relationship: warriors helped their local chiefs/lords maintain order in return for a piece of land/rewards•Rise of ambitious/powerful military families that even the imperial government had to call upon to help maintain order in the provinces, e.g. Taira (Heike) and Minamoto (Genji)
•1156: Reigning emperor (supported by Taira no Kiyomori [Heike] and Minamoto no Yoshitomo [Genji]) vs. retired emperor (supported by other members from both Taira and Minamoto