ch13 - Part 1: Terms Taika reforms In 646, the emperor and...

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Part 1: Terms Taika reforms In 646, the emperor and his advisors introduced the Taika reforms, aimed at completely revamping the imperial administration along Chinese lines. It attempted to remake Japanese monarch into an absolute Chinese- style emperor. It included attempts to create professional bureaucracy and peasant conscript army. However, the goal was interfered by the resistance of the aristocratic families and the Buddhist monastic orders. Therefore, the emperor abandoned all pretense of continuing the Taika reforms, which had long been stalled by aristocratic and popular opposition. He fully restored the great aristocratic families, whose power the reforms had been intended to curb. PAGES 290-291 Empress Koken was the emperor’s wife. A Buddhist endeavored to marry her to become emperor. However, laws were created to ensure that women could never rule Japan and to check the growing influence of the monastic orders at court. PAGE 291 Heian was a capital established by Koken’s husband, the emperor. When Buddhist attempted to gain power, the emperor established the capital to forbid them from building monasteries. At Heian court, members of the imperial household and the leading aristocratic families lived in a complex of palaces and gardened. Although the imperial power had been eroded, Heian court culture soared to new levels of refinement. The Japanese emperor and their courtiers continued to inhabit a closed world of luxury and aesthetic delights. Men and women of the upper class lived their lives with strict codes of polite behavior, under the constant scrutiny of their peers and superiors. PAGES 291-292 Tale of Genji (Lady Murasaki ) written by Lady Murasaki, was the first novel in any language. The novel captured court life with its charm and its under lying tensions and sadness. In the story, she relates the life history of prominent and amorous son of the emperor and the fate of his descendants. Genji’s life is devoted to the pursuit of aesthetic enjoyment, with women or musical entertainment in the garden. Almost all the characters are obsessed with the social conventions that govern everything from which gown is proper for a given ceremony to the composition of a suitable poem to flatter a lover or the emperor. The novel shows that women rivaled men as poets, artist, and musicians and in their pervasive cultivation of aesthetic pleasure; it was unsuitable to have lovers. Nonetheless, it was common of high born women to have reject a suitor and humiliate him in front f her maidservants. . PAGES 292-293 Fujiwara was a family that exercised influence over imperial affairs. They pack the upper administration with family members and shape imperial policy, they increasingly married Fujiwaras into the imperial family. By the mid-10 th century, an elder Fujiwara witnessed four of his daughters married to emperors. The Fujiwara family used their wealth and influence of their high office to build up large estates that provided a
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ch13 - Part 1: Terms Taika reforms In 646, the emperor and...

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