By mid sixteenth century much of japan had been

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Unformatted text preview: ny courtiers had already departed from the capital during the war for safety elsewhere, and others followed after the end of hostilities. A number of prominent courtiers with special artistic and scholarly abilities accepted invitations to visit the more stable and prosperous provincial daimyos, who wished to infuse some of the cultural brilliance of Kyoto into their domainial capitals. The cultural interests of the courtiers of the late fifteenth century were overwhelmingly antiquarian. They produced very little literature or art of note but rather devoted themselves to exegetical studies of the glorious poetry and prose works of their Heian predecessors, works such as the Kokinshû, The Tales of Ise, and The Tale of Genji. Ever more covetous of their role as custodians of the past, they even established secret or arcane interpretations of these classics which, in their increasingly straitened financial circumstances, they eagerly sought to purvey for cash. Like the courtier class in general, the imperial family also suffered grievously in the age of provincial wars. Emperors, although still theoretically sovereign over the land, had long been mere figures of ceremony at court. From about the time of the Ònin War they gradually withdrew from participation in all but the most essential courtly functions, and often they found themselves embarrassingly unable even to defray the costs of the latter. The coronation of an emperor of the early sixteenth century, for example, was postponed for more than twenty years for lack of funds. The Country Unified 141 Still another group whose influence was greatly reduced by the Ònin War was the Zen priesthood of the Gozan temples of Kyoto. Along with the courtiers, the Gozan Zen priests depended heavily on the patronage of the Ashikaga shogunate, especially the opportunity this patronage gave them to accompany the cultural and trading missions to Ming China. With the collapse of the shogunate as a central governing body in the Ònin War, initiative in the Ming trade was more and more assumed by certa...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at The University of British Columbia.

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