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Unformatted text preview: “Ancient Japan’s Korean Connection” Article analyzes relations among the people’s of the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago between 350 – 700 AD from an archaeological perspective. Previous debates about the Korean/Japanese relationship: • “Horserider theory” vs. theory that the Japanese court controlled the southern Korean states of Kaya, Paekche, and Silla between 350 and 562 AD • Now theory is a middle position between those 2 theories • Scholars have shown that peninsular peoples transmitted a huge volume of materials, technologies, etc. to Japan • Peoples of Korea acted as middlemen, distributing ideas that had been formed elsewhere • 4 mechanisms encouraged this influx: • Minimal trade • Large-scale immigration • Plundering by Japanese troops fighting in Korea • Foreign policies of states of Paekche and Koguryo. Japanese chieftains wanting technology transfers were obliged to send troops to intervene in peninsular wars on behalf of the donor gov. • This essay seeks to reinforce the Japanese debt to the Korean peoples and point out that the rise of complex states in Japan and Korea was intimately interrelated One can organize all of the items transmitted to Japan in 3 categories: • those for which the imprint of the peninsular peoples was essential (iron, etc.) • korea transmitted some items from china long after their invention (ditch technology, silk-weaving, writing). • Long interval leaves open possibility that Korean people refined them or altered them • Many items were mediated soon after their appearance in E Asia (Buddhism, law codes, etc.) Uses a few examples to illustrate this: Iron: • Chinese first began using ferrous techniques around 500 BC. Required large input of labor and a sophisticated heating technology (huge furnaces), but had the advantage of being efficient and could make large-scale production. • In Mediterranean region, technicians smelted ore in a small furnace called a “bloomery” and formed it through smithing methods • By 400 bc, Chinese methods along with others were available to the Korean peoples. Koreans by and large preferred the simpler method Dfiferent ways of examining iron production. One is to envision 3 periods of production: • 400 bc- 100 bc : iron products entered the N and gradually flowed southward—evidence of mining and iron working slim • 100 bc – 300 AD saw major expansion of iron working in korea • 300 AD to 700, correlated with state formation, encompassed mass manufacture of heavy iron armor, weapons, and tools • This method correlates well with the story in Japan. Entered Japan about 300 BC. The amount of iron began to increase dramatically in the archipelago in the second and third centuries AD. Production expanded in S Korea and archeological remnants of large amounts of iron are probably Korean in origin. Nearly all of the first Japanese weapons and tools came from Korea....
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course ECON 206 taught by Professor Thomas during the Fall '07 term at UVA.
- Fall '07