Chapter 5: Japan - Santee School District / Overview

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Transcript Chapter 5: Japan - Santee School District / Overview

Chapter 5: Japan
Early Japan
Shoguns and Samurai
Life in Medieval Japan
Japan’s Geography
Japan’s mountains and islands
isolated Japan and shaped its
Because of Japan’s mountains,
only 20% of its land can be
The rugged terrain forced
many Japanese to turn to the
sea for a living
The vast ocean around Japan
kept it isolated and as a result,
Japan developed its own
intensely independent society
with its own religion, art,
literature, and government
The First Settlers of Japan
The Yayoi people were the early settlers of
Around 300 CE the Yayoi organized themselves
into clans
A clan is a group of families related by blood or
During the 500’s a clan called the Yamato
became strong enough to rule all of Japan
Yamato chiefs claimed they were descendents of
the Sun God and the emperor of Japan today is
a descendent of these ancient rulers
Prince Shotoku’s Reforms
Around 600 CE, a Yamato prince named Shotoku took charge of
He wanted to create a strong government so he looked to China as
an example of what to do
Shotoku created a constitution and gave all power to the emperor
The emperor had the power to appoint all of the government
Government officials were sent to China to study Chinese art,
medicine, government, Buddhism, and philosophy (much which
came from Korea)
Shotoku ordered Buddhist temples and monasteries to be built
throughout Japan
In 646 CE the Yamato began the Taika, or Great Change
They divided Japan into provinces and they were all run by officials
who reported to the emperor
These reforms created the first strong central government in Japan
The Shinto Religion of Japan
The Japanese religion
called Shinto was based
on nature spirits
They believe that all
things in nature have
their own spirits
This idea is called
Nature spirits are called
The word Shinto means
“way of the spirits”
During the same time
the emperor’s
government was
growing strong,
Buddhism became
 Buddhism became a
major religion in
Japan and had an
important role in
Nobles formed private
armies to protect their
 To create their armies
they gave land to
warriors who agreed to
fight for them
 These warriors were
called Samurai
 Samurai lived by a code
of conduct called Bushido
 A Samurai would rather
die in battle than betray
his lord
By the early 1100’s the most powerful Japanese families
had begun fighting each other using their Samurai
 In 1192, Yoritomo, the leader of a powerful family, was
given the title of shogun
 The shogun is the commander of all of the emperor’s
military forces
 The military government was known as the shogunate
 Japan’s government was run by a series of shoguns for
the next 700 years
 In 1274 and 1281, the shogunate successfully held off
attacks by the Mongols
The Daimyo Divide Japan
As the shogun’s power weakened, Japan broke into
warring kingdoms run by rulers known as daimyo
 The daimyo pledged loyalty to the emperor and the
shogun, but they ruled their lands as if they were
independent kingdoms
 To protect their lands they created their own local armies
made up of Samurai warriors
 Samurai became vassals when they pledged to serve
their daimyo in times of war and in return the daimyo
gave them land
 This bond of loyalty between a lord and a vassal is
known as feudalism
Japanese Religion and Culture
Buddhism and Shinto shaped much of Japan’s culture
These religions affected Japanese art, architecture, novels and plays
The arts of Japan revealed the Japanese love of beauty and
The art of folding paper, know as Origami, was invented in Japan
Calligraphy, the art of writing beautifully, was much admired in
Japan’s oldest form of poetry was the tanka
Tanka was an unrhymed poem of five lines
Tanka poems capture nature’s beauty and the joys and sorrows of
By the 1600’s, tanka poems changed into a new form called haiku
Haiku consisted of 3 lines of words with a total of 17 syllables
The oldest type of Japanese plays were called Noh and they were
written to teach Buddhist ideas
Some Japanese nobles, merchants, and artisans grew wealthy
during the shogun period, but the lives of women remained
restricted in many areas of life