Japan: 1400-1800 Japan: 1400-1800 Introduction Introduction The origins of the ethnic Japanese are yet uncertain, but language analysis suggests they

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  • Japan:1400-1800

  • Japan: 1400-1800IntroductionIntroductionThe origins of the ethnic Japanese are yet uncertain, but language analysis suggests they are more closely related to the Koreans than to the ChineseLike the Koreans, they were heavily influenced by the Chinese, importing both Buddhism and Confucianism, which took their place alongside the native civil religion, ShintoOther important conceptsShogun: military warlord ruling in the emperors nameDaimyo: feudal lordsSamurai: warriors owing allegiance to DaimyoBushido: the strict Samurai code stressing military honor, courage, stoic acceptance of hardship, and, above all loyaltyViolation of the code brought disgrace, which could only be avoided or expatiated through seppukuritual suicideSamurai warriorin battle armor(c. 1860)Seppuku

  • Japan: 1400-1800UnificationJapan in 1400 was feudal, with no real center of powerDuring the 15th and 16th century, the number of daimyos declined, as more powerful daimyo defeated and absorbed the land of their weaker rivalsBy the mid-16th century, Japan was ripe to emerge from feudalismOda NobunagaDaimyo most responsible for unificationGradually subdued central Japan, and then used it as a springboard, aided by his able general, Hideyoshi, to subdue the rest of Japan, except in the southOda Nobunaga(1534-1582)ToyotomiHideyoshi(1536-1598)

  • Japan: 1400-1800Rise of the Tokugawa ShogunateNobunaga was assassinated by one of his vassals in 1582Hideyoshi succeeded him and completed his unification plan by subduing the southHe died in 1598, leaving an infant son as his heir in the care of a council of regentsTokugawa IeyasuThe most influential regent, daimyo of a vast territory surrounding modern Tokyo (then called Edo)Ieyasu eventually turned on Hideyoshis son and defeated an army of daimyo defending his claimAfter his victory, he had the emperor declare him Shogun, establishing a dynasty that would last until 1867TokugawaIeyasu(1543-1616)Edo (now Tokyo)

  • Japan: 1400-1800Japan and the WestEuropeans arrived in Japan in the 16th century, led by the PortugueseJapanese took great interest in their technologies especially firearmsBut they found European culture generally revoltingChristianityJesuit missionaries experienced some success, especially in the SouthIeyasu Tokugawa found Christianity disruptive and banned the religion in 1614Campaigns were launched against Christian daimyo and the religion driven undergroundShimbara Rebellion (1637-38): Christian peasants revolt and are ruthlessly repressedJapanese depiction ofPortuguese traders

  • Japan: 1400-1800Tokugawa Society (1)The Tokugawa period shows the influence of Confucian philosophy on Japanese societyThey organized Japan to put a premium on harmony and stablityThe Tokugawa froze people into four groups: imperial court nobility, samurai, peasants, and merchantsEach group was strictly regulated in what they could and could not do, and no movement between the groups was permittedOther restrictionsForeigners banned from Japan, except for tightly controlled Dutch traders in NagasakiUseful middlemen in obtaining Chinese silkJapanese banned from traveling abroadIsolated trading compound of theDutch in NagasakiHarbor

  • Japan: 1400-1800 Tokugawa Society (2)Peasants were highly regarded in Japanese society as it was recognized they provided its sustenanceThis did not prevent them from being overtaxed leading to recurrent peasant rebellionsStill, the prosperity of peasants gradually rose during this periodMerchants were looked down upon, consistent with the Confucian view that they were non-productive and parasiticThe 200-year period of peace dulled the samuraiTheir forced residence in Edo part of the year and the lack of war forced many into debt

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