Japan Project

All about Japan

Geography

    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean. Japan is over 70% mountainous terrain with approximately 18% land mass suitable for human settlement Japanese cities are typically sprawling and densely populated. Tokyo, a megapolis and the capital of japan, is located on Honshu island. The islands of japan are located in an area know as the Pacific Ring of Fire. This area is where most of the worlds earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. Japan is very seismically active with over 1,500 earthquakes per year.




History

Recorded Japanese history begins around 400 A.D. when the Yamato clan, managed to gain control of other family groups in central and western Japan. Contact with Korea introduced Buddhism to Japan at this time. Through the 700s Japan was influenced by China, and the Yamato clan set up an imperial court similar to China. In the ensuing centuries, the authority of the imperial court was undermined as powerful gentry families vied for control. In 1192, the Minamoto clan set up a military government under their leader Yoritomo. He was designated military dictator. For the next 700 years, shoguns from a succession of clans ruled in Japan, while the imperial court existed in relative obscurity.

Shintoism

Shinto is the indigenous faith of the Japanese people and as old as Japan. It remains Japan's major religion alongside Buddhism. Shinto does not have a founder or does it have sacred scriptures like the sutras or the bible. Propaganda and preaching are not common either, because Shinto is deeply rooted in the Japanese people and traditions. Many monotheist religions, are no absolutes in Shinto. There is no right and wrong and nobody is perfect. Shinto is an optimistic faith as humans are thought to be fundamentally good, and evil is believed to be caused by evil spirits. The purpose of most Shinto rituals is to keep away evil spirits by purification, prayers and offerings to the kami.

Feudalism

Japan created a feudalism:

-The shogun ruled the country through the daimyo, who were the heads of the samurai

-Peasants farmed the land in exchange for protection by the samurai, who operated under a code of conduct known as bushido.

Society was organized under a rigid class system with no social mobility.

The Tokugawa Shoguns maintained an ethnocentric policy toward the outside world. However, cultural influences from China did migrate to Japan down the Korean Peninsula.

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