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Traditional Japan

Despite strong influence of the Chinese civilisation, Japanese have managed to create own original culture. Subsequently they were meaningly fenced off from an external world and stayed in full isolation up to the end of XIX century.

Aboriginals of the mountainous islands which have surrounded with a long chain Pacific coast of Asia, Japanese lived many centuries, practically without coming into contact to other world. So it also was, despite reverential honouring by Japanese of the emperors which were considered as lineal descendants of the goddess of the sun of Amaterasu. Board of first emperor Dzimmu carry to 660 BC Actually an imperial clan left on a history proscenium much later, and Japan has got out of the Stone Age only in the first century BC

Influence of China

Trying to win Korea in IV-VII centuries d.C., Japan has opened for itself and much took from an advanced civilisation of China. Therefrom through Korea on islands the Buddhism which, having merged with local sintoistskim a cult has come, there were dominating religion of Japanese, and konfutsianstvo, and together with it Chinese ideas of the centralised state. However writing became the most important acquisition. Having adopted the Chinese hieroglyphic letter, Japanese have adapted it for a native language, and even long centuries possession and, moreover, the composition of verses in the Chinese language which prestige can be compared to the status of Latin in the history of the Western Europe was considered as an erudition sign.

The peak the Chinese influence has reached in VII-VIII centuries when in Japan resolute attempt of creation of the centralised state on the Chinese sample - with strong bureaucracy for taxation from each allotment has been undertaken. However dissociation of the Japanese society has soon won. Specific magnates little by little appropriated various privileges - from tax exemption to the control over officials in the possession. This process gradually lasted some centuries, and, at last, in Hejan (794-1185) real power has slipped out hands of an imperial court yard in Kyoto and has been divided between the heads of feudal clans which had own devoted servants and a strong army. And, as a recognition of a new state of affairs, about 838 years all official relations with China have been stopped.

During an epoch of Hejan emperors have lost last privileges of the central power which was grasped by leaders of a mighty clan of Fudzivara. In 866 the current situation has been published, and of that time chief of family Fudzivara Yosifusa has accepted a title of the regent correcting on behalf of the emperor though that already was above children's age.

Rod Fudzivara is tenacious had control over an imperial surname, regularly marrying the daughters to its representatives and caring of that each emperor-greenhorn was the grandson of head of clan Fudzivara. When the emperor grew up, it compelled to abdicate in favour of other child from an imperial sort.

With special force this tendency was showed during an epoch Kamakura (1185-1333) when the imperial court yard still was in Kyoto, but all real power has concentrated in a small village Kamakura - the rate of the come to power sort of Minamoto. After a number of the victories, gained Minamoto in bloody internal wars come, its head Yoritomo has been proclaimed by the shogun and, as a matter of fact, became the military dictator correcting from the rate through a wide network of family and feudal communications.

Syogunat became recognised state institute in spite of the fact that after death of Eritomo its nearest relatives have been interrupted, and the power was grasped by feudal lords from a sort of Hodzyo which though did not become shoguns, but corrected as regents instead of several weak shoguns from a sort of Fudzivara or emperors.

Traditional Japan the Feudal society

During an epoch Kamakura the Japanese society has definitively got the form of the military-feudal state, and origin concerns the given period of some the steadiest traditions. The cult of the soldier-Samurai which judged not only on skill of possession of a sword, but also on fidelity to the to the lord is especially remarkable, readiness for self-sacrifice and ability with firmness to endure a pain. The Japanese swords in which manufacturing the caste of skilful handicraftsmen was engaged were so perfect, what even became a subject of a mystical cult.

Feudal communications


Staying at power top, clans of Minamoto and Hodzyo have managed to get shi rokoj a network of the communications guaranteeing unconditional fidelity of vassals (the small feudal lords bringing an oath of allegiance in exchange on the protection) and ordinary Samurais. But during the period Ashikaga (1336-1568) feudal anarchies which have marked by revelry, a prevailing role have started to play personal and local feudal communications. Shoguns from a sort Ashikaga never corrected all country, and sometimes their power was and at all nominal. Whole half a century side by side there were two competing imperial dynasties, giving the chance to ambitious feudal lords to pass from camp in camp to please to personal interests. Large and small interstine conflicts one after another flashed, and, constantly requiring means for war conducting, about ten the largest military feudal lords, or dajmyo, like small tsarkam, have entered in the possession a strict management system of gathering of taxes. Even the privilege of Samurais has been liquidated to participate in war - dajmyo began to type infantry from peasants, appointing horse Samurais officers.

"…юцхё=тхээ№щ тх=хЁ"

From century to century the external world disturbed Japan though some contacts to China nevertheless have been renewed a little. However during the period Kamakura over the country has hung for the first time threat of the Mongolian conquerors who have from outside subdued China which have undertaken two intrusions on islands - in 1274 and 1281

The second attempt, since was especially dangerous. For sending of an army Mongols have equipped huge fleet, and Japan for certain would fall under blows of enemies if all fleet has not been destroyed by a storm - "сюцхё=тхээ№ь тх=Ёюь" or the kamikaze. This significant event has only strengthened belief of Japanese in the bogoizbrannost.

Invasion of strangers

Traditional Japan Foreign other invasion has begun in 1543 when on the Japanese coast the first Europeans have landed. It were the Portuguese seamen delivered to islands by the Chinese ships. On their stops other newcomers - among them the Jesuit missionary of St. Frantsisk Ksave - and the merchants who in due course have transformed Nagasaki from the fishing small village in brisk port have followed.

After some decades the Christianity has achieved on islands of notable successes, and imported European muskets have unrecognizably changed tactics of military operations.

Meanwhile, from 1568 for 1600 the national unity and institute syogunata have managed to revive a number of vigorous governors in some measure. Great commander Oda Nobunaga (1534-82) has occupied Kyoto in 1568, but all rest of a life was spent in never-ending fights with feudal lords-contenders and rebellious groups of some buddistskih sects After murder of Nobunagi by its associate Toyotomi Hideyosi (1536-98) where military force where diplomatic dodges has led to submission all clans. Probably, wishing to direct energy of feudal lords and Samurais far away from a native land, Hideesi has started in 1592 a campaign to Korea which was in those days under protectorate of China. But if on a land Koreans and Chineses could not overcome the Japanese conquerors on the sea has put was differently. The ships of a special design invented by Koreans easily rammed and heated enemy vessels. As a result Japanese have lost domination on the sea, and their overland army has been broken.

With death of Hideesi the power in Japan was grasped by its most powerful vassal Tokugava Iejasu (1542-1616), managed to inflict shattering defeat to the contenders in fight at Sekigahara (1600). Three years later it has been officially recognised by the shogun. Iejasu rules the country from the lock in the city of Edo (Tokyo) which became subsequently new Japanese capital and since then the beginnings promptly to expand.

For the sake of strengthening of the political power the new shogun did not shun frank perfidy (especially when it was required to eliminate son Hideesi), but it could not refuse foresight.

Japan epoch of Tokugava

Iejasu has undertaken variety of simple and practical steps. Unlike predecessors, he prepared the son for itself(himself) in successors that that has not appeared taken by surprise death of the father. It has appointed governors of the main central provinces of blood relatives and the tested colleagues, having left other clans the remote corners of the country.

Traditional Japan the Major cities clansmen of Tokugava also corrected. Heads of all feudal houses - however are loyal they were in the past - have been obliged to spend time part in Edo under vigilant supervision, and coming back in the possession, left hostages of wives and children.

Besides, Iejasu tried to prevent the social and other changes, capable to undermine foundations of its power. Something in this direction has had time to make still Hideesi. So, it has dismissed groups of a country home guard though itself was a modest origin and has managed to tower only thanks to military talent. Iejasu and its successors vigilantly preserved barriers of class isolation and, in particular, have tightly closed for commoners of a door of aristocratic elite and such exclusive groups, as Samurais. The special alarm in the authorities prederzhashchih was caused by Christianity as a basis of overseas influence. Its adherents incessantly clashed among themselves, and concerning others were rather far from that toleration which was shown to them by Buddhists. Hideesi has had time to undertake a number of Antichristian steps, but mass persecutions have begun only on a decline of a life of Iejasu, having reached the apogee in 1620th Finally, they have provoked large revolt of Christians in Simabara in 1637-38 which has been sunk in blood, and the Christianity is almost destroyed.

Exile of Europeans

Having stepped further away in the radicalism, governors of Tokugava have decided that benefits from trade with the Old World - anything in comparison with presence at the country of trouble-makers-Europeans. It was followed by exile at first Spaniards, and then and Portugueses. Only to Dutches have allowed to remain, and that only on an islet of Desima in harbour of Nagasaki. And to the beginning of XVIII century into the Japanese ports came no more than two ships for a year. In isolation completion in 1636 it was forbidden to Japanese to go abroad.

From the point of view of governors of Tokugava, the given policy has crowned dazzling success. The clan remained in power up to 1868, and many traditional values of Japanese have remained up to now. However completely to stop development of a society and it was not possible. "-хышъшщ ьшЁ" has brought economic prosperity, and together with it changes in culture and economy.