10 chinese culture influenced japan in the areas of religion, writing, and Ideas

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nfluence on Japanese culture

Chinese influence on Japanese culture refers to the impact of Chinese influences transmitted through or originating in China on Japanese institutions, culture, language and society. Many aspects of traditional Japanese culture such as Taoism, Buddhism, astronomy, language and food have been profoundly influenced by China over the course of centuries.

History[edit]

The conflicts caused by Chinese expansion in the later stages of the Jōmon Period, circa 400 BCE, led to mass migration to Japan.[1] The migrants primarily came from Continental Asia, more specifically the Korean Peninsula and Southern China, which brought over “new pottery, bronze, iron and improved metalworking techniques”, which helped to improve the pre-existing farming tools and weaponry.[1][2] Chinese influence came mostly by sea but also through Korea.

Kentoshi route, also known as the sea route from Japan to China.

The influence of Chinese culture was an indirect effect of communications by Korea, around the 1st to the 5th century AD Korea had already incorporated major elements of Chinese civilization into its own culture and from there mediated the interchanges between China and Japan.[3]

The Han Shu written in 82 AD (also known as The Book of Han or History of Han) states that the Wa sent envoys and tribute to the Jùn (Chinese commandery) in northern parts of Korea.[1] To expand further, the Wa was a confederation of minor southern and western states of Japan, with an emphasis on the state Yamato. According to the Han Shu, this was the first textual reference made to Japan in reference to Sino-Japanese interaction. Another Chinese source that documents Chinese influence on Japanese culture is Wei Chih, written in 297 AD (also known as History of Wei). it states that Chinese and Japanese interactions of tribute originates back to 57 and 107 AD. Prominent figures of authority, such as Queen Himiko, sent Japanese ambassadors to parts that belonged to the Chinese in around 189–248 D.[1] That continued in the Kofun period, as envoys continued to be transmitted from Japan into China. In 502 AD, eleven new envoys were sent to China. That was, according to Mark Cartwright, the emergence of Yamato Japan as an international diplomatic state.[1]

In comparison to Korea, Japan controlled its intake of cultural influence from China, also known as “cultural borrowing” This meant that it “acknowledged the cultural superiority of the Chinese Middle Kingdom” but always held onto its political independence.[3] In addition to controlling the process of cultural borrowing, Japan also remained selective in considering the ideas and institutions that it wanted to adopt.

Modern influence[edit]

China’s continued influence on Japanese culture can be perceived in modern times perhaps most clearly in the field of gastronomy of which Japanese Chinese cuisine is an example. Influence from Taiwan was also felt with the popularity of bubble tea in the late 2010s.[citation needed]

Influence on religion[edit]

Daoism/Taoism[edit]

Daoism/Taoism is a set of religious and philosophical beliefs that explores the ideas of rituals, scriptures all while the Dao/Tao is considered. It can be traced back to the 3rd century BCE.[4] As a product of Chinese philosophers, it has made its way to Japan and thus was significantly changed as it became in contact with Japanese Culture. Originally, as Daoism developed in China was complex, multifaceted and a continuous recreation of new and old ideas.[5] Its form as it became integrated into Japanese culture was introduced as a part of the ritsuryō state. As a result, through textual pieces, Daoism marketed its way gradually into Japanese culture but differently from its original influence, which was Chinese Daoism.

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Debates regarding Daoism/Taoism[edit]

There have been debates regarding which undefined elements of Daoism within “the Japanese religio-political landscape” belongs to history and traditions of China and which are merely an aspect of Daoism itself.[5] Author and research associate Gaynor Sekimori, argues that aspects such as cosmology, yin and yang, Wu Xing (the five phases), divination, astronomy/astrology and the Yijīng were originally a part of Chinese cultural heritage, which thus influenced Daoism.

There has also been a level of uncertainty regarding Daoism on whether it is mostly Chinese culture or was only influenced by Daoism. Jonathan Smith claimed to distinguish what is part of Chinese heritage and that of Daoism itself and that some elements are “Daoist” and “Taoist-flavoured”.

Building on the concept, the Japanese philosopher Miura Kunio distinguishes specific elements of Daoism as either belonging to the Chinese culture or as aspects transferred into the Japanese culture after the introduction of Daoism.[5] Kunio further claims that elements that were presented to Japan in the seventh century, such as “calendar-making, astronomy/astrology and divination”, belonged to the Chinese culture. Elements such as beliefs of immortality, Daoist scriptures and the Kōshin cult were transferred into Japan as part of Daoism.

Buddhism[edit]

Now one of the largest world religions, Buddhism first emerged from India around 6th century BC. Buddhism has three major branches, which include Theravada (“Lesser Vehicle” Buddhism), Mahayana (or ‘Greater Vehicle’ Buddhism) and Vajrayana (Esoteric Buddhism or ‘Diamond Vehicle’). Buddhism was brought over to Japan through China and Korea in 552 CE.[6]

Furthermore, Buddhism was encouraged by those in power, such as Prince Shōtoku. He argued that Buddhism was essential in “promoting Chinese ideas”. Out of the three branches of Buddhism, it was the Mahayana that first became rooted in the Japanese culture. In particular, Chan Buddhism, a Chinese school of Mahayana, spread to Japan as Japanese Zen.

Introduction and establishment of Buddhist sects[edit]

Visual painting of Saichō.

Another example of Chinese influence on Japanese religion is the introduction of Vajrayana Buddhism. In the early the Heian period, several Japanese monks who had studied religion in China returned and established Vajrayana Buddhism by the creation of Buddhist sects.[7] Specifically, two scholar monks, known as Saichō and Kūkai, helped to create the Tendai sect and Shingon sect. The Tendai sect was created in 805 by Saichō following his return from the Tang dynasty of China, and he helped to establish Vajrayana firmly.

Saichō then traveled to China for eleven months in 804 on the quest for the T’ien-t’ai (or Tiantai), the Chinese Buddhist School.[7] Saichō wanted to transfer the idea of the T’ien-t’ai Dharma heritage into Japan but to keep the authenticity of the original Chinese-based Buddhist school. In his final month in Ming-chou, Saichō went to Yüeh-chou to gather further religious texts concerning esoteric Buddhism (Vajrayana). There, he essentially met the priest Shun-hsiao, who informed and instructed himon Vajrayana Buddhism. After his visit to Yüeh-chou, Saichō retrieved Buddhist instruments related to rituals, paintings of the goddesses of Vajrayana, and 38 religious texts related to Mikkyō. In accordance to several pieces historical research, “both inside and outside the Tendai school demonstrates that Saichō encounter with Mikkyō in China was rather accidental”.[7] Furthermore, according to the Japanese historian Kōyū Sonoda, Saichō’s original plan was sending two disciples to do his research on the T’ien-t’ai, but it was changed last minute since Emperor Kanmu was able to persuade Saichō to pursue and lead the journey personally.

From there, Saichō helped to “pave the way” for the Shingon sect to be introduced in 806 by Kūkai. For both founders to benefit from the introduction of Buddhism, Saichō stood behind Kūkai and helped him get the mountain temple of Takaosan-ji, northwest of Kyoto, and make it into the original Shingon School. In return, Kūkai helped educate and train Saichō and his followers Vajrayana rituals. Furthermore, Kūkai also shared his Mikkyō texts, which he had gotten during his final trip to Yüeh-chou, China.

Influence of Chinese astronomy[edit]

A professor at Doshisha University, Kazuhiko Miyajima, argues that Japan was heavily influenced by Chinese astronomy and astrology.[8] The Japanese learned about Chinese astronomy first from the Koreans, who had learned it directly from the Chinese. The influence of astronomy took roots in government offices as a direct influence of the Chinese model, which became known as “Onmyo no tsukasa”. That office was in charge of specific information related to both astronomy and astrology, the same fields beingbe part of Daoism. The four departments of the office were “divination by celestial omens, calendar-making time-keeping and yin-yan divination”.[8] The responsibility of the departments was similar to the Chinese equivalents: T’ai shih chu and T’ai-pu shu.

In terms of cardinal direction, the orientation of the main streets in cities like Naniwa no miya and Heijo Kyo was achieved by “learning the Chinese way of surveying”.[8]

In addition, Japanese star maps were influenced by Chinese astronomy, as several star maps in Japan held the same Chinese star names. They were created as direct copies from the Chinese, but only a few still remain popular. Shibukawa Harumi, known as the “first official astronomer of the Edo period”, published two kinds of star maps, which were adapted from the traditional Chinese model, which came from Korea.[8] Some star maps were created by Takahashi Kageyasu and Ishizaka Joken and are still inspired by western astronomy, which essentially landed in Japan through China by the book “T’ienching huomen”. The book’s popularity in China was short-lived bevause of its simplification, excessive mistakes and inaccuracy, but it was immensely popular in Japan.

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Language[edit]

Kanji: Usage of Chinese characters in Japan[edit]

Kanji is the term for adopted Chinese characters used in written Japanese. The Chinese writing system influenced spoken Japanese language first and thus “provided key vehicles for intellectual creativity”.[3] Its origin in Japan dates back to the Kofun period, and its introduction is believed to be between 300 and 710 AD.[9]

It is believed that the Japanese writing system came under influence by the Chinese through its written language. In the beginning, most writing in Japan was done by immigrant clerks who wrote in Chinese.[10] One individual in particular, known as Wani, helped to introduce the Chinese characters into Japan. Wani was a scholar that had arrived sometime during the late 4th century from one of the Korean kingdoms, Paekche (also known as Baekje).[9] He supposedly brought 11 volumes of Chinese writings with him to Japan. Wani remained in Japan and helped to inspire groups of scribes that later became known as the Fumi-no-obito. Literacy was rare and was limited to immigrant groups and their families during the 5th and the 6th centuries. The act of writing and learning Chinese was instigated in Japan in the early 5th century.

Within the 7th century, Japanese scholars-aristocrats began to learn Chinese reading and writing with the purpose of doing business.[10]

The adaption of Chinese characters was said to be challenging, but its outcome allowed Yamato Japan to establish a bureaucracy. It also helped Japanese authority figures gain control of clans and peasants. Moreover, the introduction of Chinese into Japanese broadened Japan’s access to educational texts on ranging subjects, such as science, religion, art, and philosophy. Consequently, as Japanese students began to master Chinese, they could travel to China and thus continue to learn about the language and culture.[3]

It has been said that the introduction of Chinese characters and learning in the 4th century AD. highlighted a grand “turning point in Japanese cultural development”.[3]

Government[edit]

Nakatomi no Kamatari created the clan known as Fujiwara in 645. It stayed in power until the 11th century, when the military class (or the samurai) assumed its position. After the Fujiwara clan, the Taika reforms were created in 646 and helped to create a new system of government, which was influenced by the Chinese model.[11] Land became purchased by the state and thus was to be redistributed fairly to all. The land reform was a gateway for “introducing the new tax system that was also adopted from China”.

Gallery[edit]

[icon]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2020)

Many cultural items are part of Sino-Japanese heritage: here are a few examples:

  • Kanji writing, porcelain, tea and the game of Go

  • Nagasaki kunchi in Nagasaki, inspired by dragon dance

References[edit]

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Chinese influence on Japanese culture – Wikipedia

Chinese influence on Japanese culture - Wikipedia

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  • Matching Result: Many aspects of traditional Japanese culture such as Taoism, Buddhism, astronomy, language and food have been profoundly influenced by China over the course …

  • Intro: Chinese influence on Japanese culture Chinese influence on Japanese culture refers to the impact of Chinese influences transmitted through or originating in China on Japanese institutions, culture, language and society. Many aspects of traditional Japanese culture such as Taoism, Buddhism, astronomy, language and food have been profoundly influenced by China…
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Chinese Influences on Japan

Chinese Influences on Japan

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  • Sumary: Prince Shōtoku with his two sons, Prince Eguri (left) and Prince Yamashiro (right). Source: Wikipedia at https://tinyurl.com/ycg7k95m.

  • Matching Result: Identify aspects of Japanese culture such as government, language, and religion that were influenced by contact with Korea and China.

  • Intro: Chinese Influences on Japan | University of Tennessee at ChattanoogaPrince Shōtoku with his two sons, Prince Eguri (left) and Prince Yamashiro (right). Source: Wikipedia at https://tinyurl.com/ycg7k95m. This module was developed for a seventh-grade world history and geography class, specifically to address Tennessee standard 7.09—“Explain how Japanese culture changed through Chinese and Korean influences…
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The Influence of Chinese Culture – Japan Travel

The Influence of Chinese Culture - Japan Travel

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  • Sumary: In modern Japan there are many cultural aspects influenced by Chinese culture and it’s interesting to learn. Big Chinatowns are located in such cities as Yokohama, Nagasaki, Kobe and others.

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  • Intro: The Influence of Chinese Culture – Culture Japan has a unique culture, however it’s impossible to deny the influence of Chinese culture, one that is even more ancient. History tells us that the acquaintance between Japan and China begins as far as the year 57 AD. The cooperation resulted in…
  • Source: https://en.japantravel.com/blog/the-influence-of-chinese-culture/60716

Classical Japan: An Introduction – Asia for Educators

Classical Japan: An Introduction - Asia for Educators

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  • Sumary: Robert Oxnam :: Japan’s classical period spanned the sixth to the twelfth centuries. Unfortunately, this period is often neglected in world history textbooks. In time it falls after the classical eras of Greece, China, and India. lt precedes the quite distinctive medieval period in…

  • Matching Result: The influence of Buddhism, Confucianism, and other elements of Chinese culture had a profound impact on the development of Japanese culture.

  • Intro: Asian Topics on Asia for Educators || Classical Japan Robert Oxnam :: Japan’s classical period spanned the sixth to the twelfth centuries. Unfortunately, this period is often neglected in world history textbooks. In time it falls after the classical eras of Greece, China, and India. lt precedes the quite distinctive…
  • Source: http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/at/cl_japan/cj01.html

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The Influence Of Chinese Culture On Japanese Culture

The Influence Of Chinese Culture On Japanese Culture

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  • Sumary: The Chinese civilization was a much older civilization than the Japanese civilization. The Chinese and the Japanese had cultural and commercial relations that date back to 200 A.D….

  • Matching Result: Without an organized religion of their own, there was a strong appeal for both Buddhism and Confucianism when the two cultures met. Though many …

  • Intro: The Influence Of Chinese Culture On Japanese Culture There have been relations between Chinese and Japanese cultures for nearly 2,000 years, and the influences of that connection are still seen today. As the older and more sophisticated of the two civilizations, Chinese culture had an enormous impact on nearly all…
  • Source: https://www.char4u.com/content/the-influence-of-chinese-culture-on-japanese-culture/

Frequently Asked Questions About chinese culture influenced japan in the areas of religion, writing, and

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic chinese culture influenced japan in the areas of religion, writing, and, then this section may help you solve it.

Which cultural influences did China have on Japan?

Taoism, Buddhism, astronomy, and language are just a few of the traditional Japanese cultural facets that have been profoundly influenced by China over the years.

What effects does China have on Japan’s culture and religion?

Chinese culture had a significant influence on the development of Japanese culture during its classical period, with Buddhism, Confucianism, and other aspects of Chinese culture having a particular impact.

How did China affect the writing system in Japan?

In the late ninth and early tenth centuries, syllabaries called kana, which allow Japanese words and foreign loanwords to be written, were adapted from Chinese characters. Initially, all Japanese government documents and histories were written exclusively in Chinese.

What culture had a significant impact on the writing and language of Japan?

Later, as Japanese writers started writing their own works about Japan, Japanese literature began to develop into a distinct style in its own right. Early works of Japanese literature were heavily influenced by cultural contact with China and Chinese literature, which was frequently written in Classical Chinese.

What role did China play in the development of early Japanese literature?

The use of Chinese characters had a significant impact on modes of expression and resulted in a long-lasting connection between calligraphy and literary composition.

Which two civilizations had an impact on Japan?

Japan’s culture, society, religion, and philosophy have all benefited from the contributions of both China and Korea. For instance, China used its influence to introduce the political and ethical Confucianism to Japan, while Korea introduced the Chinese religion of Buddhism.

What factors have influenced Chinese culture?

The three main schools of thought and religion in ancient China—Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism—all had a significant impact on both traditional and contemporary Chinese culture.

Who was the author of Japan’s own writing system?

Writing systems During the Chinese Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), the Japanese came into contact with Chinese culture. In the fifth century CE, they started writing their own language, basing their system on the Chinese one.

What was the connection between writing in China and Japan?

Hanzi in Chinese and Kanji in Japanese, these two languages share more than half of their characters and have many characters in common. Through cultural mingling, scholars believe that Japan assimilated China’s writing system and shaped it to fit into their culture.

Which culture had a major impact on Japanese literature and religion?

Writing and Literature Koreans introduced Chinese writing to Japan, and Buddhism had a significant impact on Japanese religion, art, and architecture.

What were the two main influences of religion in Japan?

Japan’s two main religions are Shinto and Buddhism; Shinto is as old as Japanese culture, while Buddhism was brought from the mainland in the sixth century. Since then, the two religions have co-existed largely peacefully and have even somewhat complemented one another.

Did Japan inherit China’s writing system?

Even though the Chinese introduced writing to Japan in the year 50 AD, the majority of Japanese people didn’t begin to learn how to read and write until the fifth century AD (today, nearly 100% of Japanese people are literate).

Which Chinese writing system was adopted by the Japanese?

The logographic Chinese characters known as kanji, which are used to write Japanese, are derived from the Chinese script and are pronounced [ka?d?i] (listen).

What shared writing system do China and Japan share?

China and Japan are the only two nations still using the Chinese writing system, known as kanji in Japanese, out of the roughly 200 nations in use today.

Is Chinese the source of Japanese writing?

In its current writing system, Japan combines syllabic kana with logographic kanji, which are derived from Chinese characters.

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