Southeast Asia and Japan / Japan
Japan
The Ginza, Tokyo
Southeast Asia and Japan / Japan
Japan
Japan Ancient Architecture
Southeast Asia and Japan / Japan
Japan
Japan Ancient Architecture
Southeast Asia and Japan / Japan
Japan
Port of Kobe
Southeast Asia and Japan / Japan
Japan
Kyoto

Japan

Japan, situated in northeastern Asia between the North Pacific and the Sea of Japan, is a fascinating land of towering mountains, volcanos, valleys, coastlines and an even more fascinating history.

Evidence of tools for hunting and fishing suggest that Japan was inhabited as long as 30,000 years ago. The influence of China in the country was determined very early on when in 607 AD Prince Shotoku sent a mission of monks and government representatives to China with the purpose of importing to Japan aspects of Chinese culture such as Chinese literacy, Buddhism, art, customs, and principles of Chinese rule. Prince Shotuko also drafted Japan’s first written government constitution, the 17 Article Constitution. This set the foundation for a Japan ruled in Chinese style and created an elite culture unrivaled in Japanese History that lasted until the 12th century. The next two eras, the Nara and Heian, are known as the “classical age” of Japan. The Nara period was characterized by continued importation of Chinese culture and the spread of Zen Buddhism which was introduced (along with the tea ritual) by a monk named Eisai. The Heian became the height of classical culture in ancient Japan. The samurai of later ages would look back to Heian as a source of patterns of elite culture.

Japan developed an unparalleled sensitivity and cultivation of the aesthetics that became an important dimension of its culture and resulted in the castles, shrines, temples and gardens that have attracted the interest of visitors for so many decades.


 

 

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