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A gold seal, apparently the same one awarded by the Chinese emperor, was unearthed on the island of Shikano, at the mouth of Hakata Bay, in The Yamato rulers dominated the clans and developed a central administration and an imperial court based on Chinese models.
Japan traded and maintained diplomatic relations with Korea and China, receiving waves of immigration and many cultural influences. A written language developed using Chinese script.
During the reign of Prince Shotoku in the early seventh century, a Seventeen-Article Constitution, the first written law in Japan, was adopted. The Silla and Tang forces won a decisive victory, forcing Yamato Japan to withdraw completely from Korean affairs and crushing the Baekje restoration movement.
As a result, a lot of cultured Baekje noblemen and intellectuals also came to Japan as exiles, making considerable contributions to the further development of literature, sculpture, architecture, and arts there. Buddhism dominated, and artisans produced refined Buddhist sculpture and built great Buddhist temples.
The statue of Great Buddha in Todai-ji Temple in Nara is understood to have been built under the leadership of a high government official whose grandfather was a well-known exile from Baekje. The Taiho Code completed the codification of a Japanese legal code, closely following the Chinese legal system.
Copies were made of Chinese manuscripts, particularly Buddhist scriptures, and the first Japanese anthologies of poetry, the Kaifuso, a collection of Chinese poems by Japanese poets, and the Manyo-shuan anthology of native poetry, were compiled.
During the eighth century, the frontiers of the imperial state were extended to include southern Kyushu, and in the late eighth and early ninth century, a series of military campaigns conquered the Ezo Emishi people in northern Honshu.
The Chinese-style centralized government of the Nara period — gradually altered as the expansion of tax-exempt private estates shoen encroached upon the public domain. Political power in the imperial court was in the hands of powerful aristocratic families, especially the Fujiwaras, who dominated the court from the mid-ninth century, until Various military clans rose to power near the end of the Heian period.
Aristocrats continued to practice the elaborate and formal rites of Tendai and Shingon Buddhism, while the doctrines of the True Pure Land sect, emphasizing simple faith in Buddha Amida, grew in popularity among the common people.
These doctrines offered solace to the populace during the social upheavals and armed struggles of the late Heian period. Overseas trade re-established contact with China, resulting in the introduction of Zen Buddhism, and of Neo-Confucianism from Sung China.
The social upheavals that occurred at the end of the Heian period and during the early Kamakura period fostered a sense that the world was in crisis, and initiated a religious awakening. Several new Buddhist sects emerged that eschewed the esoteric teachings, complicated rites, and ascetic practices of traditional Buddhism.
These included the Pure Land sect and its offshoot, the Shin True school, as well as the sect established by the former Tendai priest Nichiren. Zen Buddhism, which emphasized personal effort jiriki as the way to enlightenment, became popular with the samurai. The nobility in Kyoto continued to comment on ancient texts and to study precedents.
In the early Kamakura period, however, a circle of waka poets emerged around the retired emperor Go-Toba, and produced a new imperial anthology, the Shin kokin wakashu.
In and again inthe Mongols under Kublai Khan attempted to invade Japan. Aided by typhoons, interpreted by the Japanese as kamikaze, or Divine Winds, which destroyed the Mongol ships, the Kamakura shogunate succeeded in repulsing both invasions.
Though the Japanese had been victorious, there were no spoils of war with which to reward the troops who had participated in the battles. This gave rise to economic hardship and discontent, and powerful local warlords began to challenge the authority of the Kamakura bakufu government.
The weaknesses of the Kamakura bakufu prompted a movement among the Kyoto aristocracy to reclaim political power from the military. A dispute over imperial succession which began in the mid-thirteenth century eventually resulted in the enthronement of Prince Takaharu as the Emperor Go-Daigo in The third and most successful of the Ashikaga shoguns, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu —eliminated his rivals and resolved a long-standing division in the imperial line, creating an era of stability that lasted several decades.
In spite of the social and political disorder, important cultural developments took place during the Muromachi period under the influence of Zen Buddhism, such as the Japanese arts of tea ceremony, flower arranging, and noh drama.Toyota is headquartered in Toyota City, Aichi.
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