The Making of Japan Civilization

Today, Japan is one of the largest economies in the Eastern World. The large economy is almost entirely supported and sustained by industrialization and technology. However, this kind of development would not have been possible without the impact that the Early Japan received from the Ancient China Empire. This paper is an argumentative essay that seeks to examine in details the making of Japan civilization and the impact that China had in this process. The paper is based on the argument that Japan benefitted from China and used the latter’s missteps and fails to develop and become more economically powerful.

The history of Japan as a country is quite long. Evidence from the archaeological sites indicates that life existed in Japan from over 1700 years ago. However, the communities that were in Japan during this time were largely the primitive people or the prehistoric times. History divides the Japan history into periods. One of the most significant periods in the making of Japan civilization is the Heian period. This period ran from 794 to 1185 CE. This was an age or literature, art, and culture. In addition, the period defined a political authority in Japan that was guided by laws of the land (Strayer, 2013). Before this period, however, Japan had already established links with neighboring empires including China, Vietnam, and Korea. These trade and economic links made the interaction between the empires possible. Consequently, Japan became overtly obsessed with the ways of life of China. They adopted most of the Chinese systems and tried to refashion the country along the Chinese lines. This was because the travelers and traders who visited China realized that China was already ahead of them regarding civilization. To claim relevant, Japan, therefore, tried to copy Chinese designs of cities and infrastructures. This particularly happened in Heijo-Kyo, the then capital city (Strayer, 2013).

Japan was also influenced by the legal and political mechanisms of China. In the seventh century, Japan copied the court declaration earlier made by China, holding all land as belonging to the state. In addition, Japan even attempted to distribute the land to its people depending on the census reports. This was exactly what China had done earlier. Economically, China was an important trade partner for Japan and other territories in the region. Japan even adopted the monetary system in China and adopted almost identical coins. This was believed to facilitate ease of business with the then powerful China and its partners in the region. However, this adoption was the first step towards the development of a monetary economy in Japan and proved to be important in economic civilization (Strayer, 2013). As the Chinese economy grew, so did that of Japan with the use of an identical economic system.

Cultural civilization is also another field where Japan gained massively from its relationship with China. The Chinese system of alphabets and writing was slowly adopted into the Japanese spoken language. This provided adequate tools for intellectual and professional creativity and the creation of a well-organized political formula. In addition to the writing system, the Buddhist religion was transmitted to Japan through Korea. The religion brought with it new cultural artifacts, arts, and systems that further enriched the Japanese culture (Strayer, 2013). The new cultural concepts were blended into the Japanese indigenous traditions and practices in the economy, religion, and cultural interactions.

Although Japan was not the only empire that interacted and was influenced by China, its capacity to make use of this interaction for its growth distinguished it from other empires such as Korea and Vietnam. In addition, as much as the Chinese civilization expanded, Japan continued to welcome and positively employ this civilization to its advantage. Contrary to the Vietnamese, Japanese was able to initiate and control a process of progressive copying and cultural borrowing for personal benefits from China. Other countries were negatively impacted by the Chinese culture to the extent of being culturally weakened by the influence (Strayer, 2013). However, for Japan, all the cultural borrowing was used to the progress and advantage of the country and its processes.

Due to the adoption of Chinese alphabets, Japan was able to read from the main writings of the Chinese economy, politics, legal and even cultural and religious doctrine. This benefited Japan regarding science, arts and philosophy and religion. Later, the Japanese students who were now fluent in Chinese were allowed to study firsthand information from China on new technologies and systems of economy and culture (Strayer, 2013).

Japan, among other empires in the Eastern region and Eurasia, were greatly influenced by great economy of China. However, Japan used this influence positively to increase its civilization, especially in the Heian period to the extent that by 1700s, Japan was already a civilized country that used the missteps of its teacher, China, to rise above it regarding industrialization, economy, and technology.






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