100 words each. Please reply your opinion by those two discussion article. Must be original. Please provide reference if there some source used.
1 QUESTION :In chapter 13, how is Korea shaped by its nearness to Japan and China? What other factors shape Korea and how do they shape Korea? How is Korea similar to China?
Like many counties throughout history Korea has been influenced culturally, politically and economically by its closest neighbors China and Japan. Early Zhou Chinese annals reference the kingdom of Choson indicating a Korean state pre-dating Chinese influences as well as the use of written language being present in the region prior to the first Qin invasion. Korea was briefly brought under Han dynasty rule and from the Han records showed that Korea had dealing with other countries including Japan and Vietnam. The Han also encouraged Chinese settlements in Korea to help ensure loyalty. One of the byproducts of the Han’s invasion of Korea was the driving of Koreans towards the south of the peninsula where they came in contact with small Japanese tribal societies leading to an exchange of Korean and Japanese cultures. This invasion and subsequent withdraw also lead to the development of the Three Kingdoms, Koguryo to the north and Packche and Silla to the south. The proximity of the kingdom to either China or Japan had influence over the style of government each kingdom set up. Left to their own devices these kingdoms eventually started fighting one another for dominance of Korea. Even though Koguryo controlled the most territory they were eventually made to submit when Silla formed an alliance with China under the Sui dynasty essentially forcing Koguryo to face enemies on two fronts.
Other factors that shaped Korea were the Mongol expansion in 1231, with their newly acquired military items from victories in China the Mongols were able to lay siege to the then capitol of Korea, Kaesong. This led to four decades of irregular warfare and forced the withdraw of the government to the south. The Mongols eventually intermarried and assimilated to the Korean culture. Religions brought to Korea from China were also an influencing factor. The introduction of Buddhist missionaries into Koguryo brought with it Chinese writing, literature, Confucian ethics and political thought.
Korea and China share many similarities from governmental structure to religion, after reading of the continuous invasions of China into Korea this is not surprising.
2 QUESTION: How is Japan shaped by its isolation? Discuss religion, culture and intellectual life in Japan.
DISCUSSION: Japan is shaped by its isolation due to the contributing factors of it having the power and the ability to carefully choose the people and things to interact with, and also which ideas they wanted to use and adapt to. It allowed them to freely experiment without the worries of an invasion and be able to do away with any idea that wasn’t a necessity. An example of something they adapted to would be the adoption of tea. This method was used by the monks for meditation and disciplinary reasons. As far as the choice to interact with anyone goes, an example of that is how they began communication with Korea and a select few members of the Last Zhou Chinese back before the Common Era. There were limitations on the amount of land that could be used in Japan because of the fact that at least a fifth of it was caused by volcanic activity and also because of the growing population, but they managed to introduce the agriculture world to Japan, and before you knew it there were crops such millet that began to surface.
Their religious views however were surprisingly able to coexist amongst two religious traditions. Japan chose to live by the Shinto which means the way of the gods, and the way for them originally began with Izanagi and Izanami whose sexual activity started the home lands. Then there was Amaterasu the sun goddess and then the Emperor. Any emperor serving was considered a god to the Shinto believers. They later adapted to Buddhism, which was a struggle for a very long time amongst the Shinto believers. After a lot of back and forth it was later deemed the religion for the state.
Now where the intellectual life comes into play I read where it made reference to the schools of Buddhism. Japan established a few schools themselves, however most of the schools were first establish in China and then later Japan adapted to them. The very first school was the Hossa school, Nara. It was a Chinese monk whom brought back new text he recovered the school was based on these text, but it didn’t take long for this school to be taken over. It was the Tendai School and the Shingon sect that pretty much dominated.
Culturally, the Japanese history was influenced by the Chinese and they had to come to an understanding about how important the history and record keeping was. The Chronicles of Japan and Records of Ancient Matters came around about the same time as the first collection of Japanese poetry that was however published in Chinese. They chose a Chinese character that had similarities to Japanese sounds and put them together. It was said that if it was understood in the context then one wouldn’t be able to understand the true meaning of the poem. The most important literary developments that came from kana were the said to be the novel and prose diary.