Introduction to Civilization

Chinese had social, religious, and political influence on Japan during the 7th and 8th centuries (Spodek 39). This era is referred to the postclassical period. During this period, the Japanese borrowed so many things from the Chinese that was characterized by remarkable technological, political, and economical improvements. One of the characteristics of Chinese influence in Japan, in terms of religion, is the incorporation of Confucianism and Buddhism religions (Spodek 67). The Chinese forced the Japanese to adopt Buddhism, which is a systematic religious system, into their local religions. This prompted Japanese local religions to change less organized system to systematic system. Confucianism, which is also a systematic religious system, had so many aspects of governance and society. The Japanese embraced Confucianism principles into their way of life, including their court system.

Political influence in Japan by the Chinese was characterized by adoption of the centralized political system in Japan (Spodek 69). The Japanese used the Confucianism principles of governance, which they had borrowed, from the Chinese, to build a new political system. Bureaucracy characterized the new political system of the Japanese. Empires such as the “emperors of the rising sun”, which were absolute monarch, were established. The Nara and Heian empires took control of the court system and patterned it after the Chinese court system (Spodek 69).

Socially, the Chinese influence was characterized by borrowing of written language. The Japanese had no written language. They borrowed the Chinese language and used it for educational purposes. This led to the emergence of a distinct class of the educated. In addition, the Chinese introduced their medicines and treatment methods, which led to improvement of the Japanese way of life. The Chinese also introduced the patriarchal family model in Japan. This led to erosion of Japanese family model, which for a long time had accorded women stronger family powers. The Japanese started practicing polygamy (which did not exist before). Access to the political positions was denied to women from imperial families, a thing that had existed in the previous centuries.

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