Ancient Japan: the culture and customs of the islands

Ancient Japan - is a chronological layer, which some scholars date the III.BC.- III in.BC, and some researchers are inclined to continue it until the IX.BCAs you can see, the process of the emergence of statehood on the Japanese islands podzaderzhalsya, and the period of ancient kingdoms rather quickly replaced the feudal system.This may be due to the geographical isolation of the archipelago and although its people have occupied another 17 thousand years ago, due to the mainland had been extremely sporadic.Only in the V century BCHere begins to cultivate the land, but the company continues to be tribal.

Ancient Japan has left a very little material and written evidence.The first mention of the chronicles of the islands belong to the Chinese and date back to the beginning of our era.By the beginning of the VIII century.BCare the first Japanese chronicles "Kojiki" and "Nihongi" when highlighted on tribal leaders Yamato there was an urgent need to justify the ancient, sacred and therefore, the origin of their dynasty.Therefore annals contain many myths, tales and legends, surprisingly intertwined with real events.

At the beginning of each of the chronicle describes the history of the formation of the archipelago."The age of the gods", the previous era of people, gave birth to the God-man Jimmu, who became the ancestor of the Yamato dynasty.The cult of ancestors who survived on the islands with the primitive communal system, and new religious beliefs of the sun goddess Amaterasu Heaven became the foundation of Shinto.Also ancient Japan practiced and widely practiced totemism, animism, fetishism and magic, as well as all the agricultural society, the basis of life were favorable for crop weather conditions.

Approximately from II.BC.Ancient Japan begins to forge close ties with China.Impact of more developed neighbor was total: the economy, culture and beliefs.In IV-V centuries, there is writing - naturally hieroglyphic.Launch new trade, get new knowledge about astronomy, engineering.China also penetrate into the territory of the islands and Confucianism and Buddhism.This gives rise to a revolution in culture.Especially important was the effect of Buddhism on the mentality of society: the belief in the transmigration of souls accelerated expansion of the tribal system.

Despite the significant superiority of China, ancient Japan, a culture which is especially subjected to the influence of neighbor remained unspoilt country.Even in the political system it did not have features inherent ancient China.The social structure is still in the V century.BCplayed an important role tribal elders and leaders, and the main class were free farmers.Slaves were not enough - it was a "domestic slaves" in families tillers.Classic slave system has not had time to emerge on the island, as tribal relations rapidly replaced feudalism.

Japan, culture and traditions are closely related to Confucianism and Buddhism, he gave a lot of architectural monuments of religious architecture.These include the temple complex in the ancient capital of Nara and Heian (modern Kyoto).Particularly striking in their mastery and perfection ensembles Nike sanctuary at Ise (III c.) Izumo (550), and Horyuji in Nara (607).The originality of Japanese culture most evident in literary works.The most famous work of this period - "Manёsyu» (VIII c.) - A huge anthology of four and a half thousand poems.