The Kamakura period is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun, Minamoto no Yoritomo. The period is known for the emergence of the samurai, the warrior caste, the Kamakura period marks the transition to land-based economies and a concentration of advanced military technologies in the hands of a specialized fighting class. Lords required the services of vassals, who were rewarded with fiefs of their own. The fief holders exercised local military rule, once Minamoto Yoritomo had consolidated his power, he established a new government at his family home in Kamakura. He called his government a bakufu, but because he was given the ancient high military title Seii Tai-shōgun by the Emperor, Yoritomo followed the Fujiwara form of house government and had an administrative board Mandokoro, a board of retainers, and a board of inquiry. After confiscating estates in central and western Japan, he appointed stewards for the estates and constables for the provinces, as shogun, Yoritomo was both the steward and the constable general.
The Kamakura shogunate was not a regime and although it controlled large tracts of land. The regime continued warfare against the Northern Fujiwara, but never brought either the north or the west under complete military control, the 4th leader of the Northern Fujiwara Fujiwara no Yasuhira was defeated by Yoritomo in 1189, and the 100-year-long prosperity of the north disappeared. The old court resided in Kyoto, continuing to hold the land over which it had jurisdiction, despite a strong beginning, Yoritomo failed to consolidate the leadership of his family on a lasting basis. Intrafamily contention had long existed within the Minamoto, although Yoritomo had eliminated most serious challengers to his authority. When he died suddenly in 1199, his son Minamoto no Yoriie became shogun and nominal head of the Minamoto, but Yoriie was unable to control the other eastern warrior families. By the early century, a regency had been established for the shogun by Hōjō Tokimasa—a member of the Hōjō clan.
Often the Shikken was the Tokuso and Rensho, under the Hōjō, the shogun became a powerless figurehead. The Hōjō forces easily won the war, and the court was brought under the direct control of the shogunate. The shoguns constables gained greater powers, and the court was obliged to seek Kamakuras approval for all of its actions. Although deprived of power, the court retained extensive estates. Several significant administrative achievements were made during the Hōjō regency, in 1225 the third regent Hōjō Yasutoki established the Council of State, providing opportunities for other military lords to exercise judicial and legislative authority at Kamakura. The Hōjō regent presided over the council, which was a form of collective leadership
Agency for Cultural Affairs
The Agency for Cultural Affairs is a special body of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Sports and Technology. It was set up in 1968 to promote Japanese arts and culture, as of April 2016, it is led by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Ryohei Miyata. The agencys budget for FY2015 rose to ￥103.8 billion, the Cultural Affairs Division is concerned with such areas as art and culture promotion, arts copyrights, and improvements in the national language. It supports national and local arts and cultural festivals, and it funds traveling cultural events in music, dance, art exhibitions. Special prizes are offered to young artists and established practitioners. The agency funds national museums of art in Kyoto and Tokyo and The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo. The agency supports the Japan Art Academy, which honors eminent persons of arts and letters, appointing them to membership, awards are made in the presence of the Emperor, who personally bestows the highest accolade, the Order of Culture.
In 1989, for the first time two women — a writer and a costume designer — were nominated for the Order of Cultural Merit, the Cultural Properties Protection Division originally was established to oversee restorations after World War II. In addition, about 13,500 items had the designation of Important Cultural Properties, with fine arts and crafts accounting for the largest share. The government protects buried properties, of which some 300,000 had been identified, during the 1980s, many important prehistoric and historic sites were investigated by the archaeological institutes that the agency funded, resulting in about 2,000 excavations in 1989. The wealth of material unearthed shed new light on the period of the formation of the Japanese state. A1975 amendment to the Cultural Properties Protection Act of 1897 enabled the Agency for Cultural Affairs to designate traditional areas and buildings in urban centers for preservation. From time to time, various endangered traditional artistic skills are added to the agencys preservation roster, one of the most important roles of the Cultural Properties Protection Division is to preserve the traditional arts and crafts and performing arts through their living exemplars.
Individual artists and groups, such as a troupe or a pottery village, are designated as mukei bunkazai in recognition of their skill. Major exponents of the arts have been designated as ningen kokuho. Each was provided an annual pension of ￥2 million and financial aid for training disciples. During the 1980s, the National Noh Theatre and the National Bunraku Theater were constructed by the government, the ministry is based in the Chiyoda Ward of Tokyo. loc. gov/frd/cs/. Agency for Cultural Affairs website Cultural Properties for Future Generations
Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes
The mines were active during the mid and late Neolithic between 4,300 and 2,200 BC. Declared to be remarkable for the diversity of technological solutions used for extraction the site, discovered in 1843, the first excavations were undertaken during railway construction in 1867 and intermittent excavations have been carried out up to the present day. The Mines of Spiennes cover some 100 ha of downland four miles south-east of the city of Mons, the site is dotted with millions of scraps of worked flint and numerous mining pits, that Neolithic settlers have gradually turned into vertical mine shafts to depths of over 10 m. Research has illustrated Neolithic techniques for the cutting of the flint and the extraction of large slabs of flint, the nodules were extracted using flint picks. The stones were knapped into rough-out shapes of axes, the SILEXS Interpretive Centre has opened in spring 2015. The rough-outs were exchanged over an area, about 150 km. Polishing strengthens the product, making the axe- or adze-head last longer.
The smooth surface aids the cutting action by lowering friction with the wood, the axes were used initially for forest clearance during the Neolithic period, and for shaping wood for structural applications, such as timber for huts and canoes. The site has been compared with Grimes Graves and Cissbury in the United Kingdom, and Krzemionki in Poland, different hard rocks were used for the polished stone axes. Examples include the Langdale axe industry and Tievebulliagh, guillaume, Ph. Lipinski & A. Masson, Les mines de silex néolithiques de la Meuse dans le contexte européen. Musées de la Meuse, Sampigny 1987, F. Gosselin, Un site dexploitation du silex à Spiennes, au lieu-dit Petit-Spiennes. F. Hubert, Une minière néolithique à silex au Camp-à-Cayaux de Spiennes, F. Hubert, Lexploitation préhistorique du silex à Spiennes. Ministère de la Région wallonne, Direction générale de lAménagement du Territoire, du Logement et du Patrimoine, R. Shepherd, Prehistoric Mining and Allied Industries. Société de recherches préhistoriques en Hainaut, Minières néolithiques à Spiennes,1997 ICOMOS evaluation Collet, H.
Les mines néolithiques de Spiennes, état des connaissances et perspectives de recherche. Section 10, The Neolithic in the Near East and Europe, actes du XIVème congrès UISPP, Université de Liège, Belgique,2 –8 septembre 2001 H. Collet, A. Hauzeur & J. Lech,2008. The prehistoric flint mining complex at Spiennes on the occasion of its discovery 140 years ago In P. Allard, F. Bostyn, flint mining in Prehistoric Europe, Interpreting the archaeological records. European Association of Archaeologists, 12th Annual Meeting, Poland, 19–24 September 2006, H. Collet,2014. Les minières néolithiques de silex de Spiennes
The Nara period of the history of Japan covers the years from AD710 to 794. Empress Genmei established the capital of Heijō-kyō, most of Japanese society during this period was agricultural in nature and centered on villages. Most of the villagers followed a religion based on the worship of natural and ancestral spirits called kami, the capital at Nara was modeled after Changan, the capital city of Tang China. In many other ways, the Japanese upper classes patterned themselves after the Chinese, including adopting Chinese written system, concentrated efforts by the imperial court to record and document its history produced the first works of Japanese literature during the Nara period. Works such as the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki were political in nature, used to record and therefore justify, with the spread of written language, the writing of Japanese poetry, known in Japanese as waka, began. Over time, personal collections were referenced to establish the first large collection of Japanese poetry known as Manyōshū sometime after 759, Chinese characters were used to express sounds of Japanese until kana were invented.
The Chinese characters used to express the sounds of Japanese are known as manyōgana, before the Taihō Code was established, the capital was customarily moved after the death of an emperor because of the ancient belief that a place of death was polluted. Reforms and bureaucratization of government led to the establishment of a permanent imperial capital at Heijō-kyō, or Nara, in AD710. It is to be noted that the capital was moved shortly to Kuni-kyō in 740–744, to Naniwa-kyō in 744–745, to Shigarakinomiya in 745, Nara was Japans first truly urban center. It soon had a population of 200,000 and some 10,000 people worked in government jobs and administrative activity increased during the Nara period. Roads linked Nara to provincial capitals, and taxes were collected more efficiently and routinely, coins were minted, if not widely used. Outside the Nara area, there was little commercial activity, by the mid-eighth century, shōen, one of the most important economic institutions in medieval Japan, began to rise as a result of the search for a more manageable form of landholding.
Some of these formerly public people were employed by large landholders. Factional fighting at the court continued throughout the Nara period. Imperial family members, leading families, such as the Fujiwara. Earlier this period, Prince Nagaya seized power at the court after the death of Fujiwara no Fuhito, Fuhito was succeeded by four sons, Umakai and Maro. They put Emperor Shōmu, the prince by Fuhitos daughter, on the throne, in 729, they arrested Nagaya and regained control. However, as the first outbreak of smallpox spread from Kyūshū in 735 and it is without doubt that the Emperor was heavily shocked about this disaster, and he moved the palace three times in only five years since 740, until he eventually returned to Nara
Monuments of Japan
The government designates significant items of this kind as Cultural Properties and classifies them in one of three categories, Historic Sites Places of Scenic Beauty, Natural Monuments. Items of particularly high significance may receive a classification as. As of September 2013, there were 3,089 nationally designated Monuments,1,710 Historic Sites,374 Places of Scenic Beauty, alterations to the existing state of a site or activities affecting its preservation require permission from the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs. Financial support for purchasing and conserving designated land and for the utilization of the site is available through local governments, the Agency for Cultural Affairs designates monuments based on a number of criteria. A monument can be designated based on more than one of these criteria, Monuments from the Meiji period onward which require preservation can be registered as Registered Monuments. Members of this class of Cultural Property receive more limited assistance and protection based mostly on governmental notification, as of April 2012,61 monuments were registered under this system.
List of Special Places of Scenic Beauty, Special Historic Sites and Special Natural Monuments Cultural Properties of Japan Meibutsu
Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is a sovereign state in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. The Republic of Armenia constitutes only one-tenth of historical Armenia, Armenia is a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. Urartu was established in 860 BC and by the 6th century BC it was replaced by the Satrapy of Armenia, in the 1st century BC the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great. Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion, in between the late 3rd century to early years of the 4th century, the state became the first Christian nation. The official date of adoption of Christianity is 301 AD. The ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires around the early 5th century, under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the fell in 1045. An Armenian principality and a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries.
By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, during World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, in 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Republic of Armenia recognises the Armenian Apostolic Church, the worlds oldest national church, as the countrys primary religious establishment. The unique Armenian alphabet was invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD, Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Council of Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenia supports the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which was proclaimed in 1991, the native Armenian name for the country is Հայք.
The name in the Middle Ages was extended to Հայաստան, by addition of the Persian suffix -stan, the further origin of the name is uncertain. It is postulated that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi. The exonym Armenia is attested in the Old Persian Behistun Inscription as Armina, the ancient Greek terms Ἀρμενία and Ἀρμένιοι are first mentioned by Hecataeus of Miletus. Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and he relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians. According to the histories of both Moses of Chorene and Michael Chamchian, Armenia derives from the name of Aram, a descendant of Hayk
A Shinto shrine is a structure whose main purpose is to house one or more Shinto kami. Its most important building is used for the safekeeping of sacred objects, structurally, a Shinto shrine is usually characterized by the presence of a honden or sanctuary, where the kami is enshrined. The honden may however be completely absent, as for example when the stands on a sacred mountain to which it is dedicated. There may be a haiden and other structures as well, however, a shrines most important building is used for the safekeeping of sacred objects rather than for worship. Miniature shrines can occasionally be found on roadsides, large shrines sometimes have on their precincts miniature shrines. The portable shrines which are carried on poles during festivals enshrine kami and are therefore true shrines. in 927 CE and this work listed all of the 2,861 Shinto shrines existing at the time, and the 3,131 official-recognized and enshrined Kami. Certainly, that number has grown and greatly exceeded this figure through the following generations, in Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan placed the number of shrines at 79,467, mostly affiliated with the Association of Shinto Shrines.
Some shrines, such as the Yasukuni Shrine are totally independent of any outside authority, the number of Shinto shrines in Japan is estimated to be around 100,000. This figure may, or may not, include private shrines in homes and owned by groups, abandoned or derelict shrines. Ancestors are kami to be worshiped, yayoi-period village councils sought the advice of ancestors and other kami, and developed instruments to evoke them. Yoshishiro means approach substitute and were conceived to attract the kami to allow them physical space, village-council sessions were held in quiet spots in the mountains or in forests near great trees or other natural objects that served as yorishiro. These sacred places and their yorishiro gradually evolved into todays shrines, whose origins can be seen in the Japanese words for mountain and forest. Many shrines have on their grounds one of the original great yorishiro, the first buildings at places dedicated to worship were surely huts built to house some yorishiro. A trace of this origin can be found in the term hokura, deity storehouse, which evolved into hokora, true shrines arose with the beginning of agriculture, when the need arose to attract kami to ensure good harvests.
These were, just temporary structures built for a particular purpose, Ōmiwa Shrine in Nara, for example, contains no sacred images or objects because it is believed to serve the mountain on which it stands. Those images or objects are therefore unnecessary, for the same reason, it has a worship hall but no place to house the kami. Archeology confirms that, during the Yayoi period, the most common shintai in the earliest shrines were nearby mountain peaks that supplied water to the plains where people lived. Besides the already mentioned Ōmiwa Shrine, another important example is Mount Nantai, the name Nantai means mans body
The Yayoi period is an Iron Age era in the history of Japan traditionally dated 300 BC–300 AD. Since the 1980s, scholars have argued that a previously classified as a transition from the Jōmon period should be reclassified are Early Yayoi. The date of the beginning of this transition is controversial, with estimates ranging from the 10th to the 6th centuries BC, the period is named after the neighborhood of Tokyo where archaeologists first uncovered artifacts and features from that era. Distinguishing characteristics of the Yayoi period include the appearance of new Yayoi pottery styles, a hierarchical social class structure dates from this period. Techniques in metallurgy based on the use of bronze and iron were introduced to Japan in this period, the Yayoi followed the Jōmon period and Yayoi culture flourished in a geographic area from southern Kyūshū to northern Honshū. Archaeological evidence supports the idea that during this time, an influx of farmers from the Asian continent to Japan absorbed or overwhelmed the native hunter-gatherer population, the Yayoi period is traditionally dated from 300 BC to 300 AD.
The earliest archaeological evidence of the Yayoi is found on northern Kyūshū, Yayoi culture quickly spread to the main island of Honshū, mixing with native Jōmon culture. Yayoi pottery was decorated and produced using the same coiling technique previously used in Jōmon pottery. Yayoi craft specialists made bronze ceremonial bells and weapons, by the 1st century AD, Yayoi farmers began using iron agricultural tools and weapons. As the Yayoi population increased, the society became more stratified and they wove textiles, lived in permanent farming villages, and constructed buildings with wood and stone. They accumulated wealth through land ownership and the storage of grain, such factors promoted the development of distinct social classes. Contemporary Chinese sources described the people as having tattoos and other bodily markings which indicated differences in social status, Yayoi chiefs, in some parts of Kyūshū, appear to have sponsored, and politically manipulated, trade in bronze and other prestige objects.
That was possible by the introduction of an irrigated, wet-rice culture from the Yangtze estuary in southern China via the Ryukyu Islands or Korean Peninsula, wet-rice agriculture led to the development and growth of a sedentary, agrarian society in Japan. Local political and social developments in Japan were more important than the activities of the authority within a stratified society. Direct comparisons between Jōmon and Yayoi skeletons show that the two peoples are noticeably distinguishable, the Jōmon tended to be shorter, with relatively longer forearms and lower legs, more wide-set eyes and wider faces, and much more pronounced facial topography. They have strikingly raised brow ridges and nose bridges, Yayoi people, on the other hand, averaged an inch or two taller, with close-set eyes and narrow faces, and flat brow ridges and noses. By the Kofun period, almost all excavated in Japan except those of the Ainu are of the Yayoi type with Jomon admixture. The earliest archaeological sites are Itazuke or Nabata in the part of Kyūshū