Japanese calendar types have included a range of official and unofficial systems. At present, Japan uses the Gregorian calendar together with year designations stating the year of the reign of the current Emperor, the lunisolar Chinese calendar was introduced to Japan via Korea in the middle of the sixth century. After that, Japan calculated its calendar using various Chinese calendar procedures, but in 1873, as part of Japans Meiji period modernization, a calendar based on the solar Gregorian calendar was introduced. In Japan today, the old Chinese calendar is virtually ignored, celebrations of the Lunar New Year are thus limited to Chinese, Japan has had more than one system for designating years. Including The Chinese sexagenary cycle was introduced into Japan. It was often used together with era names, as in the 1729 Ise calendar shown above, though, the cycle is seldom used except around New Years. The era name system was introduced from China, and has been in continuous use since AD701.
Each Emperors reign begins a new era, before 1868 era names were declared for other reasons. Nengō are the means of dating years in Japan. It is in use in private and personal business. The Japanese imperial year or kigen 紀元 is based on the date of the founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu in 660 BC. It was first used in the calendar in 1873. However, it never replaced era names, and since World War II has been abandoned, the Western Common Era system has gradually come into common use since the Meiji period. Now, most people know it, as well as era names, the official dating system known as nengō 年号, strictly speaking, gengō 元号, has been in use since the late 7th century. Years are numbered within eras, which are named by the reigning Emperor, the nengō system remains in wide use, especially on official documents and government forms. The imperial year system was used from 1872 to the Second World War, Imperial year 1 was the year when the legendary Emperor Jimmu founded Japan –660 BC according to the Gregorian Calendar.
Usage of kōki dating can be a nationalist signal, pointing out that the history of Japans imperial family is longer than that of Christianity, kōki 2600 was a special year. The 1940 Summer Olympics and Tokyo Expo were planned as anniversary events, the Japanese naval Zero Fighter was named after this year
Prince Henry the Navigator
Infante D. Henrique of Portugal, Duke of Viseu, better known as Prince Henry the Navigator, was an important figure in 15th-century Portuguese politics and in the early days of the Portuguese Empire. Through his administrative direction, he is regarded as the initiator of what would be known as the Age of Discoveries. King John I was the founder of the House of Aviz, Henry encouraged his father to conquer Ceuta, the Muslim port on the North African coast across the Straits of Gibraltar from the Iberian Peninsula. Henry is regarded as the patron of Portuguese exploration, Henry was the third surviving son of King John I and his wife Philippa, sister of King Henry IV of England. He was baptized in Porto, and may have been there, probably when the royal couple was living in the citys old mint, now called Casa do Infante. Another possibility is that he was born at the Monastery of Leça do Bailio, in Leça da Palmeira, Henry was 21 when he and his father and brothers captured the Moorish port of Ceuta in northern Morocco.
Ceuta had long been a base for Barbary pirates who raided the Portuguese coast, following this success, Henry started to explore the coast of Africa, most of which was unknown to Europeans. His objectives included finding the source of the West African gold trade and the legendary Christian kingdom of Prester John, at that time the ships of the Mediterranean were too slow and too heavy to make these voyages. This made the caravel largely independent of the prevailing winds, with the caravel, Portuguese mariners explored the shallow waters and rivers as well as the open ocean with wide autonomy. In 1419, Henrys father appointed him governor of the province of the Algarve, in 1425, his second brother the Infante Peter, Duke of Coimbra, made a tour of Europe. While largely a diplomatic mission, among his goals was to seek out material for his brother Henry. Peter returned from Venice with a current world map drafted by a Venetian cartographer. In 1431 he donated houses for the Estudo Geral to reunite all the sciences — grammar, rhetoric, music, for other subjects like medicine or philosophy, he ordered that each room should be decorated according to each subject that was being taught.
When John I died in 1433, Henrys eldest brother Edward became king and he granted Henry all profits from trading within the areas he discovered as well as the sole right to authorize expeditions beyond Cape Bojador. Henry held a monopoly on fishing in the Algarve. When Edward died eight years later, Henry supported his brother Peter for the regency during the minority of Edwards son Afonso V, Henry functioned as a primary organizer of the disastrous expedition to Tangier in 1437. Henrys younger brother Ferdinand was given as a hostage to guarantee that the Portuguese would fulfill the terms of the agreement that had been made with Çala Ben Çala. The Portuguese Cortes refused to approve the return of Ceuta in exchange for the Infante Ferdinand who remained in captivity until his death six years later, Prince Regent Peter had an important role and responsibility in the Portuguese maritime expansion in the Atlantic Ocean and Africa during his administration
Yue Fei, courtesy name Pengju, was a Han Chinese military general who lived during the Southern Song dynasty. His ancestral home was in Xiaoti, Yonghe Village, Xiangzhou and he was granted the posthumous name Wumu by Emperor Xiaozong in 1169, and granted the posthumous title King of È by Emperor Ningzong in 1211. Widely seen as a patriot and national hero in China. A biography of Yue Fei, the Eguo Jintuo Zubian, was written 60 years after his death by his grandson, Yue Feis biography is found in the 365th chapter of the book and is numbered biography 124. Some historians including Deng Guangming now doubt the veracity of many of Yue Kes claims about his grandfather. According to the History of Song, Yue Fei was named Fei, meaning to fly, because at the time he was born, a large bird like a swan landed on the roof of his house. Yue Feis second biography, is a novel titled Shuo Yue Quan Zhuan, was written by Qian Cai. A dating symbol in its preface points either to the year 1684 or to 1744 and it was banned during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor.
There are two versions of this novel in existence. The original one had 80 chapters, there was an illustrated edition of this version published in 1912. The other version had 80 chapters and was published during the reign of the Tongzhi Emperor and it is currently sold under the title General Yue Fei. Some people mistakenly take this novel to be historical fact when it is purely fiction, indeed some of the events described there are nothing more than Qian Cais own imagination. The Song Yue E Wang Nianpu was written by Qian Ruwen in 1924, several sources state that Yue was born into a poor tenant farmers family in Tangyin County, Anyang prefecture, Henan province. A few days later, a young child squeezed Yue Feis hand too hard, soon, it began to rain and the Yellow River flooded, wiping out the village. Yue Feis father held onto the clay jar as it was swept down the river, although the much older Biography of Yue Fei mentions the flood, it states Yue Huo survived. It reads, would offer sacrifices at his tomb, Yue Feis father used his familys plot of land for humanitarian efforts, but after it was destroyed in the flood, the young Yue Fei was forced to help his father toil in the fields to survive.
Yue received most of his education from his father. In 1122 Yue joined the army, but had to return that year after the death of his father
Battle of Yancheng
The Battle of Yancheng took place in 1140 near modern-day Luohe City in Henan Province, China between the main armies of China under the Song dynasty and the Jurchen or Jin invaders from the north. The battle was a clash in the wars between the Jin Empire and China. The Chinese forces, under the leadership of General Yue Fei, Yue Feis West Army marched from Ezhou City in Hubei province towards the central plains to meet the threat. The biography of Yue Fei in Chapter 365 of the History of Song records, Yue Fei rushed to the area and sent Generals Zhang Xian and Yao Zheng to deal with the situation. The emperor issued an edict stating that the court was prepared, next Yue Fei ordered Liang Xing to cross the Yellow River, assemble citizens loyal to the emperor and attack Beizhou County. Troops moved eastwards to assist Liu Qi and arrived in the Central Plains, after commanding Yue Fei to counter-attack Emperor Gaozong changed his mind and in June issued a further order recalling the general and his troops.
Yue Fei ignored the order as the History of Song records, Minister Li Ruoxu was sent from the court orders for Yue Fei to withdraw. When Wu Shu moved southwards, he split his army into four divisions that used different routes, on August 21,1140, Wu Shu launched a surprise attack, heading a force of 15,000 horsemen and 100,000 infantry. Yue Fei ordered his Beiwei and Youyi cavalry units to attack the Jurchen, during the battle, the Song cavalry employed the Guai Zi Ma tactic. They were to be followed by infantry who were to engage the Jurchen in hand-to-hand combat, break the enemy formation, General Han Shizhong led 15,000 of our troops on horseback all dressed in shining armor. In ten bitter battles, countless enemies were slaughtered, their bodies littering the ground, as twilight fell we withdrew, stealing two hundred horses as we went. I would like to report a victory and now await further orders from your majesty. Following his defeat at Yancheng, fourteen days Wu Shu attacked Yingchang Fu, predicting the next move of the enemy, Yue Fei ordered his adopted son Yue Yun to lead the Beiwei Cavalry with its supporting infantry and go to the aid of the local commander Wang Gui.
At the subsequent Battle of Yingchang, the Song were once more victorious when through the use of the Guai Zi Ma tactic Wu Shu’s entire army were wiped out, Yue Fei’s army recaptured Zhengzhou and Luoyang leaving his troops facing Zhuxian Town, Henan. The Han people praised the victory whereupon Yue Fei shouted “Onward gentlemen to Huanglong Fu, after a struggle Wu Shu withdrew to Kaifeng. After the Battle of Yancheng, the Jin army bewailed their situation crying “to shake the mountains is easy, after receiving several high level reports confirming the victory at Yancheng, Emperor Gaozong rewarded his officers and men. By this time Zhang Jun and his army had retreated along South Huainan Road leaving Yue Fei isolated, as his army retreated he lamented, Emperor Gaozong supported a peace treaty with the Jurchens and sought to rein in the assertiveness of the military. The military expeditions of Yue Fei and other generals were an obstacle to negotiations for peace, the government weakened the military by demoting the generals and rewarded them with different titles
Minamoto no Yoritomo
Minamoto no Yoritomo was the founder and the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate of Japan. He ruled from 1192 until 1199, Yoritomo was the third son of Minamoto no Yoshitomo, heir of the Minamoto clan, and his official wife, Urahime, a daughter of Fujiwara no Suenori, who was a member of the illustrious Fujiwara clan. Yoritomo was born in Atsuta in Owari Province, at that time Yoritomos grandfather Minamoto no Tameyoshi was the head of the Minamoto. In 1156, factional divisions in the court erupted into open warfare within the capital and this is known as the Hōgen Rebellion. The head of the clan, sided with Sutoku, his son, sided with Toba and Go-Shirakawa, in the end, the supporters of Go-Shirakawa won the civil war, thus ensuring victory for Yoshitomo and Kiyomori. Sutoku was placed under house arrest, and Yorinaga was fatally wounded in battle, Tameyoshi was executed, even after numerous pleas from Yoshitomo. Nonetheless, Go-Shirakawa and Kiyomori were ruthless, and Yoshitomo found himself as the head of the Minamoto and the Minamoto clan descended from the imperial family on his fathers side.
Nonetheless, in Kyoto, the Taira clan, now under the leadership of Kiyomori, Kiyomori was supported by Fujiwara no Michinori, while Yoshitomo was supported by Fujiwara no Nobuyori. This was known as the Heiji Rebellion, the ex-Emperors and Shinzeis mansions were burned, while Shinzei was captured and decapitated. Nonetheless, the Minamoto were not well prepared, and the Taira took control of Kyoto, Yoshitomo fled the capital but was betrayed and executed by a retainer. In the aftermath, harsh terms were imposed on the Minamoto, only Yoshitomos three young boys remained alive, so that Kiyomori and the Taira clan were now the undisputed leaders of Japan. Yoritomo, the new head of the Minamoto, was exiled, Yoritomo was not executed by Kiyomori because of pleas from Kiyomoris stepmother. Yoritomos brothers, Minamoto no Noriyori and Minamoto no Yoshitsune were allowed to live and he married into the Hōjō clan, led by Hōjō Tokimasa, marrying Tokimasas daughter, Hōjō Masako. Meanwhile, he was notified of events in Kyoto thanks to helpful friends, soon enough, Yoritomos passive exile was to be over.
Yoritomo took part in this, especially after things escalated between the Taira and Minamoto after the death of Minamoto no Yorimasa and Prince Mochihito himself, Yoritomo set himself up as the rightful heir of the Minamoto clan, and he set up a capital in Kamakura to the east. Not all Minamoto thought of Yoritomo as rightful heir and his uncle Minamoto no Yukiie and his cousin Minamoto no Yoshinaka conspired against him. In September 1180, Yoritomo was defeated at the Battle of Ishibashiyama, his first major battle, Yoritomo spent the next six months raising a new army. In 1181, Taira no Kiyomori died, and the Taira clan was now led by Taira no Munemori, Munemori took a much more aggressive policy against the Minamoto, and attacked Minamoto bases from Kyoto in the Genpei War
The Song dynasty was an era of Chinese history that began in 960 and continued until 1279. It succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, coincided with the Liao and Western Xia dynasties and it was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or true paper money nationally and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy. This dynasty saw the first known use of gunpowder, as well as the first discernment of true north using a compass, the Song dynasty is divided into two distinct periods and Southern. During the Northern Song, the Song capital was in the city of Bianjing. The Southern Song refers to the period after the Song lost control of its half to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in the Jin–Song Wars. During this time, the Song court retreated south of the Yangtze, the Southern Song dynasty considerably bolstered its naval strength to defend its waters and land borders and to conduct maritime missions abroad. To repel the Jin, and the Mongols, the Song developed revolutionary new military technology augmented by the use of gunpowder, in 1234, the Jin dynasty was conquered by the Mongols, who took control of northern China, maintaining uneasy relations with the Southern Song.
Möngke Khan, the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire and his younger brother Kublai Khan was proclaimed the new Great Khan, though his claim was only partially recognized by the Mongols in the west. In 1271, Kublai Khan was proclaimed the Emperor of China, after two decades of sporadic warfare, Kublai Khans armies conquered the Song dynasty in 1279. The Mongol invasion led to a reunification under the Yuan dynasty, the population of China doubled in size during the 10th and 11th centuries. The Northern Song census recorded a population of roughly 50 million, much like the Han and this data is found in the Standard Histories. However, it is estimated that the Northern Song had a population of some 100 million people and this dramatic increase of population fomented an economic revolution in pre-modern China. The expansion of the population, growth of cities, and the emergence of a national economy led to the withdrawal of the central government from direct involvement in economic affairs.
The lower gentry assumed a role in grassroots administration and local affairs. Appointed officials in county and provincial centers relied upon the gentry for their services, sponsorship. Social life during the Song was vibrant, citizens gathered to view and trade precious artworks, the populace intermingled at public festivals and private clubs, and cities had lively entertainment quarters. The spread of literature and knowledge was enhanced by the expansion of woodblock printing. Technology, philosophy and engineering flourished over the course of the Song, although the institution of the civil service examinations had existed since the Sui dynasty, it became much more prominent in the Song period
Kingdom of Serbia (medieval)
The Kingdom of Serbia, or Serbian Kingdom, was a medieval Serbian state that existed from 1217 to 1346, ruled by the Nemanjić dynasty. The Grand Principality of Serbia was elevated with the coronation of Stefan Nemanjić as king by his brother, bishop Sava, after inheriting all territories unified by their father, the kingdom was proclaimed an empire on 16 April 1346. Each province had its own nobility and institutions, and each acquired a member of the Vojislavljevići to head as Župan, the Byzantine Empire launched a campaign on Duklja between 1089 and 1091 and possibly captured Bodin. A civil war broke out in the realm among Bodins relatives, Vukan took the opportunity to assert himself and broke away, claiming the title of Grand Prince of Serbia. Rascia and Zahumlje all became independent in 1091, up to this point, Duklja had been the center of the Serbian realm, as well as the main resistance to Byzantium in the Balkans. After 1091 Rascia became the most powerful of the Serbian states, under the rule of the Vukanović dynasty, Rascia replaced Duklja as the main opponent of Byzantine rule in the 12th century.
Bodins heirs were forced to recognize Byzantine overlordship, and now only the small territories of Duklja. During the reign of Vukans son Uroš I, the Byzantines invaded Duklja and sought to conquer Rascia as well, Uroš II initially fought the Byzantines, but he gave oaths of servitude to the Emperor after he was defeated in war. Stefan Nemanja was succeeded by his middle son Stefan, whilst his first-born son Vukan was given the rule of the Zeta region, Stefan Nemanjas youngest son Rastko became a monk and took the name Sava, turning all his efforts to spreading religion among his people. In Byzantium, Sava managed to secure autocephaly for the Serbian Church, in the same year Sava published the first constitution in Serbia — St. Savas Nomocanon. The Nomocanon was a compilation of Civil law, based on Roman Law and its basic purpose was to organize the functions of the young Serbian kingdom and the Serbian church. Thus the Serbs acquired both political and religious independence, the next generation of Serbian rulers — the sons of Stefan Prvovenčani, Radoslav and Uroš I — marked a period of stagnation of the state structure.
All three kings were more or less dependent on some of the neighbouring states — Byzantium, the ties with the Hungarians played a decisive role as Uroš I was succeeded by his son Dragutin, whose wife was a Hungarian princess. Thus, some of these became part of the Serbian state for the first time. His new state was named Kingdom of Srem, in that time the name Srem was a designation for two territories, Upper Srem and Lower Srem. The Kingdom of Srem under the rule of Stefan Dragutin was actually Lower Srem, after Dragutin died in 1316, his son, king Vladislav II, became king and ruled until 1325. Under Dragutins younger brother, King Milutin, Serbia grew stronger despite having to fight wars on three different fronts. King Milutin was an apt diplomat much inclined to the use of a customary medieval diplomatic and dynastic marriages and he was married five times, with Hungarian and Byzantine princesses