The Nihon Shoki, sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second-oldest book of classical Japanese history. The book is called the Nihongi, it is more elaborate and detailed than the Kojiki, the oldest, has proven to be an important tool for historians and archaeologists as it includes the most complete extant historical record of ancient Japan. The Nihon Shoki was finished in 720 under the editorial supervision of Prince Toneri and with the assistance of Ō no Yasumaro dedicated to Empress Genshō; the Nihon Shoki begins with the Japanese creation myth, explaining the origin of the world and the first seven generations of divine beings, goes on with a number of myths as does the Kojiki, but continues its account through to events of the 8th century. It is believed to record the latter reigns of Emperor Tenji, Emperor Tenmu and Empress Jitō; the Nihon Shoki focuses on the merits of the virtuous rulers as well as the errors of the bad rulers. It describes diplomatic contacts with other countries.
The Nihon Shoki was written in classical Chinese. The Kojiki, on the other hand, is written in a combination of Chinese and phonetic transcription of Japanese; the Nihon Shoki contains numerous transliteration notes telling the reader how words were pronounced in Japanese. Collectively, the stories in this book and the Kojiki are referred to as the Kiki stories; the tale of Urashima Tarō is developed from the brief mention in Nihon Shoki that a certain child of Urashima visited Horaisan and saw wonders. The tale has plainly incorporated elements from the famous anecdote of "Luck of the Sea and Luck of the Mountains" found in Nihon Shoki; the developed Urashima tale contains the Rip Van Winkle motif, so some may consider it an early example of fictional time travel. Chapter 01: Kami no Yo no Kami no maki. Chapter 02: Kami no Yo no Shimo no maki. Chapter 03: Kan'yamato Iwarebiko no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 04: Kamu Nunakawamimi no Sumeramikoto. Shikitsuhiko Tamatemi no Sumeramikoto. Ōyamato Hikosukitomo no Sumeramikoto.
Mimatsuhiko Sukitomo no Sumeramikoto. Yamato Tarashihiko Kuni Oshihito no Sumeramikoto. Ōyamato Nekohiko Futoni no Sumeramikoto. Ōyamato Nekohiko Kunikuru no Sumeramikoto. Wakayamato Nekohiko Ōbibi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 05: Mimaki Iribiko Iniye no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 06: Ikume Iribiko Isachi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 07: Ōtarashihiko Oshirowake no Sumeramikoto. Waka Tarashihiko no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 08: Tarashi Nakatsuhiko no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 09: Okinaga Tarashihime no Mikoto. Chapter 10: Homuda no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 11: Ōsasagi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 12: Izahowake no Sumeramikoto. Mitsuhawake no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 13: Oasazuma Wakugo no Sukune no Sumeramikoto. Anaho no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 14: Ōhatsuse no Waka Takeru no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 15: Shiraka no Take Hirokuni Oshi Waka Yamato Neko no Sumeramikoto. Woke no Sumeramikoto. Oke no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 16: Ohatsuse no Waka Sasagi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 17: Ōdo no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 18: Hirokuni Oshi Take Kanahi no Sumeramikoto.
Take Ohirokuni Oshi Tate no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 19: Amekuni Oshiharaki Hironiwa no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 20: Nunakakura no Futo Tamashiki no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 21: Tachibana no Toyohi no Sumeramikoto. Hatsusebe no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 22: Toyomike Kashikiya Hime no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 23: Okinaga Tarashi Hihironuka no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 24: Ame Toyotakara Ikashi Hitarashi no Hime no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 25: Ame Yorozu Toyohi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 26: Ame Toyotakara Ikashi Hitarashi no Hime no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 27: Ame Mikoto Hirakasuwake no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 28: Ama no Nunakahara Oki no Mahito no Sumeramikoto, Kami no maki. Chapter 29: Ama no Nunakahara Oki no Mahito no Sumeramikoto, Shimo no maki. Chapter 30: Takamanohara Hirono Hime no Sumeramikoto; the background of the compilation of the Nihon Shoki is that Emperor Tenmu ordered 12 people, including Prince Kawashima, to edit the old history of the empire. Shoku Nihongi notes that "先是一品舍人親王奉勅修日本紀。至是功成奏上。紀卅卷系圖一卷" in the part of May, 720.
It means "Up to that time, Prince Toneri had been compiling Nihongi on the orders of the emperor. The process of compilation is studied by stylistic analysis of each chapter. Although written in classical Chinese character, some sections use styles characteristic of Japanese editors; the Nihon Shoki is a synthesis of older documents on the records, continuously kept in the Yamato court since the sixth century. It includes documents and folklore submitted by clans serving the court. Prior to Nihon Shoki, there were Tennōki and Kokki compiled by Prince Shōtoku and Soga no Umako, but as they were stored in Soga's residence, they were burned at the time of the Isshi Incident; the work's contributors refer to various sources
In Shinto, a miko is a shrine maiden or a supplementary priestess. Miko were once seen as a shaman but are understood in modern Japanese culture to be an institutionalized role in daily shrine life, trained to perform tasks, ranging from sacred cleansing to performing the sacred Kagura dance; the traditional attire of a miko would be a pair of red hakama or a long, red pleated skirt tied with a bow, a white haori, some white or red hair ribbons. In Shintoism, the color white symbolizes purity. Traditional Miko tools include azusayumi the gehōbako; the miko use bells, drums and bowls of rice in ceremonies. The Japanese words miko and fujo are written 巫女 as a compound of the kanji 巫, 女. Miko was archaically written 神子 and 巫子. Miko once performed spirit possession and takusen as vocational functions in their service to shrines; as time passed, they began working independently in secular society. Miko at shrines today do no more than perform kagura dance. In addition to a medium or a miko, the site of a takusen may also be attended by a sayaniwa who interprets the words of the possessed person to make them comprehensible to other people present.
Kamigakari and takusen may be passive, when a person speaks after becoming involuntarily possessed or has a dream revelation. Miko are known by many names. Other names are ichiko meaning "female medium. In English, the word is translated as "shrine maiden", though freer renderings simply use the phrase "female shaman" or, as Lafcadio Hearn translated it, "Divineress"; some scholars prefer the transliteration, contrasting the Japanese Mikoism with other Asian terms for female shamans. As Fairchild explains: Women played an important role in a region stretching from Manchuria, China and Japan to the Ryukyu Islands. In Japan these women were priests, magicians and shamans in the folk religion, they were the chief performers in organized Shintoism; these women were called Miko, the author calls the complex "Mikoism" for lack of a suitable English word. Miko traditions date back to the prehistoric Jōmon period of Japan, when female shamans would go into “trances and convey the words of the gods”, an act comparable with "the pythia or sibyl in Ancient Greece."The earliest record of anything resembling the term "miko", is of the Chinese reference to Himiko, Japan's earliest substantiated historical reference, however it is unknown whether Himiko was a miko, or if miko existed in those days.
The early Miko was an important social figure, "associated with the ruling class". "In addition to her ritual performances of ecstatic trance", writes Kuly, " performed a variety of religious and political functions". One traditional school of Miko, Kuly adds, "claimed to descend from the Goddess Uzume". During the Nara period and Heian period, government officials tried to control Miko practices; as Fairchild notes: In 780 A. D. and in 807 A. D. official bulls against the practice of ecstasy outside of the authority of the shrines were published. These bulls were not only aimed at ecstasy, but were aimed at magicians, sorcerers, etc, it was an attempt to gain complete control, while at the same time it aimed at eradicating abuses which were occurring. During the feudal Kamakura period when Japan was controlled by warring shōgun states: The Miko was forced into a state of mendicancy as the shrines and temples that provided her with a livelihood fell into bankruptcy. Disassociated from a religious context, her performance moved further away from a religious milieu and more toward one of a non-ecclesiastical nature.
The travelling Miko, known as the aruki Miko, became associated with prostitution. During in the Edo period, writes Groemer, "the organizational structures and arts practiced by female shamans in eastern Japan underwent significant transformations". Though in the Meiji period, many shamanistic practices were outlawed: After 1867 the Meiji government's desire to create a form of state Shinto headed by the emperor—the shaman-in-chief of the nation—meant that Shinto needed to be segregated from both Buddhism and folk-religious beliefs; as a result, official discourse repeated negative views of Miko and their institutions. There was an edict called Miko Kindanrei enforced by security forces loyal to Imperial forces, forbidding all spiritual practices by miko, issued in 1873, by the Religious Affairs Department; the Shinto kagura dance ceremony, which originated with "ritual dancing to convey divine oracles", has been transformed in the 20th century into a popular ceremonial dance called Miko-mai or Miko-kagura.
The position of a shaman passed from generation to generation, but sometimes someone not directly descended from a shaman went voluntary into training or was appointed by the village chieftains. To achieve this, such a person had to have some potential. Seve
History of Japan
The first human habitation in the Japanese archipelago has been traced to prehistoric times. The Jōmon period, named after its "cord-marked" pottery, was followed by the Yayoi in the first millennium BC when new technologies were introduced from continental Asia. During this period, the first known written reference to Japan was recorded in the Chinese Book of Han in the first century AD. Between the fourth century and the ninth century, Japan's many kingdoms and tribes came to be unified under a centralized government, nominally controlled by the Emperor; this imperial dynasty continues to reign over Japan. In 794, a new imperial capital was established at Heian-kyō, marking the beginning of the Heian period, which lasted until 1185; the Heian period is considered a golden age of classical Japanese culture. Japanese religious life from this time and onwards was a mix of native Shinto practices and Buddhism. Over the following centuries, the power of the Emperor and the imperial court declined and passed to the military clans and their armies of samurai warriors.
The Minamoto clan under Minamoto no Yoritomo emerged victorious from the Genpei War of 1180–85. After seizing power, Yoritomo took the title of shōgun. In 1274 and 1281, the Kamakura shogunate withstood two Mongol invasions, but in 1333 it was toppled by a rival claimant to the shogunate, ushering in the Muromachi period. During the Muromachi period regional warlords called daimyōs grew in power at the expense of the shōgun. Japan descended into a period of civil war. Over the course of the late sixteenth century, Japan was reunified under the leadership of the daimyō Oda Nobunaga and his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi. After Hideyoshi's death in 1598, Tokugawa Ieyasu came to power and was appointed shōgun by the Emperor; the Tokugawa shogunate, which governed from Edo, presided over a prosperous and peaceful era known as the Edo period. The Tokugawa shogunate imposed a strict class system on Japanese society and cut off all contact with the outside world. Portugal and Japan started their first affiliation in 1543, making the Portuguese the first Europeans to reach Japan by landing in the southern archipelago of Japan.
The Netherlands was the first to establish trade relations with Japan, Japan–Netherlands relations dating back to 1609. The American Perry Expedition in 1853–54 more ended Japan's seclusion; the new national leadership of the following Meiji period transformed the isolated feudal island country into an empire that followed Western models and became a great power. Although democracy developed and modern civilian culture prospered during the Taishō period, Japan's powerful military had great autonomy and overruled Japan's civilian leaders in the 1920s and 1930s; the military invaded Manchuria in 1931, from 1937 the conflict escalated into a prolonged war with China. Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 led to war with its allies. Japan's forces soon became overextended, but the military held out in spite of Allied air attacks that inflicted severe damage on population centers. Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's unconditional surrender on 15 August 1945, following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria.
The Allies occupied Japan until 1952, during which a new constitution was enacted in 1947 that transformed Japan into a constitutional monarchy. After 1955, Japan enjoyed high economic growth, became a world economic powerhouse. Since the 1990s, economic stagnation has been a major issue. An earthquake, tsunami in 2011 caused massive economic dislocations and a serious nuclear power disaster; the mountainous Japanese archipelago stretches northeast to southwest 3,000 km off the east of the Asian continent at the convergence of four tectonic plates. The steep, craggy mountains that cover two-thirds of its surface are prone to quick erosion from fast-flowing rivers and to mudslides, they have hampered internal travel and communication and driven the population to rely on transportation along coastal waters. There is a great variety to its regions' geographical features and weather patterns, with a Wet season, in most parts in early summer. Volcanic soil that washes along the 13% of the area that makes up the coastal plains provides fertile land, the temperate climate allows long growing seasons, which with the diversity of flora and fauna provide rich resources able to support the density of the population.
A accepted periodization of Japanese history: Land bridges, during glacial periods when the world sea level is lower, have periodically linked the Japanese archipelago to the Asian continent via Sakhalin Island in the north and via the Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan in the south since the beginning of the current Quaternary glaciation 2.58 million years ago. There may have been a land bridge to Korea in the southwest, though not in the 125,000 years or so since the start of the last interglacial; the Korea Strait was, quite narrow at the Last Glacial Maximum from 25,000 to 20,000 years BP. The earliest firm evidence of human habitation is of early Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherers from 40,000 years ago, when Japan was separated from the continent. Edge-ground axes dating to 32–38,000 years ago found in 224 sites in Honshu and Kyushu are unlike anything found in neighbouring areas of continental Asia, have been proposed as evidence for the first Homo sapiens in Japan. Radiocarbon dating has shown that the earliest fossils in
Animal Crossing is a social simulation video game series developed and published by Nintendo and was created by Katsuya Eguchi. In Animal Crossing, the player character is a human who lives in a village inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, carrying out various activities including fishing, bug catching, fossil hunting, etc; the series is notable for its open-ended gameplay and extensive use of the video game consoles' internal clock and calendar to simulate real passage of time. Four Animal Crossing games have been released worldwide, one each for the Nintendo 64/IQue Player Nintendo DS, the Nintendo 3DS. A fifth game, for the Nintendo Switch, is scheduled for a 2019 release; the series has been both critically and commercially successful and has sold over 30 million units worldwide. Three spin-off games have been released: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer for Nintendo 3DS, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival for Wii U, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for mobile devices. In the Animal Crossing games, the player assumes the role of a human character who moves into a rural village populated with anthropomorphic animals and lives there indefinitely.
Gameplay is open-ended: players have no defined objectives, but are instead encouraged to spend their time in the village performing any number of activities, which include collecting items, planting plants or other items, socializing with the village's residents. Animal Crossing games are played in real time, utilizing the video game console's internal clock and calendar. Thus, passage of time in the game world reflects that in reality, as well as the current season and time of day; some in-game events, such as holidays or the growth of a tree, occur at certain times or require some duration of time to have passed. One notable feature of the Animal Crossing series is the high level of customization available, some of which affects the outcome of the game; the player character is both named and gendered by the real life player at the start of the game, their appearance can be modified by buying or designing custom clothes and accessories or changing the hairstyle. The player's house can be furnished and expanded: the player can purchase and collect furniture and place it anywhere in the house, as well as change both the wallpaper and floor designs.
While its terrain, building locations, initial residents are randomly generated when the game is first begun, the village's name and anthem, as well as some of the residents' catchphrases, are determined by the player. Collecting items is a major facet of Animal Crossing: the player can explore the village and gather objects, including fruit from trees and discarded items. Nearly all objects can be sold for the in-game currency. Players collect objects to obtain more Bells, which can be used to buy furniture and clothing, purchase home expansions, invest in stocks, play games. A number of specialized tools are available for other activities such as fishing and insect collecting. Special items, such as fossils and paintings, may be donated to the village museum; the player can choose to socialize with the other animal residents by engaging in conversation and receiving letters, bartering, or playing hide-and-seek. Residents may move out of the village depending on the player's actions. All installments of Animal Crossing allow some form of communication between players, both offline and online.
A single village can house up to four human players, though only one can be exploring the village at any given time. The players can interact via written messages through the village post bulletin board; the GameCube iteration allowed players to travel to other villages by trading memory cards written with the game data, but all subsequent installments allow players to travel and interact online via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, although City Folk allows the DS Suitcase to travel to others' towns. Animal Crossing released only in Japan for the Nintendo 64 in 2001, although it was ported to the IQue Player, it was released on the GameCube the same year. This version was localized and released in North America on September 15, 2002, Australia on October 17, 2003, Europe on September 24, 2004. An extended version titled "Dōbutsu no Mori e +" was released on June 2003 in Japan; the game was released in China in 2006 for iQue Player. Animal Crossing: Wild World was released for the Nintendo DS in Japan on November 23, 2005, North America on December 5, 2005, Australia on December 8, 2005, Europe on March 31, 2006.
It was the first game in the series to use Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The game was re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console on October 13, 2016, although its Wi-Fi multiplayer feature is unavailable due to the discontinuation of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Animal Crossing: City Folk, known as Animal Crossing: Let's Go to the City in Europe and Oceania, was released for the Wii in North America on November 16, 2008, Japan on November 20, 2008, Australia on December 4, 2008, Europe on December 5, 2008, it was released in South Korea in 2010. It was the first Wii game to utilize the Wii Speak, an accessory that allows players to talk to each other during online play. Animal Crossing: New Leaf was announced at E3 2010, it was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan on November 8, 2012, North America on June 9, 2013, Europe on June 14, 2013, Australia on June 15, 2013. For the first time in the series, players are appointed to the role of Mayor. In November 2016, a new update was released along with "Welcome Amiibo" in North America and Europe, adding several new locations and activities
National Treasure (Japan)
A National Treasure is the most precious of Japan's Tangible Cultural Properties, as determined and designated by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. A Tangible Cultural Property is considered to be of historic or artistic value, classified either as "buildings and structures" or as "fine arts and crafts." Each National Treasure must show outstanding workmanship, a high value for world cultural history, or exceptional value for scholarship. 20% of the National Treasures are structures such as castles, Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, or residences. The other 80% are paintings; the items span the period of ancient to early modern Japan before the Meiji period, including pieces of the world's oldest pottery from the Jōmon period and 19th-century documents and writings. The designation of the Akasaka Palace in 2009 and of the Tomioka Silk Mill in 2014 added two modern, post-Meiji Restoration, National Treasures. Japan has a comprehensive network of legislation for protecting and classifying its cultural patrimony.
The regard for physical and intangible properties and their protection is typical of Japanese preservation and restoration practices. Methods of protecting designated National Treasures include restrictions on alterations and export, as well as financial support in the form of grants and tax reduction; the Agency for Cultural Affairs provides owners with advice on restoration and public display of the properties. These efforts are supplemented by laws that protect the built environment of designated structures and the necessary techniques for restoration of works. Kansai, the region of Japan's capitals from ancient times to the 19th century, has the most National Treasures. Fine arts and crafts properties are owned or are in museums, including national museums such as Tokyo and Nara, public prefectural and city museums, private museums. Religious items are housed in temples and Shinto shrines or in an adjacent museum or treasure house. Japanese cultural properties were in the ownership of Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, aristocratic or samurai families.
Feudal Japan ended abruptly in 1867/68 when the Tokugawa shogunate was replaced by the Meiji Restoration. During the ensuing haibutsu kishaku triggered by the official policy of separation of Shinto and Buddhism and anti-Buddhist movements propagating the return to Shinto, Buddhist buildings and artwork were destroyed. In 1871, the government confiscated temple lands, considered symbolic of the ruling elite. Properties belonging to the feudal lords were expropriated, historic castles and residences were destroyed, an estimated 18,000 temples were closed. During the same period, Japanese cultural heritage was impacted by the rise of industrialization and westernization; as a result and Shinto institutions became impoverished. Temples decayed, valuable objects were exported. In 1871, the Daijō-kan issued a decree to protect Japanese antiquities called the Plan for the Preservation of Ancient Artifacts. Based on recommendations from the universities, the decree ordered prefectures and shrines to compile lists of important buildings and art.
However, these efforts proved to be ineffective in the face of radical westernisation. In 1880, the government allotted funds for the preservation of ancient temples. By 1894, 539 shrines and temples had received government funded subsidies to conduct repairs and reconstruction; the five-storied pagoda of Daigo-ji, the kon-dō of Tōshōdai-ji, the hon-dō of Kiyomizu-dera are examples of buildings that underwent repairs during this period. A survey conducted in association with Okakura Kakuzō and Ernest Fenollosa between 1888 and 1897 was designed to evaluate and catalogue 210,000 objects of artistic or historic merit; the end of the 19th century was a period of political change in Japan as cultural values moved from the enthusiastic adoption of western ideas to a newly discovered interest in Japanese heritage. Japanese architectural history began to appear on curricula, the first books on architectural history were published, stimulated by the newly compiled inventories of buildings and art. On June 5, 1897, the Ancient Temples and Shrines Preservation Law was enacted.
Formulated under the guidance of architectural historian and architect Itō Chūta, the law established government funding for the preservation of buildings and the restoration of artworks. The law applied to architecture and pieces of art relating to an architectural structure, with the proviso that historic uniqueness and exceptional quality were to be established. Applications for financial support were to be made to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the responsibility for restoration or preservation lay in the hands of local officials. Restoration works were financed directly from the national coffers. A second law was passed on December 15, 1897, that provided supplementary provisions to designate works of art in the possession of temples or shrines as "National Treasures"; the new law provided for pieces of religious architecture to be designated as a "Specially Protected Building"
Dogū are small humanoid and animal figurines made during the late Jōmon period of prehistoric Japan. A Dogū come from the Jōmon period. By the Yayoi period, which followed the Jōmon period, Dogū were no longer made. There are various styles of Dogū, depending on exhumation time period. According to the National Museum of Japanese History, the total number found throughout Japan is 15,000. Dogū were made except Okinawa. Most of the Dogū have been found in eastern Japan and it is rare to find one in western Japan; the purpose of the Dogū remains unknown and should not be confused with the clay haniwa funerary objects of the Kofun period. Everyday ceramic items from the period are called Jōmon pottery; some scholars theorize the Dogū acted as effigies of people, that manifested some kind of sympathetic magic. For example, it may have been believed that illnesses could be transferred into the Dogū destroyed, clearing the illness, or any other misfortune. Dogū are made of clay and are small 10 to 30 cm high.
Most of the figurines appear to be modeled as female, have big eyes, small waists, wide hips. They are considered by many to be representative of goddesses. Many have large abdomens associated with pregnancy, suggesting that the Jomon considered them mother goddesses. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, these figurines "suggest an association with fertility and shamanistic rites"; the dogū tend to have small arms and hands and compact bodies. Some appear to have "heart-shaped" faces. Most have marks on the face and shoulders, that suggest tattooing and probable incision with bamboo. "heart shaped type" figurine "horned-owl type" figurine "goggle-eyed type" figurine "pregnant woman type" figurine The Shakōki-dogū, or "goggle-eyed dogū," were created in the Jōmon era, are so well known that when most Japanese hear the term dogū, this is the image that comes to mind. The name "shakōki" comes from the resemblance of the figures' eyes to traditional Inuit snow goggles. Another distinguishing feature of the objects are the exaggerated, feminine buttocks and thighs.
Furthermore, the abdomen is covered with patterns, many of which seem to have been painted with vermilion. The larger figures are hollow in order to prevent cracking during the firing process. Unbroken figures are rare, most are missing an arm, leg or other body part. In many cases, the parts have been cut off. One theory is; these types of dogū have been found in the Kamegaoka Site in Aomori Prefecture. All the sites listed have been designated as Important Cultural Properties. Due in part to the enigmatic nature of the figurines, there have been numerous theories of non-scientific nature regarding their ornate appearance with some speculating that the physical appearance is connected to the suits and equipment of modern-day astronauts. One proponent in particular, Erich von Däniken, has written how the dogū "...has modern fastenings and eye apertures on its helmet", an attribution made as part of the final chapter of his 1968 publication Chariots of the Gods? despite lacking any evidence for the claim.
There are disparities in the varieties of dogū, with only a portion of the figures having the characteristic goggle-like eyes, most cited by ancient alien theorists. Haniwa National Treasures of Japan Tokyo National Museum Venus figurine, a type of clay figure found in archeological cultures throughout the world Baltoy and Claydol, two Pokémon whose design is similar to the Jōmon period clay figurines A.^ In the Japanese language dogū is a generic term for any humanoid figure made of clay. The clay figures of prehistoric Eastern Europe, such as the Pit–Comb Ware culture, are referred to as dogū in Japanese. Tokyo National Museum The National Museum of Japanese History Comprehensive Database of Archaeological Site Reports in Japan, Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties Dogū from the Jōmon period, a photographic imagery database—Tokyo University, Japan Review of recent exhibition of Dogū at the Tokyo National Museum British Museum exhibition of Dogū from Japanese museums, 2009
Cavalry or horsemen are soldiers or warriors who fight mounted on horseback. Cavalry were the most mobile of the combat arms. An individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, dragoon, or trooper; the designation of cavalry was not given to any military forces that used other animals, such as camels, mules or elephants. Infantry who moved on horseback, but dismounted to fight on foot, were known in the 17th and early 18th centuries as dragoons, a class of mounted infantry which evolved into cavalry proper while retaining their historic title. Cavalry had the advantage of improved mobility, a man fighting from horseback had the advantages of greater height and inertial mass over an opponent on foot. Another element of horse mounted warfare is the psychological impact a mounted soldier can inflict on an opponent; the speed and shock value of the cavalry was appreciated and exploited in armed forces in the Ancient and Middle Ages. In Europe cavalry became armoured, became known for the mounted knights.
During the 17th century cavalry in Europe lost most of its armor, ineffective against the muskets and cannon which were coming into use, by the mid-19th century armor had fallen into disuse, although some regiments retained a small thickened cuirass that offered protection against lances and sabres and some protection against shot. In the period between the World Wars, many cavalry units were converted into motorized infantry and mechanized infantry units, or reformed as tank troops. However, some cavalry still served during World War II, notably in the Red Army, the Mongolian People's Army, the Royal Italian Army, the Romanian Army, the Polish Land Forces, light reconnaissance units within the Waffen SS. Most cavalry units that are horse-mounted in modern armies serve in purely ceremonial roles, or as mounted infantry in difficult terrain such as mountains or forested areas. Modern usage of the term refers to units performing the role of reconnaissance and target acquisition. In many modern armies, the term cavalry is still used to refer to units that are a combat arm of the armed forces which in the past filled the traditional horse-borne land combat light cavalry roles.
These include scouting, skirmishing with enemy reconnaissance elements to deny them knowledge of own disposition of troops, forward security, offensive reconnaissance by combat, defensive screening of friendly forces during retrograde movement, restoration of command and control, battle handover and passage of lines, relief in place, breakout operations, raiding. The shock role, traditionally filled by heavy cavalry, is filled by units with the "armored" designation. Before the Iron Age, the role of cavalry on the battlefield was performed by light chariots; the chariot originated with the Sintashta-Petrovka culture in Central Asia and spread by nomadic or semi-nomadic Indo-Iranians. The chariot was adopted by settled peoples both as a military technology and an object of ceremonial status by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom of Egypt as well as the Assyrian army and Babylonian royalty; the power of mobility given by mounted units was recognized early on, but was offset by the difficulty of raising large forces and by the inability of horses to carry heavy armor.
Cavalry techniques were an innovation of equestrian nomads of the Central Asian and Iranian steppe and pastoralist tribes such as the Iranic Parthians and Sarmatians. The photograph above left shows Assyrian cavalry from reliefs of 865–860 BC. At this time, the men had no spurs, saddle cloths, or stirrups. Fighting from the back of a horse was much more difficult than mere riding; the cavalry acted in pairs. At this early time, cavalry used swords and bows; the sculpture implies two types of cavalry. Images of Assyrian cavalry show saddle cloths as primitive saddles, allowing each archer to control his own horse; as early as 490 BC a breed of large horses was bred in the Nisaean plain in Media to carry men with increasing amounts of armour, but large horses were still exceptional at this time. By the fourth century BC the Chinese during the Warring States period began to use cavalry against rival states, by 331 BC when Alexander the Great defeated the Persians the use of chariots in battle was obsolete in most nations.
The last recorded use of chariots as a shock force in continental Europe was during the Battle of Telamon in 225 BC. However, chariots remained in use for ceremonial purposes such as carrying the victorious general in a Roman triumph, or for racing. Outside of mainland Europe, the southern Britons met Julius Caesar with chariots in 55 and 54 BC, but by the time of the Roman conquest of Britain a century chariots were obsolete in Britannia; the last mention of chariot use in Britain was by the Caledonians at the Mons Graupius, in 84 AD. During the classical Greek period cavalry were limited to those citizens who could afford expensive war-horses. Three types of cavalry became common: light cavalry, whose riders, armed with javelins, could harass and skirmish.