Samurai were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan. In Japanese, they are referred to as bushi or buke. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was a verb meaning'to wait upon','accompany persons' in the upper ranks of society, this is true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean'those who serve in close attendance to the nobility', the Japanese term saburai being the nominal form of the verb." According to Wilson, an early reference to the word samurai appears in the Kokin Wakashū, the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century. By the end of the 12th century, samurai became entirely synonymous with bushi, the word was associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class; the samurai were associated with a clan and their lord, were trained as officers in military tactics and grand strategy. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of Japan's population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.
Following the Battle of Hakusukinoe against Tang China and Silla in 663 AD which led to a retreat from Korean affairs, Japan underwent widespread reform. One of the most important was that of the Taika Reform, issued by Prince Naka-no-Ōe in 646 AD; this edict allowed the Japanese aristocracy to adopt the Tang dynasty political structure, culture and philosophy. As part of the Taihō Code of 702 AD, the Yōrō Code, the population was required to report for the census, a precursor for national conscription. With an understanding of how the population was distributed, Emperor Monmu introduced a law whereby 1 in 3–4 adult males were drafted into the national military; these soldiers were required to supply their own weapons, in return were exempted from duties and taxes. This was one of the first attempts by the Imperial government to form an organized army modeled after the Chinese system, it was called "Gundan-Sei" by historians and is believed to have been short-lived. The Taihō Code classified most of the Imperial bureaucrats into 12 ranks, each divided into two sub-ranks, 1st rank being the highest adviser to the Emperor.
Those of 6th rank and below were dealt with day-to-day affairs. Although these "samurai" were civilian public servants, the modern word is believed to have derived from this term. Military men, would not be referred to as "samurai" for many more centuries. In the early Heian period, during the late 8th and early 9th centuries, Emperor Kanmu sought to consolidate and expand his rule in northern Honshū, sent military campaigns against the Emishi, who resisted the governance of the Kyoto-based imperial court. Emperor Kanmu introduced the title of sei'i-taishōgun, or shōgun, began to rely on the powerful regional clans to conquer the Emishi. Skilled in mounted combat and archery, these clan warriors became the Emperor's preferred tool for putting down rebellions. Though this is the first known use of the title shōgun, it was a temporary title and was not imbued with political power until the 13th century. At this time, the Imperial Court officials considered them to be a military section under the control of the Imperial Court.
Emperor Kanmu disbanded his army. From this time, the emperor's power declined. While the emperor was still the ruler, powerful clans around Kyoto assumed positions as ministers, their relatives bought positions as magistrates. To amass wealth and repay their debts, magistrates imposed heavy taxes, resulting in many farmers becoming landless. Through protective agreements and political marriages, the aristocrats accumulated political power surpassing the traditional aristocracy; some clans were formed by farmers who had taken up arms to protect themselves from the Imperial magistrates sent to govern their lands and collect taxes. These clans formed alliances to protect themselves against more powerful clans, by the mid-Heian period, they had adopted characteristic Japanese armor and weapons; the Emperor and non-warrior nobility employed these warrior nobles. In time they amassed enough manpower and political backing, in the form of alliances with one another, to establish the first samurai-dominated government.
As the power of these regional clans grew, their chief was a distant relative of the Emperor and a lesser member of either the Fujiwara, Minamoto, or Taira clans. Though sent to provincial areas for fixed four-year terms as magistrates, the toryo declined to return to the capital when their terms ended, their sons inherited their positions and continued to lead the clans in putting down rebellions throughout Japan during the middle- and later-Heian period; because of their rising military and economic power, the warriors became a new force in the politics of the Imperial court. Their involvement in the Hōgen Rebellion in the late Heian period consolidated their power, which pitted the rivalry of Minamoto and Taira clans against each other in the Heiji Rebellion of 1160; the victor, Taira no Kiyomori, became an imperial advisor and was the first warrior to attain such a position. He seized control of the central government, establishing the first samurai-dominated government and relegating the Emperor to figurehead status.
However, the Taira clan was still conservative when compared to its eventual successor, the Minamoto, instead of expanding or stre
Minamoto no Yoritomo
Minamoto no Yoritomo was the founder and the first shōgun of the Kamakura shogunate of Japan. He ruled from 1192 until 1199, his Buddhist name was Bukōshōgendaizenmon. Yoritomo was the third son of Minamoto no Yoshitomo, heir of the Minamoto clan, his official wife, was a daughter of Fujiwara no Suenori, a member of the illustrious Fujiwara clan. Yoritomo was born in Atsuta in Owari Province. At that time Yoritomo's grandfather Minamoto. Like Benkei, his childhood name was Oniwakamaru. In 1156, factional divisions in the court erupted into open warfare within the capital; the cloistered Emperor Toba and his son Emperor Go-Shirakawa sided with the son of Fujiwara regent Fujiwara no Tadazane, Fujiwara no Tadamichi as well as Taira no Kiyomori, while Cloistered Emperor Sutoku sided with Tadazane's younger son, Fujiwara no Yorinaga. This is known as the Hōgen Rebellion; the Seiwa Genji were split. The head of the clan, sided with Sutoku. 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, Yorinaga was fatally wounded in battle. Tameyoshi was executed after numerous pleas from Yoshitomo. Nonetheless, Go-Shirakawa and Kiyomori were ruthless, Yoshitomo found himself as the head of the Minamoto clan, while Yoritomo became the heir. Yoritomo and the Minamoto clan descended from the imperial family on his father's side. Nonetheless, in Kyoto, the Taira clan, now under the leadership of Kiyomori, the Minamoto clan, under the leadership of Yoshitomo, began to factionalize again. Kiyomori was supported by Fujiwara no Michinori, while Yoshitomo was supported by Fujiwara no Nobuyori; this was known as the Heiji Rebellion. The ex-Emperor's and Shinzei's mansions were burned, while Shinzei was decapitated. Nonetheless, the Minamoto were not well prepared, 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 their allies. Only Yoshitomo's 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 Kiyomori's stepmother. Yoritomo's brothers, Minamoto no Noriyori and Minamoto no Yoshitsune were allowed to live. Yoritomo grew up in exile, he married into the Hōjō clan, led by Hōjō Tokimasa, marrying Hōjō Masako. Meanwhile, he was notified of events in Kyoto thanks to helpful friends. Soon enough, Yoritomo's passive exile was to be over. Father: Minamoto no Yoshitomo Mother: Yura Gozen, daughter of Fujiwara no Suenori Siblings: Half-siblings: Ano Zenjo Gien Minamoto no Yoshitsune Minamoto no Noriyori Minamoto no Tomonaga Minamoto no Yoshihira Natural siblings: Bomon-hime married Ichijō Yoshiyasu Minamoto no Mareyoshi Wife: Hōjō Masako Concubines: Daishin no Tsubone Kame no Mae Children: Sentsurumaru, son of Yoritomo with Yaehime, daughter of Itō Sukechika was killed by Sukechika. Minamoto no Yoriie by Masako Minamoto no Sanetomo by Masako O-hime married to Minamoto no Yoshitaka by Masako Otohime by Masako Jogyo by Daishin no Tsubone In 1180, Prince Mochihito, a son of Cloistered Emperor Go-Shirakawa, humiliated by the Taira because of the Taira-backed accession of the throne of his nephew, Emperor Antoku made a national call to arms of the Minamoto clan all over Japan to rebel against the Taira.
Yoritomo took part in this 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, he set up a capital in Kamakura to the east. Not all Minamoto thought of Yoritomo as rightful heir, 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, when Ōba Kagechika led a rapid night attack. After losing a battle with the Heike clan at Mt. Ishibashiyama in 1180, Minamoto no Yoritomo fled into the Hakone mountains, stayed in Yugawara escaped From Manazuru-Iwa to Awa. Yoritomo spent the next six months raising a new army. In 1181, Taira no Kiyomori died, the Taira clan was now led by Taira no Munemori. Munemori took a much more aggressive policy against the Minamoto, attacked Minamoto bases from Kyoto in the Genpei War. Nonetheless, Yoritomo was well protected in Kamakura.
His brothers Minamoto no Yoshitsune and Minamoto no Noriyori defeated the Taira in several key battles, but they could not stop Minamoto no Yoshinaka, Yoritomo's rival, from entering Kyoto in 1183 and chasing the Taira south. The Taira took Emperor Antoku with them. In 1184, Antoku was displaced by the Minamoto with Emperor Go-Toba as the new emperor. From 1181 to 1184, a de facto truce with the Taira dominated court allowed Yoritomo the time to build an administration of his own, centered on his military headquarters in Kamakura. In the end he triumphed over his rival cousins, who sought to steal from him control of the clan, over the Taira, who suffered a terrible defeat at the Battle of Dan-no-ura in 1185. Yoritomo thus established the supremacy of the warrior samurai caste and the first bakufu at Kamakura, beginning the feudal age in Japan which l
Tokyo National Museum
The Tokyo National Museum, or TNM, established in 1872, is the oldest Japanese national museum, the largest art museum in Japan and one of the largest art museums in the world. The museum collects and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan; the museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure holdings and 610 Important Cultural Property holdings. The museum conducts research and organizes educational events related to its collection; the museum is located inside Ueno Park in Tokyo. The facilities consist of the Honkan, Tōyōkan, Hyōkeikan, Heiseikan, Hōryū-ji Hōmotsukan, as well as Shiryōkan, other facilities. There are restaurants and shops within the museum's premises, as well as outdoor exhibitions and a garden where visitors can enjoy seasonal views; the museum's collections focus on Asian art along the Silk Road. There is a large collection of Greco-Buddhist art; the museum came into being in 1872, when the first exhibition was held by the Museum Department of the Ministry of Education at the Taiseiden Hall.
This marked the inauguration of the first museum in Japan. Soon after the opening, the museum moved to Uchiyamashita-cho in 1882 moved again to the Ueno Park, where it stands today. Since its establishment, the museum has experienced major challenges such as the Great Kantō earthquake in 1923, a temporary closing in 1945, during World War II. In more than the 120 years of its history, the museum has gone under much evolution and transformation through organizational reforms and administrative change; the museum went through several name changes, being called the Imperial Museum in 1886 and the Tokyo Imperial Household Museum in 1900, until it was given its present title in 1947. The growth and development of today's museum has been an evolving process: 1872—The Ministry of Education holds the first public exhibition in Japan at the Taiseiden Hall of the former Seido at Bunkyō special ward of Tokyo. 1875—The Ministry of Interior accepts responsibility for Museum collections which are divided into eight categories: nature, agriculture & forestry, fine art, education and land & sea.
1882—The museum was moves to its present location, a site occupied by the headquarters of the Kan'ei-ji Temple in Ueno. 1889—The Imperial Household Ministry accepts control of Museum collections, the institution is renamed the "Imperial Museum". 1900—The museum is renamed "Tokyo Imperial Household Museum". 1923—The museum's main building is damaged in the Great Kantō earthquake of 1923. 1925—Objects in the Nature division are transferred to the "Tokyo Museum of the Ministry of Education", now renamed the "National Science Museum." 1938—The museum's new main building is opened. 1947—The Ministry of Education accepts responsibility for Museum collections. 1978—The Hyokeikan building is designated an "Important Cultural Property". 1999—The "Gallery of Hōryū-ji Treasures" and the "Heisei-kan" buildings are opened. 2001—The museum is renamed "Tokyo National Museum" of the "Independent Administrative Institution National Museum". 2001—The Hon-kan building is designated an "Important Cultural Property".
2005—The IAI National Museum is expanded with addition of Kyushu National Museum. 2007—The IAI National Museum is merged into the Independent Administrative Institution National Institutes for Cultural Heritage, combining the four national museums with the former National Institutes for Cultural Preservation at Tokyo and Nara The original main building was designed by the British architect Josiah Conder. It was damaged in the Great Kantō earthquake of 1923. In contrast to the original building's more Western style, the design of the present main building by Hitoshi Watanabe is the more nativist Imperial Crown style. Construction began in 1932, the building was inaugurated in 1938, it was designated an Important Cultural Property of Japan in 2001. The Japanese Gallery provides a general view of Japanese art, containing 24 exhibition rooms on two floors, it consists of exhibitions from 10,000 BC up to the late 19th century, exhibitions of different types of art such as ceramics, sculpture and others.
The 1st room – The 10th room: The title is "The flow of Japanese art". It interlaces theme exhibitions such as "Art of Buddhism", "Art of Tea ceremony", "The clothing of Samurai", "Noh and Kabuki", etc. One national treasure object is exhibited by turns every time in the 2nd room as "The national treasure room"; the 11th room – The 20th room: There are exhibition rooms according to the genres such as Sculpture, Pottery, Katana, Ethnic material, Historic material, Modern art, etc. The extra exhibition rooms: There are small exhibition rooms where planning such as "new objects exhibitions"; the extra room: This is an event meeting place for children. This building was designed by Yoshirō Taniguchi; this is a three-storied building. Because there are large floors arranged in a spiral ascending from the 1st floor along the mezzanines to the 3rd floor, many stairs, it has been made huge colonnade air space to reach from the first floor to the third floor ceiling inside, placement of an exhibition room is complicated.
There is a restaurant and museum shop on the
Emperor Nijō was the 78th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1158 through 1165. Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name was Morihito-shinnō, he was the eldest son of Emperor Go-Shirakawa. He was the father of Emperor Rokujō. Empress: Imperial Princess Yoshiko Takamatsu-in, Emperor Toba’s daughter. Empress: Fujiwara no Ikushi, Fujiwara no Tadamichi’s daughterTai-Kōtaigō: Fujiwara Masuko Later Grand Empress Dowager Omiya, Tokudaiji Kin'yoshi's daughter. Toku-no-Kimi, Minamoto Tadafusa’s daughter Fujiwara no Narichika’s WifeKasuga-dono, Nakahara Moromoto’s daughter First Daughter: Imperial Princess Yoshiko Umeryo-kimi, Minamoto Mitsunari’s daughter First Son: Imperial Prince Priest Son'e Ōkura-daisuke Second Son: Imperial Prince Nobuhito become Emperor RokujoMinamoto Tadafusa’s daughter Third Son: Shine Nijō was proclaimed as heir to Emperor Go-Shirakawa. Hōgen 1, 2nd day of the 7th month: Cloistered Emperor Toba-in died at age 54.
Hōgen 1, 10th–29th days of the 7th month: The Hōgen Rebellion known as the Hōgen Insurrection or the Hōgen War. Hōgen 4, on the 11th day of the 8th month: In the third year of Go-Shirakawa-tennō's reign, the emperor abdicated. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Nijō is said to have acceded to the throne. After Nijō was formally enthroned, the management of all affairs continued to rest in the hands of the retired emperor, Go-Shirakawa. Heiji 1, 9th–26th day of the 12th month: The Heiji Rebellion known as the Heiji Insurrection or the Heiji War. Chōkan 2, on the 26th day of the 8th month:The former-Emperor Sutoku died at the age of 46. Eiman 1: The infant son of Emperor Nijō was named heir apparent and therefore Crown Prince, would soon after become Emperor Rokujō. Eiman 1, on the 25th day of the 6th month: In the seventh year of Nijō-tennō's reign, the emperor fell so ill that he abdicated. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Rokujō is said to have acceded to the throne. Eiman 1, 27th–28th day of the 7th month: The former Emperor Nijō died at age 22.
Kugyō is a collective term for the few most powerful men attached to the court of the Emperor of Japan in pre-Meiji eras. In general, this elite group included only three to four men at a time; these were hereditary courtiers whose experience and background would have brought them to the pinnacle of a life's career. During Nijō's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included: Kampaku, Konoe Motozane, 1143–1166. Sadaijin, Konoe Motozane. Udaijin Nadaijin Dainagon The years of Nijō's reign are more identified by more than one era name or nengō. Hōgen Heiji Eiryaku Ōhō Chōkan Eiman Emperor of Japan List of Emperors of Japan Imperial cult Emperor Go-Nijō Brown, Delmer M. and Ichirō Ishida, eds.. Gukanshō: The Future and the Past. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03460-0; the Tale of the Heike. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. ISBN 0-86008-128-1 OCLC 164803926 Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon.. The Imperial House of Japan. Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society. OCLC 194887 Titsingh, Isaac..
Nihon Odai Ichiran. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691 Varley, H. Paul.. Jinnō Shōtōki: A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-04940-5.
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