Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Zhuang Zhou known as Zhuangzi, was an influential Chinese philosopher who lived around the 4th century BC during the Warring States period, a period corresponding to the summit of Chinese philosophy, the Hundred Schools of Thought. He is credited with writing—in part or in whole—a work known by his name, the Zhuangzi, one of the foundational texts of Taoism; the only account of the life of Zhuangzi is a brief sketch in chapter 63 of Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian, most of the information it contains seems to have been drawn from anecdotes in the Zhuangzi itself. In Sima's biography, he is described as a minor official from the town of Meng in the state of Song, living in the time of King Hui of Liang and King Xuan of Qi. Sima Qian writes: Chuang-Tze had made himself well acquainted with all the literature of his time, but preferred the views of Lao-Tze, he made "The Old Fisherman," "The Robber Chih," and "The Cutting open Satchels," to satirize and expose the disciples of Confucius, exhibit the sentiments of Lao.
Such names and characters as "Wei-lei Hsu" and "Khang-sang Tze" are fictitious, the pieces where they occur are not to be understood as narratives of real events. But Chuang was an admirable writer and skillful composer, by his instances and truthful descriptions hit and exposed the Mohists and Literati; the ablest scholars of his day could not escape his satire nor reply to it, while he allowed and enjoyed himself with his sparkling, dashing style. King Wei of Chu, having heard of the ability of Chuang Chau, sent messengers with large gifts to bring him to his court, promising that he would make him his chief minister. Chuang-Tze, only laughed and said to them, "A thousand ounces of silver are a great gain to me, but have you not seen the victim-ox for the border sacrifice? It is fed for several years, robed with rich embroidery that it may be fit to enter the Grand Temple; when the time comes for it to do so, it would prefer to be a little pig, but it can not get to be so. Go away and do not soil me with your presence.
I had rather amuse and enjoy myself in the midst of a filthy ditch than be subject to the rules and restrictions in the court of a sovereign. I have determined never to take office, but prefer the enjoyment of my own free will."The validity of his existence has been questioned by some, including Russell Kirkland, who writes: According to modern understandings of Chinese tradition, the text known as the Chuang-tzu was the production of a'Taoist' thinker of ancient China named Chuang Chou/Zhuang Zhou. In reality, it was nothing of the sort; the Chuang-tzu known to us today was the production of a thinker of the third century CE named Kuo Hsiang. Though Kuo was long called a'commentator,' he was in reality much more: he arranged the texts and compiled the present 33-chapter edition. Regarding the identity of the original person named Chuang Chou/Zhuangzi, there is no reliable historical data at all. However, Sima Qian's biography of Zhuangzi pre-dates Guo Xiang by centuries. Furthermore, the Han Shu "Yiwenzhi" lists a text Zhuangzi, showing that a text with this title existed no than the early 1st century AD, again pre-dating Guo Xiang by centuries.
Zhuangzi is traditionally credited as the author of at least part of the work bearing his name, the Zhuangzi. This work, in its current shape consisting of 33 chapters, is traditionally divided into three parts: the first, known as the "Inner Chapters", consists of the first seven chapters; the meaning of these three names is disputed: according to Guo Xiang, the "Inner Chapters" were written by Zhuangzi, the "Outer Chapters" written by his disciples, the "Mixed Chapters" by other hands. Further study of the text does not provide a clear choice between these alternatives. On the one side, as Martin Palmer points out in the introduction to his translation, two of the three chapters Sima Qian cited in his biography of Zhuangzi, come from the "Outer Chapters" and the third from the "Mixed Chapters". "Neither of these are allowed as authentic Chuang Tzu chapters by certain purists, yet they breathe the spirit of Chuang Tzu just as much as, for example, the famous'butterfly passage' of chapter 2."On the other hand, chapter 33 has been considered as intrusive, being a survey of the major movements during the "Hundred Schools of Thought" with an emphasis on the philosophy of Hui Shi.
Further, A. C. Graham and other critics have subjected the text to a stylistic analysis and identified four strains of thought in the book: a) the ideas of Zhuangzi or his disciples. In this spirit, Martin Palmer wrote t
Sonnō jōi was a Japanese and Chinese political philosophy and a social movement derived from Neo-Confucianism. It is a yojijukugo phrase. During the Warring States period of China, Chancellor Guan Zhong of Qi initiated a policy known as Zunwang Rangyi, in reference to the Zhou kings. Adopting and adhering to it, Duke Huan of Qi assembled the Chinese feudal lords to strike down the threat of barbarians from China. For it, Confucius himself praised Guan Zhong for the preservation of Chinese civilization through the example of the contrast in the hairstyles and clothing styles between them and barbaric peoples. Through the Analects of Confucius, the Chinese expression came to be transmitted to Japan as sonnō jōi; the origin of the philosophy as used in Japan can be traced to works by 17th century Confucian scholars Yamazaki Ansai and Yamaga Sokō, who wrote on the sanctity of the Imperial House of Japan and its superiority to the ruling houses of other nations. These ideas were expanded by Kokugaku scholar Motoori Norinaga, seen in Takenouchi Shikibu's theory of absolute loyalty to the Emperor of Japan, that implied that less loyalty should be given to the ruling Tokugawa shogunate.
Mitogaku scholar Aizawa Seishisai introduced the term sonnō jōi into modern Japanese in his work Shinron in 1825, where sonnō was regarded as the reverence expressed by the Tokugawa Shogunate to the emperor and jōi was the proscription of Christianity. With the increasing number of incursions of foreign ships into Japanese waters in the late 18th and early 19th century, the sakoku policy came into question; the jōi "expel the barbarians" portion of sonnō jōi, changed into a reaction against the Convention of Kanagawa of 1854, which opened Japan to foreign trade. Under military threat from Commodore Matthew C. Perry's so-called "black ships", the treaty was signed under duress and was vehemently opposed in samurai quarters; the fact that the Tokugawa Shogunate was powerless against the foreigners despite the will expressed by the Imperial court was taken as evidence by Yoshida Shōin and other anti-Tokugawa leaders that the sonnō portion of the philosophy was not working, that the Shogunate must be replaced by a government more able to show its loyalty to the Emperor by enforcing the Emperor’s will.
The philosophy was thus adopted as a battle cry of the rebellious regions of Chōshū Domain and Satsuma Province. The Imperial court in Kyoto sympathized with the movement. Emperor Kōmei agreed with such sentiments, – breaking with centuries of imperial tradition – began to take an active role in matters of state: as opportunities arose, he fulminated against the treaties and attempted to interfere in the shogunal succession, his efforts culminated in March 1863 with his "Order to Expel Barbarians". Although the Shogunate had no intention of enforcing the order, it inspired attacks against the Shogunate itself and against foreigners in Japan, the most famous incident being the killing of the English trader Charles Lennox Richardson. Other attacks included the shelling of foreign shipping in Shimonoseki. Rōnins rallied to the cause, assassinating Shogunate officials and Westerners; this turned out to be the zenith of the sonnō jōi movement, since the European powers responded by demanding heavy war reparations, followed by the British bombardment of Kagoshima when these were not forthcoming.
While this incident showed that Japan was no match for Western military powers, it served to further weaken the Shogunate, permitting the rebel provinces to ally and overthrow it, bringing about the Meiji Restoration. The slogan itself was never a government or rebel policy. After the symbolic restoration of Emperor Meiji, the sonnō jōi slogan was replaced with fukoku kyōhei, or "enrich the nation, strengthen the armies", the rallying call of the Meiji period and the seed of its actions during World War II; this phrase is featured and examined in James Clavell's Gai-Jin: A Novel of Japan Akamatsu, Paul.. Meiji 1868: Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Japan. New York: Harper & Row. Beasley, William G.. The Meiji Restoration. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Craig, Albert M.. Chōshū in the Meiji Restoration. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Jansen, Marius B. and Gilbert Rozman, eds.. Japan in Transition: from Tokugawa to Meiji. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691054599; the Making of Modern Japan.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674003347; the Last Shogun: The Life of Tokugawa Yoshinobu. Tokyo: Kodansha. ISBN 1-56836-246-3
Japanese nationalism is the nationalism that asserts that the Japanese are a monolithic nation with a single immutable culture, promotes the cultural unity of the Japanese. It encompasses a broad range of ideas and sentiments harbored by the Japanese people over the last two centuries regarding their native country, its cultural nature, political form and historical destiny, it is useful to distinguish Japanese cultural nationalism from political or state-directed nationalism, since many forms of cultural nationalism, such as those associated with folkloric studies, have been hostile to state-fostered nationalism. In Meiji period Japan, nationalist ideology consisted of a blend of native and imported political philosophies developed by the Meiji government to promote national unity and patriotism, first in defense against colonization by Western powers, in a struggle to attain equality with the Great Powers, it evolved throughout the Taishō and Shōwa periods to justify an totalitarian government and overseas expansionism, provided a political and ideological foundation for the actions of the Japanese military in the years leading up to World War II.
During the final days of the Tokugawa shogunate, the perceived threat of foreign encroachment after the arrival of Commodore Matthew C. Perry and the signing of the Kanagawa Accord, led to increased prominence to the development of nationalist ideologies; some prominent daimyō promoted the concept of fukko. The terms were not mutually exclusive, merging into the sonnō jōi concept, which in turn was a major driving force in starting the Meiji Restoration; the Meiji Constitution of 1889 defined allegiance to the State as the citizen's highest duty. While the constitution itself contained a mix of political Western practices and traditional Japanese political ideas, government philosophy centered on promoting social harmony and a sense of the uniqueness of the Japanese people; the extreme disparity in economic and military power between Japan and the Western colonial powers was a great cause for concern for the early Meiji leadership. The motto Fukoku kyōhei symbolized Meiji period nationalistic policies to provide government support to strengthen strategic industries.
Only with a strong economic base could Japan afford to build a strong, modern military along Western lines, only with a strong economy and military could Japan force a revision of the unequal treaties, such as the Kanagawa Accords. Government policies laid the basis of industrialist empires known as the zaibatsu; as a residue of its widespread use in propaganda during the 19th century, military nationalism in Japan was known as bushidō. The word, denoting a coherent code of beliefs and doctrines about the proper path of the samurai, or what is called generically'warrior thought', is encountered in Japanese texts before the Meiji era, when the 11 volumes of the Hagakure of Yamamoto Tsunetomo, compiled in the years from 1710 to 1716 where the character combination is employed, was published. Constituted over a long time by house manuals on war and warriorship, it gained some official backing with the establishment of the Bakufu, which sought an ideological orthodoxy in the Neo-Confucianism of Zhu Xi tailored for military echelons that formed the basis of the new shogunal government.
An important early role was played by Yamaga Sokō in theorizing a Japanese military ethos. After the abolition of the feudal system, the new military institutions of Japan were shaped along European lines, with Western instructors, the codes themselves modeled on standard models adapted from abroad; the impeccable behaviour, in terms of international criteria, displayed by the Japanese military in the Russo-Japanese War was proof that Japan had a modern army whose techniques and etiquette of war differed little from that of what prevailed among the Western imperial powers. The Imperial Rescript for Seamen and Soldiers, presented Japan as a "sacred nation protected by the gods". An undercurrent of traditional warrior values never wholly disappeared, as Japan slid towards a cycle of repeated crises from the mid-Taishō to early Shōwa eras, the old samurai ideals began to assume importance among more politicized officers in the Imperial Japanese Army. Sadao Araki played an important role in adapting a doctrine of seishin kyōiku as an ideological backbone for army personnel.
As Minister of Education, he supported the integration of the samurai code into the national education system. In developing the modern concepts of State Shintoism and emperor worship, various Japanese philosophers tried to revive or purify national beliefs by removing imported foreign ideas, borrowed from Chinese philosophy; this "Restoration Shintōist Movement" began with Motoori Norinaga in the 18th century. Motoori Norinaga, Hirata Atsutane, based their research on the Kojiki and other classic Shintō texts which teach the superiority of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu; this formed the basis for State Shintōism, as the Japanese emperor claimed direct descent from Amaterasu. The emperor himself was therefore sacred, all proclamations of the emperor had thus a religious significance. After the Meiji Restoration, the new imperial government needed to modernize the polity and economy of Japan, the Meiji oligarchy felt that those goals could only be accomplished through a strong sense of natio
Taoism, or Daoism, is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao. The Tao is a fundamental idea in most Chinese philosophical schools. Taoism differs from Confucianism by not emphasizing rigid rituals and social order, but is similar in the sense that it is a teaching about the various disciplines for achieving "perfection" by becoming one with the unplanned rhythms of the universe called "the way" or "dao". Taoist ethics vary depending on the particular school, but in general tend to emphasize wu wei, "naturalness", simplicity and the Three Treasures: 慈 "compassion", 儉 "frugality", 不敢為天下先 "humility"; the roots of Taoism go back at least to the 4th century BCE. Early Taoism drew its cosmological notions from the School of Yinyang, was influenced by one of the oldest texts of Chinese culture, the I Ching, which expounds a philosophical system about how to keep human behavior in accordance with the alternating cycles of nature; the "Legalist" Shen Buhai may have been a major influence, expounding a realpolitik of wu wei.
The Tao Te Ching, a compact book containing teachings attributed to Laozi, is considered the keystone work of the Taoist tradition, together with the writings of Zhuangzi. By the Han dynasty, the various sources of Taoism had coalesced into a coherent tradition of religious organizations and orders of ritualists in the state of Shu. In earlier ancient China, Taoists were thought of as hermits or recluses who did not participate in political life. Zhuangzi was the best known of these, it is significant that he lived in the south, where he was part of local Chinese shamanic traditions. Female shamans played an important role in this tradition, strong in the southern state of Chu. Early Taoist movements developed their own institution in contrast to shamanism, but absorbed basic shamanic elements. Shamans revealed basic texts of Taoism from early times down to at least the 20th century. Institutional orders of Taoism evolved in various strains that in more recent times are conventionally grouped into two main branches: Quanzhen Taoism and Zhengyi Taoism.
After Laozi and Zhuangzi, the literature of Taoism grew and was compiled in form of a canon—the Daozang—which was published at the behest of the emperor. Throughout Chinese history, Taoism was nominated several times as a state religion. After the 17th century, however, it fell from favor. Taoism has had a profound influence on Chinese culture in the course of the centuries, Taoists, a title traditionally attributed only to the clergy and not to their lay followers take care to note distinction between their ritual tradition and the practices of Chinese folk religion and non-Taoist vernacular ritual orders, which are mistakenly identified as pertaining to Taoism. Chinese alchemy, Chinese astrology, Chan Buddhism, several martial arts, traditional Chinese medicine, feng shui, many styles of qigong have been intertwined with Taoism throughout history. Beyond China, Taoism had influence on surrounding societies in Asia. Today, the Taoist tradition is one of the five religious doctrines recognized in the People's Republic of China as well as the Republic of China, although it does not travel from its East Asian roots, it claims adherents in a number of societies, in particular in Hong Kong, in Southeast Asia.
Since the introduction of the Pinyin system for romanizing Mandarin Chinese, there have been those who have felt that "Taoism" would be more appropriately spelled as "Daoism". The Mandarin Chinese pronunciation for the word 道 is spelled as tao4 in the older Wade–Giles romanization system while it is spelled as dào in the newer Pinyin romanization system. Both the Wade–Giles tao4 and the Pinyin dào are intended to be pronounced identically in Mandarin Chinese, but despite this fact, "Taoism" and "Daoism" can be pronounced differently in English vernacular; the word "Taoism" is used to translate different Chinese terms which refer to different aspects of the same tradition and semantic field: "Taoist religion", or the "liturgical" aspect – A family of organized religious movements sharing concepts or terminology from "Taoist philosophy". "Taoist philosophy" or "Taology", or the "mystical" aspect – The philosophical doctrines based on the texts of the I Ching, the Tao Te Ching and the Zhuangzi.
These texts were linked together as "Taoist philosophy" during the early Han Dynasty, but notably not before. It is unlikely that Zhuangzi was familiar with the text of the Daodejing, Zhuangzi would not have identified himself as a Taoist as this classification did not arise until well after his death. However, the discussed distinction is rejected by the majority of Japanese scholars, it is contested by hermeneutic difficulties in the categorization of the different Taoist schools and movements. Taoism does not f