Wa is the oldest recorded name of Japan. The Chinese as well as Korean and Japanese scribes wrote it in reference to Yamato with the Chinese character 倭 "Dwarf", until the 8th century, when the Japanese replaced it with 和 "harmony, balance." The earliest textual references to Japan are in Chinese classic texts. Within the official Chinese dynastic Twenty-Four Histories, Japan is mentioned among the so-called Dongyi 東夷 "Eastern Barbarians"; the historian Wang Zhenping summarizes Wo contacts with the Han State. When chieftains of various Wo tribes contacted authorities at Lelang, a Chinese commandery established in northern Korea in 108 B. C. by the Western Han court, they sought to benefit themselves by initiating contact. In A. D. 57, the first Wo ambassador arrived at the capital of the Eastern Han court. Wo diplomats, never called on China on a regular basis. A chronology of Japan-China relations from the first to the ninth centuries reveals this irregularity in the visits of Japanese ambassadors to China.
There were periods of frequent contacts as well as of lengthy intervals between contacts. This irregularity indicated that, in its diplomacy with China, Japan set its own agenda and acted on self-interest to satisfy its own needs. No Wo ambassador, for example, came to China during the second century; this interval continued well past the third century. Within nine years, the female Wo ruler Himiko sent four ambassadors to the Wei court in 238, 243, 245, 247 respectively. After the death of Himiko, diplomatic contacts with China slowed. Iyo, the female successor to Himiko, contacted the Wei court only once; the fourth century was another quiet period in China-Wo relations except for the Wo delegation dispatched to the Western Jin court in 306. With the arrival of a Wo ambassador at the Eastern Jin court in 413, a new age of frequent diplomatic contacts with China began. Over the next sixty years, ten Wo ambassadors called on the Southern Song court, a Wo delegation visited the Southern Qi court in 479.
The sixth century, saw only one Wo ambassador pay respect to the Southern Liang court in 502. When these ambassadors arrived in China, they acquired official titles, bronze mirrors, military banners, which their masters could use to bolster their claims to political supremacy, to build a military system, to exert influence on southern Korea; the earliest record of Wō 倭 "Japan" occurs in the Shan Hai Jing 山海經 "Classic of Mountains and Seas". The textual dating of this collection of geographic and mythological legends is uncertain, but estimates range from 300 BCE to 250 CE; the Haineibei jing 海內北經 "Classic of Regions within the North Seas" chapter includes Wō 倭 "Japan" among foreign places both real, such as Korea, legendary. Kai Land is south of Chü Yen and north of Wo. Wo belongs to Yen. Ch’ao-hsien is east of Lieh Yang, south of Hai Pei Mountain. Lieh Yang belongs to Yen. Nakagawa notes that Zhuyan 鉅燕 refers to the kingdom of Yan, that Wo maintained a "possible tributary relationship" with Yan.
Wang Chong's ca. 70-80 CE Lunheng 論衡 "Discourses weighed in the balance" is a compendium of essays on subjects including philosophy and natural sciences. The Rŭzēng 儒増 "Exaggerations of the Literati" chapter mentions"Wōrén 倭人 "Japanese people" and Yuèshāng 越裳 "an old name for Champa" presenting tributes during the Zhou Dynasty. In disputing legends that ancient Zhou bronze ding tripods had magic powers to ward off evil spirits, Wang says. During the Chou time there was universal peace; the Yuèshāng offered white pheasants to the court, the Japanese odoriferous plants. Since by eating these white pheasants or odoriferous plants one cannot keep free from evil influences, why should vessels like bronze tripods have such a power? Another Lunheng chapter Huiguo 恢國 "Restoring the nation" records that Emperor Cheng of Han was presented tributes of Vietnamese pheasants and Japanese herbs; the ca. 82 CE Han Shu 漢書 "Book of Han"' covers the Former Han Dynasty period. Near the conclusion of the Yan entry in the Dilizhi 地理志 "Treatise on geography" section, it records that Wo encompassed over 100 guó 國 "communities, countries".
Beyond Lo-lang in the sea, there are the people of Wo. They comprise more than one hundred communities, it is reported that they have maintained intercourse with China through tributaries and envoys. Emperor Wu of Han established this Korean Lelang Commandery in 108 BCE. Historian Endymion Wilkinson says Wo 倭 "dwarf" was used in the Hanshu, "probably to refer to the inhabitants of Kyushu and the Korean peninsula. Thereafter to the inhabitants of the Japanese archipelago." The ca. 297 CE Wei Zhi 魏志 "Records of Wei", comprising the first of the San Guo Zhi 三國志 "Records of the Three Kingdoms", covers history of the Cao Wei kingdom. The 東夷伝 "Encounters with Eastern Barbarians" section describes the Wōrén 倭人 "Japanese" based upon detailed reports from Chinese envoys to Japan, it contains the first records of Yamatai-koku, shamaness Queen Himiko, other Japanese historical topics. The people of Wa dwell in the middle of the ocean on the mountainous islands southeast of of Tai-fang, they comprised more than one hundred communities.
During the Han dynasty, appeared at the Court.
The Ming dynasty was the ruling dynasty of China – known as the Great Ming Empire – for 276 years following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese. Although the primary capital of Beijing fell in 1644 to a rebellion led by Li Zicheng, regimes loyal to the Ming throne – collectively called the Southern Ming – survived until 1683; the Hongwu Emperor attempted to create a society of self-sufficient rural communities ordered in a rigid, immobile system that would guarantee and support a permanent class of soldiers for his dynasty: the empire's standing army exceeded one million troops and the navy's dockyards in Nanjing were the largest in the world. He took great care breaking the power of the court eunuchs and unrelated magnates, enfeoffing his many sons throughout China and attempting to guide these princes through the Huang-Ming Zuxun, a set of published dynastic instructions; this failed when his teenage successor, the Jianwen Emperor, attempted to curtail his uncles' power, prompting the Jingnan Campaign, an uprising that placed the Prince of Yan upon the throne as the Yongle Emperor in 1402.
The Yongle Emperor established Yan as a secondary capital and renamed it Beijing, constructed the Forbidden City, restored the Grand Canal and the primacy of the imperial examinations in official appointments. He rewarded his eunuch supporters and employed them as a counterweight against the Confucian scholar-bureaucrats. One, Zheng He, led seven enormous voyages of exploration into the Indian Ocean as far as Arabia and the eastern coasts of Africa; the rise of new emperors and new factions diminished such extravagances. The imperial navy was allowed to fall into disrepair while forced labor constructed the Liaodong palisade and connected and fortified the Great Wall of China into its modern form. Wide-ranging censuses of the entire empire were conducted decennially, but the desire to avoid labor and taxes and the difficulty of storing and reviewing the enormous archives at Nanjing hampered accurate figures. Estimates for the late-Ming population vary from 160 to 200 million, but necessary revenues were squeezed out of smaller and smaller numbers of farmers as more disappeared from the official records or "donated" their lands to tax-exempt eunuchs or temples.
Haijin laws intended to protect the coasts from "Japanese" pirates instead turned many into smugglers and pirates themselves. By the 16th century, the expansion of European trade – albeit restricted to islands near Guangzhou like Macau – spread the Columbian Exchange of crops and animals into China, introducing chili peppers to Sichuan cuisine and productive corn and potatoes, which diminished famines and spurred population growth; the growth of Portuguese and Dutch trade created new demand for Chinese products and produced a massive influx of Japanese and American silver. This abundance of specie remonetized the Ming economy, whose paper money had suffered repeated hyperinflation and was no longer trusted. While traditional Confucians opposed such a prominent role for commerce and the newly rich it created, the heterodoxy introduced by Wang Yangming permitted a more accommodating attitude. Zhang Juzheng's successful reforms proved devastating when a slowdown in agriculture produced by the Little Ice Age joined changes in Japanese and Spanish policy that cut off the supply of silver now necessary for farmers to be able to pay their taxes.
Combined with crop failure and epidemic, the dynasty collapsed before the rebel leader Li Zicheng, defeated by the Manchu-led Eight Banner armies who founded the Qing dynasty. The Mongol-led Yuan dynasty ruled before the establishment of the Ming dynasty. Explanations for the demise of the Yuan include institutionalized ethnic discrimination against Han Chinese that stirred resentment and rebellion, overtaxation of areas hard-hit by inflation, massive flooding of the Yellow River as a result of the abandonment of irrigation projects. Agriculture and the economy were in shambles, rebellion broke out among the hundreds of thousands of peasants called upon to work on repairing the dykes of the Yellow River. A number of Han Chinese groups revolted, including the Red Turbans in 1351; the Red Turbans were affiliated with a Buddhist secret society. Zhu Yuanzhang was a penniless peasant and Buddhist monk who joined the Red Turbans in 1352. In 1356, Zhu's rebel force captured the city of Nanjing, which he would establish as the capital of the Ming dynasty.
With the Yuan dynasty crumbling, competing rebel groups began fighting for control of the country and thus the right to establish a new dynasty. In 1363, Zhu Yuanzhang eliminated his archrival and leader of the rebel Han faction, Chen Youliang, in the Battle of Lake Poyang, arguably the largest naval battle in history. Known for its ambitious use of fire ships, Zhu's force of 200,000 Ming sailors were able to defeat a Han rebel force over triple their size, claimed to be 650,000-strong; the victory destroyed the last opposing rebel faction, leaving Zhu Yuanzhang in uncontested control of the bountiful Yangtze River Valley and cementing his power in the south. After the dynastic head of the Red Turbans suspiciously died in 1367 while a guest of Zhu, there was no one left, remotely capable of contesting his march to the throne, he made his imperial ambitions known by sending an army toward the Yuan capital Dadu in 1368; the las
Kūkai known posthumously as Kōbō-Daishi, 774–835, was a Japanese Buddhist monk, civil servant, scholar and artist who founded the Esoteric Shingon or "mantra" school of Buddhism. Shingon followers refer to him by the honorific title of Odaishisama and the religious name of Henjō-Kongō. Kūkai is famous as a engineer. In legend he is attributed with the invention of the kana syllabary, with which the Japanese language is written to this day, as well as the Iroha poem, which helped standardise and popularise kana. Kūkai was born in 774 in the present-day Zentsū-ji precincts in the province of Sanuki on the island of Shikoku, his family were members of a branch of the ancient Ōtomo clan. There is some doubt as to his birth name: Tōtomono is recorded in one source, while Mao is recorded elsewhere. Mao is used in modern studies. Kūkai was born in a period of important political changes with Emperor Kanmu seeking to consolidate his power and to extend his realm, taking measures which included moving the capital of Japan from Nara to Heian.
Little more is known about Kūkai's childhood. At the age of fifteen, he began to receive instruction in the Chinese classics under the guidance of his maternal uncle. During this time, the Saeki-Ōtomo clan suffered government persecution due to allegations that the clan chief, Ōtomo Yakamochi, was responsible for the assassination of his rival Fujiwara no Tanetsugu; the family fortunes had fallen by 791 when Kūkai journeyed to Nara, the capital at the time, to study at the government university, the Daigakuryō. Graduates were chosen for prestigious positions as bureaucrats. Biographies of Kūkai suggest that he became disillusioned with his Confucian studies, but developed a strong interest in Buddhist studies instead. Around the age of 22, Kūkai was introduced to Buddhist practice involving chanting the mantra of the Bodhisattva Ākāśagarbha. During this period, Kūkai sought out isolated mountain regions where he chanted the Ākāśagarbha mantra relentlessly. At age 24 he published his first major literary work, Sangō Shiiki, in which he quotes from an extensive list of sources, including the classics of Confucianism and Buddhism.
The Nara temples, with their extensive libraries, possessed these texts. During this period in Japanese history, the central government regulated Buddhism through the Sōgō and enforced its policies, based on the ritsuryō system. Ascetics and independent monks, like Kūkai, were banned and lived outside the law, but still wandered the countryside or from temple to temple. During this period of private Buddhist practice, Kūkai had a dream, in which a man appeared and told Kūkai that the Mahavairocana Tantra is the scripture which contained the doctrine Kūkai was seeking. Though Kūkai soon managed to obtain a copy of this sūtra which had only become available in Japan, he encountered difficulty. Much of the sūtra was in untranslated Sanskrit written in the Siddhaṃ script. Kūkai found the translated portion of the sūtra was cryptic; because Kūkai could find no one who could elucidate the text for him, he resolved to go to China to study the text there. Ryuichi Abe suggests that the Mahavairocana Tantra bridged the gap between his interest in the practice of religious exercises and the doctrinal knowledge acquired through his studies.
In 804, Kūkai took part in a government-sponsored expedition to China in order to learn more about the Mahavairocana Tantra. Scholars are unsure why Kūkai was selected to take part in an official mission to China, given his background as a private, not state-sponsored, monk. Theories include family connections within the Saeki-Ōtomo clan, or connections through fellow clergy or a member of the Fujiwara clan; the expedition included four ships, with Kūkai on the first ship, while another famous monk, Saichō was on the second ship. During a storm, the third ship turned back. Kūkai's ship arrived weeks in the province of Fujian and its passengers were denied entry to the port while the ship was impounded. Kūkai, being fluent in Chinese, wrote a letter to the governor of the province explaining their situation; the governor allowed the ship to dock, the party was asked to proceed to the capital of Chang'an, the seat of power of the Tang dynasty. After further delays, the Tang court granted Kūkai a place in Xi Ming Temple where his study of Chinese Buddhism began in earnest as well as studies of Sanskrit with the Gandharan pandit Prajñā, educated at the Indian Buddhist university at Nalanda.
It was in 805 that Kūkai met Master Huiguo the man who would initiate him into the esoteric Buddhism tradition at Chang'an's Qinglong Monastery. Huiguo came from an illustrious lineage of Buddhist masters, famed for translating Sanskrit texts into Chinese, including the Mahavairocana Tantra. Kūkai describes their first meeting: Accompanied by Jiming and several other Dharma masters from the Ximing monastery, I went to visit him and was granted an audience; as soon as he saw me, the abbot smiled, said with delight, "since learning of your arrival, I have waited anxiously. How excellent, how excellent that we have met today at last! My life is ending soon, yet I have no more disciples to whom to transmit the Dharma. Prepare without delay the offerings of incense and flowers for your entry into the abhisheka mandala". Huiguo bestowed upon Kūkai the first level abhisheka
Emperor Uda was the 59th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Uda's reign spanned the years from 887 through 897. Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name was Chōjiin-tei. Emperor Uda was the third son of Emperor Kōkō, his mother was a daughter of Prince Nakano. Uda had 20 Imperial children. Important sons include: Prince Atsuhito. Prince Atsuzane. In ancient Japan, there were the Gempeitōkitsu. One of these clans, the Minamoto clan, is known as Genji; some of Uda's grandchildren were granted the surname Minamoto. In order to distinguish Uda's descendants from other Minamoto clan families or Genji, they became known as the Uda Genji; some of the Uda Genji known as Sasaki clan or Ōmi Genji. Among the Uda Genji, Minamoto no Masazane, a son of Prince Atsumi succeeded in the court. Masazane became sadaijin. One of Masazane's daughters, Minamoto no Rinshi married Fujiwara no Michinaga and from this marriage three empresses dowagers and two regents were born.
From Masanobu, several kuge families originated including the Niwata, Ayanokōji, Itsutsuji, Ōhara and Jikōji. From his fourth son Sukeyosi, the Sasaki clan originated, thus Kyōgoku clan originated; these descendants are known as Ōmi Genji today. From this line, Sasaki Takauji made a success at the Muromachi shogunate and the Amago clan originated from his brother. Uda's father, Emperor Kōkō, demoted his sons from the rank of imperial royals to that of subjects in order to reduce the state expenses, as well as their political influence. Sadami was named Minamoto no Sadami. In 887, when Kōkō needed to appoint his successor, Sadami was once again promoted to the Imperial Prince rank with support of kampaku Fujiwara no Mototsune, since Sadami was adopted by a half-sister of Mototsune. After the death of his father in November of that year, Sadami-shinnō ascended to the throne. September 17, 887: Emperor Kōkō died. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Uda formally acceded to the throne. December 5, 887: Mototsune asked Uda for permission to retire from his duties.
Therefore, Mototsune continued to serve. 888: Construction of the newly created Buddhist temple of Ninna-ji was completed. 889: The former emperor Yōzei became deranged, afflicted by mental illness. Yōzei would address courtiers he would meet with the greatest rudeness, he became furious. He garroted women with the strings of musical instruments and threw the bodies into a lake. While riding on horseback, he directed. Sometimes he disappeared into the mountains where he chased wild boars and red deer. In the beginning of Uda's reign, Mototsune held the office of kampaku. Emperor Uda's reign is marked by a prolonged struggle to reassert power by the Imperial Family away from the increasing influence of the Fujiwara, beginning with the death of Mototsune in 891. Records show that shortly thereafter, Emperor Uda assigned scholars Sukeyo and Kiyoyuki, supporters of Mototsune, to provincial posts in the remote provinces of Mutsu and Higo respectively. Meanwhile, non-Fujiwara officials from the Minamoto family were promoted to prominent ranks, while his trusted counselor, Sugawara no Michizane rose in rank within five years to reach the third rank in the court, supervision of the Crown Prince's household.
Meanwhile, Mototsune's son and heir, Fujiwara no Tokihira, rose in rank, but only just enough to prevent an open power struggle. Meanwhile, Emperor Uda attempted to return Court politics to the original spirit envisioned in the Ritsuryō Codes, while reviving intellectual interest in Confucian doctrine and culture. In the seventh month of 896, Emperor Uda dispatched Sugawara no Michizane to review prisoners in the capitol and provide a general amnesty for the wrongfully accused, in keeping with Chinese practices. Emperor Uda issued edicts reinforcing peasant land rights from encroachment by powerful families in the capital or monastic institutions, while auditing tax collections made in the provinces. Emperor Uda stopped the practice of sending ambassadors to China; the emperor's decision was informed by what he understood as persuasive counsel from Sugawara Michizane. The Special Festival of the Kamo Shrine was first held during Uda's reign. In 897, Uda abdicated in favor of his eldest son, Prince Atsuhito, who would come to be known as Emperor Daigo.
Uda left behind an hortatory will or testament which offered general admonitions or precepts for his son's guidance. The document cautions against his womanizing. Both were assigned by Emperor Uda to look after his son until the latter reach maturity. Three years he entered the Buddhist priesthood at age 34 in 900. Having founded the temple at Ninna-ji, Uda made it his new home after his abdic
Empress Suiko was the 33rd monarch of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Suiko reigned from 593 until her death in 628. In the history of Japan, Suiko was the first of eight women to take on the role of empress regnant; the seven women sovereigns reigning after Suiko were Kōgyoku/Saimei, Jitō, Genshō, Kōken/Shōtoku, Meishō and Go-Sakuramachi. Before her ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, her personal name was Mikekashiya-hime-no-mikoto called Toyomike Kashikiya hime no Mikoto. Empress Suiko had several names including Toyomike Kashikiya, she was the third daughter of Emperor Kinmei. Her mother was Soga no Kitashihime. Suiko was the younger sister of Emperor Yōmei, they had the same mother. Empress Suiko was a consort to her half-brother, Emperor Bidatsu, but after Bidatsu's first wife died she became his official consort and was given the title Ōkisaki, she bore seven children. After Bidatsu's death, Suiko's brother, Emperor Yōmei, came to power for about two years before dying of illness.
Upon Yōmei's death, another power struggle arose between the Soga clan and the Mononobe clan, with the Sogas supporting Prince Hatsusebe and the Mononobes supporting Prince Anahobe. The Sogas prevailed once again and Prince Hatsusebe acceded to the throne as Emperor Sushun in 587. However, Sushun began to resent the power of Soga no Umako, the head of the Soga clan, Umako out of fear that Sushun might strike first, had him assassinated by Yamatoaya no Ataikoma in 592; when asked to accede to the throne to fill the power vacuum that subsequently developed, Suiko became the first of what would be several examples in Japanese history where a woman was chosen to accede to the throne to avert a power struggle. 593: In the 2nd year of Sushun-tennō's reign, he died. Shortly thereafter, Empress Suiko is said to have ascended to the throne. Suiko's contemporary title would not have been tennō, as most historians believe this title was not introduced until the reigns of Emperor Tenmu and Empress Jitō.
Rather, it was Sumeramikoto or Amenoshita Shiroshimesu Ōkimi, meaning "the great Queen who rules all under heaven". Alternatively, Suiko might have been referred to as or the "Great Queen of Yamato". Prince Shōtoku was appointed regent the following year. Although political power during Suiko's reign is viewed as having been wielded by Prince Shōtoku and Soga no Umako, Suiko was far from powerless; the mere fact that she survived and her reign endured suggests. In 599, an earthquake destroyed buildings throughout Yamato Province in. Suiko's refusal to grant Soga no Umako's request that he be granted the imperial territory known as Kazuraki no Agata in 624 is cited as evidence of her independence from his influence; some of the many achievements under Empress Suiko's reign include the official recognition of Buddhism by the issuance of the Flourishing Three Treasures Edict in 594. Suiko was one of the first Buddhist monarchs in Japan and had taken the vows of a nun shortly before becoming empress.
The reign of this empress was marked by the opening of relations with the Sui court in 600, the adoption of the Twelve Level Cap and Rank System in 603 and the adoption of the Seventeen-article constitution in 604. The adoption of the Sexagenary cycle calendar in Japan is attributed to Empress Suiko in 604. At a time when imperial succession was determined by clan leaders, rather than the emperor, Suiko left only vague indications of succession to two candidates while on her deathbed. One, Prince Tamura, was a grandson of Emperor Bidatsu and was supported by the main line of Sogas, including Soga no Emishi; the other, Prince Yamashiro, was a son of Prince Shōtoku and had the support of some lesser members of the Soga clan. After a brief struggle within the Soga clan in which one of Prince Yamashiro's main supporters was killed, Prince Tamura was chosen and he acceded to the throne as Emperor Jomei in 629. Empress Suiko ruled for 35 years. Although there were seven other reigning empresses, their successors were most selected from amongst the males of the paternal Imperial bloodline, why some conservative scholars argue that the women's reigns were temporary and that male-only succession tradition must be maintained in the 21st century.
Empress Genmei, followed on the throne by her daughter, Empress Genshō, remains the sole exception to this conventional argument. The actual site of Suiko's grave is known; this empress is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine at Osaka. The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Suiko's mausoleum. It's formally named Shinaga no Yamada no misasagi. Husband: Prince Nunakakura no Futo Tamashiki no Sumeramikoto Emperor Bidatsu, Emperor Kinmei’s son First Daughter: Princess Uji no Shitsukahi/Uji no Kahitako, married to Crown Prince Shotoku First Son: Prince Takeda Second Daughter: Princess Woharida, married to Prince Oshisako-no-Hikohito-no-Oe Third Daughter: Princess Umori/Karu no Mori Second Son: Prince Wohari Third Son: Prince Owari, Father of Tachibana-no-Oiratsume Fourth Daughter: Princess Tame, married to Emperor Jomei Fifth Daughter: Princess Sakurawi no Yumihari, married to Prince Oshisako-no-Hikohito-no-Oe married to Prince Kume Empress Jingū, semi-legendary, rule preceded Empress Suiko Japan
Beijing romanized as Peking, is the capital of the People's Republic of China, the world's third most populous city proper, most populous capital city. The city, located in northern China, is governed as a municipality under the direct administration of central government with 16 urban and rural districts. Beijing Municipality is surrounded by Hebei Province with the exception of neighboring Tianjin Municipality to the southeast. Beijing is an important world capital and global power city, one of the world's leading centers for politics and business, education, culture and technology, architecture and diplomacy. A megacity, Beijing is the second largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai and is the nation's political and educational center, it is home to the headquarters of most of China's largest state-owned companies and houses the largest number of Fortune Global 500 companies in the world, as well as the world's four biggest financial institutions. It is a major hub for the national highway, expressway and high-speed rail networks.
The Beijing Capital International Airport has been the second busiest in the world by passenger traffic since 2010, and, as of 2016, the city's subway network is the busiest and second longest in the world. Combining both modern and traditional architecture, Beijing is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a rich history dating back three millennia; as the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been the political center of the country for most of the past eight centuries, was the largest city in the world by population for much of the second millennium A. D. Encyclopædia Britannica notes that "few cities in the world have served for so long as the political headquarters and cultural center of an area as immense as China." With mountains surrounding the inland city on three sides, in addition to the old inner and outer city walls, Beijing was strategically poised and developed to be the residence of the emperor and thus was the perfect location for the imperial capital.
The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, parks, tombs and gates. It has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites—the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs and parts of the Great Wall and the Grand Canal— all tourist locations. Siheyuans, the city's traditional housing style, hutongs, the narrow alleys between siheyuans, are major tourist attractions and are common in urban Beijing. Many of Beijing's 91 universities rank among the best in China, such as the Peking University and Tsinghua University. Beijing CBD is a center for Beijing's economic expansion, with the ongoing or completed construction of multiple skyscrapers. Beijing's Zhongguancun area is known as China's Silicon Valley and a center of innovation and technology entrepreneurship. Over the past 3,000 years, the city of Beijing has had numerous other names; the name Beijing, which means "Northern Capital", was applied to the city in 1403 during the Ming dynasty to distinguish the city from Nanjing. The English spelling is based on the pinyin romanization of the two characters as they are pronounced in Standard Mandarin.
An older English spelling, Peking, is the postal romanization of the same two characters as they are pronounced in Chinese dialects spoken in the southern port towns first visited by European traders and missionaries. Those dialects preserve the Middle Chinese pronunciation of 京 as kjaeng, prior to a phonetic shift in the northern dialects to the modern pronunciation. Although Peking is no longer the common name for the city, some of the city's older locations and facilities, such as Beijing Capital International Airport, with IATA Code PEK, Peking University, still use the former romanization; the single Chinese character abbreviation for Beijing is 京, which appears on automobile license plates in the city. The official Latin alphabet abbreviation for Beijing is "BJ"; the earliest traces of human habitation in the Beijing municipality were found in the caves of Dragon Bone Hill near the village of Zhoukoudian in Fangshan District, where Peking Man lived. Homo erectus fossils from the caves date to 230,000 to 250,000 years ago.
Paleolithic Homo sapiens lived there more about 27,000 years ago. Archaeologists have found neolithic settlements throughout the municipality, including in Wangfujing, located in downtown Beijing; the first walled city in Beijing was Jicheng, the capital city of the state of Ji and was built in 1045 BC. Within modern Beijing, Jicheng was located around the present Guang'anmen area in the south of Xicheng District; this settlement was conquered by the state of Yan and made its capital. After the First Emperor unified China, Jicheng became a prefectural capital for the region. During the Three Kingdoms period, it was held by Gongsun Zan and Yuan Shao before falling to the Wei Kingdom of Cao Cao; the AD 3rd-century Western Jin demoted the town, placing the prefectural seat in neighboring Zhuozhou. During the Sixteen Kingdoms period when northern China was conquered and divided by the Wu Hu, Jicheng was the capital of the Xianbei Former Yan Kingdom. After China was reunified during the Sui dynasty, Jicheng known as Zhuojun, became the northern terminus of the Grand Canal.
Under the Tang dynasty, Jicheng as Youzhou, served as a military frontier command center. During the An-Shi Rebellion and again amidst the turmoil of the late Tang, local military commanders founded their own shor
Ashikaga Yoshimitsu was the 3rd shōgun of the Ashikaga shogunate, in power from 1368 to 1394 during the Muromachi period of Japan. Yoshimitsu was Ashikaga Yoshiakira's third son but the oldest son to survive, his childhood name being Haruō. Yoshimitsu was appointed shōgun, a hereditary title as head of the military estate, in 1368 at the age of ten. In 1379, Yoshimitsu reorganized the institutional framework of the Gozan Zen 五山禅 establishment before, two years becoming the first person of the warrior class to host a reigning emperor at his private residence. In 1392, he negotiated the end of the Nanboku-chō imperial schism that had plagued politics for over half a century. Two years he became Grand Chancellor of State, the highest-ranking member of the imperial court. Retiring from that and all public offices in 1395, Yoshimitsu took the tonsure and moved into his Kitayama-dono retirement villa which, among other things, boasted a pavilion two-thirds covered in gold leaf. There, he received envoys from the Ming and Joseon courts on at least six occasions and forged the terms of a Sino-Japanese trade agreement that endured for over a century.
In recognition for his diplomatic efforts, the Chinese sovereign pronounced Yoshimitsu "King of Japan". In 1407, he set into motion a plan to become "Dajō tenno", a title customarily applied to a retired emperor. Although unrealized due to his sudden death the following year, this last venture was audacious because Yoshimitsu never sat on the Japanese throne. Late in his career, it appears Yoshimitsu sought to legitimize his transcendent authority through the idiom of Buddhist kingship, deploying ritual and monumentalism to cast him as a universal monarch or dharma king, not unlike his counterparts in Southeast Asia, his posthumous name was Rokuon'in. Significant events shape the period during which Yoshimitsu was shōgun: 1368 – Yoshimitsu appointed shōgun. 1369 – Kusunoki Masanori defects to Ashikaga. 1370 – Imagawa Sadayo sent to subdue Kyushu. 1371 – Attempts to arrange truce. 1373–1406 – Embassies between China and Japan. 1374 – En'yū ascends northern throne. 1378 – Yoshimitsu builds the Muromachi palace in Kyoto's elite district of Kamigyo, on the site of the former residence of the nobleman Saionji Sanekane.
1379 – Shiba Yoshimasa becomes Kanrei. 1380 – Kusunoki Masanori rejoins Kameyama. 1382 – Go-Komatsu ascends northern throne. 1383 – Yoshimitsu's honors. 1385 – Southern army defeated at Koga. 1387–1389 – Dissension in Toki family in Mino. 1389 – Yoshimitsu pacifies Kyūshū and distributes lands. 1390 – Kusunoki defeated. 1391 – Yamana Ujikyo attacks Kyoto – Meitoku War. 1392 – Northern and Southern courts reconciled under Go-Komatsu. 1394 – Yoshimitsu cedes his position to his son. 1396 – Imagawa Sadayo dismissed. 1397 – Uprising in Kyūshū suppressed. 1398 – Muromachi administration organized. 1399 – Ōuchi Yoshihiro and Ashikaga Mitsukane rebel – Ōei War. 1402 – Uprising in Mutsu suppressed. 1404 – Yoshimitsu is recognized as Nippon Koku-Ō by Yongle Emperor. 1408 – Yoshimitsu dies. Yoshimitsu constructed his residential headquarters along Muromachi Road in the northern part of Kyoto in 1378; as a result, in Japanese, the Ashikaga shogunate and the corresponding time period are referred to as the Muromachi shogunate and Muromachi period.
Yoshimitsu resolved the rift between the Northern and Southern Courts in 1392, when he persuaded Go-Kameyama of the Southern Court to hand over the Imperial Regalia to Emperor Go-Komatsu of the Northern Court. Yoshimitsu's greatest political achievement was that he managed to bring about the end to Nanboku-chō fighting; this event had the effect of establishing the authority of the Muromachi shogunate and suppressing the power of the regional age daimyōs who might challenge that central authority. Concordant with increased communication between the Muromachi Shogunate and the Ming Dynasty in modern day China, during this period Japan received a significant influx of Ming influence to its economic system, architecture and religion, writing. Although Yoshimitsu retired in 1394 and his son was confirmed as the fourth shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimochi, the old shōgun did not abandon any of his powers. Yoshimitsu continued to maintain authority over the shogunate until his death. Yoshimitsu played a major role in the genesis of Noh theatre, as the patron of Zeami Motokiyo, the actor considered to be Noh's founder.
Yoshimitsu died in 1408 at age 50. After his death, his retirement villa became Rokuon-ji, which today is famous for its three-storied, gold-leaf covered reliquary known as "Kinkaku". So famous is this single structure, in fact, that the entire temple itself is identified as the Kinkaku-ji, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion. A statue of Yoshimitsu is found there today. Father: Ashikaga Yoshiakira Mother: Kino Yoshiko Wife: Hino Nariko Concubines: Ichijo no Tsubone Hino Yasuko Fujiwara no Yoshiko Kaga no Tsubone Kasuga no Tsubone Nefu'in Fujiwara no Kyoko Fujiwara no Tomoko Keijun'in Takahashi-dono Ikegami-dono Children: a daughter by Nariko Ashikaga Yoshimochi by Yoshiko Ashikaga Yoshinori by Yoshiko Ashikaga Yoshitsugu