ASUKA PERIOD OF JAPAN
The ASUKA PERIOD of JAPAN ranging from 538 AD to 710 AD was a period of the introduction of the BUDDHIST religion in the JAPANESE society from the KOREAN Kingdom of BAEKJE . The name ASUKA was drawn from the de facto Imperial Capital , ASUKA , located in the KENAI region of JAPAN . The SOGA clan of JAPAN , who were BUDDHIST , took over the charges of the government in 580 AD and started controlling the affairs of the people of JAPAN for more than sixty long years from behind the curtain by co-existing with the native JAPANESE religion SHINTO . PRINCE SHOTOKU who was partially a SOGA decent and a staunch BUDDHIST served as a Regent and the de facto Ruler of JAPAN from 594 AD to 622 AD, did two important things for JAPAN : 1. AUTHORED THE SEVENTEEN ARTICLE CONSTITUTION ; and 2. THE CAP AND RANK SYSTEM . The first was the CONFUCIAN- INSPIRED CODE OF CONDUCT for the officials and the citizens . And the second was meant for introduction of a merit based civil services in the government of JAPAN . In 607 AD he undermined the CHINESE government by addressing the CHINESE EMPEROR as ‘The ruler of the land of rising sun addresses the ruler of the setting sun .’ Such was the strength and power of JAPAN during SHOTOKU PERIOD . However , in 645 PRINCE NAKA NO OE and FUJIWARA NO KAMATARI , the founder of the FUJIWARA CLAN , overthrew the SOGA CLAN in a Coup d’etre , thus , the rule of FUJIWARA CLAN now started ruling in JAPAN . The new regime introduced the TAIKA land reforms on the basis of the CONFUCIAN philosophies from CHINA . The aim in this reform was to nationalize all lands of JAPAN to be distributed equally among the JAPANESE cultivators . Secondly , it also expanded the taxation base of the government . And thirdly , it assured the greater centralization of power of the Imperial Court of JAPAN as such . This government was more inclined towards CHINA . That’s why the JAPANESE government started sending JAPANESE students and envoys to CHINA to learn about CHINESE writings , politics , arts an religion . But again in 672 the JINSHIN war between PRINCE OAMA and his nephew PRINCE OTOMO further compelled the JAPANESE government to bring about the administrative reforms and as a result the TAIHO CODE came into existence which brought about changes in the structure of the central government and the central statues and as a result a CHINESE type of centralized government , called RITSURYO State , came into existence which remained in JAPAN for more than half a millennium as such .
NARA PERIOD OF JAPAN
The NARA PERIOD OF JAPAN started in 710 AD and lasted up till 794 AD . It founded its new capital at HEIJO–KYO ( MODERN NARA ) on the model of the CHINESE capital CHANGAN during the TANG DYNASTY of CHINA . The main contribution of this period was production of two important books on the ancient history of the people and culture of JAPAN . They were KOJIKI and NIHON SHOKI . MANYOSHU , one of the finest collection of the JAPANESE poetry, came into existence during this period . But this period of history of the people of JAPAN appeared to be quite painful as JAPAN suffered from a series of natural disaster . As smallpox epidemic between 735-37 AD killed more than a quarter of the population . Similarly , wildfires , droughts , famines and outbreaks of diseases during this period created hardship for the people of JAPAN . EMPEROR SHOMU ( 724 AD to 749 AD ) fearing his lack of piousness in the state functioning as major cause of such calamity , promoted BUDDHISM and built up a temple at NARA known as TODAI-JI temple and established there a statue of LORD BUDDHA made up of copper of about 550 tons . He with his courtiers standing before the TODAI-JI temple announced that , ‘ I am the servant of all the three : the first is LORD BUDDHA , the second is the BOUDH religion , the third is BOUDH SANGHA .’And the daughter of EMPEROR SHOMU , whose name was OKEN , was a staunch BUDDHIST who became BUDDHIST nun in 752 AD . The MONK DOKYO tried to establish his own rule over JAPAN with the help of EMPRESS SHOTOKU during 760 AD . But after the death of the EMPRESS SHOTOKU in 770 AD he was dethroned and again the FUJIWARA CLAN consolidated its power over JAPAN as such . However during this period many cultural development took place . In 727 AD a very nice replica of the Godess MAHALAKSHMI in the form of HANJAN was established in YOKUSHIJI . EMPRESS SHOYI constructed 48 feet high statue of LORD BUDDHA in the DAIBUTSU-DEN Monestry . It took twelve years . And the famous INDIAN BUDDHIST MONK BODHISEN was called to JAPAN for consecration ( PRAN PRATISHTHA ) of this statue of LORD BUDDHA . He was the the first INDIAN BUDDHIST MONK who went to JAPAN from CHINA on the invitation of the JAPANESE EMPEROR in 736 AD and he remained there up till his death on February 25th , 760 AD propagating BUDDHISM in all over JAPAN .
HEIAN PERIOD OF JAPAN
The HEIAN PERIOD OF JAPAN started from 794 AD and lasted in 1185 AD . In 794 AD the capital of JAPAN was moved from NAGAOKA- KYO to HEIAN-KYO ( MODERN KYOTO ) , that’s why this period of JAPANESE history is called HEIAN PERIOD OF JAPAN . The political powers remained with the FUJIWARA CLAN as they welded power in the Imperial Court due to the intermarriage with the Imperial family . In 858 AD FUJIWARA NO YOSHIFUSA declared himself as the Regent ( SESSHO ) to the underage Emperor . His son FUJIWARA NO MOTOTSUNE who created the office of KAMPAKU which could rule in place of an adult reigning Emperor . And an exceptional statesman like FUJIWARA NO MICHINAGA became KAMPAKU in 796 AD and married his four daughters with Emperors current and future . The FUJIWARA CLAN held power up till 1086 AD when EMPEROR SHIRAKAWA transferred the power to his son EMPEROR HORIKAWA but continued to exercise political powers by establishing CLOISTERED RULE . However , during the entire HEIAN PERIOD the power of the Imperial Court declined considerably and the powers of the nobles increased . These nobles and various religious orders , undermining the policy of RITSURYO State taken as a part of the nationalization of lands in JAPAN , succeeded in securing tax-free status of their private SHOEN manors . And by the end of eleventh century, JAPAN was controlled by these SHOEN owners and thus the revenue of the state declined considerably . Impact of this was that the state was unable to pay for its national army . As a result , the owners of these SHOEN started setting up their own armies of SAMURAI warriors . Two powerful nobles clans—the TAIRA and MINAMOTO depending from the JAPANESE Imperial family , acquired large armies and many SHOEN outside the capital and the central government used to take services of the armies of these two noble clans to supress Rebellions and Piracy as such ……..
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HEIAN PERIOD OF JAPAN WILL CONTINUED ……………..