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-Chinese word where the name Japan came from
-means "origin of the sun" or "land of the rising sun"



island group


Geography of Japan

-4,000 islands that extend 1,200 mile long
-4 largest islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku. Kyushu
-lots of mts= only 12% of land is suitable for farming
-late summer/early fall= typhoons
-southern Japan= rain
-natural resources (coal, oil, iron) are in short supply
-1st historic mention of Japan comes from Chinese writings of the first century BC



-means "way of the gods"
-based in the respect for the forces of nature and on the worship of ancestors
-believed in kami (divine spirits that dwelled in nature--> beautiful things in nature)


Yamato clan

-AD 400s= Yamato clan established itself as leading clan
-they claimed to be descended from the sun goddess Amaterasu
-they lacked real power
-chiefs= called themselves emperors of Japan but they did not control the entire country
-when clans fought, the winning clan claimed control of the emperor and ruled in the emperor's name



-brought by Korean travelers
-mis 700s= Japanese imperial court accepted Buddhism in Japan
-ppl didn't give up shinto rituals
- but Buddhist rituals became Shinto rituals and some Shinto god and goddesses were worshiped in Buddhist temples


Cultural Borrowing from China

-Japanese adopted the Chinese system of writing
-Japanese artists painted landscapes in the Chinese manner
-they followed Chinese styles in the simple arts of everyday living (cooking, gardening, drinking tea, hairdressing)
-Japan modeled its government in China's (strong central gov)
-Shotoku tried to introduce China's civil service system but Japan continued to be a country where a few great families held power


Prince Shotoku

-served as a regent for his aunt (empress Suiko)
-most influential convert to Buddhism
-he sent the first 3 missions to China (study Chinese civilization)



someone who rules when a monarch is absent, ill, or too young to rule


Heian Period

-highly refined court society
-rules dictated every aspect of court life (length of swords, color of official robes, forms of address, number of skirts a woman wore
-etiquette was very important
-The Tale of Genji (world's first novel)
-strong central gov---> soon declined due to the power of great landowners and clan chiefs (independent/local rulers)



-loyal warriors to lords
-means "one who serves"



-unwritten demanding code of behavior
-what samurai lived by
-They were expected to show reckless courage, reverence for the gods, fairness, and generosity toward those weaker than himself



-“supreme general of the emperor’s army”
-had the powers of a military dictator
-they ruled through puppet emperors until 1869 (headquarters= Kamakura, emperor ruled from Kyoto)
-Kamakura shoguns were strong enough to turn back the 2 naval invasions sent by Kublai Khan
-However, this drained the shogun’s treasury (samurai were bitter when the government failed to pay them)
-This caused the Kamakura shogun to lose prestige and power
-The samurai attached themselves more closely to their lords, who fought one another like they had fought the Mongols


Motives behind European Exploration

-For "God, Glory and Gold"
1. desire for more wealth from the trade of spices and other luxury goods
-during the Crusades, Europeans were introduced to these spices and other goods
-After the Crusades, Europeans demanded so many spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, pepper), the merchants could charge more money for them and therefore make bigger profits
-needed to find a seas route directly to Asia (didn't want to pay the Italians, who bought the goods from the Muslims and sold them at a hight price (profit), b/c it would cut into their own profits)
2. wanted to spread Christianity
-after the Crusades, there were more conflicting feelings between the Muslims and Christians
-Bernal Diaz del Castillo (spanish explorer)= hoped to Christianize the ppls in Asia and obtain goods from them
3. Glory


European sailing technology

-European ships could not sail against the wind
-They adopted the triangular sail from the Arabs, which allowed the ships to sail against the wind
-the Europeans used the astrolabe (used to calculate latitude and longitude, see how far north/south of the equator the ship was, or measure the height of the stars above the horizon), which was perfected by the Muslims
-they used the Chinese invention of the magnetic compass to more accurately track direction.


Prince Henry

-son of Portugal's king
-Portugal's most enthusiastic supporter of exploration
-wanted to find the source of the exotic spices and treasure (gold, silver, jewels) in the East
-wanted to spread Christianity
-1419= founded a navigation school on the southwestern coast of Portugal, where mapmakers, instrument makers, shipbuilders, scientists, and sea captains gathered to perfect their trade
-1460= died


Bartolomeu Dias

-Portuguese captain
-1488= sailed down the coast of Africa until they reached the tip
-a storm caused them to be blown to the other side of the tip
-they explored and considered sailing to India but the crew was exhausted and were running low on food supplies
-they returned home


Vasco da Gama

-Portuguese explorer
-1497= began exploring the east African coast
-1498= reached the port of Calicut
-Da Gama and his crew found so many spices, rare silks, and precious gems in the store in Calicut.
-They filled their ships with spices (pepper, cinnamon) and brought it back to Portugal.
-This was all worth 60 times the cost of the voyage itself.
-In later years, many countries began competing for trade routes to the East.


Christopher Columbus

-Italian sea captain
-Spain financed a voyage to find a route to Asia by sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean
-reached the Caribbean but thought he reached the Eat Indies
-theis voyage opened a way for European colonization of the Americas
-increased tensions between Spain and Potugal


The Treaty of Tordesillas

-an agreement between Spain and Protugal which they agreed to honor the imaginary line that went through the Atlantic Ocean (north to south)
-After Columbus "reached asia" the Portuguese and Spanish fought over the land.
-1493= Pope Alexander VI drew and imaginary linegiving some lands to Spain and the others to Portugal
-line of Demarcation= lands west of the line, Spain's
-east of line= Portugal, most of the Americas
-Portugal complained that it gave too much to Spain
-THEN the Treaty of Tordesillas was signed


Portugal's Trading Empire

-thoughout the Indian Ocean
-took control over the spice trade from Muslim merchants
1514= built a fort on Hormuz, which established control of the Straits of Hormuz connecting the Persian Gulf and Arabian sea and helped stop Muslim traders fro reaching India
-1510= Portuguese captureed Goa
-Afonso de Albuquerque= stressed Portugals desire to crush Muslim-Italian domination over Asia trade but they did not
-merchant brough back goods from Asia ata bout 1/5 of what they cost when purchased throught the Arabs and Italians
-more Europeans could afford these items
-their success attracted attention from Spain, who wanted to estaclish their own trade empires in the East (Ferdinand Magellan), and Dutch


Dutch East India Company

-founded by the Dutch
-had the power to mint money, make treaties, and raise own armies
-it wa richer and more powerful than England's company
Dutch Republic= Netherlands
-owned the largest fleet in the world (20,000 vessels), which was used to take control of the trade in the Asia region from the English
-they eventually drove out the English and established their dominance over the region
-HQ= Batavia, islanf of Java
-they expanded west
-Netherland capital= Amsterdam
-Dutch seized Malacca and Spice Islands from Protugal
-1700= Dutch ruled Indonessia and had trading posts in several Asian countries
-the controlled the Cape of Good Hope (southern tip of Aftica), which was used as a resupply stop


British and French traders

-English East India Company= focused on establishing outpost in India (successful in trading cloth with India)
-France made its own east india company but it was attacked by the Dutch; they established an oupost in India in the 1720s but it didn't show profit


Ming Dynasty

-China became the dominant power in Asia
-Koreas paid tributes
-200 yrs
-higher taxes, corrupt officials, a gov that was out of money
-higher tases, bad harvest



-peasant's son
-commanded a rebel army that drove the Mongols out of Chinain 1368
-first Ming emperor
-ruled from Yuan capital of Nanjing in the south
-began reforms designed to restore agricultural lands devestated by war, erase all past of Mongols, and promote Chians's power and prosperity
-thsi increase rice production
-imporved irrigation
-he sncourged ffish famring and growing commercial crops (cotton, sugar cane)
-he respected traditions and institutions to bring stablility to China
-encouraged Confucian moral standards
-mproved imperial admin---> retored the merit-based civil service examination
-became ruthless tyrant



-moved royal court to Beijing
-curious about outside world
-launched the first 7 voyages of exploration
-Voyages= BIG; 40-300 ships each trip (fighting ships, treasure ships= 400 ft long, storage vessels)


Zheng He

-Chinese Muslim Admiral
-ships= bigger than European ships
-ships had carpenters, soldiers, sailors, interpreters, accountants, doctors, and religious leaders (more than 27,000 people)
-he distributed gifts (silver,silk) to show Chinese superiority
-went to more than 16 countries
-1433= China when into isolation b/c they thought they were wasting resources by giving away gifts


Ming Relations with Foreign Countries

-1500s= trade policies refelcted China's isolation
-only gov was allowed to conduct trade and only though 3 local ports (Canton, Macao, Ningbo)
-trade flourished up and down the coast
-profit-minded merchants smuggled cargos of silk, porcelain, and other valuable goods
-demand for Chinese goods had a ripple effect on the economy
-industries grew (silk-making, ceramics)
-manufacturing and commerce increased
-Christian misionaries brough Christianity and knowledge of European traners into China



-lived northeast of the Great Wall in Manchuria
-1644= invaded China and the Ming Dynasty collapsed
-seized Beijing
-leader became China's new emperor
-they upheld China's traditional Confucian beliefs and social structures
-made the country's frontiers safe and restored China's prosperity


Qing Dynasy

-Manchus took a Chinese name for their dynasty
-ruled for 260 yrs
-China= Middle Kingdom
-expanded China's borders to include Taiwan, Chinese central Asia, Mongolia, and Tibet
-at first there were rebellions
-then the Manchus slowly earned respect
-irrigation and fertilizer increased