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The Pursuit of Power in Modern Japan 1825–1995$
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Chushichi Tsuzuki

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205890

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205890.001.0001

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Introduction: Land, People, and their Shaping by History

Introduction: Land, People, and their Shaping by History

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction: Land, People, and their Shaping by History
Source:
The Pursuit of Power in Modern Japan 1825–1995
Author(s):

CHUSHICHI TSUZUKI

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205890.003.0001

This chapter starts by introducing the insularity of Japan and the Japanese. The insular position of Japan off the mainland of Asia has been compared with the similar position of Britain off the mainland of Europe; geography has played an important role in the cultural and political formation of the island. The chapter then describes the first appearance of the term ‘Nihon’ (‘Nippon’). They were used to name of the country in an international setting. The geographical position of Japan is also shown. In addition, the origins of the Japanese and the prehistoric culture are discussed. The way the Meiji leaders adopted western civilization is also reminiscent of the way in which elements of Asian civilization, Buddhism and Confucianism among others, were introduced into Japan in the 6th century and indigenized to meet the needs of society and of the state. Other topics addressed include the emergence of the centralized Imperial state and the war against the Hayato and Emishi, Heijokyo and Heiankyo, the birth of the samurai and the Kamakura Bakufu, the Muromachi Bakufu, and the first contact with the West and the reunification of the country.

Keywords:   Japan, Japanese, Meiji, western civilization, Hayato, Emishi, Heijokyo, Heiankyo, Kamakura Bakufu, samurai

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