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Ancient Japan
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Ancient Japan

Ancient Japan has made unique contributions to world culture which include the Shinto religion and its architecture, distinctive art objects such as haniwa figurines, the oldest pottery vessels in the world, the largest wooden buildings anywhere...
Medieval Japan
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Medieval Japan

The medieval period of Japan is considered by most historians to stretch from 1185 to 1603 CE. Stand out features of the period include the replacement of the aristocracy by the samurai class as the most powerful social group, the establishment...
Emperor of Japan
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Emperor of Japan

The emperor of Japan is a position as the head of state which traditionally dates back to the 7th century BCE and the legendary figure of Emperor Jimmu (r. 660-585 BCE). Emperors came to be known as the Tenno or ‘heavenly sovereign&rsquo...
Ancient History Encyclopedia in Japan
Article by James Blake Wiener

Ancient History Encyclopedia in Japan

The “Ancient Japan” initiative at Ancient History Encyclopedia arose as there is a dearth of open access and digitally curated information concerning early Japanese history available online and in English. East and Southeast Asia...
The Horse-rider Theory in Ancient Japan
Article by Mark Cartwright

The Horse-rider Theory in Ancient Japan

The 'horse-rider theory' is a controversial proposal that Japan was conquered around the 4th or 5th century CE by a culture from northern Asia to whom the horse was especially important. Although archaeological evidence and genetics...
Buddhism in Ancient Japan
Article by Mark Cartwright

Buddhism in Ancient Japan

Buddhism was introduced to ancient Japan via Korea in the 6th century CE with various sects following in subsequent centuries via China. It was readily accepted by both the elite and ordinary populace because it confirmed the political and...
Food & Agriculture in Ancient Japan
Article by Mark Cartwright

Food & Agriculture in Ancient Japan

The diet of ancient Japan was heavily influenced by its geography as an archipelago, foodstuffs and eating habits imported from mainland Asia, religious beliefs, and an appreciation for the aesthetic appearance of dishes, not just the taste...
Ghosts in Ancient Japan
Article by Mark Cartwright

Ghosts in Ancient Japan

Ghosts (obake or yurei) appear in ancient Japanese folklore and literature, usually in moral tales designed to both warn and entertain but they were also an important element of ancestor worship. If the deceased members of a family were not...
Tea in Ancient China & Japan
Article by Mark Cartwright

Tea in Ancient China & Japan

Tea, still probably the world’s most popular prepared beverage, was first drunk by Chinese monks to aid meditation and those who valued its medicinal qualities, but it quickly grew in popularity, spreading to other East Asian cultures...
Insei: Cloistered Government in Ancient Japan
Article by Mark Cartwright

Insei: Cloistered Government in Ancient Japan

Insei or 'cloistered government' describes the strategy of emperors during the late Heian Period (794-1185 CE) in ancient Japan where they abdicated in favour of a chosen heir yet still ruled in some capacity, typically after retiring...