China's Effect on Korea and Japan

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China was the powerhouse of the Asian world. Under the Tang and Song dynasties, the era was regarded as the “Golden Age” of China. The far superior power influenced both Korea and Japan. Both economically and politically China impacted Korean and Japanese culture differently, however there were significant similarities that tied the Asias together.

China's political structure made its way into Korea and Japan. While Chinese conquests to Korea spread bureaucracy, Japan voluntarily borrowed the culture. Originally, Korea resisted Chinese advances, but to face a common enemy the countries united, and Korea became part of the expanding world of Chinese culture. This led to the adoption of Confucianism and ultimately the negative restraints on women. Their rulers, wang, were named for the Chinese term for king. The unified law code and civil service exams were adopted, as well as bureaucracy and kowtow, kneeling and touching the forehead to the ground in worship or submission as part of Chinese custom. Contrary to Korea, Japan voluntarily appropriated customs and ideas from China. While Chinese Buddhist schools took root in Japan, their warriors were more important to them than Chinese emphasis on intellectual achievement. A Japanese prince created a constitution based on Confucian principles. Like Korea, the Japanese tried to copy Chinese bureaucracy, but they were unsuccessful. The court and emperor's authority was usurped by competing aristocratic families. Japan did adopt Chinese-style court rituals, calendars, taxation systems, law codes, government ministries, and provincial administration.

Economically, Japan and Korea were influenced by China. Japan contacted and traded with China, connecting themselves to Silk Roads. They were similar to the Tang dynasty were women inherited property and married frequently. Japan adapted Chinese taxation, administration, and imported goods. Because Japan was a chain of islands, there was much less direct contact with...
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