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Misc. Japanese Hist.

Misc. Japanese History

TermDefinition
Sei Shonagon The author of Pillowbook. She was a noblewoman and lived the highly artificial life of the aristocracy. Her book is a very frank and witty account of the lives of the nobility, with all its rituals over things such as courtship, etc.
Lady Murasaki Author of The Tale of Genji A very large work.
Insei System, Cloistered Emperor It began with Go-Shirakawa upon his retirement in 1086. The true ruler was not the reigning emperor. The retired emperor would influence the current emperor. By retiring, they were freed of ceremonial duties.
Emperor Shirakawa 1053-1129 AD, r. 1072-86. The first cloistered emperor, controlling his son Horikawa, grandson Toba, and great grandson Sutoku until his death in 1129. Succeeded by Toba as the cloistered emperor.
Emperor Horikawa r. 1086-1107, son of Go-Shirakawa, father of Toba.
Emperor Toba r. 1107-23, d. 1156. Go-Shirakawa's grandson, he became the next cloistered emperor.
Myo "Named estates" where the cultivator were the hereditary cultivators in exchange for no longer owning the land. They paid rent and could allow the owner to worry about taxes.
Taira Clan Descended from Emperor Kammu. The result of pruning extra imperial princes. Taira fought on both sides of the Hogen Incident of 1156 and later lose to the Minamoto in the Heiji Incident of 1159.
Minamoto Clan Descended from Emperor Seiwa. The result of pruning extra imperial princes. Minamoto fought on both sides of the Hogen Incident of 1156 and later win against the Taira in the Heiji Incident of 1159.
Hogen Incident Middle of 1156. Cloistered Emperor Toba dies in 1156. Dispute between retired Sutoku and Go-Shirakawa, as Sutoku is not the In for Go-Shirakawa. Go-Shirakawa wins. Fujiwara, Taira, and Minamoto were all divided in this conflict.
Heiji Incident Early 1159. Taira vs Minamoto conflict. Taira Kiyomori wins. Notable because the leaders of each side fought for Go-Shirakawa previously. Seen as a rebellion by Minamoto and allies.
Genpei War 1180-5. Taira Kiyomori abolishes the Insei system and Go-Shirakawa loses power. Kiyomori's 2-year old grandson Antoku takes the throne, "robbing" Go-Shirakawa's son Mochihito of the throne. Taira vs Minamoto. Minamoto win.
Taira Kiyomori b. 1119, d. 1181 Leader of the Taira and important figure during the Hogen Incident (1159) and afterwards. Rises to become the chancellor of Japan, ousts Go-Shirakawa, and abolishes Insei system. Seen as a villain.
Kamo no Chomei 1153-1216 Natural disasters, the hardships of life, and the destructive civil wars lead to Kamo to abandon everything. Living in a modest hut to escape desire but fails when he realizes he still has desires.
Minamoto Yoritomo 1147-1199 13-year old clan head in 1160 after his father Yoshitomo dies. Marriage-alliance with the Hojo allows Minamoto to rebuild power and ultimately defeat the Taira in 1185. Grows jealous of his brother Yoshitune.
Shogun The generalissimo, the head of the military. Minamoto Yoritomo became the shogun in 1192.
Shugo Military governor. Central government weakens because the shugo are appointed by the shogun and thus owe their position to the shogun and not the emperor or the court.
Jito Civil governor. Tax collectors on shoen. Appointed by the shogun and answered to him, rather than the shoen's authorities.
Hojo Clan Allies of the Minamoto through the marriage (1179) of Minamoto Yoritomo and Hojo Masako, daughter of Hojo head Tokimasa. Grows powerful as Minamoto allies and takes control as the shogunal regents, the shikken. Later defends against the Mongols.
Shikken Regents for the shogun. Established after Yoritomo's death to rule for his sons but becomes more powerful much like the Fujiwara regents. While the Hojo clan head was initially also regent, the positions were split, with the clan head in charge.
Jokyuu War 1221. The end of Yoritomo's line in 1219 with the death of Sanetomo left no shogun. Only the Emperor could appoint a new shogun and the Hojo were seen as a threat. When the Hojo tried to force the emperor, they were declared rebels but were victorious.
Mongol Invasions 1274 and 1281. Desperate defense by the Japanese, who were not entirely prepared and ill-suited to fight the Mongol invasion and their Chinese/Korean auxiliaries. Ultimately driven away by a fierce storm both times.
Go-Daigo 1288-1339. Weird succession jumping between the family lines of two brothers leads to Go-Daigo taking the throne as an adult rather than child. A dreamer, wants to restore direct imperial rule; no bakufu, no In, no adult regents. Kenmu Restoration.
Kenmu Restoration Go-Daigo tries to restore direct imperial rule but flees before the forces of the Kamakura Bakufu. Bakufu general Ashikaga Takauji sides with him and they destroy the Kamakura bakufu.
Kamakura Bakufu 1192-1333 Began with the Minamoto but Hojo shikken quickly became the true power holders. They defended against the Mongol invasions of 1274 and 1281 but were destroyed when their general Ashikaga Takauji turns on them.
Shiki Right-to-income from a piece of land, often a shoen. Used and exchanged to secure shoen and protect it from the government.
Masako Yoritomo's wife, eldest child of the Hojo clan leader. Notably, she joined her husband in his opposition to the Taira and held power after his death.
Pure Land Buddhism Founded by Honen's (1133-1212) disciples. A universal sort of Buddhism. You do not need to become a monk or nun, you merely need to recite the nenbutsu once. Reciting more is just being thankful. Emphasis on right action.
True Pure Land Buddhism Founded by Shinran's (1173-1262) disciples, himself a disciple of Honen. Answers some issues in Pure Land, such as temple leader succession. It should be hereditary. Shinran prioritizes saving those who need salvation the most, such as criminals.
Zen Buddhism Zen isn't gaining knowledge of something new but being aware of something that's always been there. It is gaining insight that the universe and all are one, rather than many small separate pieces. Emphasis on breaking out of traditional thinking.
Eisai and Rinzai Zen Eisai (1141-1215) was a contemporary of Honen, having visited China in 1168 and returning at a later date. Rinzai Zen is 'shock therapy' Zen, believe that enlightenment is sudden and can be stimulated purposely. Likes emphasizing koans.
Dogen and Soto Zen Dogen (1200-1253) Emphasis on meditation and gradual enlightenment. Not something sought after consciously but gained gradually.
Nichiren and the Lotus Sutra Nichiren (1222-1282) Tried to find true Buddhism, thinks Saicho (Tendai) was ultimately right but because it is now the time of mappo, it needs to be simplified to be easier for everyone.
Honen 1133-1212. Orphaned at 8 and went to Mt Hiei at 12. Successful but unambitious, he leaves in 1173, finding temple politics bothersome. His teachings emphasis reliance on the Amida Buddha rather than oneself, to trust yourself to the Buddha.
Shinran 1173-1262 Exiled along with Honen in 1207. He married despite his vow of celibacy because it brought him closer with the common folk. Believe that the wicked, cruel, and bad people needed salvation the most.
Kukai (774-835) Founded Shingon buddhism.
Shingon Founded by Kukai from his studies of esoteric Buddhims in China. With its public teachings constrained by limited knowledge and its esoteric teachings secret, it was favored by the aristocracy. Favored for symbolism and artistic aspects. Slightly elitist.
Saicho (762-822) Founded Tendai Buddhism. Studied Buddhism in China, turning the tientai sect into the tendai sect in Japan.
Tendai Founded by Saicho after studying in China. Emphasizes faith in the Amida Buddha and the Lotus sutra. Regular life can bring one closer to Buddhahood if mediated and reflected on. Emphasizes equality, everyone can achieve buddhahood.
Created by: Argas