Japan Criticism

This essay has a total of 617 words and 3 pages.


In the year 710, the first permanent Japanese capital was established in Nara, a city
modelled after the Chinese capital. Large Buddhist monasteries were built in the new
capital. The monasteries quickly gained such strong political influence that, in order to
protect the position of the emperor and central government, the capital was moved to
Nagaoka in 784, and finally to Heian (Kyoto) in 794 where it should remain for over one
thousand years.

One characteristic of the Nara and Heian periods is a gradual decline of Chinese
influence, which, nevertheless, remained strong. Many of the imported ideas were gradually
"Japanized". In order to meet particular Japanese needs, several governmental offices were
established in addition to the government system, which was copied after the Chinese
model, for example. In the arts too, native Japanese movements became increasingly
popular. The development of the Kana syllables made the creation of actual Japanese
literature possible. Several new Buddhist sects that were imported from China during the
Heian period, were also "Japanized".

Among the worst failures of the Taika reforms were the land and taxation reforms: High
taxes resulted in the impoverishment of many farmers who then had to sell their properties
and became tenants of larger landowners. Furthermore, many aristocrats and the Buddhist
monasteries succeeded in achieving tax immunity. As a result, the state income decreased,
and over the centuries, the political power steadily shifted from the central government
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