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The Yamato Empire

Nara Empire

Yamato Empire
The Yamato period

(better known as the

Kofun period) is the
period of Japanese
history when the
Japanese Imperial
court ruled from
modern day Nara
prefecture, then
known as Yamato

Yamato Empire
While conventionally

assigned to the period circa

250 - 710 CE, the actual
start of Yamato rule is
disputed. The court's
supremacy was challenged
throughout the period from
Bizen and Bitchu provinces
in what is now known as
Okayama prefecture, and it
was only into the 6th
century CE that the Yamato
clans could be said to have
any major advantage over
their neighbouring clans.

Yamato Empire
Hence, Japanese

archaeologists (and
textbooks) tend to prefer
the less deterministic
term Kofun period, which
reflects the diagnostic
archaeological feature,
the large, often keyhole
shaped burial mounds
(kofun) found across
mainland Japan.

Yamato Empire
The Yamato court's

supremacy was
challenged during the
Kofun period by other
polities centered in
various parts of
Japan. At least it is
certain that Yamato
clans had major
advantages over their
neighbouring clans at
the 6th century.

Yamato Empire
The Kofun period was a critical stage in Japan's

evolution toward a more cohesive and recognized

state. This society was most developed in the Kansai
Region and the easternmost part of the Inland Sea.
Japan's rulers of the time even petitioned the
Chinese court for confirmation of royal titles. The
Yamato polity, which emerged by the late 5th
century, was distinguished by powerful great clans or
extended families, including their dependants. Each
clan was headed by a patriarch who performed
sacred rites to the clan's kami to ensure the longterm welfare of the clan. Clan members were the
aristocracy, and the kingly line that controlled the
Yamato court was at its pinnacle. The Kofun period of
Japanese culture is also sometimes called the Yamato
period by some Western scholars, since this local

Yamato Empire
The Asuka period ( Asuka-jidai?) is generally

defined as from 538710. The arrival of Buddhism is

utilized to mark a change in Japanese society and
affected the Yamato government.
The Yamato state evolved much during the Asuka

period, which is named after the Asuka region, south

of modern Nara, the site of numerous temporary
imperial capitals established during the period. The
Asuka period is known for its significant artistic,
social, and political transformations, which had their
origins in the late Kofun period

Nara Empire
The Nara period ( Nara jidai?) of the

history of Japan covers the years from AD 710 to

794.[1] Empress Gemmei established the capital
of Heij-ky (present-day Nara). Except for a fiveyear period (740745), when the capital was
briefly moved again, it remained the capital of
Japanese civilization until Emperor Kammu
established a new capital, Nagaoka-ky, in 784,
before moving to Heian-ky, or Kyoto, a decade
later in 794.
Most of Japanese society during this period was

agricultural in nature and centered on villages.

Most of the villagers followed a religion based on
the worship of natural and ancestral spirits called

Nara Empire
The capital at Nara was

modeled after Chang'an,

the capital city of Tang
China.[2] In many other
ways, the Japanese upper
classes patterned
themselves after the
Chinese, including
adopting Chinese written
characters (Japanese:
kanji), fashion, and the
religion of Buddhism.

Nara Empire
Some of Japan's literary

monuments were written

during the Nara period,
including the Kojiki and
Nihon Shoki, the first
national histories, compiled
in 712 and 720 respectively;
the Man'ysh, an anthology
of poems; and the Kaifs,
an anthology written in
Chinese by Japanese
emperors and princes

Nara Empire
Another major cultural development

of the era was the permanent

establishment of Buddhism.
Buddhism was introduced by Baekje
in the sixth century, but had a mixed
reception until the Nara period, when
it was heartily embraced by Emperor
Shmu. Shmu and his Fujiwara
consort were fervent Buddhists and
actively promoted the spread of
Buddhism, making it the "guardian
of the state" and a way of
strengthening Japanese institutions.

Nara Empire
During Shmu's reign, the Tdai-ji (literally

Eastern Great Temple) was built, and within it

was placed the Great Buddha Daibutsu; a
sixteen-metre-high, gilt-bronze statue. This
Buddha was identified with the Sun Goddess,
and a gradual syncretism of Buddhism and
Shinto ensued. Shmu declared himself the
"Servant of the Three Treasures" of
Buddhism: the Buddha, the law or teachings
of Buddhism, and the Buddhist community.
The central government also established

temples called kokubunji in the provinces.

The Tdai-ji was the kokubunji of Yamato
Province (present-day Nara Prefecture)

Reported by:
Maria Katrina B. Cambalisa
Mark Angelo Dinamarca
Adrian Castromero
Dionnie Paul Magayanes
Dionnie Jozz Magayanes
Kristine Salazar