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The Worldview of Japan prior to the Perry Expedition (1853)

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Ryu, Hye Jin
Term Paper, AP European History Class, October 2008

Table of Contents
I. Introduction
II. Cultural/ ideological worldview
II.1 Brief History and the Significance of the Period before the Perry Expedition
III. Factors that affected the worldview of Japan
III.1 Religion
III.1.1 Shinto
III.1.2 Buddhism
III.1.3 Confucianism
III.1.4 Daoism (Taoism)
III.2 Geography and Climate
III.3 Foreign Influence
III.3.1 Chinese Influence
III.3.2 Korean Influence
III.3.3 European Influence
III.4 The Sakoku Policy
IV. Geographical Definition of Worldview
IV.1 prior to the 1500s
IV.2 1500s ~1800s
V. Conclusion

I. Introduction
            The word "worldview" is a translation of the German term, Weltanschauung. (1) The concept of worldview refers to the way individuals interpret the world as well as how they interact with the world. (2) The worldview in a wider sense can also mean the culture, arts, social and governmental system and the religion that helped form the philosophy, way of thinking of an individual. Each nation or each group of people has different worldviews due to the different historical background, philosophical, religious and cultural developments it has had. Therefore, understanding the worldview of a nation requires an understanding of its history and the society in general.
            Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun, is an archipelago with 3000 islands, mostly volcanic. (3) A nation located in the far east of Asia, Japan has now emerged as the second largest economy of the world by nominal GDP. (4) Its rapid and successful economic and technological development has empowered it to wield considerable influence in the international society despite its past defeat in the Second World War. A nation with unique culture, Japan also has a distinct worldview, different from that of other nations. Many factors formed the worldview of Japan including religion, philosophy, geography, topography, economy and foreign influences from China, Korea and Europe.
I express my gratitude to the Kobe City Museum and Mr. Tadayoshi Miyoshi for giving me permission to include the images of ancient maps in section IV.1 and IV.2

II. Cultural/ ideological Worldview

II.1 Brief History and the Significance of the Period before the Perry Expedition (1853)
            A unique Japanese worldview also existed after the Perry Expeditions. However, the period before the Perry Expedition has a special significance in the history of Japan and the development of the worldview of Japan: it was a period before the opening of trade barriers after years of isolationist and maritime restriction policy called the "Sakoku," and thus during this period, a "Japanization" of culture and foreign ideas took place forming a special worldview unique to the Japanese.
            Before the Asuka period (538-710), Japan was almost isolated from foreign influence due to its geographical conditions. Thus the Japanese during the Jomon (4000-400 B.C.) and Kofun (250-538) periods, engaged in primitive activities including hunting and fishing (5). However, during the Asuka period, foreign influence started to flow in: in 552, Buddhism was introduced and the theories of Confucianism was spread, which are one of the most significant events in history as the Japanese philosophy and worldview is affected heavily by such religions.
            When in the year 794, the imperial capital was moved to Heiankyo, or modern day Kyoto, the Heian period (794-1185) starts where a unique Japanese culture started to develop as the imported ideas from China and Korea were gradually "Japanized." With the introduction of kana, the general term used for the Japanese scripts Hiragana and Katakana, Japanese literature boomed and several new literary genres such as novel and narrative monogatari were established (6). This flourishing of Japanese culture during the Heian period built on the foreign influence to create a more complex and ¡°Japanese¡± ideology about the world and the human lives.
            During the Kamakura period (1185-1333), Zen Buddhism was introduced from China, further developing Buddhist ideology in Japan (7). Then in the Muromachi period (1338-1573) starting from 1378, good trading relations were established with Ming Dynasty of China thus introducing more and more Chinese ideology and philosophy to Japan.
            A new foreign influence started to flow into Japan from 1542 when the first Portuguese traders and Jesuit missionaries arrived in Kyushu in 1542, introducing firearms and Christianity to Japan (8). Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the general who took power during the 1580s, suppressed Christianity through expelling Christian missionaries. This restriction on the influx of foreign ideology that could disturb the traditional social hierarchy of Japan started to strengthen and finally during the Edo period, in 1633, Shogun Iemitsu banned traveling abroad and isolated Japan from the outside world (9). All foreign books were banned and only limited trade relations remained with China, Korea and the Netherlands. This isolation caused the burgeoning of popular culture in Japan and new governmental structures were developed out of the original Chinese model. The period of isolation thus caused the development of a distinctive Japanese culture.
            Therefore, the period before the Perry Expeditions was the time where a unique Japanese way of living, culture and worldview could develop and consequently, this specific time frame has a significance that should be discussed in more depth.

III. Factors that affected the worldview of Japan

III.1 Religion
            One of the most important aspects that affected the current worldview of Japan is religion. The Japanese religion, which tends to be syncretic with various religions from other countries such as China and Korea combined with the native religion, affected the formation of Japanese worldview which is eclectic, unlike the Western worldview.
            While the Westerners view religion as being exclusive and defining one¡¯s identity, religion in Japanese society is not separated from science or any other aspects of life; the Japanese takes a pragmatic approach to problem solving, meaning the technique or means used to achieve a goal is less important than the result itself (10). For example, a Japanese person who is ill might simultaneously seek help from a medical doctor, Chinese herbal tradition and visit a shrine. Different beliefs about the causation of the illness form the basis of the three different actions and while Westerners see the three causations as exclusive, the Japanese can hold all three beliefs at the same time without a discord (11). Similarly, although a student studying for college entrance exam knows that hardworking is the key to success, he or she will also visit a Shinto shrine to ask for the assistance of the spiritual world to ensure success. In addition, due to the syncretic nature of Japanese religion, couples hold weddings at Christian churches while funerals are held at Buddhist temples, proving how religion is not exclusive from each other or human lives but is a way of living.
            Several traditions formed the roots of the Japanese worldview including Shinto, Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism and Christianity. Shinto provided the base while Confucianism provided the concepts of social hierarchy, loyalty and the mandate of heaven, or the belief that the emperor is the son of heaven, thus having the right to rule. Daoism gave order and sanction to the Shinto system of government while Buddhism introduced advanced culture including art and architecture to incorporate them in public life. Finally, Christianity introduced Western ideas about social justice and reform.

III.1.1 Shinto
            Shinto literally means the "way of gods," referring to the assorted beliefs and practices indigenous to Japan that existed before the introduction of Buddhism in Japan (12). The Shinto worldview is pantheistic: the universe is created and controlled by the kami, the spirits or gods with varying powers. Shinto puts its emphasis on the living, and on the present life, not on the afterlife. Shinto is more concerned about this life, and so it puts an emphasis on purification to get rid of the pollutants individuals go into contact with, such as death (13). Moreover, some of the kamis are guardians of villages, symbolizing the unity of human community and the mediator of the natural and supernatural worlds (14).
            Shinto was influenced heavily by the influx of Chinese philosophies and religions including Confucianism and Buddhism. Confucianism brought into Shinto the concept of venerating ancestors while Buddhism introduced new philosophical thinking and religious rites (15). Due to the popularity of Chinese ideologies, Shinto became less important for more than a thousand years. However, Shinto began to re-emerge through the influence of neo-Confucianism developed in the seventeenth century. Moreover, with the emerging nationalism during the late Tokugawa period, or the Edo period, in the 1860s, Shinto became reformed to wield great influence on the lives of the Japanese people once again.
            Therefore, the Shinto, native religion of Japan, influenced the Japanese worldview by introducing the ideas of spirits, both evil and good, that interact with the human world.

III.1.2 Buddhism
            During the sixth century AD, Buddhism was introduced from China and Korea, providing an extremely important basis of Japanese worldview: the concept of rebirth, karma and unity of experience (16). The concept of rebirth introduced an entirely new way of thinking to the Shinto ideas which did not delve deep into life after death. Karmatic causation refers to the belief that any action causes another action as a consequence either in this life or the life after rebirth (17).
            In addition, Zen Buddhism spread during the Kamakura period, promoted the attainment of enlightenment through meditation and austere lifestyle had a great impact on forming the Japanese aesthetics and art. The Wabi-sabi, the comprehensive Japanese worldview or aesthetic system was developed with the influence of Zen Buddhism (18). For example, Zen artists believed that the job of the artist is to portray the eternal qualities of the object and thus believed that the artist must have a deeper understanding of the inner qualities of aesthetic object. Wabi-Sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete, which parallels with the Zen belief that all things are impermanent, imperfect and incomplete (19). Zen Buddhism acknowledges the imperfect nature of the universe and finds the true meaning of objects within such unpretentious appearances. The Wabi-sabi, thus, is characterized by the irregular, earthly, unpretentious and simple styles. Therefore Zen Buddhism developed the Japanese art by emphasizing spiritual mastery over technical mastery and also affected the Japanese worldview by emphasizing the importance of spiritual understanding of the world.

III.1.3 Confucianism
            Confucianism deeply influenced the Japanese thought especially in social and familial relationships. The governmental system of Japan was heavily affected by the introduction of Confucianism which believed that a government should be moral, bureaucratic in form and benevolent towards the ruled (20). Confucianism also formed the basis of Japanese beliefs about social hierarchy. Confucius believed that each person should act according to his or her status to live harmoniously in the society. This belief was well accepted by Japan as it could be useful in stabilizing the social order in Japan with the emperor, feudal lords, warriors and the peasants all placed in a rigid social structure. Moreover, Confucianism introduced the idea of social responsibility and human obligations such as filial piety.

III.1.4 Daoism (Taoism)
            Daoism influenced the Japanese by emphasizing harmony with nature and leading a simple life. In addition to the Daoist philosophy that was introduced such as the praise of emptiness, a number of cultural aspects were also introduced in Japan. The lunar calendar, the feng shui, or the practice of arranging objects, houses and burial sites according to a special rule (geomancy), and folk medicine treatments were all originated from Daoism and had a great effect in the Japanese society (21).

III.2 Geography and Climate
            Japan, as an archipelago, has geographical features that affected the formation of Japanese worldview: interpreting nature as a living spirit, or deity that interacts with the human world.
            Most of Japan is forested and mountainous with generally steep elevations making it unsuitable for agricultural use. Moreover, located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, at the junction of three tectonic plates, Japan is subject to occasional volcanic activity. Earthquakes and tsunamis occur several times each century such as the Chuetsu earthquake in 2004 and the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995 (22). In addition, during the rainy season, typhoons strike the country every summer.
            Due to frequent natural disasters they experienced, the Japanese naturally feared and worshipped nature as a supernatural force. "In ancient Japan, people believed that natural landscapes were created and inhabited by these Kami, and that the will of these Kami controlled the cultural domain" (23). Such belief about the existence of spirits in nature could be easily seen in the Shinto gods; Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, Fujin, the god of the wind, Raijin, the god of thunder and lightening, Ryujin, the god of the sea, Sukuna-Biko-Na, the god of rain, and Susanoo-no-Mikoto, the god of storms all represent the Japanese belief of spirituality in nature. In addition, such belief developed into a huge part of the Japanese culture and belief system, initiating numerous festivals, or matsuri, including the Osaka Tenjin matsuri, Shichigosan, and Gion Matsuri. Each of these festivals is held to ask for the help of spirits in nature or to defeat nefarious spirits that could harm people.
            Moreover, the Japanese traditionally believes that such deities in nature protect people and the country from harmful forces. Powerful typhoons striking each year caused the ancient Japanese to believe it as a deity to be worshipped and thus, when the Mongolian invasion failed due to a storm in 1274 and 1281, the Japanese interpreted this storm as "Kamikaze," or the "Divine Wind," believing that it was the divine force of nature that protected the nation from the invaders.
            Therefore, the traditional Japanese worldview of worshipping nature and praying to avoid disasters was influenced by the harsh geographical features and natural environment of the country.

III.3 Foreign Influence
            A culture can be depicted with a combination of A and B: A being the innate quality or culture of a nation and B being the aspect imported from foreign nations. A country might have a stronger "A" while others could have a stronger "B" in the development of their culture (24). Japan, however, has both aspects almost equal, enabling some scholars to call Japan a dualistic or bicultural nation. Therefore, Japan has been influenced by other countries in Asia and Europe quite heavily and this exposure facilitated the development of Japanese worldview.

III.3.1 Chinese Influence
            The Chinese and Japanese civilizations had trade relationships since 200 A.D. and through such commercial activities, Chinese culture flowed into Japan, influencing their cultural and philosophical development.
            The political influence of China was fundamental in forming the Japanese government. The Japanese government was modeled after the Confucian system of government including the Japanese Imperial court and the titles, ranks and functions of its bureaucracy. The Taika Reforms which established a new government and administrative system was realized in 646 AD. (25) In addition, due to the increasing influence of Buddhist monasteries during the Kamakura period from 1186 to 1333, a new social class grew.
            "Buddhist monasteries in and around the city had large holdings and they established their own protective forces of "warrior monks" proficient in martial arts. The Court began to rely on favorable provincial clans as body guards and military police within the capital. The samurai, meaning "one who serves the Emperor" derived from this practice" (26).
            The samurai class thus started to emerge and by the end of the 12th century, it became one of the most influential and powerful class in Japanese society. This development of the Samurai class was important in the development of Japanese worldview because the Samurai class, which greatly supported Buddhism, especially Zen, effectively spread its philosophies in the Japanese society.
            The cultural influence of China would be mostly the influx of religions and arts. Buddhism introduced in Japan influenced the Japanese concept of life and arts. During the Muromachi period from 1378 to the 1570s, art of all kinds, architecture, literature, no-drama, comedy, poetry, the tea ceremony, landscape gardening and flower arranging (Ikebana) all flourished with the influence of Chinese culture combined with the Japanese indigenous culture, forming the basis of Japanese way of thinking and worldview.

III.3.2 Korean Influence
            Korea, the neighboring country of Japan, influenced Japan due to its proximity and well established trade between the two nations.
            King Seong of Baekjae Kingdom in the South western part of the Korean Peninsula introduced Buddhism to Japan with several artworks and figurines. Moreover, emperor Kimmei requested Baekjae for skilled men in divination, calendar making, medicine and literature.
            Japanese architecture during the Asuka period was primarily influenced by the Baekjae Kingdom and Japanese nobility imported Korean artisans and artists to build palaces and temples. In 601 AD, Prince Shotoku built Horyu-ji with the employed workers from Baekjae and consequently, the wooden pagodas and the Golden Halls of Horyu-ji represent 7th century Baekjae architectural style. In addition, the Buddhist sculpture, "Kudara Kannon," which literarily means "Baekjae Kuanyin" represents the Baekjae art style with the openwork crown and the lotus pedestal design shown in the sculpture.

            In addition to architecture, traditional Japanese music was greatly influenced by Korean music. New instruments developed in China and Korea was introduced to Japan through the trade with the Korean Peninsula and was used at the imperial court of Nara after being refined to suit Japanese tastes. This introduction of new musical instruments provoked the emergence of a new performance genre, the gigaku, or the elegant entertainment (28). Gigaku was greatly affected by the Korean kiak and instruments like kokyu, biwa and koto were developed from the haegeum, bipa and kayageum respectively.
            Therefore, music, religion and art, which form a fundamental part in the worldview of a nation, in Japan were influenced by Korea.

III.3.3 European Influence
            Although the European influence was present quite late compared to the influence of other Asian countries such as Korea and China, it still was important in the formation of Japanese worldview.
            The Portuguese arrived at Kyushu in 1543, the Spanish in 1578, and the Dutch in 1609 (29). With the increased contact with European civilization, Japanese interest in the European civilization grew. New products were introduced such as firearms, fabrics, glassware, clocks, tobacco and were traded for Japanese resources such as gold and silver (30). With the increased trade, the social hierarchy was affected, forming a wealthy daimyo, or landlord class, thus forming the social system of Japan during the Edo period.
            In addition to the economic and social effects of European contact, the trade with the Western civilization caused the spread of Christianity. Christianity was spread primarily by the Jesuits. In 1549, Saint Francis Xavier arrived in Kagoshima, converting many daimyos and merchants who wished to have a better trade relationships with the Europeans (31). Kyoto and Nagasaki also became major areas of missionary activities. However, the spread of Christianity was stopped by the Tokugawa bakufu in the early 1600s. With the introduction of Christian ideology, discontented Christian samurais and peasants rebelled against the bakufu in the Shimabara Rebellion of 1637-38 and thus the Tokugawa government, in order to solidify their power and stabilize the social structure, started to increase restrictions against trade with the Europeans. The Portuguese were banned from entering and the Dutch were restricted to trade in Nagasaki only.
            Although the influence of the European civilization was halted due to the government policy, its impact on Japanese philosophy and religion was quite great: the idea of social justice, equality and reform started to spread among the samurais of the Edo era.

III.4 The Sakoku Policy
            While the Japanization of foreign influence happened during the Heian period, another such movement took place during the Sakoku period, or the period of isolation from 1633 to 1854. During this period, some final unique Japanese developments of culture took place before the country became open to Western influences after the Convention of Kanagawa.
            Sakoku, literarily meaning the closing of the country, applied strict regulations to commerce and foreign relations (32). The only European influence permitted during this period was the Dutch factory at Dejima in Nagasaki. Five different countries traded with Japan through four gateways: the Ainus at Hokkaido, Korea (Joseon Dynasty) at Tsushima, Dutch East India Company and China at Nagasaki and Kingdom of Ryukyu at Satsuma (33).
            The Sakoku was imposed by the shogunate to remove the influence of especially Spain and Portugal (34). The shogunate feared the religious and colonial influence of Spain and Portugal would threaten the stability of the shogunate and disturb the peace of the nation. With the rapidly rising number of converts in southern part of Japan, the emperor strengthened his belief that Japan would become one of many colonial possessions of Spain and Portugal. Protestant Dutch and England reinforced this view through alleging the Spanish and Portuguese of dominating the culture of Japan. Finally, during the Shimabara Rebellion, the shogunate accused the missionaries of instigating the rebellion and expelled them from the country. From then on, all foreign interactions were strictly regulated by the shogunate and the transfer of ideology was greatly hampered. Although the Dutch were allowed to trade, they had to promise the Japanese government to only trade commercial goods and not send any missionaries. Therefore, the development of Rangaku, or Dutch studies, which was the way how the Japanese gained knowledge of Western technology and medicine, was also hindered. This isolation caused the burgeoning of popular culture in Japan, forming new art forms such as the kabuki and ukiyo-e. Neo-Confucianism was also developed which stressed the importance of morals, education and hierarchical order in the government which was fundamental in the Edo society while Shinto and Confucian elements were combined to develop a new nationalist school of teaching.
            While unique Japanese culture and worldview was being formed, many Western powers such as Russia, French and the United States attempted to open Japan to trade. Although most of such efforts were unsuccessful, in 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry entered with four warships and demanded the opening of Japan to trade. The following year, Perry returned and forced the Shogun to sign the Treaty of Peace and Amity at the Convention of Kanagawa, which established a formal diplomatic relations between the United States and Japan, thus ending the long period of Sakoku (35).
            The end of the Sakoku policy caused the rapid influx of western ideology previously banned from entering Japan and thus the traditional Japanese worldview was critically influenced. Science and technology entered with the new philosophies of the West and inspired many Japanese scholars. The development of traditional "Japanese worldview" thus stops and a new worldview combining new ideas starts to form.

IV. Geographical Worldview
            Although the definition of worldview given in part II of the paper is the generally accepted definition of worldview, there could be another definition of worldview: the geographical boundaries of the world a country was aware of.
            Japan, a geographically isolated country went through different phases of its development of geographical worldview and added on to their traditional boundaries of the world, the newly learnt countries outside of the East Asian region.

IV.1 Prior to the 1500s
            Prior to the 1500s, the parts of the world known to the Japanese were limited: due to the long established trading relationships with Korea, China and India, the Japanese world map was focused and limited to Asia. The first Chinese contact with the Japanese happened as early as in the Yayoi period, 300 BC - 250 AD, and the Japanese were aware of the existence of China from then (36). Then, during the Yamato period, or the Asuka period from 538 AD to about 710 AD, Chinese and Korean influence started to enter Japan and affect its agricultural development (37). The trade among three countries started to develop and the Japanese worldview was widened to the East Asian region. Buddhism started to spread to Japan from the Korean peninsula during the Asuka period and thus the Japanese became aware of India, west of what they originally knew. Although drawn in 1704, the Uchiwagata bukkyo-kei sekaizu-Uchiwa Buddhism World Map represents this traditional worldview of the Japanese: the world is composed of the Buddhist nations, China, India, Korea and Japan and no European nations are drawn (38).
            The Japanese view before the 1500s was similar or affected heavily by the Chinese ideology called Chu-ka sisou - the belief that China is the center of the world and maps drawn in China and Korea with China at the center of the universe and Korea, Japan and India on the periphery of China, was readily accepted and used by the Japanese (39).

            Japan came into contact with European civilization indirectly through trade with China. European inventions, books, and ideology entered Japan from China, widening the Worldview of Japan. However, still, the knowledge of the Europeans was limited due to the lack of direct contact and thus was considered "barbaric" or insignificant compared to China or India.

            The konitsukyourirekidaikokutonozu, made in Korea in 1402 represents the general worldview of the East Asian countries. This map was taken to Japan by Kato Kiyomasa during the war between Korea and Japan called Imjinwaeran in Korea and Bunrokunoeki in Japan. This map was accepted in Japan and was copied during the Edo period, showing how the Japanese worldview was similar to that of Korea or other East Asian countries, believing China to be the center of the world (42). Therefore, the geographical worldview of Japan prior to the 1500s was mostly limited to Asia and focused on the nearby countries from which Japan was greatly affected.

IV.2 1500s - 1800s
            The limited worldview of Japan started to expand rapidly during the1500s with the first direct contact with the European civilization. The first Europeans arrived at the end of the Muromachi period. In 1543, the Portuguese landed in southern Kyushu and initiated the Naban trade period (43). In 1587, the Spanish arrived followed by the Dutch in 1609 (44). With the initiation of direct contact and trade relations with Europe, the Japanese began to study European civilization. The worldview of Japan started to widen and the vague idea about Europe the Japanese had started to gain more depth and clarity. World maps created in Europe started to enter Japan and these maps gave the Japanese the view of the entire globe.

            The Konyobankokuzenzubyo-bu and the Chikyu-bunsoubouyugotainozu created during the Edo period are examples of new maps introduced to Japan that changed the worldview of Japan. The Konyobankokuzenzubyo-bu, created after 1602, is a world map showing the entire globe accurately. This map was originally created in China but was copied and re-created in Japan during the early Edo period. This map shows the widened worldview of Japan by representing the European countries as well as the entire globe accurately. The Chikyu-bunsoubouyugotainozu was created in 1759 and it divides the world with red horizontal lines into different climatic regions such as the tropical, temperate and polar zones.

            In addition, the Konyozenzu, created in 1674 by the Flemish Jesuit Ferdinand Verbiest also represented the widened worldview of Japan after the European contact. This map is made of 8 separate parts and on the first and the last part, astronomical and geographical information are written while on the other six parts, the world map and pictures of exotic animals are drawn (47).

            Towards the end of the Edo period, the worldview of Japan became more and more sophisticated with the development of cartography in Europe and Japan. The Fuitseru kaiteiburausekaizumosiyazu, created at the end of the Edo period represents a more accurate view of the world. The Hokkyokuchu-sin sekaichizu, created in 1837, twenty-years before the Perry expedition shows a surprisingly detailed picture of the globe viewed from the North Pole.

            Therefore, the Japanese geographical knowledge of the world expanded greatly with the Western influence starting from the 1500s and although there were minimal or no contacts with many European, African and American countries, the Japanese worldview became sophisticated indirectly through the influx of maps and books from Europe, causing Japan to be aware of the entire world by the Edo period.

V Conclusion
            Japanese worldview was not formed by a single aspect in society; it was influenced by multiple aspects of society including religion as well as geography and foreign relations.
            The cultural and ideological worldview of the Japanese is unique in that it is eclectic, not excluding separate religious aspects from each other and from human lives but incorporating all the different beliefs to find a solution for life: to live a healthy and satisfying life. It is common to see a Japanese person celebrating Shinto rituals, holding a wedding ceremony in a Christian Church and holding funerals at Buddhist temples. Moreover, the Japanese worldview emphasizes the existence of spirits in nature. With the continuous bombardment of natural disasters, deities representing the supernatural forces were created and worshipped, forming the basis of Japanese thought about the relationship between human beings and nature.
            In addition, the geographical worldview of Japan expanded with the increased contact with foreign nations. The limited worldview of Japan before the 1500s was expanded with the first European direct contact in the 1500s and rapidly developed with the new maps introduced from Europe. Therefore, by the Edo period, the Japanese became aware of the entire globe quite accurately with details.
            Knowing the comprehensive worldview of Japan requires not only the basic knowledge about Japanese culture but also requires the knowledge about its historical background, the geographical and climatic environments and the belief system of the Japanese as various aspects contributed to the forming of the Japanese worldview before the Perry expeditions which started the age of a new worldview influenced heavily by the west.


(1)      Wikipedia : "Worldview"
(2)      ibid.
(3)      "About Japan."
(4)      ibid.
(5)      "Jomon, yayoi, kofun." from Japan Guide
(6)      "Economic and Cultural Developments", Country Studies Japan
(7)      "Kamakura Period" from Japan Guide
(8)      "Provincial Wars and Foreign Contacts", Country Studies Japan
(9)      "Edo Period" from Japan Guide
(10)      "Religion and Philosophical Traditions", Country Studies Japan
(11)      ibid.
(12)      "Shinto", Country Studies Japan
(13)      ibid.
(14)      ibid.
(15)      ibid.
(16)      "Karma"
(17)      ibid.
(18)      Wikipedia : "Wabi-Sabi"
(19)      ibid.
(20)      "The Influence of Chinese Culture on Japanese Culture"
(21)      "Daoism"
(22)      "Japan Geography.", Japan Guide
(23)      M. Senda, "Japan's traditional view of nature and interpretation of landscape."
(24)      K. Sano, "Japanese mentality and behavior"
(25)      "Taika Reforms"
(26)      "The Kamakura Period." from Japan Guide
(27)      Wikipedia : "Korean Influence on Japanese Culture"
(28)      "Chinese and Korean influence - gigaku, gagaku." Japan Foundation
(29)      "Provincial Wars and Foreign Contacts", Country Studies Japan
(30)      ibid.
(31)      Wikipedia : "Sakoku"
(32)      ibid.
(33)      ibid.
(34)      ibid.
(35)      ibid.
(36)      Wikipedia : "History of Japan"
(37)      ibid.


Note : websites quoted below were visited in October-November 2008.
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3.      "Nara, Heian Periods." 1996-2008. .
4.      "Kamakura Period" 1996-2008. .
5.      "Muromachi Period" 1996-2008. .
6.      "Azuchi-Momoyama Period" 1996-2008. .
7.      "Edo Period." 1996-2008. .
8.      "Shinto" 1996-2008. .
9.      "Buddhism" 1996-2008. .
10.      Kurashige, Taku, and Rie Yamada. "Asuka." Japanese History. 2003. .
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12.      "Nara Period." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. .
13.      Tatum, Ron. "Japanese Worldviews." Japan Homepage. California State University. .
14.      Article: Religion in Japan, from Wikipedia
15.      Article: Kami, from Wikipedia
16.      Article: Karma, from Wikipedia
17.      Article: Karma in Buddhism, from Wikipedia
18.      Article: Korean Influence on Japanese Culture, from Wikipedia,
19.      Article: List of divinities in Japanese mythology, from Wikipedia
20.      Article: Japanese festivals, from Wikipedia,
21.      Article: Samurai, from Wikipedia,
22.      Article: Taika Reform, from Wikipedia,
23.      Article: Zen, from Wikipedia,
24.      Article: Agriculture, forestry, and fishing in Japan, from Wikipedia,
25.      Article: History of Japan, from Wikipedia, <>
26.      Article: Muromach period, from Wikipedia, <>
27.      Article: Heian period, from Wikipedia,
28.      Article: Japan, from Wikipedia,
29.      Article: Kamikaze (typhoon) , from Wikipedia,
30.      Article: Kana, from Wikipedia,
31.      Article: Worldview, from Wikipedia,
32.      "About Japan." Maps of MapXL.
33.      Cavenaugh, Carole. "The Kamakura Period." Traditional Japanese Literature in Translation. Middlebury College.
34.      "Chinese and Korean influence - gigaku, gagaku." The Japan Cultural Profile. Japan Foundation. .
35.      "Encyclopedia: Book of Han." Nation Master. 2005. .
36.      "Economic and Cultural Developments". Country Studies Japan.
37.      "Religion and Philosophical Traditions". Country Studies Japan
38.      "Shinto" Country Studies Japan.
39.      "Buddhism" Country Studies Japan <>
40.      "Confucianism" Country Studies Japan <>
41.      "Daoism" Country Studies Japan <>
42.      "Christianity" Country Studies Japan <>
43.      "Religion and the State" Country Studies Japan <>
44.      "Provincial Wars and Foreign Contacts" Country Studies Japan
45.      Article: Wabi-Sabi, from Wikipedia,
46.      "The Influence of Chinese Culture on Japanese Culture". Char4U.
47.      "Japan Geography." 1996-2008. .
48.      M. Senda, "Japan's traditional view of nature and interpretation of landscape." abstract, from SpringerLink. Feb. 1992. <>
49.      K. Sano, "Japanese mentality and behavior - based on the indigenous Japanese culture".abstract from SpringerLink. Dec. 1995.
50.      Article: Sakoku, from Wikipedia,
51.      "Images of early maps on the web: 10. Asia." Map History/ History Cartography: The Gateway to the Subject <>

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