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The Age of the Sage Kings - Essay Example

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The Age of the Sage Kings

If one is to keenly observe, there were quite a number of things, which the Japanese civilization was able to adopt from the Chinese, like the writing system, which, according to tradition, was introduced through Korea, around 405 CE. It was said that Buddhism was also introduced to Japan through Korea around the sixth century. Historical accounts also showed that in both countries, the emperor held the highest position in the land.
With a closer look, one will notice, however, the differences between the two civilizations; the Chinese being the more advanced of the two, as based on historical accounts, provided a pattern for Japan in shaping up its culture and its people's way of life. But though it was the case, the Japanese system of ruling those times greatly differed from that of the Chinese, since the Japanese emperor of the ancient days only played as a figure head, meaning he assumed the throne but he did not hold the power to rule, and some other high-ranking officials, in the person of court nobles, regents or even the retired seniors of the dynasty performed the task for him.
The Chinese tradition has it that the predecessors of modern-day China were five mythical emperors who ruled the country in the ancient days. The first was known as Fu Xi who, according to tradition, reigned from 2852 - 2737 BC; then there was Shu, the emperor of the Northern Sea, Hu, the emperor of the Southern Sea, and Hun Dun (also known as Chaos), emperor of the Center. According to the legends, when Emperors Shu and Hu went to the land of Emperor Hun Dun, the ruler received them with great hospitality. And in return, as an expression of gratitude to their host, they put seven orifices in his body, one orifice a day for seven days, only to realize after their task was through that they had killed the emperor in the process. It was said that only after Hun Dun's death did the orderly universe came to existence. The last of the five emperors was Huang-Ti, or otherwise known as the Yellow Emperor. He was believed to have reigned from 2697 - 2597 BC, and was the one to have been succeeded by the first dynasty known as Xia, that was said to have reigned from 2205() - 1570(). But since there were no archeological proofs for the existence of the Xia Dynasty, it was considered as legendary like the five rulers who preceded it.
The first Chinese dynasty that was archeologically proven to have existed during the ancient days was the Shang Dynasty (1570() - 1045() BC). Based on archeological discoveries and through depicting the Late Shang oracle-bone inscriptions, it was found out that the Shang was an aristocratic society that was ruled by a king who had control over military nobility. It was further discovered that he appointed territorial rulers to govern the different parts of his kingdom and required them to support him in all his military undertakings.
Although there were no written accounts found relating to the final defeat of the Shang, later texts indicate that Zhou ruler King Wu defeated Shang ruler Di Xin over the Battle of Muye in the northern Henan Province around 1045 BC.
Comparisons were made between the downfalls of the ...Show more

Summary

Historically, it was said that the Chinese played an important role in molding of Japanese civilization as many traditions of the former were adopted by the latter throughout the centuries. In addition, and literally speaking, the Chinese Book of Songs, said to be the beginning of Chinese epic can be compared with Japan's Man'yoshu…
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The Age of the Sage Kings essay example
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