sinification and Japan, Korea and Vietnam

Posted by Paul Davis on 11/8/2017

Dearest WHAP'ers,

            I was genuiniely plaesed with the first no notes daily quiz today. It illustrated a sense of motivation, imerative to focus and use of resources. I hoped that the blog, notes and chapter 8 were helpful and that you are doing work outside of class ( even writing the full quiz as I have done) to practice your skill sets of thesis development, evidentiary support and critical analysis. Th etopic of hegemoy will come up often in this class and sometimes we will look at dynamic powers as a sort of "who is in first place?" type of scenario. Often a historian looks at societies to help determine what did the society do which contributed to their power or the opposite. As President Trum spends time in South Korea, Japan and China and Vietnam on Friday, we can look at competing powers today to identify if China is as Napoleon put it " the sleeping dragin awakening" and restoring their perceived place as domiant in East Asia ( Japan and South Korea recently have illustrated their concern over China's development of islands in the South  China sea). One could argue, Trum is going to East Asia to remind of U.S hegemony as Great Britain did in the late 19th century ( see Opium Wars). IN any event, China had many things Japan, Korea and Vietnam wanted 600-1450 and needed something in return. I will spare you all the Regina George metaphors and encourage you to look up comparing sinification to "Mean Girls" on Youtube. Here we go:

I. From 600-1450 in both Japan and Korea the adoption of Chinese culture was facilitated by the appeal of Buddhist ideology and culture, both failed to adopt the civil service bureaucracy and fell in feudal decentralized structures yet Japan would be free of Chinese intervention due to its geographic location while Korea would be subjugated as the vassal state of Silla.

II. The appeal of the ending of suffering and living under an 8-fold path of moderation and the attainment of Nirvana led to the building of Buddhist monateries and statues throughout Japan and Korea. The chaos and bloodshed of feudal chaos and constant warfare often sought solace in the simplicity and discipline of leading a monastic life and reverence for all due to lack of restrictions for women and peasants.

III. An attempt by bothe Korea and Japan to establish a civil service bureaucracy failed in Japan's Taika reforms and the trbute paid by the Kingdom of the Silla and , instead , maintained feudal structures. The local governance of warlords exchanging land in return for loyalty and service predominated Korea and Japan with regional disputes trumping centralized peace.

IV. Japan's location across the sea of Japan prevented any indirect or direct control by China instead establishing Shogunates and maintaining their Shinto identity and adopting and adapting Chinese culture while the trbutary vassal state of the Silla would be subjugated to indirect control by the Tang Dynasty in Korea. Japan could not easily be reached directly by mainland China and, therefore, focused on their own identity as teh land of the rising sun with the Emperor being the son of the sun goddess Ameratasu while Korea's Kingdom of Silla in signing a tributary pact would gain a favorable state status with Tang China in return for admittal of Chinese superiority as well as paying resources in land and labor.


Well, I hope this helps. Don't forget to be awesome!!!!!!