Japanese And Japan 's Influence On Chinese Culture

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Currently, Japan is known for having a very distinct culture, cultivated due to their isolation as an island nation. However, while Japanese civilization is a highly distinctive society, it also has strong ties to Chinese culture. In fact, as early as the first century A.D., the people of Japan were sending missions to China; they established a trade and tribute based relationship. This initial relationship gave way to the later Chinese influence that would shape Japan. From these encounters, and maybe even from before, the Japanese developed a writing system similar to Chinese. In fact, according to Vogler, the earliest known examples of Japanese writing are proper names inscribed in Chinese characters. Nevertheless, Chinese influence didn’t just stop with language; it extended to art, literature, and even government. Eventually, these influences from China, often referred to as the ‘Sinification’ of Japan, would give rise to the newly civilized Japanese nation. Especially during the T’ang dynasty of China, “Both Korea and Japan were profoundly influenced by China and underwent broad centralizing reforms on the Chinese model” (Varley 19). Indeed, through religion, bureaucracy, and the arts, Chinese culture began to permeate Japanese civilization throughout the seventh and eighth centuries A.D. Buddhism and Confucianism, both religions adopted from Chinese culture, would eventually become staples of Japanese civilization. “The period of disunion in China [during the T’ang
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