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A comparison of the government in the tang dynasty and the government of heian japan

A rebellion occurred in China in the last years of the 9th centurymaking the political situation unstable. Therefore, the Heian Period is considered a high point in Japanese culture that later generations have always admired. The period is also noted for the rise of the samurai class, which would eventually take power and start the feudal period of Japan.

However, to protect their interests in the provinces, the Fujiwara, and other noble families required guards, police and soldiers. The warrior class made steady political gains throughout the Heian period. Still, a true military takeover of the Japanese government was centuries away, when much of the strength of the government would lie within the private armies of the shogunate.

At this time Taira no Kiyomori revived the Fujiwara practices by placing his grandson on the throne to rule Japan by regency. Their clan, the Tairawould not be overthrown until after the Genpei Warwhich marked the start of the Kamakura shogunate. The Kamakura period began in 1185 when Minamoto no Yoritomo seized power from the emperors and established the shogunate in Kamakura. The early Heian period 784—967 continued Nara culture; the Heian capital was patterned on the Chinese Tang capital at Chang'an[5] as was Nara, but on a larger scale than Nara.

Kanmu endeavored to improve the Tang-style administrative system which was in use. Kanmu's avoidance of drastic reform decreased the intensity of political struggles, and he became recognized as one of Japan's most forceful emperors. Imperial control over the provinces was tenuous at best, however. In the ninth and tenth centuries, much authority was lost to the great families, who disregarded the Chinese-style land and tax systems imposed by the government in Kyoto.

Song dynasty (11)

Stability came to Japan, but, even though succession was ensured for the imperial family through heredity, power again concentrated in the hands of one noble family, the Fujiwara which also helped Japan develop more. Through the new Emperor's Private Office, the emperor could issue administrative edicts more directly and with more self-assurance than before.

The new Metropolitan Police Board replaced the largely ceremonial imperial guard units. While these two offices strengthened the emperor's position temporarily, soon they and other Chinese-style structures were bypassed in the developing state.

In 838 the end of the imperial-sanctioned missions to Tang China, which had begun in 630, marked the effective end of Chinese influence. Japan began to turn inward.

Toward the end of the 9th centuryseveral emperors tried but failed, to check the Fujiwara. For a time, however, during the reign of Emperor Daigo 897—930the Fujiwara regency was suspended as he ruled directly.

A comparison of the government in the tang dynasty and the government of heian japan

People and lands were increasingly beyond central control and taxation, a de facto return to conditions before the Taika Reform. Within decades of Daigo's death, the Fujiwara had absolute control over the court. By the year 1000, Fujiwara no Michinaga was able to enthrone and dethrone emperors at will. Little authority was left for traditional institutions, and government affairs were handled through the Fujiwara clan's private administration.

The Fujiwara had become what historian George B.

A comparison of the government in the tang dynasty and the government of heian japan

Sansom has called "hereditary dictators". There was great interest in graceful poetry and vernacular literature. Two types of phonetic Japanese script: Hiragana gave written expression to the spoken word and, with it, to the rise in Japan's famous vernacular literature, much of it written by court women who had not been trained in Chinese as had their male counterparts.

Indigenous art also flourished under the Fujiwara after centuries of imitating Chinese forms. Vividly colored yamato-eJapanese style paintings of court life and stories about temples and shrines became common in the mid-to-late Heian period, setting patterns for Japanese art to this day. In fact, the form of the old clan system had remained largely intact within the great old centralized government. New institutions were now needed in the face of social, economic, and political changes.

Family administrations now became public institutions.

As the most powerful family, the Fujiwara governed Japan and determined the general affairs of state, such as succession to the throne. Family and state affairs were thoroughly intermixed, a pattern followed among other families, monasteries, and even the imperial family. Land management became the primary occupation of the aristocracy, not so much because direct control by the imperial family or central government had declined but more from strong family solidarity and a lack of a sense of Japan as a single nation.

But as the system broke down after 792, local power holders again became the primary source of military strength. The re-establishment of an efficient military system was made gradually through a process of trial-and-error. At that time the imperial court did not possess an army but rather relied on an organization of professional warriors composed mainly of oryoshi, which were appointed to an individual province and tsuibushi, which were appointed over imperial circuits or for specific tasks.

Heian period

This gave rise to the Japanese military class. Nonetheless, final authority rested with the imperial court. Gradually, the provincial upper class was transformed into a new military elite of samurai. Mutual interests, family connections, and kinship were consolidated in military groups that became part of family administration. In time, large regional military families formed around members of the court aristocracy who had become prominent provincial figures.

These military families gained prestige from connections to the imperial court and court-granted military titles and access to manpower. The Fujiwara family, Taira clan, and Minamoto clan were among the most prominent families supported by the new military class. Members of the Fujiwara, Taira, and Minamoto families—all of whom had descended from the imperial family—attacked one another, claimed control over vast tracts of conquered land, set up rival regimes, and generally upset the peace.

Chapter 12: East Asia 800-1400 C.E. Flashcards Preview

Go-Sanjo, determined to restore imperial control through strong personal rule, implemented reforms to curb Fujiwara influence. He also established an office to compile and validate estate records with the aim of reasserting central control. In time, many of the Fujiwara were replaced, mostly by members of the rising Minamoto clan.

While the Fujiwara fell into disputes among themselves and formed northern and southern factions, the insei system allowed the paternal line of the imperial family to gain influence over the throne. Military might rather than civil authority dominated the government.

HEIAN PERIOD (794-1185) GOVERNMENT

A struggle for succession in the mid-twelfth century gave the Fujiwara an opportunity to regain their former power. In the end, the Fujiwara were destroyed, the old system of government supplanted, and the insei system left powerless as bushi took control of court affairs, marking a turning point in Japanese history. In 1159, the Taira and Minamoto clashed Heiji Rebellionand a twenty-year period of Taira ascendancy began.

He gave his daughter Tokuko in marriage to the young emperor Takakurawho died at only 19, leaving their infant son Antoku to succeed to the throne.

Kiyomori filled no less than 50 government posts with his relatives, rebuilt the Inland Sea, and encouraged trade with Sung China. He also took aggressive actions to safeguard his power when necessary, including the removal and exile of 45 court officials and the razing of two troublesome temples, Todai-ji and Kofuku-ji. In 1183, two years after Kiyomori's death, Yoritomo Minamoto dispatched his brothers Yoshitsune and Noriyori to attack Kyoto.

The Taira were routed and forced to flee, and the Empress Dowager tried to drown herself and the 7-year old Emperor he perished, but his mother survived. Takakura's other son succeeded as Emperor Go-Toba. Yoritomo then turned his attention to the elimination of the powerful Fujiwara family, which sheltered his rebellious brother Yoshitsune. One year before his death in 1199, Yoritomo expelled the teenaged emperor Go-Toba from the throne. Two of Go-Toba's sons succeeded him, but they would also be removed by Yoritomo's successors to the shogunate.