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  • Ancient, China developed all of the hallmarks of advanced civilization, including written

  • language, advanced cities, specialized labor and bronze technology, as much as 2000 years

  • before Japan.

  • As a result, China and its culture had an enormously large influence on the younger

  • culture, sharing its philosophies, political structures, architecture, Buddhism, clothing

  • styles and even its written language.

  • In fact, the earliest known written account of Japan was found in a Chinese book.

  • With such a powerful influence, it is perhaps not surprising that when Japan was described

  • early in its development (both by themselves and from the Chinese), it was from a Chinese

  • perspective.

  • And when the Chinese looked east to Japan, they looked in the direction of the dawn.

  • By the time the first Japanese ambassador was sent to the Chinese Han eastern capital

  • in 57 AD, the Japanese were called Wa (Wo), a name of uncertain origin, but appears to

  • be referencing squatting or kneeling, so essentially the people were being called submissive and

  • eventually the country itself was known as wakoku or thecountry of the wa”.

  • According to contemporary Chinese accounts, these early Japanese had countless violent

  • succession struggles.

  • However, in the first century AD, one clan, the Yamato, began to dominate its neighbors,

  • and by the 5th century AD, Yamato became a synonym for Japan.

  • As a single, central government emerged, Japan increasingly followed Chinese culture, including

  • its methods of administration.

  • Specifically, by about 600 AD, the Prince Regent of Japan, Shotoku (574-622 AD), who

  • was a big fan of Chinese culture, introduced a wide array of Chinese influences to Japan.

  • This included models of etiquette and rank after Confucianism, using the Chinese calendar,

  • building Buddhist temples, and even sending students to China to study Confucianism and

  • Buddhism.

  • In addition to all this, Shotoku is widely credited in Japan with coining the name Nippon

  • ("Sun Origin") for Japan.

  • This supposedly occurred around 607 when Shotoku sent a letter to emperor Yangdifrom the

  • Son of Heaven in the land where the sun rises to the Son of Heaven in the land where the

  • sun sets.”

  • Moving on to more popular usage, in 645 AD, according to Japanese history, a palace coup

  • led to the introduction of the Taika (meaning "great change") Reform.

  • Intended to further centralize the government, the reform eliminated private ownership of

  • lands and put them under the control of the centralized governmentwith the "people

  • direct subjects of the throne."

  • As part of this reform, Nippon, Nihon (both meaning "origin of the sun") and Dai Nippon

  • (Great Japan) were used "in diplomatic documents and chronicles" in place of Wa (Wo).

  • On the other side, the Chinese claim in the Old Book of Tang that it was a Japanese envoy

  • who didn't like the Wonguo name and changed it toOrigin of the Sun” (Nippon).

  • In yet another Chinese account from the 8th century, it is claimed that it was the Chinese

  • Empress Wu Zetian who was the one who told the envoy to change the name to Nippon.

  • Finally, in yet another Chinese account of the transformation, found in the official

  • history of the Tang dynasty, the Xin Tang Shu, reported:

  • In . . . 670, an embassy came to the Court [from Japan] to offer congratulations on the

  • conquest of Koguryo.

  • Around this time, the Japanese who had studied Chinese came to dislike the name Wa and changed

  • it to Nippon.

  • According to the words of the Japanese envoy himself, that name was chosen because the

  • country was so close to where the sun rises.”

  • Whatever the exact version of the story, it would seem around the late 7th century the

  • name change occurred officially and stuck.

  • And so it is that for the last 1400 years or so, pretty much just because Japan is east

  • of China, the world has referred to Japan as Nippon, the land of the rising sun.

Ancient, China developed all of the hallmarks of advanced civilization, including written

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日本が呼ばれる本当の理由 (The Real Reason Japan is Called the)

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    ayami に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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