ChAPTER 9 -- Part 10: The Spread of Civilizations and the
Chinese Influence and Japanese Resistance Contacts with China and innovations based on the Chinese model were pushed from the 4th century.
The Japanese rulers wanted to increase the power of the state to control the warrior nobles and to take resources from the peasants.
The rulers' legiti macy was enhanced by Buddhist ethics and Confucian legal codes, Chinese rituals gave a new dignity and luster to court routines, and the growth of a Chinese-style bureaucracy provided the means for creating the first genuine state in Japanese history.
The Japanese rulers could argue that the adoption of Chinese ways was voluntary because of their political independence from China.
Only imports that would strengthen the Japanese state can be accepted.
Chinese ideas and institutions could be changed to fit the needs of the Japanese people.
The innovators argued that the Japanese needed to borrow from their ancient and advanced Chinese neighbors in order to become civilized.
Many attempts to imitate Chinese patterns failed because Japanese rulers lacked the resources of the Chinese emperors and worked with a society that differed greatly in scale and organization.
The peasants had to support the bloated bureaucracy that resulted from the imitation of China.
The Chinese lines foundered due to the opposition of regional lords and their retainers.
The attempt to make soldiers of the peasantry was frustrated by the warrior elite.
In this era, conscripts in Japan were more like forced laborers.
Many of the Chinese legal injunctions were not enforced in Japan.
At the height of the early dynasties' power, the impressive capital cities laid out by the architects remained half-built and underpopulated.
Japan was not made in China's image.
The introduction of writing, Buddhism, and other imports from China gave rise to concerns about preserving Japan's own culture.
In the mid-7th century, controversy over foreign influences became a central element in violent struggles between the families closest to the throne.
Until the 8th century, each struggle was won by the forces that favored imports from abroad.
The peoples of the far Pacific, who had left the Asian mainland before the rise of classical China and New Zealand, were unaffected by the spread of Chinese and Indian civilization.
They brought with them societies from late Neolithic Asia and developed them in isolation from the rest of the Pacific.
One of the great epics of human achievement is the peopling of the islands of the Pacific Ocean.
The waters of the Pacific are dotted with thousands of islands, and the distance from southeast Asia to Central America is 12,000 miles.
The islands vary in size from tiny atolls formed by coral reefs to large "high" islands with volcanic peaks and lush valleys.
New Zealand does not lie in the tropics, but most of these islands do.
They are inhabited by a variety of peoples whose physical appearance, language, and culture are quite different but whose origins seem to be in Asia.
The story of the Polynesians can serve as a case study of the spread of culture by long distance maritime migration in the Pacific.
We are not dealing with the spread from a great center of civilization but with the migration of peoples and their adaptation to new challenges in isolation.
We must rely on the evidence of archeology and linguistics, their own oral traditions, and the observations of Europeans who first contacted them to reconstruct the history of their societies, because they left no written records.
Linguistic evidence is a starting point.
The Austronesians were from Asia, but they were not the first people to migrate from Asia to the Pacific.
Other clues may be provided by new DNA analyses.
The Polynesian peoples of New Zealand are related to the pre- Chinese peoples of Taiwan.
There are islands in the east from Melanesia to the Pacific.
By the time of this expansion, these people had developed a variety of fishing techniques, raised dogs, pigs, and chickens, and grew yams, taro, and other crops.
Archeologists can identify their island.
Stone adzes, fishhooks, and other implements can be found in New Zealand.
Basic principles of economy and social orga nization can be found throughout Polyne sia.
The map shows the expansion of Polynesians from Indonesia and the Philippines to New Zealand, Easter Island, and Hawaii.
The area grew in size and density.
By the late 18th century, the ocean created a variety of societies, but some basic elements of their language and culture were lost.
Many Polynesian islands were characterized by societies with power ful chiefdoms, and in some places, such as Hawaii, they became extremely hierarchical.
For wars and interisland raiding, chiefs were able to mobilize their followers.
The basis of the chiefs' power was based on ritual and religion.
Shelter could be given to people, animals, and plants with the use of double canoes.
With large triangular sails, these long-distance voyaging; carried vessels, some of which were 60 to 100 feet long, were capable of long voyages at sea and could travel a platform between canoes for more than 120 miles a day in good weather.
They could sail against the tides and winds.
navigation was a problem.
The voyages were accidental, but Polynesian traditions and the ability of some Pacific islanders to navigate long distances by observing the stars, wave patterns, and other techniques support the idea that voyages were a mistake.
The arrival of Tahitian chiefs who made voyages to and from Hawaii for about 200 years is celebrated in Hawaiian traditions.