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Muromachi Period Japan


  • The Muromachi Period in Japan was characterized by political rivalaries that frequently led to wars, but also by an extraordinary flourishing of Japanese culture.
  • The long, war-torn, four hundred-year period, from the mid-twelfth century through the Kamakura (1185-1333) and Muromachi (1336-1573), to the mid-sixteenth periods is often described as Japan's medieval age, chûsei.
  • The True Pure Land tradition established itself in this period as the most widely based school of Japanese Buddhism.
  • In painting, portraiture, and sculpture there was in the Kamakura period what Japanese scholars frequently refer to as a "realistic tendency."
  • The period ended with the fall of the Muromachi shoguns and the rise of powerful warlords such as Oda Nobutaka, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu who would unify Japan for the first time in its history.
  • KOFUN PERIOD (250 CE- 538 CE) According to Chinese records, during this period the so-called Five Kings of Wa send tribute to China and receive titles for doing so from 421 CE to 502 CE. Despite these exchanges, the lack of regular missions between the two states from the 10th century CE meant that the Heian Period overall saw a diminishing in the influence of Chinese culture, which meant that Japanese culture began to find its own unique path of development.
  • Why did statuary spiral downward?
  • This is so not only because many of the art forms perfected during the period have continued as living elements of contemporary Japanese culture, but because the Muromachi expression itself had begun to break away from the highly aristocratic values of the old court society.
  • Japan's medieval jongleurs created a new literature, a panorama of life at- titudes in repertory, that not only determined the nature of much of Edo period literature but which remains alive today as national lore.










Feudal Japan Muromachi Period


  • By the end of the Muromachi period, the first Europeans had arrived in Japan.
  • The long, war-torn, four hundred-year period, from the mid-twelfth century through the Kamakura (1185-1333) and Muromachi (1336-1573), to the mid-sixteenth periods is often described as Japan's medieval age, chûsei.
  • Most historians date the Muromachi period from 1336, when the warrior Ashikaga Takauji (1305-1338) ended the Kemmu Restoration (a short lived attempt by, the imperial court to reassert political power) by ousting emperor Go-Daigo from Kyoto; he then set up Kômyô as a puppet emperor and laid the basis for a new military regime.
  • Early Modern Edo or Tokugawa period (1603 1867) An era of peace, where power was centralized by hereditary shogunate in a class society The later years of the Muromachi period, 1467 to 1573, are also known as the Sengoku period (Period of Warring Kingdoms), a time of intense internal warfare, and correspond with the period of the first contacts with the West--the arrival of Portuguese " Nanban " traders.
  • This is by no means a comprehensive overview, but since we wanted to focus on Medieval Japan, we list a few time periods before the feudal or medieval Japan and some after.
  • The samurai code of ethics ( bushido or "way of the bushi ") is the dominant philosophy, emphasizing military values and ideals of feudal Japan under the Shogunates, confederations of great clan leaders and their vassal bands of samurai.
  • The developments in silk-making and embroidery from the Azuchi-Momoyama Period quickly came to bear when merchants in the early Edo Period commissioned grand kosode with a very different appearance from the kosode worn by Muromachi Period samurai ladies.






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