Japan and Cultural Borrowing from China

Population growth in combination with the implementation of a highly centralized government and strong military saw T'ang power and influence grow alongside their wealth. During this golden age, China was undoubtedly the most wealthy and technologically sophisticated country in the world. Japan, like the rest of China's neighbors paled in comparison to the greatness of the Chinese Empire. In response to the T'ang's expansive empire, Japan began to deliberately mimic China's strengths, both militarily and politically. In addition, the T'ang Empire came to be seen by the Japanese as a superior civilization and higher culture from which they could properly educate their people. Thus, we can see that the T'ang Empire's success inspired the Japanese to develop a wealthy and powerful state.

One of the clearest examples of borrowed Chinese principles lies in Japan's development of a Chinese styled bureaucracy. The political reforms made by the Japanese government demonstrate that the imitation of Chinese dogma was carried out deliberately and shamelessly. The Great Reform known as the Taika, began in 645. The goal of the Imperial reforms was to make



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