Asian Civilizations

Asian Civilizations

Ancient Korean and Japanese kingdoms had a variety of ways that they used to interact with China. Some of the ways used were similar while others differed a little. The Japanese used to interact with China through migration. Japanese kingdom sent a huge number of students to Imperial China, during the Tang and Sui dynasties. This was aimed at educating their future generation, something which would have helped the country in attaining a sovereign state. This took place when the Baekje kingdom was destroyed by China (Brown & John, 2008). Japan had reached out on china for help which would help in the reconstruction of the country towards becoming a sovereign state. A similar scenario of migration was observed as China and Korea interacted. Migrants and exiles used to flee the economic hardships and political turmoil present in mainland China. They used to settle in the Korean peninsula. There was a reverse of the situation whereby, China also received economic opportunists and political refugees from the peninsula. This occurred during the times of economic crisis and political upheaval.

During these immigration periods, the interactions saw the Chinese culture spread in both Korea and Japan. After the Japanese students that went to China went back home, they brought some important elements with them. This included the Chinese customs, Buddhist teachings, architecture, city planning and bureaucracy.  Chinese writing system was adopted as a way of building a more centralized political system and increase intellectual creativity. Up to the present days, there are several elements found in Japan, and exist in similar fashion in China. Interactions with Korea on the other hand led to adoption of Buddhist teachings. China also tried to influence the political system of Korea. Some of their policies were adopted in the process. This influence was derived from the fact that China was being viewed as a civilized state during this period.

War between the countries was also used as a way of interaction between these states. During 600 AD, China tried to defeat Goguryeo, which was a northern kingdom in Korea. It made two attempts without avail. In 660AD, China formed an alliance with Silla kingdom to fight against Baekje and Goguryeo.  Baekje was defeated and became part of Silla. On the other hand, the first battle between China and Japan was experienced in 663AD. This was triggered by the fact that Japan had provided 30,000 troops to Baekje when they were at war with China. During these war interactions, china had the ability of spreading its civilization (Brown & John, 2008). Its political systems and governance structure were adopted in both Japan and Korea. There were also some cultural exchanges that developed in the process.

Through the Buddhist teachings, it is evident that there is an analysis of human condition. There have always been dilemmas regarding human existence. Buddhist teachings view these dilemmas as a problem of consciousness. This is because it has both ethical and cognitive dimensions. The long-term effect is that it causes distortion of reality in our understanding (Brown & John, 2008). Solutions to this problem can be arrived at once people start to transform their consciousness. This means turning the mind into a different direction compared to what one used to believe in before. The heart desires should also change since they are connected to the consciousness of the human being.  New understanding that is brought by these changes ensures that an individual bears peace and light as opposed to grief and strife that existed before.

Buddhist also analyzes the human condition by trying to explain the origin of human beings. It states that humans were created by the gods. As a result, people should be responsible to these goods on how they intend to live their lives. When people pray to the gods e.g Indra, Agni, Veruna among others, it is an indication of the sinful human nature. Humans tend to seek forgiveness when they realize they have done something that does not appease the gods (Rainey, 2010). There is also the tendency of praying when in need of improved welfare status. Buddhism tries to expound on this by indicating that humans are fully dependent on the gods. These gods control the destiny of the people. They have the ability of bringing good deeds as well as misery in the lives of the people. This is usually dependent on the path that an individual chooses to follow. However, the roles played by the most worshiped gods in the creation of humans are not highlighted.

There is the belief of life after death. Buddhist teachings view the physical body as a component of human nature. The three psycho-mental faculties, i.e feeling, will and mind were usually preserved during death. This was an indication that relatives treated the bereaved as a unitary person during burial.

The teachings also postulate that there is an obstacle of illusion (maya) in human beings. This acts against getting intuitive knowledge. This illusion tends to deceive humans regarding the actual nature of existence. In the long-run, this channels people’s wishes towards the phenomenal world that keeps on changing. As this happens, “maya” tends to strengthen the confusion of “atman” with the physical body and psycho-mental activity. Through illusion, people grant true spiritual value to those things that are unstable and changing instead of attempting to know their eternal immutable self. The ignorance shown here is the result of atman’s captivity in a world full of material experience.

There are several Confucian objections to Buddhism. Among them is the objection to the Buddhist doctrines. This is whereby teachings in various Buddhist schools tend to differ depending on the sutra involved. These doctrines are objected since they are regarded to cause confusion among the followers. Sometimes it is hard to tell which to follow if someone has been to more than one school. Another objection is based on the concept of afterlife. Buddhist teachings are of the opinion that there is continuity of life after death. This means that there is belief that people will reappear after they die in other new forms.  Confucius objected this notion, and outlined that afterlife and heaven were beyond human comprehension (Rainey, 2010). He advocated that people should concentrate on doing the right things while on earth instead.

These objections are related to the central Confucian doctrines in that they state the opposite of what is being upheld. Confucius advocated for uniformity in his teachings regardless of the individuals that were being targeted. This was quite opposite to Buddhism where the doctrines seemed to differ in different schools.  Confucius was also a strong believer of rituals, but did not buy the idea of life after death. He believed that there was no human being with the ability of understanding such an issue. In his teachings, he only requested people to do the right things while on earth.





Work Cited

Brown, Ju., and John Brown. China, Japan, Korea: culture and customs. North Charleston,         South Carolina: BookSurge, 2008. Print.

Rainey, Lee Dian. Confucius & Confucianism the essentials. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.:         Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Print.

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