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Influence of Chinese Culture

Carol Gluck :: Japan now comes into the sphere of Chinese civilization. This is an Asian civilization in which China is, if you like, the mother country — Central Kingdom would be a more appropriate reference — and it's a great civilization. And it has different variants in countries like Japan, Korea, what is now present-day Vietnam. And each of these countries borrows and adapts immediately, and so this is the Japanese version — the Japanese variant — of East Asian or Sinic, Chinese, civilization.

The Nara Period in Japanese history is the period of what the Japanese call the first great reform, the first of three. And that signifies the first period of cultural borrowing from China and the establishment for the first time of an imperial state on the Chinese model, the first unification, the first justification of the Japanese emperor and the economic underlying principles of the realm. So, this is the beginning of Japanese history as a unified state on the Chinese model.