chapter  1
7 Pages

BIRTH OF THE MIDDLE AGES

JAPAN AT THE DAWN OF THE TWELFTH CENTURY The whole history of Japan, from the end of the prehistoric era and the official introduction of Buddhism and Chinese civilization in the middle of the sixth century, until feudal times in the Middle Ages, is one of rivalries among the clans round the person of the emperor, of the conquest of the northern part of the country from the Ainu aborigines and, primarily, of the struggles of the nobles themselves for the possession of the land. At that time there was no such thing as national consciousness, but only the feeling of belonging to a group, a city? or a district. So as to understand more easily how the Japanese people, far from freeing themselves from servitude-for, uneducated as they were, they would not have known how to make use of a freedom they had not sought-created new masters instead, it is necessary to take a quick look at the centuries during which the aristocracy came into power and kept it, and also to examine the reasons which allowed a military type of government to supplant the peaceable authority of the Fujiwara regents.