Medieval Japan: answers

Skim for Information
Use Pathways: Civilizations through Time by Michael Cranny (Prentice Hall, 1997).

I. Turn to page 175.

A. Introduction
1. What was the name for the military government that once ruled Japan? shogunate
2. In what year were foreigners allowed to once again enter Japan? 1867
3. By 1900, what important industry was established? steel making
4. In what industry is Japan the world leader today? automobiles
5. What was the name for the powerful warriors who worked for the rulers in medieval Japan? samurai
6. What were two periods of time when life was more peaceful? Nara and Heian
7. What are the names of two Japanese religions? Shinto and Buddhism

B. Japan’s Geography
1. How many main islands are there in Japan? four
2. What is the name for a chain of islands? archipelago
3. What percentage of the land is covered with plains and valleys? 20%
4. What are two geographical features of the remaining land? mountains and volcanoes
5. What is Japan’s largest city? Tokyo
6. How is Japan similar to British Columbia? part of the Ring of Fire
7. What is the name for a hot spring that shoots steam and water into the air at intervals? geyser
8. What keeps Japan’s climate mild? warm ocean current (or the name of the current)
9. What are three climatic features of northern Japan? cold winters, snow, cool summers
10. What word describes southern Japan’s climate? subtropical
11. What is the most important crop grown in Japan? rice

II. Turn to page 179.

A. The Early Days
1. What is the name for a social group made up of related families? clan
2. What is the name used for people who have rights to land? territorial rights
3. . What is the meaning of the name ‘Japan’? great land of the rising sun
4. From where did Japan’s first inhabitants come? south China (‘via Korea’ may be added)
5. When did they first arrive? 9500 BCE
6. What were their 3 survival skills? hunting, fishing and gathering food
7. From where did northern Japan’s first inhabitants come? around the Amur River
8. What were they called? Ainu
9. From where did a third group of people come by 300 BCE? Korea
10. What were they called? the Yayoi
11. What important skill did they bring to Japan? agriculture / rice growing
12. From what metals were their tools made? iron and bronze
13. What domesticated animals did they raise? horses and cattle
14. What belief started about the origin of Japan’s emperor? he and his family descended from the Sun God

B. Religion in Japan’s Early Period
1. What is the word for a formal statement of religious beliefs? creed
2. What is the word for sacred writings? scriptures
3. What is the name for the religion that means ‘the Way of the Gods’? Shinto
4. What is the name for spirits in this religion? kami
5. How are these spirits unique? can be any object or person who inspires; e.g. rivers, rocks…
6. What do believers feel about nature? great love
7. As a result, what do they do? build shrines in beautiful places
8. What is the name of another religion in Japan? Buddhism
9. From where did it first come? China
10. What made it attractive to people in Japan? a continued existence in an afterlife
11. When was it first formally introduced? 552 CE
12. Who first introduced it? a Korean ambassador
13. What statue was given to Japan? a Buddha
14. When did this religion become the official religion of Japan? end of the 6th century

III. Go beyond the lines if you have time.

A. How does this information remind you of information you have previously learned?

B. How does this information remind you of your own experiences in life?


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