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the independent agency that oversees management of federal government records including presidential libraries and historic collections


A Japanese religion whose followers believe that all things in the natural world are filled with divine spirits


The capital city of medieval Japan.

The Tale of the Genji

Written by Lady Murasaki; first novel in any languange; relates life history of prominent and amorous son of the Japanese emperor's son; evidence for mannered style of the Japanese society.


Powerful Japanese family in 11th and 12th centuries; competed with the Minamota family; defeated after the Gempei Wars.


Military government established by the Minamoto following the Gempei Wars; centered at Kamakura; retained emperor, but real power resided in military government and samurai


school of Mahayana Buddhism asserting that enlightenment can come through meditation and intuition rather than faith


The reforms enacted in 646 that intended to thoroughly incorporate chinese culture and politics into Japanese society

Taika reforms

Attempt to remake Japanese monarch into an absolute Chinese-style emperor; included attempts to create professional bureaucracy and peasant conscript army.


Japanese aristocratic family in mid-9th century; exercised exceptional influence over imperial affairs; aided in decline of imperial power.


a Japanese warrior who was a member of the feudal military aristocracy


defeated the rival Taira family in Gempei Wars and established military government (bakufu) in 12th century Japan


military leaders of the Bakufu

Minamoto Yoritomo

first shogun of Japan; he started the tradition of shogunates; he passed all his land to his oldest son, and the others got nothing; his other sons turned into buddhist monks and fought each other for land


one the Shinto deities (including mythological beings, spirits of distinguished men, forces of nature)


The Heian period is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city Heinan-Kyo (now Kyoto)


regional warrior leaders in Japan; ruled small kingdoms from fortresses; administered the law, supervised public works projects, and collected revenues; built up private armies


Ritual suicide or disembowelment in Japan; commonly known in West as hara-kiri; demonstrated courage and a means to restore family honor.


between 1180 and 1185 the struggle between the two major provincial families, the Taira and the Minamoto, were decided in what wars


Warlord rulers of 300 small states following civil war and disruption of the Ashikaga Shogunate; holdings consolidated into unified and bounded ministates

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