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£唐使(kentoushi) Japanese envoy to China

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Kiritsubo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 Nov 2019 at 14:03
Hi there!SmileSmileSmile



I’m a new Japanese member, who love to introduce Japanese history here. I’m not a native speaker, so you may find my writings awkward,Unhappybut since I found this forum really interesting, I would like to post some. First I would like to write about Kentoshi(envoy to China). Ancient times, of course China's culture was exorbitantly advanced than that of Japan, so people in old days wanted to learn many things from them. But the way they sent people was a life-threatening practice.


  £唐使 (kentoshi) in 894, since China established the great new city Tang, in Japan they have decided to send the embassy to China again for the first time in 200 years since £隋使(Kenzuishi) after Zui fell in the year 618.  The embassies were sent to 唐(Tang China)and in the heyday of such embassies, the envoy's party, which is how they reached the scope of having four embassy ships. Those study abroad teams were carried out by elite monks.  Those who were chosen as the highest intelligence and born in the highest blood-line were able to go to China to study Esoteric Buddhism and the advanced culture in China. This study abroad to China was not the same as the practice of Japanese students today studying abroad in the US or Europe, but more like going to the moon by regular airplanes.  What do I mean by that? They had to go to China by a regular boat with regular outfits and they row a boat out to sea to far away to China. It was outrageous practice in those days. I imagine that people in those days thought it was more important to learn about culture, learn new things and bring it back to Japan than sacrificing human life. So it was almost a miracle for them to reach out to China.  That’s why usually, the members were divided into 4 groups, and that if one out of the four ships arrived in China, it would be considered as a great achievement. Most of the ships sank into the sea before they reached China. So to be chosen as this envoy was honorable but they knew that they would most likely die. 空海(Kukai) also known posthumously as Kōbō-Daishi (弘法大師 The Grand Master Who Propagated the Buddhist Teaching), 774–835, the monk was very famous for one of these envoys to China and successfully bring it back to Japan. 


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Vanuatu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2019 at 00:58
Hello Kiritsubo!

We are very pleased to read your posts, thank you for hanging out with us Tongue

Stay and teach/contribute as much as you like and Thank You!
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
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Kiritsubo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Kiritsubo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2019 at 01:44
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

Hello Kiritsubo!

We are very pleased to read your posts, thank you for hanging out with us Tongue

Stay and teach/contribute as much as you like and Thank You!

Hello! Vanatu, 
I am just a learner of both English language and history of Japan and the world.  So I would be very pleased to be here and I find reading all the posts here should be worthwhile!  Thank you very much for your warm welcome! SmileSmileSmile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2019 at 12:00
When is this envoy in relationship to other time periods of Japan?  Japan was not united at this time, not unti Ieyesu (spelling?) and then the Tokugawa shogunate, correct?  When is Buddhism introduced into Japan, at this time (the time of the envoy) or earlier?

I studied Japanese language and culture for a couple years in college (30 years ago), Karedomo, washi no Nihongo warui desu. (eigo kudaseimasenka) dewa mash*ta.  

 franciscosan
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Kiritsubo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Kiritsubo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2019 at 01:24
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

When is this envoy in relationship to other time periods of Japan?  Japan was not united at this time, not unti Ieyesu (spelling?) and then the Tokugawa shogunate, correct?  When is Buddhism introduced into Japan, at this time (the time of the envoy) or earlier?

I studied Japanese language and culture for a couple years in college (30 years ago), Karedomo, washi no Nihongo warui desu. (eigo kudaseimasenka) dewa mash*ta.  

 franciscosan

Ohhh someone replied to me!  I am so delighted to have received your reply, franciscosan!!

Yes, this envoy was between the time year 630 to 894.  The envoy was carried out about 20 times.There were ambassadors, officers, sailors, doctors, students, monks on board the ships. Yes, and the year from 1639 to 1864, Japan was under the national isolation policy.  So you were right it was Ieyasu's administrationSmile and the American Black ship came 黒船。Commodore Matthew C Perry had reached Uraga by the Black ships in 1854.  Buddhism was first introduced in 538, at one time, there was a boom but then it was said to be inappropriate because the Shintoism was the main religion in Japan, but two religions coexist nowadays.  You speak Japanese very well!  wow! not at all! anata no nihonngo wa subarashii desu! I will try to post some more from time to time! In the mean time, I will explore your posts! SmileSmileSmileSmile
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Vanuatu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2019 at 15:03
Originally posted by Kiritsubo Kiritsubo wrote:

Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

Hello Kiritsubo!

We are very pleased to read your posts, thank you for hanging out with us Tongue

Stay and teach/contribute as much as you like and Thank You!

Hello! Vanatu, 
I am just a learner of both English language and history of Japan and the world.  So I would be very pleased to be here and I find reading all the posts here should be worthwhile!  Thank you very much for your warm welcome! SmileSmileSmile
You write like a native! Excellent.Thumbs Up

I am looking forward to some discussion, it will require some reading about the envoy. 
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2019 at 01:44
SmileHello, 
I have some questions if you don't mind, it's a great topic.

How long would it take to get to China in row boat? 

Do know where they would have departed from?


The account of the envoy in 777, which became a disaster in 778 on the return voyage is a historical rarity. The survivor's story is amazing but not unusual for these times, he's part of the merchant trade. The Chinese were also coming back to Japan. The Buddhist monasteries flourish around the capitol, become powerful, get wealthy and start making life difficult. 
The capitol was moved to Kyoto and there is an official reason for moving the capitol (then called Heijō)yet this is very familiar to the situation in Europe and the church of Rome. Central authority and religion usually mean repression and exploitation.
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
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