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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2008 at 18:19
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Japanese culture is clearly different from today's Chinese culture, but they ARE both rooted in ancient Chinese civilization, just like how American culture today is rooted in British culture. I think thats what Sarmat means by offshoot. The two are different today, and I also wouldn't call American culture British, but its just playing with semantics. 
 
Yes, you're totally correct that's what I meant. Nobody argues that Japan is unique now, but the civilization/culture of Japan is rooted in ancient Chinese civilization. And as I pointed out, some aspects of Japanese culture are actually closer to the classical Chinese pattern than the Modern Chinese culture.
 


Edited by Sarmat12 - 24-Jul-2008 at 18:20
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2008 at 19:07
""The Buddhist element is not only in the name. Zen Buddhism is a school of Mahayana Buddhism which comes directly from India. Perhaps whether you consider the ultimate origin of Zen Buddhism in India or China is a matter of ''relativity'', your favorite word/logic.  """

No, and that was the entire point. Zen Buddhism is not just a branch of Mahayana Buddhism and there are many scholars who challenged whether its buddhist at all, since some of the fundamental concepts are totally different. The doubt of the authenticity of zen had a long historical tradition. You might want to read the site I gave you, since it explained it quite clearly. Here is an argument made by a recent Japanese scholar on why Zen isn't Buddhism:

http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Critic..._Buddhism_1.pdf

Just because it labeled itself as Buddhist doesn't mean its Buddhism. The Gnostics also claim they are Chritians but their believes are totally different. And unlike other religion, Buddhism is an entire school of philosophy where Chinese contributed a major part in its formation. Saying Buddhism is Indian is like saying Classical music is Italian because it originated there.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2008 at 19:14
""I find it to be double-standard that here you are so clearly stating that Zen was an indigenous Chinese development which was simply influenced by Buddhism from India, while later when the Japanese culture is in question, you do not distinguish between A being influenced by B and A being rooted in B."""

But the difference is that Zen is as much rooted in Indian Buddhism as Daoism, which existed before Buddhism even entered China, while many individual Japanese creations such as Japanese Zen schools were formed out of a complete borrowing of Chinese elements with no Japanese precedents.


""""1. If his/her points were simply to point out the Chinese influence on Japanese culture, I would have had no objections because I am not denying the great Chinese influence on Japan at all, however as I already wrote, he/she was trying to make Japanese culture an offshoot of the Chinese civilization by denying the indigenous Japanese elements which were independent from the Chinese civilization. As I wrote many times, saying that A was influenced by B, and saying that A originated in B, are different. I am not objecting the one-sidedness of the Chinese influence either, but once you acknowledge the fact that 'influence' and 'origin' are different from each other, which you seem to have done here, the one-sidedness is neither here nor there.
2. Which European countries in which era are you talking about? If you are talking about Ireland and England, I never mentioned these two specific nations in this thread as examples until my last post which was a response to you. As far as I can see, the member I was having the discussion with never brought European countries into the discussion as a comparison.
3. China being much larger than Japan as opposed to European countries that you are referring to being roughly equal in size,  does not make Japan Chinese in Origin, even ''relatively''.""""

Again, we are playing with semantics. I believe by offshoot, Sarmary simply meant that Japanese civilization developed from classical Chinese civilization, it obviously has original contributions, or else any civilization will stagnate. Just like how someone can say British culture is an offshoot of Greco Roman civilization. Whether one agree or not is again just relativity.Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2008 at 19:34
Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:


 The issue was not whether which is the same as which now, nor a political one. It was whether one is rooted in the other or not. Taiwan, regardless of the later developments that distinguish it from the mainland China, is an offshoot, a branch of China in every aspect (that is if we do not mean the Aboriginals by 'Taiwanese' as we do not mean the Ainus by 'Japanese'). Japan is not. It was an independent nation in every aspect of its origin, which was naturally simply influenced by China, the superpower of the region.




Political independence and cultural independence is two completely different things. Why are you using political history as a proof of any sort? If you consider Taiwan to be an offshoot, then I also consider Japan to be an offshoot. Relatively speaking it has indeed more indigenous element than Taiwan, but in the overall picture, that element is extremely small. During the Tokugawa period, There was a national studies 国学 that was distinguished from the mainstream Confucianism(which was admitted to be Chinese). This school aimed at getting rid of Chinese elements in Japanese culture and tried to emphasize whats originally Japanese before the Chinese influence. Yet the school had little to offer other than sensibility. As one historian observed: "National studies had several weaknesses that prevented it from becoming mainstream of JApanese thought. First, even the most refined sensibility is no substitute for philosophy... " The thing is there is little originality to Japanese culture that could be traced prior to the entry of Chinese civilization.  That is why many historians considers it to be an offshoot of Chinese civilization. That doesn't mean Japanese civilization is the same, no one here argued that. But thats precisely what offshoot means, the offshoot branch is obviously different from the original branch or else they would be the same branch.

Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:



Anyway, if you are capable of acknowledging that Taiwan is different from China according to your logic of ''relativity'' despite the fact that Taiwan was an Offshoot of China, then perhaps you can see the difference in the origins of Japanese culture even more so.

Do you even know what relatively means? If its relative, I'm obviously not arguing either way. Japan is obviously more different; relatively than Taiwan is from China. You are making absolute generalizations.


Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:


No, this part is not playing with semantics. In the case of USA, the British or the European population replaced the native American population. If the native Americans had stayed independent, were not demographically replaced by the Europeans and it was just that their indigenous cultures were influenced by the European cultures, then it can be used as an example to explain the Japanese/Chinese relation.


Which part isn't? Modern American culture is quite different from British or European culture. I could just as well argue that its a different culture. And what does replacing native population has anything to do with culture? Thats a demographic change, not a cultural one. As I said, if modern European culture can be called an offshoot of Greco Roman ones, then Japanese cultures qualifies even more so.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2008 at 20:31
""Yes, you're totally correct that's what I meant. Nobody argues that Japan is unique now, but the civilization/culture of Japan is rooted in ancient Chinese civilization. And as I pointed out, some aspects of Japanese culture are actually closer to the classical Chinese pattern than the Modern Chinese culture.""

You might also like to examine the famous historian Tonyabee's view:
"Civilized life in Japan is an offshoot of the civilization of China and can be comprehended only as a part of that whole."
He divides Far Eastern civilization into two subgroups one on the mainland and one in Japan in which the one in the mainland has actually already died.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2008 at 22:47

Yes, I know the view of Toynbee. I think I even refered to him in my previous posts. Some other historian also collectively refer to China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam as "Confucian cilvilization." Confucianism originated in China of course.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote omshanti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2008 at 00:35
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

""The Buddhist element is not only in the name. Zen Buddhism is a school of Mahayana Buddhism which comes directly from India. Perhaps whether you consider the ultimate origin of Zen Buddhism in India or China is a matter of ''relativity'', your favorite word/logic.  """No, and that was the entire point. Zen Buddhism is not just a branch of Mahayana Buddhism and there are many scholars who challenged whether its buddhist at all, since some of the fundamental concepts are totally different. The doubt of the authenticity of zen had a long historical tradition. You might want to read the site I gave you, since it explained it quite clearly. Here is an argument made by a recent Japanese scholar on why Zen isn't Buddhism:http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Critic..._Buddhism_1.pdf
1. This article is not about why Zen Buddhism is not Buddhism, but about why some people think that it is not Buddhism. As you wrote, this debate of whether Zen is Buddhism or not has been going on for a long time without either side winning, meaning that whether Zen is Buddhism or not is still debatable and has not reached a conclusion (if it ever would).
2. This article is mostly about the (Zen)Buddhism in Japan. The main reason it says that Zen Buddhism in Japan is not Buddhism is that Hongaku shiso, the main idea of Zen Buddhism took a life of its own in Japan due to Shinto/animistic influence. 
3. Another reason that it says Zen Buddhism is not Buddhism is that in China Tathagata Gharba/Dhatu-vada principles crept in and replaced anatman and pratityasamutpada principles (which are thought to be closer to Buddha's words) in Buddhism. You have to note that Dhatu vada is still from India.
4. It still notes that the idea of original enlightenment along with the awakening of Mahayana faith had an immense influence on east Asian doctrines.
5. It says that basis of the consciousness of Japanese people is animism and ancestral veneration.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Just because it labeled itself as Buddhist doesn't mean its Buddhism.
It is not just labeled Buddhism. As the article notes, the influence of Buddhism is immense but there are some underlining factors which crept in in China and took a life of their own in Japan that can be against Buddha's words from a critical Buddhism (which the whole article is really about) point of view. The debate is still ongoing, so it is not concluded.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

The Gnostics also claim they are Chritians but their believes are totally different.
They are Christians, they just believed in parts of the texts which were not approved of by the Christian authority of the time.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

And unlike other religion, Buddhism is an entire school of philosophy where Chinese contributed a major part in its formation. Saying Buddhism is Indian is like saying Classical music is Italian because it originated there.
Funny that this comes from a person who tries to ignore the indigenous elements in Japanese culture in order to say that it originated in China. As I already I wrote in my previous post, I wrote that Buddhism is Indian according to the stance the member I was having the discussion with was taking, which ignores all the local/indigenous elements/influences added when something travels out of where it originated. How many times do you need me to write this? I wrote it in order to put the logic I was opposing into perspective.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

""I find it to be double-standard that here you are so clearly stating that Zen was an indigenous Chinese development which was simply influenced by Buddhism from India, while later when the Japanese culture is in question, you do not distinguish between A being influenced by B and A being rooted in B."""But the difference is that Zen is as much rooted in Indian Buddhism as Daoism,
So then, the Buddhism element is not only the name but 50 % of Zen Buddhism. So which one is it? Is it only the name or 50% of it? Also this means that according to your (and Sarmat's) stance of not acknowledging indigenous/local elements, the fact that any trace of Buddhism can be found in Zen Buddhism will show that it originated in India.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

that is which existed before Buddhism even entered China,
That is why it is called 'the indigenous element', however according to your stance, indigenous elements are neither here nor there because you don't acknowledge them.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

while many individual Japanese creations such as Japanese Zen schools were formed out of a complete borrowing of Chinese elements with no Japanese precedents.
The article you yourself provided says otherwise, that Zen Buddhism took a life of its own in Japan due to native perspectives. In fact this was one of the main reasons as to why it said that the scholar in question did not consider it to be Buddhist.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

""""1. If his/her points were simply to point out the Chinese influence on Japanese culture, I would have had no objections because I am not denying the great Chinese influence on Japan at all, however as I already wrote, he/she was trying to make Japanese culture an offshoot of the Chinese civilization by denying the indigenous Japanese elements which were independent from the Chinese civilization. As I wrote many times, saying that A was influenced by B, and saying that A originated in B, are different. I am not objecting the one-sidedness of the Chinese influence either, but once you acknowledge the fact that 'influence' and 'origin' are different from each other, which you seem to have done here, the one-sidedness is neither here nor there.
2. Which European countries in which era are you talking about? If you are talking about Ireland and England, I never mentioned these two specific nations in this thread as examples until my last post which was a response to you. As far as I can see, the member I was having the discussion with never brought European countries into the discussion as a comparison.
3. China being much larger than Japan as opposed to European countries that you are referring to being roughly equal in size,  does not make Japan Chinese in Origin, even ''relatively''.""""
Again, we are playing with semantics. I believe by offshoot, Sarmary simply meant that Japanese civilization developed from classical Chinese civilization, it obviously has original contributions, or else any civilization will stagnate. Just like how someone can say British culture is an offshoot of Greco Roman civilization.
No this is not a matter of semantics, but a matter of how closely you look at things, whether you focus on the whole or just parts, and which aspects you focus on. First of all, Britain is not a good example because it was geographically part of the Roman empire. Japan was never part of China, therefore perhaps the Scandinavian, Baltic or east European countries  that were never part of the Roman empire would be better examples. Nevertheless, Britain can be considered to be a part of the Greaco-Roman sphere but to say that British culture originated in Italy or Greece would be completely ignoring the Celtic and the pre-Celtic Britanic culture in Britain. The same goes for Japan.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Whether one agree or not is again just relativity.Smile
If it is relative then it means that neither is wrong, but then why do you have problems with my perspective if you know that it is relative?  The moment you say that it is relative, you are saying that we are both right and there is no room for a debate. You are acting otherwise.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

The issue was not whether which is the same as which now, nor a political one. It was whether one is rooted in the other or not. Taiwan, regardless of the later developments that distinguish it from the mainland China, is an offshoot, a branch of China in every aspect (that is if we do not mean the Aboriginals by 'Taiwanese' as we do not mean the Ainus by 'Japanese'). Japan is not. It was an independent nation in every aspect of its origin, which was naturally simply influenced by China, the superpower of the region.
Political independence and cultural independence is two completely different things. Why are you using political history as a proof of any sort?
I did not use ''political history'' to prove anything. If you had read my post carefully, you would have noticed that I very clearly wrote that the issue is not a political one. I highlighted it for you in the quote above just in case you have difficulty finding it. By independent, I meant ethnically, genetically, linguistically and archaeologically.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

If you consider Taiwan to be an offshoot, then I also consider Japan to be an offshoot.
I consider Taiwan to be an offshoot of China because the majority of the population is Han Chinese people who came from the mainland China and who spoke a Chinese language. Japan is a completely different matter, so you can't just say that since Taiwan is so and so, Japan is also so and so. 
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Relatively speaking it has indeed more indigenous element than Taiwan, but in the overall picture, that element is extremely small. During the Tokugawa period, There was a national studies 国学 that was distinguished from the mainstream Confucianism(which was admitted to be Chinese). This school aimed at getting rid of Chinese elements in Japanese culture and tried to emphasize whats originally Japanese before the Chinese influence.
国学 was a movement which aimed at reviving the indigenous Japanese cultural elements by distinguishing them from any foreign influence, not just Chinese, which included Buddhism and European influence.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Yet the school had little to offer other than sensibility.
It had Shinto, it had the underlying animistic perspective on which the Japanese perspective stood on, It had ancient literature and poetry, It had the Japanese language, it had all this to offer and naturally it did gain enough popularity to be able to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate. 
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

As one historian observed: "National studies had several weaknesses that prevented it from becoming mainstream of JApanese thought. First, even the most refined sensibility is no substitute for philosophy... "
This historian seems to have missed the fact that it became the main stream of Japanese thought to a degree where it led to the nationalism seen in the early 20th century.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

The thing is there is little originality to Japanese culture that could be traced prior to the entry of Chinese civilization.
This is a very ignorant statement.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

That is why many historians considers it to be an offshoot of Chinese civilization.
As far as I know many historians  consider Japan to be the continuation of Jomon and Yayoi cultures rather than an offshoot of China.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

That doesn't mean Japanese civilization is the same, no one here argued that.
You were the only one who used the word 'same' for Japan and China in this thread, nevertheless I said that it has nothing to do with the topic, considered the comment to be trivial, and did not take issues with it. So I really see no point in what you wrote here.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

But thats precisely what offshoot means, the offshoot branch is obviously different from the original branch or else they would be the same branch.
Wait a minute, you say above that no one argued that Japan and China are the same, and then here you are saying that that is precisely what offshoot means. Then you do acknowledge yourself that you were arguing that Japan and China are the same.
Nonetheless, as I wrote, Japanese culture is not an offshoot of China. Stating otherwise would be ignoring the indigenous elements in Japan, not to mention the language and the origin of the Yayoi people.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

Anyway, if you are capable of acknowledging that Taiwan is different from China according to your logic of ''relativity'' despite the fact that Taiwan was an Offshoot of China, then perhaps you can see the difference in the origins of Japanese culture even more so.
Do you even know what relatively means? If its relative, I'm obviously not arguing either way. Japan is obviously more different; relatively than Taiwan is from China. You are making absolute generalizations.
What generalizations? To me, saying that Japan is an offshoot of China and that it is compared with Taiwan on a basis that they both originated in China, is the generalization.  Relativity only stands when two entities are on a common ground with regards to another entity.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

No, this part is not playing with semantics. In the case of USA, the British or the European population replaced the native American population. If the native Americans had stayed independent, were not demographically replaced by the Europeans and it was just that their indigenous cultures were influenced by the European cultures, then it can be used as an example to explain the Japanese/Chinese relation.
Which part isn't?
You are making it seem as if every thing we discuss is semantics or relative. Then why are you arguing in the first place? If you consider the difference in our stances to be superficial or relative, you should have no problems with my views because you are basically saying that relatively and according to the words they use every body is right. 
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Modern American culture is quite different from British or European culture. I could just as well argue that its a different culture.
Whether USA is different from Europe or not is completely irrelevant to what I wrote in my post, because I was talking about  origins. 
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

And what does replacing native population has anything to do with culture? Thats a demographic change, not a cultural one.
When the native population is intact and stays the majority, it is more likely that their indigenous culture would become the base on which the foreign influence is added (unless the foreign culture was forced upon them), whereas when the native population is replaced, it is more likely to be the culture of the incomers that becomes the basis.   
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

As I said, if modern European culture can be called an offshoot of Greco Roman ones, then Japanese cultures qualifies even more so.
Why ''more so''?
As I wrote before, modern European nations can be considered to be part of the Greco-Roman sphere when you look at them broadly, generalize them, or only focus on certain aspects of their cultures (such as institutions and scripts) while ignoring many other aspects. The point is that when you look at them closely, you would notice that each region in Europe has its own distinct culture some of which may be related to each other and some may not. I would like you to define 'culture' for me, so I can see which aspects you are focusing on and also how close you are looking at things. Is language for example included in 'culture' for you? How about the underlying outlook of the world?


Edited by omshanti - 28-Jul-2008 at 22:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2008 at 01:18
omshanti, I must say that, after reading many of your posts (which I tend to do with most everyone on the forum), I admire your work. This may seem like it is coming out of nowhere and I may look like I'm trolling but you do have a magnificent way in getting your points across. I don't pass judgement on these issues you discuss (or wether you are right or wrong) since I am rarely familiar with the content myself.
 
Neither am I discluding others on this forum from admiration. One at a time.
 
Just my two cents worth. Thumbs%20Up


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Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Modern American culture is quite different from British or European culture. I could just as well argue that its a different culture. And what does replacing native population has anything to do with culture? Thats a demographic change, not a cultural one. As I said, if modern European culture can be called an offshoot of Greco Roman ones, then Japanese cultures qualifies even more so.

OK, this is absolutely ridiculous. The situation in Japan is not remotely analogous to North America, where the indigenous culture was invaded and almost completely destroyed, while a new culture was imported whole-cloth. The Japanese imported a great deal from China - particularly around the 7th and 8th centuries - but Japanese culture was already well established before this influence occurred and, moreover, the Japanese imported Chinese ideas largely on their own terms and according to their own needs (as they would do with Western ideas later).

Perhaps it would help me understand your argument if you (any of you who consider Japanese civilization an offshoot of the Chinese one) were to answer the following question: Do you consider Japanese civilization to have begun in the 7th century, with the previous indiginous development of the island being peripheral to its later development?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2008 at 04:49

"""1. This article is not about why Zen Buddhism is not Buddhism, but about why some people think that it is not Buddhism. As you wrote, this debate of whether Zen is Buddhism or not has been going on for a long time without either side winning, meaning that whether Zen is Buddhism or not is still debatable and has not reached a conclusion (if it ever would).""""

Yet most academics consider it an amalgamation of Daoism and Buddhism, I think I got my point cross clear, enough, its not solely rooted in Buddhism and whether it has more Daoist or Buddhist element is still a debate, but thats precisely why you shouldn't use it as an example.


"""2. This article is mostly about the (Zen)Buddhism in Japan. The main reason it says that Zen Buddhism in Japan is not Buddhism is that Hongaku shiso, the main idea of Zen Buddhism took a life of its own in Japan due to Shinto/animistic influence.  """

This article was only an example I used. The point been Zen isn't simply rooted in buddhist.
3. Another reason that it says Zen Buddhism is not Buddhism is that in China Dhatu-vada principles crept in and replaced Tathagata Gharba principles (which are thought to be closer to Buddha's words) in Buddhism. You have to note that Dhatu vada is still from India.
"""4. It still notes that the idea of original enlightenment along with the awakening of Mahayana faith had an immense influence on east Asian doctrines. """

Yet as we've discussed on CHF, this original enlightenment is actually a Daoist concept that could be found in Zhuang Zi.

"""5. It says that basis of the consciousness of Japanese people is animism and ancestral veneration."""

That has nothing to do with whether zen is buddhist
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2008 at 05:10
Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

It is not just labeled Buddhism. As the article notes, the influence of Buddhism is immense but there are some underlining factors which crept in in China and took a life of their own in Japan that can be against Buddha's words from a critical Buddhism (which the whole article is really about) point of view. The debate is still ongoing, so it is not concluded.



If its still a debate, it shouldn't be used as a cogent example by you. The fact that its debate at all shows that there are far more to Zen than Buddhist roots in India.

Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Funny that this comes from a person who tries to ignore the indigenous elements in Japanese culture in order to say that it originated in China. As I already I wrote in my previous post, I wrote that Buddhism is Indian according to the stance the member I was having the discussion with was taking, which ignores all the local/indigenous elements/influences added when something travels out of where it originated. How many times do you need me to write this? I wrote it in order to put the logic I was opposing into perspective.


Funny that you try to make strawman arguments without actually directly responding to my post. The difference as I said before was that Buddhism mixed with local culture that already existed, while many Japanese adoption of Chinese culture wholesale and only developed differently later. That is what I meant by offshoot.


Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

So then, the Buddhism element is not only the name but 50 % of Zen Buddhism. So which one is it? Is it only the name or 50% of it? Also this means that according to your (and Sarmat's) stance of not acknowledging indigenous/local elements, the fact that any trace of Buddhism can be found in Zen Buddhism will show that it originated in India.


Where do you see the conflict between these two statements? Its philosophy is around half Buddhism(and you can't just give exact figures here). Yet the very fact that only half came from India means that half came from China. While in Japan's case, many culture taken wholesale from China and only had a different trajectory that spawned later, as in the case of Japanese Zen.


Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:


The article you yourself provided says otherwise, that Zen Buddhism took a life of its own in Japan due to native perspectives. In fact this was one of the main reasons as to why it said that the scholar in question did not consider it to be Buddhist.


 No, it didn't. The early zen schools were completely based off of Chinese teachings, the later sects of Japanese zen only developed after zen was already in Japan for centuries. Opposed to Zen compared to Buddhism, when the very creation of Zen is rooted in Daoist philosophy.


Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:


No this is not a matter of semantics, but a matter of how closely you look at things, whether you focus on the whole or just parts, and which aspects you focus on. First of all, Britain is not a good example because it was geographically part of the Roman empire. Japan was never part of China, therefore perhaps the Scandinavian, Baltic or east European countries  that were never part of the Roman empire would be better examples. Nevertheless, Britain can be considered to be a part of the Greaco-Roman sphere but to say that British culture originated in Italy or Greece would be completely ignoring the Celtic and the pre-Celtic Britanic culture in Britain. The same goes for Japan.


No its semantics plain and simple. Since an offshoot has multiple definitions and plenty of historians call the British an offshoot of Greco Roman culture. Whether Britain was geographically part of the Roman Empire is completely irrelevant to our present discussion. Egypt is also part of the Roman Empire, but its not an offshoot of Roman culture. Culture and politics are two different things. No one ever said British culture originated in Italy, nor has anyone said Japanese culture originated in China. All we've said is that its an offshoot of Chinese culture, thats why its semantics.




[QUOTE=honeybee]
 If it is relative then it means that neither is wrong, but then why do you have problems with my perspective if you know that it is relative?  The moment you say that it is relative, you are saying that we are both right and there is no room for a debate. You are acting otherwise.


It is neither wrong or right. But we are debating because you insist that its wrong.Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2008 at 05:10
Originally posted by Bernard Woolley Bernard Woolley wrote:

OK, this is absolutely ridiculous. The situation in Japan is not remotely analogous to North America, where the indigenous culture was invaded and almost completely destroyed, while a new culture was imported whole-cloth. The Japanese imported a great deal from China - particularly around the 7th and 8th centuries - but Japanese culture was already well established before this influence occurred and, moreover, the Japanese imported Chinese ideas largely on their own terms and according to their own needs (as they would do with Western ideas later).
 
What? Confused  Japanese imported Chinese ideas in Chinese language. Actually at least 60% of modern Japanese words are of Chinese origin. Classical Chinese language, called kanbun in Japan, was the official language of the Japanese government until relatively recently. This relates to the literature as well.
How can you say that the culture was established if the first written documents in Japan as well the first historical accounts appear only after the contact with China?
 
The process of adoption of Western ideas in the 19th century and the process of adoption of Chinese ideas in the 5th-7th century in Japan was complitely different.
 
In the 5-7th century, Japanese went to China and Korea learned classical Chinese, learned Chinese ideas and principles then they went back and taught the others Classical Chinese and all that knowledge. They didn't have any alternative sources of such knowledge neither did they have any alternative channel (I mean written language) to express this knowledge. Later those people continued to use Classical Chinese and the same fundamental concepts.
 
However, when the Western ideas were adobted Japanese already had written language and long tradition of expression of abstract ideas in the written form. So, this time they indeed had to transfer Western ideas into the form of Chinese characters in order to facilitate their understanding. And it was very interesting process indeed.
 
Originally posted by Bernard Woolley Bernard Woolley wrote:

Perhaps it would help me understand your argument if you (any of you who consider Japanese civilization an offshoot of the Chinese one) were to answer the following question: Do you consider Japanese civilization to have begun in the 7th century, with the previous indiginous development of the island being peripheral to its later development?
 
Previous indiginous Japanese development much earlier than the 7th century AD was under Chinese influence already.


Edited by Sarmat12 - 25-Jul-2008 at 05:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2008 at 05:19
Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

"This historian seems to have missed the fact that it became the main stream of Japanese thought to a degree where it led to the nationalism seen in the early 20th century.




lol, no ithats not the definition of mainstream culture, whether it lead to nationalism in the early 20th century is impertinent to the fact that its not the mainstream culture during the 18th century. If you want to argue whether Japan became a different civilization later, thats a different story, but the fact is prior to the 19th century, the mainstream Japanese philosophy was Chinese, and thats even admitted by the national school themselves, which is why they attempt to get rid of it.

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

This is a very ignorant statement.


Yes this one sentence reply with no substance is so intelligent


Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

Whether USA is different from Europe or not is completely irrelevant to what I wrote in my post, because I was talking about  origins.


No its relevant, because we are making an analogy between Japan and China, if you don;t think US is not an offshoot culture from continental Europe, then you can't apply a double standard to Japan not been an offshoot culture of China.


 
Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

Japan is a completely different matter, so you can't just say that since Taiwan is so and so, Japan is also so and so.


I didn't say that. I used Taiwan as another analogy for my argument of relativity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2008 at 05:20
my first post was a bit screwed up, so please read the material in the quote. Damn, the AE quote system is really annoying, is there a simpler method? And why isn't there an edit system?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2008 at 05:23
Originally posted by Bernard Woolley Bernard Woolley wrote:

OK, this is absolutely ridiculous. The situation in Japan is not remotely analogous to North America, where the indigenous culture was invaded and almost completely destroyed, while a new culture was imported whole-cloth. The Japanese imported a great deal from China - particularly around the 7th and 8th centuries - but Japanese culture was already well established before this influence occurred and, moreover, the Japanese imported Chinese ideas largely on their own terms and according to their own needs (as they would do with Western ideas later).

Perhaps it would help me understand your argument if you (any of you who consider Japanese civilization an offshoot of the Chinese one) were to answer the following question: Do you consider Japanese civilization to have begun in the 7th century, with the previous indiginous development of the island being peripheral to its later development?


I'm not talking about Native American culture genius. I'm talking about modern American culture.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2008 at 05:35
""How can you say that the culture was established if the first written documents in Japan as well the first historical accounts appear only after the contact with China?"""

Granted, culture and civilization is two different things. But traditional Japanese culture is much closer to Chinese than the semi tribal system it had prior to Chinese contact. Thats why we call it an offshoot of Chinese civilization, it doesn't mean that there are nothing original in Japanese culture, which was what our friend here mistakenly think we meant. It only mean that this originality was spawned from the already existing Chinese culture. If the only thing that the national school can trace back to original Japanese culture is shinto  prior to the Chinese cultural penetration, then that is already a very weak case to say that Japan already had a sophisticated culture prior to its import from China and that Japan merely picked up Chinese culture but the original indigenous Japanese culture was still mainstream, which obviously wasn't the case. Chinese culture was the mainstream until the West penetrated Japan in the 19th century. And the students from the national school of Japan such as Yukichi explicitly statd this fact.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2008 at 05:44
I still see that traditional Japanese culture is highly influenced by Confucianism and the West hasn't changed that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honeybee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2008 at 05:47
""""When the native population is intact and stays the majority, it is more likely that their indigenous culture would become the base on which the foreign influence is added (unless the foreign culture was forced upon them), whereas when the native population is replaced, it is more likely to be the culture of the incomers that becomes the basis.   """"

I'm sorry but that claim is completely unfounded. Today's Americans only have a very small percentage of their original British origin. The immigrants of the 19th century has already decisively changed the American gene component. DNA results on the British on the other hand shows that there are still around 2/3-3/7 overlap between the original inhabitants of Britain and the British of post Anglo Germanic invasion. Yet the culture and civilization was a different one.(Just like how the Japanese prior to the Chinese were different, yes certain elements of the original people were indeed retained, such as gods, but very little can be traced to the original Japanese culture prior to the Chinese penetration).

"""Why ''more so''?
As I wrote before, modern European nations can be considered to be part of the Greco-Roman sphere when you look at them broadly, generalize them, or only focus on certain aspects of their cultures (such as institutions and scripts) while ignoring many other aspects. The point is that when you look at them closely, you would notice that each region in Europe has its own distinct culture some of which may be related to each other and some may not. I would like you to define 'culture' for me, so I can see which aspects you are focusing on and also how close you are looking at things. Is language for example included in 'culture' for you? How about the underlying outlook of the world?"""

Then Japan is also part of the Chinese sphere with the same rationality. You don't have to call it an offshoot if you find the term offensive, but don't attack others because their definition of offshoot differs from yours.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ryukyu Magic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2008 at 10:35
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Today's Americans only have a very small percentage of their original British origin. The immigrants of the 19th century has already decisively changed the American gene component.

They were only the British colonies in their final stages before the American revolution. The French, the Germans, the Spanish, the Dutch, the Swedes, the Portuguese and probably more, were all over the 13 colonies and some European nations had at one point controlled one colony or another. Just saying.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote omshanti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jul-2008 at 13:30
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:


Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

1. This article is not about why Zen Buddhism is not Buddhism, but about why some people think that it is not Buddhism. As you wrote, this debate of whether Zen is Buddhism or not has been going on for a long time without either side winning, meaning that whether Zen is Buddhism or not is still debatable and has not reached a conclusion (if it ever would).


Yet most academics consider it an amalgamation of Daoism and Buddhism, I think I got my point cross clear, enough, its not solely rooted in Buddhism and whether it has more Daoist or Buddhist element is still a debate, but thats precisely why you shouldn't use it as an example.
First you said that it was only the label that was Buddhism, now you accept that it is not only the name but half the content.  It is natural for anything that travels out of its birth place to other regions to amalgamate with the exiting local elements of the region that it travelled to. This can also be said about any Chinese cultural influence that travelled to Japan. that is why I was drawing a parallel. When it comes to Chinese/Japanese relation you ignore the indigenous Japanese elements which were at the receiving end,  yet when it comes  to Indian/Chinese relation you only focus on the receiving end.
Anyway have you read the article you posted yourself? Your responds to me seem to depart from the article.



Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

2. This article is mostly about the (Zen)Buddhism in Japan. The main reason it says that Zen Buddhism in Japan is not Buddhism is that Hongaku shiso, the main idea of Zen Buddhism took a life of its own in Japan due to Shinto/animistic influence.


This article was only an example I used.
Whether it being ''just an example'' or not does not change the fact that the points I stated were its main points, which were not exactly in accordance with what you have been claiming despite the fact that you provided it.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

The point been Zen isn't simply rooted in buddhist.
Many elements from many regions influenced each other and became the Zen as we know it today. Buddhism is certainly there as a main influence.  There are simply some underlining factors that crept in which are thought to be antithetical to Buddha's words, which is the main reason critical Buddhists argue that it is not Buddhism.   
Since there certainly was an Buddhism element, it can still be considered to have originated in India according to your stance.

Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

3. Another reason that it says Zen Buddhism is not Buddhism is that in China Dhatu-vada principles crept in and replaced Tathagata Gharba principles (which are thought to be closer to Buddha's words) in Buddhism. You have to note that Dhatu vada is still from India.
4. It still notes that the idea of original enlightenment along with the awakening of Mahayana faith had an immense influence on east Asian doctrines.


Yet as we've discussed on CHF, this original enlightenment is actually a Daoist concept that could be found in Zhuang Zi.
The awakening of Mahayana faith which was the earliest source of ''original enlightenment'' was written by the Indian master Asvaghosa. The idea that all beings are enlightened (original enlightenment) as opposed to the ''actualization of enlightenment'' is one of the characteristics of the Dhatu-vada which is considered antithetical to buddhism from a critical Buddhism point of view. However, Dhatu vada way of thinking can be found in all ancient societies especially societies which still retained strong animistic traditions, which explains why Zen Buddhism with a Dhatu vada element took a life of its own in Japan.

Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

5. It says that basis of the consciousness of Japanese people is animism and ancestral veneration.
That has nothing to do with whether zen is buddhist
It has a lot to do with how Zen Buddhism took a life of its own in Japan which was one of the main points in the article. Also this shows very well that pre-Chinese-influence Japanese culture is still very much alive in the consciousness of Japanese people.

Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

It is not just labeled Buddhism. As the article notes, the influence of Buddhism is immense but there are some underlining factors which crept in in China and took a life of their own in Japan that can be against Buddha's words from a critical Buddhism (which the whole article is really about) point of view. The debate is still ongoing, so it is not concluded.
if its still a debate, it shouldn't be used as a cogent example by you. The fact that its debate at all shows that there are far more to Zen than Buddhist roots in India.
You seem to have completely missed the first part of  the paragraph you quoted from me. I highlighted it for you. The existence of a debate regarding something is not a standard as to why somebody can not use that something as an example. Otherwise you can not use most of the things in the world. Also if the fact that there is a debate shows that there are far more to Zen than Buddhist roots, then the fact that we are having a debate shows that there are far more to Japanese culture than the Chinese influence, doesn't it? You are forgetting the fact that I am not disputing the Chinese elements in Zen Buddhism, but  am simply throwing your own logic back to you. If you can't accept your own logic when they come from me, you can not expect me to accept them either.

Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

Funny that this comes from a person who tries to ignore the indigenous elements in Japanese culture in order to say that it originated in China. As I already I wrote in my previous post, I wrote that Buddhism is Indian according to the stance the member I was having the discussion with was taking, which ignores all the local/indigenous elements/influences added when something travels out of where it originated. How many times do you need me to write this? I wrote it in order to put the logic I was opposing into perspective.
Funny that you try to make strawman arguments without actually directly responding to my post.
I did respond to what you wrote.  You wrote:
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

And unlike other religion, Buddhism is an entire school of philosophy where Chinese contributed a major part in its formation. Saying Buddhism is Indian is like saying Classical music is Italian because it originated there.
and I wrote:
Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

Funny that this comes from a person who tries to ignore the indigenous elements in Japanese culture in order to say that it originated in China. As I already I wrote in my previous post, I wrote that Buddhism is Indian according to the stance the member I was having the discussion with was taking, which ignores all the local/indigenous elements/influences added when something travels out of where it originated. How many times do you need me to write this? I wrote it in order to put the logic I was opposing into perspective.
Just because my response wasn't what you wanted does not mean that I did not respond to you or that I am making empty arguments.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

The difference as I said before was that Buddhism mixed with local culture that already existed, while many Japanese adoption of Chinese culture wholesale and only developed differently later.
Here is where we differ and why I think you are ignorant regarding native Japanese culture. They did not adopt Chinese culture as a whole, they adopted aspects of the Chinese culture, imported technological and cultural innovations from China, and incorporated them with the existing culture that they had. This is a very natural phenomenon since China was the most socially advanced country in the region and it is called 'influence', not 'origination'.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

That is what I meant by offshoot.
Since that is not the case, you can not call it an offshoot. Just because aspects of a culture were imported and for a while used unchanged from the shape they were imported, it does not mean that the whole culture of the importing side originated in the exporting side. As I wrote so many times, as long as you are going to ignore the indigenous elements in Japan and consider Japan to be an offshoot of China, you have to also ignore the Chinese elements in Zen Buddhism and consider it an offshoot of Buddhism. Don't forget that this is your own logic being thrown back at you.

Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

So then, the Buddhism element is not only the name but 50 % of Zen Buddhism. So which one is it? Is it only the name or 50% of it? Also this means that according to your (and Sarmat's) stance of not acknowledging indigenous/local elements, the fact that any trace of Buddhism can be found in Zen Buddhism will show that it originated in India.
Where do you see the conflict between these two statements? Its philosophy is around half Buddhism(and you can't just give exact figures here). Yet the very fact that only half came from India means that half came from China. While in Japan's case, many culture taken wholesale from China and only had a different trajectory that spawned later, as in the case of Japanese Zen.
The conflict is represented in your own sentence. You wrote that ''many culture'' (which I assume to mean many cultural aspects) was taken from China, instead of the whole Chinese culture. This shows that you are aware of the fact that the indigenous Japanese culture was not just wholly replaced by the Chinese culture, but that aspects of the Chinese culture were imported and incorporated into the preexistent culture. The fact that Japanese language is not a Chinese language, that it is not even a part of the Sino-Tibetan language family, shows that one of the biggest elements of what is defined as a 'culture' still remains indigenous Japanese, and this speaks for itself regarding the origin of Japanese people and their culture.  

Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:


The article you yourself provided says otherwise, that Zen Buddhism took a life of its own in Japan due to native perspectives. In fact this was one of the main reasons as to why it said that the scholar in question did not consider it to be Buddhist.
No, it didn't.
With this statement, you have provided me with a very firm reason to strengthen my suspicion that you have not read the article you yourself posted. Just read the article and you will find it.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

The early zen schools were completely based off of Chinese teachings, the later sects of Japanese zen only developed after zen was already in Japan for centuries. Opposed to Zen compared to Buddhism, when the very creation of Zen is rooted in Daoist philosophy.
The fact that it took a while in Japan to mix with the indigenous elements whereas this process happened instantly in China, does not mean that there were no indigenous elements in Japan.


Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:


No this is not a matter of semantics, but a matter of how closely you look at things, whether you focus on the whole or just parts, and which aspects you focus on. First of all, Britain is not a good example because it was geographically part of the Roman empire. Japan was never part of China, therefore perhaps the Scandinavian, Baltic or east European countries  that were never part of the Roman empire would be better examples. Nevertheless, Britain can be considered to be a part of the Greaco-Roman sphere but to say that British culture originated in Italy or Greece would be completely ignoring the Celtic and the pre-Celtic Britanic culture in Britain. The same goes for Japan.


No its semantics plain and simple. Since an offshoot has multiple definitions and plenty of historians call the British an offshoot of Greco Roman culture.
You are making me repeat myself again. This is not a matter of semantics. The definition of 'offshoot' is plain and simple (if I use your own words) and it does not have multiple definitions. It simply means a branch of or a derivative of, both of which suggest a common root/origin, therefore when you say that British cultures are offshoots of the Greco-Roman culture it implies that British cultures as a whole originated in the Greco-Roman culture. This is not the case however, and there were well established Celtic and pre-Celtic-Britanic cultures in Britain before the influence and importation of elements which originated in Italy or Greece. This is probably why I have never heard a Historian claiming that British cultures are offshoots of the Greco-Roman culture. I have seen many scholars who generalize and consider Britain to be a part of the Greco-Roman sphere/circle according to certain aspects within the whole such as religion, institution and script, but this is completely different from stating that the British cultures themselves are offshoots of the Greco-Roman culture. It is because of this that I wrote that it is a matter of how close you observe, whether you take into consideration the whole or parts, and which aspects you focus on, rather than a matter of semantics. 
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Whether Britain was geographically part of the Roman Empire is completely irrelevant to our present discussion.
It is because you have to try to be as accurate as possible when you bring up an example. Japan was never part of China, therefore when you intend to use European nations as analogies it is natural to exclude the areas which were part of the Roman empire. 
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Egypt is also part of the Roman Empire, but its not an offshoot of Roman culture.
First of all as it is clear from my posts, I don't agree with the word 'offshoot' with regards to the relation of Roman culture and the rest of the European cultures, simply because none of the European cultures originated in Rome apart from that of the Rome itself which influenced each region in the rest of  Europe in different aspects and in different magnitudes. The closest to being offshoots are the latin/Romance speaking nations. Hence I prefer 'sphere' because it does not necessarily suggest a shared/common origin for the region in question but suggests a diverse region which was under a shared/common influence at one point in time.
Second of all, the reasons Egypt can not be considered to be part of the Greco-Roman sphere is because
1. It was across the sea and far from the cantre of the Greco-Roman influence.
2. It was always under multiple forces of influence from all directions due to its location, therefore the Greco-Roman influence became minor in proportion.
3. it was conquered by the Arabs and Islam later, and fell into the Arabic/Islamic sphere.
4. it has an archaeologically very well known civilization of its own, which gives a stronger impression for having an established indigenous culture, compared to the other regions which are archaeologically less known and do not qualify to be 'civilizations'.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Culture and politics are two different things.
Yes, but they do influence each other a lot.  Nevertheless, just because I said that it's more accurate to use regions that were not part of the Roman empire, it does not mean that I am talking about politics. It is a matter of the probability of the extent of an influence on a culture.  
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

No one ever said British culture originated in Italy, nor has anyone said Japanese culture originated in China.
You and Sarmat have been saying that Japanese culture originated in China all along. Just have a look at these posts : http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=23458&PID=468818#468818
http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=23458&PID=468934#468934.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

All we've said is that its an offshoot of Chinese culture, thats why its semantics.
  To say that A is an offshoot of B is exactly the same as saying that A originated in B. This is not semantics, it is simple vocabulary and grammar.

Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:


 If it is relative then it means that neither is wrong, but then why do you have problems with my perspective if you know that it is relative?  The moment you say that it is relative, you are saying that we are both right and there is no room for a debate. You are acting otherwise.


It is neither wrong or right. But we are debating because you insist that its wrong.Smile
Remember, the debate started because you picked small sentences out of the context of the discussion I had with someone else 2 months ago, my posts started as a response to your pickings.  According to your logic of relativity in which every body is somehow right, you should have had nothing to pick from my views. Your logic of ''relativity'' seems to only apply to your own views.  You simply justify your own reasonings with ''relativity'' and dismiss the views of others that you disagree with as ''semantics''.  

Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

"This historian seems to have missed the fact that it became the main stream of Japanese thought to a degree where it led to the nationalism seen in the early 20th century.
lol, no ithats not the definition of mainstream culture, whether it lead to nationalism in the early 20th century is impertinent to the fact that its not the mainstream culture during the 18th century.
Whatever your definition of 'mainstream' is, it does not change the fact that it gained enough popularity to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate, put back the emperor in control, establish the Meiji regime, and lead to the nationalism in the 20th century.  
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

If you want to argue whether Japan became a different civilization later, thats a different story, but the fact is prior to the 19th century, the mainstream Japanese philosophy was Chinese, and thats even admitted by the national school themselves, which is why they attempt to get rid of it.
Yes, Confucianism did have a great influence on the ethical philosophy and hierarchy of Japanese people, however these are only parts of the general outlook and the whole culture of Japanese people. Also as I wrote before, kokugaku aimed at reviving the indigenous Japanese cultural elements by distinguishing them from any foreign influence, not just Chinese.

Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

This is a very ignorant statement.
Yes this one sentence reply with no substance is so intelligent
It does have substance because it has a solid basis in a fact which I observed, that your statement was very ignorant of the native Japanese culture which existed before the Chinese influence. Stating an observation has nothing to do with one's intelligence, it is the content of the observation that does, which means that in order to comment on my intelligence you had to comment on the content of the observation, not the expression of it.
Japan is a set of islands which was inhabited by modern humans since at least 30,000 years ago. It is unnatural for a culture (or a set of cultures) that came about as a result of more than 30,000 years of human occupation in a set of islands, to have ''little originality''. I recommend you to have a look at these two links:
http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/cultural/oldworld/asia/jomon.html
http://www.t-net.ne.jp/~keally/yayoi.html
If you go to Japan, you will see, that underneath all the Chinese influence, many traces of these  indigenous cultures can be found everywhere, and that they are still very much alive today.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

Whether USA is different from Europe or not is completely irrelevant to what I wrote in my post, because I was talking about  origins.
No its relevant, because we are making an analogy between Japan and China, if you don;t think US is not an offshoot culture from continental Europe, then you can't apply a double standard to Japan not been an offshoot culture of China.
I have no objection to modern North American culture being an offshoot of Europe. However, in order to see whether it is an offshoot of Europe or not, you have to examine the origin and the process of its origination, that is why I wrote that I am talking about origins. I was not talking about whether USA today is the same as Europe or not. This is why I wrote that what you wrote was irrelevant.  Any way, you are the one who brought the North American analogy in the first place to justify your stance that Japan is an offshoot of China. let me quote the whole dialogue regarding this analogy so you can see the irrelevance of your statement.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Japanese culture is clearly different from today's Chinese culture, but they ARE both rooted in ancient Chinese civilization, just like how American culture today is rooted in British culture. I think thats what Sarmat means by offshoot. The two are different today, and I also wouldn't call American culture British, but its just playing with semantics.
Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

No, this part is not playing with semantics. In the case of USA, the British or the European population replaced the native American population. If the native Americans had stayed independent, were not demographically replaced by the Europeans and it was just that their indigenous cultures were influenced by the European cultures, then it can be used as an example to explain the Japanese/Chinese relation.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Which part isn't? Modern American culture is quite different from British or European culture. I could just as well argue that its a different culture.
As you can see (hopefully), whether they are different or the same today is irrelevant to the issue of whether one of them originated in the other or not.
As to why I don't think the relation between north America and Europe is analogous to the Chinese/Japanese relation, I have already explained the reasons which can be found in the dialogue quoted above. Since I don't consider the cultural replacement of north America to be analogous to the Chinese influence on Japan, it would not be a double standard at all to consider Japanese culture not to be an offshoot of China while considering modern North American culture to be an offshoot of Europe.

Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

Japan is a completely different matter, so you can't just say that since Taiwan is so and so, Japan is also so and so.
I didn't say that. I used Taiwan as another analogy for my argument of relativity.
You did. I had quoted it just above my statement that you quoted here. You conveniently did not include it in your quotes. It was this:
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

If you consider Taiwan to be an offshoot, then I also consider Japan to be an offshoot.

You also very conveniently ignored this part of my post in which I had explained why you can not draw a parallel between Taiwan and Japan:
Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

I consider Taiwan to be an offshoot of China because the majority of the population is Han Chinese people who came from the mainland China and who spoke a Chinese language. Japan is a completely different matter, so you can't just say that since Taiwan is so and so, Japan is also so and so.


Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

When the native population is intact and stays the majority, it is more likely that their indigenous culture would become the base on which the foreign influence is added (unless the foreign culture was forced upon them), whereas when the native population is replaced, it is more likely to be the culture of the incomers that becomes the basis.
I'm sorry but that claim is completely unfounded. Today's Americans only have a very small percentage of their original British origin. The immigrants of the 19th century has already decisively changed the American gene component.
I thought we were talking about the replacement of native American cultures by the European cultures. As I wrote, when the original population is intact and its culture well established, the immigrants will be assimilated into the existing culture. When the immigrants came to the USA in the 19th century, the anglophone culture was well established and the immigrants were assimilated into it because there was no forceful replacement of the anglophone population and culture. However, the native Americans were demographically replaced and their culture destroyed, meaning that there was no culture left to be assimilated into. Continuous immigration from various regions to a well established cultural entity is a different matter from a cultural replacement of a conquered nation. Nonetheless,  neither the former case nor the latter case apply to Chinese influence on Japan, therefore North America is not analogous to it. 
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

DNA results on the British on the other hand shows that there are still around 2/3-3/7 overlap between the original inhabitants of Britain and the British of post Anglo Germanic invasion. Yet the culture and civilization was a different one.
Why do you consider the cultures in Britain after the Anglo- Saxons to be different from the ones before them? Is it because of the English language? If this is the case, it shows that you do consider language to be an indicator of culture, which in turn means that since Japanese language is not even Sino-Tibetan you certainly can not consider Japanese culture to be an offshoot of the Chinese culture/civilization. 
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

(Just like how the Japanese prior to the Chinese were different, yes certain elements of the original people were indeed retained, such as gods, but very little can be traced to the original Japanese culture prior to the Chinese penetration).
You wrote in the highlighted part above that ''the Japanese prior to the Chinese were different''. This shows that Japan is not an offshoot of China. And as I wrote many times, the original/indigenous culture was not wholly replaced by the Chinese culture, it was influenced by it. If you go to Japan, you would notice how the culture of each region is rooted in the nature and landscape of the region. The fact that there is a lot of regional cultural diversity in Japan alone shows that the diversity was not just replaced by Chinese culture all over, but that the culture of each region was rooted in, developed in accordance to, shaped and nurtured by the surrounding/local nature and landscape. The Chinese influence was added on top of all this. In short, Japanese culture originated in the landscape and nature of Japan itself.
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

yes certain elements of the original people were indeed retained, such as gods, but very little can be traced to the original Japanese culture prior to the Chinese penetration)
Very little? How about the Japanese language? As I wrote, it is not even a Sino-Tibetan language, let alone Chinese. How about the outlook or consciousness?  The gods or Kamigami which are direct heritages of the indigenous animistic culture of Japan form the basis and a large part of the Japanese consciousness, that is, the basis and a large part of how they perceive and interact with the world. This is why the article you posted says that the basis of Japanese consciousness is animism. How about the myths? How about the folklore which every Japanese child grows up listening to? How about Sumo? How about the tree worshiping?  Tree worship is another direct heritage from the indigenous animism. How about the pottery styles which directly go back to the Jomon culture?
Just go to Japan and see how many Shinto shrines you see in every corner.
You can find numerous indigenous elements still alive today in Japan.
By the way, what do you mean by ''original people'' which I highlighted in the quote?
 
Originally posted by honeybee honeybee wrote:

Originally posted by omshanti omshanti wrote:

Why ''more so''?
As I wrote before, modern European nations can be considered to be part of the Greco-Roman sphere when you look at them broadly, generalize them, or only focus on certain aspects of their cultures (such as institutions and scripts) while ignoring many other aspects. The point is that when you look at them closely, you would notice that each region in Europe has its own distinct culture some of which may be related to each other and some may not. I would like you to define 'culture' for me, so I can see which aspects you are focusing on and also how close you are looking at things. Is language for example included in 'culture' for you? How about the underlying outlook of the world?
Then Japan is also part of the Chinese sphere with the same rationality. You don't have to call it an offshoot if you find the term offensive, but don't attack others because their definition of offshoot differs from yours.
1. It is not a matter of finding something offensive or not. It is a matter of accuracy. 
2. I am not attacking you. When you start a debate, you are bound to face opposition. If you are going to take oppositions in a debate as personal attacks, then you should not have started the debate.
3. Japan can be considered to be a part of the Chinese sphere of cultural influence alongside other nations in East Asia. This is, as I have already explained, different from saying that it is an offshoot of China as it is the case with Taiwan.
4. You completely spoke around my request and questions which I highlighted for you in the quote above.

Originally posted by Sarmat12 Sarmat12 wrote:

Originally posted by Bernard Woolley Bernard Woolley wrote:

OK, this is absolutely ridiculous. The situation in Japan is not remotely analogous to North America, where the indigenous culture was invaded and almost completely destroyed, while a new culture was imported whole-cloth. The Japanese imported a great deal from China - particularly around the 7th and 8th centuries - but Japanese culture was already well established before this influence occurred and, moreover, the Japanese imported Chinese ideas largely on their own terms and according to their own needs (as they would do with Western ideas later).
What? Confused 
Welcome back Sarmat.  I guess despite all you had written, the temptation was too strong to resist. In spite of the fact that you come back after two months, you have come up with nothing new and your arguments are exactly the same as what we went through two months ago. So before anything I will post a link to the beginning of our discussion two months ago in order for other readers to see how we have already gone through everything you have mentioned here. http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=23458&PID=455475#455475
But since, you seem to like going in circles, I will go through them again (and again and again as far as I find it necessary).
Originally posted by Sarmat12 Sarmat12 wrote:

Japanese imported Chinese ideas in Chinese language.
This does not change the origin of Japanese language, it simply shows that they used the Chinese language for certain purposes at certain point in time, just like many non Italic speaking nations used Latin, many non Arabic speaking nations used Arabic, many non Persian speaking nations used Persian....etc. Using a language for certain purposes at certain point in time does not prove anything about the origin of the people who used it or the origin of their own/first language, nor does importing ideas indicate an origin in the exporting side for the culture of the importing side.
Originally posted by Sarmat12 Sarmat12 wrote:

Actually at least 60% of modern Japanese words are of Chinese origin.
Here (quoted below) in one of  your posts in the beginning of the discussion that we had two months ago, you wrote that it was 50%:
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Other than that, it' a fact that roughly 50% of Japanese language vocabularly are of Chinese origin.
So which one is it? 50% or 60%? I had already pointed out your switch of numbers in our discussion two months ago to which you did not reply. This shows that you are just giving the numbers off the top of your head. Furthermore, Japanese language did adopt a considerable amount of Chinese vocabulary, but these words did not replace their equivalents in Japanese. They were simply added to them. This is why these words have both kunyomi (Japanese reading/version) and onyomi (Chinese reading/version).  If we consider the nature of the Chinese writing system which is meaning/concept based as opposed to alphabets which are sound based, meaning that the Chinese vocabulary comes as a set with the characters in Chinese writing system, we can see that in order to adopt the Chinese writing system, a considerable amount of the vocabulary also has to be adopted. This is simply due to the difference in nature between the Chinese writing system and alphabetical scripts, nothing else, and it explains why the Japanese initially had to go through a phase of Kanbun, which is a written language with Chinese vocabulary in Japanese grammatical order, in order to fully adopt and incorporate the Chinese writing system into Japanese language.  
Nevertheless don't you think that the Japanese language speaks well for the Japanese culture and its origin? Despite the considerable amount of Chinese vocabulary in it due to the great Chinese influence, the language is still not classified as Chinese nor a part of the Sino-Tibetan language family. The language seems to be a very good measure/indicator for both the present state and the origin of the culture.
 
Originally posted by Sarmat12 Sarmat12 wrote:

Classical Chinese language, called kanbun in Japan, was the official language of the Japanese government until relatively recently. This relates to the literature as well.
Kanbun (in Japan) was not classical Chinese language, it was (as I have written countless times) a written form with Chinese vocabulary in Japanese grammatical order. By ''relatively recently'' how recent do you mean? It was used for few centuries in the first millennium AD.
Originally posted by Sarmat12 Sarmat12 wrote:

How can you say that the culture was established if the first written documents in Japan as well the first historical accounts appear only after the contact with China?
All peoples either adopt a writing system/script or invent them at some point in time. This does not mean that their cultures started at this point in time, unless 'culture' is synonymous with 'writing', which certainly isn't.  Or else you have to say that illiterate people have no culture. The appearance of written documents generally mark the divide between the subjects of 'Archaeology' and 'History'.  Since culture can also be seen and traced through archaeology (and many other disciplines such as mythology, linguistics....etc), the appearance of written documents does not mark the start of a culture.
 
Originally posted by Sarmat12 Sarmat12 wrote:

The process of adoption of Western ideas in the 19th century and the process of adoption of Chinese ideas in the 5th-7th century in Japan was complitely different.
 
In the 5-7th century, Japanese went to China and Korea learned classical Chinese, learned Chinese ideas and principles then they went back and taught the others Classical Chinese and all that knowledge. They didn't have any alternative sources of such knowledge neither did they have any alternative channel (I mean written language) to express this knowledge. Later those people continued to use Classical Chinese and the same fundamental concepts.
 
However, when the Western ideas were adobted Japanese already had written language and long tradition of expression of abstract ideas in the written form. So, this time they indeed had to transfer Western ideas into the form of Chinese characters in order to facilitate their understanding. And it was very interesting process indeed.
All this, still does not change the fact that the Japanese adopted/imported foreign ideas and elements on their own terms and according to their own needs in both cases, which was Bernard Woolley's point.
 
Originally posted by Sarmat12 Sarmat12 wrote:

Originally posted by Bernard Woolley Bernard Woolley wrote:

Perhaps it would help me understand your argument if you (any of you who consider Japanese civilization an offshoot of the Chinese one) were to answer the following question: Do you consider Japanese civilization to have begun in the 7th century, with the previous indiginous development of the island being peripheral to its later development?
Previous indiginous Japanese development much earlier than the 7th century AD was under Chinese influence already.
Yes, as you wrote, the indigenous culture/development was under the Chinese influence, meaning that it did not originate in China. Acknowledging that there was an indigenous culture in Japan that went under Chinese influence contradicts with the stance that Japanese culture originated in Chinese culture/civilization.
Originally posted by Sarmat12 Sarmat12 wrote:

I still see that traditional Japanese culture is highly influenced by Confucianism and the West hasn't changed that.
The western influence or modernization has changed the Japanese society quite significantly, which is why you can make distinctions such as ''traditional Japanese culture'' and ''modern Japanese society''. So of course the west hasn't changed the ''traditional Japanese culture'' because the very reason it is considered ''traditional'' is because it is from before the western influence.  Confucianism did have a profound effect on Japanese ethical philosophy and hierarchy (although as I had argued, modern Japanese society is a different matter), but this does not speak for the whole culture or the outlook of Japan and its people. In short, just because Confucianism spread to Japan, it does not mean that Japanese culture originated in China, otherwise you can say that European cultures originated in Israel because Christianity spread to Europe, or that Chinese culture originated in Prussia where Karl Marx was born because communism spread to China. Where a cultural aspect or an idea spread from does not necessarily correspond with the origins of the cultures in the regions it spread to.

Edited by omshanti - 28-Jul-2008 at 22:59
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