Zipangu: The Golden Nation

Alison Rombough

The origins of some countries’ names are not crystal clear. For instance, in advance of Planet War II, the Japanese identify for China was Shina. While these two names are evidently associated, the origin of the title China is not apparent. There are numerous theories why China was identified as China a noteworthy a person becoming a corruption of Qin, China’s very first dynasty. The Chinese name for China is Zhongguo. It sounds comparable to China and signifies heart place in Chinese.

Japanese name of Japan is Nihon or Nippon. It indicates the country of the growing sun. The title comes from an historical letter despatched from the Japanese govt to China-the opening words and phrases of the letter said this is the letter from the country of the increasing sun to the place of sunset. This will come from the relative location of Japan, which is found to the east of China. So how did the English title come about? Quite a few Japanese believe that it came from the e book, The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo, the thirteenth-century merchant who travelled to the Orient. He did not take a look at Japan, but he mentions in his reserve there is a place comprehensive of gold and silver termed Zipangu.

This guide brought on European adventurers to journey to the Significantly East to uncover the land of gold and silver. Later on, it resulted in Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the Americas in 1492. Japan these days is far from the country of gold and silver launched in Marco Polo’s ebook. Why was Japan viewed as a golden utopia by European explorers?

In the eleventh and twelfth century, the Fujiwara clan of the Tohoku district designed a golden utopia. The clan was linked to aristocrats in the central federal government in Kyoto. Although the clan had a near relationship with Kyoto central governing administration, it managed its independence owing to its distance from Kyoto. Kyoto allowed this independence on the condition the clan remained faithful to the central government.

Hidehira Fujiwara was the head of the clan at the peak of its impact. Getting benefit of gold developed in the area, the clan designed a golden Buddhist temple, Chuson-ji. The temple’s key hall, called Konjiki-do, was stuffed with golden decoration. The title means golden corridor. Individuals of that time talked about the corridor looking like a developing in heaven. Clearly, this golden utopia attracted Marco Polo’s interest, together with other adventurers later on on in the fifteenth century, including Christopher Columbus.

Not long ago, the Tohoku district was strike by the the latest earthquake and tsunami. Thankfully, none of the buildings of this utopia had been destroyed. The author hopes the Tohoku district promptly recovers from the destruction of the earthquake and tsunami and the vacationers arrive again to admire the properties.

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