Yayoi Japanese, India, and China
The Yayoi period in Japan is the time designated between around 300BC to around 250AD and is defined by the apparent development of the practice of growing rice in paddies in fields and it’s – guess what – pottery. You just can’t get away from the reliance by archaeologists on pottery to date a people. With this method you can get dates from as far away as 900BC for the start of this culture. The Yayoi were such an abrupt departure from the previous Jomon culture that it is thought that they represented a separate group of emigrants from the Asian mainland. By the way, according to the English grammar book, “Woe Is I”, it is emigrate if you are coming from and immigrate if you are going to a place.
The dating and character of this culture are, as usual, highly controversial and the theories concerning them are quite tentative. We are told they used crude stone tools and although they used pottery made on a wheel their pottery decorations are cruder than the Jomon. They did not destroy the Jomon people but intermingled with them. Wet rice farming was their primary technological advancement over the older culture.
The first time any Japanese culture is mentioned in Chinese literature is supposed to have been around 257AD in the Chinese history, Wei Zhi. The Japanese were supposed to be a bunch of scattered tribal communities that were mere barbarians by Chinese definition. The Chinese called the Japanese of that time period, the Wa. A political federation in Japan called Yamatai had diplomatic relations with the Chinese Kingdom of Wei between 220 and 265.
The Yamato period follows the Yayoi and begins with something called the Kofun characterized by large burial mounds across Japan. The introduction of Buddhism from Korea around 538AD marks the Asoka period of the Yamato.
Himiko was a famous legendary ruler in the Yayoi period. A woman shaman or witchdoctor, she was supposed to have controlled her people by her supernatural abilities. Some scholars believe her life is mixed in with tales of Amateratsu, the Japanese version of Ishtar, but are unsure. Amaterasu-o-mi-kami is the goddess’ full name which means “Great Goddess Who Shines in the Heavens”. Until World War II the Japanese emperor claimed divinity as the descendant of this continuation of the tradition of Ashteroth, Minerva, Diana, Cybele, Aphrodite, Venus, Ishtar, the Catholic Virgin Mary, etc.
Many scholars claim that rice and therefore, agriculture itself, did not come to Japan until 100BC during this period. Compare this 2,000 plus year lag between the Japanese and the peoples of the Ancient Near East, more expression of the slow but sure outward progression of people from Noah’s landing point. These people, at first, did not clash with the original travelers to Japan, the Ainu, but were trading partners. It wasn’t until
much later that the Japanese began to dominate the Ainu people. The Ainu were not savages as the Japanese histories tell but were probably the islands’ first farmers.
The Kushan empire marks the era of Indian politics in the first few centuries after Christ’s birth. The Kushans, a central Asian tribe related to the Turks, captured Kabul, in what is now Afghanistan and from that city reigned over northwestern India and much of Central Asia. Their greatest king, Kanishka, encouraged the arts and sciences with Greco-Buddhist architecture at its height. Beautiful buildings were erected in Peshawar, Taxila, and Mathura. The famous doctor, Charaka, advanced the art of medicine and religious leaders, Nagarjuna and Ashvaghosha, created the foundation of Mahayana (Greater Vehicle) Buddhism which was spread to China and Japan. Kanishka experimented with many religions and many gods but he finally settled on the newer form of Buddhism which made Buddha a god and created many spiritual beings. He, like Constantine, called a great council of Buddhist theologians to create a creed for his kingdoms.
The Gupta dynasty followed the Kushan in the 4th century under the reign of Chandragupta I who is different from the earlier Chandragupta Maurya. His successor, Samudragupta, became one of the most famous of India’s kings. He conquered Bengal, Assam, Nepal, and Southern India and spent the treasure he extorted from his vassal states promoting literature, the arts, science, and religion. He, himself, was a noted musician and poet. His son, Vikramaditya, extended his conquests and was noted for supporting the great dramatist, Kalidasa, who worshipped the god Shiva, known as the Destroyer, Death, Shatterer of worlds.
It was during this age that the Hindu people had religious liberty and great wealth, according to 5th century Chinese traveler, Fa-Hien. The Hun invasions interrupted this golden age as it interrupted Rome’s hegemony over the western world. But, this is for a later class. The famous Historia Augusta, mentioned in the previous class, the collection of biographies of Roman emperors, mentions a delegation probably from the Kushan Empire to Rome. They are called by the Romans, Bactrians and Indians, and their delegation visits Rome in the time of the Emperor Hadrian. The Chinese historical chronicle, Hou Hanshu, also relates the trade between Rome, who the Chinese called Da Qin, and northwestern India. Archaeologists have found a great deal of imported goods in Kushan cities from the Roman Empire.
Kushan India had many contacts with China also and even allied with China on military ventures but this resulted in war and then finally being forced to pay tribute to China due to a squabble over a princess. Buddhist missionaries went to China and then to Japan.
Like Rome, the Kushan empire was eventually divided into an Eastern and Western half and then began the inevitable decline, losing its military conquests and enduring the shrinking of its territory.
In the same era, the first century, there was a split from the Parthian kingdom to form a short lived Indo-Parthian kingdom which was absorbed into the Kushan kingdom in less than a century. Another political entity was known as the Western Kshatrapas, who ruled parts of Northern and Central India after defeating the Sātavāhanas. They were eventually conquered by the Gupta dynasty which followed the Kushan.
From 208 to 226 is the time of the rise of Ardashir of Sassan in Central Persia. He subdued his neighbors in the area of Persepolis and in a series of campaigns climaxed by the bloody battle of Ormuz in southern Iran, he established the Sassanid Empire. He then seized the Parthian capital at Ctesiphon and declared himself the successor of the Persian dynasty of Cyrus and Darius found in the Bible. Their dynasty was called the Achaemenid Dynasty by historians. He conquered parts of Central Asia, most of Darius’ Persian domains, and Afghanistan but was thwarted in the west by the weakened but still powerful Rome. He demanded that Rome withdraw from all of their Asian provinces and when this demand was ignored he invaded Syria and Armenia, which was ruled by Chosroes, a Roman puppet. Some raiding parties of his army reached Antioch and the Cappadocian Mountains in the area of present day Turkey. This Roman-Persian war ended by mutual consent after very little was accomplished but the return of Rome’s Middle Eastern provinces.
Ardashir’s son, Shapur, then went on to have two wars with Rome beginning in 241 which ended in his being driven from Rome’s provinces in 266 by Odaenathus, a Romanized Arab, prince of Palmyra. Persia continued to be a power in the region until Islam’s rise and constantly presented a problem to Rome until a treaty in 390 between Theodosius of Rome and Bahram IV of Persia.
In Africa and Arabia the power of Aksum waxed between 200 and 400 until the Sabaean revolt in Northeastern Yemen by the Jews living there weakened Aksumite control over southwestern Arabia. The king, Ezana, contributed a great deal to Aksum’s power by extending control over southern Arabia, Somalia, and Ethiopia from 320 to 325. He also helped Christianize the region. In 350 an Aksumite expedition sacked Meroe and destroyed the ancient Kushite kingdom.
From a scientific side of things, we find the physician Charaka, in India, presenting ethical standards to be required for those caring for the sick, including purity, cleverness, kindness, good behavior, and competence in cooking, as apparently he felt that these things needed to be standardized. This was around the year, 100. At around the year 400, slightly after the time frame of this particular class, it is said that the Indian physician, Susruta, describes plastic surgery operations for earlobe deformity, skin grafting, and rhinoplasty or nasal reconstruction.
With regard to the arts, in the 100’s, Sanskrit drama, with both religious and secular themes began to appear in India and flourished for the next thousand years. In the 200’s
Indian dramatist, Bhasa, writes what are called verse dramas including the famous “Dream of Vasavadatta”.
In the America’s, about the year, 200, the Mayan culture of Central American entered its classic phase of art and architecture. The preclassic period, according to Martin and Grube’s ‘Chronicles of the Maya Kings and Queens’, begins in or around 2000BC and runs into 250AD with the Mayan culture becoming more complex as they were influenced by the earlier Zapotec and Olmec cultures. But, it is the classic period, given by some scholars as starting around 200 and some around 250 that concern us here. Mayan civilization reached its greatest height in the period between 250 and 900. We will go into it later but at the height of its cultural accomplishments there were more people living in the Americas than in Europe and Teotihuacan, with a maximum population of well over 125,000 people, was larger than any city in Europe at its height.
The Mayan used hieroglyphic writing with over 500 signs, 300 of which having been thought to have been deciphered by now. They had a sophisticated calendar with 3114BC being the date for the creation of the world. Converting this highly sophisticated calendar into Christian chronology was a key task for early scientists. This correlation is and has been done using astronomical observations. The classic Maya had a complex and refined royal structure with political leaders combining the state and the power of the gods just as ancient cultures across the Atlantic. The union of the church and state was the basis of Mayan culture as it was in Babylon, Assyria, or Rome, indeed, in Europe even until the last century. It appears to be the direction in which mankind is headed again.
Royal succession was male dominated and queens only arose to prevent the loss of a dynasty. The Maya were very ceremonial and ritual oriented people with many rites of passage, particularly for royalty, including a bloodletting ceremony. A king’s life was dominated by ritual and performance. One of these was the act of erecting large stones which may have been significant in recreating the creation of the universe. Death was viewed as the beginning of a long journey and, as in Egypt, the kings were laid in well built tombs. Ancestors were deified.
The understanding of Mayan politics in the classic period has been helped by large archaeological finds and many inscriptions and much is understood, it is thought, about kingship and statehood. Remember, for all mankind, the primary concern throughout history politically has been who rules and who is ruled. Outside of self-justification, self-gratification, self-preservation, and self-propagation this is the foremost concern of mankind, not God. Mayan kings were called “Lord, Ruler” and although, its specific significance in Mayan politics is not yet known, it appears that what passed for legitimacy in leadership must have some kind of connection with Teotihuacan, the great city. Archaeologists have always been divided as to whether or not the Mayan were dominated by several small city-states or large states consisting of smaller divisions. Much of the most recent scholarship acknowledges that the Mayan culture consisted of small city-states. I think of this for comparison like the city-states of Canaan or Greece.
There were “overkings” which showed that some Mayan kings were more powerful than others and were paid a higher degree of respect. The ruins at Tikal, which at its height, housed more than 60,000 people, claimed a dynastic succession of at least 33 kings spanning an 800 year period but it fell under the power of Teotihuacan in the 4th century. After a “dark age” it grew in importance again in the 7th century.
Tikal’s classic dynasty begins with Yax Ehb Xook which scholars have translated into English as ‘First Step Shark’ and his reign is in the first century. The next recorded king that has been discovered ruled between 100 and 280 and his name was ‘Foliated Jaguar’ who is followed by ‘Animal Headdress’. In the period between 305 and 308 we have a character scholars call Siyaj Chan K’awiil I aka ‘Sky born K’awiil’. As we approach the time of Constantine’s council of Nicea we have a queen named Lady Une’ B’alam or ‘Baby Jaguar’, a name she took from a local goddess of Olmec origins. The next figure that can be based on evidence found is K’inich Muwaan Jol or ‘Great-Sun Hawk Skull’.
The great lord, Siyaj K’ak or ‘Fire Born’ entered Tikal on January 31, 378AD and took over its administration for Teotihuacan. The death of Chak Tok Ich’aak, then ruler of Tikal, and his entire male lineage on the same day was no coincidence and a new line of Tikal kings drawn from the ruling house of Teotihuacan itself took over. The Mayan lowlands were now completely under the control of the Mexican highlands and its great religious center.
Teotihuacan, founded in the first two centuries before Christ was born was a huge city by ancient standards, as I have said previously. It was basically a city devoted to religion and in the ancient world; religion and politics were indivisible entities. Until its sudden collapse in the 7th century, possibly as the result of the great plague that swept the ancient world, it was the dominant force in MesoAmerica or Central America. Its main thoroughfare was the Avenue of the Dead which ran for more than a mile. The Sun Pyramid, approximately 150’ high was located at the east end of the Avenue of the Dead in the northern part of the city. It is a step pyramid with a temple on top. The Pyramid of the Moon which dominates the Plaza of the Moon is at the extreme northern edge of the city and, like the other buildings in the city, scholars are still analyzing the data found as many of these places have only recently begun to be extensively uncovered.
The Feathered Serpent Pyramid has been one of the most studied of the structures in Teotihuacan and I find it’s title and what that title represents to be quite interesting in light of these Bible verses, Isaiah 14:29, Isaiah 27:1, Revelation 12:9, & Isaiah 30:6. The temple there is also known as the Temple of Quetzcoatl, although the language from which that name derives is not thought to be the language of the city at its height. Many comparative mythologists claim that Quetzlcoatl is the same god as Zeus and we already know who Zeus is from the writings of Herodotus and the statements of Jesus Christ. Here, in Central America, at the time of Christ, we have a temple and a city devoted to the worship of Satan, the great enemy and adversary, the great counterfeiter of all that God has done. As one student of comparative mythology has stated without even truly
understanding what his statement means, “Quetzalcoatl is to the New World what Christ is to Europe: the center of a religious cosmology and the pre-eminent symbol of the civilized nations of Mesoamerica. Both were considered to be men who ascended into heaven upon their death; Christ to sit at the right hand of God, Quetzalcoatl to become the Morning Star. Both were tempted by evil powers; Christ by Satan, Quetzalcoatl by the wizard-god Tezcatlipoca. And both were prophecied to one day return to earth, Christ as the Prince of the Kingdom of Heaven, Quetzalcoatl as a god-king returned to claim his kingdom in Central Mexico. To understand the life and teachings of Jesus Christ is to understand Christianity, the root religion of what we refer to as Western Civilization. To understand the life and mystery of Quetzalcoatl is to understand the religious thought of what we call Mesoamerica.”
Perhaps, the “Beast” of Revelation will appeal to all religions as their great hero come back to claim his kingdom, the first “messiah” to show up in the future being the wrong one. Whatever the case, it is food for thought.
The name of the city which dominated Central America in the first few centuries after Christ, Teotihuacan, means “city of the gods”. Let us keep in mind that the central focus of the practice of Satanic religion, from Mexico to Scandinavia to Canaan, is human sacrifice, wars of conquest, and torture, particularly of a deviant nature. This is undisputed and historical fact, from the skeletons found in the pyramids in Teotihuacan to corpses found in bogs in Northern Europe to the babies thrown into the superheated arms of Baal in Carthage, Satan wants man’s blood, while God has sacrificed His own (Acts 20:28; Hebrews 9:12; 13:12; Revelation 1:5).
Further south, in Peru, another culture has been dated by a study of their pottery. The Nazca have mystified scholars by the finding of lines drawn in the ground in the area thought to be their region of influence and even as far south as Northern Chile’. These lines are visible as drawings of fish, birds, a whale, spiders, monkeys, and plants and are only visible from the air. Their purpose is unknown. Some scholars, however, believe that the drawings had some meaning associated with their economic system and social rankings. Others, of course, insist that they are religious in nature. There are many earthworks around the world that are all that is left of earlier cultures which are a mystery to modern scientists. For instance, there is the Silbury Hill mound in Wilthsire, England. The Great Serpent mound of Ohio, and under the present countryside of Glastonbury in Somerset, England there is supposed to be a vast network of gigantic figures forming a sort of primitive zodiac. There are huge chalk figures in Southern England, the best known of which are the White Horse at Uffington in Berkshire, the Cerne Abbas Giant of Dorset, and the Long Man of Wilmington in Sussex. Some scholars think that at least a few of these monuments to dead cultures had an astronomical importance as, perhaps, did Stonehenge, also in England.
But, the belief that the Nazca lines could only be seen from the air and that the Nazca could not have seen the final result may have been overthrown by the work of the International Explorer’s Society of Miami, USA. Having understood a legend of the Incas, who conquered the area in question a thousand years after the Nazca’s disappeared, to say that a boy named Antarqui helped the Incas in their battles by flying above enemy lines and reporting on their positions they set about to prove that the Incas, at least had the use of observation balloons.
Of particular interest were the plain pieces of fabrics found in Nazca tombs. When tested by a modern balloon manufacturing company they proved to have a tighter weave than the fabrics the company made themselves. The ancient Peruvians were known to have made some of the finest fabrics in the history of the world but this amazing discovery led them to build a balloon called the Condor I made from cotton and wood with a gondola of reeds to hold the passengers. It was filled with hot smoke from burning extremely dry wood. Do not try this at home. This might have been what the burn pits found at the end of many Nazca lines were for and on November 23, 1975 two men ascended 380 ft. and landed safely. It doesn’t prove that the Nazca flew but only that they could have.
The Nazca culture in Peru existed from around 300BC to around 800AD.
Across the Pacific, the era opens up with Buddhism coming to China in 67AD. In China, just as a side note as we were discussing Teotihuacan, human sacrifice was practically unknown after the collapse of the Shang dynasty. Events of note in the later Han dynasty in this period included the Rebellion of the Yellow Turbans, a Taoist uprising, against the tyranny of what is called the Later Han Dynasty. This occurred in the 180’s AD. Taoism is the religion founded by Lao-tze, the old master, several hundred years earlier. This rebellion resulted in the poet Ts’ao Ts’ao rising to power and leaving his son as the first Wei emperor in 220. The period of the Three Kingdoms begins, during which China is split into three separate kingdoms: the Shu (221- 264), the Wei (220-265), and the Wu (220-280).
Ts’ao Ts’ao is worthy of note because many sources say he is the most favorite figure of Chinese folklore and in real life was a brilliant general who saved Northern China from chaos as the Han Dynasty was collapsing. The origins of Ts'ao Ts'ao are fuzzy since his father was the adopted son of a powerful eunuch. This meant that the Ts'ao family was a rich one, but newly rich, and of questionable lineage. An unruly and wild youth, Ts'ao was greatly pleased when a famous judge of character predicted that he would be "an able public servant in a world at peace, or a crafty, deceitful hero in a world at war." The world was at war, one of the bloodiest China had ever seen, and Ts'ao Ts'ao threw himself into the battle in 184, helping to quell the rebellion of the Yellow Turbans, the so-called T'ai-p'ing (or Taiping) Rebellion, that was to serve as a prototype for similar popular uprisings for two millennia.
Through the influence of his father and in recompense for his actions, Ts'ao Ts'ao rose in rank. When the empire was threatened by Tung Cho, a brutal warlord who captured the Emperor and burned the capital, Ts'ao fled to the provinces, where he raised his own troops to fight, ostensibly to save the Han Empire from total destruction. The next 20 years of his life were years of anarchic fighting among his warlord enemies. In 200, at the battle of Kuantu, Honan, he defeated Yüan Shao; and after continual battles against the Yüan family, Liu Piao, and the Wu-huan, Ts'ao became the sole power in the North.
In 208, another famous battle, at Ch'ih-pi on the south bank of the Yangtze in Hupei, showed he could not defeat his combined enemies in Wu and Shu. The end of his life was spent in consolidating his hold on the North, by far the most important part of China, becoming prime minister in 208, Duke of Wei in 213, and Prince of Wei in 216. At his death on March 15, 220, he had still not taken the imperial title. This his son, Ts'ao P'i, did, becoming the first emperor of the Wei dynasty on Dec. 11, 220.
Ts'ao Ts'ao's importance was hotly debated in China in 1959. Whatever Ts'ao's attitudes toward the common people were, whether "progressive" or "reactionary," it is a fact that he made intelligent use of military agricultural colonies (t'un-t'ien) near his capital, in which soldiers were set to farming unused farm land, reorganized and reused taxes, and by the repopulation of the vast areas that had been devastated by the unceasing wars--he succeeded in bringing peace and prosperity to North China and reestablishing a unified empire. His policies for appointing men "only by their talent" in an attempt to strengthen the central government, by ignoring the new real powers in the land, the rich regional landowners, ultimately were doomed to failure, but his disdain for Confucian tradition helped free intellectuals and paved the way for a renaissance of thought and literature.
Ts'ao Ts'ao himself was a powerful poet and prose writer. For many Chinese, however, Ts'ao Ts'ao remains the archvillain of history, immortalized in the novel San-kuo chih yen-i (The Romance of the Three Kingdoms) as a crafty and unscrupulous usurper.
In 265 The Western Chin Dynasty begins when the Wei Kingdom absorbs the Shu, and then, later, the Wu (280). It lasts until 316, after a period of civil tension added by the enlistment of barbarian forces leads to internal decay. A condition of unrest unfolds for the next two hundred years as remnants of the old empire fight against invading barbarians.
Now, let’s back up to the introduction of Buddhism into the Chinese culture for a moment. The form of Buddhism that came to China was not the thoughtful agnostic Buddhism of Siddartha but the superstitious paganism that developed in later times. Although there were elements of true Buddhism and its benign neglect of gods and deities, the form of Buddhism that came to China introduced such things as faith healing, hypnotism, autosuggestion, and meditation arts as components of medical practice. As
Durant states when talking about Buddhism’s introduction to Japan in the 500’s, and I quote from page 833 from his first volume in ‘The Story of Civilization’ entitled ‘Our
Oriental Heritage’, “..it was not Buddha’s Buddhism that came, agnostic, pessimistic and puritan, dreaming of blissful extinction, it was the Mahayana Buddhism of gentle gods….and personal immortality.” When referring to the introduction of Buddhism to China he says on page 786, “..the Buddhism that began its migration to India from China in the first century after Christ was not the hard and gloomy doctrine that the Enlightened One had preached five hundred years before; it was no ascetic creed, but a bright and happy faith in helping deities and a flowering paradise; it took the form, as time went on, of the Greater Vehicle, or Mahayana, which Kanishka’s theologians had adapted to the emotional needs of simple men; it presented China with freshly personal and humane gods, like Amitabha, Ruler of Paradise, and Kuan-yin, god-then-goddess of mercy; it filled the Chinese pantheon with Lohans or Arbats – eighteen of the original disciples of Buddha – who stood ready at every turn to give of their merits to help a bewildered and suffering mankind.”
While the Roman emperor Constantine was creating the state church of Rome based on a nominal Christianity and while that apostate version of the Christian faith was beginning to count on things never mentioned by Christ or even intimated by His apostles but constructed out of thin air for the purpose of validating the state-church set-up and anesthetizing the spiritual desires of the people, the very same thing was being done in China and India with regard to the religion of Buddhism. My comments should not be misconstrued as being an endorsement of or lending credibility to the satanic counterfeit of Buddhism in that Buddha can not save you and never promised that he could but merely offered another atheistic philosophy for mankind (understanding that an agnostic is an atheist who is too much of a coward to admit it). But, it is only to say that there is a theme running through history and Satan counterfeits God in certain ways and then counterfeits the counterfeit leading his victims further and further down a road of thought from which it becomes harder and harder to depart.
On a lighter note, in the 100’s, the Chinese figured out that magnetic silver, allowed to turn freely, always points north-south. Also, at that time it was discovered that dried Chrysanthemum flowers can kill insects so they invented a powder that was the world’s first known insecticide. Integrated pest management begins in the 300’s when His Han records how to use specific types of ants to control other insect pests attacking Mandarin oranges.
The inventor, Tsai Lun devised paper, produced cheaply from wood, rags, and other substances containing cellulose (as opposed to Papyrus in Egypt made from a reed or parchment made from animal hides). This great discovery did not reach Europe until 1320. Contrast these discoveries with the superstitious Taoist, Chang Tao-ling composing a guide to charms and incantations to cure disease. Notice that while this was going on the Greek physician, Galen, was dissecting animals and applying the results to human beings, sometimes mistakenly, but affecting western medicine for 17 centuries. Soranus
of Ephesus was writing on gynecology, obstetrics, and infant diseases as well as describing rickets, defined by the online American Heritage dictionary as “A deficiency
disease resulting from a lack of vitamin D or calcium and from insufficient exposure to sunlight, characterized by defective bone growth and occurring chiefly in children.”
But, the Chinese, not to be outdone in the development of early sciences, in 185, noted that they observed a supernova in the constellation, Centaurus, for 20 months. They calculated Pi to five decimal places between the time that Ptolemy was writing on trigonometry in 140 and Diophantus was working on the beginnings of algebra in 250. Then, a breakthrough is made in China that puts them far ahead of the game by man’s emphasis. In 270, Wu dynasty alchemists manufacture gunpowder from sulfur and saltpeter. They never got around to using it as effectively as the West did; for the purpose of mass murder.
Next, we will begin with Rome, after the Council of Nicea up until the plague that swept the world, wiping out old cultures and giving newer ones the opportunity to conquer what had before been unconquerable.