同为儒家社会，为什么中国鄙视武士而日本赞美武士？Why were warriors despised in China but glorified in Japan despite both being Confucian societies?
2022-05-18 回复奖励 28825 0 5 收藏 纠错&举报
Why were warriors despised in China but glorified in Japan despite both being Confucian societies?
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Because the history of China was written by literal bureaucrats.
They would not have a good attitude to their competitors in the imperial court, which is also why the eunuch class under their writings was always bad. The fault was always the manipulating eunuchs, jealous Queen or ambitious generals but had nothing to do with those bureaucrats. Even the Emperor would sometimes take more blames for not listening to the “advice” of the intellectual literal men.
Similarly, the history of Sparta was also mostly written by the Athenian historians and philosophers. They also tried to make Sparta look bad or negative while pretending to be neutral. Again, the Republican vs Democrats and the US press on Russia, China, Iran can all tell the same.
For that reason, a lot of Emperors would indeed try to purposely make the bureaucrats happy. The Taizong Emperor of the Tang Dynasty Li Shimin, for instance, had his famous ‘listening line’ where the ministers would come in to offer advice and he would listen and give the reward. Some history indicated that in the later stage, that had turned into a formalist performance just to accumulate his prestige.
For the performance effect, he would even allow the ministers to insult him. The more the ministers cursed, the happier he may become because the historians would write down how mercy he was. Sometimes for saving face, maintaining his supremacy and earning double prestige, he may even act like being “angry” and wanted to kill, but other ministers would see the trick and try to “persuade” him, so he would spare the minister. Then all the ministers would simultaneously “congratulate” him as the most merciful and wise ruler in history. He would then laugh away and offer more rewards. The historians would then write down the “story” when that happened.
Thus, in history, Li Shimin would always be remembered as a merit ruler who always listened to advice and became the ideal model for the ruler. In a sense, it’s like a business for both sides.
Though their writings still had to be mostly close to real history, they would certainly emphasize their own contribution.
This is why in addition to those brave, strong generals, in Chinese history you can always see a lot of ‘strategists’ who were smart and calculated everything, offered genius advice and observations to make the turn of the battle. Those strategists were the idols as well the symbol of literal men class. Can''t say they didn’t exist, but the historians indeed liked to give them a lot of spaces in books for obvious reasons.
For those who stayed in the court when the generals went out to fight, they sometimes would purposely offer lots of negative remarks and points on the generals such as the chance of rebellion or poor leadership to the Emperor just to downgrade the warrior class.
In Japan, it’s different because
a. Daimyos and Shogunates on principle were also warriors (supreme warriors). Though it doesn’t mean that they treated the lower class samurais nicely, the historians and bureaucrats had to be politically correct.
b. Both samurais and literal men were the clan servants of the clan they belong to. They did not get to form the nationwide organizational structure of warrior class vs bureaucrat class unlike in China. Their interests were directly determined by the supremacy of the clan they serve rather than under one authority against other classes.
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You only have a strong warrior class when you have a feudal society with a strong nobility.
In feudal Japan, the emperor was weak while the nobility was strong, The nobility needed to raise their own armies in order to expand their own power and influence. This gave rise to the samurai class who were warriors who fought for their own lords.
In contrast, the nobility became weak under the Qin dynasty, and continued to weaken to the Song dynasty. The nobility was weakened to the point that they were not allowed to have private armies; the military directly served the emperor and imperial court. During peacetime, there was no need for a military and warrior class; why spend large amounts of treasury on something which was not needed? During these periods, the civilian bureaucracy was much more important than the military bureaucracy.
Even though the succeeding Song dynasty was founded by a general, he was quick to disarm all his generals on the founding of the new dynasty, and established himself as a civilian emperor. In some ways, Emperor Taizu of Song - Wikipedia was like Eisenhower: both were military men with impeccable military credentials, and both were very familiar with the shortcomings of the military, and did not trust them too much.
If you want to have an interesting little exercise in how Chinese emperors wanted to be remembered, there is something you should look for: look at their official portraits. In all of their portraits, they always wear civilian dress, or dress as a civilian official.
Contrast this with the Japanese daimyo and shogun portraits, where they are almost always wearing military dress which emphasizes their power and ferocity, and complete lack of mercy to their enemies.
This is just one of the ways Japan and China are very different societies with very different values.
Saying Japan was Confucian is somewhat misleading. Confucianism was dominant in China, but the Japanese had very different ideas about what Confucius taught, and Shinto was more important, anyway.
For example, Japanese generally gave offerings to their ancestors only to the third generation, including Grandma who you left out in the forest when food ran low. Chinese ideas of 孝 behaving properly to your family go back as many generations as you possibly can, preferably all the way back to the first ancestor, however many thousands of years ago.
Japan is very mountainous, with limited fertile ground, so raiding has always been a way of life: just ask the Koreans. The Japanese made life miserable for the southeast coast of China for centuries, especially during the Ming dynasty. You could say that the Japanese were warriors to keep themselves fed.
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Chinese literature and art have never glorified warriors, unless you count the characters in 水滸傳 The Water Margin, who are not held up as paragons to model your life after. The generals China glorifies are those who used strategy and cunning to defeat their enemy with as little bloodshed (or hard feelings) as possible.
I’m thinking of two examples. In 383, 淝水之戰 at the battle of Feishui, the northern Fu had brought an immense army, maybe as many as a million, from a wide conglomeration of tribes. The 晉 southern commander, 謝安 Hsieh/Xie An, was off playing 棋/go while the battle took place, exactly as he planned it, routing the amassed forces within moments.
A noted warrior from the early 3rd century, 關公, the lord Guan, is for some reason called The God of War by some Western people. In China, he is noted for his bravery, especially the time he was wounded in the arm. The wound was infected, and the doctor scraped the bone clean without any anesthesia, while Guan amused himself with a game of go. You can see him with his magnificent halberd in Chinese Buddhist temples, where he is the Dharma Protector. In his own temples, Guan is invariably shown reading a book. He is the patron of business people and accountants. So even if he was a great warrior, his glory on the battlefield is downplayed.
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