Japan 500 CE
In Japan, the numerous warlike chiefdoms have fallen under the authority of the Yamato kingdom.
What is happening in Japan in 500CE
In Japan, the numerous warlike chiefdoms have fallen one by one under the authority of one of their number, Yamato. As well as expanding in size, Yamato changed from being a traditional Japanese chiefdom to being a more centralized kingdom. Massive royal mound tombs, probably the largest in the world’s history, reveal the awesome power and prestige of the kings, as do the large-scale irrigation works constructed at this time.
There were continuing strong links with the Korean kingdoms, especially Paekche, and it was from Korea that literacy, based on the Chinese script, reached Japan around 350.
The borders of this kingdom gradually shifted northward, at the expense of the aboriginal peoples of the islands. The Jomon hunter-fishermen of northern Japan resisted the advance of the agricultural way of life, but rice-farming was finally adopted throughout Honshu by 300 CE. The colder climatic conditions of the more northerly island of Hokkaido favoured the persistence of the hunter-gathering culture, and here the Jomon tradition continued. These Jomon became the ancestors of today’s Ainu.