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Ancient Japan more cosmopolitan than thought: researchers

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choiwaruoyaji

This isn't about Rome it's about Nara.

And as I have been repeatedly posting Slaves aren't bestowed a surname much the same as in Rome.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Since Hashi Seitsu(破斯清通) was bestowed one meaning he was a noble.

He may have been an educated slave (or similar).

In ancient Rome, educated slaves worked as accountants, teachers or even physicians.

They were highly prized by their owners.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Now that they can no longer sustain the homogeneous Yamato race, they are 'gently' easing us in another direction, 'cosmopolitan' even ' egalitarian'. Liars creating more lies to cover-up for the first lie. People have always known that Japan has never been that homogenous, on the other hand Korean have always lived on the Korean Peninsula for eons, they are MOST likely to be ALL Korean, until recent times - NOT Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

choiwaruoyajiOct. 06, 2016 - 06:52PM JST

It's a well known fact that commoners let alone slave did not have surnames during medieval times. It was only until Meji era when all commoners were allowed to hold surnames.

Since Hashi Seitsu(破斯清通) was bestowed one meaning he was a noble.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"... ancient Iran’s expertise ..." Ancient Persia was a whole lot bigger the Iran; it also encompassed Iraq, the Saudi Peninsula, as well as modern-day Syria and Jordan.

" ... researchers last month unearthed ancient Roman coins at the ruins of an old castle in Okinawa in southern Japan." At that time the Ryukyu Kingdom was not part of Japan, but more closely tied to China.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“And this suggests Nara was a cosmopolitan city where foreigners were treated equally.”

Ancient SPIN LOL!!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Concluding that Japan was a cosmopolitan country based on one name of a foreigner find on one historical document strikes me as a completely unsupported claim. It seems the researcher in question is not unbiased and is victim of confirmation bias: he wants to believe that Japan was a cosmopolitan country and he grasps at straws for anything that might support the idea.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He might have been a slave or similar.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

“And this suggests Nara was a cosmopolitan city where foreigners were treated equally.”

The management of reality in Japan is a neverending task, it seems.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder if people sat next to him on the rickshaw...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

sf2k

He was a noble, how do you think he was treated?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

That's neat. Important enough to be a man of record but can we know how he was treated while he was in Nara? More interesting is the notion of Japan's millennial of xenophobia and either how long its lasted or if it has occurred in waves of different voracity.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Contemporary Japan less cosmopolitan than thought: non-Japanese residents

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wonder if he liked hearing "o-hashi ga jouzu desu ne" as much as we do today?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Ah_so

Hashi Seitsu(破斯清通) and his title was Ingaidaisakan (員外大属) according to Yomiuri Newspaper.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So what was this guy's name?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If the person was not of great importance he would not have been mentioned BY NAME whether he be Foreigner or not. Basically only nobles were allowed to work as government officials in those days so he would had been given a family name as well.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

To be fair, they could have been treated very badly, or very very well. Until some other evidence surfaces, it is not prudent to make such statements.

So, you accept the supposition in the article at face value. However, look at the history of Japan and how it treats foreigners and even the language used for a foreigner from that time period on to today and the preponderance of the evidence suggests that foreigners were NOT treated well.

Foreigners were called barbarians 夷狄 (iteki) and in following history as well even Japanese who left Japan were faced with being killed upon return.

It is more prudent to assume one thing here, that there were people living here back then, and they may have come from foreign countries.

It is NOT prudent to assume, like the article states “And this suggests Nara was a cosmopolitan city where foreigners were treated equally.”, he can "suggest" whatever he chooses, and so may I as well.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My thoughts exactly dcog! did he even know about japan at the start?

Nothing beats a great overland trip.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

domtoidiOCT. 06, 2016 - 07:57AM JST I don't understand how this will affect people now or in the future.

Well, for a start it means that all the far-righters constantly braying on about how "multicultural societies can't work" are flat-out wrong. For another thing every time some Japanese person tries to appeal to the nation's mythical mono-racial history, they're wrong too.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That's very interesting, what a trip that man must have made!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And this suggests Nara was a cosmopolitan city where foreigners were treated equally.

So what happened??

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Any proof found of going to karaoke with colleagues after work? ;)

6 ( +6 / -0 )

650 ad or so isn't "ancient." It's early medieval. Japan never had an ancient civilization.

Interestingly, the Persian guy seems to have been around the time of the Muslim Conquest of his country. Maybe he was a dissident on the run from the religion of peace.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

There is a theory that the Heike clan of Heian era were Persians so this story does not strike me as a surprise.

There is also the Hata clan known to be foreigners again said to be one of the lost tribes of Israel.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

“And this suggests Nara was a cosmopolitan city where foreigners were treated equally.”

Actually it suggests that a Persian in Nara was important enough to have his name written down. Were his Persian servants' names also written down? Or other manual laborers from another country (like, say, Hokkaido?)

That he might have taught math (or astronomy) suggests the gov't of Nara wanted up-to-date information 1,000 years ago.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Sorry but it's ingenious to suggest that foreigners were treated equally based only upon this evidence. There is plenty of history here that proves otherwise.

Before I got to the end of the article, this was on my mind as well. I guess most of us agree. Nowhere can they infer that these gaijins were treated equally.

To be fair, they could have been treated very badly, or very very well. Until some other evidence surfaces, it is not prudent to make such statements.

Same thoughts on those Roman coins in Okinawa.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Ancient Japan more cosmopolitan than thought: researchers - otherwise this article wouldn't have been published in first place,duh.

The other day, I saw a beautiful bird near a lake at Nara looking towards Iran while having its meal. So I think even this bird has its relatives travelling frequently between Iran and Japan in search of alternate lifestyle. How cosmopolitan!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There is Persian glass and musical instruments as Shoushoin 正倉院 in Nara dating from the Nara and Heian eras. Shousouin is a repository for the possessions of the Imperial family over the centuries. I wouldn't be surprised if many more people travelled along the silk road than we know.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Whole lot of conjecture in this article!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Not only 'cosmopolitan' but also open, humble and smart to realise that Persia was arguably the cultural and intellectual epicentre of their world.

So kudos to 10th century Japan.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I don't understand how this will affect people now or in the future.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Generally speaking there was a lot more migration in the ancient world that people today give credit. We can't speak to whether or not this particular claim is accurate without seeing the research, but it's not implausible.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

It's really cool that he got a work visa back then.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

“And this suggests Nara was a cosmopolitan city where foreigners were treated equally.”

Sorry but it's ingenious to suggest that foreigners were treated equally based only upon this evidence. There is plenty of history here that proves otherwise.

The discovery comes after another team of researchers last month unearthed ancient Roman coins at the ruins of an old castle in Okinawa in southern Japan. It was the first time coins from the once mighty empire have been discovered in Japan, thousands of kilometres from where they were likely minted.

There is no proof however that the coins were actually buried there since ancient times. They could have very easily been brought to Okinawa much.much later, during the Ryukyu Kingdom era where the people here were known traders throughout SE Asia.

It takes a pretty huge leap of faith to accept the theories or assumptions being put forth here in the article.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

“And this suggests Nara was a cosmopolitan city where foreigners were treated equally.”

Now, there's a thought.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

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