Chinese influences in Korea and Japan

In large part, the astronomical ideas expressed above were imported by both the Koreans and Japanese, in part as a reflection of the political dominance of China in the region. There were a few minor differences. For example, despite being forced to use the Chinese calendar system, Korean calendars were independently calculated after the early 11th Century, and the two systems were not successfully resolved until the early 15th Century. In Japan some of the mythology associated with the Sun goddess Amaterasu and with Subaru (the Pleiades), as well as the appearance of the three belt stars of Orion to govern times for the cultivation of rice and millet at the latitude of Japan, needed to be integrated with Chinese models. Other differences exist that are beyond the reach of this book—see Selin (2000) and Walker (1996) for more details. But, in essence, the Koreans and Japanese used Chinese methods to observe the skies, record celestial events, conceive of time and the calendar, and orient themselves to their universe. They also adopted the Chinese constellations.

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