Japan fully surfaced as a sovereign nation that manifested an unclouded historical consciousness at the end of the eighth century. This dynamic process can be observed by examining several overlapping factors. The centralization of the state and the appearance of the sacred imperial institution which started with Tenmu’s reign, both organized under the guidance of the Ritsuryo system of laws and land redistribution, signified only the top of the pyramid. The foundation of the entire identity structure was composed from archaic religious and philosophical beliefs, adapted foreign concepts, and the mentalities which resulted from the repeated interactions between them. They are emblematically pictured by the invention of the first Japanese grammar, named Man’yogana. Other relevant traces of cultural uniqueness were: the compilation of national collections of Waka poetry, the state-sponsored publishing of national histories, the materialization of Gagaku, masked theater drama, and Gigaku, the Japanese classical music played with an orchestra.
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