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Thirteenth-century Japan has this in common with early 19th-century Japan: a land culture paying scant heed to the sea until the sea, as though in outrage, rises up and compels attention.

The dominant features of 13th-century Japan are Zen Buddhism and the newly empowered samurai; of early 19th-century Japan, Confucianism and sakoku — the country closed to the outside world. In the earlier period, only fishermen and pirates are afloat; in the later, them and the occasional castaway.

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