As an island separated from the land mass of Asia, Japan was shielded from the periodic invasions that shaped much of the history of China and Korea. Japan was able to borrow from the cultures of China and Korea while retaining its distinctive Japanese culture.
The Japanese regarded ancient China in a fashion similar to the way in which Europeans regarded ancient Greece and Rome. The most sustained and intense contact with China came in the seventh century. At this time, Buddhism entered the country as did the written Chinese language which became the basis for written Japanese.
Shown belong are some of the Japanese items on display at the Portland (Oregon) Art Museum.