Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Yamato (大和) was a province of Japan. It covered the part of Honshu that is present-day Nara Prefecture. Since the Imperial court rose into power there, Yamato came to mean the whole of Japan and in that sense is referred to as "Great Yamato".
Yamato Damashi or the Spirit of Yamato is a phrase used colloquially in a nostalgic way by conservative Japanese to refer to a mysterious Golden Age of Japanese culture when life was simple and people were honest and worked hard. The Kofun period of Japanese history and culture is also sometimes called the Yamato Period by western scholars, since this local chieftainship eventually rose up to become the Imperial Dynasty at the end of the Kofun period. Japanese archaeologists emphasise the fact that in the early half of the Kofun period other regional chieftainships, such as Kibi near modern day Okayama were in close contention for the crown.
The province of Yamato gave its name to the battleship of the Second World War Yamato.
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