What were the major developments in early Japanese cultural practices such as art, and architecture?

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The major development in early Japanese cultural practices of these types was the assimilation of Chinese influences.  As contact with China grew, Japan's cultural practices came to mirror those of China more closely.

This influence can be seen in a number of ways.  In art, for example, Japanese art was coming to center around Buddhist themes.  The art kept a Japanese flavor in that it very rarely used stone in sculpture, but the themes were typically Buddhist.

In addition, we can see Chinese influences in Japanese architecture.  The most important examples of this are from monasteries and temples built in the and around the 8th century.  These buildings closely resemble buildings from Tang China.

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