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Courts are centers of power, whether religious or political, which create cultural forms that represent these centers to themselves and to those outside them. The continuity of great courts contrasted with the peripatetic courts of India and Western Europe. In virtually every court, cultural production, both by and for members of the court, developed forms that sought to separate court culture from the rest of society. Western courts, like those of Japan, were but one center of cultural production, the other being major monastic foundations. Chinese and Japanese courts followed prescribed cycles of annual events through various rites, festivals, banquets, and ceremonies. The Chinese court formed the model for Eastern courts such as the Japanese, while the Byzantine, which had absorbed aspects of Persian courts before the Islamic conquest as had those of India, provided a model for Western Christian and Islamic courts, which in turn influenced each other.