I. Questions of periodization A. Nature and causes of changes in the world history framework leading up to 600 C. E. – 1450 as a period


B. Chinese influence on surrounding areas and its limits



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B. Chinese influence on surrounding areas and its limits

1. Overall

a. Neighboring peoples became tributary states

1. Forced to kow-tow – prostrate self

2. Intensified Chinese perception as superior to all foreigners

b. Rural populations attracted to China’s system

1. Japan

a. Geography

1. Four main islands

2. Relatively isolated

a. Rate of exchange limited

b. Only in recent centuries has it allowed Western influence

b. Political

1. Yamato clan – first, only dynasty to rule

a. Current emperor descendant of original

2. 7th Century – Prince Shotoku

a. Borrowed bureaucratic legal reforms from China

b. Called Taika Reforms – enacted after death – borrowed from China

1. Chinese characters in written language

a. but…did not work with Japanese language

2. Buddhism

3. Court etiquette from the Tang dynasty

4. Chinese architecture

5. Confucian literary classics

6. Organization of government into departments/ministries

7. law codes

8. tax system

9. calendar

10. art, literature, music

c. Modeled new capital after Tang capital

d. *** adopted Chinese beliefs, but rejected

1. Confucianism

2. civil service examination

3. In Japan, education not nearly as important as birth

a. Nobility hereditary, not earned

e. Buddhism threatened provincial leaders

3. After 794 – capital moved – power of aristocratic families increased

a. Emperor became figurehead, power with Fujiwara family

1. Unlike Mandate of Heaven – emperor can’t be overthrown

b. Eventually power spread, fighting over control of small territories

c. Heian Period – “city of peace”

1. Further isolation of emperor – kept in seclusion

2. Regional clansmen vie for kwampaku = ruler for emperoro

3. Rise of powerful clans/families with private armies

4. 1192 – power goes to Shogun – chief general

a. After Gempei Wars – peasants vs. Samurai

b. Military state established

c. Daimyo – huge landowner – samurai – part warrior/part nobility

d. Divided land to lesser vassals/samurai

e. Construction of fortresses - protection

c. Economic

1. Peasants/artistans exist to serve the samurai

a. Gradually became serfs– bound to the land

2. Hierarchy based on a land for loyalty exchange

d. Social

1. Early on – Shinto religion

a. “way of the gods”

b. kami – nature and all the forces of nature

c. goal – become part of kami by following rituals/customs

d. encourages obedience/proper behavior

e. Yamato claimed descendant from sun goddess

2. Buddhist Missionaries – brought Chinese culture

a. Most adopted Buddhism – kept Shinto

3. Under Fujiwara had Golden Age

a. Men started to write poetry, women more toward prose

b. Development of more unique Japanese culture

c. Lady Murasaki – Tale of Genji – epic about love/court life

4. Women

a. Noblewomen literary prolific compared to others

1. Written in the Japanese kana - syllabary

b. But…adored in Europe, lost all freedom in Japan

5. Code of Bushido – chivalry “Way of the Warrior”

a. Loyalty, courage, honor

b. Expected to commit suicide if he fails to uphold code

1. Seppuku – hari kari - disembowlment

c. Four Cardinal Virtues

1. Fidelity

2. Virility – fearlessness

3. Truthfulness/sincerity

4. Simplicity

d. Samurai dress, hairstyles, swords distinctive

e. Samurai at times called to protect emperor

6. Art under shogunate

a. sketches done with ink

b. tea ceremony

1. tranquility, ritual

c. decorative gardens

1. Related to philosophical/religious principles

2. cultivation of bonsai trees

3. Arrangement of rock garde

d. Haiku verses – triple lines – 17 syllables

1. simplicity, peacefulness, emphasis on insight/enlightenment

e. Noh drama

2. Korea


a. Geography

b. Political

1. Tang forces withdrew in exchange for tributary arrangement

a. Silla kingdom vassal of China

b. Willingly performed kowtow

c. Economic

1. Tribute allowed Korea to participate in trading network/education systems

d. Social

1. Writing adapted and made suitable to Korean

2. Confucian classics read by Korean scholars

3. Art

a. Porcelain manufacture



1. Celadon bowls – characteristic pale green color

3. Vietnam/Southeast Asia

a. Geography

1. Successful rice paddy method

a. Wet method better than dry method

b. Political

1. Highly valued independence, not willing to become tributaries

a. Fierce desire to distinguish themselves as unique

2. Smaller kingdoms – Khmer domain strongest – Cambodia today

a. Built some of most extensive temple complexes – Angkor Wat

1. Dedicated to Hindu God – Vishnu
b. Empire extended to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam – declined in 1400 CE

3. Vietnam periodically absorbed into dynastic China

a. Invaded by Tang Dynasty

b. 939 established independent kingdom

c. Succumbed to Ming power in 1408

d. 1428 pushed out for last time

c. Economic

1. Before Qin, already carrying on trade

a. Song China and Malaya

d. Social

1. Differences with China, had cultural identity

a. Unique spoken language

b. Lived in villages, not urban areas

c. Society based on nuclear family, not extended family

d. Women enjoyed more privileges

2. Eventually accepted Chinese traditions of

a. agricultural/irrigation techniques

b. Confucian veneration for ancestors

c. extended family structure

3. Women more autonomy than other Asian cultures

a. Famous Trung sisters – helped defend land against Chinese iinvasion

1. National heroines

b. Active in local commerce, proved able merchants




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