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Mod east asia


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Somewhat similar to english, very different from Japenese or Korean
Pronunciation: Vowels
Similar to Italian Spanish German
Pronunciation: Diphthongs
Two vowels always pronounced together
??? d-t no D in chinese
Pinyin System and Wade-Gile
System of transliteration.
Pronunciation : Tones
a. 4 tones in Mandarin. 9 in Cantonese.
ma 1: mother
ma 2: hot, spicy
ma 3: horse
ma 4: scold, yell
Name order
a. In general, last name precedes first name.

b. But some exceptions
China is large.
1.3 billion on Jan. 6, 2005
about 3.7 million sq. miles
China is diverse
It’s like Europe. A lot of different geographical and cultural “pieces” put together. 9 regions.
different climates, different languages/dialects, different food, different vernacular houses, etc.
1.North China Plains
-Beijing: the capital of People’s Republic of China and the Ch’ing Dynasty
-Hot and dry in summer.
-Windy, dusty, and cold in winter.
-Little surplus and no natural mineral or other wealth.
-Wheat-based diets (steamed bread, noodles), potatoes
2. The Loess Plateau
The “origin” of Chinese civilization
Loess—highly eroded and gullied terrain.
Wheat noodles and sour cabbage
Use of mules and horses in transport
Only via trade could one be rich.
colorful paper-cut designs
3.The Sichuan (Szechuan) Basin
Climate: mild.
self-sufficient. Vast variety of food.
high living standards.
Houses on sloped land.
Flat land for food production.
4. The Southeast Coast and Shanghai
most active economically
ocean fishing and commerce
seafood and tropical fruits
warm, wet.
rice, tea
5. Yangzi Valley
the river, its tributaries and lakes are the focus.
Fishing, commerce by boat.
Not agriculture.
now major manufacturing centers because of easy transportation
6. Xinjiang
Deserts, mountains, and oases.
Strong cultural link with Persian culture.
Muslims and Turkic in ethnicity and language.
Tarim Basin--dry, nomadic people.
Junggar Basin--somewhat moist, pastoral.
sheep, goats, camels, and horses.
7. Northeast (Manchuria)
Damp and cold in winter
soybeans and sugar beets.
diet: meat and soy.
ice festivals in winter.
rich coal and iron resources.
railroads and heavy industrial manufacturing.
8. Tibet and Qinghai
high in elevation
not suited for agriculture. nomadic herders (sheep and goats)
diet: yak butter and toasted barley. few green vegetables.
most of the people concentrated within a few cities.
Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism
9. Southwest Uplands
dissected plateaus, dense forests, and great ethnic diversity.
China’s most inaccessible region, so economically most backward.
diet: vegetables, rice, and ducks or geese.
houses built of wood or bamboo.
rolling hills
2. Was China Always Unified?
Answer: No. It’s because,

a.Many times in history, China was divided into smaller kingdoms.

b.Even when one dynasty unified the country, its territory was not always as large as it is now.
Shang Dynasty
(16th-11th century BCE)
Chou Dynasty
1040-476 BCE
Spring and Autumn Period in China
770-476 BCE
(3rd century BCE): The first empire in China
(late 3rd century BCE to 3rd century CE)
The Three Kingdoms
(220-265 CE )
T’ang Dynasty
(618-907 CE )
Sung Dynasty
(960-1276 CE)
Mongol Empire
Yüan dynasty
Genghis Khan
Ming Dynasty
Established by Chu Yüan-chang in 1368.
Rapid economic and population growth
Ch’ing Dynasty
Ch’ian-lung Emperor
(1711-1799, r. 1735–96)--largest territory.
How were the unifications of China Achieved?
Large Military Power.
Stable economy.
Communication system.
Great walls.
Grand Canal.
Elaborate political system (Buracracy created many laws and judicial system).
Ideology (Confucionism is the most important religion.
Political System of Late Imperial China
Late Imperial China = Ming and Qing dynasties
Emperor at the top. One emperor at a time. The “Mandate of Heaven.”
A hereditary position, given only to a son or a nephew former, except for the time of a dynastic change occurred.
A female emperor? Emporeror Wu(promoted buddhism) in the late 7th century.
Political System of Late Imperial China (2nd card)
Central gov’t in Beijing. Six ministries.
Local administrations
Headed by magistrates and prefects. Executive and judicial functions.
Elaborate laws about how the empire should be governed and what the officials should or should not do.
The Civil Service Examinations
Subject—13 canonical books of Confucianism, history, laws.
Format—essay exams.
Different levels of examinations (handout)
Once passed, one becomes a candidate for gov’t jobs.
Functions of the Civil Service Examinations (KNOW!!)
1. Helped the emperor recruit good government officials.
2. Helped people promote and maintain their own social status. “Chinese Dream”
ex. Fan Jin in The Scholars.
3. Allowed the government to set the focus of education for boys—ideological/philosophical unification.

….But of course not everyone could afford to prepare for the exam….
Social Structure
=>Elite (Gentry)
Social Structure (facts)
Elites (Gentry)
About 20% of the population.
Wealthy, literate, cultured.
Social Structure (Facts2)
Various kinds of occupation. Farmers, fishermen, artisans, merchants, fortune-tellers, etc.
Generally, less wealthy, less literate, less cultured than elite men.
But no legal distinction between elite and commoners. So elites had to keep on passing the examination to maintain their status.
Juren (chu-jen)
Level C = Masters Degree
Passers were considered upper elite
Jingshi (chin-shi)
Level D = PhD
Passers were considered highest elite
Three Religions in China
Confucianism: originated in China. Important social and political philosophy.
Taoism: originated in China. Influenced East Asian local religions.
Buddhism: originated in India, spread all over Asia. Now in the US and Europe, also.
Coexistence and occasional competition
Confucianism: Confucius
Born in 551 BCE, in present-day Shan-tung province.
S period(770-476 BCE)
Age of traveling philosophers.
“Why isn’t our society peaceful and orderly?”
“How could we establish a peaceful and orderly society?”
Confucian Philosophy
Idealized the early Cho period period. (11th and 10th century BCE.)
Encouraged rulers and elites to study and recover the old customs of this period.
Society with proper rituals (li) and good hierarchy.
the Way of the gentlemen, benevolence (jen)
Analects and other Confucian canons. (handout)
Confucian 5 Relationships
Confucianism: Later Development
Mencius (370-300 BCE) and Hsün-tze (310-215 BC) later developed Confucianism.
Emperors of the former Han dynasty (202 BCE-9 AD) adopted Confucian philosophy as state ideology. Many more books were written and studied by Confucian scholars.
Neo-Confucianism in the 12th century.
Adopted in the Civil Service Examination.
Taoism: Lao-tze
Born in 604 BCE, in present-day Ho-nan province.
Also, born during the Spring and Autumn period.
Legend: He served as a keeper of the archives of Lo, the court of the princes of the Chou dynasty.
He left the office. At the Han-kou Pass, Ho-nan Province, the watchman, Yin Hi, begged him to write his thoughts for his own instruction before he retired from the world.
“Why no peace and order?” “How can we get it?”
Taoist Philosophy
Tao (“way” “path,” the origin of the all creation and force.)
Nature as the source of stability.
So people should live in harmony with nature.
Teachers: uneducated but skilled artisans.
Taoism: Later Development
Other philosophers—Chuang-tze, Lie-tze
Development of Taoist pantheon. Hierarchy of deities.
intense affirmation of physical life—healing practices, immortality herbs, sexual art.
Imperial support since the 5th century CE.
Buddhism: Siddhartha Gautama
Born in the ruling family, Shakya, of the southern part of the present-day ( ), in 566 BCE.
1.Siddhartha Gautama
Predicted to be a world savior. His parents tried to prevent it from happening.
He had a great time as a child and grew up as a strong and handsome prince.
But later, he saw the world outside of his palace and learned the simple truth about life—that people do get old, ill, and die eventually.
2.Siddhartha Gautama
At age 29, he started out his religious pursuits.
“How could he and his people be saved from the sufferings of old age, illness, and death?”
He sat under a fig tree and meditated day after day.
On one morning in spring, Siddhartha finally understood the answer to his question, and became the Buddha, which means “he who is awake.” He was age 35.
Buddha’s Philosophy
~Four noble truths~
-cause of suffering—craving, desire
-but there is an end
-means to the end is the Eight-fold path
Buddha’s Philosophy 2
Eightfold path
(moral discipline) Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood
(concentration) Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration
(wisdom) Right Views, Right Intention
Development and Spread of Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism: Focus on self-awareness.
Mahayana Buddhism: More reliance on Buddha and his power to save people.
Development and Spread of Buddhism 2
To China: through the Silk Road.
Became popular during the political integration in 3rd century CE.
Sometimes Confucian scholars criticized it, but they often supported and practiced it as well.
Conclusion: 3 religions
The three most important religions/philosophy are Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.
Confucianism, originated in China, focused on conducting proper rituals and creating benevolent rulers and gentlemen.
Taoism focused on the understanding of the universe and harmony with universe.
Buddhism originated in India and discussed the salvation of souls.
They often coexisted in individual lives and in the empire.
Family and Women’s Lives in Late Imperial China
Were women oppressed in premodern China?
It’s so easy to make that assumption.
i.e., Hollywood movies
Family House
*Match with numbered diagram*
1.Main entrance
2.For servants
3.The courtyard for cooking (the one on the rear was a living space.)
4.Side rooms for the sons and daughters, or the sons' families.
5.Inner Hall. Where the members of the family greeted guests or where family ceremonies were held.
6.Main building. Living space for parents.
7.Small side rooms. For children and extended family members
Family Organization
Extended family. Elderly parents often lived with their sons’ families.
Household size: 5-6 people on average
Patrilineal family
Patrilocal family
Elite and imperial marriages: monogamy with concubinage
Commoners: monogamy
Very poor peasant families in Szechuan: monogamy with another man.
Household size
5-6 people on average
Extended family
Elderly parents often lived with their sons’ families.
Patrilineal family
Family line, Surnames/property,
Patrilocal Family
Family living with father/husband side of family
Patriarchal Family
Elite and imperial marriages
monogamy with concubinage
Very poor peasant families in Szechuan
monogamy with another man
Family Values in Late Imperial China
-“Five Relationships” in Confucianism.
-Family as one big tree. Sharing the same vital energy (ch’i), responsibility of worshipping ancestors, and property.
Women’s Status & Power
-Women’s status and power varied depending on their positions in a family.
-Informal/Formal power
A Daughter’s Status
Sons’ right to inherit family property.
Scholars disagree to what extent daughters had a “right” to inherit family property.
But customarily, rich fathers were expected to give a lot of gifts to their daughters as dowry.
Limited formal power. Lots of informal power.
A Wife’s Status
Entered the family through an appropriate wedding ritual.
“a couple as one body.”
A wife’s strong formal power especially when her husband is dead or ill.
An empress’ political power.
A Concubine’s Status
Lower family background compared to the husband’s and wife’s families.
They could be purchased into the family.
No wedding rituals.
Often considered the wife’s maid.
Very weak in formal power, but can be powerful informally because she can say stuff in the bedroom to influence the husband.
A Mother’s Status
A son should obey both the parents, not just his father.
A woman’s status becomes stable once she gets older.
But what if the mother is a concubine?
Women’s lives in late imperial China were very different from those in present-day US or China. Some say they were oppressed.
I think we cannot simplistically say that.
Women sometimes had formal power. Often very strong informal power.
Men were supposed to be benevolent to wives and daughters and respectful to their mothers.

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