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East Asian Civilizations Studying Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Feb 21st, 2021

The historical significance of China’s terms

Foot binding

Foot binding was a cultural practice exercised by the Chinese whereby the feet of young Chinese women were squeezed to fit into small shoes aimed at preventing their further growth. The practice was common among the court dancers in the Song dynasty, but it spread out to other parts of the country. The girl with a small foot was to be a royal woman while her siblings with big feet would be slaves. A girl with a small foot would be married to a rich family while the rest would be slaves. The main aim of foot binding was to enhance beauty.

Grand Canal

Grand Canal refers to the longest canal in the world, which is found in China. Even though the canal was completed during the Sui dynasty, its history dates back to the fifth century. The Grand Canal attracted many foreign powers, including the Japanese, the Persians, the Koreans, and the Italians. The canal is 1,776 (km) long, with an average height of 42 meters. During the Song dynasty, Chinese traders used the canal in transporting goods to other parts of the region. In the modern world, the canal is important to the history of China because it explains why foreign powers flooded the country during colonization. The canal was utilized in conducting business.

Shinto

Shinto is an ancient belief system with various religious beliefs. It entails the worship of nature, animism, acquisition of prediction skills, and respect of spirits. Shinto is the original religion of the Japanese people. The name was devised after the introduction of Buddhism. Shinto was made the state religion in 1860 during the reign of Meiji. Religion is important in understanding the cultural aspects and developmental aspects of the Japanese people. Shinto religion respects natural features such as rivers, waterfalls, and the moon. Moreover, it values charismatic people such as emperors. Finally, it allows its believers to worship abstract concepts such as fertility.

Hiragana

Hiragana refers to the syllabus of the Japanese, which is the Japanese system of writing. Hiragana is used in writing native Japanese words. It does not have language elements and suffixes. Moreover, the system of writing is used in expressing formal words or words that are complex to the reader. The understanding of Hiragana is critical as far as the Japanese traditional language is concerned. For a historian to understand how the Japanese language developed, he or she must comprehend the Hiragana system of writing.

Silla dynasty

Silla was one of the kingdoms of Korea in ancient Korea. It was one of the strongest dynasties in the world before the invention of modern leadership skills. King Park Hypeokgeose established the dynasty in the fifth century. In Korean society, Park is a common name that is usually passed from one generation to the other. After a long struggle, the Silla dynasty conquered its enemies and established itself as one of the strongest kingdoms in Asia. Unified Silla occupied the Korean Peninsula and applied its rules to the expansive region. After one-hundred years, the Silla dynasty fragmented into smaller kingdoms, each with a king. The Silla Dynasty is important in understanding the struggles between the two Korean states in the modern world.

Celadon

Celadon is a term used to refer to works of art. Celadon was invented in ancient China, but it spread to other parts of Asia through trade and cultural practices. The Korean celadon is termed as Goryeo, which is pale green. Korean celadon was established in the tenth century and was refined in successive centuries. After the thirteenth century, the craft lost its prestige when the Goryeo dynasty was defeated by the Mongol dynasty. The Korean celadon is the most attractive work of art meaning that Koreans have been outstanding in manufacturing the works of art. The celadon helps understand the culture of Koreans.

The Mongol Empire: expansion of the Mongol empire and its effect on the cultures of China

The Mongol Empire existed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in Asia. Historians assert that it was the largest territory to have existed. The empire stretched from Eastern Europe to the Far East region expanding its territories through conquest whereby small kingdoms were forced to join the empire by force or signing treaties.

The Mongolian kingdom comprised two great tribes including the Mongol and Turkic tribes. The tribes shared a language referred to as Mongolia. The leader of the two tribes was Genghis Khan, who was a supreme leader of the two tribes in 1206. Because of his strong leadership skills, the Mongol Empire grew very fast to outsmart other strong kingdoms in the region. Khan was an ambitious leader who fought with various kingdoms. His major aim was to conquer the whole world through the forceful acquisition of territories. His empire generated revenues through trade.

Since the empire covered some parts of Europe, Khan acquired fighting technology and weapons, which were utilized in suppressing enemies. Khan had effective ways of commanding his army whereby he could divide it into subsections of arbans. The subsections of arbans had ten energetic men, which would form a zuun with one-hundred soldiers. A zuun would form a superior unit with one-thousand soldiers referred to as myangans. The myangans would be reconstituted to form a tumen with ten-thousand soldiers. In the palace, some soldiers guarded the kingdom at night and during the day.

Through interaction, the culture of the Mongols spread to other parts of the world. In particular, people of East Asia could speak one language, which was very important in ensuring that trade between the locals, and foreigners. Even in modern society, East Asia has one language people use, which has helped them in enhancing trade. In 1161, Jin and the Tatar kingdoms defeated the Mongols. However, the Mongol empire spread fighting skills to other kingdoms in the region.

Peace and Stability under the Tokugawa

Tokugawa developed some policies that assisted him in maintaining political and social stability in the country. The leader established a feudal mode of production whereby the rich in society would offer land to the poor in exchange for labor. This improved the living conditions of the poor and minimized the conflicts between the rich and the poor. Another policy adopted by the leader was centralizing governmental power.

The leader moved the capital city of the country to Edu, which helped him in monitoring the progress of the state with the help of administrative assistants who were paid by the government. Centralization of power helped him because he established the military base and other cultural centers that popularized his regime. He became a respected leader given the fact that he helped people in eradicating poverty. He developed infrastructure such as roads and ports, which helped the Japanese in conducting trade with their neighbors peacefully.

Tokugawa leaders employed one of the strategies applied by their predecessors. They encouraged trade but avoided close ties with foreigners. The leaders ensured that Europeans had no information concerning the operations of the major ports in the kingdom. Isolationist policies were adopted to enhance trade. After noticing that China was unwilling to cooperate, the Tokugawa leaders cut diplomatic links with other neighboring countries as well.

However, the leaders encouraged technical cooperation between members of the Tokugawa community and Europeans. Intense trade between western powers and the Asian kingdoms characterized the Tokugawa shoguns regime. During the reign of Tokugawa, technological advancements helped leaders in forging unity with western powers. For instance, the administration came up with a warship that was used as a means of transport to the US and Europe.

The officials of the government used the ship to visit the US and Europe to strengthen diplomatic ties. The regime signed several treaties with powerful countries of the west to ensure that the interests of its people are safe.

The leaders knew that western cultures could destabilize social institutions such as the polity, the family, and the media. Therefore, they ensured that all foreign religions are eliminated. Foreign religions advocated for equity and equal distribution of resources. The shoguns ensured that Catholicism is eliminated from Japanese society because it could destabilize existing peace and order. The regime had close ties with foreign powers such as the Dutch, which intervened whenever there was a problem.

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