The Asian World
Han Dynasty ended in 220 and left China with disorder
and civil wars for 300 years until the Sui Dynasty formed
Sui Dynasty (581-618)
Unified China under the Emperors rule
Sui Yangdi, the second emperor of the dynasty,
completed the Grand Canal that linked the two great
rivers of China, the Huang He (Yellow River) and the
Chang Jiang (Yangtze River)
Forced labor, high taxes, his extravagant and luxurious
lifestyle, and military failures, caused a rebellion
Tang Dyansty (618-907)
They tried to create a more stable economy by giving land to the
peasants and breaking up the power of the owners of the large
They also restored the civil service examination from earlier times to
serve as the chief method of recruiting officials for the civilian
bureaucracy. (only 1 in 5 would pass)
Emperor Tang Xuanzang (SHWAHN• DZAHNG) is remembered
for his devotion to a commoner’s daughter, Yang Gul Fei.
The emperor ’s favorite general led a bloody revolt and the army
demanded that someone be held accountable for the war and strife
in the country.
Song Dynasty (960-1279)
The Song ruled during a period of economic prosperity
and cultural achievement.
Song rulers were forced to move the imperial court
farther south to Hangzhou.
During the 1200s, the Mongols, a nomadic people,from
the Gobi, carried out wars of conquest and built a vast
empire, within 70 years the Mongols overthrew the Song
and created a new Mongol dynasty in China.
The Mongols and China
Religion and Government
A Golden Age in Literature and Art
The Mongols brought much of the Eurasian landmass under a
single rule, creating the largest land empire in history.
After the death of Genghis Khan in 1227, his heirs divided the
territory into several separate territories called khanates, each
under the rule of one of his sons.
Genghis Khan’s grandson Kublai Khan ruled China and
established his capital at Khanbalik later known by the Chinese
The capital at Khanbalik reflected Mongol prosperity and it was a
magnificent city that impressed foreign visitors. One such visitor
was Marco Polo, who lived in Khanbalik during the reign of
Mongol armies advanced into Vietnam,Java, Sumatra and
twice against the islands of Japan but only Vietnam was
conquered. The Mongols used tactics, such as cavalry charges
and siege warfare.
The Mongol dynasty eventually fell victim to the same
problems that had plagued other dynasties: too much
spending on foreign conquests, corruption at court, and
growing internal instability.
In 1368 Zhu Yuanzhang (JOO YWAHN•JAHNG), the son of
a peasant, put together an army, ended the Mongol dynasty,
and set up a new dynasty, the Ming.
Religion and Government
Confucian principles became the basis for Chinese
government during the Han dynasty.
Buddhism and Daoism had more influence during the Sui
and Tang dynasties.
After the Han dynasty collapsed people lost faith in
Confucianism and Buddhism became a more attractive offer.
The government embraced Buddhism until there was
corruption. Buddhism also went against the virtues that the
Neo-Confucianism was developed as a response to
Buddhism. It embraced a physical and spiritual world, It
teaches that the world is real, not an illusion, and that
fulfillment comes from participation in the world. Lasted in
China until 20th Century.
A Golden Age in
Literature and Art
The Tang dynasty is viewed as the great age of poetry in China.
Chinese poems celebrated the beauty of nature, the changes of the
sea- sons, and the joys of friendship. They expressed sadness at the
shortness of life and the necessity of parting.
Li Bo was a free spirit whose writing often centered on nature, Du
Fu was a serious Confucian Poet
During the Song and Mongol dynasties, landscape painting
reached its high point. Influenced by Daoism, artists went into the
mountains to find the Dao, or Way, in nature.
The word landscape in Chinese means “mountain-water” and
reflects the Daoist search for balance between the earth and water.
Early Japan and Korea
Japan is mountainous and only about 11 percent of the
total land area can be farmed.
The mountains are volcanic in origin.
Volcanic soils are very fertile, which has helped Japanese
farming but it is prone to earthquakes.
In the early seventh century, Shotoku Taishi, a Yamato
prince, tried to unify the various clans so that the Japanese
could more effectively resist an invasion by the Chinese.
He sent representatives to China to learn how China did
Shotoku Taishi used the information to increase his own
power and lessen the aristocrats power.
All farming belonged to the state so taxes were to be paid
directly to the central government rather than to local
Political power fell into the hands of the Fujiwara clan.
Japan’s central government could not overcome the
power of the aristocrats.
These powerful families were able to keep the taxes from
the lands for themselves.
Unable to gain tax revenues, the central government
steadily lost power and influence.
Power remained in the hands of the Fujiwara clan.
With the decline of central power, local aristocrats took
justice into their own hands.
They turned to military force, and a new class of
military servants emerged, called the samurai, whose
purpose was to protect the security and property of their
By the end of the twelfth century, rivalries among Japanese
aristocratic families had led to almost constant civil war.
Minamoto Yoritomo defeated several rivals and set up his
power near the modern city of Tokyo.
To strengthen the state, he created a more centralized
government under a military leader known as the shogun.
After surviving an attack from the Mongols, Kamakura
Shogunate was overthrown by a group of powerful families
led by the Ashikaga family in 1333.
Life in Early Japan
Early Japan was mostly a farming society.
In early Japan, women may have had a certain level of
equality with men, but later women were considered
subordinate to men. A husband could divorce his wife if
she did not produce a son or if she committed adultery,
talked too much, was jealous, or had a serious illness.
Shinto and Buddhism are the religions practiced.
Women wrote prose fiction. Landscape art was popular.
The Emergence of Korea
The Korea Peninsula, only slightly larger than the state of
Minnesota, is relatively mountainous.
Three separate kingdoms emerged: Koguryo in the north,
Paekche (PAK•chuh) in the southwest, and Silla in the
In the thirteenth century, the Mongols seized the northern
part of Korea. Mongol rule led to much suffering for the
In 1392 Yi Song-gye, a military commander, seized power
and founded the Yi dynasty, which would rule Korea for over
five hundred years.