Ccot/Chart – Chart the influence of China over Japan, Korea, and Vietnam

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Japan (600-1000 CE)

Before Chinese Influence

Chinese never invaded Japan

After Chinese Influence


-Unlike European feudalism, women were not held in high esteem; lost any freedoms they had under Fujiwara period

-a. emperor

b. shogun

c. daimyo

d. samurai

e. ronin

f. peasants

g. artisans

h. merchants

-Heian period – wives could inherit land, own land (could contribute more) – only noblewomen

-Women’s power decreased over time

-Women had limited ed b/c of Conf

-Fujiwara noblewomen were expected to live in near-total isolation and spent time studying Buddhism and used writing to communicate with family (Heian)


-centralized power during the Tang

-isolated self-sufficient small states dominated by aristocratic clans

-(310-710) Yamato clan gained relig/cult influence and wanted to copy China’s central gov’t

-Taika period (645-710)

Clan claimed imperial authority and made

Reforms to centralize the gov’t

-Nara period (710-794)

Chinese influence at its highest; aristocracy gained back powers

-(794-1185) Heian Period – centralized gov’t, capital moved to Kyoto from Nara

*Emperors rarely ruled, but served as

figureheads/symbols of authority-isolated him in seclusion

*Fujiwara family was in power (aristocratic clan)

-Aristocrats living elegant lives at imperial capital led to countryside not being controlled as much

-Taira and Minamoto clans fought for power (noble families)w/private armies – like lords in Europe

-(1185-1500s) Minamoto won and established their gov’t at Kamakura (near Tokyo) while imperial court remained in Kyoto (power goes to shogun); military state

-(1185-1573) Medieval Japan (period that fell b/t age of Chinese influence and court domination of political life/cent gov’t unifying all of Japan and the modern age with Tokugawa dynasty in 16th century with cent gov’t again)

-Gov’t under Yamato same as China (legal code, centralized gov’t)

-Chinese influences came early (Conf ideas and bureaucracy) but b/c of political independence they were able to select among elements of Chinese culture

-Borrowed bureaucratic legal reforms from China (Taika reforms) – equal field system

-hereditary hierarchy (not by education)

-Court etiquette from Tang

*rejected Conf and civil service exams

-Chinese influence declined after Taika reform failures and the rise of the aristocracy ; ended centralized bureaucracy and was a decline in Confucian influence

-Leaders called themselves emperors but unsuccessful in creating centralized state with bureaucracy/civil service exams

-(1185) Kamakura Shogunate – emperor (figurehead) and court kept capital in Kyoto but military dictatorship ruled by landholding clans (decentralized military regime) in Kamakura

-feudalism where shogun controlled military gov’t and divided land into regional units led by daimyos and protected by samurai (part warrior/part nobility)

-separation of imperial power from real political power (since 9th century)

-Unlike Mandate of Heaven, emperor cannot be overthrown

-Growing authority of regional warlords led to a reduction in Chinese cultural influences since it was linked to the central gov’t and Conf bureaucracy



-artisan class of weavers, carpenters, ironworkers

-trade regulated by clan leaders

-majority were peasants who worked land owned by lords or Buddhist monasteries

-During Kamakura period, trade/manufacturing focused on markets in larger towns and foreign trade with Korea and China

-made advances in ag technology and productivity

-developed advanced techniques in steel making


-Shintoism (reverence of ancestors and nature spirits and deities)

*kami = nature and of its forces

*goal = become part of kami by following rituals

-Yamato period (promote Chinese influence – Conf, lang, Buddhist sects, art/arch, gov’t structure)

-Shintoism but adopted Conf and Budd (Nara)

-modeled capital (Nara) on China’s (Changan)

-Adopted Chinese technology, architecture, written language (but did not work in Japanese lang completely so adapted)

-Chinese influence dropped during end of Heian

-Zen Buddhism (own version of Mahayana Budd that reinforced bushido values of mental and self-discipline)

-Literature imitated Chinese models and was written in Chinese (during Heian)

-Haiku poetry, decorative gardens – under Shogunate

-Confucian texts for men

-literacy rate improved b/c of printing from China

  • Korea – most sinified

    Before China

    After China


    Several unique groups

    -aristocracy (only ones who really mattered)

    -gov’t official

    -commoners (peasants)

    -near slaves (miners, artisans, servants)

    -artisans and traders were poorly paid and weak

    -women had higher status than in China b/c of the need for whole community to participate in wet-rice cultivation

    -Status of women better than China-family alliances allowed them to have role in negotiating property
    -Women had little ed b/c of Conf
    -Influence limited to the aristocratic elite


    - indep in early Tang after collapse of Sui

    -aristocracy chosen by birth for gov’t positions

    -aristocrats and royal houses dominated Korean society more than in China


    -(600s) Tang conquered, Silla’s king had to recognize Tang emperor as his overlord

    -Korea paid tribute to China; kings kept autonomy

    -Conf exam system, but aristocracy dominated (cont’d by birth)

    -Never developed bureaucracy based on merit



    -B/c of tribute system, able to participate in trade with China and Japan

    -made advances in ag technology and productivity

    -excelled in textiles and ag



    -Capital modeled Tang

    -Influenced by Chinese art

    -Founded Confucian schools, males read Conf classics (elite class)

    -Buddhism spread amongst the peasants/commoners

    -Buddhist temples, monasteries, monks

    -Adapted Chinese writing (wood-block printing)

    -Got porcelain but used celadon bowls (pale green)

    -literacy rate improved b/c of printing from China

  • Vietnam – no assimilation of Chinese ideas until Tang period; As Tang fell during early 10th century, Vietnam won independence and resisted later Chinese efforts at imperial expansion to the south—more resistant to the Chinese

Before China

After China


-society based on nuclear family
-women active in community and political life, economy

-stayed living in villages, not cities

-finally accepted extended family like in China

-women had more privileges (commerce, politics, poetry)-limited ed b/c of Conf

-women participated in business ventures, dominated local and regional markets


-Han conquered but Viet did not assimilate

-valued indep and did not want to become tributary

-Invaded by Tang and had to pay tribute

-(939) established indep kingdom after fall of Tang

-Exams based on Chinese-style education

-Conf bureaucratic training but scholar-gentry never gained power it had in China – instead, dominated by aristocracy

--After 10th century, scholar-gentry lost influence to local village leaders and Buddhist monks


-fast ripening rice

-fast ripening rice

-Trade with Song China

-Entered into tributary relationships with China

-finally accepted Chinese traditions of ag/irrigation

-made advances in ag technology and productivity


-Dress, cockfighting, blackened teeth, poetry

-kept own language

-Accepted Chinese Confucian veneration for ancestors

-Buddhism but many kept religious traditions

-Literacy Conf texts for men (elites)

-Chinese schools



-Kept dress, cockfighting, blackened teeth, poetry

-literacy rate improved b/c of printing from China

-Khmer Empire – Angkor Wat

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