Regional Outline for East Asia (China, Japan, Koreas, Vietnam)

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Regional Outline for East Asia (China, Japan, Koreas, Vietnam)

8000 – 600 CE

600 – 1450 CE

1450-1750 CE

1750 – 1914 CE

1914 - Present


Dynasties with emperors- mandate of heaven

Start of bureaucracy/meritocracy

Japan borrowed from China

Increased bureaucracy

Tributary system

Constant threat from North

Prince Shotoku then daimyos

Fall of Ming from internal/external - Manchu

Japan: Warring States Period to Tokogawa Shogunate

Centralized rule

Abdication of Qing, unification of China

Fight for control with Mao

Japan: abolishes feudalism, Civil code, regional govs

Nationalism = huge force

Decolonization from Europe Nominally democratic

Tensions- China and West

USSR/China split

Birth of Chinese Republic

Japan: parliamentary capitalism


Lots of money flowing in from Silk Roads

Otherwise agricultural

Paper money

Credit or “flying money”

High taxes cause peasant revolts

Serfs bound to land

China: trade with Europeans in Qing

Japan: manufacturing, merchant class get wealth and power , urbanization, population growth

Provide labor for plantations/mines

Meiji Restoration- quickly industrialized in Japan

Modernization of Japan, Taiwan, South Korea

Post- industrial/high-tech

Less affected by global depression

Need natural resources

Social Class/Gender


Confucian principles

Women only power in court

Scholars/officials  military  artisans

Few live in cities

Code of Bushido- chivalry

Women lost freedom in Japan

Foreigners allowed in China

Manchus higher than Chinese

Japan: hierarchy becomes unbreakable, samurai at top

lower class women more free – upper obey or die

Rigid Tokogawa hierarchy ended

Middle class grows power

Lower classes- horrible conditions, taxed a lot

Slow to embrace/tolerate diversity and individualism

High degree/variety social services

Rise of feminism- suffrage

Women went worked WWII

Foot binding outlawed


Iron Age

Modernized army

Paper, accurate sundials/calendars, agriculture improvements (plow)

Gunpowder for military

Boasts = junks

Navigation/block printing

Iron production

Agriculture technique  population  cities

Gunpowder more prevalent

Globalization of trade

British introduced opium to China

Westernization of Japan

- steamships/railroads

Communication revolution

Atomic bombs

Nuclear weaponry

Militarism in Japan

Computer, internet, biotechnology and genetic science


Brush painting


Infrastructure (roads, inns, postal stations)

Japan: haiku, pencil sketches, ink sketches, Noh drama, tea ceremony

Japan: kabuki theatre replaces restrained drama,

Woodblock prints = art form, borrowed Korean ceramics and western oil painting

Artistic styles change more rapidly and radically than ever before

Theme for lit- resisting US

New style= cubism

Movie industry

Use of concrete and glass

New skepticism


Collapse of empires in China from internal problems – economic depression, natural catastrophe, social unrest

Mongol empires – conquer China, but fail in Japan  replaced by Ottoman Turks and Ju Yuanzahng of Ming dynasty

Japan empire centralized

Fall of the Manchu empire

Interaction with west = China – relatively isolated, Japan- periods of isolation and acceptance

The fall of China – opium wars, internal rebellions, external lasses, Boxer Rebellion

Japanese imperialism- Taiwan, Korea, Russia

Japan- WWII- invades Manchuria, China, Siberia – taking over Southeast Asia,

Bomb Pearl Harbor – brings US into war  atomic bomb  US occupies Japan


Polytheism, animism ancestor worship

Confucianism, Legalism

Daoism, also spread of Buddhism from India

Buddhist missionaries

Shinto religion

Influenced by monotheistic religions

Neo- Confucian thought

New sects of Buddhism from China to Japan

Neo- Confucianism increase

(ethnocentric, historicism, rationalism)

Scientific/secular world becomes dominant

Religious fundamentalism

Western appreciation for science spread

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