Eastern Asian Cultures

The cultures of Eastern Asia are unlike the rest of the world, in the fact that they started out so diverse but influences from each other brought them to like terms in culture.

Chinese Dynasties

China has undergone many dynasty changes in history due to the Mandate of Heaven. While some of these dynasties were bad, some rose above the rest.

Sweet Sui Dynasty

The Sui Dynasty was a relief for many Chinese citizens. They rose to power and unified China after 350 years of disunion. They restored order and tried to be the best leader they could. They took many ideas form the previous dynasties. The first leader, Wendi, was a great leader and started work on the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal was made to make trading and transporting goods to and from southern China easier. He led the dynasty in a bureaucracy centered in Chang'an Wendi died before it was completed and his son, Yang Di, took throne. He drove the citizens like slaves to complete the canal. This led to a revolt and the end of the dynasty.

Dang Tang Dynasty

The Tang dynasty had many wonderful rulers. This included Taizong, Wu Zhao, and Xuanzong. They led a bureaucracy that made passing a written exam required for government jobs. They were centralized in Luoyang. During their rule, the Chinese influence spread to others and Buddhism spread farther across China. It was also under their rule that the compass was invented and that the first Chinese Empress was crowned.

One of the first Chinese compasses

Sing Song Dynasty

The Song Dynasty was an incredible dynasty that brought forth many inventions and innovations. They were led by Zhou Kuangyin in the capital of Kaifeng. There, there was a bureaucratic government ran by scholar-officials.  They brought porcelain, pagodas, gunpowder, stamps, Confucianism, and wood block printing. They also increased the spread of Buddhism to Japan and Korea during the time.

Pagoda built in Song times

The Exception

The mongols were a civilization that was unlike any other. Born to conquer, they were led by Chingus Khan to conquer everything. Almost no one could stop them. They ended up controlling territory larger than the Roman Empire. The only advancements they made was in military strategy. They made no technological, cultural, or religious advancements, they just took things from the people they conquered. Artisans who worked for the Mongols were greatly revered because the Mongols didn't know how to do anything themselves. When Chingus died, the empire divided up into four Khanates. Of these four, the most successful was the Yuan Empire, led by Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan, and the Golden Horde, led by Attila. They went on to conquer most of Asia and Europe until the eventual fall.

Weapons that a Mongol Warrior uses

Land of the Rising Sun

Japan has an interesting history  that was first recorded with the Yamato Clan. The emperors of this clan were considered blessed by Amaterasu, their sun god. After a defeat though, the Emperor held no actual power and was just a figure head. They made the main religion of Japan, Shinto, which is belief that everything in nature has a spirit. They got influenced from China and Korea through trading in this time. They had no clear capital until the Heian Period, when it moved to Kyoto. During this period, the Japanese invented kimonos, written language, and literature. The Fujiwara family held control during the Heian period.

What a Kimono would look like then


Korea was a nation that was greatly impacted by the Japanese and Chinese. They started out like Japan, all having different Clans, and took Chinese writing, government style, and religion. When an oppressive government led by the Sillas fell to rebellion, the Koryo Dynasty took it's place. The Koryo Dynasty continued to take Chinese policies but tried to add Korean twists to them. They also made Celadon pottery, Chinese style paintings, and printed almost 80,000 woodblocks with Buddhist texts. The soon fell to the Mongol Yuan Dynasty that invaded them.

Example of Celadon pottery

South East Asia

The South East Asian Kingdoms focused mostly on farming and agriculture while taking ideas and cultures from stronger empires in the area. Both the Pagan Kingdom and the Khmer Empire were led by monarchies. The Pagan Kingdom was led by a King named from Anawrhata.The Pagan Kingdom had strong ties to Buddhism since the Buddha visited them. They conquered Myanmar. The Khmer Empire was led by a monarchy and held a very strong Indian influence. They built Angkor Wat and were very prosperous in rice farming. The trading empire had no clear capital or leader, but relied heavily on agriculture and trade. Hinduism and Buddhism were popular here which led them to build Palembang, a center of Buddhist teachings.Vietnam was a bureaucracy led by Trung Nac and Trung Nhi. They held many aspects from Chinese civilization and believed in nature spirits, similar to the Japanese religion of Shinto.

Angkor Wat

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