Yon's World History

Sui, Tang, Sui, Mongols, Japanese, Korea, Southeast Asia

The Sui Dynasty was the first dynasty after the Period of Disunion. The ruler who brought the Chinese out of this period was, Wendi, or Yang Jian. He used former dynasties as models of ways to rebuild the centralized government. Wendi eventually restored order, legal code, and bureaucracy. The greatest achievement of this period was the Grand Canal. It was a 1,000 mile waterway that linked southern and northern China. After Wendi died, his son Yang Di took over the completion of the Grand Canal. He forced peasants to work on this project and others. Many died during these projects and that lead to unhappiness and rebellion. Also, failed military campaigns did not help the situation. Eventually, an official assassinated Yang Di. The Sui dynasty was short lived and it came to an end.

Here is where you can find a video about these three dynasties

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2DwGAiZnRM

Here is a website that gives you extra information

http://www.fsmitha.com/h3/h06chin.htm

Tang

A general from the Sui dynasty started the Tang dynasty. It lasted about 300 years. During this time China became prosperous and had cultural achievement. Influence and government were modeled across East Asia. Tang government was established on Sui government system. They had two capitals, Chang'an and Luoyang. To work for the government, you would have to pass a written exam. Many cultures of East Asia came to China to study its government and culture. These countries included Korea, Japan and other cultures across Central and East Asia. The expansion of China increased foreign trade and China's economy was at an all time high. A lot of this expansion was due to Taizong, who was in charge from 629 to 649. He had a very successful military and he also had schools built so students could prepare for their government exams. This is one of many reasons he was so admired. Taizong's son became emperor after he died. But as he too was very sickly and eventually died, his wife Wu Zhao became emperor. She is the only women in history to become emperor ever. She was effective, but very ruthless. Therefore, she was overthrown in 705. One of the best periods of time this dynasty had was under Xuanzong who ruled from 712 to 756. The empire prospered and culture was amazing. The government was becoming weak in the 750s due to rebellion and unrest. Military had some crucial defeats that was losing grasp in Central Asia. When a powerful general overthrew the emperor in 907, the Tang dynasty had come to an end.

Song

The Song dynasty began with officials setting up the capital at Kaifeng. They restored the centralized government and enlarged their government bureaucracy. They even restored the government exams so that talented people could run the government. These tested the students knowledge of Confucianism ideas and teachings. During the Song, Neo- Confucianism developed. It had the same teachings of the original Confucianism, but it not only stressed ethics but spiritual matters as well. These tests were more open to take, but they were also very hard to take. So, if you were an ordinary person then you could be able to become wealthy and gain status. The Song were never able to claim the lands that were lost by the Tang. In fact, a nomadic people named Jurchen conquered the northern part of the Song dynasty. These people founded the Jin dynasty, however the Song continued their rule in the north for about 150 more years. The Song dynasty just as the Tang dynasty, was a period of cultural flourishment. Song artisans were great at making porcelain. It had such fine quality that it was wanted all around the world. Also, Indian Buddhist temples inspired the design of Chinese pogadas. These were multistoried buildings that had roofs on each floor that curved up at the corners. During the Song and Tang periods, China led the world in technology and science. One of the major technological advances was gunpowder. The Chinese didn't use gunpowder for weapons, but for fireworks. Then as time went on, other civilizations used it for firearms and cannons. It was a major piece in how wars changed. A type of printing called movable print was developed. This was a step up from the Tang's woodblock printing. This type of printing uses blocks which letters or numbers are carved. Using movable print was faster than woodblock printing, but was not used often in China because of the many Chinese symbols.

Mongols

The Mongols were a nomadic people who came from the steppe. They moved when they needed to find another pasture to settle on for their animals. The Mongols learned at a young age how to ride horses as this was how they fought. The Mongols were feared because they were tough and fierce warriors. Their ruler, Genghis Khan, built a powerful and militaristic empire. He was a harsh ruler, but if you pleased him, he rewarded you. Under Genghis Khan, the Mongols took over a lot of East Asia and Central Asia. He even conquered some of Eastern Asia. This was due to Genghis Khan's brilliant military tactics. He would strike fear into any opponent that opposed him and he would destroy them. After Genghis Khan's death in 1227, the Mongols separated the land that he conquered into four khanates or regions. The Mongols continued to dominate and conquer all in their way. Dominating Persia, Moscow, and taking Kiev. They were on conquest to take the rest of Western Europe, but the Great Khan, or ruler of all khanates died. So they turned back their forces. The Mongols ruled their empire peacefully and stably. This period of time for the Mongols some call the Pax Mongolia. The last part of Kublai Khan's reign was where the Mongols were at their weakest. Several military failures, failed attempts to take Japan, Kublai Khan dead, and rebellion are reasons that the Mongols reign ended in China and the rest of the world. They fled to Manchuria and that was the end of the great Mongols.

Here is a video to better your understanding of the Mongols

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szxPar0BcMo

Here is a website about the Mongols to expand on what I have said

http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/mongols/

Japan

The geography of Japan limited farming because 80 percent of it is covered by mountains and rugged terrain. However, the part of Japan that is suitable for farming is very productive due to the fertile soil, mild climate, and plenty of rainfall. The sea also played a big part in the shaping of Japan. They relied on the sea for food and transportation. It also gave them protection from invaders, such as the Mongols who tried to invade during the Chinese Yuan dynasty. Their fleets were wiped out by tsunamis that happen often to the island. The early Japanese adopted a religion called Shinto. This religion believed that everything in nature has a kami. They made shrines in nature to ask for their blessings. During the mid 500s the influence from China and Korea began to grow. Korean merchants brought influences. However, most of these influences originated from China. Monks from Korea introduced Buddhism to Japan. It influenced Japanese art and pagodas originating from China were built. Prince Shotoku, sent missions to China, which was under the Tang dynasty, to learn Chinese ways. They brought back Chinese fashions, food, art, music, dance, and gardening. They also adopted many similar Confucian ideas about how a family should act. They even adopted a similar government system. When the Tang dynasty was coming to an end, the Japanese stopped sending missions to China. They took what they learned and created their own culture and society. Japanese emperor moved the capital to Heian, which is modern day Kyoto. Many nobles moved here and adopted an elegant court society. This is why it was the Heian period. Life here was very easy because most of the inhabitants were nobles who admired art and poetry to pass their days. The women enjoyed reading and writing. These women made some of the best poetry of the time.

Here is a video to better understand Japan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij0bxUCm3CE

Here is a website that will help you understand ancient Japan a little more

http://www.facts-about-japan.com/ancient-japan.html

Korea

Korea is very similar to Japan in that both of their terrains are very rugged especially in the east for Korea. That is why most of civilization is in the west. Another way that they are similar are that they started off as clans. These clans eventually joined together and made one united Korean people. With the influence of China in the Han dynasty, many customs and traditions come from the Chinese. One of the most famous of Korean dynasties is the Koryo dynasty. It was founded by rebels who defeated the Silla Kingdom and took control. They continued adopting Chinese customs, but they put their own culture and diffused the two cultures together. During this period culture thrived. This is because artisans would create beautiful pottery and Chinese printing techniques. In the 1200s the Mongols gained control of Korea. They were harsh to the people and when the Yuan dynasty fell, they rebelled.

Here is a video that talks about ancient Korea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpIVmi6nNB4

Here is a website of ancient Korea to further your knowledge

http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-ancient-history/korean-empire-map.html

Southeast Asia

There are two parts of Southeast Asia. The mainland and the island. The mainland consists of countries that are still there such as Cambodia, Laos, and others. The islands consist of some that still exist and some that do not. The waterways through Southeast Asia were more commonly used. So, traders that brought their culture through also brought it to Southeast Asia. These traders were usually from India and China. There culture even exists there today.

Here is a video of Southeast Asia that will teach you about Southeast Asia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72EG7hgxA3U

Here is a website to better your understanding of Southeast Asia

http://www.destination-asia.com/history/

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