East Asia, 300–1300: China and Japan
From 300 to 1300 CE, China had a larger population and economy than any other major region of the world. Students begin their study with the following question: How did the Tang and Song Dynasties gain and maintain power over people and territories? After a long period of disunity, the Sui (589–618) and Tang Dynasties (618–907) reunited China. The Tang rulers rebuilt a government modeled on the Han Dynasty. Scholar-officials, trained in Confucianism, advised the emperor and administered the empire. Confucian principles specified that government should operate as a strict hierarchy of authority from the emperor, who enjoyed the “Mandate of Heaven” as long as he ruled justly, down to the local village offcial.
Even though China had a great influence on Japan, Japanese government and society developed in its own direction. Students investigate the question What in uence did samurai customs and values have on the government and society of medieval Japan? Japan had an emperor, but the emperor and his court had no real power. Clans continued to control regional areas of Japan. Important clans fought each other for more land, power, and control over the weak central government. In the 1180s, the Miramoto clan dominated Japan. They instituted a military government headed by a “great general,” or shogun.
Source: California History–Social Science Framework | Chapter 11
- How did the Tang and Song Dynasties gain and maintain power over people and territories?
- How did the environmental conditions and technological innovations cause the medieval economic revolution? What were the e ects of this revolution?
- Why was Quanzhou such an important site of encounter?
- How did Chinese culture, ideas and technologies, and Buddhism influence Korea and Japan?
- What influence did samurai customs and values have on the government and society of medieval Japan?