East Asia, 300–1300 ce
China and Japan
7.3 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of China in the Middle Ages.
1. Describe the reunification of China under the Tang Dynasty and reasons for the spread of Buddhism in Tang China, Korea, and Japan.
2. Describe agricultural, technological, and commercial developments during the Tang and Sung periods.
3. Analyze the influences of Confucianism and changes in Confucian thought during the Sung and Mongol periods.
4. Understand the importance of both overland trade and maritime expeditions between China and other civilizations in the Mongol Ascendancy and Ming Dynasty.
5. Trace the historic influence of such discoveries as tea, the manufacture of paper, wood block printing, the compass, and gunpowder.
6. Describe the development of the imperial state and the scholar-official class.
7.5 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of Medieval Japan.
1. Describe the significance of Japan’s proximity to China and Korea and the intellectual, linguistic, religious, and philosophical influence of those countries on Japan.
2. Discuss the reign of Prince Shotoku of Japan and the characteristics of Japanese society and family life during his reign.
3. Describe the values, social customs, and traditions prescribed by the lord-vassal system consisting of shogun, daimyo, and samurai and the lasting influence of the warrior code in the twentieth century.
4. Trace the development of distinctive forms of Japanese Buddhism.
5. Study the ninth and tenth centuries’ golden age of literature, art, and drama and its
lasting effects on culture today, including Murasaki Shikibu’s Tale of Genji.
6. Analyze the rise of a military society in the late twelfth century and the role of the
samurai in that society.
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?