Chinese Scholar Gentry. Image Credit: Wikipedia
|Grand Canal 🌅||This canal linked southern China’s Yangtze River with northern China’s Yellow River, thus promoting interregional trade|
|Gunpowder 💣||The Chinese invention of gunpowder led to the development of guns and trade along the Silk Road|
|Champa Rice 🍚||Champa is a region of Vietnam. Its rice allowed for multiple harvests per year. With more harvests came more food and, once it was imported to China, a growing population.|
|Coal ⛏||The vast coal reserves of China allowed for the increased production of iron goods. With more iron came more construction|
|Artisan 🍶||An artisan is a person who specializes in the making of items like porcelain and silk. China had an emerging artisan class.|
|Public Works 🛣||The Chinese government built roads and canals due to its wealth, food, and workers, which led to more interregional trade.|
|Tribute System 💰||The Chinese government was paid a tax, known as a tribute, by foreign powers. Japan, Korea, and Vietnam all paid China in money, food, materials, and even workers rather than have to go to war with the superpower!|
|Paper 📜||The Chinese development and use of paper allowed for its government to be more efficient, the arts to thrive, and for paper money to be used around the dynasty.|
China's social hierarchy circa. Han Dynasty
Post-Classical Japan, Korea, and Vietnam
This archipelago (series of islands) region has unique elements to it like the religion of Shintoism, stories like The Tale of Genji, and a unique feudal hierarchy. The Emperor and Shogun (military leader) would rule over various Daimyo (landowners) who would all hire Samurai to protect their land. The Samurai would practice a unique brand of chivalry called the Bushido Code. Though feudal and largely decentralized, Japan was able to develop its own unique society.
Though Buddhism did spread to Japan, the Japanese government did not embrace the civil service system nor did the society accept Confucianism.
Korea has been the most influenced by China, adopting Confucianism, Buddhism, and the civil service system. However, the aristocracy in Korea did not allow for social mobility or true unity of the Korean peninsula.
Vietnam has tried very hard to maintain its own independence from China. Though closely translating to ‘southern people’, the Vietnamese do not think of themselves as Chinese. They do not have as a hierarchical society; rather life is dominated by villages and smaller nuclear families. Though Confucianism and Buddhism spread there, the impact of Confucianism is limited.