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ASIA 100 Study Guide Version 3.docx

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Asian Studies
ASIA 100
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LogographChinese system of script drawings that represent wordsAll East Asian countries have a development script that has a link to Chinese charactersTradition of Mahayana Buddhism and ConfucianismEast Asia is thought of as a cultural sphere River systems are bonding for civilizations Yangzi Yellow River etc When the rivers floods and breaks flood walls a rich fertile soil comes out called loessShang Dynastys capital is Xian In this region there is a ruling family with the name Shang They are now naming the dynasty after themselves They are hereditary rulers and they worshipped a lot of deities specialization in religion Belief that within the forces and objects of nature there dwells a spirit animismThe deity that is higher than all deities is called Shang Di the supreme deity Sacrifices and prayers for good crops mild winter etc are devoted to Shang DiThe Shang Dynasty lasts for 500 years Very well established lots of archeological evidence develops writing and divination system on bonesInterrelationsif we all believe that all things are related we can extrapolate bigger ideas from itShang Dynasty was overthrown at 1045 BC by vassal state by Zhou family later Zhou DynastyZhou Dynasty had a different cosmological understanding of what is going on in the world the Mandate of Heaven relationship of the individual to the cosmosThreetier system Heaven on top provides rainfall sunshine change of seasons so that heaven will ensure regularity It will provide everything that one needs for agriculture Earth below provides bounty food that makes life possible iron to make tools and weapons Mankind in the middlehumans are the variable in the system Humans need to figure out what the wishes of Heaven are and then conform themselves then Heaven will send the rain sunshine etcNotion in the Zhou Dynasty of goodness Goodness is represented by two peopleif you were raised in a White people intellectual traditional there is a sense of idealized notion of goodness This means that in our imaginations we could imagine that there is now a vase and in that vase there is pure goodness In our lifetime we will try to attain pure goodness However a Chinese notion of goodness to be good you need to do good and therefore you need an interaction with people Goodness is now defined by interaction with othersZhou family does not have Shang Di as ancestral deity but instead HeavenIn this early Zhou state there is a hereditary ruling class called the Shi like knightsThe Shi coming to be identified with the mastery of certain forms of culture etc expected to master the Book of Documents which was a set of pronouncements In this Book there is a sense of Heaven having a kind of Mandate What is the destiny that Heaven has for a ruler and a stateAccording to theory Heaven will transfer the Mandate when it becomes displeased by the way rulers are ruling to authorize another family to ruleShi would be the start of a new ruling classAfter 771 BC after capital is moved to Luoyang there is a slow redefinition of what it is to be a knight also at around this time there is around 100 different states in ChinaDuring conquest stronger states are swallowing smaller states What one finds about 500 BC at various places around the world there are philosophical thinkers appearing Most prominent is ConfuciusShi class becomes people whose status is earned rather than inheritedConfucius lays out the moral and ethical and political teachings of an idealized realm Learning the first aspect is fundamental to his teachingsSecond aspect is completely socialWhat Confucius was saying in his time was quite controversialHe said that there are five relationships RulerSubject most important ParentChild HusbandWife Elder brotherYounger brother FriendFriend different from the other ones because it is not a family relationship and is also not hierarchalThese are the relationships that are fundamental to human life If you get these right then everything else will fall into placeHighest relationship is between ruler and subjectRuler must create a nurturing environment and subject must abide to the ruler
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