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Lecture 18

HIS102Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Chinoiserie, Japanese Pottery And Porcelain, Chinese Art

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Carol Chin

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Imperial Culture and Foreign Relations in East Asia (c.1500 - c.1750)
͞Introduction: Policies of Isolation in Asia͟
The Chinese had a policy to keep foreigners out, but they weren't completely isolated (m Polo,
other explorers
Eurocentric view would argue isolation, but they were in contact with most of the other Asian
Thesis: in the 1600s, China, Japan and the rest of east Asia were not isolated from foreign
contacct. Historians sometimes characterize this as a period of isolation because of limited contact
with Erope, but China and Japan both had extensive relations wit other parts of East and
Southeast Asia
͞The Glory of the Qing (Ch'ing) Empire͟
End of the Ming Dynasty
o The Ming dynasty had restored Chinese rule during it's period
o Zheng He had trader ships to establish prestige and brought back exotic animals etc
(giraffes) and represented the end of the voyages of the Ming dynasty
o Was a very flourishing commercial culture/literature/art
o Traded a lot with the Spanish in Manila, Philippines as well as the Portuguese at the Macao
o Exported manufactured goods that the Chinese specialized in like porcelain, silk, brocade,
tapestries, paper
o Savvy about international trade, took in Spanish silver (mined in South America)
o By the 1600 started face internal weaknesses and external challenges
Famines, due to unusual cold turn in weather patterns throughout the world
Crops failed, was supposed to be protected with emergency rain brought about the
provincial government, but they were unable to do so
Poverty etc. inspired revolution → internal challenges
Manchu Conquest
o Entire society was set up based on military conquest
o Came from Northeast Asia (present day Heilongjiang, Jilin), gradually began to encroach on
northern China, defeating the Ming Dynasty
o Pockets of resistance remained, and these loyalists allied themselves with pirates in Taiwan
o Declared themselves the Qing Dynasty
o Gradually over 2.5 centuries they began to take on Chinese attributes (more so than the
o But initially, they tried to maintain their culture though adopting the Chinese bureaucracy
o Banned intermarriage with the Chinese
o Kept up archery, horseback riding and hunting
o Maintained language (resembles Mongolian) and religion (Shaministic)
o Kept homeland separate
o Did not only conquer the Ming but behaved as an expansionist empire (most borders
resemble those of contemporary China)
o Expanded into Xinjiang
Largely Muslim population
Kept mainly as frontier
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