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By Frederick Vürst

Mandarin Chinese

The main language of (ancient) China. Mainly established by the Zhou rulers


Japanese system of writing with simplified Chinese characters that are used phonetically


Overall weather in an area over a long period of time

Domesticated animals

Animals and plants that have been adopted by humans to grow

Song Dynasty

(960 - 1279 AD); this dynasty was started by Tai Zu; by 1000, a million people were living in China; started feet binding; developed the magnetic compass; built a strong navy; traded with India and Persia; first to have paper money, developed gunpowder; used paper money; discovered Champa rice; developed terraces


People who worked the land or served the nobles


Thin, beautiful and expensive pottery invented in China

Kublai Khan

Mongolian emperor of China and grandson of Genghis Khan who completed his grandfather's conquest of China

Zheng He

An imperial eunuch and Muslim, entrusted by the Ming emperor Yongle with a series of state voyages that took his gigantic ships through the Indian Ocean, from Southeast Asia to Africa. (pp. 355, 422)


People who work to spread their religious beliefs

Choson/Yi Dynasty

Founded by a Korean Mongol general, this dynasty would last for over 500 years. It is one of the longest lasting dynasties in world history

Heian Period

(A.D. 794-1185) It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height. The Heian period is also considered the peak of the Japanese imperial court and noted for its art, especially poetry and literature


a Japanese feudal lord who commands a private army of samurai

Manchus/Qing Dynasty

Manchu dynasty that seized control of China in mid-17th century after decline of Ming; forced submission of nomadic peoples far to the West and compelled tribute from Vietnam and Burma to south

Tokugawa Shogunate

Japanese ruling dynasty that strove to isolate it from foreign influences. Shogunate started by Tokugawa Leyasu; class system of warriors (first), farmers (second), artisans (third), merchants (last); Japan's ports were closed off; wanted to create their own culture; illegal to fight; merchants became rich because domestic trade flourished (because fighting was illegal); had new forms of art - kabuki and geishas

Yellow/Yangtze Rivers

Tho most important rivers in China; where many homes, farms, villages and cities were built by; very important for transportation; also led to disastrous floods


Korean alphabet that uses 14 consanatns and 10 vowels for folktales and popular literatre

Li Po

Chinese poet who lived during the Tang Dynasty. He is best known for the extravagant imagination and striking Taoist imagery in his poetry, as well as for his great love for liquor. He is said to have drowned in the Yangtze River, having fallen from his boat while drunkenly trying to embrace (the reflection of) the moon


The system of ethics, education, and statesmanship taught by Confucius and his disciples, stressing love for humanity, ancestor worship, reverence for parents, and harmony in thought and conduct. It shows the way to ensure a stable government and an orderly society. All Asia empires adopted it

Grand Canal

The 1,100-mile (1,700-kilometer) waterway linking the Yellow and the Yangzi Rivers. It was begun in the Han period and completed during the Sui Dynasty

Foot binding

Practice in Chinese society to mutilate women's feet in order to make them smaller; produced pain and restricted women's movement; made it easier to confine women to the household

Silk Road

An ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean Sea extending some 6,440 km (4,000 mi) and linking China with the Roman Empire. Marco Polo followed the route on his journey to Cathay

Marco Polo

Venetian merchant and traveler. His accounts of his travels to China offered Europeans a firsthand view of Asian lands and stimulated interest in Asian trade


A fraction of landmass surrounded by water on three sides

Zen Buddhism

A school of Mahayana Buddhism asserting that enlightenment can come through meditation and intuition rather than faith


Korean ceramic pottery with a thin blue or green glaze

Tale of Genji

Story of Prince Genji and his lovers; written by Lady Murasaki Shikibu at end of 11th century; world's first full novel


The supreme military commander of Japan


A former Chinese custom of touching the ground with the forehead as a sign of respect or submission


Also known as the Society of Jesus; founded by Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) as a teaching and missionary order to resist the spread of Protestantism



Tang Dynasty




Civil service exam


Mongol invasion




Genghis Khan


Ming Dynasty




Silla Dynasty






Hermit Kingdom


Paper currency




East-West axis
















Koryo Dynasty






Mateo Ricci


Turtle boats






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