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STUDY GUIDE: CHINA: THE MIDDLE KINGDOM

Here is the Study Guide for China the Middle Kingdom. You will be able to learn the information more effectively if you print out the section below and fill it in as you go through the text. There is a short self quiz at the end and a series of discussion questions which your instructor may ask you in class. If you are taking the course wholly on line, your instructor may ask you to answer in a short written essay.


1. Chronology. Give the approximate dates for the following dynasties:

Shang

Zhou (Chou)

Qin (Ch'in)

Han

T'ang

Song (Sung)

Yuan

Ming

Qing (Ch'ing)


2. Define the following:

BCE


calligraphy


ch'i (qi)


Daoism (Taoism)


feng shui


Legalists


Mandate of Heaven


yin and yang


3. Identify the following:

Confucius (Master Kong)


Genghis Khan


Kublai Khan


Lao-zi (Lao tze)


Li Bo (Li Po)


Son of Heaven


Taotie (T'ao Tieh)


4. Contrast the meaning of a dragon in the East with its meaning in the West.



5. What was the significance of jade for the Chinese?



6. What was meant by calling China "The Middle Kingdom" ?



7. What role did divination play in the development of a written language?



What advantage derived from using characters that indicated pictograms rather than phonetic symbols?


8. List three ways in which the Zhou rulers improved the life of the people:

a.

b.

c.

9. What was The Book of Changes and what was its significance for the Chinese?


List two important concepts that it articulated:

a.

b.


10. List four aspects of Chinese thought that were taking shape in the 6th century BCE:

a.

b.

c.

d.

11. List four virtues that were taught by Confucius:

a. b.

c. d.

12. What subjects were considered worthy of study if one wanted to become a civil servant in ancient China?




13. List three ways in which the principles of Daoism were reflected in poetry and painting.

a.

b.

c.

14. What do the Chinese Dragon Boat races commemorate?


15. Describe the ruling philosophy of Shihuangdi (Shih Huang-ti ) the self-proclaimed "First Emperor of China":




List three of his great projects:

a.

b.

c.

16. List four stylistic characteristics of Han relief sculpture as seen in the rubbing from the Wu Family Shrine (#20 chi02001).

a.

b.

c.

d.

What Confucian principle is illustrated in this relief?

17. List the symbols associated with each of the following directions:

North:

South:

East:

West:

Center:

18. Describe four scientific ideas developed by Han scientists:

a.

b.

c.

d.

19. List four features of Chinese architecture illustrated by Han reliefs and tomb sculptures:

a.

b.

c.

d.

20. What is a "spirit road" ?


21. What is the meaning and function of the animal figures commonly used in Han and later tombs?



22. Why are horses so commonly depicted in Han and T'ang tombs?


23. What was the "Silk Road" and what was its significance?



24. What was the "Porcelain Route"?


25. Name the century in which China was the largest empire on earth.

26. List three contribution of T'ang potters to the ceramic arts:

a.

b.

c.

What device did T'ang potters use to create a sense of volume?


27. List five types of foreign nationals, so-called "barbarians" who were found at the T'ang court:

a. b. c.

d. e.

28. What mood was often evoked about women of the court through the poetry they wrote?


29. List two historical Chinese women who, in contrast, were described as playing very active roles:

a. b.

30. Contrast the two figurines of women of the T'ang court shown on # 42 (chi03066.cmp). What do these differences reflect?





31. Describe the roles played by eunuchs in Chinese courts.




32. What was the purpose of Zheng He's sea journey?

Why did such journey's cease?


How large was the Ming navy in the early 15th century?




33. How did the structure of Chinese gardens differ from traditional western gardens?


34. When did moveable type come into use in China?

When was it used in Europe?

35. During which dynasty was Chinese painting considered to have come into its own?


36. The principle of "animation through spirit consonance" articulated by the 6th century art theorist Xsi He became one of the major principles of good painting for later Chinese artists. What did this principle mean?



How were Xsi He's ideas illustrated in Song painting?




37. List the four types of artists described by the Song painter Jing Hao (Ching Ho):

a. b.

c. d.

What distinguishes them from each other?



In which category would you put the "Isle of the Immortals" (#47 chi01040)?

38. In what way do Chu-jan's painting Asking About the Dao in the Autumn Mountains" and Tao Qian's poem I Built my Hut in a Zone of Human Habitation reflect the ideas of Daoism (#48 chi03075)?

39. What does bamboo signify in Chinese paintings?


40. Who were the Mongols?


What is the name of the dynasty they established in China?

41. What effect did Kublai Kahn's Chinese advisors have on him and what effect did the Mongol conquest have on many Chinese scholar-bureaucrats?



42. What was Shangdu (Xanadu) and what was Marco Polo's impression of it?

Yüan


43. List five types of trade goods or discoveries that made their way from China to Europe:

a. b. c.

d. e.

44. What is "true porcelain"?


45. What was the great Yunglo Dadian project , and in what way did it reflect the interests of the Ming emperors?



In what way did the destruction of Zeng He's fleet reflect the changed attitude of the Ming emperors to the outside world?


46. Where did Ming rulers establish their capitol?

47. What was the Forbidden City?

What was its lay-out intended to symbolize?



48. What was the Boxer Rebellion?




49. What was meant by the term "Mandate of Heaven" and why did the Communists think that they had inherited it?


SELF QUIZ

Write the information requested for each image looking only at the thumbnail or enlarged image . When you have finished check your answers by consulting the appropriate "info" page. Give yourself 10% for every correct answer.

#63: COUNTRY & CENTURY: ______________________________________

#6: TYPE OF OBJECT: _____________________________________

#4: PERIOD/STYLE:___________________________________

#42: PERIOD/STYLE: ______________________________________

#16: TITLE: ___________________________________________

#26: COUNTRY: ______________________________________

#20: PERIOD/STYLE: _________________________________

#55: SUBJECT: _________________________________________

#36: PERIOD/STYLE: _________________________________

#58: TITLE, SITE: _________________________________


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Use the China Questions segment to answer the following:

1. Compare the portraits of the T'ang Emperor Tai Tsung #01a (chi03073), the Ming Emperor Zengde #01b (chi02075), and Mao Zedong #01c (chi00010). What does each say about the character of the man and the concept of the ruler as "Son of Heaven"? What stylistic features help to create the impression?

2. What do the following images indicate about Chinese attitudes toward foreigners: #02a (chi01069.cmp), #02b (chi03053.cmp), #02c (isl04056), and #02d (chi00009)? What can these past attitudes tell us about contemporary Chinese attitudes toward the West?

3. Select an image that you think best represents the Confucian principles and one that best represents Daoist principles and explain why you selected them. You might consider #03 a-i (chi01033, chi01059, chi02077, chi02001, chi02079, chi02078, chi01084, chi03075, chi03085)

4. Ceramics is a very old art in China and one that was much admired both in China and in the west. Discuss the Chinese use of ceramic for both sculpture and vessels, considering both technique and subject matter. Which periods do you think produced the most interesting work? Why? Consider #04a-g (chi01003, ch20067, chi03023, chi03067, chi03066.cmp, chi01093, chi01012).

5. On taking command of Hong Kong in 1997, the new chief executive, Mr. Tung, was quoted as saying "Asians are different from Americans because of our upbringing, culture and history... These values have been with us for thousands of years and are as relevant today as they have ever been." What have you learned from this lesson that either supports or contradicts Mr. Tung's statement?

CHINA: THE MIDDLE KINGDOM

1. Chronology. Give the approximate dates for the following dynasties:

Shang

Zhou (Chou)

Qin (Ch'in)

Han

T'ang

Song (Sung)

Yuan

Ming

Qing (Ch'ing)


2. Define the following:

BCE


calligraphy


ch'i (qi)


Daoism (Taoism)


feng shui


Legalists


Mandate of Heaven


yin and yang


3. Identify the following:

Confucius (Master Kong)


Genghis Khan


Kublai Khan


Lao-zi (Lao tze)


Li Bo (Li Po)


Son of Heaven


Taotie (T'ao Tieh)


4. Contrast the meaning of a dragon in the East with its meaning in the West.



5. What was the significance of jade for the Chinese?



6. What was meant by calling China "The Middle Kingdom" ?



7. What role did divination play in the development of a written language?



What advantage derived from using characters that indicated pictograms rather than phonetic symbols?


8. List three ways in which the Zhou rulers improved the life of the people:

a.

b.

c.

9. What was The Book of Changes and what was its significance for the Chinese?


List two important concepts that it articulated:

a.

b.


10. List four aspects of Chinese thought that were taking shape in the 6th century BCE:

a.

b.

c.

d.

11. List four virtues that were taught by Confucius:

a. b.

c. d.

12. What subjects were considered worthy of study if one wanted to become a civil servant in ancient China?




13. List three ways in which the principles of Daoism were reflected in poetry and painting.

a.

b.

c.

14. What do the Chinese Dragon Boat races commemorate?


15. Describe the ruling philosophy of Shihuangdi (Shih Huang-ti ) the self-proclaimed "First Emperor of China":




List three of his great projects:

a.

b.

c.

16. List four stylistic characteristics of Han relief sculpture as seen in the rubbing from the Wu Family Shrine (#20 chi02001).

a.

b.

c.

d.

What Confucian principle is illustrated in this relief?

17. List the symbols associated with each of the following directions:

North:

South:

East:

West:

Center:

18. Describe four scientific ideas developed by Han scientists:

a.

b.

c.

d.

19. List four features of Chinese architecture illustrated by Han reliefs and tomb sculptures:

a.

b.

c.

d.

20. What is a "spirit road" ?


21. What is the meaning and function of the animal figures commonly used in Han and later tombs?



22. Why are horses so commonly depicted in Han and T'ang tombs?


23. What was the "Silk Road" and what was its significance?



24. What was the "Porcelain Route"?


25. Name the century in which China was the largest empire on earth.

26. List three contribution of T'ang potters to the ceramic arts:

a.

b.

c.

What device did T'ang potters use to create a sense of volume?


27. List five types of foreign nationals, so-called "barbarians" who were found at the T'ang court:

a. b. c.

d. e.

28. What mood was often evoked about women of the court through the poetry they wrote?


29. List two historical Chinese women who, in contrast, were described as playing very active roles:

a. b.

30. Contrast the two figurines of women of the T'ang court shown on # 42 (chi03066.cmp). What do these differences reflect?





31. Describe the roles played by eunuchs in Chinese courts.




32. What was the purpose of Zheng He's sea journey?

Why did such journey's cease?


How large was the Ming navy in the early 15th century?




33. How did the structure of Chinese gardens differ from traditional western gardens?


34. When did moveable type come into use in China?

When was it used in Europe?

35. During which dynasty was Chinese painting considered to have come into its own?


36. The principle of "animation through spirit consonance" articulated by the 6th century art theorist Xsi He became one of the major principles of good painting for later Chinese artists. What did this principle mean?



How were Xsi He's ideas illustrated in Song painting?




37. List the four types of artists described by the Song painter Jing Hao (Ching Ho):

a. b.

c. d.

What distinguishes them from each other?



In which category would you put the "Isle of the Immortals" (#47 chi01040)?

38. In what way do Chu-jan's painting Asking About the Dao in the Autumn Mountains" and Tao Qian's poem I Built my Hut in a Zone of Human Habitation reflect the ideas of Daoism (#48 chi03075)?

39. What does bamboo signify in Chinese paintings?


40. Who were the Mongols?


What is the name of the dynasty they established in China?

41. What effect did Kublai Kahn's Chinese advisors have on him and what effect did the Mongol conquest have on many Chinese scholar-bureaucrats?



42. What was Shangdu (Xanadu) and what was Marco Polo's impression of it?

Yüan


43. List five types of trade goods or discoveries that made their way from China to Europe:

a. b. c.

d. e.

44. What is "true porcelain"?


45. What was the great Yunglo Dadian project , and in what way did it reflect the interests of the Ming emperors?



In what way did the destruction of Zeng He's fleet reflect the changed attitude of the Ming emperors to the outside world?


46. Where did Ming rulers establish their capitol?

47. What was the Forbidden City?

What was its lay-out intended to symbolize?



48. What was the Boxer Rebellion?




49. What was meant by the term "Mandate of Heaven" and why did the Communists think that they had inherited it?


SELF QUIZ

Write the information requested for each image looking only at the thumbnail or enlarged image . When you have finished check your answers by consulting the appropriate "info" page. Give yourself 10% for every correct answer.

#63: COUNTRY & CENTURY: ______________________________________

#6: TYPE OF OBJECT: _____________________________________

#4: PERIOD/STYLE:___________________________________

#42: PERIOD/STYLE: ______________________________________

#16: TITLE: ___________________________________________

#26: COUNTRY: ______________________________________

#20: PERIOD/STYLE: _________________________________

#55: SUBJECT: _________________________________________

#36: PERIOD/STYLE: _________________________________

#58: TITLE, SITE: _________________________________


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Use the China Questions segment to answer the following:

1. Compare the portraits of the T'ang Emperor Tai Tsung #01a (chi03073), the Ming Emperor Zengde #01b (chi02075), and Mao Zedong #01c (chi00010). What does each say about the character of the man and the concept of the ruler as "Son of Heaven"? What stylistic features help to create the impression?

2. What do the following images indicate about Chinese attitudes toward foreigners: #02a (chi01069.cmp), #02b (chi03053.cmp), #02c (isl04056), and #02d (chi00009)? What can these past attitudes tell us about contemporary Chinese attitudes toward the West?

3. Select an image that you think best represents the Confucian principles and one that best represents Daoist principles and explain why you selected them. You might consider #03 a-i (chi01033, chi01059, chi02077, chi02001, chi02079, chi02078, chi01084, chi03075, chi03085)

4. Ceramics is a very old art in China and one that was much admired both in China and in the west. Discuss the Chinese use of ceramic for both sculpture and vessels, considering both technique and subject matter. Which periods do you think produced the most interesting work? Why? Consider #04a-g (chi01003, ch20067, chi03023, chi03067, chi03066.cmp, chi01093, chi01012).

5. On taking command of Hong Kong in 1997, the new chief executive, Mr. Tung, was quoted as saying "Asians are different from Americans because of our upbringing, culture and history... These values have been with us for thousands of years and are as relevant today as they have ever been." What have you learned from this lesson that either supports or contradicts Mr. Tung's statement?

Bookmark: https://worldimages.sjsu.edu/prt1935

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