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Asian History and Literature. Overview of Asian History. The following slides provide an overview of Asian history…. Asian Literature. Asian literature encompasses the rich and widely diverse cultural and ethnic heritages found in such countries as China, India, Japan, Vietnam, and Korea

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Asian History and Literature

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    1. Asian History and Literature Benedictine University

    2. Overview of Asian History • The following slides provide an overview of Asian history… Benedictine University

    3. Asian Literature • Asian literature encompasses the rich and widely diverse cultural and ethnic heritages found in such countries as China, India, Japan, Vietnam, and Korea • “Asian” is a misnomer…there are many cultures in “Asia” • Asian American literature also shows the impact of immigrating to a new country, with the Asian characters trying to retain their previous cultures and adjust to new situations • Asian literature provides readers with opportunities to explore various cultures through a wide variety of literary genres Benedictine University

    4. Chinese Civilizations and Their Contributions to ‘Literature’

    5. Chinese Civilization • Shang Dynasty (1,600 B.C. - 1,047 B.C.) • 31 kings of same family • Weak central control • Written records Benedictine University

    6. Zhou Dynasty (1047-256 B.C.) Benedictine University

    7. Qin Dynasty (221-206 B.C.) • Qin Shi Huang (“First Emperor of Qin”) • Unification • Centralized control • Laws, measures, currency, roads, Great Wall, thinking Benedictine University

    8. Later Dynasties • Han (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.) • Jin (265 - 420) • Sui (581 - 618) • Tang (618 - 907) • Song (960 - 1279) • Yuan (1271 - 1368) • Ming (1368 - 1644) Benedictine University

    9. China’s Tributary System • Traditional system for managing foreign relations • The “Central Kingdom” worldview • Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644) had the most extensive tributary system • Tributes from East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and even West Asia and Africa Benedictine University

    10. Zheng He’s fleet (1405-33) • Over 300 ships & 20,000 men • Trade and commerce • Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia, and East Africa Benedictine University

    11. Zheng He’s expeditions Benedictine University

    12. Ancient Southeast Asia • Buddhist kingdoms and empires • Trade with East and South Asia • Nearly continuous warfare • Invasion by Mongols in the 1300’s • Spread of Islam in 1400 - 1620 • Mosaic of small states Benedictine University

    13. Benedictine University

    14. Cause of the Opium War Benedictine University

    15. The Opium War (1840-42) • British navy captured Hong Kong and defeated China Benedictine University

    16. Historic Turning Point • Series of Western invasions • Unequal treaties with Western powers • Extraterritorial jurisdiction • Tariffs subject to approval by Western powers • Shattered tributary system • Exacerbated domestic crises • Culminated in the fall of Qing dynasty Benedictine University

    17. Japan’s Meiji Restoration • Similar challenges, different response • Japan’s 250-year seclusion • American Commodore Matthew Perry’s warships entered Tokyo Bay in 1853 Benedictine University

    18. Western Challenges • Series of treaties with Britain, France, Russia, and the Netherlands • Opening ports • Low customs duties • Extraterritorial jurisdiction Benedictine University

    19. Domestic Problems • Shogun (literally, “general”) in Edo (Tokyo) controlled the Emperor in Kyoto • Shogun’s government didn’t have strong central control • Japan was divided into some 260 semiautonomous and mutually jealous domains Benedictine University

    20. Meiji Restoration - I • Broke down shogun’s polity • Military coup • Created centralized national government • Used Emperor as focus of loyalty and symbol of legitimacy • Incremental steps to replace the autonomous domains with prefectures • Imperial Guard of 10,000 men Benedictine University

    21. Meiji Restoration - I • Two most important constituencies: • Samurai and farmers • Samurai: privileges gradually removed • Farmers: land-tax reform • Eradicated payment in produce • Basis for modern capitalist economy • 109 million certificates of land ownership Benedictine University

    22. Meiji Restoration - I • Education • Established elementary schools • Universal compulsory education • Military • Universal conscription (citizen army) • Meiji Constitution of 1889 • Limited constitutional monarchy after Bismarck’s Germany • Male suffrage based on property rights • Bicameral legislature with budgetary power • Emperor’s rights, prerogatives, and power • Commanded the military • War Minister or Navy Minister from military Benedictine University

    23. Benedictine University

    24. Self-Modernization • Industrialization, technological innovations, and growth of trade Benedictine University

    25. New Imperialist Power • Japan defeated China in 1894-5 • Japan defeated Russia in 1905 • Theodore Roosevelt: “if [the Japanese] win out, it may possibly mean a struggle between them and us in the future” • Japan annexed Korea in 1910 Benedictine University

    26. Asia by World War II Benedictine University

    27. Southeast Asian Literature History • View the following slides to get a brief overview of part of the history of Asian literature… • Slides 44 - 53 Reference Benedictine University

    28. Themes • Oriental Philosophy – a system that harmonizes the natural and social world that includes humanity in the center, uniting with nature and society • Oriental Philosophy discovered not only the three directions of time – past, present, and future – but also a 4th direction – the direction of spiritual life Benedictine University

    29. Oriental Philosophy • Nature and society and humanity unite with one another in a harmony of beauty. The link of human generations and thousands of living creatures never ends (Phuc Cu De, 1999) • NONEturns HAVE • NONEmeans endless, boundless, immense, infinite, numberless in moving and changing movements and the developing process of everything • HAVEis not simply possessive in meaning but it means the limitation of changing and the developing process of everything Benedictine University

    30. Burma • Buddhism • Anti-government, exposure of government corruption Benedictine University

    31. Indonesia • Ramayana – The Journey of Rama • Purpose: To conquer evil with good • Important Notions: Meditation, Power of Language, Hierarchy/caste Benedictine University

    32. Laos • Secular texts – much richer than religious texts • Popular and classical literature are well known at all levels of society although authors’ names are unknown; texts are undated and un-datable • Stories, legends and poems of oral tradition are satirical in tone • Stories called sysvahave strong moral and education content • Tales that comment on the naivety of the peasantry, the greediness of the wealthy and the demands of the royalty • Judicial stories which include commentaries on ancient Lao codes Benedictine University

    33. Laos • Historical Legends – e.g. History of Khun Purom which recount the legendary migration of the Tai Peoples from China to Luang Prabang • Poetry that is predominantly Buddhist and inspired to the licentious • Classical Lao Literature – written in prose and verse form, lengthy and not original • Themes include handsome priest, the heroin is a beautiful princess and the antagonist a demon • There is also a Lao version of the Ramayana Benedictine University

    34. Philippines • Literature based on expressive culture • Epics • Myths • Legends, tales • Riddles, proverbs and rituals • Balagtasan Benedictine University

    35. Philippine Epics • Cultural Values and Universal Themes of Epic Poetry • Miraculous birth of the hero • His precocious strength • Magical Powers • Herculean deeds • Extraterrestrial journeys to the underworld and sky world • His death and resuscitation • Epic of Romance • Epic of Migration Benedictine University

    36. Thailand • Religion • Jataka Tales – comparable toAesop’s Fables • Fate and Karma • Buddhist Concepts of Merit and Demerit • The Theme of Rice – gather as much as you need for one day Benedictine University

    37. Vietnam • Rich and varied over the centuries • Depicts humor, realism, and irony of the Vietnamese people • Focus on: • Buddhism • Confucianism • Taoism – that is mainly a combination of folk beliefs and high regard of nature • Animism (10th Century) – where strong winds, the waters, and the mountain were worshipped Benedictine University

    38. Norton Chapter 5

    39. Asian Literature • Rich and diverse cultural and ethnic heritage • China, India, Japan, Vietnam, and Korea • Impact of emigrating to a new country • Trying to retain their previous cultures and adjust to new situations Norton Chapter 5 Benedictine University

    40. Piety in China (Holzman, 1998) • Importance of respect for ancestors and utmost regard for parents • “That a son should love his parent is fate—you cannot erase this from his heart—to serve your parents and be content to follow them anywhere—this is the perfection of filial piety” (p.190) • Piety toward parents and society • Virtues of righteousness, love, goodness, and truth Norton Chapter 5 Benedictine University

    41. Laurence Yep (2000) • Difficulty in writing when he tries to bridge two cultures… • “Now, though, I am not so sure that it is possible to blend two cultures together. Asian cultures are family-and cooperation-oriented. American culture on the other hand emphasized the individual and competition. The two cultures pull in opposite directions. So I see myself now as someone who will always be on the border between two cultures. That works to my benefit as a writer because not quite fitting in helps me be a better observer” (p.101) • NOTE: These observations are extremely important to a teacher in understanding how a student’s parents view society and human relationships Norton Chapter 5 Benedictine University

    42. Robert Beer (2003) • Importance of the “Five Buddhas” or the “Five Enlightened Families” • “Essentially the Five Buddhas represent the transmutation of the five delusions or poisons (ignorance, hate/anger, desire, jealousy, and pride) into the five transcendent windows (all-pervading, discriminating, mirror-like, all-accomplishing, and equanimous)” (p.234) Norton Chapter 5 Benedictine University

    43. Stereotypes in Past Literature • Today there are many more excellent books written from an Asian or Asian American perspective than there were in the past • The stereotypes in earlier books were influenced by the Chinese Exclusion Act, passed by Congress in 1882 • “Fennelly (2007) states that this legislation forever changed American’s relationship to immigration by endorsing definitions of race and class as criteria to define particular groups as ‘undesirable aliens’” (p.5) Norton Chapter 5 Benedictine University

    44. New Stereotypes of Asia Americans • High achievement • Asians are only 5% of the U.S. population, but 48% of freshmen at Berkeley; 24% at Stanford; 18% at Harvard; 27% at MIT; and 25% at Carnegie Mellon Some Asian groups are almost invisible in current literature such as: Laotian Americans; Guam; and Micronesian cultures Norton Chapter 5 Benedictine University

    45. Norton Chapter 5 Asian Literature Recommended Books

    46. Asian Literature Norton Chapter 5 Benedictine University