Chapter 26 Web QuestionsPosted: June 14, 2012
Below please find a set of questions on the Ming, Qing, and Tokugawa dynasties in East Asia, written by tour classmate Niara Calliste.
1. In the seventeenth century, Japanese scholars encouraged the study of “native learning” over the “alien” Neo-Confucianism and Buddhism from China. Yet many Japanese customs and their writing system were derived from the Chinese. Why at this time did the Japanese seek to cut cultural ties with these Chinese, with whom they shared so much?
2. Chinese merchants trading with the Europeans and domestically contributed much to the country’s prosperity during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Yet the merchants were ranked at the bottom level of the Confucian social hierarchy. Why did Confucians have contempt even for powerful and wealthy merchants?
3. In the late 1300s, the Ming emperors were able to take back China from the Mongols, destroying Mongol rule and their influence across the land and restoring Chinese culture and system of government. Yet by the mid-1500s, it took more than forty years for the Ming to stop the rampant piracy that had developed along the Chinese coast. Why were governmental officials so inefficient in dealing with this problem?