Michael A. Whittington
China and Japan
"Although both China and Japan suffered periods of war, each ended up with expanded territories, the age of exploration brought New World crops to the region, leading to the increase in agricultural output and population growth. It also brought new opportunity for foreign trade and new religions." (McKay, J. (2012) Continuity & Change in East Asia). The Ming Dynasty was in power from 1368 - 1644. Even though it had a great period of agricultural reconstruction, foreign expeditions, commercial expansion, and a vibrant urban culture, it eventually had a downfall. In the early seventeenth century, the Qing Dynasty was founded. It was founded by the Manchus. The Manchus were non-Chinese people who entered China through invitation by a general named Wu Sanqui. The Manchus proposed to Wu Sangui that the Ming Join their forces, and liberate Beijing. Wu Sangui agreed and allowed the Manchus into China, within a couple of weeks, the Manchus occupied Beijing. Before long, the Manchus conquered the rest of China. The Qing Dynasty eventually added Taiwan, Mongolia, Tibet, and Xinjiang into their realm. "Through the 1700s, China's imperial system flourishes under the Qing Dynasty. China is at the center of the world economy as Europeans and Americans seek Chinese Goods." (1750-1919 China and the West: Imperialism, Opium, and Self Strengthening). The Qing Dynasty put together a multiethnic empire after acquiring Taiwan and Mongolia. It was larger than any other in the Chinese Dynasty in earlier times. China remained an enormous producer of manufactured goods and led the way in assembly line production. The growth of the economy benefitted the Qing state so the emperor, Qianlong was able to cancel taxes on several occasions. However, by the late 1700s, the strong Chinese state starts to experience some downfalls. An expanding population causes increasing taxes and a low food supply, and also government control. These downfalls lead to rebellions and a weakness of the central government. (1750 -1919 China and the West: Imperialism, opium, and self-strengthening).
Along with advancements in China and Japan, people began to write stories and books. Many of writing stories that have been passed along and others trying to help spread their beliefs. "In 1798, the scholar Motoori Norinaga completed his major opus, Kijiki den, a forty-four volume study of the eighteenth century Kojiki, Japan's earliest literary classic."(Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (China, 1600-1800 A.D) in doing this, he wanted to discover and promote an indigenous Japanese culture. He reviewed Japan as being essentially sensitive, emotional, and natural. The