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TsinghuaX: History of Chinese Architecture part 1

ABOUT THIS COURSE

China’s architectural history spans thousands of years. In this course, we will explore the ancient cities of Chang’an of Han, Luoyang of Northern Wei, Chang’an and Luoyang of Sui and Tang, Kaifeng of Song and Dadu of Yuan, and delve into the history of the awe-inspiring ancient buildings that still grace the landscape of these bustling cities. The course will cover construction and aesthetics of these imperial palaces, religious structures, pagodas, tombs and gardens. We will study the basis of Chinese architecture, the wood framed building, as well as the brick and stone construction of many Buddhist pagodas and tombs. The course will culminate in an examination of the Summer Palace in Beijing, the ancient royal garden at the Chengde Mountain Resort, and the private gardens of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Two seminal textbooks on the Song and Qing dynasties are included in the course in electronic form.


Link to enrollment page

Oh this looks very interesting! Thanks for the submission. Class begins Oct. 18th.

How Third-Century China Saw Rome, a Land Ruled by “Minor Kings”

archaeologicalnews:

image

When archaeologists work to understand an ancient civilization, they often use that civilization’s texts to get a clue as to how they saw themselves. But these people didn’t live in isolation. They traded; they invaded. They carried inventions and knowledge back and forth down the Silk Road, the Tea Road and Roman roads. They also, sometimes, wrote down what they thought of each other.

A few years ago, the University of Washington’s John E. Hill drafted an English copy of the Weilüe, a third century C.E. account of the interactions between the Romans and the Chinese, as told from the perspective of ancient China. “Although the Weilue was never classed among the official or ‘canonical’ histories, it has always been held in the highest regard by Chinese scholars as a unique and precious source of historical and geographical information,” says Hill. Read more.

angrywomenofcolorunited:

Badass Women of Color in History: Ching Shih,  became one of the most powerful and successful pirates in history.
Her date of birth is unknown, but it is believed she was born around1775. At the age of twenty-six, she worked as a prostitute at a brothel in Canton. While working there, she met Zhèng Yi, a successful pirate commanding small fleet ships, called the “Red Flag Fleet”. It is also unknown how Ching Shih and Zheng Yi met each other. It is believed by historians that Zhèng Yi raided the brothel that Ching Shih worked at, commanding his men to bring him his favorite prostitute, Ching Shih, while others believe that  Zhèng Yi went to the brothel asking Ching Shih to marry him in which she agreed to only if he agrees an equally share of his plunder and to allow her to help run the “Red Flag Fleet”. The next six years, the “Red Flag Fleet” grew from 200 ships to 600 with the help of alliances.  Zhèng Yi unfortunately died in a typhoon, so Ching Shih convinced Zhèng Yi’s second in command, Chang Pao, to take over “Red Flag Fleet.” Ching Shih focused more on the “business” side of things such as military strategies. When the Red Flag Fleet’s peaked in 1810, she commanded 1800 ships, big and small, 70,000 to 80,000 pirates with 17,000 male pirates under her control, with other pirate groups who agreed working for her, female pirates, children, spies, and farmers enlisting to supply food. She controlled nearly the entire Guangdong province, held a spy network within the Qing Dynasty, and ruled the South Chinese Sea. To support her troops, she didn’t rely on things like looting, blackmailing etc. instead she constructed an ad hoc government to support her pirates which included establishing laws and taxes. Ching Shih was strict as hell. In order to successfully control her pirates, Ching Shih created strict rules: 
If you disobey an order, you get your head chopped off and body thrown in the ocean.
If you steal anything from the common plunder before it has been divvied up, you get your head chopped off and body thrown in the ocean.
If you rape anyone without permission from the leader of your squadron, you get your head chopped off and your body thrown in the ocean.
If you have consensual sex with anyone while on duty, you get your head chopped off and your body thrown in the ocean and the woman involved would get something heavy strapped to her and also tossed in the ocean.
If you loot a town or ship of anything at all or otherwise harass them when they have paid tribute, you get your head chopped off and your body thrown into the ocean.
If you take shore-leave without permission, you get your head chopped off and body thrown into the ocean.
If you try to leave the organization, you get your ears chopped off.
Captured ugly women were to be set free unharmed.  Captured pretty women could be divvied up or purchased by members of the Red Flag Fleet.  However, if a pirate was awarded or purchased a pretty woman, he was then considered married to her and was expected to treat her accordingly. If he didn’t, he gets his head cut off and body thrown in the ocean.
Ching Shih also marched her army to two towns who formed an army against her, she ransacked and beheaded every male found there. The Emperor didn’t like the idea of a pirate controlling a portion of his land, so he commanded a fleet of ships to attack Ching Shih’s fleet. Ching being a great military strategist confronted the Emperor’s fleet and easily defeated them. Also, she managed to steal 63 of the large ships sent against her, demanding the surviving crews to work for her. Refusal to work for Ching Shih resulted in surviving crews deciding on being nailed to the deck by their feet or getting beaten to death. The Admiral of the fleet sent against her, Kwo Lang, committed suicide before Ching Shih could capture him.  Qing Dynasty government requested aid from the British, Dutch, and Portuguese to defeat Ching Shih’s fleet, even with their help they remained unsuccessful. Ching Shih won every battle until finally the Emperor took a different approach, he decided to offer her and her fleet amnesty. At first, Ching Shih refused the Emperor’s amnesty but in 1810 she worked out a peace treaty. Ching Shih at the age of 35, became a mother to one son, opened a gamble house/brothel in Guangzhou, Canton, in which she managed until her death at the age of 69.
Sources:
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angrywomenofcolorunited:

Badass Women of Color in History: Ching Shih, became one of the most powerful and successful pirates in history.

Her date of birth is unknown, but it is believed she was born around1775. At the age of twenty-six, she worked as a prostitute at a brothel in Canton. While working there, she met Zhèng Yi, a successful pirate commanding small fleet ships, called the “Red Flag Fleet”. It is also unknown how Ching Shih and Zheng Yi met each other. It is believed by historians that Zhèng Yi raided the brothel that Ching Shih worked at, commanding his men to bring him his favorite prostitute, Ching Shih, while others believe that  Zhèng Yi went to the brothel asking Ching Shih to marry him in which she agreed to only if he agrees an equally share of his plunder and to allow her to help run the “Red Flag Fleet”. The next six years, the “Red Flag Fleet” grew from 200 ships to 600 with the help of alliances.  Zhèng Yi unfortunately died in a typhoon, so Ching Shih convinced Zhèng Yi’s second in command, Chang Pao, to take over “Red Flag Fleet.” Ching Shih focused more on the “business” side of things such as military strategies. When the Red Flag Fleet’s peaked in 1810, she commanded 1800 ships, big and small, 70,000 to 80,000 pirates with 17,000 male pirates under her control, with other pirate groups who agreed working for her, female pirates, children, spies, and farmers enlisting to supply food. She controlled nearly the entire Guangdong province, held a spy network within the Qing Dynasty, and ruled the South Chinese Sea. To support her troops, she didn’t rely on things like looting, blackmailing etc. instead she constructed an ad hoc government to support her pirates which included establishing laws and taxes. Ching Shih was strict as hell. In order to successfully control her pirates, Ching Shih created strict rules: 

  • If you disobey an order, you get your head chopped off and body thrown in the ocean.
  • If you steal anything from the common plunder before it has been divvied up, you get your head chopped off and body thrown in the ocean.
  • If you rape anyone without permission from the leader of your squadron, you get your head chopped off and your body thrown in the ocean.
  • If you have consensual sex with anyone while on duty, you get your head chopped off and your body thrown in the ocean and the woman involved would get something heavy strapped to her and also tossed in the ocean.
  • If you loot a town or ship of anything at all or otherwise harass them when they have paid tribute, you get your head chopped off and your body thrown into the ocean.
  • If you take shore-leave without permission, you get your head chopped off and body thrown into the ocean.
  • If you try to leave the organization, you get your ears chopped off.
  • Captured ugly women were to be set free unharmed.  Captured pretty women could be divvied up or purchased by members of the Red Flag Fleet.  However, if a pirate was awarded or purchased a pretty woman, he was then considered married to her and was expected to treat her accordingly. If he didn’t, he gets his head cut off and body thrown in the ocean.

Ching Shih also marched her army to two towns who formed an army against her, she ransacked and beheaded every male found there. The Emperor didn’t like the idea of a pirate controlling a portion of his land, so he commanded a fleet of ships to attack Ching Shih’s fleet. Ching being a great military strategist confronted the Emperor’s fleet and easily defeated them. Also, she managed to steal 63 of the large ships sent against her, demanding the surviving crews to work for her. Refusal to work for Ching Shih resulted in surviving crews deciding on being nailed to the deck by their feet or getting beaten to death. The Admiral of the fleet sent against her, Kwo Lang, committed suicide before Ching Shih could capture him.  Qing Dynasty government requested aid from the British, Dutch, and Portuguese to defeat Ching Shih’s fleet, even with their help they remained unsuccessful. Ching Shih won every battle until finally the Emperor took a different approach, he decided to offer her and her fleet amnesty. At first, Ching Shih refused the Emperor’s amnesty but in 1810 she worked out a peace treaty. Ching Shih at the age of 35, became a mother to one son, opened a gamble house/brothel in Guangzhou, Canton, in which she managed until her death at the age of 69.

Sources:

(via beyondvictoriana)

theatlantic:

The Maoist Irony of Bo Xilai’s Downfall

When President Xi Jinping was preparing the ground for the trial and conviction of his princeling rival, Bo Xilai, sentenced to life in prison yesterday, he called China’s entire leadership together to launch a “rectification campaign.”  Xi promised to save degenerate cadres and the Party itself by “vigorously” mobilizing the political machinery in a process of criticism, self-criticism and self-purification. He dubbed it the “Party Mass Line Education and Practice Movement,” to be overseen by a specially-convened small leadership group of the same name. The aim was to “cure the illness and save the patient,” said Xi, adding that the “life and death” of the Party was at stake.
The language, aims and structure of Xi’s ongoing rectification campaign are directly borrowed from Chairman Mao Zedong’s efforts to instill discipline and consolidate personal power at Yan’an, then the Communist Party base, in the early 1940s. Mao’s success hinged on having tight personal control of the internal security and propaganda apparatus, giving him the capacity to create an atmosphere of fear and panic and forcefully extract confessions.  He used “special case groups” to root out and intimidate the patronage networks of perceived rivals until his power was unchallengeable.
These, ironically, were the techniques that Bo Xilai revived to transform the Communist Party in Chongqing and build a formidable personal power base there, striking terror inside the Party in ways that are still not widely understood. Now, Xi is applying the same underlying political logic to revitalize and impose his will over the world’s largest and most powerful political party, with some important innovations. And he is doing it by purging Bo.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

theatlantic:

The Maoist Irony of Bo Xilai’s Downfall

When President Xi Jinping was preparing the ground for the trial and conviction of his princeling rival, Bo Xilai, sentenced to life in prison yesterday, he called China’s entire leadership together to launch a “rectification campaign.”  Xi promised to save degenerate cadres and the Party itself by “vigorously” mobilizing the political machinery in a process of criticism, self-criticism and self-purification. He dubbed it the “Party Mass Line Education and Practice Movement,” to be overseen by a specially-convened small leadership group of the same name. The aim was to “cure the illness and save the patient,” said Xi, adding that the “life and death” of the Party was at stake.

The language, aims and structure of Xi’s ongoing rectification campaign are directly borrowed from Chairman Mao Zedong’s efforts to instill discipline and consolidate personal power at Yan’an, then the Communist Party base, in the early 1940s. Mao’s success hinged on having tight personal control of the internal security and propaganda apparatus, giving him the capacity to create an atmosphere of fear and panic and forcefully extract confessions.  He used “special case groups” to root out and intimidate the patronage networks of perceived rivals until his power was unchallengeable.

These, ironically, were the techniques that Bo Xilai revived to transform the Communist Party in Chongqing and build a formidable personal power base there, striking terror inside the Party in ways that are still not widely understood. Now, Xi is applying the same underlying political logic to revitalize and impose his will over the world’s largest and most powerful political party, with some important innovations. And he is doing it by purging Bo.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

theatlantic:

The Surprising Economics of Mooncakes—An Infographic
orientallyyours:

Actress Wu Suxin 吳素馨 (born in 1905 or 1906) in traditional bridal dress. Wu Suxin became a leading martial arts film heroine during the late-1920s mania for the genre.
Source: The Chinese Mirror 

orientallyyours:

Actress Wu Suxin 吳素馨 (born in 1905 or 1906) in traditional bridal dress. Wu Suxin became a leading martial arts film heroine during the late-1920s mania for the genre.

Source: The Chinese Mirror 

fydynasticchina:

Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanshiyin), Shanxi Province, China. 11th-12th century CE. Liao Dynasty (907-1125 CE). Polychromed Wood. Nelson-Atkins Museum Collection, Kansas City, Missouri.

fydynasticchina:

Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanshiyin), Shanxi Province, China. 11th-12th century CE. Liao Dynasty (907-1125 CE). Polychromed Wood. Nelson-Atkins Museum Collection, Kansas City, Missouri.

art-of-swords:

Twin Jian Swords

  • Dated: probably end of 17th century (Qing Dynasty)
  • Culture: Chinese
  • Medium: steel, bass, wood, bone

Source: Copyright © 2000–2013 Historical Arms & Armor

Guanyin Porcelain Sculpture on an English Candle stand
18th century, Qing Dynasty, Dehua ware. 

Art and text panels seen at the Philadelphia Museum of Art 


Burial Mask, Liao Dynasty (Northern China), 1018 or earlier From the Tomb of Princess Chen at Qinglongshanzhen

Asianhistory reads: Gilded Splendor: Treasures of China’s Liao Empire (907-1125). 
Oftentimes I get questions for recommendations on this blog for topics I’m not currently studying. However, this year I have the wonderful opportunity to do an independent study with one of my professors. This gives me quite a bit of freedom in choosing my reading material (It needs to be about decorative arts and material culture, but aside from that, I’m studying what interests me), so I thought I would share in what I’m reading. 
Gilded Splendor is a book I found within my University’s library (It’s upwards of $150 on Amazon used, so I suggest if you want to read it, you search for it at your local library as well). It’s a stunning book on the Liao Empire, covering archaeology, architecture, Buddhist texts, and a detailed catalogue of Liao pieces, as well as maps, developmental benchmarks, and a chronology of Dynastic China. The pictures are often full-page, it’s completely in color, and it’s well put-together and a pleasure to browse through. 
If you don’t have access to this book in a library however, have no fear! They also have a wonderful website to accompany it, where you can view some of the pieces and their essays in both German and English.
Gilded Splendor.  If you have books you could recommend me, feel free to submit them to my ask box! 

Burial Mask, Liao Dynasty (Northern China), 1018 or earlier 
From the Tomb of Princess Chen at Qinglongshanzhen

Asianhistory reads: Gilded Splendor: Treasures of China’s Liao Empire (907-1125)

Oftentimes I get questions for recommendations on this blog for topics I’m not currently studying. However, this year I have the wonderful opportunity to do an independent study with one of my professors. This gives me quite a bit of freedom in choosing my reading material (It needs to be about decorative arts and material culture, but aside from that, I’m studying what interests me), so I thought I would share in what I’m reading. 

Gilded Splendor is a book I found within my University’s library (It’s upwards of $150 on Amazon used, so I suggest if you want to read it, you search for it at your local library as well). It’s a stunning book on the Liao Empire, covering archaeology, architecture, Buddhist texts, and a detailed catalogue of Liao pieces, as well as maps, developmental benchmarks, and a chronology of Dynastic China. The pictures are often full-page, it’s completely in color, and it’s well put-together and a pleasure to browse through. 

If you don’t have access to this book in a library however, have no fear! They also have a wonderful website to accompany it, where you can view some of the pieces and their essays in both German and English.

Gilded Splendor If you have books you could recommend me, feel free to submit them to my ask box!