Pangu and the Creation of the World

In the beginning there was darkness everywhere, and Chaos ruled. Within the darkness there formed an egg, and inside the egg the giant Pangu came into being. For aeons, safely inside the egg, Pangu slept and grew. When he had grown to gigantic size he stretched his huge limbs and in so doing broke the egg. The lighter parts of the egg floated upwards to form the heavens and the denser parts sank downwards, to become the earth. And so was formed earth and sky, the Yin and the Yang.

Pangu saw what had happened and he was pleased. But he feared that heaven and earth might meld together again, so he placed himself between them, his head holding
up the sky and his feet firmly upon the earth. Pangu continued to grow at a rate of ten feet a day for 18,000 years, so increasing the distance between heaven and earth, until they seemed fixed and secure, 30,000 miles apart. Now exhausted, Pangu went back to sleep and never woke up.

Pangu died, and his body went to make the world and all its elements. The wind and clouds were formed from his breath, his voice was thunder and lightning, his eyes
became the sun and moon, his arms and his legs became the four directions of the compass and his trunk became the mountains. His flesh turned into the soil and the
trees that grow on it, his blood into the rivers that flow and his veins into paths men travel. His body hair became the grass and herbs, and his skin the same, while precious stones and minerals were formed from his bones and teeth. His sweat became the dew and the hair of his head became the stars that trail throughout heaven. As for the parasites on his body, these became the diverse races of humankind.



- Westerners have been facsinated with East since Marco Polo returned in 1295 with stories about the “kingdoms and marvels of the East”
- Great Wall of China in West
- Mt. Fuji (snowcapped) in East
- Millions of tourists each year
- Delicious cuisine
- AKA the Orient
- 4th major region in Asia
- geographic boundaries
* Siberian Russia to North
* Indian Ocean to South
* Pacific Ocean to East
* Central Asia and Indian Subcontinent to West
- 1/3 of world’s population
- mainland and islands off the coast

**** Write names of 16 countries on the board (pp. 70-71)

- countires bordering Pacific AKA Pacific Rim
- some of the most powerful and influential nations of the world
- many Far East nations are advanced industrial nations with important roles in world economy
- a large portion of world’s electronic goods, autos, and clothing is made in Far East
- Many are free market economies and republics
- A few are Communist dictatorships


- Gobi Desert: winds from north-->coldest dersert outside Antarctica (as low as -40F in January)
- Steppe (Mongolia) - WHAT IS A STEPPE? - see P. 17
- Tien Shan Mountains in northern China
- Himalayas in southern China
- Plateau of Tibet (“roof of the world”) avg. alt. 15K ft. (earth’s highest plateau)
- Manchurian Plain (eastern China), where China’s two great rivers (Huanh He (Huang hu; formerly Yellow River) and Chang Jiang (chang jeang) empty into the sea

- named for Mongols, a group of nomadic tribes
- Rose on horseback with tents
- Genghis Khan (jeng-gis kan) unites Mongol tribes in early 1200s
- At its height the Mongol Empire (1279-1368) stretches from Danube River in Europe to Korean peninsula, making it the largest empire in world history
- Communists take over in 1924
- Moves more democratoc after breakup of U.S.S.R. in 1991


- 1.4 billion people
- World’s oldest living civilization
- Extends over 35 generations
- Originally China, Tibet, Sinkaing, Inner Mongolia, and Manchuria

Ancient China

Hwang Ho civilization
First Chinese civilization arises along this river
Called Chung-kuo (“Middle Country”)
Natural barriers = inward-looking culture
For centuries, Chinese are virtually isolated from other peoples

- Mythology: Pangu created the universe and heroes and emperors teach Chinese people about basics: communication, food shelter
- First settlements c. 12,000-10,000 years ago

Chou/Zhou [jo] Dynasty (1122-256 B.C.)

- Last Shang ruler, a despot, was overthrown by a chieftain of a frontier tribe called Zhou
- Longest ruling dynasty
- Metal coins
- Laws written down
- Lao-tse (lou dzu), 600 B.C. – Taoism: harmony with nature
- Confucius, 600 B.C. – respect for tradition, learning, honesty, family ties
Dominant in Chinese culture until Communist Revolution in China

Ch’in Dynasty Dynasty (255-206 B.C.)

- Gives China its name

- Shih Huang Ti (shir hwang te)
- first emperor of a united China
- known as China’s first tyrant – allowed no opposition
--> men who broke laws were subject to forced labor
- expands existing border fortifications against “barbarians” into the Great Wall of China
* over 1,500 miles long
* expands 4,000 miles in total

Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – A.D. 220)

- Height of ancient China’s power and glory
Chinese call themselves “Men of Han”
- Emerges after a short civil war
- Great Silk Road links China to rest of the world
** Christian missionaries use it
- Calendar of 365-1/4 days
- Silk cloth
- Glazed pottery (chinaware)
- Discovers how to make paper

Middle Ages

- Succession of dynasties (Sui, T’ang, Sung)
- 1200s – Mongols, nomads, sweep into China under Genghis Khan (means “ruler of all between the oceans”) from North (GK dies in 1227 A.D.)
* GK’s empire eventually stretches from China to Korea to Danube River
* Over 50 years (1229-1279 A.D.), his sons and grandsons burn Baghdad, conquer parts of Russia, terrorize eastern Europe, and defeat Sung Dynasty in China
* Honed riding skills using the game of polo
* Used cruelty as a weapon
--> If town doesn’t open gate to him, he would slaughter whole town
* Largest empire in world history

Yuan (1260-1368)

- Mongolian dynasty
- Founded by Kublai (Koo-blye) Khan (r. 1260-1294)
- Ruled from Khanbalik (City of the Great Khan), now known as Beijing
- Annual ceremonies to worship ancestors and gods
- City of Beijing rebuilt with artificial lakes, hills and mountains, and parks
- Fair amount of cultural exchange
- Western musical instruments
- Roman Catholic missionaries began attempts to establish their church in China
- Certain key Chinese innovations, such as printing techniques, porcelain production, playing cards, and medical literature, were introduced in Europe
- Italian Marco Polo travels there with his father and uncle
- His father and uncle had already made the journey, arriving home when MP was 6
--> They passed through Armenia, Persia, and Afghanistan, over the Pamirs, and all along the Silk Road to China.
--> Crossed Gobi Desert
"This desert is reported to be so long that it would take a year to go from end to end; and at the narrowest point it takes a month to cross it. It consists entirely of mountains and sands and valleys. There is nothing at all to eat."
--> KK sent for them as they arrived in China
" They knelt before him and made obeisance with the utmost humility. The Great Khan bade them rise and received them honorably and entertained them
with good cheer. He asked many questions about their condition and how they fared after their departure. The brothers assured him that they had indeed fared well, since they found him well and flourishing. Then they presented the privileges and letters which the Pope had sent, with which he was greatly pleased, and handed over the holy oil, which he received with joy and prized very hightly. When the Great Khan saw Marco, who was then a young stripling, he asked who he was. 'Sir' said Messer Niccolo, 'he is my son and your liege man.' 'He is heartly welcome,' said the Khan. What need to make a long story of it? Great indeed were the mirth and merry-making with which the Great khan and all his Court welcomed the arrival of these emissaries. And they were well served and attended to in all their needs. They stayed at Court and had a place of honor above the other barons."

-->Spent nearly 20 years in kingdom of Kublai Khan, grandson of GK
** MP described that the Mongols practiced polygamy. A Mongol man could take as many wives as he liked.
** Reports of printed books (Before Gutenburg), silk clothing, porcelain vessels, primitive cannons and rockets, and coal

Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

- Briefly world’s greatest naval power

** Few know that the Age of Exploration almost didn’t happen.
We know that in the Age of Exploration the West discovered the East. But not many people realize that the Europeans may have come close to being discovered by the East first!

Admiral Zheng He (pronounced jung huh) and China’s Ascendancy
(adapted from


The Great Chinese Mariner - (1371-1435)

The year is 1405, during the Ming Dynasty in China, and a giant imperial armada sails slowly out of the harbor at Liujiajiang, on the mouth of the Yangtse river. Nearly 300
craft, from giant "treasure ships," each displacing 500 tons and bearing twelve sails, to small sea-going junks, jostle their way into the East China Sea under the command of
the "Three-Jewel Eunuch" Zheng He.

Never before in human history have so many ships been assembled under a single command; indeed, not until the pell-mell evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940 and the Atlantic convoys of World War II will the world witness a fleet this large.

During his 28 year naval career, Admiral Zheng visited 37 countries, traveled around the tip of Africa into the Atlantic Ocean and commanded a single fleet whose numbers
surpassed the combined fleets of all Europe. Between 1405 and 1433, at least 317 ships and 37,000 men were under his command. The flagship of the fleet was a
nine-masted vessel measuring 440 feet, nearly 1.5 times the length of a football fields. (

Zheng is on a trade mission to the Arabian Sea, the nerve-center of 15th century world trade. His ultimate destination: the port of Calicut.

Chinese merchants had ventured into the Arabian Sea before, trading with Arabs, East Africans and Indians in ports on India's Malabar coast. The imperial fleet's task is to
deepen and strengthen these commercial ties by establishing diplomatic relations with kingdoms in India, Arabia and East Africa. The "treasure ships" also are carrying
Chinese goods like silks, porcelain and musk, to trade for Indian and African products - like spices, exotic timbers, jewels, pearls and ivory.

Described as a giant of a man with a booming voice and flashing eyes, Zheng is nonetheless an unlikely naval commander. Not only is he a eunuch (he was castrated as a teenager), more at home among the intrigues of the imperial court than out at sea, he is also a Muslim, descending from Central Asian refugees.

But over the next three decades, Zheng would build an incredible seafaring legacy, to become Asia's greatest admiral. He would lead the imperial armada on seven
expeditions to the Arabian Sea, along the way defeating fearsome pirate fleets,
occasionally seizing (and then benevolently releasing) territory, and forging diplomatic relations with a dozen countries.

And all this, fully 87 years before Christopher Columbus set sail for India and 94 years before Vasco da Gama found it - the two maritime breakthroughs that are generally
regarded as landmarks of globalization. Some say he even was the first to circumnavigate the globe -- 100 years before Magellan! the 15th and 16th centuries, [Calicut] was Asia's most important commercial hub, a glittering emporium that attracted traders from all over the "civilized" world: Western
Europe, East Africa, Central Asia and China. Calicut's harbor bustled with freight-bearing ships from Lisbon, Constantinople, Malindi and Nanjing. It was a tiny kingdom, no more than a harbor and a small hinterland. But it was blessed with a long line of sagacious rulers, known as Zamorins, who understood the needs of international traders and bent over backwards to accommodate them. Under their enlightened rule, Calicut was a proto-Hong Kong: a free port that offered world-class berthing and warehousing facilities, and the rule of law.

Zheng He's adventures would be forgotten within a single generation of his passing. At the death of Emperor Yongle in 1424, the power of the eunuchs in the imperial court
would gradually be broken by the Confucian elite, who frowned on any contact with the barbarians beyond Chinese borders. Zheng's travels - indeed his very name - would be struck from the official record. Chinese merchants would still venture into the Arabian Sea, but only smalltime traders; their role as a dominant merchant-marine force (and the MFN status) would be taken first by the Arabs and then by the Portuguese, Dutch and British.

The East May Have Found the West -- Instead of Vice-Versa!

Even allowing for a slowdown at the death of the great admiral, it's entirely conceivable that the treasure ships would have rounded Africa and arrived on the shores of Portugal, Spain and England. Instead of European adventurers finding the sea route to the East, the East would have come to Europe. And, given the vast superiority of the Chinese shipbuilding technology (military as well as commercial) it's not hard to imagine that East-West seaborne trade may have been dominated by Zheng He's successors for centuries. The colonization of Asia and the Americas may never have taken place!

Why did none of this come to pass? Blame it on totalitarianism. In essence, China failed to capitalize on Zheng's explorations because of an emperor's whim. It didn't help that knowledge of the admiral's discoveries and successes was restricted to the imperial capital of Nanjing; the great Chinese peasantry had little, if any, inkling of the great world beyond the seas and the great potential for personal enrichment that lay on distant shores. When the emperor, at the behest of his courtiers, decided that maritime adventures were undesirable, there was not a murmur of protest from the public - they didn't know any better.

** When Chen Ho dies in 1434, China’s naval prowess declines in face of opposition from emperors, and Portugal fills the void
One of the great “what-ifs” in history: would China have opened up to West?

Western Influence

- Despite best efforts of the Emperors, between 1842-1860 they sign treaties with West
- Soon Colonial powers like Great Britain, France, etc. carve out spheres of influence along Chinese coast
- Br. Colony of Hong Kong
- In 20th century, China taken over by Nationalists and then Communists
- After World War II, Chinese Communists under Mao Tse-tung come to power (1949) and Nationalists flee to Taiwan
* Collectivization of cropsàproduction plummets
* Brutal persecution of Christians
* “social revolution” murders 40 million Chinese
- one of greatest massacres in world history
- Mao dies in 1976, yet China is still Communist
- Tienanmen Square (1989) – pro-democracy supporters crushed
* 7500-10,000 murdered
* 1000s more imprisoned
- China sent thousands of armed men into Afghanistan in support of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.
-->“Monday, December 17, 2001, Pentagon officials aboard the plane taking US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld to Brussels, revealed that large quantities of Chinese-manufactured ammo were discovered in the Tora Bora cave hideouts of al Qaeda…It was shown to include mortar shells, anti-tank rockets and ammunition for various types of automatic rifles and machine guns of Chinese manufacture, abandoned by fleeing al Qaeda men.” (
--> 5000 and 15,000 Chinese troops move into Afghanistan in October 2001 to help Al Qaeda and Taleban
--> Chinese troops killed in U.S. bombing in Khandahar

Falun Gong
Olympics in 2008


- 21.5 million people

Beacon of freedom
Higher standard of living
Religious, economic, and political freedom
Only Democratically-elected leaders in Chinese history

- After World War II, Chinese Communists under Mao Tse-tung come to power (1949) and Nationalists flee to Taiwan

- Threats against Taiwan escalate as 21st century begins
--> Since 1979, U.S. pledged to defend Taiwan
--> It is a real democracy – in 2000, there was the first democratic transfer of power in Chinese history
--> Russian help - ship borne air defense systems for heavy cruisers, Russian AL-31FN turbofan aero-engines for China’s new indigenous J-10 jet fighter, etc.
--> Plans for an attack and ways to stave of U.S. interference
--> A Chinese general suggested that China might lob a missile at Los Angeles if the U.S. ever came to Taiwan's rescue against Communist attack.
-->An effective NMD would obviate such threats, thus enormously increasing America's freedom to act on behalf of its allies.


- Name comes from the Chinese words jih pen, which means “origin of the sun”

- During the Ice Ages, Japan was connected to the Korean peninsula by means of a land bridge. All four main Japanese islands were connected, and the southern island of Kyushu was connected to the Korean peninsula while the northern island of Hokkaido was connected to Siberia. In between was the Sea of Japan.
- Japan is a series of islands—the group consists of over 3000 islands of which 600 are inhabited. The four main islands, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, and Hokkaido dominate Japanese history, however.
- Separated from Japan by 500 miles of ocean and Korea by 100 miles
- Stone Age humans from Korea into Japan about 30K yrs. ago
- Modern Japanese are close genetic kin to Koreans and Chinese

***** First Americans from Japan? (from Reuters, 1 August 2001)

--> “People who closely resembled the prehistoric Jomon of Japan crossed a land bridge from Asia in the Americas during the waning of the last Ice Age 15,000 years ago to become the first human inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere, according to a new study.” Researchers were led by C. Loring Brace of the University of Michigan's Museum of Anthropology
--> “Other researchers argue that people arrived much earlier -- perhaps more than 10,000 years earlier.”
--> “…the earliest immigrants into the Americas did not show a close association with any known mainland Asian population. They instead showed close ties to the modern-day Ainu of Hokkaido and their Jomon predecessors in prehistoric Japan, and to the Polynesians of Oceania.”
--> “Their entry route into the New World was the Arctic land bridge that connected northern Asia to North America. The New World they entered was much different from what it is today, with many large mammal species -- including elephant cousins such as mammoths and mastodons -- roaming around, and saber-toothed cats on the prowl. Those animals are now extinct, and other researchers blame their extinction on overkill by those early human hunters.”
--> A second migration occurred between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago, this time by boat. It involved people who were a mix of Chinese, Southeast Asian and Mongolian, people who became what we know as the Eskimo and Aleut. Some of these people migrated south to what would become the American Southwest, evolving as Navajo and Apache.

** Only twice in Japanese history has the island been successfully overrun by foreigners: by Yayoi in 300s B.C. by the wave of immigrations from the Korean peninsula, and in 1945 by the United States.

- The Japanese first mentioned by Chinese historians c. 300 A.D.
- Religion evolves into Shinto (“way of the gods”)
* Central idea is worship of nature
* Sun goddess is the chief deity
* 100s of lesser gods and spirit thought to dwell in nature
- More contact with mainland China c. 500 A.D.
* Buddhism from Koreans who were in turn influenced by China
- The religion spreads quickly over 50 years
- Mingling of traditional Shinto and Buddhist reachings

- Japan’s Golden Age from 794 to 1185 A.D.
* 794, Emperor builds a new capital at Heian [hay-ahn]
- fishponds
- beautiful gardens
- silk gowns
- men and women use cosmetics heavily
** teeth blackened because white teeth seen as ugly
covered faces with white powder
- women pluck out their eyebrows

- 1000-1200 A.D. – develops a feudal system like the one in Europe
- lord surrounds himself with bodyguard of loyal warriors (samurai)
* code of honor orders their lives
* wrap shark skin around handles of swords so they don’t slip
-- people use shark skin until sandpaper invented
COMMENT: another case of technology helping the environment
- Heian burned several times – Kyoto rebuilt on the ruins
- The Minamoto leader eventually prevails in 1185, and emperor gives him the title of shogun (“supreme general of the emperor’s army”)
- Real power rests with shoguns
- Civil wars between mighty lords rack Japan from 1300-1600

- First Euopeans – 1453 A.D.
- Portugese
- Europeans welcomed by local feudal lords
- One or another would always support them
- Called nampan (“southern barbarians”) and found them amusing
- Merchants traded silks for guns
- Fedual lords quickly adopt guns for their own use
- Catholic missionaries close of heels of Portugese explorers
- First mission leader, Francis Xavier, in Japan from 1549-1551
- Baptizes 100s of converts
- Catholic missionaries travel freely w/in Japan for almost 90 years
* Amazed that Japanese took daily baths
Unlike never-bathing Europeans
- Japanese shut door to missionaries
- By 1600, 300K of 20 mil. Japanese are converted
- In 1614, Christianity was banned in Japan
- 20 yrs. – torture and execution of believers
- Also banned all European merchants except the Dutch, and they were confined to port of Nagasaki
** For next 200 yrs., Japan is isolated
- Falls behind Europe in science, technology, and military power
** 1854: Commodore Perry signs trade treaty with Japanese, although missionaries still excluded (comes in 1858)
- 1860s, American missionary invents rickshaw
Shogunate overthrown finally in 1867
Emperor Mutsuhito (1867-1912)
Industrial power
Imperialist tendencies
Member of Allies in WWI
Draw Japan into WWII


- Aliies liberate Korea from Japanese oppression in 1945
- In 1945, Allie partition Korea at 38th parallel
- U.S. troops in S. Korea until 1950
- As soon as they withdraw in 1950, North Korea invades

North = communist
South = free

Korean War (1950-1953) M*A*S*H

Here's how "peculiar" the North Korean strongman is:

* "In 1983, after a bomb killed 17 senior South Korean officials
visiting Myanmar, a captured North Korean agent said the mission
was sanctioned by Kim Jong Il," AP noted.

* In 1987, a North Korean agent was arrested getting off a South
Korean airliner. She testified that she put two time bombs on the
plane on Kim's orders.

* That little number landed North Korea on the State Department's
list of countries sponsoring terrorism, along with Cuba, Iran,
Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria.

* "Kim is also a movie buff of sinister proportions. In 1978, a
famous South Korean movie director and his actress wife were
abducted to North Korea. The couple fled back to the West eight
years later and quoted Kim Jong Il as telling them that he
personally ordered their kidnappings so they could help develop
the North's film industry," AP reported.

* In September, Kim admitted to visiting Japanese Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi that his regime had kidnapped about a dozen
Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s to train communist spies
about Japan.

* North Korea's official party apparatus under Kim's direct
control is involved in trafficking drugs into Japan.

- The United States maintains a "trip-wire" force of 37,000 in South Korea–most stationed close to the concrete and barbed-wire fortification that marks the Korean demilitarized zone–which constitutes the most visible symbol of America's commitment to defending South Korea.
- The presence of U.S. troops has become a growing political issue within South Korea, particularly among younger South Koreans who have grown up accustomed to a hostile North.
- Desire of many to unite the two nations
- A new force structure in South Korea would also mean retooling the Pentagon's war plan for a Korean conflict, known as Plan 5027. In the event of a North Korean attack on the south, the war plan is believed to require up to five Army and two Marine divisions to rapidly deploy to the peninsula to reinforce U.S. forces already on the ground.
- Yet given new demands in the war on terrorism, the Pentagon is examining how contingency plans can be rewritten to require a smaller ground commitment and a greater role for precision weapons.

- Given Seoul's proximity to North Korean rockets and artillery, Pentagon war gaming has usually resulted in considerable destruction to the capital, along with massive
casualties to U.S. troops.

- With combined armed forces of nearly 700,000, South Korea had taken great strides in recent years to close the gap in capabilities with its northern neighbor, which has an army of over a million.

- The confrontation with North Korea erupted late last year when North Korea admitted
to U.S. officials it had broken the 1994 agreement by engaging in a uranium enrichment program. The 1994 Agreed Framework, which provided for the United
States and others to give North Korea much-needed fuel oil, was null, Pyongyang said.

- FEB. 7: Concerns over North Korea's unwillingness to cease their nuclear weapons program have caused Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to put 24 long-range bombers on alert for possible deployment. A dozen B-52 bombers and another dozen B-1 bombers, which can carry up to two-dozen of the 1-ton, satellite-guided Joint Direct Action Munitions each, within range of North Korea, will deter "opportunism" while Washington is focused on Iraq, and will give President Bush military options if diplomacy fails to halt North Korea's effort to produce nuclear weapons