Unit One of Asia Geography, Culture, and Early History
Japan - Effects of Climate • Climatic conditions have a major effect on population distribution, agriculture, and industrial development in Asia. • Climate conditions in Japan, for instance, vary widely geographically. In northern Japan, Sapporo has warm summers, but the winters are long, very cold, and have plenty of snowfall. • The central and western portions of Honshu have mild winters without much or any snow. • There, summers are hot and humid. • Many of Japan’s largest cities – Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, for example, are located in this area. • Where weather is milder, the population is usually larger.
Topography • Japan is a rugged, mountainous group of islands. • Mt. Fuji reaches 12,500 feet into the sky • The distance from coast to coast is less than 200 miles anywhere in the islands • Almost 80 percent of the land surface is mountainous • 20 percent of the land is arable (good for farming) • Japan has many short and swift rivers • Because most of the rivers are navigable (able to be sailed on) for only a few miles, the streams have little importance for transportation • However, throughout Japan’s history the rivers have provided water for irrigating the rice fields and hydroelectric power.
Japan is called the “Land of the Rising Sun.” • Japan is a part of the “Ring of Fire” which is a great chain of volcanoes lying along the west coast of the Americas and then curving down the eastern shores of Asia • There are about 3,400 islands in Japan • The main ones are called Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku
INDIA • India’s climate ranges from alpine to temperate, and even to subtropical monsoon. • An alpine climate is very cold and exists in the high mountains such as the Himalayas. • Plants can grow there, but they are limited. • Few people live in alpine climates. • A temperate climate is much milder. • It is easier to grow crops and to sustain populations in temperate climates. • A monsoon is a pattern of seasonal winds that return every year. • The people of South Asia depend on such winds for their crops. • Hot, dry winds blow from the northeast of India from December to March. • Then, from June to September, monsoons blow from the southwest, brining 80% of South Asia’s yearly rains. • Since so much of the population is depended on agriculture, these summer monsoons are essential to a good growing season. • 7th in size, 2nd in pop. • since it covers a vast area it is called a subcontinent
China • China has a varied climate also. • It ranges from a subarctic climate in the north, to a tropical climate in the south. • Most of China’s population is concentrated in the east and southeast, where the climate is milder. • China, like most regions, has been influenced by geography. • Probably the most important of these geographic facts has been isolation (separation). • Chinese civilization began and grew in east Asia which was far from other centers of civilization. • High mountains (Himalayan) and wide deserts (Gobi) isolated this area from other parts of Asia. • These natural and protective barriers allowed the Chinese to develop their culture without constant interruption from the outside.
China also enjoyed conditions favorable for the development of a great culture as they had wide plains, fertile soil, great rivers, and coastal harbors. • Geography explains why Chinese civilization turned out to be unique (one of a kind) • It developed with only minor contacts with other major cultures, and therefore, only minor instances of cultural diffusion occurred. • Where cultural diffusion occurred, Chinese culture was diffused into Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. • China is the third largest country on earth and has the highest population. • It is in the coastal plain, river valleys, and hills of the eastern one-third of China, known as China proper, that most of China’s population is located.
Rivers • Chinese civilization began on the banks of one of its major rivers; the Yellow river (Huang He) • It was develop there because of the rich soil called loess. • The other river that Chinese civilization developed around was the Chang (Yangtze) • While the rivers serve as a source of life, it also brings death and destruction. • The rivers often overflow their banks, flooding large areas of the surrounding countryside. • Because of these floods, the Chinese people call the Yellow river “China’s sorrow.”
Overall Effects of Geography • In general, geography affects where people live, what they do there, and how they move around. • The Indo-Gangetic Plain offers an example to demonstrate this.
This large plain area lies between the Himalayan mountain ranges and the Deccan Plateau, within India. • Much of this area benefits from the three large rivers of South Asia: the Ganges, the Indus, and the Brahmaputra. • These rivers have their sources in the Himalayas. • These rivers and their many tributaries carry silt from the mountains that fertilizes farmlands on the plains. • These rivers also provide a reliable source of irrigation. • As a result of its steady sources of water, its fertile soil, and its long growing season, the Indo- Gangetic Plain is densely populated. • Throughout this region, farmers raise rice, wheat, and jute.
Transportation in the Indo-Gangetic Plain is easier than in mountain areas. • The land is relatively level, so it’s possible to build and maintain roads. • The rivers among the plains can be used for transportation, too. • In mountainous areas, travel is much more difficult. Mountain passes are important in these areas because they allow people to travel through or over mountains. • The Khyber Pass has been used for centuries, and has been the way that invading armies took over South Asia from the northwest. • Presently, the Khyber Pass connects Afghanistan to Pakistan. • India has a high population density. • It has 898 people per square mile compared to 354 for China and 79 for the US.
Indian Language • Hindi is major native language, English major business language, 13 recognized language, but over 200 other languages • Sanskrit is the ancient, holy language; 3,000 years old, used by upper & educated class • different language has divided India into many small states • following words come from Indian language: bungalow, khaki, loot, pajamas, punch, thug
The Peoples of China • China is made up of many different peoples. • About 94% of the people are know as Han Chinese • The other 6% of China is made up of 55 different groups. • Most of the minorities live in the sparsely populated western China. • The minority peoples differ from the Han Chinese in language, religion, race, custom, and history. • Relations between the Han and the minorities has often been tense as the Han have usually looked down on the minorities. • When the Communist took over in 1949, the minorities were given more rights and more autonomy over their land. • Some minorities (like Tibet) want independence, but China will probably never loosen its control over the regions because they have most of China’s natural resources.
Korea • Korea is called “The Land of the Morning Calm” • It is a peninsula nation that extends off the east coast of Asia between China and Japan • To its east is the Sea of Japan and to its south and west is the East China sea and the Yellow Sea • The Korean Peninsula is one of the most mountainous areas in the world • Only one-fifth of the land is suitable for farming. • The peninsula is divided into two countries, North and South Korea
Korea’s People • S. Korea is a densely populated country with around 1,120 people per square mile. • Because of its location near China and Japan, invading armies swept through Korea many times. • The invaders settled down and intermarried with the local people. • Like Japan, Korea is homogeneous (one type) with 99.9 % of its people Korean • The Korean people were united into one cultural group hundreds of years ago.
Southeast Asia Geography • countries include Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines, Indonesia • 500 million people • has neither cultural or political unity • there are many races, religions and customs
it is an area of islands and peninsulas • Indo-Chinese Peninsula, Malay Peninsula, islands of Indonesia and Philippians • archipelagoes (a group of islands) • mountain ranges and seas help to divide SE Asia into many isolated parts • along some of the seacoasts are lowlands that are densely populated • many of the river plains between the mountains ranges also have dense population • The Great Lake • Tonle Sap in Cambodia is the only major lake
Seasons, Monsoons, and Rainfall • amount of rainfall changes from season to season due to monsoon • summer is rain season • people of SE Asia depend on the monsoon to live • without it the rice paddies are not flooded • when rains are late or early, crops fail and many face starvation
Peoples, Languages, and Population Distribution • Peoples • many types of ancestors have come to the area so people here speak many languages, have different religions, and follow different ways of life • even today, many different peoples are moving to the area • because of mixed marriages and mixed backgrounds there is no way to describe the typical SE Asian
Languages • many languages are spoken, some countries have many different languages • many European languages are spoken due to colonialism • English is spoken in every country especially cities and is common in the countries of Philippians, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar • French is spoken in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos • Dutch in Indonesia • some Spanish in Philippians • Chinese communities all over SE Asia
Population Distribution • more people live in SE Asia than in the US • population is growing due to health care, food, sanitation • fewer babies become sick and adults live longer • 20 times more people here than in 1800 • all larger cities are seaports due to trade • most people live in small villages and farm
Village Life • most people live in village which is the center of life • they try to live self-sufficient • typical village has 50 small houses built on stilts to protect it from the floods • house made of bamboo and wood; roofs are steep with palm leaves • around the house is a garden, fruit trees, coconut palms • rice is main crop grown in paddies, sewn by hand, picked by hand • well is the place for gossip • tool shed is for everyone
wat is the village temple • under the house is where the family water buffalo lives • family hangs out at the covered porch since it is cool • sleep on mats; no electricity, no running water, bathe at river • lamps are lit with kerosene or coconut oil lamps • stove made of clay • major food is broiled meat served on thin bamboo skewers (satay) • END SECTION 1
Hinduism & Buddhism • Hinduism and Buddhism both started in India. • As followers of each religion moved elsewhere, the religions spread throughout the world.
Hinduism • Around 1500 BC, Aryan people migrated to the Indus Valley, where Pakistan is today. • By 1200 BC, the earliest sacred books of Hinduism appeared. They are called the Vedas and include the story of the Aryans. • By the 4th century BC, Hinduism had spread throughout all of India. • As it spread, Vedic Hinduism mixed with local religious practices.
During the 6th century BC, groups of people had different ideas from the traditional Vedic thinkers. • These groups included Janis and Buddhists, two sects of Hinduism. • A sect is a smaller group of people that have differing beliefs from the larger group. • Another group of people, called Upanishad thinkers, had different ideas from the traditional Vedic thinkers. • The Upanishads are the books of the Upanishdic thinkers. • Almost all of the Upanishads are dialogues between a teacher and student. • They question the nature of both the individual soul, called atman, and the collective soul, called Brahman.
During King Asoka’s rule in the 3rd century BC, Buddhism gained more followers in India. • The number of Hindu followers lessened. • From roughly 320 to 550 AD, Hinduism became popular once again. • As the popularity of Hinduism increased, it also absorbed beliefs and practices of both Buddhism and Jainism. • Beginning as early as the 7th century AD, Islam became established in India. • It later spread throughout much of the country, and is the second most practiced religion in India today.
Yet another group would come into India during the 18th century. • The British, who colonized India, also had an effect on Indian history which is still present today. • They allowed Christian missionaries to go into India to convert people. • They also used English as the language of instruction. • Furthermore, Hindu texts were translated into English and other European languages.
As Indian merchants moved to SE Asia, the Hindu religion spread to new areas. Local chiefs converted to Hinduism and the religion took hold in their region. • In the late 1800s, many Hindus left India and went to places like East Africa, islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and islands of the Caribbean. • Again, as they traveled, their religious ideas moved with them. • Hinduism has a long history, and it has spread to various parts of the world. • It is still the major religion of India. • Roughly 80% of the Indian population practices Hinduism.
Main Ideas • believe in reincarnation - "to be made flesh again", is a doctrine that some essential part of a living being survives death to be reborn in a new body. • Karma - Through the law of karma, the effects of all deeds actively create past, present, and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one's own life, and the pain and joy it brings to him/her and others. • if a person does what he or she is suppose to do, his or her soul will be rewarded in the next life • dharma is a set of rules that must be followed by all living things of they wish to work their way up the reincarnation ladder
The Caste System • began 3,000 years ago • when Aryans took over India they thought of themselves a superior and the conquered Indians as subordinate so started the class system • untouchable (AKA dalits) is the lowest class that deals with sweeping the streets, handling dead people and animals, and tending to pigs that feed on the village garbage; they must live away from the others and are not permitted to use the village wells • it divides the population into hereditary (passed from one generation to the next) social groups
1) Brahmin (priest), 2) Kshatriya (soldiers), 3) Vaisya (merchants & farmers), 4) Sudras (laborers), 5) untouchable • you belong to same caste all your life; jobs are passed down from father to son • according to the rule of karma, if one is an untouchable, one has no one to blame but one’s self so instead of complaining, that person had better do a good job to move up the ladder • moksha is the final resting place
Literature • Vedas • collection of hymns, sacred prayers, chants, and epic poems about heroic deeds. • are a large body of texts originating in Ancient India& they form the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism • Upanishads • a collection of rituals and ceremonies written about 2,500 years ago • The Upanishads speak of a universal spirit (Brahman) and an individual soul, (Atman)and at times assert the identity of both. Brahman is the ultimate, both transcendent and immanent, the absolute infinite existence, the sum total of all that ever is, was, or shall be. • The Mahabharata • longest poem in the world with about 200,000 lines (5,000 pages) • It’s a discussion of human goals, attempting to explain the relationship of the individual to society and the world and the workings of karma. • The Ramayana • Indian soap opera written in 400 BC • It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king.
Buddhism • During Buddhism’s first one hundred years, its ideas spread throughout northern India. • A king named Asoka promoted Buddhism, so during his rule, around 268 to 232 BC, Buddhism spread throughout his empire. • It is believed that he even sent a group of people to Sri Lanka where Buddhism was established. • Asoka was very tolerant of people’s rights to follow the religion of their choosing, so he did not force Buddhism on others.
After Asoka’s death, Buddhism faced struggles and Buddhists were sometimes persecuted. • By the 4th century AD, however, Buddhism had become one of the most common religions in India. • Buddhism had a strong following in northwestern India. • During the beginning of the Common Era (AD), it was easy for Buddhism to spread, as followers traveled the common trade routes of the time such as the Silk Road. • The Silk Road connected Asia to Europe.
The Spread of Buddhism • After Xuanzang’s Buddhist studies in India, he brought more than 600 copies of sutras back to China with him. • A sutra is a Buddhist text. • Once Buddhism took hold in China it then spread to the Korean peninsula during 4th to 6th centuries. • From Korea, Buddhism moved to Japan.
From the 8th to the 12 centuries AD, Buddhism flourished once again in northeastern India under the Pala kings. • It was under then that Buddhism took a deeper hold in Tibet and SE Asia as well. • As a result of trade that occurred via Sri Lanka, Buddhism reached SE Asia, especially the countries of Malaysia, Indonesia, present-day Cambodia, and southern Vietnam. • Buddhist ideas reached northern Vietnam mostly from China. • Since Buddhism spread over a wide area during many centuries, it is practiced differently in many parts of the world. • Buddhism, like many other religions, continues to have many sects, with the two major ones being Mahayana and Theravada.
Jainism • do not have Gods and do not pray • do not believe in violence “ahimsa” • don’t fight back and don’t farm since it is killing plants or animals • it was not that big of a religion • Jainism is one of the oldest religions that originated in India. • Jains believe that every soul is divine and has the potential to achieve God-consciousness. • Any soul which has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state of supreme being is called jina (Conqueror or Victor). • Jains have an ancient tradition of scholarship and have the highest degree of literacy in India.
Sikhism • they were a religion founded by Guru Nanak (1469 - 1539) as a mix of Islam (monotheism) and Hinduism (reincarnation) • after Nanak died, his work was carried out by gurus (teachers) • the Golden Temple is their main shrine; they are militaristic and men never cut their hair or beard • There is only One God. • He is the same God for all people of all religions. • The soul goes through cycles of births and deaths before it reaches the human form. • The goal of our life is to lead an exemplary existence so that one may merge with God. • Sikhism condemns blind rituals such as fasting, visiting places of pilgrimage, superstitions, worship of the dead, idol worship etc. • Sikhism preaches that people of different races, religions, or sex are all equal in the eyes of God.
Chinese Philosophy & Religions The philosophies of Confucianism and Daoism originated between the 5th and 3rd centuries BC during a period of civil war and great unrest. Confucianism and Daoism are considered philosophies and not religions because they were not concerned with God or life after death. They were mainly concerned with ways of improving society and achieving a better life on earth.
Confucianism • Confucius was born in 551 BC and died in 479 BC. • The philosophy that is known as Confucianism come mainly from the speeches and writings of Confucius. • Confucianism is an ethical system rather than a religion (Ethics deals with human behavior and conduct) • Confucius was mainly concerned with how human begins behaved toward each other and paid little attention to such matters as sin, salvation, and the soul. • He developed a system of government, society, and justice which we call Confucianism. • Confucius was revered as a sage or wise person. • His sayings are collected in a book called the Analects.
The Five Basic Relationships • According to Confucius, each person had a specific place in society and certain duties to fulfill. • Confucius hoped that if people knew what was expected of them they would behave correctly. • The relationships are 1)ruler and subjects; 2) father and son; 3) elder brother and younger brother; 4) husband and wife; 5) friend and friend. • All except the last involved the authority of one person over another. • The power and the right to rule belong to superiors over subordinates; that is, to older people over younger people, to men over women. • Each person has to give obedience and respect to “superiors”.
The Family and the State • Family life was seen as a training ground for life in society. • It is at home in the family that the child learns to deal with problems that he or she will face later in the world. • The family is responsible for educating the child to be a good member of society. • Confucius emphasized the importance of education, the aim of which is to turn people into good family members, responsible members of society, and good subjects of the emperor. • Confucius believed that for society to be well ordered and for people to live in peace and prosper, it was necessary to have a good government and a virtuous ruler.
It was the duty of the ruler and his officials to set a good example for the people. • The Chinese believed that a dynasty ruled as long as it held the “Mandate of Heaven”, that is, the right to rule. • If the people of China suffered, they were sure that Heaven had taken away its protection of the Emperor, so they rebelled. • When the rebellion was successful, the Mandate of Heaven was given to the leader of the rebellion so he became the emperor of a new dynasty.
F. Daoism (The Way) • The philosophy of Daoism (AKA Taoism)stated that people should live naturally. • Society does not allow people to live naturally as society forces humans to live according to rules which are not natural. • This results in suffering and problems. • To escape from this unhappiness, people must free themselves from all the rules that are forced upon them by society; they must find the Dao, or “Way” of the universe. • The Taoist believed that society corrupted people and separated them from their true nature.
Shintoism • Shintoism as a religion developed only in Japan • Shinto means “the way of the gods” • Shintoism is based on the worship of nature and good spirits called kami. • This religion has no bible or no formal prayer book • It is based on the feelings of human beings toward the world around them
The kami live in shrines, animals, birds, plants, mountains, waterfalls, storms, and in most natural things. • Shinto has three important symbols: a sword which represents the virtue of wisdom and correct action; a string of jewels which represents kindness, generosity, and obedience; and a mirror which stands for truthfulness and reflects all things good and bad. • The Japanese believe that without these three basic virtues - wisdom, kindness, and truthfulness - peace, happiness, and a good life cannot exist for individuals or for the nation.
SE Asia Religion • Diversity of Religions • animism - worship of nature; first religion • Buddhism came from India (Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos) • Hinduism came from India; was big but has died out; only in Bali • Islam, 600 years ago (Malaysia, Burundi, Indonesia, S. Philippians) • Indonesia has the largest Muslim pop in the world • Christianity in Philapeansfrom Spain
Teachings of Buddhism • began in India by Siddhartha Gautama born 567 BC • was a prince who did not life the difference of rich-poor • he left the palace for 6 years to wander the earth but did not find wisdom • so he sat under a tree for 49 days until he became enlightened • it is more a way of life than a religion, has no gods, no belief in a soul or a main god