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Jack Kennedy

China: cities | 2012Final


Chinese art, like Chinese literature, goes back many centuries. Early themes were developed from religious and supernatural beliefs or from the natural environment and landscape. One of the oldest and most basic forms of Chinese art is calligraphy; Calligraphy has developed as a pure art form with its own standards of excellence. Building on the tradition of calligraphy, Chinese painting developed a distinctive style that differs greatly from Western painting. It is more efficient in terms of brushstrokes and appears more abstract. Landscapes have always been a popular theme, and sometimes these appear bizarre to the Western eye. To the Chinese painter, they may represent a figurative view painted with a few swift strokes of the artist's brush. In China the potter's workmanship was lifted above the utilitarian level and became a fine art. The great work of the imperial potters at the peak of their excellence has never been equaled in modern times.

Pottery was made in China long before history was set down in writing. A coarse gray earthenware was made before the Shang Dynasty (1766-1122 BC), and a finer white pottery was made during this era. For some 3,000 years the secrets of silk production were closely guarded by the Chinese. It was not until about AD 300 that a secret mission from Japan succeeded in penetrating China. The members of the mission obtained silkworms and brought four Chinese girls back to Japan to teach the Japanese the art of sericulture and the uses of silk.


Jack Kennedy

China: Religions Shirley/Lepre | 2012 Final Exam

Islam: first came to China in the seventh century AD (during the Tang dynasty). It was brought by Arab traders to the ports on the South-East coast and by Arab traders and soldiers to the North-West. It remains the religion of minorities to this day. In later centuries many converted to Islam from Buddhism and Nestorianism and as these people were incorporated into China during the Qing dynasty, China acquired a sizeable Muslim population. Meanwhile male Muslim settlers from the Middle East married Chinese women but retained their distinctive customs.

Confucius: (Kong Zi) lived from 551 to 479 BC in the state of Lu. He came from a family of officials and his concern was with the restoration of the Way of the ancient sages. His teaching was therefore related mainly to society and its government. He advocated strict conformity, and thought that fostering correct behaviour, within the context of the family, would produce an ordered society. He was not particularly interested in religion, except insofar as it related to social life.

Daoism (Taoism): Like the Confucianists, Daoists looked back to a golden age. The good ruler, they thought, guided his people with humility; not seeking to interfere with the rhythms of social life conducted within the larger patterns of the natural world .The Daoist was concerned to achieve 'immortality', (transmuted earthly existence.) Leading to what we see today in some religions such as Meditation etc.

Jack Kennedy

China: cities Shirley/Lepre | 2012 Final Exam

The city of Beijing has a long and rich history that dates back over 3,000 years. Prior to the unification of China by the First Emperor in 221 BC, Beijing was for centuries the capital of the ancient states of Ji and Yan. During the first millennia of imperial rule, Beijing was a provincial city in northern China. Its stature grew in the 10th to the 13th centuries. In 1279–1368, all of China was ruled from Beijing for the first time. From this time onward, with the exception of two interludes from 1368 to 1421 and 1928 to 1949, Beijing would remain as China's capital, serving as the seat of power for the Ming Dynasty (1421–1644), the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty (1644–1912), the early Republic of China (1912–1928) and now the People's Republic of China (1949–present). China has always been remarkably advanced compared to other civilizations and cities.

From the b.c’s to this very moment china is one of the world’s most advanced countries. When other settlements took steps to urbanization and developments that took decade’s china took half the time. In present day China’s cities are big and impressive. Like the hotel recently built in the city of Changsha, it’s a 30 story hotel built in just a stunning record time of 15 days. That shows how advanced they are seeing as how it takes American Construction companies around 3 months to build such a structure and only 15 days in china.

Jack Kennedy

China: Architecture

Shirley/Lepre | 2012 Final Exam

Chinese architecture refers to a style of architecture that has taken shape in Asia over the centuries. The structural principles of Chinese architecture have remained largely unchanged, the main changes being only the decorative details. Since the Tang Dynasty, Chinese architecture has had a major influence on the architectural styles of Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

The Great Wall is known for one of the world's seven wonders not only for it is a huge man-made architecture that stretches for tens of hundreds of kilometers in the country but also for the advanced and diversified building technologies in ancient China. Other purposes of the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration. The defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watch towers. The Wall of China is an important symbol to many of the Chinese people and a symbol of power and many other things.

Below is a link to a video about the Great Wall of China.

Jack Kennedy

China: Writing

The Chinese writing system is credited as being the oldest writing system that has been in continuous use in the world. The earliest traces of the writing system, which has received only minor modifications over time date back to more than five thousand years ago. Each one of the characters that is used in the Chinese writing system is considered to be a single spoken syllable. Historically the writing system had been confined to the use of single meaning symbols that could neither be simplified nor added with one another to produce more words. As a nation China was far advanced when compared to its neighboring countries back in the days. It was the first amongst the East Asian nations to develop a formalized writing system of its own. It is from their system that the Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese writing systems have evolved. The four phases of Chinese writing are: Jia-gu wen (Oracle Bone). This is the earliest of Chinese symbols. Samples of writing using this method date back to (1500 – 1000 B.C.). These symbols were etched onto turtle shells and animals bones. These bones were maintained as historical documents to the reign of the Shang Dynasty. Da zhuan (Greater Seal). This script appeared mostly on cast bronze vessels and appeared primarily between 1100 – 700 B.C. Xiao zhuan (Lesser Seal). This is the elegant, flowing script we normally associate with Chinese writing. This version of Chinese calligraphy was the predecessor for the more streamlined version of modern writing. The lesser seal script was originally found on bamboo scrolls, but you can still find this beautiful Chinese calligraphy on silk writings and landscape paintings. Lis shu (Clerkly Script). This is the modern Chinese writing system. This set of symbols became popular in part for its flowing script that was fast and efficient to write. Also, this writing system was much easier to use with pens, brushes and paper, which is part of the reason it was adapted as the main Chinese calligraphy method.

Jack Kennedy

China: Social Classes

Traditional Chinese society divided workers based on the perceived usefulness of their work and was somewhat more fluid than the Indian caste system. Scholars ranked the highest because the opportunity to conceive clear ideas in a state of leisure would lead them to wise laws (an idea that has much in common with Plato's ideal of a philosopher king). Under them were the farmers, who produced necessary food, and the artisans who produced useful objects. Merchants ranked at the bottom because they did not actually produce anything, while soldiers were sometimes ranked even lower due to their destructiveness.

The Confucian model is notably different from the modern European view of social class, since merchants could attain great wealth without reaching the social status accorded to a poor farmer. In truth, a rich merchant might purchase land to reach farmer status, or even buy a good education for his heirs in the hopes that they would attain scholar status and go into the imperial civil service. The Chinese model was widely disseminated throughout east Asia. However, this traditional model is changing as China integrates into the global free market

Jack Kennedy

China: Job Specializations

In China there are many jobs, but they are different depending on your gender and many other things. For instance, Men are often soldiers, laborers etc. They were and in some places still are to be considered to be more superior to women. . Men could be scholars, merchants, slaves or government officials. The men were also in charge of farming. In most societies, women have traditionally taken care of the home and children while men have worked on production. Women have often cultivated food crops; men became hunters and cultivated other crops. Most homebuilding was done by men, often with the help of their neighbors. Men were called upon to fight in wars. China is known for its massive public works projects, such as the Great Wall(s) and the Grand Canal. Huge numbers of people (mostly men) were involved in building the Wall, and it is estimated that over 1,000,000 died during its construction.

Jack Kennedy

China: Conclusion

| 2012Final Exam

I have come to the conclusion that China, both ancient and present, were advanced for the time period and the circumstances. China is a city many look at and wonder how they got so far and how they are so much more advanced than us. Through my research I have found many interesting things and so much information about this country. Their art and ways of life are different and the same to us in many ways. China still stands far ahead of us in advances.

X Jack W. Kennedy

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Shirley Lepre Freshman year Final Exam on China