East Asia: China, Korea, Japan 500 CE

At this phase in its history China is weak and divided, but its influence continues to spread through ancient East Asia, in Korea, Japan and Vietnam.

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What is happening in East Asia: China, Korea, Japan in 500CE

Four centuries of unity for ancient China, under the Han dynasty, came to an end in 220 CE, as government weakness and peasant revolts shattered the empire. China has since experienced a history of barbarian invasion and internal warfare.

Buddhism has now become a major influence within China, reaching all levels of society from top to bottom.

China’s cultural influence upon neighboring peoples has not waned. Kingdoms in Korea are modeled along Chinese lines, and their elites have adopted Chinese culture wholesale. Most importantly, both Confucianism and Buddhism have been imported into Korea from China, and have made great headway there. Japan continues to receive influences from Korea, with which it still has strong links. Wet rice cultivation and literacy (based on Chinese writing) have arrived here within the last couple of centuries.

Next map, East Asia in 750 CE

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Divided China

History of China

Korean civilization (brief article)

Japanese civilization

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China in the Classical Age

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