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Analects  

Confucius

The details of Confucius’s life are murky, especially given the chaos surrounding the declining Zhou period in the 490s and 480s BCE. It is important to take into account the impact of ... More

Ancestor Worship and Human Sacrifice from the Shi Jing  

Anonymous

During both the Shang and Zhou dynasties (1556-1046 BCE; 1046-256 BCE) families, both noble and common, worshipped and sacrificed to their ancestors. These sacrifices were of the utmost ... More

Book Of Mencius (MENGZI)  

Meng

A later student of Confucian doctrine, Master Meng (ca. 371–289 BCE) spread the teachings of the master, while also making his own distinctive contributions. Having traveled throughout ... More

China in the Sixteenth Century  

Matteo Ricci

When European Christian missionaries first came to Ming China, they made very little progress in converting the Chinese, in large part due to their limited training in Chinese language and ... More

Coverage of the Tiananmen Square Protests  

British Broadcasting Corporation

In May 1989, a protest movement gathered strength in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, as students convened and constructed a large statue called the Goddess of Democracy. By the beginning of ... More

The Disposition of Error  

Mou Tzu

When Buddhism reached China it encountered an already established civilization with deeply rooted literary and intellectual traditions. In addition, the scholarly elite of China was ... More

Haedong kosŭng chŏn, on Buddhism in Korea  

Anonymous

The Lives of Eminent Korean Monks is a compilation of biographies of Buddhist monks from the Three Kingdoms period of Korean history (first century BCE through the tenth century CE). It ... More

“Inquiry on The Great Learning”  

Wang Yang-ming

By the era of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), the prevailing orthodox philosophy was Neo-Confucianism, and its master was Chu Hsi (1130–1200). Neo-Confucianism held that there was an ... More

A Korean Foundation Myth  

Anonymous

Many foundation myths around the world link a dynasty or nation’s founder to the divine or magical. The foundation myth of Korea is no exception. Korean mythology dates Tangun to the year ... More

The Lotus Sutra  

Anonymous

Buddhism had begun to spread widely within India after the conversion of Asoka in the third century BCE, and his promotion of the religion as part of a syncretic (a combination of elements ... More

“Memorandum to the Bakufu”  

Tokugawa Nariaki

Tokugawa Nariaki (1800–1860) was one of the leading Japanese political and military leaders of the nineteenth century. As possessor of the Mito territories, he was one of the most powerful ... More

Memorial on the Burning of Books, From The Shiji  

Li Si

Virtually no records have survived from the period between the unification of China in 221 BCE and the collapse of the Qin Empire 15 years later. Accordingly, historians are forced to rely ... More

Nihongi Shoki (Chronicles of Japan)  

Anonymous

The Nihon Shoki is the first official history of Japan. It draws on numerous sources, including Chinese histories, clan histories, and the accounts of religious authorities. While it ... More

Nihongi, Book XXV  

Anonymous

Around 500 CE, a wave of immigrants and cultural influence from the Korean kingdom of Paekche entered Japan from the southwest, bringing with it new technology for metal weapons. The influx ... More

On Personal Piety  

Yi Kyu-bo

The author of this personal essay was Yi Kyu-bo (1168 – 1241), a poet, essayist, and critic in the Koryo kingdom of Korea. He was also a high-ranking civil servant, who passed the ... More

The Platform Scripture of The Sixth Patriarch  

Hui-neng

This source represents an alternative path that Chinese Buddhists took in trying to establish the compatibility of their faith with the existing body of Chinese literature and culture. ... More

Poetry of the Tang Dynasty  

Du Fu; Li Bo

The Tang period (618–960) witnessed a renaissance of poetry, oftentimes compressing vivid natural imagery and poignant emotion into short pieces of only a few verses. The poetry of Li Bo ... More

Proclamation of the Boxers United in Righteousness  

Boxers United in Righteousness

The nineteenth century saw an accumulation of disasters for China. In two Opium Wars in the 1840s and 1850s, British invasion forced the trade concessions demanded earlier. These conflicts ... More

A Record of Buddhist Countries  

Faxien

Faxien (circa 334-415 CE) was a Chinese monk who, with several companions, traveled the Silk Road to India and returned via the Indian Ocean trade route between 399 and 413 CE. Their ... More

Selections from the Analects  

Followers of Confucius

Traditional versions of the Confucius’s life say that he was born in the sixth century B.C.E., and was an itinerant political advisor. He was, technically speaking, a failure in his ... More

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