Understanding the Different Phases of the East Asian History, Essay Example

Introduction

            Majority of the East Asian region is fully dominated by the Chinese race. Relatively this is the reason why majority  of the written history on the region pertains to ancient Chinese living systems. Through the years, it could be noted that the process by which China the East Asian region developed could be noted to have been affected by the different aspects making up the society and the different eras of international history that made such adjustments possible. In the discussion that follows, a distinction on these particular elements shall be given attention to. In the hope of assessing the different phases of East Asian History and how each served as the step towards becoming a modern society, several written works shall be considered as reference on the majority of the information to be presented herein.

The Beginning of a Race

            Being a vast region, East Asia holds under its umbrella a huge number of groups of people who are governed by different laws and are notably handled by different personalities. Although this is considered as a hindrance for unity back then, it is interesting enough to note that the common ground that makes these specific divisions unite is the fact that they are all believing in the need to be specifically lead by practically intellectual individuals who can handle the responsibility of directing people into victory. The realization of such matter however could only be realized in the future years. At the time being, the existence of strong leaders established in guiding the different ethnic groups present in the region has caused relative chaotic situations among neighboring groups themselves. They began to fight for territory as well as the resources that were present within the said areas.

Many among these groups fought for recognition and the possibility of gaining over the supposed ‘properties’ of the others. As leaders and their troupes roam around nearby areas around their territories, It could be analyzed that they found some common grounds with which the several groups were notably able to consider specific agreement upon. One of which is the fact that they are relatively connected by trade and the desire to do business under the balance of ‘fare share’. Merchants from different groups with east Asia were noted for their craftsmanship and their capacity to create extraordinary functional decorative art. This is the reason why the real value of the country’s historical data could be accounted through looking at the porcelain products produced during specific eras in the said history of the country.

Another aspect of common ground among these ethnic groups is that of the fact that they do believe in several gods. Unlike the Christian belief introduced by the western region in to the world, East Asian history imposes that ancient descendants living in the area specifically believe in the existence of several gods dedicated to attend on several aspects of life especially mandating the course by which they perform religious rituals. Believing in magic and mysteries, most Chinese groups have their own elders who handle and perform religious rituals they do believe bring in good luck in the community especially in the manner by which their needs are sustained and their safety is assured (Reid, 35). Considering this matter, it could be understood that the East Asian community is most likely defined by their religious believes which actually affects their overall culture and perception over matters that relate to their safety, their families and their life’s welfare.

The Foundation of a Culture

            Religion is a huge part of the East Asian culture. This is the reason why the principles of Confucianism in China as the basic source of religious belief in the country is recognized widely to affect the being of each individual thus making a great impact on how they handle the different tasks they have to complete each day (Reid, 47). Most often than not, every aspect of their living including business and other affairs considering the way they establish relationships with others are likely governed by the way they recognize their religion and the way they understand and follow the principles of Confucianism.

Other forms of beliefs have been established through the amalgamation of the different cultures established as the foundation of each ethnic group in the far reaching regions. The most prominent dynasties that shared their own options of believing in a supreme being are the Xia, Shang and the Zhou dynasties. Stretching from the 2100 BC to 1800 BC, the Xia dynasty was able to establish the first pattern of government that was recognized in the country. Following this dynasty is the Shang governance, which is recognized by historians as the true dynasty. This dynasty was able to establish the first culture of writing in China (Fukuzawa, 56). Most likely though such original form of writing was further developed later on. Another legacy that the said dynasty has left in the country is that of the creation of medicines which China has relatively been known for through the years. Most likely, such process of gaining medicine from plants and herbs has been developed by this dynasty to respond the health needs of the people they governed. The emergence  of the Zhou dynasty on the other end placed a cessation on several points of development that Shang dynasty has introduced.

However, at the point of cessation, the dynasty was judged by the people as weak. As a result of such criticism, the said dynasty decided to adapt the lifestyle introduced by the Shang dynasty and finally created a development that would further improve the original manuscripts of Chinese writing as well as that of the presentation of artistic creations that the Shang dynasty has introduced further.  The corruption in the industry however managed to break the overall foundation of the Zhou dynasty therefore putting an end to its power. Even though there were instances when the Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties were ended accordingly, their legacies to the Chinese living system continue to live on. Nevertheless, the entrant of other races from different regions of the world at the point of the development of the culture of international trade has created a larger source of cultural adjustment that the people of East Asia recognizes now to be the basis of their modern lifestyle.

Industrialization and Modernization of East Asia

            At the verge of the introduction of the international trade, the East Asian region started to exchange products with western countries. IN the process of establishing trade relations with other countries, it was not only the products that were duly exchanged between countries, but also that of the culture that each race carries in its back; not to mention the fact that the products themselves carry a sense of culture adjustment. As a result to this particular situation, the new age members of the East Asian communities are more prone to becoming involved in the appreciation of modern western culture as it does fit their generation’s taste. What is remarkable in this region though is that it is able to protect the origin and the value of its traditional cultures that at least 60% of its ancient cultures and traditions are still alive and recognized at present not only by those living in the region but even on other parts of the world as well (Schoppa, 91).

It could also be noted that it has been written through history that a large part of the territories of East Asia has been dedicated to farming and other agricultural industries. However, at the verge of the entrance of the era of globalization, such matters changed rapidly. Instead of  being purely agricultural, the region now boasts several cities that are complete with high-end technology and holds as the venue for highly industrialized businesses. The same is true between nations stretching from China towards the outskirts of Korea (Kim, 88). It could be noted that not only did the western culture influence their way of living, it also created a differential condition by which the people in the region begin to perceive the principles of capitalism and how it began to change their attitude towards money, culture, tradition and the other aspects of living that are affected by the said elements (Pruitt, 56). The necessity of seeing through these elements provide a clear picture on how the East Asian region began to take a different face as it handles the challenges of a new age that is more dependent on capitalism than on the traditional ways of living of the ancient generations of human individuals residing in particular areas of the globe.

Conclusion

            The East Asian history may have started like other countries from other regions of the world. Shaped and honed by the different eras of invasion and influences from other countries, the nation now stands as a modern society that is ready to accept whatever the modern world has to offer. Nevertheless, what separates it in unique way apart from the other countries is the fact that it remains strongly grounded on its original culture and traditions, something that no invasion nor specific approach of cultural harnessing from other countries could alter. Now, people coming from the East Asian regions are scattered around the globe especially in highly urbanized countries. Relatively, as they transfer to these locations, they bring with them their culture which does not only preserve it alive, but also spreads it to be recognized by others as well.

References:

Reid, T.R.  (2000).  Confucius Lives Next Door. Vintage Publishing.

Fukuzawa.  (2000). Autobiogrpahy of Yukichi Fukuzawa. Columbia University Press.

Pruitt. (2011). A Daughter of Han: The Autobiography of a Chinese Working Woman. Martino Fine Books.

Kim, R.E. (2011).. Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood. University of California Press.

Schoppa, K. (2007). East Asia: Identities and Change in the Modern World (1700 to Present). Pearson Publishing.