Ming Dynasty Chang Won Aya Shiotani Aylie Yamagishi.

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Page 1: Ming Dynasty Chang Won Aya Shiotani Aylie Yamagishi.

Ming Dynasty Chang Won Aya ShiotaniAylie Yamagishi

Page 2: Ming Dynasty Chang Won Aya Shiotani Aylie Yamagishi.

This map shows the

historic time period

relative to present-

day political


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Ming Dynasty (1368~1644)• The Ming dynasty was one of China’s successive


• After the collapse of the Mongol led Yuan Dynasty,

Zhu Yuan Zhang established the Ming Dynasty in 1368

• Initially, its capital was Nanjing; however it was

changed to Beijing in 1421, by the emperor of Yongle.

• After the midterm, the Ming Dynasty was suffered by

infighting due to increased power of eunuchs.

• In 1644, the Ming Dynasty was occupied by     

   Li Zicheng (a Chinese rebel leader who

established the Shun Dynasty), and eventually it

collapsed due to the monopoly of eunuchs.

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Cultural ChangesMajor developments in literature, art, and philosophy


•The culture of the Ming Dynasty developed rapidly, especially in literature.

•One of the famous travel literature authors, Xu Xiake, published his Travel Diaries in

404,000 written characters.

•The first reference to publishing of private newspapers, was in Beijing in 1582.

•In 1610, the Jin Ping Mei was published and it was considered to be the fifth great novel

of pre-modern China.

•By 1638, the Beijing Gazette switched from using woodblock print to movable

type printing.

•Water Margin and Journey to the West were two novels that were great classical

masterpieces of Chinese literature.

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• Famous painters during the Ming Dynasty were Shen Zhou, Wen Zhemging, Qiu Ying, and

many others.

• Developed painting techniques, used more fine colors, and became more complex.

• Silk weaving, printing, embroidery, and cotton weaving were developed.

• In Suzhou Jiangnan, the competition of Chinese poetry held every day and prominent people

tested their skills against other poets.

• The field of ceramics was flourished largely in the era

• Personal freedom was given to the artisans, because during this period, manufactured

products such as porcelain and silk were in high demand.

← Painting of flowers, butterflies, and a twisted

rock sculpture by Chen Hongshou

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Science Technology

• Many practical books have been written due to the growth of interest in science as the

study of old documents became popular.

• Xu Guangqi, a Chinese scholar bureaucrat and scientist, has cooperated with Matteo

Ricci, an Italian Jesuit priest, created the “agricultural policy” influenced by the set of

documents called “original geometry” which was the translations of the Euclidean

geometry of ancient Greeks.

• Famous scientists: Li Shizhen, Song Yingxing, Xu Xiake, and Xu Guangqi

Agricultural policy Original geometry

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Women in the Ming Dynasty

In the Ming Dynasty, women’s inheritance right changed

parallel changes in their status and equality. For unmarried

daughters, the law in Ming prescribed that they can only claim

for their inheritance right there was no one else left in the

family. If not so, she could claim her share of family property

through her dowry at the time of her wedding. A married

woman often had no claim for her natal family’s property

especially when she had brothers. There were two

circumstances, which a married woman could claim for

property after her husband passed away. One was when she

decided to stay as a widow and the other was when she

decided to remarry. In all women in the Ming Dynasty held

property as they, whether or unmarried, could share their

family property.

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Neo-Confucianism –is a moral, ethical, and metaphysical Chinese philosophy

influenced by Confucianism, which was originated during the Tang Dynasty.

Wang Yangming was considered to be the most

influential Confucian thinker since Zhu Xi. The

concept of “extension of knowledge” by Zhu Xi, was

gaining the understanding through careful and rational

investigation of things and events. Wang, however

argued that universal concepts would appear in the

minds of anyone. He claimed that anyone, no matter

their pedigree or education, could be as wise as

Confucius and Mencius.

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Difference between Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism


•Originally founded by Confucius, a man who strove all his life to work into the

government, because he had some very important ideas to save China.

•Relied on ancient methods of government ruling to formulate the moral philosophies.

•Believed in a strict, stratified society, with everyone knowing exactly their rank in life

and in society that will never change.


•Was a mixture of beliefs of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism.

•Divided the world into a material world and a spiritual world.

•Main goal was to go ahead of the material world to reach he union with the highest


•More well-rounded than Confucianism; believed that people have different

perspectives and ideas

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Foreign Policy and Attitudes toward trade

During the Ming Dynasty, foreign relations were further established along with Zhen He’s

voyage to Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. The establishment also got strengthened

its relations with ethic minority groups, promoting the economic and cultural changes

among different nationalities. Its authority extended to the inside and outside of the

Hinggan Mountains, Tianshan Mountain and Tibet.

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One of the most significant developments of the Ming was

the increased maritime trade and tributary links. In the 1400s,

the most famous explorer, Zheng He started to trade with the

Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, and America. He was

so proud of his gigantic flagship, which held more than 1,000

men. He imported silver, and it played a large role in

economic strength.

The Grand Canal and The Great Wall were restored during

the era, which improved communication and defense. The

Ming also established a huge navy and a standing army of

around 1 million soldiers, surrounding its perimeters.

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Relations with Europeans

• In the early 1500s, the Europeans arrived to trade

• Imported: high quality techniques of industrial goods, silver, and new knowledge

• Exported: spices, silk, ceramics, and porcelain

• Europeans spread the teaching of Christianity

• Chinese and Europeans had different beliefs, so Chinese did not want to interact with

them anymore

• China led to isolation → because they were self-sufficient, and they thought that they

don’t need to trade more goods

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Decline of Ming Dynasty

• Ming Dynasty was successful for 276 years and had 16 emperors

• King enthronement

• The number of rebels increased

• The war expenditure between Japan and the North resulted in economic collapse

• The Little Ice Age on crops affected → the climate became too dry and too cold for

crops to grow properly, resulting in starvation.

• Silver currency (money) that the people in the country were depending on began to


These factors led to the downfall of the Ming Dynasty, and encouraged the Manchus to

invade China, with the support of the Ming Dynasty’s imperial guard. By the end of

1644, the Qing Dynasty established.

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Discussion Questions

1. How did the Ming Dynasty develop its dynasty?

2. How was the Great Wall of China important during the Ming Dynasty?

3. Why did the Ming Dynasty refuse the interaction with the Europeans?

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Chinese Highlights, The Ming Dynasty. December, 1998. Retrieved on November 23, 2012 from http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/china-history/the-ming-dynasty.htm

The Ming Dynasty, Exploration to Isolation. August, 2005. Retrieved on November 24, 2012 from http://ming-dynasty.blogspot.jp/2005/08/ming-dynasty-exploration-to-isolation.html

Wikipedia, Ming Dynasty. November 2001. Retrieved on November 24, 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ming_Dynasty#Wang_Yangming.27s_Confucianism

Ming Dynasty of China, Culture 4 Travel. October 2008. Retrieved on November 25 from http://www.culture-4-travel.com/ming-dynasty.html