The Hongwu Emperor, personal name Zhu Yuanzhang, was the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty. In the middle of the 14th century, with famine and peasant revolts sweeping across China, Zhu Yuanzhang rose to command the force that conquered China and ended the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty, forcing the Mongols to retreat to the Eurasian Steppe. Zhu claimed the Mandate of Heaven and established the Ming dynasty at the beginning of 1368. Trusting only in his family, he made his many sons powerful feudal princes along the northern marches and the Yangtze valley. Having outlived his first successor, the Hongwu Emperor enthroned his grandson via a series of instructions. Zhu Yuanzhang’s reign was noted for his unprecedented political reforms, he abolished the position of chancellor, drastically reduced the role of court eunuchs, cracked down on corruption with draconian measures. He established the Embroidered Uniform Guard, one of the best known secret police organizations in imperial China. In the 1380s and 1390s, a series of purges were launched to eliminate his high-ranked officials and generals, in which tens of thousands were executed.
The emperor encouraged agriculture, reduced taxes, incentivized the cultivation of new land and established laws protecting the property of peasants. He confiscated land held by large estates and forbade private slavery. Meanwhile, he banned free movement in the empire and assigned hereditary occupational categories to households. Through these measures, Zhu Yuanzhang attempted to rebuild a country, ravaged by war and control social groups, transform the people with orthodox values, create a rigid society of self-sufficient farming communities, his policies have lasting effects on the Chinese history. Zhu was born into a poor peasant tenant farmer family in Zhongli Village in the Huai River plain, in present-day Fengyang, Anhui Province, his father was Zhu Shizhen and his mother was Chen Erniang. He had seven older siblings, several of whom were "given away" by his parents, as they did not have enough food to support the family; when he was 16, severe drought ruined the harvest. Subsequently, famine killed his entire family, except one of his brothers.
He buried them by wrapping them in white clothes. Destitute, Zhu accepted a suggestion to take up a pledge made by his brother and became a novice monk at the Huangjue Temple, a local Buddhist monastery, he did not remain there for long, as the monastery ran short of funds, he was forced to leave. For the next few years, Zhu led the life of a wandering beggar and experienced and saw the hardships of the common people. After about three years, he returned to the monastery and stayed there until he was around 24 years old, he learned to write during the time he spent with the Buddhist monks. The monastery where Zhu lived was destroyed by an army, suppressing a local rebellion. In 1352, Zhu joined one of the many insurgent forces that had risen in rebellion against the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty, he rose through the ranks and became a commander. His rebel force joined the Red Turbans, a millenarian sect related to the White Lotus Society, one that followed cultural and religious traditions of Buddhism and other religions.
Seen as a defender of Confucianism and neo-Confucianism among the predominant Han Chinese population in China, Zhu emerged as a leader of the rebels that were struggling to overthrow the Yuan dynasty. In 1356, Zhu and his army conquered Nanjing, which became his base of operations, the capital of the Ming dynasty during his reign. Zhu's government in Nanjing became famous for good governance, the city attracted vast numbers of people fleeing from other, more lawless regions, it is estimated. In the meantime, the Yuan government had been weakened by internal factions fighting for control, it made little effort to retake the Yangtze River valley. By 1358, central and southern China had fallen into the hands of different rebel groups. During that time the Red Turbans split up. Zhu became the leader of a smaller faction, while the larger faction, under Chen Youliang, controlled the center of the Yangtze River valley. Zhu was able to attract many talents into his service. One of them was Zhu Sheng, who advised him, "Build high walls, stock up rations, don't be too quick to call yourself a king."
Another, Jiao Yu, was an artillery officer, who compiled a military treatise outlining the various types of gunpowder weapons. Another one, Liu Bowen, became one of Zhu's key advisors, edited the military-technology treatise titled Huolongjing in years. Starting from 1360, Chen Youliang fought a protracted war for supremacy over the former territories controlled by the Red Turbans; the pivotal moment in the war was the Battle of Lake Poyang in 1363, one of the largest naval battles in history. The battle ended with the defeat and retreat of Chen's larger navy. Chen died a month in battle. Zhu did not participate in any battles after that and remained in Nanjing, where he directed his generals to go on campaigns. In 1367, Zhu's forces defeated Zhang Shicheng's Kingdom of Dazhou, centered in Suzhou and had included most of the Yangtze River Delta, Hangzhou, the capital of
Taoism, or Daoism, is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao. The Tao is a fundamental idea in most Chinese philosophical schools. Taoism differs from Confucianism by not emphasizing rigid rituals and social order, but is similar in the sense that it is a teaching about the various disciplines for achieving "perfection" by becoming one with the unplanned rhythms of the universe called "the way" or "dao". Taoist ethics vary depending on the particular school, but in general tend to emphasize wu wei, "naturalness", simplicity and the Three Treasures: 慈 "compassion", 儉 "frugality", 不敢為天下先 "humility"; the roots of Taoism go back at least to the 4th century BCE. Early Taoism drew its cosmological notions from the School of Yinyang, was influenced by one of the oldest texts of Chinese culture, the I Ching, which expounds a philosophical system about how to keep human behavior in accordance with the alternating cycles of nature; the "Legalist" Shen Buhai may have been a major influence, expounding a realpolitik of wu wei.
The Tao Te Ching, a compact book containing teachings attributed to Laozi, is considered the keystone work of the Taoist tradition, together with the writings of Zhuangzi. By the Han dynasty, the various sources of Taoism had coalesced into a coherent tradition of religious organizations and orders of ritualists in the state of Shu. In earlier ancient China, Taoists were thought of as hermits or recluses who did not participate in political life. Zhuangzi was the best known of these, it is significant that he lived in the south, where he was part of local Chinese shamanic traditions. Female shamans played an important role in this tradition, strong in the southern state of Chu. Early Taoist movements developed their own institution in contrast to shamanism, but absorbed basic shamanic elements. Shamans revealed basic texts of Taoism from early times down to at least the 20th century. Institutional orders of Taoism evolved in various strains that in more recent times are conventionally grouped into two main branches: Quanzhen Taoism and Zhengyi Taoism.
After Laozi and Zhuangzi, the literature of Taoism grew and was compiled in form of a canon—the Daozang—which was published at the behest of the emperor. Throughout Chinese history, Taoism was nominated several times as a state religion. After the 17th century, however, it fell from favor. Taoism has had a profound influence on Chinese culture in the course of the centuries, Taoists, a title traditionally attributed only to the clergy and not to their lay followers take care to note distinction between their ritual tradition and the practices of Chinese folk religion and non-Taoist vernacular ritual orders, which are mistakenly identified as pertaining to Taoism. Chinese alchemy, Chinese astrology, Chan Buddhism, several martial arts, traditional Chinese medicine, feng shui, many styles of qigong have been intertwined with Taoism throughout history. Beyond China, Taoism had influence on surrounding societies in Asia. Today, the Taoist tradition is one of the five religious doctrines recognized in the People's Republic of China as well as the Republic of China, although it does not travel from its East Asian roots, it claims adherents in a number of societies, in particular in Hong Kong, in Southeast Asia.
Since the introduction of the Pinyin system for romanizing Mandarin Chinese, there have been those who have felt that "Taoism" would be more appropriately spelled as "Daoism". The Mandarin Chinese pronunciation for the word 道 is spelled as tao4 in the older Wade–Giles romanization system while it is spelled as dào in the newer Pinyin romanization system. Both the Wade–Giles tao4 and the Pinyin dào are intended to be pronounced identically in Mandarin Chinese, but despite this fact, "Taoism" and "Daoism" can be pronounced differently in English vernacular; the word "Taoism" is used to translate different Chinese terms which refer to different aspects of the same tradition and semantic field: "Taoist religion", or the "liturgical" aspect – A family of organized religious movements sharing concepts or terminology from "Taoist philosophy". "Taoist philosophy" or "Taology", or the "mystical" aspect – The philosophical doctrines based on the texts of the I Ching, the Tao Te Ching and the Zhuangzi.
These texts were linked together as "Taoist philosophy" during the early Han Dynasty, but notably not before. It is unlikely that Zhuangzi was familiar with the text of the Daodejing, Zhuangzi would not have identified himself as a Taoist as this classification did not arise until well after his death. However, the discussed distinction is rejected by the majority of Japanese scholars, it is contested by hermeneutic difficulties in the categorization of the different Taoist schools and movements. Taoism does not f
Fujian, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, Guangdong to the south, the Taiwan Strait to the east; the name Fujian came from the combination of Fuzhou and Jianzhou, two cities in Fujian, during the Tang dynasty. While its population is chiefly of Han origin, it is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse provinces in China; as a result of the Chinese Civil War, Historical Fujian is now divided between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China based in Taiwan, both territories are named the Fujian province in their respective administration divisions. The majority of the territory of historical Fujian make up the Fujian province of the PRC; the Fujian province of the ROC is made up of the Matsu Islands, the Wuqiu Islands and the Kinmen Islands, the two latter archipelagos constituting Kinmen County. Recent archaeological discoveries demonstrate that Fujian had entered the Neolithic Age by the middle of the 6th millennium BC.
From the Keqiutou site, an early Neolithic site in Pingtan Island located about 70 kilometres southeast of Fuzhou, numerous tools made of stones, bones and ceramics have been unearthed, together with spinning wheels, definitive evidence of weaving. The Tanshishan site in suburban Fuzhou spans the Neolithic and Chalcolithic Age where semi-underground circular buildings were found in the lower level; the Huangtulun site in suburban Fuzhou, was of the Bronze Age in character. Tianlong Jiao notes that the Neolithic appeared on the coast of Fujian around 6,000 B. P. During the Neolithic, the coast of Fujian had a low population density, with the population depending on on fishing and hunting, alongside with limited agriculture. There were four major Neolithic cultures in coastal Fujian, with the earliest Neolithic cultures originating from the north in coastal Zhejiang. Keqiutou culture 壳丘头文化 Tanshishan culture 昙石山文化 Damaoshan culture 大帽山文化 Huangguashan culture 黄瓜山文化 There were two major Neolithic cultures in inland Fujian, which were distinct from the coastal Fujian Neolithic cultures.
Niubishan culture 牛鼻山文化 Hulushan culture 葫芦山文化 Fujian was where the kingdom of Minyue was located. The word "Mǐnyuè" was derived by combining "Mǐn", an ethnic name, "Yuè", after the State of Yue, a Spring and Autumn period kingdom in Zhejiang to the north; this is because the royal family of Yuè fled to Fujian after its kingdom was annexed by the State of Chu in 306 BC. Mǐn is the name of the main river in this area, but the ethnonym is older. Minyue was a de facto kingdom until one of the emperors of the Qin dynasty, the first unified imperial Chinese state, abolished its status. In the aftermath of the Qin dynasty's fall, civil war broke out between two warlords, Xiang Yu and Liu Bang; the Minyue king Wuzhu sent his troops to fight with Liu and his gamble paid off. Liu founded the Han dynasty. In 202 BC, he restored Minyue's status as a tributary independent kingdom, thus Wuzhu was allowed to construct his fortified city in Fuzhou as well as a few locations in the Wuyi Mountains, which have been excavated in recent years.
His kingdom extended beyond the borders of contemporary Fujian into eastern Guangdong, eastern Jiangxi, southern Zhejiang. After Wuzhu's death, Minyue maintained its militant tradition and launched several expeditions against its neighboring kingdoms in Guangdong and Zhejiang in the 2nd century BC; this was stopped by the Han dynasty. The Han emperor decided to get rid of the potential threat by launching a military campaign against Minyue. Large forces approached Minyue from four directions via land and sea in 111 BC; the rulers in Fuzhou surrendered to avoid a futile fight and destruction and the first kingdom in Fujian history came to an abrupt end. The Han dynasty collapsed at the end of the 2nd century AD, paving the way for the Three Kingdoms era. Sun Quan, the founder of the Kingdom of Wu, spent nearly 20 years subduing the Shan Yue people, the branch of the Yue living in mountains; the first wave of immigration of the noble class arrived in the province in the early 4th century when the Western Jin dynasty collapsed and the north was torn apart by invasions by nomadic peoples from the north, as well as civil war.
These immigrants were from eight families in central China: Lin, Chen, Zhan, Qiu, He, Hu. The first four remain as the major surnames of modern Fujian. Isolation from nearby areas owing to rugged terrain contributed to Fujian's undeveloped economy and level of development, despite major population boosts from northern China during the "barbarian" invasions. Population density in Fujian remained low compared to the rest of China. Only two commanderies and sixteen counties were established by the Western Jin dynasty. Like other southern provinces such as Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan, Fujian served as a destination for exiled prisoners and dissidents at that time. During the Southern and Northern Dynasties era, the Southern Dynasties reigned south of the Yangtze River, including Fujian. During the Sui and Tang eras a large
The Qing dynasty the Great Qing, was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912, it was succeeded by the Republic of China. The Qing multi-cultural empire lasted for three centuries and formed the territorial base for modern China, it was the fifth largest empire in world history. The dynasty was founded by the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan in Manchuria. In the late sixteenth century, Nurhaci a Ming Jianzhou Guard vassal, began organizing "Banners", military-social units that included Manchu and Mongol elements. Nurhaci formed the Manchu clans into a unified entity. By 1636, his son Hong Taiji began driving Ming forces out of the Liaodong Peninsula and declared a new dynasty, the Qing. In an unrelated development, peasant rebels led by Li Zicheng conquered the Ming capital, Beijing, in 1644. Rather than serve them, Ming general Wu Sangui made an alliance with the Manchus and opened the Shanhai Pass to the Banner Armies led by the regent Prince Dorgon.
He seized the capital. Resistance from the Southern Ming and the Revolt of the Three Feudatories led by Wu Sangui delayed the Qing conquest of China proper by nearly four decades; the conquest was only completed in 1683 under the Kangxi Emperor reign. The Ten Great Campaigns of the Qianlong Emperor from the 1750s to the 1790s extended Qing control into Inner Asia; the early Qing rulers maintained their Manchu customs, while their title was Emperor, they used "Bogd khaan" when dealing with the Mongols and they were patrons of Tibetan Buddhism. They governed using Confucian styles and institutions of bureaucratic government and retained the imperial examinations to recruit Han Chinese to work under or in parallel with Manchus, they adapted the ideals of the tributary system in dealing with neighboring territories. During the Qianlong Emperor reign the dynasty reached its apogee, but began its initial decline in prosperity and imperial control; the population rose to some 400 millions, but taxes and government revenues were fixed at a low rate guaranteeing eventual fiscal crisis.
Corruption set in, rebels tested government legitimacy, ruling elites failed to change their mindsets in the face of changes in the world system. Following the Opium Wars, European powers imposed "unequal treaties", free trade, extraterritoriality and treaty ports under foreign control; the Taiping Rebellion and the Dungan Revolt in Central Asia led to the deaths of some 20 million people, most of them due to famines caused by war. In spite of these disasters, in the Tongzhi Restoration of the 1860s, Han Chinese elites rallied to the defense of the Confucian order and the Qing rulers; the initial gains in the Self-Strengthening Movement were destroyed in the First Sino-Japanese War of 1895, in which the Qing lost its influence over Korea and the possession of Taiwan. New Armies were organized, but the ambitious Hundred Days' Reform of 1898 was turned back in a coup by the conservative Empress Dowager Cixi; when the Scramble for Concessions by foreign powers triggered the violently anti-foreign "Boxers", the foreign powers invaded China, Cixi declared war on them, leading to defeat and the flight of the Imperial Court to Xi'an.
After agreeing to sign the Boxer Protocol, the government initiated unprecedented fiscal and administrative reforms, including elections, a new legal code, abolition of the examination system. Sun Yat-sen and other revolutionaries competed with constitutional monarchists such as Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao to transform the Qing Empire into a modern nation. After the deaths of Cixi and the Guangxu Emperor in 1908, the hardline Manchu court alienated reformers and local elites alike by obstructing social reform; the Wuchang Uprising on 11 October 1911, led to the Xinhai Revolution. General Yuan Shikai negotiated the abdication of Puyi, the last emperor, on 12 February 1912. Nurhaci declared himself the "Bright Khan" of the Later Jin state in honor both of the 12th–13th century Jurchen Jin dynasty and of his Aisin Gioro clan, his son Hong Taiji renamed the dynasty Great Qing in 1636. There are competing explanations on the meaning of Qīng; the name may have been selected in reaction to the name of the Ming dynasty, which consists of the Chinese characters for "sun" and "moon", both associated with the fire element of the Chinese zodiacal system.
The character Qīng is associated with the water element. This association would justify the Qing conquest as defeat of fire by water; the water imagery of the new name may have had Buddhist overtones of perspicacity and enlightenment and connections with the Bodhisattva Manjusri. The Manchu name daicing, which sounds like a phonetic rendering of Dà Qīng or Dai Ching, may in fact have been derived from a Mongolian word "ᠳᠠᠢᠢᠴᠢᠨ, дайчин" that means "warrior". Daicing gurun may therefore have meant "warrior state", a pun, only intelligible to Manchu and Mongol people. In the part of the dynasty, however the Manchus themselves had forgotten this possible meaning. After conquering "China proper", the Manchus identified their state as "China", referred to it as Dulimbai Gurun in Manchu; the emperors equated the lands of the Qing state as "China" in both the Chinese and Manchu languages, defining China as a multi-ethnic state, rejecting the idea that "China" only meant Han areas. The Qing emperors proclaimed that bo
Shandong is a coastal province of the People's Republic of China, is part of the East China region. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history since the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River, it has served as a pivotal cultural and religious center for Taoism, Chinese Buddhism, Confucianism. Shandong's Mount Tai is the most revered mountain of Taoism and one of the world's sites with the longest history of continuous religious worship; the Buddhist temples in the mountains to the south of the provincial capital of Jinan were once among the foremost Buddhist sites in China. The city of Qufu is the birthplace of Confucius, was established as the center of Confucianism. Shandong's location at the intersection of ancient as well as modern north–south and east–west trading routes have helped to establish it as an economic center. After a period of political instability and economic hardship that began in the late 19th century, Shandong has emerged as one of the most populous and most affluent provinces in the People's Republic of China with a GDP of CNY¥5.942 trillion in 2014, or USD$967 billion, making it China's third wealthiest province.
Individually, the two Chinese characters in the name "Shandong" mean "mountain" and "east". Shandong could hence be translated as "east of the mountains" and refers to the province's location to the east of the Taihang Mountains. A common nickname for Shandong is Qílǔ, after the States of Qi and Lu that existed in the area during the Spring and Autumn period. Whereas the State of Qi was a major power of its era, the State of Lu played only a minor role in the politics of its time. Lu, became renowned for being the home of Confucius and hence its cultural influence came to eclipse that of the State of Qi; the cultural dominance of the State of Lu heritage is reflected in the official abbreviation for Shandong, "鲁". English speakers in the 19th century called the province Shan-tung; the province is on the eastern edge of the North China Plain and in the lower reaches of the Yellow River, extends out to sea as the Shandong Peninsula. Shandong borders the Bohai Sea to the north, Hebei to the northwest, Henan to the west, Jiangsu to the south, the Yellow Sea to the southeast.
With its location on the eastern edge of the North China Plain, Shandong was home to a succession of Neolithic cultures for millennia, including the Houli culture, the Beixin culture, the Dawenkou culture, the Longshan culture, the Yueshi culture. The earliest dynasties exerted varying degrees of control over western Shandong, while eastern Shandong was inhabited by the Dongyi peoples who were considered "barbarians". Over subsequent centuries, the Dongyi were sinicized. During the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period, regional states became powerful. At this time, Shandong was home to two major states: the state of Qi at Linzi and the state of Lu at Qufu. Lu is noted for being the home of Confucius; the state was, comparatively small, succumbed to the larger state of Chu from the south. The state of Qi, on the other hand, was a major power throughout the period. Cities it ruled included Jimo and Ju; the Qin dynasty conquered Qi and founded the first centralized Chinese state in 221 BCE.
The Han dynasty that followed created a number of commanderies supervised by two regions in what is now modern Shandong: Qingzhou in the north and Yanzhou in the south. During the division of the Three Kingdoms, Shandong belonged to the Cao Wei, which ruled over northern China. After the Three Kingdoms period, a brief period of unity under the Western Jin dynasty gave way to invasions by nomadic peoples from the north. Northern China, including Shandong, was overrun. Over the next century or so Shandong changed hands several times, falling to the Later Zhao Former Yan Former Qin Later Yan Southern Yan the Liu Song dynasty, the Northern Wei dynasty, the first of the Northern dynasties during the Northern and Southern dynasties Period. Shandong stayed with the Northern dynasties for the rest of this period. In 412 CE, the Chinese Buddhist monk Faxian landed at Laoshan, on the southern edge of the Shandong peninsula, proceeded to Qingzhou to edit and translate the scriptures he had brought back from India.
The Sui dynasty reestablished unity in 589, the Tang dynasty presided over the next golden age of China. For the earlier part of this period Shandong was ruled as part of Henan Circuit, one of the circuits. On China splintered into warlord factions, resulting in the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Shandong was part of all based in the north; the Song dynasty reunified China in the late tenth century. The classic novel Water Margin was based on folk tales of outlaw bands active in Shandong during the Song dynasty. In 1996, the discovery of over two hundred buried Buddhist statues at Qingzhou was hailed as a major archaeological find; the statues included early examples of painted figures, are thought to have been buried due to Emperor Huizong's repression of Buddhism. The Song dynasty was forced to cede northern China to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in 1142. Shandong was administered by the Jin as Shandong East Circuit and Shandong West Circuit – the first use of its current name; the modern provinc
A cannon is a type of gun classified as artillery that launches a projectile using propellant. In the past, gunpowder was the primary propellant before the invention of smokeless powder in the 19th century. Cannon vary in caliber, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, firepower; the word cannon is derived from several languages, in which the original definition can be translated as tube, cane, or reed. In the modern era, the term cannon has fallen into decline, replaced by guns or artillery if not a more specific term such as mortar or howitzer, except for high calibre automatic weapons firing bigger rounds than machine guns, called autocannons; the earliest known depiction of cannon appeared in Song dynasty China as early as the 12th century, however solid archaeological and documentary evidence of cannon do not appear until the 13th century. In 1288 Yuan dynasty troops are recorded to have used hand cannons in combat, the earliest extant cannon bearing a date of production comes from the same period.
By 1326 depictions of cannon had appeared in Europe and immediately recorded usage of cannon began appearing. By the end of the 14th century cannon were widespread throughout Eurasia. Cannon were used as anti-infantry weapons until around 1374 when cannon were recorded to have breached walls for the first time in Europe. Cannon featured prominently as siege weapons and larger pieces appeared. In 1464 a 16,000 kg cannon known as the Great Turkish Bombard was created in the Ottoman Empire. Cannon as field artillery became more important after 1453 with the introduction of limber, which improved cannon maneuverability and mobility. European cannon reached their longer, more accurate, more efficient "classic form" around 1480; this classic European cannon design stayed consistent in form with minor changes until the 1750s. Cannon is derived from the Old Italian word cannone, meaning "large tube", which came from Latin canna, in turn originating from the Greek κάννα, "reed", generalised to mean any hollow tube-like object.
The word has been used to refer to a gun since 1326 in Italy, 1418 in England. Both Cannons and Cannon are correct and in common usage, with one or the other having preference in different parts of the English-speaking world. Cannons is more common in North America and Australia, while cannon as plural is more common in the United Kingdom; the cannon may have appeared as early as the 12th century in China, was a parallel development or evolution of the fire-lance, a short ranged anti-personnel weapon combining a gunpowder-filled tube and a polearm of some sort. Co-viative projectiles such as iron scraps or porcelain shards were placed in fire lance barrels at some point, the paper and bamboo materials of fire lance barrels were replaced by metal; the earliest known depiction of a cannon is a sculpture from the Dazu Rock Carvings in Sichuan dated to 1128, however the earliest archaeological samples and textual accounts do not appear until the 13th century. The primary extant specimens of cannon from the 13th century are the Wuwei Bronze Cannon dated to 1227, the Heilongjiang hand cannon dated to 1288, the Xanadu Gun dated to 1298.
However, only the Xanadu gun contains an inscription bearing a date of production, so it is considered the earliest confirmed extant cannon. The Xanadu Gun weighs 6.2 kg. The other cannon are dated using contextual evidence; the Heilongjiang hand cannon is often considered by some to be the oldest firearm since it was unearthed near the area where the History of Yuan reports a battle took place involving hand cannon. According to the History of Yuan, in 1288, a Jurchen commander by the name of Li Ting led troops armed with hand cannon into battle against the rebel prince Nayan. Chen Bingying argues there were no guns before 1259 while Dang Shoushan believes the Wuwei gun and other Western Xia era samples point to the appearance of guns by 1220, Stephen Haw goes further by stating that guns were developed as early as 1200. Sinologist Joseph Needham and renaissance siege expert Thomas Arnold provide a more conservative estimate of around 1280 for the appearance of the "true" cannon. Whether or not any of these are correct, it seems that the gun was born sometime during the 13th century.
References to cannon proliferated throughout China in the following centuries. Cannon featured in literary pieces. In 1341 Xian Zhang wrote a poem called The Iron Cannon Affair describing a cannonball fired from an eruptor which could "pierce the heart or belly when striking a man or horse, transfix several persons at once."By the 1350s the cannon was used extensively in Chinese warfare. In 1358 the Ming army failed to take a city due to its garrisons' usage of cannon, however they themselves would use cannon, in the thousands on during the siege of Suzhou in 1366; the Korean kingdom of Joseon started producing gunpowder in 1374 and cannon by 1377. Cannon appeared in Đại Việt by 1390 at the latest. During the Ming dynasty cannon were used in riverine warfare at the Battle of Lake Poyang. One shipwreck in Shandong had a cannon dated to 1377 and an anchor dated to 1372. From the 13th to 15th centuries cannon-armed Chinese ships travelled throughout Southeast Asia; the first of the western cannon to be introduced were breach-loaders in the early 16th century which the Chinese began producing themselves by 1523 and began improving on.
Japan did not acquire a cannon until 1510 when a monk brought one back from China, did not produce a