History of Japan
The first human habitation in the Japanese archipelago has been traced to prehistoric times. The Jōmon period, named after its "cord-marked" pottery, was followed by the Yayoi in the first millennium BC when new technologies were introduced from continental Asia. During this period, the first known written reference to Japan was recorded in the Chinese Book of Han in the first century AD. Between the fourth century and the ninth century, Japan's many kingdoms and tribes came to be unified under a centralized government, nominally controlled by the Emperor; this imperial dynasty continues to reign over Japan. In 794, a new imperial capital was established at Heian-kyō, marking the beginning of the Heian period, which lasted until 1185; the Heian period is considered a golden age of classical Japanese culture. Japanese religious life from this time and onwards was a mix of native Shinto practices and Buddhism. Over the following centuries, the power of the Emperor and the imperial court declined and passed to the military clans and their armies of samurai warriors.
The Minamoto clan under Minamoto no Yoritomo emerged victorious from the Genpei War of 1180–85. After seizing power, Yoritomo took the title of shōgun. In 1274 and 1281, the Kamakura shogunate withstood two Mongol invasions, but in 1333 it was toppled by a rival claimant to the shogunate, ushering in the Muromachi period. During the Muromachi period regional warlords called daimyōs grew in power at the expense of the shōgun. Japan descended into a period of civil war. Over the course of the late sixteenth century, Japan was reunified under the leadership of the daimyō Oda Nobunaga and his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi. After Hideyoshi's death in 1598, Tokugawa Ieyasu came to power and was appointed shōgun by the Emperor; the Tokugawa shogunate, which governed from Edo, presided over a prosperous and peaceful era known as the Edo period. The Tokugawa shogunate imposed a strict class system on Japanese society and cut off all contact with the outside world. Portugal and Japan started their first affiliation in 1543, making the Portuguese the first Europeans to reach Japan by landing in the southern archipelago of Japan.
The Netherlands was the first to establish trade relations with Japan, Japan–Netherlands relations dating back to 1609. The American Perry Expedition in 1853–54 more ended Japan's seclusion; the new national leadership of the following Meiji period transformed the isolated feudal island country into an empire that followed Western models and became a great power. Although democracy developed and modern civilian culture prospered during the Taishō period, Japan's powerful military had great autonomy and overruled Japan's civilian leaders in the 1920s and 1930s; the military invaded Manchuria in 1931, from 1937 the conflict escalated into a prolonged war with China. Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 led to war with its allies. Japan's forces soon became overextended, but the military held out in spite of Allied air attacks that inflicted severe damage on population centers. Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's unconditional surrender on 15 August 1945, following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria.
The Allies occupied Japan until 1952, during which a new constitution was enacted in 1947 that transformed Japan into a constitutional monarchy. After 1955, Japan enjoyed high economic growth, became a world economic powerhouse. Since the 1990s, economic stagnation has been a major issue. An earthquake, tsunami in 2011 caused massive economic dislocations and a serious nuclear power disaster; the mountainous Japanese archipelago stretches northeast to southwest 3,000 km off the east of the Asian continent at the convergence of four tectonic plates. The steep, craggy mountains that cover two-thirds of its surface are prone to quick erosion from fast-flowing rivers and to mudslides, they have hampered internal travel and communication and driven the population to rely on transportation along coastal waters. There is a great variety to its regions' geographical features and weather patterns, with a Wet season, in most parts in early summer. Volcanic soil that washes along the 13% of the area that makes up the coastal plains provides fertile land, the temperate climate allows long growing seasons, which with the diversity of flora and fauna provide rich resources able to support the density of the population.
A accepted periodization of Japanese history: Land bridges, during glacial periods when the world sea level is lower, have periodically linked the Japanese archipelago to the Asian continent via Sakhalin Island in the north and via the Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan in the south since the beginning of the current Quaternary glaciation 2.58 million years ago. There may have been a land bridge to Korea in the southwest, though not in the 125,000 years or so since the start of the last interglacial; the Korea Strait was, quite narrow at the Last Glacial Maximum from 25,000 to 20,000 years BP. The earliest firm evidence of human habitation is of early Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherers from 40,000 years ago, when Japan was separated from the continent. Edge-ground axes dating to 32–38,000 years ago found in 224 sites in Honshu and Kyushu are unlike anything found in neighbouring areas of continental Asia, have been proposed as evidence for the first Homo sapiens in Japan. Radiocarbon dating has shown that the earliest fossils in
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
Confucianism known as Ruism, is described as tradition, a philosophy, a religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, a way of governing, or a way of life. Confucianism developed from what was called the Hundred Schools of Thought from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, who considered himself a recodifier and retransmitter of the theology and values inherited from the Shang and Zhou dynasties. In the Han dynasty, Confucian approaches edged out the "proto-Taoist" Huang–Lao as the official ideology, while the emperors mixed both with the realist techniques of Legalism. A Confucian revival began during the Tang dynasty. In the late Tang, Confucianism developed in response to Buddhism and Taoism and was reformulated as Neo-Confucianism; this reinvigorated form was adopted as the basis of the imperial exams and the core philosophy of the scholar official class in the Song dynasty. The abolition of the examination system in 1905 marked the end of official Confucianism; the intellectuals of the New Culture Movement of the early twentieth century blamed Confucianism for China's weaknesses.
They searched for new doctrines to replace Confucian teachings. In the late twentieth century Confucian work ethic has been credited with the rise of the East Asian economy. With particular emphasis on the importance of the family and social harmony, rather than on an otherworldly source of spiritual values, the core of Confucianism is humanistic. According to Herbert Fingarette's conceptualisation of Confucianism as a religion which regards "the secular as sacred", Confucianism transcends the dichotomy between religion and humanism, considering the ordinary activities of human life—and human relationships—as a manifestation of the sacred, because they are the expression of humanity's moral nature, which has a transcendent anchorage in Heaven and unfolds through an appropriate respect for the spirits or gods of the world. While Tiān has some characteristics that overlap the category of godhead, it is an impersonal absolute principle, like the Dào or the Brahman. Confucianism focuses on the practical order, given by a this-worldly awareness of the Tiān.
Confucian liturgy led by Confucian priests or "sages of rites" to worship the gods in public and ancestral Chinese temples is preferred on certain occasions, by Confucian religious groups and for civil religious rites, over Taoist or popular ritual. The worldly concern of Confucianism rests upon the belief that human beings are fundamentally good, teachable and perfectible through personal and communal endeavor self-cultivation and self-creation. Confucian thought focuses on the cultivation of virtue in a morally organised world; some of the basic Confucian ethical concepts and practices include rén, yì, lǐ, zhì. Rén is the essence of the human being, it is the virtue-form of Heaven. Yì is the upholding of the moral disposition to do good. Lǐ is a system of ritual norms and propriety that determines how a person should properly act in everyday life in harmony with the law of Heaven. Zhì is the ability to see what is right and fair, or the converse, in the behaviors exhibited by others. Confucianism holds one in contempt, either passively or for failure to uphold the cardinal moral values of rén and yì.
Traditionally and countries in the Chinese cultural sphere are influenced by Confucianism, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Korea and Vietnam, as well as various territories settled predominantly by Chinese people, such as Singapore. Today, it has been credited for shaping East Asian societies and Chinese communities, to some extent, other parts of Asia. In the last decades there have been talks of a "Confucian Revival" in the academic and the scholarly community, there has been a grassroots proliferation of various types of Confucian churches. In late 2015 many Confucian personalities formally established a national Holy Confucian Church in China to unify the many Confucian congregations and civil society organisations. Speaking, there is no term in Chinese which directly corresponds to "Confucianism". In the Chinese language, the character rú 儒 meaning "scholar" or "learned" or "refined man" is used both in the past and the present to refer to things related to Confucianism; the character rú in ancient China had diverse meanings.
Some examples include "to tame", "to mould", "to educate", "to refine". Several different terms, some of which with modern origin, are used in different situations to express different facets of Confucianism, including: Chinese: 儒 家. Three of them use rú; these names do not use the name "Confucius" at all, but instead focus on the ideal of the Confucian man. The use of the term "Confucianism" has been avoided by some modern scholars, who favor "Ruism" and "Ruists" instead. Robert Eno argues that the term has been "burdened... with the ambiguities and irrelevant
The Asuka period was a period in the history of Japan lasting from 538 to 710, although its beginning could be said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period. The Yamato polity evolved during the Asuka period, named after the Asuka region, about 25 km south of the modern city of Nara; the Asuka period is characterized by its significant artistic and political transformations, having their origins in the late Kofun period but affected by the arrival of Buddhism from China. The introduction of Buddhism marked a change in Japanese society; the Asuka period is distinguished by the change in the name of the country from Wa to Nihon. The term "Asuka period" was first used to describe a period in the history of Japanese fine-arts and architecture, it was proposed by fine-arts scholars Sekino Tadasu and Okakura Kakuzō around 1900. Sekino dated the Asuka period as ending with the Taika Reform of 646. Okakura, saw it as ending with the transfer of the capital to the Heijō Palace of Nara. Although historians use Okakura's dating, many historians of art and architecture prefer Sekino's dating and use the term "Hakuhō period" to refer to the successive period.
The Yamato polity was distinguished by powerful great clans or extended families, including their dependents. Each clan was headed by a patriarch who performed sacred rites for the clan's kami to ensure the long-term welfare of the clan. Clan members were the High Nobility, the Imperial line that controlled the Yamato polity was at its pinnacle; the Asuka period, as a sub-division of the Yamato period, is the first time in Japanese history when the Emperor of Japan ruled uncontested from modern-day Nara Prefecture known as Yamato Province. The Yamato polity was concentrated in the Asuka region and exercised power over clans in Kyūshū and Honshū, bestowing titles, some hereditary, on clan chieftains; the Yamato name became synonymous with all of Japan as the Yamato rulers suppressed other clans and acquired agricultural lands. Based on Chinese models, they developed a central administration and an imperial court attended by subordinate clan chieftains but with no permanent capital. By the mid-seventh century, the agricultural lands had grown to a substantial public domain, subject to central policy.
The basic administrative unit of the Gokishichidō system was the county, society was organized into occupation groups. Most people were farmers; the Soga clan intermarried with the imperial family, by 587 Soga no Umako, the Soga chieftain, was powerful enough to install his nephew as emperor and to assassinate him and replace him with the Empress Suiko. Suiko, the first of eight sovereign empresses, is sometimes considered a mere figurehead for Umako and Prince Regent Shōtoku Taishi; however she wielded power in her own right, the role of Shōtoku Taishi is exaggerated to the point of legend. Shōtoku, recognized as a great intellectual of this period of reform, was a devout Buddhist and was well-read in Chinese literature, he was influenced by Confucian principles, including the Mandate of Heaven, which suggested that the sovereign ruled at the will of a supreme force. Under Shōtoku's direction, Confucian models of rank and etiquette were adopted, his Seventeen-article constitution prescribed ways to bring harmony to a chaotic society in Confucian terms.
In addition, Shōtoku adopted the Chinese calendar, developed a system of trade roads, built numerous Buddhist temples, had court chronicles compiled, sent students to China to study Buddhism and Confucianism, sent Ono no Imoko to China as an emissary. Six official missions of envoys and students were sent to China in the seventh century; some remained twenty years or more. The sending of such scholars to learn Chinese political systems showed significant change from envoys in the Kofun period, in which the five kings of Wa sent envoys for the approval of their domains. In a move resented by the Chinese, Shōtoku sought equality with the Chinese emperor by sending official correspondence, addressed, "From the Son of Heaven in the Land of the Rising Sun to the Son of Heaven of the Land of the Setting Sun." Some would argue that Shōtoku's bold step set a precedent: Japan never again accepted a "subordinate" status in its relations with China, except for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, who accepted such a relationship with China in the 15th century.
As a result, Japan in this period received no title from Chinese dynasties, while they did send tribute. From the Chinese point of view, the class or position of Japan was demoted from previous centuries in which the kings received titles. On the other hand, Japan loosened its political relationships with China and established extraordinary cultural and intellectual relationships. About twenty years after the deaths of Shōtoku Taishi, Soga no Umako, Empress Suiko, court intrigues over succession led to a palace coup in 645 against the Soga clan's monopolized control of the government; the revolt was led by Prince Naka no Ōe and Nakatomi no Kamatari, who seized control of the court from the Soga family and introduced the Taika Reform. The Japanese era corresponding to the years 645–649 was thus named Taika, referring to the Reform, meaning "great change"; the revolt leading to the Taika Reform is called the Isshi Incident, referring to the Chinese zodiac year in which the coup took place
Goguryeo called Goryeo, was a Korean kingdom located in the northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula and the southern and central parts of Manchuria. Along with Baekje and Silla, Goguryeo was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, it was an active participant in the power struggle for control of the Korean peninsula and was associated with the foreign affairs of neighboring polities in China and Japan. The Samguk sagi, a 12th-century text from Goryeo, indicates that Goguryeo was founded in 37 BCE by Jumong, a prince from Buyeo, enthroned as Dongmyeong. Goguryeo was one of the great powers in East Asia, until its defeat by a Silla–Tang alliance in 668 after prolonged exhaustion and internal strife caused by the death of Yeon Gaesomun. After its fall, its territory was divided among the states of Later Balhae; the name Goryeo, a shortened form of Goguryeo, was adopted as the official name in the 5th century, is the origin of the English name "Korea". In the geographic monographs of the Book of Han, the word Goguryeo made its first appearance in 113 BCE in the name of Gaogouli County under the jurisdiction of Xuantu Commandery.
In the Old Book of Tang, it is recorded that Emperor Taizong refers to Goguryeo's history as being some 900 years old. According to the 12th-century Samguk sagi and the 13th-century Samgungnyusa, a prince from the Buyeo kingdom named Jumong fled after a power struggle with other princes of the court and founded Goguryeo in 37 BCE in a region called Jolbon Buyeo thought to be located in the middle Yalu and Tongjia River basin, overlapping the current China-North Korea border. In 75 BCE, a group of Yemaek who may have originated from Goguryeo made an incursion into China's Xuantu Commandery west of the Yalu. However, the weight of textual evidence from the Old Book of Tang, New Book of Tang, the Samguk sagi, the Nihon Shoki as well as other ancient sources would support a 37 BCE or "middle" first century BCE foundation date for Goguryeo. Archaeological evidence would support centralized groups of Yemaek tribes in the 2nd century BC, but there is no direct evidence that would suggest these Yemaek groups were known as or would identify themselves as Goguryeo.
The first mention of Goguryeo as a group label associated with Yemaek tribes is a reference in the Han Shu that discusses a Goguryeo revolt in 12 CE, during which they broke away from the influence of the Chinese at Xuantu. At its founding, the Goguryeo people are believed to be a blend of people from Buyeo and Yemaek, as leadership from Buyeo may have fled their kingdom and integrated with existing Yemaek chiefdoms; the Records of the Three Kingdoms, in the section titled "Accounts of the Eastern Barbarians", implied that Buyeo and the Yemaek people were ethnically related and spoke a similar language. Both Goguryeo and Baekje originated from Buyeo; the earliest mention of Jumong is in the 4th-century Gwanggaeto Stele. Jumong is the modern Korean transcription of 鄒牟 Chumo, or 仲牟 Jungmo; the Stele states that Jumong was the first king and ancestor of Goguryeo and that he was the son of the prince of Buyeo and daughter of Habaek, the god of the Amnok River or, according to an alternate interpretation, the sun god Haebak.
The Samguk sagi and Samgungnyusa paint names Jumong's mother as Yuhwa. Jumong's biological father was said to be a man named Haemosu, described as a "strong man" and "a heavenly prince." The river god chased Yuhwa away to the Ubal River due to her pregnancy, where she met and became the concubine of Geumwa. Jumong was well known for his exceptional archery skills. Geumwa's sons became jealous of him, Jumong was forced to leave Eastern Buyeo; the Stele and Korean sources disagree as to which Buyeo Jumong came from. The Stele says he came from Buyeo and the Samgungnyusa and Samguk sagi say he came from Eastern Buyeo. Jumong made it to Jolbon, where he married Soseono, daughter of its ruler, he subsequently became king himself, founding Goguryeo with a small group of his followers from his native country. A traditional account from the "Annals of Baekje" section in the Samguk sagi says that Soseono was the daughter of Yeon Tabal, a wealthy influential figure in Jolbon and married to Jumong. However, the same source states that the king of Jolbon gave his daughter to Jumong, who had escaped with his followers from Eastern Buyeo, in marriage.
She gave her husband, financial support in founding the new statelet, Goguryeo. After Yuri, son of Jumong and his first wife, Lady Ye, came from Dongbuyeo and succeeded Jumong, she left Goguryeo, taking her two sons Biryu and Onjo south to found their own kingdoms, one of, Baekje. Jumong's given surname was "Hae", the name of the Buyeo rulers. According to the Samgungnyusa, Jumong changed his surname to "Go" in conscious reflection of his divine parentage. Jumong is recorded to have conquered the tribal states of Biryu in 36 BCE, Haeng-in in 33 BCE, Northern Okjeo in 28 BCE. Goguryeo developed from a league of various Yemaek tribes to an early state and expanded its power from their original basin of control in the Hun River drainage. In the time of Taejodae in 53 CE, five local tribes were reorganized into five centrally ruled districts. Foreign relations and the military were controlled by the king. Early expansion might be best explained by ecology.
The Sui dynasty was a short-lived imperial dynasty of China of pivotal significance. The Sui unified the Northern and Southern dynasties and reinstalled the rule of ethnic Chinese in the entirety of China proper, along with sinicization of former nomadic ethnic minorities within its territory, it was succeeded by the Tang dynasty, which inherited its foundation. Founded by Emperor Wen of Sui, the Sui dynasty capital was Chang'an and Luoyang. Emperors Wen and Yang undertook various centralized reforms, most notably the equal-field system, intended to reduce economic inequality and improve agricultural productivity, they spread and encouraged Buddhism throughout the empire. By the middle of the dynasty, the newly unified empire entered a golden age of prosperity with vast agricultural surplus that supported rapid population growth. A lasting legacy of the Sui dynasty was the Grand Canal. With the eastern capital Luoyang at the center of the network, it linked the west-lying capital Chang'an to the economic and agricultural centers of the east towards Hangzhou, to the northern border near modern Beijing.
While the pressing initial motives were for shipment of grains to the capital, for transporting troops and military logistics, the reliable inland shipment links would facilitate domestic trades, flow of people and cultural exchange for centuries. Along with the extension of the Great Wall, the construction of the eastern capital city of Luoyang, these mega projects, led by an efficient centralized bureaucracy, would amass millions of conscripted workers from the large population base, at heavy cost of human lives. After a series of costly and disastrous military campaigns against Goguryeo, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, ended in defeat by 614, the dynasty disintegrated under a series of popular revolts culminating in the assassination of Emperor Yang by his ministers in 618; the dynasty, which lasted only thirty-seven years, was undermined by ambitious wars and construction projects, which overstretched its resources. Under Emperor Yang, heavy taxation and compulsory labor duties would induce widespread revolts and brief civil war following the fall of the dynasty.
The dynasty is compared to the earlier Qin dynasty for unifying China after prolonged division. Wide-ranging reforms and construction projects were undertaken to consolidate the newly unified state, with long-lasting influences beyond their short dynastic reigns. Towards the late Northern and Southern dynasties, the Northern Zhou conquered the Northern Qi in 577 and reunified northern China, The century trend of gradual conquest of the southern dynasties of the Han Chinese by the northern dynasties, which were ruled by ethnic minority Xianbei, would become inevitable. By this time, the founder of the Sui dynasty, Yang Jian, an ethnic Han Chinese, became the regent to the Northern Zhou court, his daughter was the Empress Dowager, her stepson, Emperor Jing of Northern Zhou, was a child. After crushing an army in the eastern provinces, Yang Jian usurped the throne to become Emperor Wen of Sui. While the Duke of Sui when serving at the Zhou court, where the character "Sui 隨" means "to follow" and implies loyalty, Emperor Wen created the unique character "Sui", morphed from the character of his former title, as the name of his newly founded dynasty.
In a bloody purge, he had fifty-nine princes of the Zhou royal family eliminated, yet became known as the "Cultured Emperor". Emperor Wen reclaimed his Han surname of Yang. Having won the support of Confucian scholars who held power in previous Han dynasties, Emperor Wen initiated a series of reforms aimed at strengthening his empire for the wars that would reunify China. In his campaign for southern conquest, Emperor Wen assembled thousands of boats to confront the naval forces of the Chen dynasty on the Yangtze River; the largest of these ships were tall, having five layered decks and the capacity for 800 non-crew personnel. They were outfitted with six 50-foot-long booms that were used to swing and damage enemy ships, or to pin them down so that Sui marine troops could use act-and-board techniques. Besides employing Xianbei and other Chinese ethnic groups for the fight against Chen, Emperor Wen employed the service of people from southeastern Sichuan, which Sui had conquered. In 588, the Sui had amassed 518,000 troops along the northern bank of the Yangtze River, stretching from Sichuan to the East China Sea.
The Chen dynasty could not withstand such an assault. By 589, Sui troops entered the last emperor of Chen surrendered; the city was razed to the ground, while Sui troops escorted Chen nobles back north, where the northern aristocrats became fascinated with everything the south had to provide culturally and intellectually. Although Emperor Wen was famous for bankrupting the state treasury with warfare and construction projects, he made many improvements to infrastructure during his early reign, he established granaries as sources of food and as a means to regulate market prices from the taxation of crops, much like the earlier Han dynasty. The large agricultural surplus supported rapid growth of population to a historical peak, only surpassed at the zenith of the Tang Dynasty more than a century later; the state capital of Chang'an, while situated in the militarily secure heartland of Guanzhong, was remote from the economic centers to the east and south of the empire. Emperor Wen in
Baekje was a kingdom located in southwestern Korea. It was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Silla. Baekje was founded at Wiryeseong. Baekje, like Goguryeo, claimed to succeed Buyeo, a state established in present-day Manchuria around the time of Gojoseon's fall. Baekje alternately battled and allied with Goguryeo and Silla as the three kingdoms expanded control over the peninsula. At its peak in the 4th century, Baekje controlled most of the western Korean peninsula, as far north as Pyongyang, may have held territories in China, such as in Liaoxi, though this view is controversial, it became a significant regional sea power, with political and trade relations with Japan. Baekje was a great maritime power. In 660 it was defeated, by an alliance of Silla and the Chinese Tang Dynasty, submitted to Unified Silla. Baekje was founded in 18 BC by King Onjo, who led a group of people from Goguryeo south to the Han River basin. According to the Chinese Records of the Three Kingdoms, during the Samhan period, one of the chiefdoms of the Mahan confederacy was called Baekje.
The Samguk Sagi provides a detailed account of Baekje's founding. Jumong had left his son Yuri in Buyeo when he left that kingdom to establish the new kingdom of Goguryeo. Jumong became Divine King Dongmyeong, had two more sons with So Seo-no, Onjo and Biryu; when Yuri arrived in Goguryeo, Jumong promptly made him the crown prince. Realizing Yuri would become the next king, So Seo-no left Goguryeo, taking her two sons Biryu and Onjo south to found their own kingdoms with their people, along with ten vassals, she is remembered as a key figure in the founding of both Baekje. Onjo settled in Wiryeseong, called his country Sipje, while Biryu settled in Michuhol, against the vassals' advice; the salty water and marshes in Michuhol made settlement difficult, while the people of Wiryeseong lived prosperously. Biryu went to his brother Onjo, asking for the throne of Sipje; when Onjo refused, Biryu lost. In shame, Biryu committed suicide, his people moved to Wiryeseong, where King Onjo welcomed them and renamed his country Baekje.
King Onjo moved the capital from the south to the north of the Han river, south again all within present Seoul, under pressure from other Mahan states. King Gaeru is believed to have moved the capital north of the river to Bukhansanseong in 132 in present-day Goyang to the northwest of Seoul. Through the early centuries of the Common Era, sometimes called the Proto–Three Kingdoms Period, Baekje gained control over the other Mahan tribes. During the reign of King Goi, Baekje became a full-fledged kingdom, as it continued consolidating the Mahan confederacy. In 249, according to the ancient Japanese text Nihonshoki, Baekje's expansion reached the Gaya confederacy to its east, around the Nakdong River valley. Baekje is first described in Chinese records as a kingdom in 345; the first diplomatic missions from Baekje reached Japan around 367. King Geunchogo expanded Baekje's territory to the north through war against Goguryeo, while annexing the remaining Mahan societies in the south. During Geunchogo's reign, the territories of Baekje included most of the western Korean Peninsula, in 371, Baekje defeated Goguryeo at Pyongyang.
Baekje continued substantial trade with Goguryeo, adopted Chinese culture and technology. Buddhism became the official state religion in 384. Baekje became a sea power and continued mutual goodwill relationships with the Japanese rulers of the Kofun period, transmitting continental cultural influences to Japan; the Chinese writing system, advanced pottery, ceremonial burial, other aspects of culture were introduced by aristocrats, artisans and monks throughout their relationship. During this period, the Han River basin remained the heartland of the country. In the 5th century, Baekje retreated under the southward military threat of Goguryeo, in 475, the Seoul region fell to Goguryeo. Baekje's capital was located at Ungjin from 475 to 538. Isolated in mountainous terrain, the new capital was secure against the north but disconnected from the outside world, it was closer to Silla than Wiryeseong had been, a military alliance was forged between Silla and Baekje against Goguryeo. Most maps of the Three Kingdoms period show Baekje occupying the Chungcheong and Jeolla provinces, the core of the country in the Ungjin and Sabi periods.
In 538, King Seong moved the capital to Sabi, rebuilt his kingdom into a strong state. From this time, the official name of the country was Nambuyeo, a reference to Buyeo to which Baekje traced its origins; the Sabi Period witnessed the flowering of Baekje culture, alongside the growth of Buddhism. Under pressure from Goguryeo to the north and Silla to the east, Seong sought to strengthen Baekje's relationship with China; the location of Sabi, on the navigable Geum River, made contact with China much easier, both trade and diplomacy flourished during his reign and continuing on into the 7th century. In the 7th century, with the growing influence of Silla in the southern and central Korean peninsula, Baekje began its decline. In 660, the coalition troops of Silla and Tang of China attacked Ba