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School: Michigan State University
Department: OTHER
Course: Asia and the World (I)
Professor: H. wang
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: IAH 204
Cost: 50
Name: IAH 204 Exam 1 study guide
Description: All study guide questions answered
Uploaded: 03/28/2016
15 Pages 5 Views 10 Unlocks

IAH 204 – “Asia and the World” Midterm study guide Adam Liter Curt Sebastian

how to use the classics of poetry?

Fall 2015 Last updated: October 5, 2015

This study guide for the midterm includes topics and sample  questions. Please note that the questions listed are just a  sample of the types of issues you should be able to write about on the exam. There are just a few suggestions to help you  think about some of the issues we have discussed. This study  guide is not a comprehensive list of all possible exam  questions; nor are all possible issues in the course raised here. 1 Early China

 • The Classics of Poetry – What is it?  

∙ Collection of just over three hundred poems from the Zhou dynasty  ∙

∙ Book of Songs is an anthology of 305 ancient poems edited by Confucius o A claasic and required reading for for the literati  

∙ The collection has been in circulation since the 6th century bc ∙ Ritual hyms and ballands to date back to the beginning of the Zhou dynasty

what is daoism?

– How is it used?  

∙ It was used as a cultural encyclopedia across the social divide b/w the high &  low e.g. text, manual, courtship

∙ Temple Hymns of Zhou were used for ritual to address the founders of the  Xhou dynasty  

– What is shared by different poems in this anthology?  


∙ Folk Songs  

∙ Popular Songs

∙ Odes of the Temple/ Atair  

∙ Elegance

∙ Great Odes

Subject Matters

∙ Love, war, hardship, of agricultural life  

∙ Style: straightforward in immediate imagery & musical nature  ∙ Mode: self- expressive

• What is the difference between the meanings of the poems  and the Mao Commentaries (Han Dynasty) on the Classic of  Poetry? Please use the individual poem(s) as your example(s).  The Osprey  

The scholarly versions is the translation by Bernhard Kalgreen

∙ Kwan- mimic sound of osprey  

what is critical implications?

∙ Lovely is the good girl whom a gentleman desires

∙ Controversy on the interpretation of “The Osprey”  

o Confucian scholars interpret the bird as a symbol for the royal king in  political allegories If you want to learn more check out ksimo

∙ What is the desire of the poet?

∙ Does the poem open the door for the claim to regulate/ influence the world?  CP13

∙ What is the reason to attach the poem to royalty?

The Mao Commentary  

“Great Preface”

∙ Over-politicize the poem

∙ Regulate the world/relationship with the virtue of the Queen Consort ∙ The poem does not open the door for this allegorical assertion ∙ Possible reasons:

o Canonization of Confucian thought

o Make the love poem respectable

∙ The impact

o The Mao renditions became the politically correct reading of the Classic of Poetry during the Han dynasty

o The allegorical imposition represses diverse voices


Open Ended approach vs the closed designation

∙ Significance of the critical debate

o The interactions b/w defiant undercurrents and the dominant powers  have given rise to renewals of literary creations

• What are differences between the Confucian school and the  Daoist school?  


“Let the ruler govern as he should, and the minister serve as he should. Let the  father regulate as he should, and the son act as a son should” ibid, 12:11

∙ Filial piety in the family; loyal submission to the ruler in the state:  ∙ The social order is hierarchical as described in the analogy b/w a family and a state.  

∙ Priority of family over the state (21/31)  

Redefining the concept of “gentleman” nobility

∙ Nobility is acquired through personal cultivation 21/31

A. Advocate character over birth: against the hereditary privilege  B. Cultivate oneself in the here and now:  We also discuss several other topics like pos 2041 midterm study guide

“What you do not want yourself, do not do to others” 12:2

C. Moral behavior is reciprocal 21/31

1. On Learning:  

“To learn, and at due times  

Learning and Thinking  

``When I hold up one corner of a square to anyone and he does not come back with  the other three, I will not bother to go over the point again”  

Learning without thinking is labor lost; thinking without learning is perilous” 2:15  ∙ Learning and thinking are complementary:  


∙ Focus on the relational and individual concerns.

∙ Political ideal is not superior to everyday preference

The mandate of Heaven  Don't forget about the age old question of anth 307 class notes

o Heaven oversees a moral order in which the objective of a ruler is  to provide well-being and prosperity for his people 44/115

The kingly government:

o Win the hearts and minds of common people instead of being  obsessed with profit  

o Share the joy with the people  

o Ruler is not above the law  

Totalitarian Government

o Rulers are also defined by their actions

o Ministers should remonstrate the corrupt ruler, and withdraw from  his court if he does not listen  


The critical implications:  

∙ A corrupt ruler disqualifies himself to rule.  

o A ruler is not above the law

∙ The political ideal of individual scholars is to engage in social actions

∙ Individual actions define who they are


∙ Challenge the notion of Mencius:

o The nature of man is evil

∙ Man’s inborn nature is to seek for profit

∙ People are prone to violence

∙ His goodness is a result of his active molding through self-cultivation  

On Government  

∙ Was a magistrate  

∙ Emphasize social control & strict law

∙ A ruler is responsible to transform people with laws and punishments  ∙ Disorder is a result that man does not follow the moral principle  ∙ His thought has a considerable impact on the Qin and Han dynasties

What are differences within the same school of Confucian  thought?  

Mencius 371-289 BC

∙ Human nature is originally good  

∙ Uncalculated compassion

∙ Motivations of actors in interactions 44/114

∙ People can be corrupted unless the strive to preserve their innate  goodness If you want to learn more check out ebru bekyel

∙ Individual capacity to improve oneself through self-cultivation 44/115 How do these philosophers convey their ideas?  

Mencius is a record of conversations between Mencius and the rulers of the feudal  states, disiples, and political adversaries  

Xunzi composed essays that reflected topics that concerned him such as learning,  self-cultivation, government, military, etc.  

• What are the major faults of the Qin dynasty as exemplified  in The Faults of the Qin?  

∙ What were the key reasons for the Qin Empire to fall?

∙ 1. Rulers lack humaneness and rightness  

∙ 2. Preserving power differs for seizing power

∙ 3. Repressing diverse opinions in counter productive

∙ The men of vision would not help the ruler

o The canonization of Confucian thought rendered their thought  systems marginal

• What is the relationship between the literati and the rulers  as discussed in the class?  

Complex relations b/w rulers and Literati  

∙ The monarch provided them with prestige and power CP 57 ∙ They supplied knowledge to consolidate the state

∙ The Tension:  

o The cost for literati to be assimilated into the political structure is the  loss of their independent base in the public space

o The individual resistance against the exercise of sectioned violence of  the power broker in the public and cultural arena If you want to learn more check out What is the annual growth rate?
Don't forget about the age old question of eurr

• Describe the Grand Historian (Sima Qian): what was his goal  in life and what dilemma did he face?  

His goal was to finish his fathers task of compiling the history of China from the  earliest times down to the present  

What does he try to achieve?

∙ Compile neglected knowledge of former times CP 66

∙ Draw the principles behind the success and defeat

∙ Explored the interactions in power politics

∙ The irony: his words got him in trouble and got him respect  Impart tradition  

Provide moral examples

What are the reasons for the Grand Historian to defend Li Lang?

∙ A brave general without sufficient troops; soldiers used up all arrows but the  relief never came CP 65

∙ How to view his defeat in the context of his life contributions CP 65 ∙ Intention was to set the Emperor’s mind to rest and stop malicious plots CP  65

Reasons to choose life

∙ The difference lies in what is done by dying… Courage and fearfulness  depend on the situation..” CP 65

∙ His refusal to accept the accusation CP 64

∙ He could not leave the work of personal importance unfinished CP 66 ∙ His independent writing would validate his character CP 66

• What is important about the Records of the Grand Historian?  ∙ To impart tradition and provide edifying moral examples from the classics CP  68

∙ Record:  

o Illustrate moral principles

o How do they expect to achieve this goal?  

o Deduce the underlying principles and descry the pattern hidden  beneath the events  

Re-define historical writings

∙ Accentuate the personal experience of individual characters in the past ∙ Focus on historical figures who dare to interact with doctrinaire powers o Highlight specific characteristics of the historical characters

o Inject his view into descriptions and comments

∙ Emphasize the choice made by courageous contenders

• How did the Retainer outwit the king of the Qin State?  o There’s a blemish on the Jade  

o Smash my head on the jade  

∙ What is the reason for the Retainer to ask the king of Qin to play the  pitcher? CP 76

o To humiliate the King

∙ How does the Retainer threaten the King of Qin? CP 77

o He could smash the king’s head

∙ Why does the king of Qin give in?

o He didn’t want to die

∙ What does this episode mean?

• Is courage sufficient for the Retainer to defeat the King of  Qin State?  

o One can defeat the enemy if Courageous, intelligent and lvl the  playing field  

• What renders the Retainer outstanding in the episode when  he tries to avoid the General?  

∙ The character of the retainer is not corrupted by the power he has  gained, nor is the Grand Historian embittered by his misfortune.  ∙ The individuality of the Retainer outshines the powerful King  ∙ The independent stance of the Grand Historian in power politics

• What is the significance of the story Bian He’s Jade?  ∙ What can we learn from the story

o Can’t judge a book by his cover

o How to view the popular view

o Open-minded

• What is the key significance of the canonization of Confucian  school of thought in literature?  

Canonization of Confucian thought

∙ The imperial academy (124 BC)

o Confucian classics became the orthodox scripture  

o Internal changes within the Confucian school  

A) Systematic  

B) Conservative  

a. Limits of criticism power brokers

b. The change in the larger picture

c. The canonization of Confucian thought rendered their thought  systems marginal

• How do you describe the tensions between the ruling  orthodoxy and the literary resistance with examples? ∙ The independent stance of the Grand Historian in power politics  ∙ Explored the interactions in power politics

Complex relations b/w rulers and Literati  

∙ The monarch provided them with prestige and power CP 57 ∙ They supplied knowledge to consolidate the state

∙ The Tension:  

o The cost for literati to be assimilated into the political structure is the  loss of their independent base in the public space

o The individual resistance against the exercise of sectioned violence of  the power broker in the public and cultural arena

 Traditional China

• Explain Cao Pi’s views on literature.  

Crowned Prince

o Literati often use their own merits as the ground to attack others  o It is impossible for anyone to be accomplished in all styles in literature

 Examine materials with our own facilities rather than bow to  reputations CP 96

 Understand literary works are similar at the core but different in  details  

 Possession of a particular skill does not authorize one to look  down upon others  

View ourselves and others on equal terms  

The importance of literary activities  

CP 96

The literary engagement is comparable to that of governing a state, for literature  lives on to eternity  

Misfortune did not deter the one from writing, nor prosperity the other  

• Discuss Tao Qian’s writing in the context of his attitude  toward life.  

Master Five Willows  

o Personal life, tended to the garden  

 Choose to live happy life  

 Expressed his desire to live in the carefree kingdom which is  very different than the reality he lives in  

∙ Carefree and the happy modes that the social reality lacks in the historical  moment

Recap: what it means to be happy, and how an individual can chose to live to his heart’s content in social chaos.  

∙ The personal choice is not determined by sociopolitical reality  ∙ The carefree and happy modes in the allegory are what the society lacks in  the historical period  

• Discuss the different roles of poetry in society during this  period.

Literary Developments in Tang

∙ Poetic compositions  

o Included in the metropolitan examinations  

o Hope to impress influential patrons  

o Occasional writings as personal exchanges or expressions

 • Between Li Bai and Du Fu, who had a more playful,  optimistic style of poetry (rather than misery or self-pity)?  ∙ Li Bai 701-762 Douist in nature – conventional  

o Unrestrained to the traditional themes and modes

o Sunny outlook expressed in his poetry in spite of vicissitudes in his life ∙ Not embittered

∙ Enjoy life while you can  

Du Fu  

∙ Sage of Poetry – innovative –people weren’t used to it  

o Intensified expressions of miseries depicted in his poetry  

• Legend, Ying-ying’s story, by Yuan Zhen – Discuss some of  the key themes and issues in this story.  

• Why are many poets and independent thinkers unsuccessful  in national examinations and often even banished from  government positions?  

These men have the intellect to examine the real impact of the culture they live in  and they cannot keep themselves from having it show up in their writing. Someone  interprets it as a non-conformist approach and so they get exciled. Also they have  ideas that go outside of the norm and what is expected from them during the  examinations.  

Li Bai  

 He describes sages of old” didn’t think of them highly”  

∙ They were not impressive  

Du Fu  

– innovative –people weren’t used to it  

o Unsuccessful in exams  

o The aging self as the embodiment of the ruins of the nation? ∙ Relate to the ruined empire  

o Creates a dark picture of the social reality  

Su Shi  

∙ The man:  

o Ranked second place out of hundreds of candidates  

o Recommended in a special exam in 1061

o Wrote series to citizen the reformer  

o Demoted to minor positions and exile to Hainan Island

• What are the stylistic characteristics of the Song lyrics?  ∙ The primary features:

o The verses of uneven length with certain rhythm  

o Rooted in the popular culture

∙ Two Major Styles  

o “Heroic Mode”: bold and extravagant  

o “Subtle mode”: delicate sensibility  

• What are the problems with Confucianism according to Zhu  Xi?  

The emphases  

∙ Stress the correct interpretation of the classics for state craft applications ∙ Inward-looking to examine himself and outward-looking to investigate  the universe

∙ The man is the decisive link between his personal word and the cosmos

What are his strategies to change it?  

o The Goal:  

 Redefine and revitalize Confucian heritage  

o Clean the mainstream by throwing out what they believed to be  non-Confucian elements  

 Didn’t have a concrete idea or guideline to go off of  


• Why are many lyrics of this period about drinking? What  might be the key for the authors to present themselves as  drunk in the poems, i.e., how might such poems have helped  the authors to express their views on the society with  impunity?  

Xin Qiji “Moon of the Western River”

o Used humor to talk about the sad things

o He is not innocent in this playful mode

 He knows what he is trying to say  

 He felt that ancient books are useless

 He could say things that he wouldn’t say normally  

∙ Drinking is used as a metaphorical means and a means of giving excusing  the non-confirmative thoughts of the time by saying they were drunk

• During this period, in what ways did elite and popular culture merge together?  

Vernacular literature  

∙ Fictions written in the Ming dynasty

∙ The spoken language of everyday life as compared with the literary  language  

∙ Elite Involvement:

o Concerns with economic terms:

What changes were made to the examination system? o Changed to a highly stylized form  

o Could buy your way in to take the exam

o Poetic compositions  

o Included in the metropolitan examinations  

o Empress Wu in the Tang Dynasty saw to it that undistinqished men with High  talent rose to high positions in the government.  

o Literary examination  

 Based on composition of essays and poetic expositions to set  topics

Qing Dynasty  

Taking over Confucian thought

1. The right to rule

2. Support the examination system  

a. Imperial patronage

i. Complete dictionary of four categories

b. The counter argument

i. When court organized scholar officials to edit the publications to  get rid of the unorthodox material  

ii. If the work isn’t in the system it will be destroyed  

 • Wu Chengen, The Journey to the West, Chapter 99 – What is  the mission of the Tang Monk and his three disciples?  o Their mission was to acquire the scriptures from Western Heaven and  so the robbed heaven and Earth of their creative powers

– How does this story illustrate the philosophy that nothing in  life is perfect?  

o “After all… even Heaven and Earth are not perfect. This sutra may  have been perfect, but a part of it has been torn off, which is a  

condition in correspondence with the profound mystery of non perfection”

o They layed the scripture on the rock to dry it out

o Some was stuck on the rock  

o Monk (master said that we have been very careless we should have  been more vigilant)

o Monkey’s reply – people and everyone is imperfect  

• Classical tale: The Courtesan and the Jewel Box – How do the  two main characters seem to be influenced by Confucian  thought (Mr. Li and the Courtesan, Decima)?  

o Li was very Confucian in that he was worried about his relationship with his  father.  

o Putting your own gratification second to the relationship you have with your  family is Confucian. Li's actions were based on Sun's promise that it would  restore peace to his family

o She couldn’t stand on her own anymore because she devoted herself  to Li and once he betrayed her then she lost her independence  o The betrayal is very damaging  

o Very difficult for her to give up the idea that she can move on and give up Li o Decima was truly faithful to Li but she gave up her independence and depend ended in Li  

• Wu Jingzi, The Scholars, Chapter 3, – What was the author’s  main objective for this novel?  

o Was a savagely satirical portrait of the late imperial society, its hypocrisy and its failure of its values

– In chapter 3 how did Butcher Hu’s opinion of his son-in-law  change?  

o When Fan Jin passed the provincial examination he regarded him as someone  with potential and could achieve a high rank and position within the society.  

– What might be the reason for him to change?  

o Because Fan Jin could accumulate some wealth for the family when they were in grave trouble he regarded Fan Jin with more respect and he even called  him an official and one of the stars in Heaven. Whomever hits one of the stars in heaven would be carried away by the King of Hell.  

• The Painted Skin  

– What is the central idea of the story?  

o Themes that I identify in the author’s work is that you should not trust the look of a  person because they may not seem to be the person you think they are and Another  theme is that humans follow their desires and this was conveyed when the wife followed  her desire to bring her husband back even when that meant humiliating herself for his  resurrection. 

o – Explain how the characters of the girl and the beggar  are related to the illustration of this idea.

o this was conveyed to the reader by the beautiful woman turning out to be a demon  underneath the woman’s paint. 

o The beggar was hideous but he turned out that he helped the wife even though his  appearance was ugly and disheveled  

3 Construction of Indigenous Japanese Culture • Kojiki – What was the purpose of Kojiki?

The political emphasis: it is the courts attempt to justify the imperial rule (of  Yamato) with mythical origins so as to reconcile subordinate groups  

Claim imperial legitimacy

 – What is its function in Japan’s nation-building?

The goals:  

∙ Japan will become unified  

∙ Establish a legitimate authority  

∙ Synthesize both the Confucian and the Buddhist thought in nation building  ∙ Win rival clans in power politics

 • 17-Article Constitution – How did the Constitution integrate  Buddhism and Confucianism?

1. The Inclusive approach:

“The Budda, the Law… It is the law honored by all… Few men are utterly bad; with  instruction they can follow it”  

∙ Reasons to incorporate Buddhist Thought  

o Used Buddhist thought to include the demographic

o All individuals have the potential to become enlightened  

o Include everyone in the state building

Confucian thought

Social Harmony

1. Set up a hierarchical order

Harmony is valued… When those above are harmonious and those below are  conciliatory CP 350

“The lord is Heaven, the vessel is Earth, Therefore is it that when the lord speaks,  the vassal listens, the superior acts, the inferior yields compliance

Missing part of Confucian thought is that the ruler can be taken out of the throne  a. Decorum:  

“The ministers and the functionaries should make ritual decorum their leading  principle… If the superiors do not behave with decorum, the inferior are disorderly”  

b. Individual responsibility  

“Let every man have his own charge, and let not the spheres of duty be confused. When wise men are entrusted with office, the sound of praise arises… Few are  born with knowledge: wisdom is the product of earnest meditation”

∙ Personal responsibility  

o Let men of ability to take the office

c. Trustworthiness

“Trustworthiness is the foundation of right. In everything let there be  trustworthiness. For in this there surely consist the good and the bad, success  and failure. If the lord and the vassal trust each other, what is there which cannot be accomplished?”  

∙ Trust plays a key role  


“In all things whether great or small, find the right man, and they will surely be well  managed… In this way will the state be lasting and the temples of the Earth and the grain will be free of danger.”  

∙ Acceptance and assimilation


– How did this differ from the Chinese case?  

• During the time of Saicho, why did the emperor move the  capital from Nara to Mt. Hiei?  

∙ Restore sovereign power  

∙ Need the Buddhist support for the reforms he intended to effect  ∙ Why Saicho was chosen?

o The shared dislike of the Buddhist sects.  

• Explain the significance of Saicho’s analogy of the lotus  blossom in relation to everyday experience.  

∙ Preached an inclusive enlightenment  

∙ Lotus quote CP 368

o there is limitless potential in everyone, we are not limited by the for fathers

o Everyone has the potential to grow, the key is whether we want to  succeed  

∙ Everyone can gain enlightenment if there is the desire  

∙ Everyone can rise above the problem, because there is unlimited potential for individuals to grow.  

• What does the Zen master Dogen mean by saying that  “people [...] bind themselves to the world” (CP 381)?

It is not that the world binds people… it is people that bind themselves to the world. Delusion doesn’t come from the world itself but from ideas and attitudes regarding  the world, from people’s relation to the world. What can be done about the world  calls the ? of what people think and feel the world to be  

Our own minds are the ones holding us back and you can achieve

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