The history of Asia can be seen as the collective history of several distinct peripheral coastal regions such as East AsiaSouth AsiaSoutheast Asia and the Middle East linked by the interior mass of the Eurasian steppe. The coastal periphery was the home to some of the world's earliest known civilizations and religions, with each of the three regions developing early civilizations around fertile river valleys. These valleys were fertile because the soil there was rich and could bear many root crops.
Long-distance trade played a major role in the cultural, religious, and artistic exchanges that took place between the major centers of civilization in Europe and Asia during antiquity. Some of these trade routes had been in use for centuries, but by the beginning of the first century A. The trade routes served principally to transfer raw materials, foodstuffs, and luxury goods from areas with surpluses to others where they were in short supply.
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The East Asian region is not uniform and each of its countries has a different national history, but scholars maintain that the region is also characterized by a distinct pattern of historical development. The study of East Asian history as an area study is a part of the rise of East Asian studies as an academic field in western nations. The teaching and studying of East Asian history began in the West during the late 19th century.
This in itself is discouraging to the student, particularly if we think of history as a baffling catalogue of who begat somebody, who succeeded somebody, who slew somebody, with only an occasional concubine thrown in for human interest. But taken in another way, Chinese history can be made to throw sharp lights and revealing shadows on the story of all mankind—from its most primitive beginnings, some of which were in Asia, to its highest point of development in philosophy and religion, literature and art. In art and philosophy, many people think, no culture has ever surpassed that of China in its great creative periods.
With an OverDrive account, you can save your favorite libraries for at-a-glance information about availability. Find out more about OverDrive accounts. Since it was first published more than forty years ago, Sources of Japanese TraditionVolume 2, has been considered the authoritative sourcebook for readers and scholars interested in Japan from the eighteenth century to the post-World War II period.
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The diet of ancient Japan was heavily influenced by its geography as an archipelago, foodstuffs and eating habits imported from mainland Asia, religious beliefs, and an appreciation for the aesthetic appearance of dishes, not just the taste. Millet was replaced by rice as the main staple food from c. A wide variety of fruit and vegetables were available while tea and sake were the popular drinks, at least for the aristocracy.
For almost fifty years, Sources of Japanese Tradition has been the single most valuable collection of English-language readings on Japan. Unrivalled in its wide selection of source materials on history, society, politics, education, philosophy, and religion, the two-volume textbook is a crucial resource for students, scholars, and readers seeking an introduction to Japanese civilization. Originally published in a single hardcover book, Volume 2 is now available as an abridged, two-part paperback.
China is an extremely large country — first in population and fifth in area, according to the CIA — and the customs and traditions of its people vary by geography and ethnicity. About 1. The largest group is the Han Chinese, with about million people. Other groups include the Tibetans, the Mongols, the Manchus, the Naxi, and the Hezhen, which is smallest group, with fewer than 2, people.