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Journey to the West Journey to the West is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. It was written by Wu Cheng'en in the 16th century during the Ming Dynasty. In English-speaking countries, the tale is also often known simply as Monkey. Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/D Battery This was one title used for a popular, abridged translation by Arthur Waley. The Waley translation has also been published asAdventures of the Monkey God, Monkey: [A] Folk Novel of China, and The Adventures of Monkey, and in a further abridged version for children, Dear Monkey. Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/G Battery The novel is a fictionalised account of the legendary pilgrimage to India of the Buddhist monk Xuanzang, and loosely based its source from the historic text Great Tang Records on the Western Regions and traditional folk tales. The monk travelled to the "Western Regions" during the Tang Dynasty, to obtain sacred texts (s?tras). Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/P Battery The bodhisattva Avalokite?vara (Guanyin), on instruction from the Buddha, gives this task to the monk and his three protectors in the form of disciples — namely Sun Wukong,Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing — together with a dragon prince who acts as Xuanzang's steed, a white horse. These four characters have agreed to help Xuanzang as an atonement for past sins. Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/W Battery Journey to the West has a strong background in Chinese folk religion, Chinese mythology and value systems; the pantheon of Taoistimmortals and Buddhist bodhisattvas is still reflective of some Chinese religious beliefs today. Sony VAIO VPCP115KG Battery Enduringly popular, the tale is at once an adventure story, a spring of spiritual insight, and an extended allegory in which the group of pilgrims journeying toward India represents individuals journeying toward nirvana. Sony VAIO VPCP116KG Battery Journey to the West is thought to have been written and published anonymously by Wu Cheng'en in the 16th century.[1] At the time, the trend in writing was to write in classical Chinese, imitating the literature of the Han and Tang periods. Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/B Battery Wu, influenced heavily by popular stories and folk tales since his childhood, chose instead to write this novel in vernacular Chinese, the "vulgar" language used in the everyday lives of common people, publishing it anonymously because of the ill repute such works engendered.[1] Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/D Battery The people of Wu's hometown, however, attributed it early on to Wu, and kept records to that effect as early as 1625; thus, Journey to the West was one of the earliest Chinese novels for which the authorship is officially documented.[1] The novel was first published in print in the 1590s. Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/G Battery Some scholars still have doubts about the novel's authorship.[2][3] Translator W.J.F. Jenner, for example, points out that although Wu had knowledge of Chinese bureaucracy and politics, the novel itself does not include any political details that "a fairly well-read commoner could not have known."[2] Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/P Battery The question of authorship is further complicated by the preexistence of much of the novel's material in the form of folk tales.[2] In any case, Journey to the West has become the authoritative version of these stories,[2] and Wu's name has become inextricably linked with the book.[3] Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/W Battery Synopsis The novel has 100 chapters. These can be divided into four very unequal parts. The first, which includes chapters 1–7, is really a self-contained introduction to the main story. It deals entirely with the earlier exploits of Sun Wukong, Sony VAIO VPCP118JC Battery a monkey born from a stone nourished by the Five Elements, who learns the art of the Tao, 72 polymorphic transformations, combat, and secrets of immortality, and through guile and force makes a name for himself, Qitian Dasheng (simplified Chinese: ????; traditional Chinese: ????), or "Great Sage Equal to Heaven". Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/B Battery His powers grow to match the forces of all of the Eastern (Taoist) deities, and the prologue culminates in Sun's rebellion against Heaven, during a time when he garnered a post in the celestial bureaucracy. Hubris proves his downfall when the Buddha manages to trap him under a mountain, sealing the mountain with a talisman for five hundred years. Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/P Battery Only following this introductory story is the nominal main character, Xuanzang (Tang Sanzang), introduced. Chapters 8–12 provide his early biography and the background to his great journey. Dismayed that "the land of the South knows only greed, hedonism, promiscuity, and sins", Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/W Battery the Buddha instructs the bodhisattvaAvalokite?vara (Guanyin) to search Tang China for someone to take the Buddhist sutras of "transcendence and persuasion for good will" back to the East. Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/B Battery Part of the story here also relates to how Xuanzang becomes a monk (as well as revealing his past life as a disciple of the Buddha named "Golden Cicada" (???) and comes about being sent on this pilgrimage by Emperor Taizong, who previously escaped death with the help of an official in the Underworld). Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/D Battery The third and longest section of the work is chapters 13–99, an episodic adventure story in which Xuanzang sets out to bring back Buddhist scriptures from Leiyin Temple on Vulture Peak in India, but encounters various evils along the way. Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/G Battery The section is set in the sparsely-populated lands along the Silk Road between China and India, including Xinjiang, Turkestan, and Afghanistan. The geography described in the book is, however, almost entirely fantastic; once Xuanzang departs Chang'an, the Tang capital, and crosses the frontier (somewhere in Gansu province), Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/P Battery he finds himself in a wilderness of deep gorges and tall mountains, inhabited by demons and animal spirits, who regard him as a potential meal (since his flesh was believed to give immortality to whoever ate it), with the occasional hidden monastery or royal city-state amidst the harsh setting. Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/W Battery Episodes consist of 1–4 chapters and usually involve Xuanzang being captured and having his life threatened while his disciples try to find an ingenious (and often violent) way of liberating him. Although some of Xuanzang's predicaments are political and involve ordinary human beings, Sony VAIO VPCP119JC Battery they more frequently consist of run-ins with various demons, many of whom turn out to be earthly manifestations of heavenly beings (whose sins will be negated by eating the flesh of Xuanzang) or animal-spirits with enough Taoist spiritual merit to assume semi-human forms. Sony VAIO VPCP119JC/BI Battery Chapters 13–22 do not follow this structure precisely, as they introduce Xuanzang's disciples, who, inspired or goaded by Guanyin, meet and agree to serve him along the way in order to atone for their sins in their past lives. Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/B Battery The first is Sun Wukong, or Monkey, whose given name loosely means "awakened to emptiness" (see the character's main page for a more complete description), trapped by the Buddha for defying Heaven. He appears right away in chapter 13. The most intelligent and violent of the disciples, Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/B Battery he is constantly reproved for his violence by Xuanzang. Ultimately, he can only be controlled by a magic gold ring that Guanyin has placed around his head, which causes him unbearable headaches when Xuanzang chants the Ring Tightening Mantra. Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/D Battery The second, appearing in chapter 19, is Zhu Bajie, literally "Eight Precepts Pig", sometimes translated as Pigsy or just Pig. He was previously the Marshal of the Heavenly Canopy, a commander of Heaven's naval forces, and was banished to the mortal realm for flirting with the moon goddess Chang'e. Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/D Battery A reliable fighter, he is characterised by his insatiable appetites for food and sex, and is constantly looking for a way out of his duties, which causes significant conflict with Sun Wukong. Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/G Battery The third, appearing in chapter 22, is the river ogre Sha Wujing, also translated as Friar Sand or Sandy. He was previously the celestial Curtain Lifting General, and was banished to the mortal realm for dropping (and shattering) a crystal goblet of the Queen Mother of the West. He is a quiet but generally dependable character, who serves as the straight foil to the comic relief of Sun and Zhu. Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/G Battery The fourth is the third son of the Dragon King of the West Sea, who was sentenced to death for setting fire to his father's great pearl. He was saved by Guanyin from execution to stay and wait for his call of duty. He appears first in chapter 15, but has almost no speaking role, as throughout the story he mainly appears as a horse that Xuanzang rides on. Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/P Battery Chapter 22, where Sha Wujing is introduced, also provides a geographical boundary, as the river that the travelers cross brings them into a new "continent". Chapters 23–86 take place in the wilderness, and consist of 24 episodes of varying length, each characterised by a different magical monster or evil magician. Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/W Battery There are impassably wide rivers, flaming mountains, a kingdom with an all-female population, a lair of seductive spider spirits, and many other fantastic scenarios. Throughout the journey, the four brave disciples have to fend off attacks on their master and teacher Xuanzang from various monsters and calamities. Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/W Battery It is strongly suggested that most of these calamities are engineered by fate and/or the Buddha, as, while the monsters who attack are vast in power and many in number, no real harm ever comes to the four travellers. Sony VAIO VPCP11Z9E/B Battery Some of the monsters turn out to be escaped celestial beasts belonging to bodhisattvas or Taoist sages and deities. Towards the end of the book there is a scene where the Buddha literally commands the fulfillment of the last disaster, because Xuanzang is one short of the 81 tribulations he needs to face before attaining Buddhahood. Sony VAIO VPCS111FM/S Battery In chapter 87, Xuanzang finally reaches the borderlands of India, and chapters 87–99 present magical adventures in a somewhat more mundane (though still exotic) setting. At length, after a pilgrimage said to have taken fourteen years (the text actually only provides evidence for nine of those years, Sony VAIO VPCS115EC Battery but presumably there was room to add additional episodes) they arrive at the half-real, half-legendary destination of Vulture Peak, where, in a scene simultaneously mystical and comic, Xuanzang receives the scriptures from the living Buddha. Sony VAIO VPCS115FG Battery Chapter 100, the last of all, quickly describes the return journey to the Tang Empire, and the aftermath in which each traveller receives a reward in the form of posts in the bureaucracy of the heavens. Sony VAIO VPCS117GG Battery Sun Wukong and Xuanzang achieve Buddhahood, Sha Wujing becomes an arhat, the dragon horse is made a n?ga, and Zhu Bajie, whose good deeds have always been tempered by his greed, is promoted to an altar cleanser (i.e. eater of excess offerings at altars).Sony VAIO VPCS117GGB Battery Historical context The classic story of the Journey to the West was based on real events. In real life, Xuanzang (born c. 602 - 664) was a monk at Jingtu Temple in late-Sui Dynasty and early-Tang Dynasty Chang'an. Motivated by the poor quality of Chinese translations of Buddhist scripture at the time, Xuanzang left Chang'an in 629, despite the border being closed at the time due to war with the Göktürks. Sony VAIO VPCS118EC Battery Helped by sympathetic Buddhists, he travelled via Gansu and Qinghai to Kumul (Hami), thence following the Tian Shan mountains to Turpan. He then crossed what are today Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan, into Gandhara, Sony VAIO VPCS119FJ/B Battery reaching India in 630. Xuanzang travelled throughout the Indian subcontinent for the next thirteen years, visiting important Buddhist pilgrimage sites and studying at the ancient university at Nalanda. Sony VAIO VPCS119GC Battery Xuanzang left India in 643 and arrived back in Chang'an in 646 to a warm reception by Emperor Taizong of Tang. He joined Da Ci'en Monastery (Monastery of Great Maternal Grace), where he led the building of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in order to store the scriptures and icons he had brought back from India. Sony VAIO VPCS11AFJ Battery He recorded his journey in the book Great Tang Records on the Western Regions. With the support of the emperor, he established an institute at Yuhua Gong (Palace of the Lustre of Jade) monastery dedicated to translating into Chinese the scriptures he had brought back. Sony VAIO VPCS11AGJ Battery His translation and commentary work established him as the founder of the Dharma character school of Buddhism. Xuanzang died on March 7, 664. The Xingjiao Monastery was established in 669 to house his ashes. Sony VAIO VPCS11AHJ Battery Popular stories of Xuanzang's journey were in existence long before Journey to the West was written. In these versions, dating as far back as the Southern Song Dynasty, a monkey character was already a primary protagonist. Before the Yuan and early Ming dynasties, elements of the Monkey story were already seen. Sony VAIO VPCS11AVJ Battery

Tripitaka or Xuanzang

The monk Xuanzang (also referred to in the story as Tang Sanzang, meaning "Tang Tripitaka Master", with Tang referring to the Tang Dynasty andSanzang referring to the Tripitaka, Sony VAIO VPCS11J7E/B Battery the main categories of texts in the Buddhist canon which is also used as an honorific for some Buddhist monks) is a Buddhist monk who had renounced his family to become a monk from childhood. He is just called Tripitaka in many English versions of the story.Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W Battery He set off for Dahila kingdom (???, an appellation for India in ancient China) to retrieve original Buddhist scriptures for China. Although he is helpless in defending himself, the bodhisattva Avalokite?vara (Guanyin) helps by finding him powerful disciples who aid and protect him on his journey. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E Battery In return, the disciples will receive enlightenment and forgiveness for their sins once the journey is done. Along the way, they help the local inhabitants by defeating various monsters and demons who try to obtain immortality by eating Xuanzang's flesh. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E/B Battery Sun Wukong is the name given to this character by his teacher, Subhuti, the latter part of which means "Awakened to Emptiness" (in the Waley translation, Aware-of-Vacuity); he is called Monkey King. He is born on Flower Fruit Mountain from a stone egg that forms from an ancient rock created by the coupling of Heaven and Earth. Sony VAIO VPCS11X9E/B Battery He first distinguishes himself by bravely entering the Water Curtain Cave on the mountain; for this feat, his monkey tribe gives him the title of "Handsome Monkey King". After angering several gods and coming to the attention of the Jade Emperor, he is given a minor position in heaven as the Keeper of Horses (???) so they can keep an eye on him. Sony VAIO VPCS123FGB Battery This job is a very low position, and when he realises that he is put into such a low position and not considered a full-fledged god, he becomes very angry. Upon returning to his mountain, he puts up a flag and declares himself the "Great Sage Equal to Heaven." Then the Jade Emperor dispatches celestial soldiers to arrest Sun Wukong, but no one succeeds. Sony VAIO VPCS125EC Battery The Jade Emperor has no choice but to appoint him to be the guardian of the heavenly peach garden. The peaches in the garden bear fruit every 3,000-years, eating its flesh will bestow immortality, so Sun Wukong eats one and becomes more powerful and matchless.Sony VAIO VPCS128EC Battery Later, after fairies who come to collect peaches for the heavenly peach banquet inform Sun Wukong he is not invited and make fun of him, he starts causing trouble in Heaven and defeats an army of 100,000 celestial troops, led by the Four Heavenly Kings, Erlang Shen, and Nezha. Sony VAIO VPCS129GC Battery Eventually, the Jade Emperor appeals to the Buddha, who detains Wukong under a mountain called Five Elements Mountain. Sun Wukong is kept under the mountain for 500 years, and cannot escape because of a spell that was put on the mountain. He is later set free when Xuanzang comes upon him during his pilgrimage and accepts him as a disciple. Sony VAIO VPCS12C7E/B Battery His primary weapon is the "Ruyi Jingu Bang", which he can shrink down to the size of a needle and keep in his ear, as well as expand it to gigantic proportions. The rod, originally a pillar supporting the undersea palace of the Dragon King of the East Sea, weighs 18,000 pounds, which he pulls out of its support and swings with ease. Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B Battery The Dragon King had told Sun Wukong he could have the staff if he could lift it, but was angry when the monkey was actually able to pull it out and accused him of being a thief; hence Sun Wukong was insulted, so he demanded a suit of armour and refused to leave until he received one. Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B Battery The Dragon King, unwilling to see a monkey making troubles in his favourite place, also gave him a suit of golden armour. These gifts, combined with his devouring of the peaches of immortality, three jars of elixir, and his time being tempered in Laozi's Eight-Trigram Furnace (he was put in there to be burnt to death, Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/P Battery but instead the furnace gave him a steel-hard body and fiery golden eyes that can see very far and see through any disguise, but his eyes are weak to smoke. He is always able to recognise a demon in disguise, even though the rest of the pilgrimage cannot), makes Sun Wukong the strongest member of the pilgrimage by far. Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/PC Battery Besides these abilities, he can also pluck hairs from his body and blow on them to convert them into whatever he wishes (usually clones of himself to gain a numerical advantage in battle). Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/T Battery Although he is a master of the 72 methods of transformation (?????,[4] such as birds, which would give him the ability to fly, he can use his "somersault cloud" enabling him to travel vast distances in a single leap. The monkey, nimble and quick-witted, uses these skills to defeat all but the most powerful of demons on the journey. Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/W Battery Sun's behavior is checked by a band placed around his head by Guanyin, which cannot be removed by Sun Wukong himself until the journey's end. Xuanzang can tighten this band by chanting the "Ring Tightening Mantra" (taught to him by Guanyin) whenever he needs to chastise him. Sony VAIO VPCW111XXP Battery The spell is referred to by Xuanzang's disciples as the "Headache Sutra", which is the Buddhist mantra "o? ma?ipadme h??". Xuanzang speaks this mantra quickly in repetition. Sony VAIO VPCW111XXT Battery Sun Wukong's child-like playfulness is a huge contrast to his cunning mind. This, coupled with his great power, makes him a trickster hero. His antics present a lighter side in what proposes to be a long and dangerous trip into the unknown. Sony VAIO VPCW111XXW Battery

Zhu Bajie

Zhu Bajie (literally "Pig of the Eight Prohibitions") is also known as Zhu Wuneng ("Pig Awakened to Ability"), and given the namePigsy, Monk Pig or just simply Pig in English. Sony VAIO VPCW115XG Battery Once an immortal who was the Marshal of the Heavenly Canopy commanding 100,000 naval soldiers of the Milky Way, he drank too much during a celebration of gods and attempted to flirt with the moon goddess Chang'e, resulting in his banishment into the mortal world. He was supposed to be reborn as a human, Sony VAIO VPCW115XGP Battery but ends up in the womb of a female boar due to an error at the Reincarnation Wheel, which turns him into a half-man half-pig monster. Zhu Bajie was very greedy, and could not survive without eating ravenously. Staying within the Yunzhan Dong ("cloud-pathway cave"), he was commissioned by Guanyin to accompany Xuanzang to India and given the new name Zhu Wuneng. Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/P Battery However, Zhu Bajie's indulgence in women led him to the Gao Family Village, where he posed as a normal being and wedded a maiden. Later, when the villagers discovered that he was a monster, Zhu Bajie hid the girl away, and the girl wailed bitterly every night. Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/T Battery At this point, Xuanzang and Sun Wukong arrived at the Gao Family Village and helped defeat him. Renamed Zhu Bajie by Xuanzang, he consequently joined the pilgrimage to the West. Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/W Battery His weapon of choice is the jiuchidingpa ("nine-tooth iron rake"). He is also capable of 36 transformations (as compared to Sun Wukong's 72), and can travel on clouds, but not as fast as Sun. However, Zhu is noted for his fighting skills in water, which he used to combat Sha Wujing, who later joined them on the journey. He is the second strongest member of the team. Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/P Battery

Sha Wujing

Sh? Wùjìng (literally meaning "Sand Awakened to Purity"), given the name Friar Sand or Sandy in English, was once a celestial Curtain Lifting General, who stood in attendance by the imperial chariot in the Hall of Miraculous Mist. Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/T Battery He was exiled to the mortal world and made to look like a monster because he accidentally smashed a crystal goblet belonging to the Queen Mother of the West during a Peach Banquet. The now-hideous immortal took up residence in the Flowing Sands River, Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/W Battery terrorising surrounding villages and travellers trying to cross the river. However, he was subdued by Sun Wukong and Zhu Bajie when Xuanzang's party came across him. They consequently took him in, as part of the pilgrimage to the West. Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ Battery Sha's weapon is the yueyachan ("Crescent-Moon-Shovel" or "Monk's Spade"). He also knows eighteen transformation methods and is highly effective in water combat. He is about as strong as Zhu Bajie, and is much stronger than Sun Wukong in water. However, Zhu can defeat Sha in a test of endurance, and Sun can almost certainly defeat him both on land and in the air. Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ/P Battery Sha is known to be the most obedient, logical, and polite of the three disciples, and always takes care of his master, seldom engaging in the bickering of his fellow disciples. He has no major faults nor any extraordinary characteristics. Perhaps this is why he is sometimes seen as a minor character. Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ/W Battery Sha eventually becomes an arhat at the end of the journey, giving him a higher level of exaltation than Zhu Bajie, who is relegated to cleaning every altar at every Buddhist temple for eternity, but is still lower spiritually than Sun Wukong or Xuanzang, who are granted Buddhahood. Sony VAIO VPCW11AXJ Battery The brief satirical novel Xiyoubu (???, "Supplement to the Journey to the West," c. 1640) follows Sun Wukong as he is trapped in a magical dream world created by the Qing Fish Demon, the embodiment of desire (?, qing). Sun travels back and forth through time,Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/P Battery during which he serves as the adjunct King of Hell and judges the soul of the recently dead traitor Qin Hui during the Song Dynasty, takes on the appearance of a beautiful concubine and causes the downfall of the Qin Dynasty, and even faces P?ramit?, one of his five sons born to the rakshasa Princess Iron Fan,[5] Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/T Battery on the battlefield during the Tang Dynasty.[6] The events of Xiyoubu take place between the end of chapter 61 and the beginning of chapter 62 of Journey to the West.[7] The author, Tong Yue (??), wrote the book because he wanted to create an opponent—in this case desire—that Sun could not defeat with his great strength and martial skill.[8]Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/W Battery Notable English-language translations Waley was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, as Arthur David Schloss, son of the economist David Frederick Schloss. Of Jewish heritage, he changed his surname to his paternal grandmother's maiden name, Waley, Sony VAIO VPCW121AX Battery in 1914, as one of many English who changed German surnames to more English-sounding names during WWI. Educated at Rugby School, he entered King's College, at the University of Cambridge in 1907, where he studied Classics, and was awarded a bachelor's degree in 1910. Sony VAIO VPCW126AG Battery Waley was appointed Assistant Keeper of Oriental Prints and Manuscripts at the British Museum in 1913. During this time he taught himself Chinese and Japanese, partly to help catalogue the paintings in the Museum's collection. He quit in 1929 to devote himself fully to his literary and cultural interests, Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/P Battery though he continued to lecture in the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. In 1918, he met Beryl de Zoete, a dance critic and writer; they lived together until her death in 1962. In 1966, Arthur Waley married Alison Robinson, whom he had first met in 1929. Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/T Battery They lived in Highgate in London, and she became a familiar figure in later years, living beyond the age of 100. Waley lived in Bloomsbury and had a number of friends among the Bloomsbury Group, many of whom he had met as an undergraduate. Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/W Battery He was one of the earliest to recognize Ronald Firbank as an accomplished author, and together with Osbert Sitwell provided an introduction to Firbank's first collected edition. Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/WZ Battery Noted American poet Ezra Pound was instrumental in getting Waley's first translations into print in The Little Review. His view of Waley's early work was mixed, however. As he wrote to Margaret Anderson, the Review's editor, in a letter of 2 July 1917: "Have at last got hold of Waley's translations from Po chu I. Sony VAIO VPCW12AAJ Battery Some of the poems are magnificent. Nearly all the translations marred by his bungling English and defective rhythm... I shall try to buy the best ones, and to get him to remove some of the botched places. Sony VAIO VPCW12AKJ Battery (He is stubborn as a donkey, or a scholar.)" Yet Waley, in his Introduction in his translation of The Way and its Power, explains that he was careful to put meaning above style in translations where meaning would be reasonably considered of more importance to the modern Western reader. Sony VAIO VPCW12AVJ Battery He died in London and is buried in Highgate Cemetery.

Ming Dynasty

The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, described by some as "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history",[2] Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/P Battery was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese. Although the Ming capital Beijing fell in 1644 to a rebellion led by Li Zicheng (who established the Shun Dynasty, soon replaced by theManchu-led Qing Dynasty), regimes loyal to the Ming throne — collectively called the Southern Ming — survived until 1662. Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/T Battery Ming rule saw the construction of a vast navy and a standing army of one million troops.[3] Although private maritime trade and official tribute missions from China had taken place in previous dynasties, the tributary fleet under the Muslimeunuch admiral Zheng He in the 15th century far surpassed all others in size. Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/W Battery There were enormous construction projects, including the restoration of the Grand Canal and the Great Wall and the establishment of the Forbidden City in Beijing during the first quarter of the 15th century. Estimates for the late-Ming population vary from 160 to 200 million.[4] Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/L Battery Emperor Hongwu (ruled in 1368–98) attempted to create a society of self-sufficient rural communities in a rigid, immobile system that would have no need to engage with the commercial life and trade of urban centers. Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/P Battery His rebuilding of China's agricultural base and strengthening of communication routes through the militarized courier system had the unintended effect of creating a vast agricultural surplus that could be sold at burgeoning markets located along courier routes. Rural culture and commerce became influenced by urban trends. Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/T BatteryThe upper echelons of society embodied in the scholarly gentry class were also affected by this new consumption-based culture. In a departure from tradition, merchant families began to produce examination candidates to become scholar-officials and adopted cultural traits and practices typical of the gentry. Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/W Battery Parallel to this trend involving social class and commercial consumption were changes in social and political philosophy, bureaucracy and governmental institutions, and even arts and literature. Sony VAIO VPCW215AG/L Battery By the 16th century, the Ming economy was stimulated by trade with the Portuguese, the Spanish, and the Dutch. China became involved in a new global trade of goods, plants, animals, and food crops known as the Columbian Exchange. Sony VAIO VPCW217JC Battery Trade with European powers and the Japanese brought in massive amounts of silver, which then replaced copper and paper banknotesas the common medium of exchange in China. During the last decades of the Ming, the flow of silver into China diminished greatly, undermining state revenues. Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/L BatteryThis damage to the Ming economy was compounded by the effects on agriculture of the incipient Little Ice Age, natural calamities, crop failure, and sudden epidemics. The ensuing breakdown of authority and people's livelihoods allowed rebel leaders such as Li Zicheng to challenge Ming authority. Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/P Battery The Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) ruled before the establishment of the Ming Dynasty. Alongside institutionalized ethnic discrimination against Han Chinese that stirred resentment and rebellion, other explanations for the Yuan's demise included overtaxing areas hard-hit by inflation, Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/T Battery and massive flooding of the Yellow River as a result of the abandonment of irrigation projects.[5] Consequently, agriculture and the economy were in shambles and rebellion broke out among the hundreds of thousands of peasants called upon to work on repairing the dykes of the Yellow River.[5] Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/W Battery A number of Han Chinese groups revolted, including the Red Turbans in 1351. The Red Turbans were affiliated with the White Lotus, a Buddhist secret society. Zhu Yuanzhang was a penniless peasant and Buddhist monk who joined the Red Turbans in 1352, Sony VAIO VPCW218JC Battery but soon gained a reputation after marrying the foster daughter of a rebel commander.[6] In 1356, Zhu's rebel force captured the city of Nanjing,[7]which he would later establish as the capital of the Ming Dynasty. Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/L Battery With the Yuan Dynasty crumbling, competing rebel groups began fighting for control of the country and thus the right to establish a new dynasty. In 1363, Zhu Yuanzhang eliminated his arch rival and leader of the rebel Han faction Chen Youliang in the Battle of Lake Poyang, arguably the largest naval battle in history. Known for its ambitious use of fire ships, Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/P Battery Zhu's force of 200,000 Ming sailors were able to defeat a Han rebel force over triple their size, claimed to be 650,000-strong. The victory destroyed the last opposing rebel faction, leaving Zhu Yuanzhang in uncontested control of the bountiful Yangtze River Valley and cementing his power in the south. Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/T Battery After the dynastic head of the Red Turbans suspiciously died in 1367 while a guest of Zhu, there was no one left who was remotely capable of contesting his march to the throne, and he made his imperial ambitions known by sending an army toward the Yuan capital Dadu (present-day Beijing) in 1368.[8] Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/W Battery The last Yuan emperor fled north to Shangdu and Zhu declared the founding of the Ming Dynasty after razing the Yuan palaces in Dadu to the ground;[8] the city was renamed Beiping in the same year.[9] Zhu Yuanzhang took Hongwu, or 'Vastly Martial,' as his reign title. Sony VAIO VPCW219AJ/L Battery

Reign of the Hongwu Emperor

Hongwu made an immediate effort to rebuild state infrastructure. He built a 48 km (30 mi) long wall around Nanjing, as well as new palaces and government halls.[8] The History of Ming states that as early as 1364 Zhu Yuanzhang had begun drafting a new Confucian law code, the Da Ming Lü, Sony VAIO VPCW219AJ/P Battery which was completed by 1397 and repeated certain clauses found in the old Tang Code of 653.[10] Hongwu organized a military system known as the weisuo, which was similar to the fubing system of the Tang Dynasty (618–907). Sony VAIO VPCW219AJ/W Battery In 1380 Hongwu had the Chancellor Hu Weiyong (???) executed upon suspicion of a conspiracy plot to overthrow him; after that Hongwu abolished the Chancellery and assumed this role as chief executive and emperor, a precedent mostly followed throughout the Ming period.[11][12] Sony VAIO VPCW21AAJ Battery With a growing suspicion of his ministers and subjects, Hongwu established the Jinyi Wei, a network of secret policedrawn from his own palace guard. They were partly responsible for the loss of 100,000 lives in several purges over three decades of his rule.[11][13]For details of the many Ming policies laid down by the Hongwu Emperor, see History of the Ming Dynasty and Hongwu Emperor.Sony VAIO VPCW21AKJ Battery In Qinghai, the Salar Muslims voluntarily came under Ming rule, their clan leaders capitulating around 1370. Uyghur troops under Uyghur general Hala Bashi suppressed the Miao Rebellions of the 1370s and settled in Changde, Hunan.[14] Hui Muslim troops also settled in Changde, Sony VAIO VPCW21AVJ Battery Hunan after serving the Ming in campaigns against other aboriginal tribes.[15] In 1381, the Ming Dynasty annexed the areas of the southwest that had once been part of the Kingdom of Dali following the successful effort by Hui Muslim Ming armies to defeatYuan-loyalist Mongol and Hui Muslim troops holding out in Yunnan province. Sony VAIO VPCY115FGS Battery The Hui troops under General Mu Ying, who was appointed Governor of Yunnan, were resettled in the region as part of a colonization effort.[16] By the end of the 14th century, some 200,000 military colonists settled some 2,000,000 mu (350,000 acres) of land in what is now Yunnan and Guizhou. Sony VAIO VPCY115FX/BI Battery Roughly half a million more Chinese settlers came in later periods; these migrations caused a major shift in the ethnic make-up of the region, since formerly more than half of the population were non-Han peoples. Sony VAIO VPCY115FXBI Battery Resentment over such massive changes in population and the resulting government presence and policies sparked moreMiao and Yao revolts in 1464 to 1466, which were crushed by an army of 30,000 Ming troops (including 1,000 Mongols) joining the 160, Sony VAIO VPCY118EC Battery 000 local Guangxi. After the scholar and philosopher Wang Yangming(1472–1529) suppressed another rebellion in the region, he advocated single, unitary administration of Chinese and indigenous ethnic groups in order to bring about sinification of the local peoples.[17] Sony VAIO VPCY118GX/BI Battery

Relations with Tibet

The Mingshi—?the official history of the Ming Dynasty compiled later by the Qing Dynasty in 1739?—states that the Ming established itinerant commanderies overseeing Tibetan administration while also renewing titles of ex-Yuan Dynasty officials from Tibet and conferring new princely titles on leaders of Tibet's Buddhist sects.[20] Sony VAIO VPCY119FJ/S Battery However, Turrell V. Wylie states that censorship in the Mingshiin favor of bolstering the Ming emperor's prestige and reputation at all costs obfuscates the nuanced history of Sino-Tibetan relations during the Ming era.[21] Sony VAIO VPCY11AFJ Battery Modern scholars still debate on whether or not the Ming Dynasty really had sovereignty over Tibet at all, as some believe it was a relationship of loose suzerainty which was largely cut off when the Jiajing Emperor (ruled in 1521–67) persecuted Buddhism in favor ofDaoism at court [21][22][23]Sony VAIO VPCY11AGJ Battery and some scholars argue that the significant religious nature of the relationship of the Ming court with Tibetan lamas is underrepresented in modern scholarship.[24][25] Others underscore the commercial aspect of the relationship, noting the Ming Dynasty's insufficient amount of horses and the need to maintain the tea-horse trade with Tibet.[26][27][28][29][30] Sony VAIO VPCY11AHJ Battery The Ming initiated sporadic armed intervention in Tibet during the 14th century, while at times the Tibetans also used successful armed resistance against Ming forays.[31][32] Patricia Ebrey, Thomas Laird, Wang Jiawei, and Nyima Gyaincain all point out that the Ming Dynasty did not garrison permanent troops in Tibet,[33][34][35] Sony VAIO VPCY11AVJ Battery unlike the former Mongol Yuan Dynasty.[33] The Wanli Emperor (ruled in 1572–1620) made attempts to reestablish Sino-Tibetan relations in the wake of a Mongol-Tibetan alliance initiated in 1578, the latter of which affected the foreign policy of the subsequent Manchu Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) of China in their support for the Dalai Lama of the Yellow Hat sect.[21][36][37][38][39] Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E/S Battery By the late 16th century, the Mongols proved to be successful armed protectors of the Yellow Hat Dalai Lama after their increasing presence in the Amdo region, culminating in Güshi Khan's (1582–1655) conquest of Tibet in 1642.[21][40][41][42] Sony VAIO VPCY11S1E Battery

Reign of the Yongle Emperor

The Hongwu Emperor specified his grandson Zhu Yunwen as his successor, and he assumed the throne as the Jianwen Emperor (1398–1402) after Hongwu's death in 1398. The most powerful of Hongwu's sons, Zhu Di, then the militarily mighty disagreed with this, and soon a political showdown erupted between him and his nephew Jianwen.[43] Sony VAIO VPCY11V9E/S Battery After Jianwen arrested many of Zhu Di's associates, Zhu Di plotted a rebellion, a rebellion that sparked a three-year civil war. Under the pretext of rescuing the young Jianwen from corrupting officials, Zhu Di personally led forces in the revolt; the palace in Nanjing was burned to the ground, Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/BI Battery along with Jianwen himself, his wife, mother, and courtiers. Zhu Di assumed the throne as the Yongle Emperor (1402–1424); his reign is universally viewed by scholars as a "second founding" of the Ming Dynasty since he reversed many of his father's policies.[44]Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/G Battery Yongle demoted Nanjing to a secondary capital and in 1403 announced the new capital of China was to be at his power base in Beijing. Construction of a new city there lasted from 1407 to 1420, employing hundreds of thousands of workers daily.[45] At the center was the political node of the Imperial City, Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/L Battery and at the center of this was the Forbidden City, the palatial residence of the emperor and his family. By 1553, the Outer City was added to the south, which brought the overall size of Beijing to 4 by 4½ miles.[46] Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/P Battery Yongle also used Zheng He's treasure fleet to expand China's tributary trade system farther afield than ever before, used woodblock printing to spread Chinese culture, and used the military(especially cavalry) to expand China's borders north into Manchuria and south into Vietnam. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery
Treasure fleet
Beginning in 1405, the Yongle Emperor entrusted his favored eunuch commander Zheng He (1371–1433) as the admiral for a gigantic new fleet of ships designated for international tributary missions. The Chinese had sent diplomatic missions over land and west since the Han Dynasty (202 BCE – 220 CE) Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/P Battery and had been engaged in private overseas trade leading all the way to East Africa for centuries—?culminating in the Song and Yuan dynasties?—but no government-sponsored tributary mission of this grandeur and size had ever been assembled before. To serviceseven different tributary missions abroad, sony-vaio-vpcy21s1e-si-battery-27534.htm" title="Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/SI laptop battery">Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/SI Battery the Nanjing shipyards constructed two thousand vessels from 1403 to 1419, which included the large treasure ships that measured 112?m (370 ft) to 134?m (440 ft) in length and 45?m (150 ft) to 54?m (180 ft) in width.[47] Sony VAIO VPCZ110 Battery

Tumu Crisis and the Ming Mongols

The Oirat Mongol leader Esen Tayisi launched an invasion into Ming China in July 1449. The chief eunuch Wang Zhen encouraged Emperor Zhengtong (ruled in 1435–49) to personally lead a force to face the Mongols after a recent Ming defeat; marching off with 50,000 troops, Sony VAIO VPCZ110GB/BI Battery Zhengtong left the capital and put his half-brother Zhu Qiyu in charge of affairs as temporary regent. On September 8, Esen routed Zhengtong's army, and Zhengtong was captured—an event known as the Tumu Crisis.[48] Sony VAIO VPCZ112GD/S Battery The Mongols held the Zhengtong Emperor for ransom. However, this scheme was foiled once Zhengtong's younger brother assumed the throne as the Jingtai Emperor (ruled in 1449–57); Sony VAIO VPCZ112GX/S Battery the Mongols were also repelled once Jingtai's confidant and defense minister Yu Qian (1398–457) gained control of the Ming armed forces. Holding Zhengtong in captivity was a useless bargaining chip for the Mongols as long as another sat on his throne, so they released him back into Ming China.[48] Sony VAIO VPCZ114GX/S Battery Zhengtong was placed under house arrest in the palace until the coup against Jingtai in 1457 known as the "Wresting the Gate Incident".[49] Zhengtong retook the throne as the Tianshun Emperor (ruled in 1457–64). Sony VAIO VPCZ115 Battery Once Zhengtong regained the throne, his new reign as Tianshun proved to be a troubled one and Mongol forces within the Ming military structure continued to be problematic. On August 7, 1461, the Chinese general Cao Qin and his Ming troops of Mongol descent staged a coup against Tianshun out of fear of being next on his purge-list of those who aided Jingtai's succession.[50] Sony VAIO VPCZ115FC/B Battery Cao's rebel force managed to set fire to the western and eastern gates of the Imperial City (doused by rain during the battle) and killed several leading ministers before his forces were finally cornered and he was forced to commit suicide.[51] Sony VAIO VPCZ115FC/S Battery While the Yongle Emperor had staged five major offensives north of the Great Wall against the Mongols, the constant threat of Mongol incursions prompted the Ming authorities to fortify the Great Wall from the late 15th century to the 16th century; nevertheless, Sony VAIO VPCZ116 Battery John Fairbank notes that "it proved to be a futile military gesture but vividly expressed China's siege mentality."[52] Yet the Great Wall was not meant to be a purely defensive fortification; its towers functioned rather as a series of lit beacons and signalling stations to allow rapid warning to friendly units of advancing enemy troops.[53] Sony VAIO VPCZ116GX/S Battery

Decline and fall of the Ming Dynasty

The financial drain of the Imjin War in Korea against the Japanese was one of the many problems—fiscal or other—facing Ming China during the reign of the Wanli Emperor (ruled in 1572–1620). Sony VAIO VPCZ117 Battery In the beginning of his reign, Wanli surrounded himself with able advisors and made a conscientious effort to handle state affairs. His Grand Secretary Zhang Juzheng (in office from 1572 to 82) built up an effective network of alliances with senior officials. However, there was no one after him skilled enough to maintain the stability of these alliances;[54] Sony VAIO VPCZ117FC/B Battery officials soon banded together in opposing political factions. Over time Wanli grew tired of court affairs and frequent political quarreling amongst his ministers, preferring to stay behind the walls of the Forbidden City and out of his officials' sight.[55] Sony VAIO VPCZ118 Battery Scholar-officials lost prominence in administration as eunuchs became intermediaries between the aloof emperor and his officials; any senior official who wanted to discuss state matters had to persuade powerful eunuchs with a bribe simply to have his demands or message relayed to the emperor.[56] Sony VAIO VPCZ118GC/B Battery

Role of eunuchs

It was said that Hongwu forbade eunuchs to learn how to read or engage in politics. Whether or not these restrictions were carried out with absolute success in his reign, eunuchs during Yongle's reign and after managed huge imperial workshops, commanded armies, and participated in matters of appointment and promotion of officials. Sony VAIO VPCZ118GX/S Battery The eunuchs developed their own bureaucracy that was organized parallel to but was not subject to the civil service bureaucracy.[46] Although there were several dictatorial eunuchs throughout the Ming, such as Wang Zhen, Sony VAIO VPCZ119 Battery Wang Zhi, and Liu Jin, excessive tyrannical eunuch power did not become evident until the 1590s, when the Wanli Emperor increased their rights over the civil bureaucracy and granted them power to collect provincial taxes.[56][57][58] Sony VAIO VPCZ119FJ/S Battery The eunuch Wei Zhongxian (1568–1627) dominated the court of the Tianqi Emperor (ruled in 1620–1627) and had his political rivals tortured to death, mostly the vocal critics from the faction of the Donglin Society. He ordered temples built in his honor throughout the Ming Empire, Sony VAIO VPCZ119GC/X Battery and built personal palaces created with funds allocated for building the previous emperor's tombs. His friends and family gained important positions without qualifications. Wei also published a historical work lambasting and belittling his political opponents.[59] The instability at court came right as natural calamity, Sony VAIO VPCZ119L Battery pestilence, rebellion, and foreign invasion came to a peak. Although the Chongzhen Emperor (ruled in 1627–44) had Wei dismissed from court—which led to Wei's suicide shortly after—the problem with court eunuchs persisted until the dynasty's collapse less than two decades later. Sony VAIO VPCZ119R/B Battery During the last years of Wanli's reign and those of his two successors, an economic crisis developed that was centered around a sudden widespread lack of the empire's chief medium of exchange: silver. Philip IV of Spain (ruled in 1621–65) began cracking down on illegal smuggling of silver from Mexico and Peru across the Pacific towards China, Sony VAIO VPCZ119R/S Battery in favor of shipping American-mined silver directly from Spain to Manila. In 1639, the new Tokugawa regime of Japan shut down most of its foreign trade with European powers, causing a halt of yet another source of silver coming into China. These events occurring at roughly the same time caused a dramatic spike in the value of silver and made paying taxes nearly impossible for most provinces. Sony VAIO VPCZ11AFJ Battery People began hoarding precious silver as there was progressively less of it, forcing the ratio of the value of copper to silver into a steep decline. In the 1630s, a string of one thousand copper coins was worth an ounce of silver; Sony VAIO VPCZ11AGJ Battery by 1640 this was reduced to the value of half an ounce; by 1643 it was worth roughly one-third of an ounce.[60] For peasants this was an economic disaster, since they paid taxes in silver while conducting local trade and selling their crops with copper coins.[61] Sony VAIO VPCZ11AVJ Battery In this early half of the 17th century, famines became common in northern China because of unusual dry and cold weather that shortened the growing season; these were effects of a larger ecological event now known as the Little Ice Age.[62] Sony VAIO VPCZ11CGX/X BatteryFamine, alongside tax increases, widespread military desertions, a declining relief system, and natural disasters such as flooding and inability of the government to properly manage irrigation and flood-control projects caused widespread loss of life and normal civility.[62] Sony VAIO VPCZ11DGX/SJ Battery The central government was starved of resources and could do very little to mitigate the effects of these calamities. Making matters worse, a widespread epidemic spread across China from Zhejiang to Henan, killing a large but unknown number of people.[63] The deadliest earthquake of all time, the Shaanxi earthquake of 1556 that killed approximately 830,000 people, occurred during the Jiajing Emperor's reign.[64] Sony VAIO VPCZ11FHX/XQ Battery

Rise of the Manchu

A Jurchen tribal leader named Nurhaci (ruled in 1616–26), starting with just a small tribe, rapidly gained control over all theManchurian tribes. During the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598), Sony VAIO VPCZ11V9R/B Battery he offered to lead his tribes in support of the Ming and Joseonarmy. This offer was declined, but he was granted honorific Ming titles for his gesture. Recognizing the weakness of Ming authority north of their border, he united all of the adjacent northern tribes and consolidated power in the region surrounding his homeland as the Jurchen-led Jin Dynasty (1115–1234) had done previously.[65]Sony VAIO VPCZ11X9E/B Battery In 1610, he broke relations with the Ming court; in 1618 he demanded the Ming pay tribute to him to redress the seven grievanceswhich he documented and sent to the Ming court. This was effectively a declaration of war, as the Ming were not about to pay money to a former tributary. Sony VAIO VPCZ11Z9E/B Battery By 1636, the Nurhaci's son Huang Taiji renamed his dynasty from the "Later Jin" to "Great Qing" at Shenyang, which had fallen to Qing forces in 1621 and was made their capital in 1625.[66][67] Huang Taiji also adopted the Chinese imperial title huangdi, took the reign title Chongde ("Revering Virtue"), Sony VAIO VPCZ125GX/S Battery and changed the ethnic name of his people from Jurchen to Manchu.[67][68] In 1638 the Manchu defeated and conquered Ming China's traditional ally Joseon with an army of 100,000 troops. Shortly after, the Koreans renounced their long-held loyalty to the Ming Dynasty.[68] Sony VAIO VPCZ127FC Battery

Rebellion, invasion, collapse

A peasant soldier named Li Zicheng (1606–45) mutinied with his fellow soldiers in western Shaanxi in the early 1630s after the Ming government failed to ship much-needed supplies there.[62] In 1634 he was captured by a Ming general and released only on the terms that he return to service.[69] Sony VAIO VPCZ128GC Battery The agreement soon broke down when a local magistrate had thirty-six of his fellow rebels executed; Li's troops retaliated by killing the officials and continued to lead a rebellion based in Rongyang, central Henan province by 1635.[70] Sony VAIO VPCZ12M9E/B Battery By the 1640s, an ex-soldier and rival to Li—Zhang Xianzhong (1606–47)?—had created a firm rebel base in Chengdu, Sichuan, while Li's center of power was in Hubei with extended influence over Shaanxi and Henan.[70] Sony VAIO VPCZ13M9E/B Battery In 1640, masses of Chinese peasants who were starving, unable to pay their taxes, and no longer in fear of the frequently defeated Chinese army, began to form into huge bands of rebels. The Chinese military, caught between fruitless efforts to defeat the Manchu raiders from the north and huge peasant revolts in the provinces, essentially fell apart. Sony VAIO VPCZ13V9E/X Battery Unpaid and unfed, the army was defeated by Li Zicheng—?now self-styled as the Prince of Shun?—and deserted the capital without much of a fight.[71] On May 26, 1644, Beijing fell to a rebel army led by Li Zicheng when the city gates were treacherously opened from within.[71] Sony VAIO VPCZ13Z9E/X Battery On May 26, 1644, Beijing fell to a rebel army led by Li Zicheng; during the turmoil, the last Ming emperor hanged himself on a tree in the imperial garden outside the Forbidden City.[71] Sony VAIO VPCZZZHJ Battery Seizing opportunity, the Manchus crossed the Great Wall after the Ming border general Wu Sangui (1612–1678) opened the gates at Shanhai Pass. This occurred shortly after he learned about the fate of the capital and an army of Li Zicheng marching towards him; weighing his options of alliance, he decided to side with the Manchus.[72] Sony VAIO VPZ117 Battery The Manchu army under the Manchu Prince Dorgon (1612–50) and Wu Sangui approached Beijing after the army sent by Li was destroyed at Shanhaiguan; the Prince of Shun's army fled the capital on the fourth of June. Sony VAIO VPZ118 Battery On June 6, the Manchus and Wu entered the capital and proclaimed the young Shunzhi Emperor ruler of China. After being forced out of Xi'an by the Manchus, chased along the Han River to Wuchang, Sony VAIO VPZ119 Battery and finally along the northern border of Jiangxi province, Li Zicheng died there in the summer of 1645, thus ending the Shun Dynasty. One report says his death was a suicide; another states that he was beaten to death by peasants after he was caught stealing their food.[73] Sony VPCM11M1E/B Battery Scattered Ming remnants held out after 1644, including that of Koxinga (Zheng Chenggong) on Taiwan (Formosa). Despite the loss of Beijing and the death of the emperor, Ming power was by no means totally destroyed. Nanjing, Fujian, Guangdong, Shanxi, and Yunnan were all strongholds of Ming resistance. Sony VPCM11M1E/W Battery However, there were several pretenders for the Ming throne, and their forces were divided. Each bastion of resistance was individually defeated by the Qing until 1662, when the last real hopes of a Ming revival died with the Yongli emperor, Zhu Youlang. Despite the Ming defeat, smaller loyalist movements continued until the proclamation of theRepublic of China. Sony VPCM12M1E/L Battery

Province, prefecture, subprefecture, county

the provincial administration system of the Yuan Dynasty, and the thirteen Ming provinces are the precursors of the modern provinces. Throughout the Song Dynasty, the largest political division was the circuit (lu ?).[74] Sony VPCM12M1E/P BatteryHowever, after the Jurchen invasion in 1127, the Song court established four semi-autonomous regional command systems based on territorial and military units, with a detached service secretariat that would become the provincial administrations of the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties.[75] Sony VPCM12M1E/W Battery Copied on the Yuan model, the Ming provincial bureaucracy contained three commissions: one civil, one military, and one for surveillance. Below the level of the province (sheng ?) were prefectures (fu ?) operating under a prefect (zhifu ??), followed by subprefectures (zhou ?) under a subprefect. Sony VPCM13M1E/L Battery The lowest unit was the county (xian ?), overseen by a magistrate. Besides the provinces, there were also two large areas that belonged to no province, but were metropolitan areas (jing ?) attached to Nanjing and Beijing.[76] Sony VPCM13M1E/P Battery Departing from the main central administrative system generally known as the Three Departments and Six Ministries system, which was instituted by various dynasties since late Han (202 BCE – 220 CE), the Ming administration had only one Department, the Secretariat, that controlled the Six Ministries. Sony VPCM13M1E/W Battery Following the execution of the Chancellor Hu Weiyong in 1380, emperor Hongwu abolished the Secretariat, the Censorate, and the Chief Military Commission and personally took charge of the Six Ministries and the regional Five Military Commissions.[77][78] Thus a whole level of administration was cut out and only partially rebuilt by subsequent rulers.[77] Sony VAIO VGN-Z11MN/B Battery The Grand Secretariat, at the beginning a secretarial institution that assisted the emperor with administrative paperwork, was instituted, but without employing grand counselors, or chancellors. The ministries, headed by a minister and run by directors remained under direct control of the emperor until the end of the Ming. Sony VAIO VGN-Z11VN/X Battery The Hongwu Emperor sent his heir apparent to Shaanxi in 1391 to "tour and soothe" (xunfu) the region; in 1421 the Yongle Emperor commissioned 26 officials to travel the empire and uphold similar investigatory and patrimonial duties. By 1430 thesexunfuassignments became institutionalized. Sony VAIO VGN-Z11WN/B Battery Hence, the Censorate was reinstalled and first staffed with investigating censors, later with censors-in-chief. By 1453, the "grand coordinators"—?or "touring pacifiers", as Michael Chang notes?—were granted the title vice censor-in-chief or assistant censor-in-chief and were allowed direct access to the emperor.[79] Sony VAIO VGN-Z11XN/B Battery As in prior dynasties, the provincial administrations were monitored by a travelling inspector from the Censorate. Censors had the power to impeach officials on an irregular basis, unlike the senior officials who were to do so only in triennial evaluations of junior officials.[79][80] Sony VAIO VGN-Z15 Battery Although decentralization of state power within the provinces occurred in the early Ming, the trend of central government officials delegated to the provinces as virtual provincial governors began in the 1420s. Sony VAIO VGN-Z15N Battery By the late Ming Dynasty, there were central government officials delegated to two or more provinces as supreme commanders and viceroys, a system which reined in the power and influence of the military by the civil establishment.[81] Sony VAIO VGN-Z17 Battery

Grand Secretariat and Six Ministries

Governmental institutions in China conformed to a similar pattern for some two thousand years, but each dynasty installed special offices and bureaus, reflecting its own particular interests. Sony VAIO VGN-Z17N Battery The Ming administration had the Grand Secretaries assisting the emperor, with paperwork handled by them under Yongle's reign and finally appointed as top officials of agencies and Grand Preceptor, a top-ranking, non-functional civil service post, under the Hongxi Emperor (ruled in 1424–5).[82] Sony VAIO VGN-Z19 Battery The Grand Secretariat drew its members from theHanlin Academy and were considered part of the imperial authority, not the ministerial one (hence being at odds with both the emperor and ministers at times).[83] Sony VAIO VGN-Z19N Battery The Secretariat was a coordinating agency, whereas the Six Ministries—which were Personnel, Revenue, Rites, War, Justice, and Public Works—were direct administrative organs of the state.[84] Sony VAIO VGN-Z21MN/B Battery The Ministry of Personnel was in charge of appointments, merit ratings, promotions, and demotions of officials, as well as granting of honorific titles.[85] The Ministry of Revenue was in charge of gathering census data, collecting taxes, and handling state revenues, while there were two offices of currency that were subordinate to it.[86] Sony VAIO VGN-Z21VN/X Battery The Ministry of Rites was in charge of state ceremonies, rituals, and sacrifices; it also oversaw registers for Buddhist and Daoist priesthoods and even the reception of envoys from tributary states.[87] Sony VAIO VGN-Z21WN/B Battery The Ministry of War was in charge of the appointments, promotions, and demotions of military officers, the maintenance of military installations, equipment, and weapons, as well as the courier system.[88] Sony VAIO VGN-Z21XN Battery The Ministry of Justice was in charge of judicial and penal processes, but had no supervisory role over the Censorate or the Grand Court of Revision.[89] The Ministry of Works was in charge of government construction projects, Sony VAIO VGN-Z21ZN/X Battery hiring of artisans and laborers for temporary service, manufacturing government equipment, the maintenance of roads and canals, standardization of weights and measures, and the gathering of resources from the countryside.[89] Sony VAIO VGN-Z25 Battery

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