China and Japan
Raven Natividad & James Stewart
The Ming Dynasty
Hongwu, commanded a rebel army in1368 that pushed the Mongols out of China. In the same year, he became the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty. He used old traditions and institutions to bring balance to China. When he died in 1398, his son Yonglo took the throne. He followed in his father's footsteps, and moved the royal court to Beijing. In doing so, he ordered for there to be a palace complex to be built to symbolize power. When it was finished in 1420, the walls were 35 feet high around the complex, and it had many buildings inside. These buildings were made up of palaces and temples. Commoners and foreigners were forbidden to enter, hence the complex's name, The Forbiden City.
The Qing Dynasty
Zheng He, a Chinese Muslim Admiral led seven voyages in the name of China. Everything about them were extraordinary. His trip distance, ship size, and fleet were much larger than many other navigators in his day. These voyages ranged from Southeast Asia to Eastern Africa, and he distributed gifts of silk and silver along the way to show Chinese superiority. This resulted in sixteen countries sent tribute to China's court. In 1644, the Manchus invaded China, and the Ming Dynasty collapsed. They captured Beijing and their leader became the emperor. In that moment, the Qing Dyanasty had begun. The Qing Dynasty lasted for more than 260 years, and in that time, the Manchurians would expand China's borders to include Taiwan, Chinese Central Asia, Mongolia, and Tibet.
Japan at first did trade with Europeans, and allowed them to come into the country and convert people to Christianity. In 1549, Christian, Jseuits, Franciscan, and Dominicans came to convert the Japanese. However, the success of the missionaries upset Tokugawa Ieyasu. Therefore, he banned Christianity and focussed on ridding the country of all Christians. This, of course, was an attempt to control foreign ideas. It led to the dislike of all European ideas and ways, which in turn led to the Closed Country Policy. In 1639, Japan sealed all borders and ports except for one, of which Japan kept open only to China and a few other neighboring countries.