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By Conrad Schirokauer

This compelling textual content explores the advance of China and Japan via their artwork, faith, literature, and inspiration in addition to via their fiscal, political, and social historical past. the writer group combines robust examine with wide lecture room instructing event to supply a transparent, constant, and hugely readable textual content that's obtainable to scholars with out prior wisdom of the background of East Asia.

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Although there is much in the Odes that appeals to people of all places and times, it is important to remember that most people did not read the odes to themselves in silence, but recited them aloud and learned them by heart. They were also probably sung in public performances or communal gatherings, not just read or recited in silence. The Odes was not unique in being memorized and orally transmitted, but it is extraordinary because it represents a wide range of human experience for people from all walks of life.

There is still further evidence that the Shang elites paid assiduous attention to their special dead: human sacrifice. Longshan elites had also sacrificed humans to accompany their special dead—the large scale of human sacrifice was something new and perhaps unique to the Shang. A relatively modest elite burial site, like that of Lady Hao, had only about a dozen or so victims. A particularly lavish burial site, however, could hold as many as four hundred victims. Most of these were low-status young males—probably foreign prisoners of war.

Not only were Zhou kings unable to defend themselves, but they were also increasingly at the mercy (or under the protection) of the powerful lords of “vassal” states. ) had been removed and killed by a joint force led by vassal states, and his successor, King Ping, survived only after being rescued by the rulers of two powerful states, Jin and Qi, and removed from the Wei River valley in the West to Chengzhou. These two incidents exemplify what became the dominant trends of the Spring and Autumn Period: the decline of Zhou kingship accompanied by the rise of vassal states.

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