Cover image for From moon cakes to Mao to modern China : an introduction to Chinese civilization
Title:
From moon cakes to Mao to modern China : an introduction to Chinese civilization
Author:
Zhu, Fayuan, author.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : CN Times Books, 2015.

©2015
Physical Description:
xi, 288 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary:
"To understand China, we need to step into the palace of her culture and explore her rich history. With this in mind, a group of scholars from China and America have put this book together as a primer on all things China, from art and science to religion and society. They attempt to offer a panoramic view of the totality of Chinese culture, using only the most representative material, to introduce to the West the most typical aspects of Chinese civilization and life."-- Dust jacket.
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
Contents:
The origins of Chinese characters -- Chinese writing and Chinese language -- Chinese characters and calligraphy -- Using consistent character and roadway gauges -- Four treasures of the study -- The dialects -- Names -- Greeting styles -- Kinship appellation -- Chinese zodiac -- The traditional calendar- the agricultural calendar -- The twenty-four solar terms -- The spring festival -- The pure brightness day -- The dragon boat festival -- The mid-autumn festival -- The double yang festival -- The emperors Yan and Huang -- Da Yu controls the water -- Pangu creates the universe -- The Goddess Nuwa makes human beings -- Hou Yi shoots the suns -- The cowherd and the weaving maid -- Meng Jiangnu weeps down the great wall -- Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai -- The legend of the white snake -- The legend of Mu-lan -- The dragon -- The vicissitudes of the dynasties -- Minority ethnic groups -- Family ideology -- Marriage customs -- The four great inventions. Papermaking -- Printing technology -- Gunpowder -- Compass -- The abacus and calculation -- Post roads and relay stations -- The sedan chair -- Horse and carriage -- Yellow River culture -- The silk road -- The great wall -- The terracotta warriors -- The five sacred mountains -- Lakes -- Lao Tzu -- Chuang Tzu -- Confucius -- Mencius -- Mo Tzu -- Sun Tzu -- Han Fei Tzu -- The book of songs -- Poetry of the south -- Han Fu -- Han Yue Fu -- The records of the grand historian -- The book of Han -- the Yangtze River -- Tea -- Wine -- Food -- Han attire -- The story of the fan -- Folk arts and crafts -- Capital cities -- Palace architecture -- Temple architecture -- Money -- Medicine -- Chess -- Martial arts -- Folk theater -- Painting -- The great books -- Prose -- Tang poetry -- Song dynasty poetry -- Opera and theater -- The novel -- Gardens -- Residences -- Burial rites -- Go -- Primitive religion: the exorcising dance -- Beijing opera -- Kunqu opera -- Yu Opera -- Huangmei opera -- Yue opera -- The art of Dunhuang -- Jingdezhen porcelain -- Schooling -- The Imperial examination culture -- Collecting and archiving books and documents -- Confucianism -- Taoism -- Metaphysics -- Buddhism -- A dream of red mansions -- Water margin -- The romance of the three kingdoms -- Journey to the west -- The new culture movement -- Hu Shi -- Lu Xun -- Guo Moruo -- Mao Dun -- Ba Jin -- Lao She -- Cao Yu.
ISBN:
9781627740029

9781627740333
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

To understand China, we need to step into the palace of her culture and explore her rich history. With this in mind, a group of scholars from China and America have put this book together as a kind of primer on all things China, from art and science to religion and society. They have tried to offer here a panoramic view of the totality of Chinese culture, using only the most representative material, to introduce to the West the most typical aspects of Chinese civilization and life.


Author Notes

Editors Zhu Fayuan , Wu Qixing , Xia Hanning , and Gao Han are all scholars and experts in the analysis of traditional Chinese culture.


Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

This book unites Chinese and American scholars Zhu (vice president, Jiangxi Provincial Prose Society; The Last Holy Land), Wu Qixing (Chinese language & culture, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; The Mysterious Death Valley), Xia Hanning (dir., culture research dept. of Jiangxi Provincial Social Sciences Acad.), and Gao Han (Chinese, Univ. of California, Berkeley) to create a primer on all things Chinese: art, science, religion, and history. Even the book's table of contents is fascinating, e.g., "The Origins of Chinese Characters," "Han Attire," "The Cowherd and the Weaving Maid," and "The New Cultural Movement." A rich array of lovely illustrations accompany many entries-we get a tasty description of Moon Cakes alongside a delectable-looking picture. No topic is too small for inclusion: tree planting, kite flying, and firecrackers stand beside the Terracotta Warriors. Readers will be pleased to see renderings of Chinese poetic description, e.g., "It is said that the natural beauty of Hangzhou is as great as that of a beautiful woman with or without makeup, as it bridges the natural beauty of the landscape and all living things." A fascinating example of the Chinese perspective on the subjects is exemplified by the description of acupuncture being more than twice as long as that of drugs. The closing sentence says invitingly, "We hope to receive criticisms and suggestions from our dear readers." VERDICT Nearly anyone, even those with just a small interest in China, will find much to learn and enjoy here.-Susan G. Baird, formerly with Oak Lawn P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

While the "Mao" in the title receives only two brief mentions, this book succeeds as an excellent primer on Chinese culture and civilization to the early 1900s. In a format similar to an encyclopedia, it presents 109 topics grouped into 20 chapters that range from language to art, from folklore to architecture, from philosophy to geography, and from literature to performing arts. Topics occupy one to four pages and are concise but comprehensive in scope. Though the book does not make clear how these topics were selected, interesting facts abound. Small black-and-white illustrations enhance the text for the most part, and the table of contents and index provide easy navigation. Written mostly in Chinese originally, the text reads slightly awkwardly at times, e.g., the last paragraph of "Using Consistent Character and Roadway Gauges." Better editing would have helped; e.g., "The Dialects" contains many incorrect pinyin geographical names as well as a Chinese editorial comment in the last paragraph. Nevertheless, this very informative book offers the fundamentals on some of the most representative components of an ancient culture. It belongs in all public and academic libraries. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers. Y. Liao University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point


Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
Chapter 1 The Origins of Chinese Charactersp. 1
Chinese Writing and Chinese Languagep. 4
Chinese Characters and Calligraphyp. 5
Using Consistent Character and Roadway Gaugesp. 7
Four Treasures of the Studyp. 8
The Dialectsp. 10
Chapter 2 Namesp. 12
Greeting Stylesp. 13
Kinship Appellationp. 15
Chinese Zodiacp. 16
Chapter 3 The Traditional Calendar-The Agricultural Calendarp. 18
The Twenty-Four Solar Termsp. 19
The Spring Festivalp. 21
Bringing in the New Yearp. 22
Dust Sweepp. 22
New Year Scrolls with the Character $$p. 22
Firecrackersp. 23
New Year's Greetingsp. 23
The Pure Brightness Dayp. 23
Sweeping the Tombp. 24
Tree Plantingp. 25
Flying Kitesp. 25
Swingingp. 25
The Dragon Boat Festivalp. 25
Dragon Boat Racingp. 27
Wearing Fragrant Pouchesp. 27
Hanging Mugwort and Calamus Leavesp. 27
The Mid-Autumn Festivalp. 27
The Double Yang Festivalp. 29
The Festival of Ascending the Heightsp. 30
Eating Double Yang Cakesp. 30
Appreciation for Chrysanthemums and Drinking Chrysanthemum Winep. 30
Wearing Dogwood and Placing Chrysanthemums in the Hairp. 30
The Temple Fairp. 31
Chapter 4 The Emperors Yan and Huangp. 33
Da Yu Controls the Waterp. 34
Pangu Creates the Universep. 35
The Goddess Nuwa Makes Human Beingsp. 37
Hou Yi Shoots the Sunsp. 38
Chapter 5 The Cowherd and the Weaving Maidp. 40
Meng Jiangnu Weeps Down the Great Wallp. 42
Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtaip. 43
The Legend of the White Snakep. 44
The Legend of Mu-lanp. 46
Chapter 6 The Dragonp. 48
The Vicissitudes of the Dynastiesp. 52
Minority Ethnic Groupsp. 54
Family Ideologyp. 56
Marriage Customsp. 59
Chapter 7 The Four Great Inventionsp. 63
Papermakingp. 63
Printing Technologyp. 64
Gunpowderp. 64
Compassp. 65
The Abacus and Calculationp. 66
Post Roads and Relay Stationsp. 68
The Sedan Chairp. 70
Horse and Carriagep. 72
Chapter 8 Yellow River Culturep. 74
The Silk Roadp. 76
The Great Wallp. 77
The Terracotta Warriorsp. 80
The Five Sacred Mountainsp. 82
Lakesp. 84
Chapter 9 Lao Tzup. 88
Chuang Tzup. 91
Confuciusp. 93
Menciusp. 96
Mo Tzup. 99
Sun Tzup. 102
Han Fei Tzup. 104
Chapter 10 The Book of Songsp. 107
Poetry of the Southp. 109
Han Fup. 110
Han Yue Fup. 112
The Records of the Grand Historianp. 113
The Book of Hanp. 114
Chapter 11 The Yangtze Riverp. 117
Teap. 120
Winep. 122
Foodp. 125
Chapter 12 Han Attirep. 129
Cheongsamp. 132
The Story of the Fanp. 134
Folk Arts and Craftsp. 136
Paper Cuttingp. 136
Embroideryp. 138
Chapter 13 Capital Citiesp. 140
Palace Architecturep. 144
Temple Architecturep. 147
The Buddhist Templep. 147
Chapter 14 Moneyp. 150
Medicinep. 152
Acupuncturep. 154
Drugsp. 154
Medical Textsp. 155
Chessp. 155
Martial Artsp. 157
Folk Theaterp. 159
Musical Instrumentsp. 162
Paintingp. 164
Chapter 15 The Great Booksp. 168
Prosep. 170
Tang Poetryp. 174
Song Dynasty Poetryp. 176
Opera and Theaterp. 179
The Novelp. 181
Chapter 16 Gardensp. 185
The Summer Palacep. 185
The Mountain Resortp. 187
The Humble Administrator's Gardenp. 189
The Lingering Gardenp. 191
Residencesp. 192
The Hutongp. 192
Courtyard Residencesp. 193
Enclosed Residencesp. 194
Burial Ritesp. 196
The Mausoleum of the Yellow Emperorp. 196
The Tomb of Yu the Greatp. 196
The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huangp. 197
The Thirteen Ming Tombsp. 198
Chapter 17 Gop. 199
Primitive Religion: The Exorcising Dancep. 201
The Exorcism Culturep. 202
Beijing Operap. 205
Kunqu Operap. 207
Yu Operap. 209
Huangmei Operap. 211
Yue Operap. 213
The Art of Durmuahgp. 213
Jingdezhen Porcelainp. 218
Chapter 18 Schoolingp. 222
The Imperial Examination Culturep. 225
Collecting and Archiving Books and Documentsp. 228
The Monastery Collectionsp. 230
Confucianismp. 231
Taoismp. 234
Metaphysicsp. 236
Buddhismp. 237
Chinese Buddhismp. 238
Tibetan Buddhismp. 240
Theravada Buddhismp. 240
Chapter 19 A Dream of Red Mansionsp. 241
Water Marginp. 243
The Romance of the Three Kingdomsp. 245
Journey to the Westp. 248
Chapter 20 The New Culture Movementp. 251
Hu Ship. 253
Lu Xunp. 255
Guo Moruop. 258
Mao Dunp. 260
Ba Jinp. 263
Lao Shep. 265
Cao Yup. 267
Appendix: A Brief Chronology of Chinese Historyp. 271
Postscriptp. 273
Indexp. 275

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