EASC150 9.15.09

EASC150 9.15.09 - East Asian Societies The Chinese systems...

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East Asian Societies September 15, 2009 The Chinese systems was an open class structure o The role of the merchant in china was a temporary one o The success of the merchant was to accumulate the wealth necessary for gentry status The more successful the merchant was, the better chance the merchant had to stop being a merchant For Levy, it wasn’t a lack of understanding, it was the nature of the system and social structure o Not effective for long term success in China for the merchant o Stresses and strains were contained in china he explains o Transitional China is the second stage There in internal change and external change External: the new forces introduced into china o Anything that is important to Levy was already there in traditional china His explanation is based on traditional old china Levy and his discussion of Japan o If you look at traditional Japan, on the surface it seems to be similar to traditional china These are superficial similarities They are different in crucial ways Talks about four similarities o It seems that both are predominantly agrarian o The roles of the merchant were ambiguous in both societies The influence and economic power of the merchant was much greater than it seemed o The family in both societies is important o The governmental structure was a combination of highly centralized and decentralized elements in both China and Japan It looks like they are very similar o Levy says Molder is wrong because he has no background on the subject (she never studied Japan or China) o For Levy he says that all of these seemingly similar areas, when you get below the surface they are so different The role of the family and the merchants are actually very different o Japan was a feudal system, China was not Part of the big difference 1
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The role of the merchant in a closed feudal system like Japan- Levy o There was no way a merchant could be come a member of the nobility You were born a merchant and remained a merchant o One key methods and ways by which merchants could change their status in Chinese society was not possible in Japan Money for investment could not be put into land because you had a restriction on the buying and selling of land The merchants were forced to think in terms of buying and selling and whatever commodities they were dealing with In Japan, security lies in being a successful merchant The role of family in Japan- Levy o The family was subordinated In china, the family was most important in all areas of life o In Japan, the family was more subordinated so that every mans first duty in Japan was not to the family but to the overlord The feudal lord Loyalty over rode family obligations Levy- goes through the stresses and strains of Traditional Japan
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EASC150 9.15.09 - East Asian Societies The Chinese systems...

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