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Ian_Lee

The most "westernized" Chinese Dynasty

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bathrobe

Are we still on topic? Somehow the thread seems to be talking about women (again).

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nnt

the thread seems to be talking about women (again).

The question is: how much "westernized" (acording to the post "standards" :wink: ) Tang's women (see the pictures) were?

Still in topic... :clap

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vinhlong

I was thinking maybe Song dynasty was the most westernized dynasty since modern western countries based their civil apparatus on China's during the Song dynasty

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Ian_Lee

Tang China. like US today, was also a country that installed foreign-born people to high position in the government hierarchy.

The Tang general that led into the battle of Talas was the famous Kao Hsien-chih -- a Korean national from Silla.

Kao was just like Colin Powell in US.

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bhchao

Li Shimin was semi-foreign himself. His father Li Yuan married into the Toba clan of barbarian conquest aristocrats who were part of the Xianbei coalition. Of course he's still considered Chinese.

The Yang imperial family of the preceding Sui dynasty also were linked to the Toba clan because Yang Jian also married into the Toba clan.

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bhchao

As skylee mentioned earlier, I think "cosmopolitan" would be more preferable than "westernised".

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DaMo
Boddhidharma, the founder of ShaoLin temple was an Indian: no Buddhism--> No ShaoLin --> No Wuxia films!

While Bodhidharma contributed to Chinese martial arts, there were other martial arts developments in China long before and after his time. It would be quite different, but Chinese martial arts would still exist.

By the way, the Shaolin temple itself existed before Bodhidharma got to it.

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nnt

He he, after Confucius, I'm running into Boddhidharma 菩提達摩 (Pu2 ti2 da2 mo2 Bồ đề đạt ma) himself :mrgreen:

http://english.yinyangandtaichichuan.org/bodhidharma.html

Boddhidarma is the first patriarch of the chan sect known also as zen.

He is also the 28 patriarch in the tradition of the Buddha Gautama.

Boddhidharma was his indian name. Chinese know him as Da Mo or Ta Mo. In Japan they name him Bodai Daruma or Daruma. He founded the chan sect melting buddhism and taoism.

This happened between 527 and 536 (Christian era) in Shaolin Monastery. Other datations locate this at around 470 AC.

Sorry to have thought he founded Shaolin temple (memory can betray us for lack of yoga...). Instead, he founded Zen buddhism 禅 chan2 thiền, which is very important too :wink:

Sure, fighting is as old as humanity, nobody has waited for "martial arts" to begin to fight...

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Guest dingo

the Qing Dynasty was the most westernised as this is the dynasty which fell to the hands of the west...

the Last Emporer of China was only a little boy, and he wore western clothing, and had a western teacher, and wears glasses.

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bhchao

Everyone knows that Tang Taizong's rise to power was ruthless. During 玄武門之變, he killed his two brothers, kicked his father Li Yuan off the throne, and forced his father to abdicate in his favor.

To look at it from an objective standpoint, 李建成 and 李元吉were already plotting against 李世民, who was the driving force behind the founding of the dynasty. So 李世民 decided to take action to prevent himself from becoming the result of his two brother's actions.

What do you all think about 李世民's action? Would you have done the same thing if you were in his place? In other words, to look at it from his perspective, would you rather control your own fate and destiny, rather than let it lie in the hands of others?

Kicking his father off the throne may not have been very nice. (At least he didn't kill his father)

End up 李世民 became one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history.

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skylee
Everyone knows that Tang Taizong's rise to power was ruthless.

According to some stories actually he was forced to rebel as his two brothers had been plotting against him (as you have pointed out) and adding poison to his food/drinks. Some stories have it that at 玄武門, 建成 and 元吉 actually fought back but since they were unprepared they were killed.

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bhchao

He also had all 10 sons of his brother executed. This might seem cruel based on today's standards. But given the Machiavellian nature of those times, 李建成's sons would inevitably seek revenge on 李世民 sooner or later.

It is human nature to seek revenge on someone who had killed or slighted your father. Based on 李世民's thinking, it is better to get rid of them first before they get rid of him later on.

This is not any different from what Tokugawa Ieyasu did to Hideyori Toyotomi 's son after the fall of Osaka Castle in 1614 almost a thousand years later. After defeating Hideyori, Ieyasu had Hideyori's infant son executed to prevent future revenge.

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skylee

And the killing of the brothers then led to nightmares at old age, and the story of how 尉遲恭 became one of the 門神 -

李世民率長孫無忌、尉遲恭等將官伏兵於玄武門, 對正要一道入朝的建成、元吉,進行了突然襲擊。在事變之中,李世民曾被臂力過人的李元吉扼住脖頸,千鈞一髮之際,是尉遲恭挺身趕到,射死元吉,救了李世民。後來又是尉遲恭手提建成、元吉的首級,出示給東宮、齊府將士,使他們不戰自亂,最後又是尉遲恭向李淵作了匯報。
秦叔寶、尉遲恭:

是最常見的中門門神。他們原是幫唐太宗打天下的名將,傳說唐太宗晚年常作惡夢,後命此二將守於門外才得一夜好眠,故後人將其奉為門神。兩人均為武將打扮,秦叔寶白面鳳眼執鍆,尉遲恭黑面環睛持鞭,兩人通常作撚鬚狀,其貌不怒而威。

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Ian_Lee

Skylee:

I really doubt what those historians wrote.

Why? Very simple. History is written by winner.

Did those court mandarins dare write something which would ruin the reputation of Taizhong?

Well, Taizhong didn't only kill his nephews. He took over the concubines of his brothers too.

But strictly speaking, this was all Emperor Li's "family" affairs. As long as his rule was benign, why should the ordinary folks on the street bother about his "family" affairs?

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Ian_Lee

Hmmmm......Did anybody know what date 玄武門政變 happened?

June 4th (lunar calendar).

Moreover, the brothers that 李世民 killed were his blood brothers -- they had the same mother.

Even though 李世民 murdered his brothers, executed his nephews, took over the concubines-in-law, he was smart to keep his brother's outstanding retainers like 魏徵 and even assigned them high rank.

In terms of rthlessness, Cao Cao paled with Emperor Li (Li would have executed Mr. Sima a long time ago). But every Chinese thinks Cao was nuts while Li was sacrosanct! :twisted:

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bhchao

魏徵 was one of two outstanding prime ministers during the Tang dynasty. The other one was 狄仁傑. Both were honest and frank with their monarchs.

Although Wu Zetian was domineering towards many of her subjects, she deferred to 狄仁傑. He often confronted her when he felt that her actions and policies crossed lines of principle. There was one incident when she became angry with him because he disagreed with a policy she was proposing. He retaliated by banging his head onto one of the pillars in the hall, and told her that he was perfectly willing to keep banging his head until he killed himself. She begged him to stop and adopted his proposal instead.

They had an admirable working relationship based on mutual respect, similar to the relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and William Cecil.

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holyman

`westernized` cos they had costumes, music, dances, camels, grapes, red wine, melons, pi pa, gems and jewery all from the west. they had buddhism, islam and probably christians missionaries in xi an. this capital city with more than a million population had at least 120k foreigners, mostly from the `west`. but this `west` is not the west we knew now. the west we know now were probably still in the dark ages at that time.

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bhchao

Did anyone notice the similarities between Empress Wu and Bill Clinton?

Both were known for their personal scandals in office. While Empress Wu was having dalliances with younger men in the palace in the late 7th century, Clinton was doing his share of scandals in the Oval Office 1300 years later.

Despite both individuals' personal intrigues, the economy under both prospered and surpluses kept pouring into government coffers. Ironically the economic and fiscal conditions of both countries deteriorated under their successors.

At least the 開元 period of Xuanzong was prosperous, while his later 天寶saw a decline in conditions.

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