From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Not to be confused with New Confucianism, a movement that emerged in the 20th Century.

Neo-Confucianism (simplified Chinese: 宋明理学; traditional Chinese: 宋明理學; pinyin: songmingLǐxué often shortened to 理學) is a form of Confucianism that was primarily developed during the Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Ao (772-841) in the Tang Dynasty. It formed the basis of Confucian orthodoxy in the Qing Dynasty of China. It attempted to merge certain basic elements of Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. The most important of early Neo-Confucianists was the Chinese thinker Zhu Xi (1130–1200).[citation needed]


The Vinegar Tasters: Laozi,Buddha, and Confucius.

Confucians of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) studied the classical works of their faith, but were also familiar with Buddhist and Taoist teachings. Buddhist thought offered to them many things that they considered worthy of admiration, including ideas such as the nature of the soul and the relation of the individual to the cosmos, ideas not yet fully explored by Confucianism. Song Confucians drew greatly from Buddhist thought as well as their own traditions, thus giving rise to the English-language name of "Neo-Confucianism".

One of the most important exponents of Neo-Confucianism was Zhu Xi (1130–1200). He was a rather prolific writer, maintaining and defending his Confucian beliefs of social harmony and proper personal conduct. One of his most remembered was the book Family Rituals, where he provided detailed advice on how to conduct weddings, funerals, family ceremonies, and the veneration of ancestors. Buddhist thought soon attracted him, and he began to argue in Confucian style for the Buddhist observance of high moral standards. He also believed that it was important to practical affairs that one should engage in both academic and philosophical pursuits, although his writings are concentrated more on issues of theoretical (as opposed to practical) significance. It is reputed that he wrote many essays attempting to explain how his ideas were not Buddhist or Taoist, and included some heated denunciations of Buddhism and Taoism.

There were many competing views within the Neo-Confucian community, but overall, a system emerged that resembled both Buddhist and Taoist (Daoist) thought of the time and some of the ideas expressed in the I Ching (Book of Changes) as well as other yin yang theories associated with the Taiji symbol (Taijitu). A well known Neo-Confucian motif is paintings of Confucius, Buddha, and Lao Tzu all drinking out of the same vinegar jar, paintings associated with the slogan "The three teachings are one!"

While Neo-Confucianism incorporated Buddhist and Taoist ideas, many Neo-Confucianists strongly oppose Buddhism and Taoism. Indeed, they rejected the Buddhist and Taoist religions. One of Han Yu‘s most famous essays decries the worship of Buddhist relics. Nonetheless, Neo-Confucian writings adapted Buddhist thoughts and beliefs to the Confucian interest. In China Neo-Confucianism was an officially-recognized creed from its development during the Song dynasty until the early twentieth century, and lands in the sphere of Song China (Vietnam, and Japan) were all deeply influenced by Neo-Confucianism for more than half a millennium.

World view

Zhu Xi’s formulation of the Neo-Confucian world view is as follows. He believed that the Tao (Chinese: 道; pinyin: dào; literally "way") of Tian (Chinese: 天; pinyin: tiān; literally "heaven") is expressed in principle or li (Chinese: 理; pinyin: ), but that it is sheathed in matter or qi(Chinese: 氣; pinyin: ). In this, his system is based on Buddhist systems of the time that divided things into principle (again, li), and shi (Chinese: 事; pinyin: shì). In the Neo-Confucian formulation, li in itself is pure and almost-perfect, but with the addition of qi, base emotions and conflicts arise. Human nature is originally good, the Neo-Confucians argued (following Mencius), but not pure unless action is taken to purify it. The imperative is then to purify one’s li. However, in contrast to Buddhists and Taoists, neo-Confucians did not believe in an external world unconnected with the world of matter. In addition, Neo-Confucians in general rejected the idea of reincarnation and the associated idea of karma.

Different Neo-Confucians had differing ideas for how to do so. Zhu Xi believed in gewu (Chinese: 格物; pinyin: géwù), the Investigation of Things, essentially an academic form of observational science, based on the idea that li lies within the world. Wang Yangming (Wang Shouren), probably the second most influential Neo-Confucian, came to another conclusion: namely, that if li is in all things, and li is in one’s heart, there is no better place to seek than within oneself. His preferred method of doing so was jingzuo (Chinese: 靜坐; pinyin: jìngzuò; literally "quiet sitting"), a practice that strongly resembles zazen or Chan (Zen) meditation. Wang Yangming developed the idea of innate knowing, arguing that every person knows from birth the difference between good and evil. Such knowledge is intuitive and not rational. These revolutionizing ideas of Wang Yangming would later inspire prominent Japanese thinkers like Motoori Norinaga, who argued that because of the Shinto deities, Japanese people alone had the intuitive ability to distinguish good and evil without complex rationalization. Wang Yangming’s school of thought (Ōyōmei-gaku in Japanese) also provided, in part, an ideological basis for some samurai who sought to pursue action based on intuition rather than scholasticism. As such, it also provided an intellectual foundation for the radical political actions of low ranking samurai in the decades prior to the Meiji Ishin (1868), in which the Tokugawa authority (1600–1868) was overthrown.

The importance of li in Neo-Confucianism gave the movement its Chinese name, literally "The study of Li."

Neo-Confucianism in Korea

In medieval Korea, Joseon dynasty, neo-Confucianism was established as state ideology. Neo-Confucianism was introduced to Korea by An Hyang in Goryeo dynasty, in which Buddism was the dominant religion. At that time, Goryeo dynasty was a puppet kingdom of Yuan dynasty. Many Korean scholars visited China under Yuan dynasty and An Hyang was one of them. In 1286, he happened to read a book of Zhu Xi in Yanjing. He was so moved by this book that he transcribed this book entirely and came back to Korea with his transcribed copy. It inspired Korean intellectuals a lot and many of them embraced neo-Confucianism. They were usually from the middle class and sick of old noble class. The newly rising neo-confucian intellectuals were the leading groups to overthrow the old dynasty and set up the new dynasty, Joseon.

They set up neo-Confucianism as state ideology of the new dynasty. They regarded Buddhism as poisonous to neo-Confucian order. So Buddhism was restricted or persecuted by the new dynasty. As neo-Confucianism encouraged education, there were founded a lot of neo-Confucian schools (서원 seowon and 향교 hyanggyo) over the whole country. Such schools produced a lot of neo-Confucian scholars. Soon they passed the phase only to read and remember Chinese original, and they could develop new neo-Confucian theories. Yi Hwang and Yi I were the most prominent of them. But Neo-Confucianism in Joseon dynasty became so dogmatic that it prevented social and economical development and change. Wang Yangming‘s theory which were popular in Ming dynasty was regarded as heresy and severely condemned by Korean neo-Confucianists. And any annotations on Confucian canon which are different from Zhu Xi were excluded.

And the newly-emerging ruling class, called Sarim(사림, 士林), divided into the political factions according to their diversity of neo-Confucian views on politics. There were 2 large factions and many subfactions.

During Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598), many Korean neo-Confucian books and scholars were taken to Japan. They motivated Japanese scholars such as Fujiwara Seika and affected the deveopment of Japanese neo-Confucianism.

Bureaucratic examinations

Neo-Confucianism became the interpretation of Confucianism whose mastery was necessary to pass the bureaucratic examinations by the Ming, and continued in this way through the Qing dynasty until the end of the Imperial examination system in 1905. However, many scholars such as Benjamin Elman have questioned the degree to which their role as the orthodox interpretation in state examinations reflects the degree to which both the bureaucrats and Chinese gentry actually believed those interpretations, and point out that there were very active schools such as Han learning which offered competing interpretations of Confucianism.

The competing school of Confucianism was called the Evidential School or Han Learning and argued that Neo-Confucianism had caused the teachings of Confucianism to be hopelessly contaminated with Buddhist thinking. This school also criticized Neo-Confucianism for being overly concerned with empty philosophical speculation that was unconnected with reality.

Confucian canon

The Confucian canon as it exists today was essentially compiled by Zhu Xi. Zhu codified the canon of Four Books (the Great Learning, the Doctrine of the Mean, the Analects of Confucius, and the Mencius) which in the subsequent Ming and Qing Dynasties were made the core of the official curriculum for the civil service examinations.

Prominent neo-Confucian scholars



Further reading

Categories: Confucianism | Chinese philosophy | Chinese thought | Korean Confucianism | Chinese traditional religion | Japanese philosophy | Buddhist philosophy | Neo-Confucianism



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




Dao (Tao) · De (Te) · Wuji · Taiji ·Yin-Yang · Wu Xing · Qi · Neidan ·Wu wei


Laozi (Tao Te Ching) · Zhuangzi ·Liezi · Daozang


Three Pure Ones · Yu Huang · Guan Shengdi · Eight Immortals · Yellow Emperor · Xiwangmu · Jade Emperor · Chang’e · Other deities


Laozi · Zhuangzi · Zhang Daoling ·Zhang Jiao · Ge Hong · Chen Tuan


Tianshi Dao · Shangqing · Lingbao ·Quanzhen Dao · Zhengyi Dao ·Wuliupai

Sacred sites

Grotto-heavens · Mount Penglai

Taoism (or Daoism) refers to a variety of related philosophical and religious traditions that have influenced Eastern Asia for more than two millennia,[1] and have had a notable influence on the western world particularly since the 19th century.[2] The word 道, Tao (or Dao, depending on theromanization scheme), roughly translates as, "path" or "way" (of life), although in Chinese folk religionand philosophy it carries more abstract meanings. Taoist propriety and ethics emphasize the Three Jewels of the Tao: compassion, moderation, and humility, while Taoist thought generally focuses onnature, the relationship between humanity and the cosmos (天人相应), health and longevity, and wu wei(action through inaction), which is thought to produce harmony with the Universe.[3]

Reverence for ancestor spirits and immortals is also common in popular Taoism. Organized Taoism distinguishes its ritual activity from that of the folk religion, which some professional Taoists (Daoshi) view as debased. Chinese alchemy (including Neidan), astrology, cuisine, Zen Buddhism,[4] several Chinese martial arts, Chinese traditional medicine, feng shui, immortality, and many styles of qigong breath training disciplines have been intertwined with Taoism throughout history.

Spelling and pronunciation

 Daoism–Taoism romanization issue

A Taoist Temple in Hong Kong

In English, the words Daoism and Taoism are the subject of an ongoing controversy over the preferred romanization. The root Chinese word "way, path" is romanized tao in the older Wade–Giles system and dào in the modern Pinyin system. In linguistic terminology, English Taoism/Daoismis a calque formed from the Chinese loanword tao/dao "way; route; principle" and the nativesuffix -ism. The sometimes heated arguments over Taoism vs. Daoism involve sinology, phonemes,loanwords, and politics – not to mention whether Taoism should be pronounced /ˈtaʊ.ɪzəm/ or /ˈdaʊ.ɪzəm/.

Daoism is consistently pronounced /ˈdaʊ.ɪzəm/, but English speakers disagree whether Taoismshould be pronounced /ˈdaʊ.ɪzəm/ or /ˈtaʊ.ɪzəm/. In theory, both Wade-Giles tao and Pinyin dao are articulated identically, as are Taoism and Daoism. An investment book titled The Tao Jones Averages illustrates this /daʊ/ pronunciation’s widespread familiarity.[5] In speech, Tao and Taoismare often pronounced /ˈtaʊ/ and ˈtaʊ.ɪzəm/, reading the Chinese unaspirated lenis ("weak") /t/ as the English voiceless stop consonant /t/.Lexicography shows American and British English differences in pronouncing Taoism. A study of major English dictionaries published in Great Britain and the United States found the most common Taoism glosses were /taʊ.ɪzəm/ in British sources and /daʊ.ɪzəm, taʊ.ɪzəm/ in American ones.[6]


There is debate over how, and whether, Taoism should be subdivided. Livia Kohn divided it into the following three categories:[7]

  1. Philosophical Taoism (Daojia 道家) – A philosophical school based on the texts Dao De Jing (道德經) and Zhuangzi (莊子);
  2. Religious Taoism (Daojiao 道敎) – A family of organized Chinese religious movements originating from the Celestial Mastersmovement during the late Han Dynasty and later including the "Orthodox" (Zhengyi 正一) and "Complete Reality" (Quanzhen 全眞) sects, which claim lineages going back to Lao Zi (老子) or Zhang Daoling in the late Han Dynasty;
  3. Folk Taoism – The Chinese folk religion.

This distinction is complicated by hermeneutic (interpretive) difficulties in the categorization of Taoist schools, sects and movements.[8] Some scholars believe that there is no distinction between Daojia and Daojiao.[9] According to Kirkland, "most scholars who have seriously studied Taoism, both in Asia and the West, have finally abandoned the simplistic dichotomy of Tao-chia and Tao-chiao, ‘philosophical Taoism’ and ‘religious Taoism.’"[10]

Hansen states that the identification of "Taoism" as such first occurred in the early Han Dynasty when dao-jia was identified as a single school.[11] The writings of Laozi and Zhuangzi were linked together under this single tradition during the Han Dynasty, but notably not before.[12] It is unlikely that Zhuangzi was familiar with the text of the Daodejing.[13][14] Additionally, Graham states that Zhuangzi would not have identified himself as a Taoist, a classification that did not arise until well after his death.[14]

Taoism does not fall strictly under an umbrella or a definition of an organized religion like the Abrahamic traditions, nor can it purely be studied as the originator or a variant of Chinese folk religion, as much of the traditional religion is outside of the tenets and core teachings of Taoism.[15] Robinet asserts that Taoism is better understood as a way of life than as a religion, and that its adherents do not approach or view Taoism the way non-Taoist historians have done.[16] Henri Maspero noted that many scholarly works frame Taoism as a school of thought focused on the quest for immortality.[17]


A Taoist Temple in Taiwan, showing elements of the Jingxiang religious practice and sculptures of Dragon and Lion guardians

Taoism has never been a unified religion, but has rather consisted of numerous teachings based on various revelations. Therefore, different branches of Taoism often have very distinct beliefs. Nevertheless, there are certain core beliefs that nearly all the sects share.[18]


Taoist theology emphasizes various themes found in the Daodejing and Zhuangzi, such as naturalness, vitality, peace, "non-action" (wu wei, or ‘effortless effort’), emptiness (refinement),detachment, flexibility, receptiveness, spontaneity, the relativism of human ways of life, ways of speaking and guiding behavior.



"Tao" literally means "the way," but can also be interpreted as road, channel, path, doctrine, or line.[19] Wing-tsit Chan stated that Tao meant a system of morality to Confucianists, but the natural, eternal, spontaneous, indescribable way things began and pursued their course to Taoists.[20] Hansen disagrees that these were separate meanings and attributes.[21] Cane asserts Tao can be roughly stated to be the flow of the universe, or the force behind the natural order, equating it with the influence that keeps the universe balanced and ordered.[22] Martinson says that Tao is associated with nature, due to a belief that nature demonstrates the Tao.[23] The flow of qi, as the essential energy of action and existence, is often compared to the universal order of Tao. Tao is compared to what it is not, which according to Keller is similar to the negative theologyof Western scholars.[24] It is often considered to be the source of both existence and non-existence. LaFargue asserts that Tao is rarely an object of worship, being treated more like the Indian concepts of atman and dharma.[25]

De (Te)

For more details on this topic, see De (Chinese).

Tao is also associated with the complex concept of De () "power; virtue; integrity", that is, the active expression of Tao.[26] De is the active living, or cultivation, of that "way".[27]

Wu wei

 Wu wei

Wu wei (simplified Chinese: 无为; traditional Chinese: 無爲; pinyin: wúwéi or traditional Chinese: 無為) is a central concept in Taoism. The literal meaning of wu wei is "without action". It is often expressed by the paradox wei wu wei, meaning "action without action" or "effortless doing".[28] The practice and efficacy of wu wei are fundamental in Taoist thought, most prominently emphasized in Taoism. The goal of wu wei is alignment with Tao, revealing the soft and invisible power within all things. It is believed by Taoists that masters of wu wei can observe and follow this invisible potential, the innate in-action of the Way.[29]

In ancient Taoist texts, wu wei is associated with water through its yielding nature.[30] Taoist philosophy proposes that the universe works harmoniously according to its own ways. When someone exerts their will against the world, they disrupt that harmony. Taoism does not identify one’s will as the root problem. Rather, it asserts that one must place his will in harmony with the natural universe.[31]


Pu (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: pǔ, pú; Wade–Giles: p’u; lit. "uncut wood") is translated "uncarved block", "unhewn log", or "simplicity". It is a metaphor for the state of wu wei (無爲) and the principle of jian ().[32] It represents a passive state of receptiveness. Pu is a symbol for a state of pure potential and perception without prejudice. In this state, Taoists believe everything is seen as it is, without preconceptions or illusion.[33]

Pu is usually seen as keeping oneself in the primordial state of tao.[34] It is believed to be the true nature of the mind, unburdened by knowledge or experiences.[35] In the state of pu, there is no right or wrong, beautiful or ugly. There is no pure experience, or awareness, free from learned labels and definitions. It is this state of being that is the goal of following wu wei.


Taoists believe that man is a microcosm for the universe.[15] The body ties directly into the Chinese five elements. The five organs correlate with the five elements, the five directions and the seasons.[36] Akin to the Hermetic maxim of "as above, so below", Taoism posits that man may gain knowledge of the universe by understanding himself.[37]

In Taoism, even beyond Chinese folk religion, various rituals, exercises, and substances are said to positively affect one’s physical and mentalhealth. They are also intended to align oneself spiritually with cosmic forces, or enable ecstatic spiritual journeys.[38][39] These concepts seem basic to Taoism in its elite forms. Internal alchemy and various spiritual practices are used by some Taoists to improve health and extend life, theoretically even to the point of physical immortality.[15]


Laozi depicted as a Taoist teacher

Further information: Category:Chinese deities

The traditional Chinese religion is polytheistic. Its many deities are part of a heavenly hierarchy that mirrors the bureaucracy of Imperial China. According to their beliefs, Chinese deities may be promoted or demoted for their actions. Some deities are also simply exalted humans, such as Guan Yu, the god of honor and piety. The particular deities worshipped vary according to geographical regions and historical periods in China, though the general pattern of worship is more constant.[40]

There are disagreements regarding the proper composition of this pantheon.[41] Popular Taoism typically presents the Jade Emperor as the official head deity. Intellectual ("elite") Taoists, such as the Celestial Masters sect, usually present Laozi (Laojun, "Lord Lao") and the Three Pure Ones at the top of the pantheon of deities.[42][43]

While a number of immortals or other mysterious figures appear in the Zhuangzi, and to a lesser extent in the Tao Te Ching, these have generally not become the objects of worship. Traditional conceptions of Tao are not to be confused with the Western concepts of theism and monotheism. Being one with the Tao does not indicate a union with an eternal spirit in the Hindu sense, but rather living in accordance with nature.[23][31]


For more details on this topic, see Three Jewels of the Tao.

The Three Jewels, or Three Treasures, (Chinese: 三寶; pinyin: sānbǎo; Wade-Giles: san-pao) are basic virtues in Taoism. The Three Jewels are compassion, moderation, and humanity. They are also translated as kindness, simplicity (or the absence of excess), and modesty. Arthur Waley describes them as "[t]he three rules that formed the practical, political side of the author’s teaching". He correlated the Three Treasures with "abstention from aggressive war and capital punishment", "absolute simplicity of living", and "refusal to assert active authority".[44]


See also: Taoist sexual practices

In the Taoist view of sexuality the body is viewed as a positive asset, and mind and body are not set in contrast or opposition with each other. Sex is treated as a vital component to romantic love; however, Taoism emphasizes the need for self-control and moderation. Completeabstinence is frequently treated as equally dangerous as excessive sexual indulgence. The sexual vitality of men is portrayed as limited, while the sexual energy of women is viewed as boundless. Men are encouraged to control ejaculation to preserve this vital energy, but women are encouraged to reach orgasm without restriction. Taoists believe that a man may increase and nourish his own vitality by bringing a woman to orgasm. The female’s orgasm activates and strengthens her Jing (TCM), which has a nourishing and balancing effect on that of the male. The energy released during either one’s orgasm can be harnessed and led up the Governor vessle/channel to nourish the brain, for additional benefit to the longevity of that partner.[45]

The Chinese government prefers the celibate model of Buddhism for Taoist clergy; Quanzhen clergy take vows of celibacy, but Zhengyi clergy are often married, and often reside at home. They are called sanju Taoshi, or "Taoist priests who live at home." Numbering in the tens of thousands, the sanju Taoshi perform rituals for their local communities.[46][unreliable source?]


Taoist Priest in Macau, February 2006

Tao Te Ching

See also: Tao Te Ching

The Tao Te Ching, or Daodejing, is widely regarded to be the most influential Taoist text.[47] It is a foundational scripture of central importance in Taoism purportedly written by Lao Tzu sometime in the 3rd or 4th centuries BCE.[48][unreliable source?] However, the precise date that it was written is still the subject of debate: there are those who put it anywhere from the 6th century BCE to the 3rd century BCE.[49] It has been used as a ritual text throughout the history of religious Taoism.[50]

Taoist commentators have deeply considered the opening lines of the Tao Te Ching. They are widely discussed in both academic and mainstream literature. A common interpretation is similar toKorzybski‘s observation that "the map is not the territory".[51] The opening lines, with literal and common translation, are:

道可道,非常道。 (Tao (way or path) can be said, not usual way)
"The Way that can be described is not the true Way."
名可名,非常名。 (names can be named, not usual names)
"The Name that can be named is not the constant Name."

Tao literally means "path" or "way" and can figuratively mean "essential nature", "destiny", "principle", or "true path". The philosophical and religious "Tao" is infinite, without limitation. One view states that the paradoxical opening is intended to prepare the reader for teachings about the unteachable Tao.[52] Tao is believed to betranscendent, indistinct and without form. Hence, it cannot be named or categorized. Even the word "Tao" can be considered a dangerous temptation to make Tao a limiting "name".[53]

The Tao Te Ching is not thematically ordered. However, the main themes of the text are repeatedly expressed using variant formulations, often with only a slight difference.[54] The leading themes revolve around the nature of Tao and how to attain it. Tao is said to be unnameable and accomplishing great things through small means.[55] There is significant debate regarding which English translation of the Tao Te Ching is preferred, and which particular translation methodology is best. Discussions and disputes about various translations of the Tao Te Ching can become acrimonious, involving deeply entrenched views.[56]

Ancient commentaries on the Tao Te Ching are important texts in their own right. The Heshang Gong commentary was most likely written in the 2nd century CE, and as perhaps the oldest commentary, contains the edition of the Tao Te Ching that was transmitted to the present day.[57] Other important commentaries include the Xiang’er, one of the most important texts from the Way of the Celestial Masters, andWang Bi’s commentary.[58]


The Zhuangzi (莊子) is traditionally attributed to a Taoist sage of the same name, but this has recently been disputed in western academia. Zhuangzi also appears as a character in the book’s narrative. The Zhuangzi contains prose, poetry, humour and disputation. The book often is seen as complex and paradoxical as the arguments and subjects of discussion are not those common to classical Western philosophy, such as the doctrine of Name Rectification (Zhengming) and correctly making "this/not-this" distinctions (shi/fei).[citation needed] Among the cast of characters in the Zhuangzi’s stories is Laozi of the Tao Te Ching, as well as Confucius.


The Daozang (道藏, Treasury of Tao) is sometimes referred to as the Taoist canon. It was originally compiled during the Jin, Tang, and Songdynasties. The version surviving today was published during the Ming dynasty.[59][60] The Ming Daozang includes almost 1500 texts.[61]Following the example of the Buddhist Tripitaka, it is divided into three dong (洞, "caves", "grottoes"). They are arranged from "highest" to "lowest":[62][63]

  1. The Zhen ("real" or "truth"眞) grotto. Includes the Shangqing texts.
  2. The Xuan ("mystery"玄) grotto. Includes the Lingbao scriptures.
  3. The Shen ("divine"神) grotto. Includes texts predating the Maoshan (茅山)revelations.

Daoshi generally do not consult published versions of the Daozang, but individually choose, or inherit, texts included in the Daozang. These texts have been passed down for generations from teacher to student.[64]

The Shangqing school has a tradition of approaching Taoism through scriptural study. It is believed that by reciting certain texts often enough one will be rewarded with immortality.[65]

Other texts

While the Tao Te Ching is most famous, there are many other important texts in traditional Taoism. Taishang Ganying Pian ("Treatise of the Exalted One on Response and Retribution") discusses sin and ethics, and has become a popular morality tract in the last few centuries.[66] It asserts that those in harmony with Tao will live long and fruitful lives. The wicked, and their descendants, will suffer and have shortened lives.[55] Both the Taiping Jing ("Scripture on Great Peace") and the Baopuzi ("Book of the Master Who Keeps to Simplicity") contain early alchemical formulas that early Taoists believed could lead to immortality.[67][68]

Additionally, the Huainanzi is a compilation of the writing of eight scholars from Han dynasty that blends Daoist, Confucianist, and Legalist concepts, including theories such as Yin-Yang and the Five Phases. Patron Liu An (c. 180–122 BCE) was ruler of the state of Huainan and the grandson of the founder of the Han dynasty whose discourse at his court favored Taoist thought and who brought philosophers, poets and masters of esoteric practices to his court. This resulted in the Huainanzi.[69][unreliable source?]


 History of Taoism

White Cloud Monastery, Beijing

Some forms of Taoism may be traced to prehistoric folk religions in China that later coalesced into a Taoist tradition.[70][71] Laozi is traditionally regarded as the founder of Taoism and is closely associated in this context with "original", or "primordial", Taoism.[43] Laozi received imperial recognition as a divinity in the mid-2nd century BCE.[72] Taoism gained official status in China during the Tang Dynasty, whose emperors claimed Laozi as their relative.[73] Several Song emperors, most notablyHuizong, were active in promoting Taoism, collecting Taoist texts and publishing editions of the Daozang.[74] Aspects of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism were consciously synthesized in the Neo-Confucian school, which eventually became Imperial orthodoxy for state bureaucratic purposes.[75] The Qing Dynasty, however, much favored Confucian classics and rejected Taoist works. During the 18th century, the imperial library was constituted, but excluded virtually all Taoist books.[76] By the beginning of the 20th century, Taoism had fallen so much from favor, that only one complete copy of the Daozang still remained, at the White Cloud Monastery in Beijing.[77] Taoism is one of five religions recognised by the Peoples Republic of China and regulates its activities through a state bureaucracy (the China Taoist Association).[78]


The number of Taoists is difficult to estimate, due to a variety of factors including defining Taoism. The number of people practicing Chinese folk religion is estimated to be just under four hundred million.[79] Most Chinese people and many others have been influenced in some way by Taoist tradition. Estimates for the number of Taoists worldwide range from twenty million and possibly to as many as 400 million in China alone[80][81][82]

Taoism as with other religions in China have been oppressed and discouraged during the Cultural Revolution, thus the number of Taoists today greatly declined from the pre-Communist China.[citation needed]

Recently, there have been some efforts to revive the practice of Taoist religion. In 1956, the Chinese Taoist Association was formed, and received official approval in 1957. It was disbanded during the Cultural Revolution under Mao, but reestablished in 1980. The headquarters of the Association are at Baiyun guan, or White Cloud Temple, of the Longmen branch of Quanzhen.[83]

Geographically, Taoism flourishes best in regions populated by Chinese people: mainland China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and variousChinese diaspora communities. Taoist literature and art has influenced the cultures of Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Organized Taoism seems not to have attracted a large non-Chinese following, except in Korea (e.g. see Kouk Sun Do) and Vietnam, until modern times. In Taiwan 7.5 million people (33% of the population) identify themselves as Taoists.[84] In Singapore, 8.5% of the population identify themselves as Taoist.[85] There are also small numbers of Taoists in the Western world.


At certain dates, food may be set out as a sacrifice to the spirits of the deceased and/or the gods, such as during the Qingming Festival. This may include slaughtered animals, such as pigs and ducks, or fruit. Another form of sacrifice involves the burning of Joss paper, or Hell Bank Notes, on the assumption that images thus consumed by the fire will reappear—not as a mere image, but as the actual item—in the spirit world, making them available for revered ancestors and departed loved ones. At other points, a vegan diet or full fast may be observed.

Also on particular holidays, street parades take place. These are lively affairs which invariably involve firecrackers and flower-covered floats broadcasting traditional music. They also variously include lion dances and dragon dances; human-occupied puppets (often of the "Seventh Lord" and "Eighth Lord"); tongji (童乩 "spirit-medium; shaman") who cut their skin with knives; Bajiajiang, which are Kungfu-practicing honor guards in demonic makeup; and palanquins carrying god-images. The various participants are not considered performers, but rather possessed by the gods and spirits in question.[86]

Fortune-telling—including astrology, I Ching, and other forms of divination—has long been considered a traditional Taoist pursuit. Mediumshipis also widely encountered in some sects. There is an academic and social distinction between martial forms of mediumship (such as tongji) and the spirit-writing that is typically practiced through planchette writing.[87]

Many Taoists also participate in the study, analysis and writing of books. Taoists of this type tend to be civil servants, elderly retirees, or in modern times, university faculty. While there is considerable overlap with religious Taoism, there are often important divergences in interpretation. For example, Wang Bi, one of the most influential philosophical commentators on the Laozi (and Yijing), was a Confucian.[88]

A number of martial arts traditions, particularly T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Bagua Zhang, Wing Chun, Won Yuen Yat Hey Jueng, Bak Mei Pai, Bok Fou Pai, Yaw Gong Moon and Xing Yi Quan, embody Taoist principles to a greater or lesser extent, and some practitioners consider their art to be a means of practicing Taoism.[89]

Taoist symbols and images

Taoist charm from Tien HauTemple in San Francisco

The Taijitu ("yin and yang") symbol 太極圖 as well as the Ba gua 八卦 ("Eight Trigrams") are associated with Taoist symbolism.[90] While almost all Taoist organizations make use of the yin and yang symbol, one could also call it Confucian, Neo-Confucian or pan-Chinese. The yin and yang make an "S" shape, with yin (black or red) on the right. One is likely to see this symbol as decorations on Taoist organization flags and logos, temple floors, or stitched into clerical robes. According to Song Dynasty sources, it originated around the 10th century.[91] Previously, yin and yang were symbolized by a tiger and dragon.[91]

Taoist temples may fly square or triangular flags. They typically feature mystical writing or diagrams and are intended to fulfill various functions including providing guidance for the spirits of the dead, to bring good fortune, increase life span, etc.[92] Other flags and banners may be those of the gods or immortals themselves.[93]

A zigzag with seven stars is sometimes displayed, representing the Big Dipper (or the "Bushel", the Chinese equivalent). In the Shang dynasty the Big Dipper was considered a deity, while during the Han dynasty, it was considered a qi path of the circumpolar god, Taiyi.[94]

Taoist temples in southern China and Taiwan may often be identified by their roofs, which feature Chinese dragons and phoenix made from multi-colored ceramic tiles. They also stand for the harmony of yin and yang (with the phoenix being yin). A related symbol is the flaming pearl which may be seen on such roofs between two dragons, as well as on the hairpin of a Celestial Master.[95] In general though, Chinese Taoist architecture has no universal features that distinguish it from other structures.[96]

Relations with other religions and philosophies

Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are one, a painting in the litang style portraying three men laughing by a river stream, 12th century, Song Dynasty.

See also: The Vinegar Tasters

The terms Tao and De are religious and philosophical terms shared between Taoism and Confucianism.[97] The authorship of the Tao Te Ching is assigned to Laozi, who is traditionally held to have been a teacher of Confucius.[98] However, some scholars believe the Tao Te Ching arose as a reaction to Confucianism.[99] Zhuangzi, reacting to the Confucian-Mohist ethical disputes in his "history of thought", casts Laozi as a prior step to the Mohists by name and the Confucians by implication.

Early Taoist texts reject the basic assumptions of Confucianism which relied on rituals and order, in favour of the examples of "wild" nature and individualism. Historical Taoists challenged conventional morality, while Confucians considered society debased and in need of strong ethical guidance.[100]

The entry of Buddhism into China was marked by interaction and syncretism, with Taoism in particular.[101] Originally seen as a kind of "foreign Taoism", Buddhism’s scriptures were translated into Chinese using the Taoist vocabulary.[102] Chan Buddhism was particularly modified by Taoism, integrating distrust of scripture, text and even language, as well as the Taoist views of embracing "this life", dedicated practice and the "every-moment".[103] Taoism incorporated Buddhist elements during the Tang period, such as monasteries, vegetarianism, prohibition of alcohol, the doctrine of emptiness, and collecting scripture in tripartite organisation. During the same time, Chan Buddhism grew to become the largest sect in Chinese Buddhism.[104] Christine Mollier concluded that a number of Buddhist sutras found in medieval East Asia and Central Asia adopted many materials from earlier Taoist scriptures.[105]

Ideological and political rivals for centuries, Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism deeply influenced one another.[106] They also share some similar values, with all three embracing a humanist philosophy emphasizing moral behavior and human perfection. In time, most Chinese people identified to some extent with all three traditions simultaneously.[107] This became institutionalised when aspects of the three schools were synthesised in the Neo-Confucian school.[108]

Hegel and Schopenhauer both wrote of Taoism.[109]

Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in his book Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth sees Taoism in its earliest form as a monotheistic religion divinely revealed to Prophets, the message of which gradually detoriated over many centuries into what is seen today. In terms of this he relates Taoism and other Chinese traditional religions with modern traditional Religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam.[110]

See also


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  2. ^ Miller (2003), p. ix.
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  4. ^ Peter Occhiogrosso. "Taoism". The Harmony Project. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  5. ^ Goodspeed (1983).
  6. ^ Carr (1990, pp. 63-65). Converting the various pronunciation respelling systems into IPA, British dictionaries (1933-1989, Table 3) give 9 /taʊ.ɪzəm/, 2 /taʊ.ɪzəm, daʊ.ɪzəm/, and 1 /daʊ.ɪzəm/; American dictionaries (1948-1987, Table 4) give 6 /daʊ.ɪzəm, taʊ.ɪzəm/, 2 /taʊ.ɪzəm, daʊ.ɪzəm/, 2 /taʊ.ɪzəm/, and 1/daʊ.ɪzəm/.
  7. ^ Kohn (2000), pp. XI, XXIX.
  8. ^ Mair (2001) p. 174
  9. ^ Robinet (1997), p. 3.
  10. ^ Kirkland (2004) p. 2.
  11. ^ Chad Hansen. "Taoism". Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, CSLI, Stanford University. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  12. ^ Kohn (2000), p. 44.
  13. ^ Chad Hansen. "Taoism". Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, CSLI, Stanford University. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  14. ^ a b Graham (1989) p. 170–171
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  17. ^ Maspero (1981), p. 211.
  18. ^ Robinet (1997), p. 1.
  19. ^ DeFrancis (1996) p. 113
  20. ^ Chan (1963) p. 136
  21. ^ Hansen (1992), p. 206.
  22. ^ Cane (2002), p. 13.
  23. ^ a b Martinson (1987), pp. 168–169.
  24. ^ Keller (2003), p. 289.
  25. ^ LaFargue (1994) p. 283.
  26. ^ Sharot (2001), pp. 77–78, 88.
  27. ^ Maspero (1981), p. 32.
  28. ^ Kirkland (2004), p. 60.
  29. ^ Jones (2004), p. 255.
  30. ^ Oldmeadow (2007), p. 109.
  31. ^ a b Faching & deChant (2001), p. 35.
  32. ^ Slingerland (2003), p. 233.
  33. ^ Kraemer (1986), p. 286.
  34. ^ Carr & Zhang (2004), p. 209.
  35. ^ Martin (2005), p. 15.
  36. ^ Kohn (2000), p. 825.
  37. ^ Occhiogrosso (2004), p. 171.
  38. ^ Kohn (2000), p. 672.
  39. ^ Robinet (1993) p. 228.
  40. ^ Maspero (1981), p. 92.
  41. ^ Segal (2006), p. 50.
  42. ^ Maspero (1981), p. 41.
  43. ^ a b Robinet (1997), p. 63.
  44. ^ Waley (1958), p. 225.
  45. ^ Pas and Leung (1998), pp. 280–81.
  46. ^ Miller (2003), p. ix
  47. ^ Eliade (1984), p. 26
  48. ^ Kohn & LaFargue (1998), p. 158.
  49. ^ Barrett (2006), p. 40.
  50. ^ Kim (2003), pp. 21–22
  51. ^ Kohn & LaFargue (1998), pp. 104.
  52. ^ Kim (2003), p. 13
  53. ^ a b Van Voorst (2005), p. 165
  54. ^ Kohn & LaFargue (1998), pp. 185–86.
  55. ^ Schipper & Verellen (2004), p. 73.
  56. ^ Schipper & Verellen (2004), p. 74–77.
  57. ^ Schipper & Verellen (2004), p. 1.
  58. ^ Schipper & Verellen (2004), p. 30.
  59. ^ Schipper & Verellen (2004), p. 36.
  60. ^ Schipper & Verellen (2004), p. 15.
  61. ^ Litte (2000), p. 46
  62. ^ Schipper & Verellen (2004), p. 44.
  63. ^ Robinet (1997), p. 132.
  64. ^ Schipper & Verellen (2004), p. 70–71.
  65. ^ Robinet (1997), p. 73.
  66. ^ Demerath (2003), p. 149.
  67. ^ Hucker (1995), pp. 203–04.
  68. ^ Robinet (1997), p. 50.
  69. ^ Robinet (1997), p. 184.
  70. ^ Robinet (1997), p. 213.
  71. ^ Kohn (2000), p. XVII.
  72. ^ Schipper (1993), p. 19.
  73. ^ Schipper (1993), p. 220.
  74. ^ Human Rights Without Frontiers "Religious Freedom in China in 2006"PDF (30.6 KiB) An address given to the Delegation EU-China of the European Parliament.
  75. ^ Schipper (1993), p. 28–29.
  76. ^ Silvers (2005), p. 129–132.
  77. ^ Schipper (1993), p. 192.
  78. ^ Silvers (2005), pp. 135–137
  79. ^ Little (2000), pp. 131–139
  80. ^ a b Little (2000), p. 131
  81. ^ Kohn (2004), p. 116.
  82. ^ Kohn (2004), p. 119
  83. ^ Little (2000), p. 128
  84. ^ Schipper (1993), p. 21.
  85. ^ Little (2000), p. 74
  86. ^ Markham & Ruparell (2001). Pg 254.
  87. ^ Hansen (2000). Pp 202, 210.
  88. ^ Fisher (1997). Pg 167.
  89. ^ Maspero (1981). Pg 39.
  90. ^ Maspero (1981). Pg 46.
  91. ^ Prebish (1975). Pg 192.
  92. ^ Dumoulin, Heisig & Knitter (2005). Pp 68, 70–73, 167–168.
  93. ^ Dumoulin, Heisig & Knitter (2005). Pp 166–167, 169–172.
  94. ^ Mollier (2008).
  95. ^ Markham & Ruparell (2001). Pp 248–249.
  96. ^ Windows on Asia Asian Studies Center, Michigan State University.
  97. ^ Moore (1967). Pp 133, 147.
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  • Eliade, Mircea. A History of Religious Ideas, Volume 2. Translated by Willard R. Trask. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.
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Further reading

Popular (non-academic) interpretations of Taoism

Categories: Taoism | Chinese philosophy | Chinese traditional religion | Chinese thought | Pantheism | East Asian religions | Polytheism


The Han Dynasty

Han Dynasty

206 B.C.E. – 220 A.D.E.

China, an exceedingly ancient, intellectual, and praiseworthy civilization that existed on sacred earth. This massive empire subsisted since 7000 B.C.E. and survives gracefully to present day, though they have wrestled through several harsh conditions of collapsing economy, brutal changes in society, government break-down involving communism, and ruthless British colonization. The most prosperous period in Chinese history was during the Han dynasty, 400 years that wealth flourished over the blessed kingdom. It was a period of numerous technological inventions, country expansion advancements, boosting economy, various political conflicts, and religious development.


Throughout the affluent years of the Han dynasty, immeasurable numbers of technological innovations has been accomplished. Silk roads, papermaking, Iron technology (iron plow and moldboard plow), glazed potteries, wheel barrows, seismographs, compass, ship’s rudder, stirrups (horse riding), Dreawloom (weaving), Embroidery, and hot air balloons.

glazed pottery invented by the Chinese during the Han Dynasty.

the ancient way of Paper-making in Guizhou Village in southwestern China.

In contrast, the economy within the Han reign were totally destroyed at the beginning of the rise, due to the suppression policy of the former Qin dynasty that roots the agonizing troubles of unpaid taxes and lack of labor in the troops constructing the Great Wall of China. As a result to the discussed crisis, rulers of the Han dynasty agreed to eliminate the suppression policy, replacing it with the laissez-faire policy. The laissez-faire policy is forbidding government interference with trading or in other words the “free market economics” and the rulers reduced taxes to subordinate pressure in peasants and merchants. As the economy gradually improves, enhancements in agriculture took place quickly in Northern China, followed leisurely by the South. Oxen and horses grow to be significant because they are frequently utilized to pull heavy ploughs and a type of convenient sawing device was invented to supply human strength. A brand new method of cultivation was invented, it was called the “replacement-field method”, which is building deep furrows for planting seeds to protect it from the wind and shift it to new area every year. Iron and bronze industry were also rocketing. Almost everything were made up of iron and bronze; utensils, mirrors, candle-holders, earrings, etc. Eventually, trading progresses together with the successful agricultural development and metal industry, boosting the economy upwards. Objects like woolen fabrics, horses, slaves from the south, perfumes, and iron were traded, providing high profits for merchants.

  • Han Dynasty was an extremely healthy and wealthy era, for the economic statuses were steadily increasing accompanied by new technological inventions, developments in agricultural techniques, towering metal industries and a stop to the suppressive policy.

Social Changes

There are a lot of social changes during the Han dynasty. However, the outstanding one was the evolution of taxes. In the former Qin dynasty, Chinese citizens were never allowed to perform any individual marketing, except send it into the bureaucracy market. Also, taxes had decreased since the Han dynasty took over.

  • The two main social changes in the Han dynasty were the reduction of high taxes and the establishment of free marketing.

A beautiful painting of Chinese people trading in the silk road during the Han Dynasty.


A statue of Confucius, the wise old man who created Cofucianism.

Religion is an extremely powerful force that widely affects Chinese people during the Han dynasty through literature such as myths, the concept of divination, etc. At the establishment of this royal family line, the Chinese apprehended the emperor as their universal center and god. As well, they believed in heaven and hell, some spiritual mascots according to the changing seasons, and ‘the Great Unity’ of nature. Furthermore, in 550 B.C.E., 349 years before the Han dynasty, Taoism was founded. Therefore, it Lao zi’s teachings were widespread amongst almost every individual in China. It had a trememdeous effect on Chinese culture because it is the main factor that led to the creation of Chinese medicines. Towards the end of this authoritative dyasty, Buddhism imported from south-east asia became popular and exaggerated the trade routes on the goods types.

A rough sketch of Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, the belief that peace is within nature and oneself.
The symbol of Taoism named Yin-Yang, revealing the balance between two forces: good and bad.

  • Many powerful religions such as taoism and buddhism contributed innumerable beneficial influences to the Chinese society.

Leaders/ Contemporaries

Emperor Wudi

A sketch of the greastest emperor in Chinese history, Han Wudi.

Emperor Wudi, the fifth emperor of the Han dynasty that lived from 141 B.C.E. to 86 B.C.E., is a divine ‘Mandate of Heaven’ who had brought the Han dynasty to its highest rate or prosperity. He powerfully supported Confucius and obligates every single school to adopt Confucianism as its main philosophy in education. As a result, Confucianism continues to be the central ‘idea’ in China for two thousand years. Wudi also established many well-built military forces against the Hun and other minor ancient tribes that lives in Northern China and successfully chased the Huns as far as the northern part of Gobi. However, to maintain China’s strong security strategy, Wudi organized the building of the Great Wall of China. He had positioned costly taxes, made private businesses public, and seized the possessions that belong to nobles to pay for the cost of his army and increase the income of the court, flourishing the economy. In Conclusion, Wudi had constructed the wealth of the Han dynasty and, unfortunately, richness diminishes gradually after his funeral.
Emperor Xuan

Emperor Xuan of the Han dynasty lived from 74 B.C.E. to 49 B.C.E. His reign was quite different from Han Wudi’s because Xuan’s government officials were honest and truly cared for the people. Xuan was praised by his citizens about his enthusiasm to modify himself and the country by listening to various advices in addition to his own thought. Also, Xuan became close allies with the Great Xiyu Empire and revolutionized China’s military tactics to protect themselves from other tribes and foreign nations. To conclude, Xuan was a mild ruler that governed over honest officials and was concerned about his people’s happiness.

  • Several dedicated leaders, such as emperor Wudi and emperor Xuan, reigns during the flourishing Han dyasty, causing China’s economy, military force, and development in relationships with other countries thrive.


This is a cartoon picture of prejudice against the bureaucracy system for its nobility.

The two governmental structures present throughout the Han dynasty was the feudal system and the central bureaucracy system, descended from the Qin dynasty. Families are allowed to keep their own land, however, areas around the capital and other territories unoccupied belonged to the royal blood line. The government was chiefly operated by two highly positioned officials such as the president involving other commanders, nobles, dukes and counselors. Surprisingly, the Han dynasty government officials were the first political administrators to construct a method of education specifically for administrational bureaucracy. In total contrast to the Qin dynasty, violence such as physical persecution, disfigurement of body parts, and cruel stampings on the skin called stigmatizing were exterminated from China.

  • The two main governmental methods during the Han Dynasty were the feudal system and the central bureaucracy system, which were the ancient systems passed on from the Qin dynasty.


In 206 B.C.E., After the death of Qin Suangdi, the Han emperor ruled over China.

In 101 B.C.E. with the help of the great emperor Han Wudi, China triumphed over the Ferghana territory and nearby regions, therefore, confiscated beautiful horses for their own use. In addition, it gave China the control to trade routes and, in return, various kinds of goods such as wine, fabrics, and sesame.

In 220 B.C.E. an ethnic group called ‘Hsiung-nu’ migrated the Chinese population to the south from the yellow river to the Yangtze river in the south. Therefore, unfortunately, the Han dynasty crumpled brought down by three kingdoms, the Wei, the Wu, and the Shu.

25 B.C.E., the Eastern Han dynasty was established after the Western Han had lost the qualification for the ‘Mandate of Heaven’.

During Han Wudi’s reign from 141 B.C.E. to 86 B.C.E., poetry, philosophy and literature flourished over the Chinese people.

In 220 A.D.E., the Eastern Han dynasty’s collapse created a war between six dynasties.

A drawing from the novel ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ that originated from this event.

  • Countless events have happened during the Han dynasty and therefore many of them are important to Chinese history.


An Interesting Fact…
The Great Wall of China, composed during the Han dynasty, is the longest construction in the world. As mighty as it is, the Great Wall of China cannot be seen from outer space because it is too thin.

The Great Wall of China in spring time.

Paper- Making

Paper making, a miraculous innovation invented during the Great Han Dynasty still exploited in present day in southwestern China where minority groups live. Initially, Our Chinese ancestors alive during the Han dynasty used incredibly thin bamboo curtains and dangles them on a rope until all water is eliminated, left with thin dried papers. In the prehistoric period of the Han dynasty, T’sai Lun, the man who created paper went through a fairly complex process of manufacturing paper. Individual fibers of plants were mixed with purely sterilized water. Then, a rectangular screen was bathed into the humid solution, creating thin fibers on the upper space, and wait for it to dry. Therefore, every sheet of paper utilized worldwide were simply composed of clusters of fibers from plants.

A sketch of the paper making process during the Han dynasty.

  • Paper-Making is a major invention during the Han dynasty in China that leads to many other important inventions such as printing and money production.

Works Cited

Ouyang, Changpei. “Ancient Paper Making.” Travel Weekly. 1996. Xindeco Business Information Company. <>
HQ PaperMaker™. “All About Paper: the origins of paper”. 2004. HQ Group Company Limited
Xinhuanet. “New Evidence suggests longer paper making history in China.” 2006-08-10. China Economic Net.
Department of Asian Art. "Han Dynasty (206 B.C.–220 A.D.)". In Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2000)
“History Timeline”.
“A Timeline of China”. 1999. Piero Scaruffi.
Ulrich Theobald. “Chinese History – Han Dynasty 漢 (206 BC-8 AD, 25-220)map and geography”. 2000.
“The Legacy of Ancient China: The Han Dynasty”. February 9, 2006.
Frank E. Smitha. “China to the Fall of the Han Dynasty”. 1998.
“Han Wudi”. Ministry of Culture, P.R.China. 2003.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. “Han Xuan”. 07:43, 18 December 2006. Wikipedia®.

Posted by janeris2007 at Thursday, February 01, 2007