The China History Podcast

This is an all Neo-Confucian episode. Last episode, Laszlo introduced three of the five founders of Neo-Confucianism: Zhou Dunyi, Shao Yong and Zhang Zai. This time we finish off with the remaining two founders: the Cheng Brothers, Cheng Hao and Cheng Yi. And taking this rich harvest to the next level is Zhu Xi. The basic tenets of Neo-Confucianism are introduced, with a focus on lǐ (principle) and xīn (mind) and how these two concepts caused a great divide in the two main schools of Neo-Confucianism. Qì (life-force) is also examined, and how that fits into the big picture. The episode closes with an introduction to the extraordinary life of someone getting a lot of press these days in China, Wang Yangming, and his contributions to Neo-Confucianism. 


Direct download: CHP-191-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_8.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:05am PDT

In the late Han Dynasty, philosophy was a lot more complex than in Confucius's time. The focus in this episode is on philosophical thought in the Tang Dynasty (618-907).  From the fall of the Han dynasty in 220, all the way through the Six Dynasties, Buddhism had spread quickly throughout the disunited kingdoms of China. By the time the father and son team of Yang Jian and Yang Guang stabilized and united China into a new empire in 589, Buddhism had taken root and appealed to the weary masses and the aristocrats. Later in the Tang Dynasty, Confucianism reasserted itself, and after the brilliant work of Han Yu, Li Ao and Liu Zongyuan, it set the stage for the third epoch in Confucianism during the Song dynasty. Laszlo also briefly introduces three of the founding fathers of Neo Confucianism, Zhou Dunyi, Shao Yong and Zhang Zai

Direct download: CHP-190-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_7.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 5:38am PDT

Laszlo gives the subject of Daoism, the Daodejing and the Zhuangzi a fresh makeover, covered before in an old China History Podcast episode from days gone by. The history of Daoism is explored as well as its main characters, Laozi and Zhuangzi, and what they called for in those dark Eastern Zhou times. Daoism is both a philosophy and a religion, but this episode only explores the former. The Xuanxue thinkers Wang Bi, Guo Xiang and Xiang Xiu are also discussed, as well as the Neo-Daoism that evolved in the Han. As Daoism and Confucianism evolved in China, side by side, there was occasionally some interesting overlap. Confucians from here on out actively explored ways to reconcile their philosophy with the other major contending schools of thought, Daoism and Buddhism.

Direct download: CHP-189-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_6.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:03am PDT

Legalism takes front and center stage in this episode. After the conquest of the competing Warring States in 221 BCE by Qin Shihuang, a new ideology was embraced by the new Chinese state. The Legalist philosophers Shang Yang, Shen Buhai, Shen Dao, Han Fei and Li Si are all introduced as well as their individual and collective contributions in laying the Legalist foundations for what was to follow in the Qin dynasty, and over the next two thousand years of imperial Chinese history. Laszlo also shows what happened to Legalism right after the Qin Emperor met his untimely end, and how this led to Confucianism's greatest triumph in the Han dynasty thanks to Dong Zhongshu and others.

Direct download: CHP-188-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_5.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:38am PDT

Laszlo is back on track, picking up where we left off in part two following the death of Master Kong in 479 BCE. A lot happened in the world of Chinese philosophy right after Confucius passed. He had both disciples who carried on his teachings, and naysayers who pointed to flaws in this Ru School of philosophy and offered an alternative kind of thought. As the countdown to the milestone year of 221 BCE gets nearer, a hundred schools of thought contended like never before, each offering their solutions to the tumultuous and bloody times of the latter half of the Eastern Zhou dynasty

Direct download: CHP-187-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_4.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 1:05pm PDT

Although covered before in an old China History Podcast episode, Laszlo takes the Yi Jing (I Ching, sometimes called the ‘Book of Changes’) off the shelf for a total makeover and freshening up. In this brief detour along the history timeline, Laszlo picks the Yi Jing apart and offers up both a history of this timeless classic as well as a brief intro about how it works and the role it plays in the life of some people. The Yi Jing is a book with a lot of staying power and has been kept as a handy reference guide for hundreds of millions of people over the millennia. Listen to what it's all about and see for yourself if the Yi Jing can serve you:

Direct download: CHP-186-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_3.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:18am PDT

In this second helping of Laszlo's overview of the history of Chinese philosophy, the Great Sage himself is the center of focus. Arguably China's most famous citizen of all time, Confucius (and his disciples) created an ideology and political system that had incredible lasting power. Part two examines the stories surrounding Confucius's life growing up and operating in the State of Lu during the last decades of the Spring and Autumn period of the Zhou Dynasty. In addition to the trials and tribulations faced by Master Kong in his day, the basic tenets of Confucianism are introduced.

Direct download: CHP-185-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_2.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:46am PDT

After the longest break in the action since 2001, The CHP is back with this pleasant little 9-Part overview covering the history of Chinese philosophy. The series will run from pre-Confucian times clear through to Wang Yangming in the mid Ming Dynasty, a period stretching for more than two thousand years. And don't forget to download the free Infographic that will accompany the series. I predict it will do wonders in keeping all the names, dates, philosophies and texts straight. Thanks for your patience! I hope you enjoy the series.

Direct download: CHP-184-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_1.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:33am PDT

Laszlo finishes off the overview of the Rape of Nanking as well as the stories of John Rabe, Robert O. Wilson, Minnie Vautrin, Rev. William Magee and others who directed the Nanjing Safety Zone during the worst weeks of the atrocities.  The aftermath of the Nanjing Massacre is also examined.



The Nanjing Safety Zone   Nánjīng Ānqúan Qū 南京安全区

Jīnlíng Women's College 金陵女子大学 Now part of Nanjing Normal University

Jīnlíng 金陵  ancient name of Nanjing during the Zhou Dynasty

Zhū Dé 朱德 Red Army founder

Péng Déhuái 彭德怀 Great PLA general and later defense minister

Nana-san-ichi Butai  731部队 Unit 731, based in Harbin

General Shiro Ishii 石井四郎 Director of Unit 731

Joseph Mengele The German version of Shiro Ishii.

Nánjīng Dà Túshā 南京大屠杀 The Nanjing Massacre

Okamura Yasuji  岡村宁次 Japanese general who led the brutal Three All’s Policy to Kill all, Burn all, Loot all

Yasukuni Shrine 靖国神社 Shinto shrine that commemorates those who died for the Empire of Japan

Shì shí qiú shì   实事求是 seek truth from facts, originally from the ancient Book of Han, later made famous by Chairman Mao and then even more famous by Deng Xiaoping.



Iris Chang, "The Rape of Nanking - The Forgotten Holocaust if World War II"

"The Good German of Nanking - The Diaries of John Rabe"

Jay Taylor, "The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China"

Rana Mitter, "Forgotten Ally: China's World War II 1937-1945"

Honda Katsuichi, "The Nanjing Massacre: A Japanese Journalist Confronts Japan's National Shame"

Sinica Podcast April 7, 2015 with Lucy Hornby "Comfort Women and the struggle for reparations"

Isaac Meyer's excellent History of Japan Podcast

YouTube link to the Nanking movie mentioned in CHP-183 Nanjing Massacre Part 2

Direct download: CHP-183-The_Nanjing_Massacre_Part_2.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 8:51pm PDT

By popular demand Laszlo finally introduces the Nanjing Massacre.  This is a very emotional, controversial and sensitive subject for a whole lot of reasons.  Over the next two episodes Laszlo will review material from past episodes to discuss the lead-up to the Massacre. Then in Part 2 the actual event itself as well as the story of the Nanjing Safety Zone and some of the foreigners who became eyewitnesses to the horrors of the Nanjing Massacre.  It's also referred to as the Nanking Massacre and the Rape of Nanking.


Rape of Nanking Nánjīng Dà Túshā 南京大屠杀 (Japanese 南京大虐杀) Also referred to as the Nanjing (Nanking) Massacre.

Zēng Guófán 曾国藩  1811-1872 Viceroy of Zhili, founder of the Xiang Army that helped put down the Taiping Rebellion.

Zhào Qīzhèng 赵启正  PRC official who has mostly been associated with news organizations.

Kublai Khan 忽必烈 Yuan Dynasty founder and grandson of Chinggiz Khan

Zhāng Chúnrú 张纯如 Iris Chang 1968-2004, American writer.

Honda Katsuichi 本多勝 Japanese journalist and writer who wrote extensively on the Rape of Nanking.

Revere the Emperor, Expel the Barbarian (Japanese 攘夷勅命 Sonnō Jōi)

Zūnwáng Rǎngyí 尊王攘夷 The Mandarin version of the above phrase.

Lǐ Hóngzhāng 李鸿章 1823-1901 Successor to Zeng Guofan, top late Qing era diplomat

Treaty of Shimonoseki 下关条约 Signed 1895 at conclusion of 1st Sino-Japanese war

Zhāng Zuòlín 张作霖 Warlord of Manchuria from 1922 - 1928.

Prime Minister Hamaguchi Osachi 濱口雄幸 Japanese Prime Minister 1929-1931

Jiǔyībā  九一八 The Mukden Incident of September 18, 1931

Manchukuo (Mǎnzhōuguó) 满洲国 Lasted from 1932 to 1945. Puppet state in Manchuria

Pǔ Yí 溥仪 The last Qing Emperor, also known as the Xuantong 宣统帝Emperor. Emperor of Manchukuo.

Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi 犬養毅 Japanese prime Minster from 1931-1932.

Héběi 河北 Northern province of China, where Beijing and Tianjin are geographically located.

Shānxī 山西 Northern Province of China, capital at Taiyuan

Shāndōng 山东 Coastal northern province

Tiānjìn 天津 Northern city in China just east of Beijing

Lúshān 庐山 Mountain resort in Jiangxi popular with Nationalist and Communist leaders as a meeting place.

Jiāngxī 江西 Province in China, capital at Nanchang

Zhōu Dynasty 周朝  Ancient dynasty of China

Bái Chóngxǐ 白崇禧  NRA general, close ally to Li Zongren

Lǐ Zōngrén 李宗仁 Major military and political figure during the 1920's and 30's. Had a stormy relationship with Chiang Kai-shek.

Chóngqìng 重庆 City in Sichuan province, now a stand-alone municipality

Wǔhàn 武汉 City in Hubei on the Yangzi River

Lǎobǎixìng 老百姓 The people, in this case the Chinese people, (the old 100 surnames).

Jiāng-Zhè  江浙区 region Abbreviation for the Jiangsu-Zhejiang region

Yamaguchi Tsutomu 山口 彊 1916-2010 A survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings August 6 and 9, 1945.

Nánchāng 南昌 Capital city of Jiangxi province

Táng Shēngzhì  唐生智   Nationalist general who was tasked with defending Nanjing

Sūn Quán  孙权 Three Kingdoms era leader of the State of Sun Wu.

Matsui Iwane 松井石根  Imperial Japanese Army Commander-in-chief for the Shanghai-Nanjing Region

Nakajima Kesago 中岛今朝吾  Lt. Gen. in the Imperial Japanese Army

Yanagawa Heisuke 柳川平助 General in the Imperial Japanese Army

Sūzhōu 苏州 City in Jiangsu province renowned for a thousand things

Emperor Hirohito (Emperor Showa 昭和天皇) Emperor of Japan 1926-1989

Prince Asaka Yasuhiko 朝香宮鳩彦王 1887-1981 General in the Imperial Japanese Army, uncle of Emperor Hirohito.

Ānhuī 安徽   Province in central China


Iris Chang, "The Rape of Nanking - The Forgotten Holocaust if World War II"

"The Good German of Nanking - The Diaries of John Rabe"

Jay Taylor, "The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China"

Rana Mitter, "Forgotten Ally: China's World War II 1937-1945"

Honda Katsuichi, "The Nanjing Massacre: A Japanese Journalist Confronts Japan's National Shame"

Sinica Podcast April 7, 2015 with Lucy Hornby "Comfort Women and the struggle for reparations"

Isaac Meyer's excellent History of Japan Podcast

YouTube link to the Nanking movie mentioned in CHP-183 Nanjing Massacre Part 2

Direct download: CHP-182-The_Nanjing_Massacre_Part_1.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 8:49pm PDT