Chapter 6, Eastern Asia



Historically, this world region has cycled between periods of isolationism and outward (western) economic expansion

Variety of economies in Eastern Asia ranging from periphery to core (East Asian Tigers--early 1990s).  East Asian tigers devolved into economic slowdown and recession in Japan by the late 1990s.


REGION - dominated by:
- mountainous landscapes, major river systems
- high population densities in well-watered lowlands
- dynamic: earthquakes, volcanoes, typhoons,..., but still lots of people

Tropical and Midlatitude Climates
- wide variety of climates
- latitudinal range (S of Equator - over 50 degrees N)
- equatorial (e.g., Malaysia, Indonesia)
- monsoon (e.g., Vietnam, S China): typhoons late summer; cool, dry winters
- east coast midlatitudes: summer rain; cold,dry winter (e.g., N. coastal China, Koreas; Japan also, with rain)
- continental: cold, dry winters, little summer rain, arid (e.g., inland China)

Mountains and Islands
- high mountains
- tectonics: significant impact throughout region

Great Wall of China

Major Rivers

- high mountains + lots of rain = very active rivers
--> deep valleys, plains, deltas 
For example: Mekong, Huang He (Yellow), Chang Jiang (Yangtze)

Tropical Rain Forest to Midlatitude Desert
- variety of natural vegetation types: rainforest to deciduous to grassland to desert
- being replaced

Natural Resources
- water + soil= high yields
- minerals - oil, gas, coal, gold, diamonds, etc. 
- heterogeneous distribution

Country Boundaries
- many established on natural borders
- many established on cultural, historical, colonial borders
- Buffer state: a country that stands between major world powers and helps to reduce direct conflicts between them
for example: Mongolia, Koreas, Taiwan

Environmental Problems

Natural Hazards

tectonics + monsoons = resources and hazards 
flooding (e.g., Chang Jiang, China; Viet Nam) 
drought (mostly inland) 
Pacific "Ring of Fire" (or "rim of fire")

Kobe Earthquake Damage 1995 
The 70 Year Rule

Human Impacts and Responses
deforestation (agriculture, dams) --> soil erosion, flooding, silting
desertification --> Great Green Wall

Three Gorges Dam 

industry + vehicles + chemicals + urbanization = pollution of 

Volcanoes of Japan
Smithsonian Institute interactive volcanoes of Japan

- East Asian Miracle
- stagnation in late 1990s
- 1/3 world population on 1/10 world land --> ?
     - some very poor
     - others 1/4 world's economic output
     - core: Japan
     - semiperiphery: Taiwan, South Korea
     - periphery: Cambodia, Vietnam
     - what about China?
     - variety of economies
     - intraregional and international trade



 Celestial globe vase    Stem cup, Ming dynasty
The Splendor of Imperial China

- regional influence
- cycles of expansion and contraction
- 2000 B.C. civilization - agriculture, craft 
- 1100 B.C. Chou dynasty: iron, irrigation, transportation, extended trading
What impacts would a wider geographic area have on the region?
- following dynasties: pulled together the feudal states 

- Confucianism: idealized ordering of society (management)
- Taoism: (Lao Zi) return to local, village-based control, "enlightened self-interest"
- 600 A.D. Buddhism reaches China
- struggle: Buddhism + Taoism versus Confucianism

Buddhist pagoda 

- 1200 to 1371 Mongols
- mid-1700s: far-reaching empire

China Resists Colonization

- 1800s - pushed to trade 
- resisted colonization 
- encourages isolationism
- What did the British finally use to "encourage" trade?
- Communism in 1947
- Special Economic Zones

There are many differences between coastal China and inner China:

China: Administration
China: Agriculture
China: Clothing recommendations (climate)
China: Ethnolinguistics Groups
China: Fuel, Power, Minerals, Metals
China: Industry
China: Military Districts
China: Population Density
China: Precipitation
China: Special Economic Zones
China: Linguistic Zones
Map of China

Tiennamen Square Massacre\

demonstrators erected a 33 foot statue called Goddess of Democracy, modeled after the Statue of Liberty in the 
United States. Hundreds of protesters died on June 3 and 4, 1989, when the Chinese government ordered the military 
to crack down on the protestors.

- are developing (e.g., Japan, Mongolia, Korea, Vietnam)
- Muslims control the islands, Indian Ocean trade

Japan Maintains Its Independence

- Shintoism, Buddhism, Confucianism
- influence of China
- 1100-1867 shoguns  (feudal lords) ruled Japan; policy of isolationism

Under the feudal military administration, Japan was ruled by the shoguns 

- "gunboat diplomacy" (1850s)

Admiral Perry entering Japan

- Meiji Restoration: technology from West; centralized government; rapid modernization
- exansion of an empire
- contraction after WWII

U.S.S. Arizona torpedoed in Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941

Hiroshima, Japan after atomic bomb dropped 
August 6, 1945

- reform and economic expansion
- core

Japanese electronics workers

Divided Korea

Map of South Korea
Map of North Korea

liabilities of Korea’s location (buffer state)
bridge to the mainland 
hot war and cold war 
Map of DMZ
contrasts between the two Koreas
topography and climate 
   -- North Korea: humid continental climate
   -- South Korea: humid subtropical climate

Even flat, nonirrigated fields are terraced in South Korea

natural resources: predominantly in North Korea 
South Korea’s economic growth: Asian tiger