Barbarians and the Birth of Chinese Identity: The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms to the Yuan Dynasty (907 - 1368)
Understanding China through Comics, Book 3 – Online Book Group
by Jing Liu
January 8 - January 28, 2020
3 Sessions; 6 PD Hours
Moderator: Karen Kane
The third volume of this series on Chinese history quickly summarizes the previous installments before starting its coverage of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–960 CE), the Song Dynasty (960–1279 CE), and the Yuan Dynasty (1206–1368 CE). While addressing political and geographic upheavals, Liu reveals just enough information to make readers aware of the devastating effects of being conquered, without getting into details that might be too upsetting for younger audiences. He also touches on the theory that the practice of foot-binding was started to protect women, as the custom rendered them unable to ride a horse, making them harder to kidnap as trophies of war. Liu focuses on the foreign invasions that mark this period and the resulting academic, governing, and economic changes that were made to give the people a sense of Chinese cultural and national identity.