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Background Information

The Underground Army of the First Emperor

Just east of the modern city of Xi’an, you can see an army of soldiers unearthed. Discovered first in 1974, the work continues on three pits containing over 7,000 model soldiers. The army was buried within a framework of wooden pillars just east of the large tumulus containing the tomb of the First Emperor. It was a massive undertaking, certainly the largest ceramic project ever undertaken anywhere.

GRADE LEVEL: College and Beyond, High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)

Video

Zen Buddhism

An introduction to Zen, a form of Buddhism that emphasizes seeking one’s own Buddha nature through meditation.

GRADE LEVEL: College and Beyond, High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)

Background Information

An Introduction to the Han Dynasty

The Han Dynasty is one of the great dynasties in Chinese history, encompassing nearly four hundred years of expansion and consolidation which coincided with the period of the Roman republic and empire in the West.

GRADE LEVEL: College and Beyond, High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)

Background Information

Muromachi Period Tea (1338-1573)

During the Muromachi period (1338–1573) the vogue for Chinese art, especially among the Ashikaga shoguns, who ruled as the military leaders of Japan during this period, led to the development of new architectural environments in which to display collections of tea-related objects. Learn more.

GRADE LEVEL: College and Beyond, High School (9-12)

Background Information

An Introduction to the Zhou Dynasty

A date around 1050 BCE is generally accepted as the date of the defeat of the Shang dynasty (approx. 1500 to 1050 BCE) by Wen Wang and the establishment of the Zhou. The Zhou is divided into Western and Eastern stages, with 771 BCE a critical year, when the Zhou court moved east to Luoyang.

GRADE LEVEL: College and Beyond, High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)

Lesson

The Spiritual Life of the Samurai: Meditation and Brushpainting

Students will discuss the ways in which spiritual belief supported and enhanced the military func­tion and cultural values of the samurai. They will experience this practice through an ink painting activity.

GRADE LEVEL: High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)

Background Information

Chanoyu: The Japanese Art of Tea

The Japanese phrase Chanoyu, translated literally as “hot water for tea,” refers to the tradition of preparing and serving powdered green tea in a highly stylized manner. Learn more about this tradition.

GRADE LEVEL: College and Beyond, High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)