The Chinese History Podcast
The Mongol-Yuan Conquest of the Southern Song

The Mongol-Yuan Conquest of the Southern Song

December 26, 2021

We hope everyone had a good Christmas! In this episode, Yiming Ha will give an introduction to the forty-four year war between the Mongol-Yuan and the Southern Song. This was one of the longest wars the Mongols had to fight against an adversary and the Southern Song was among the states that put up the longest resistance against the Mongols. This topic is covered very extensively in Chinese language scholarship, but has not received too much detailed attention in English language scholarship. Yiming will talk about the general course of the war, some of the major engagements, the kind of weapons that were used, and some of the implications that this war had on other Mongol conquests and campaigns in Eurasia.

Note: There is a mistake at 12:09 - when Yiming said November, it should actually be December.

Contributors

Yiming Ha

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Yiming Ha is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His current research is on military mobilization and state-building in China between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries, focusing on how military institutions changed over time, how the state responded to these changes, the disconnect between the center and localities, and the broader implications that the military had on the state. His project highlights in particular the role of the Mongol Yuan in introducing an alternative form of military mobilization that radically transformed the Chinese state. He is also interested in military history, nomadic history, comparative Eurasian state-building, and the history of maritime interactions in early modern East Asia. He received his BA from UCLA and his MPhil from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Greg Sattler

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Gregory Sattler is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on sea merchants in East Asia from the ninth to thirteenth centuries, with a particular consideration of their place in society, their trade networks, and their relationships with government officials. Gregory has recently published an article titled “The Ideological Underpinnings of Private Trade in East Asia, ca. 800–1127” (Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University 6) and he is currently working on two additional manuscripts. He has received degrees in Taiwan and Japan, and is a proficient speaker of both Chinese and Japanese.

Credits

Episode No. 5

Release date: December 26, 2021

Recording location: Los Angeles, CA

Transcript

Bibliography courtesy of Yiming Ha

Images

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Cover Image: Song Wong Tai 宋王臺, or Terrace of the Song King, was a memorial carved on a large rock in Hong Kong after the Yuan conquest to honor the child Song emperors who died. This picture was taken before it was demolished by Japanese forces occupying Hong Kong for an extension of Kai Tak airport. (Image Source)

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Map of the Mongol invasions of the Southern Song, 1234-1279 (Image Source)

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Mongol siege fortifications during the Siege of Xiangyang, 1268-1273 (Image Source: Li, Song Yuan zhan shi)

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Song attempts at reinforcing Xiangyang in 1271 (Image Source: Li, Song Yuan zhan shi)

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Battle of Ezhou, 1274 (Image Source: Li, Song Yuan zhan shi)

Select Bibliography

Davis, Richard L. “The Reigns of Tu-Tsung (1264-274) and His Successors to 1279.” In The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 5, Part 1: The Sung and Its Precursors, 907-1279, edited by Denis Twitchett and Paul Jakov Smith, 913-962. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Li Tianming 李天鳴. Song Yuan zhan shi 宋元戰史 [History of the Song-Yuan War]. Taipei: Shihuo chubanshe, 1988.

Li Zhi’an 李治安. Hubilie zhuan 忽必烈傳 [Biography of Khubilai Khan]. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 2004.

Lorge, Peter. War, Politics and Society in Early Modern China, 900-1795. London: Routledge, 2005.

Needham, Joseph and Robin D.S. Yates. Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology; Part 6, Military Technology: Missiles and Sieges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Sugiyama Masaaki 杉山正明. Kubirai no chōsen: Mongoru ni yoru seikaishi no daitenkai クビライの挑戦 モンゴルによる世界史の大転回 [Khubilai’s Challenge: The Mongols and World Revolution]. Tokyo: Kodansha, 2010.

Wu Guoqing 武國卿. Zhongguo zhanzheng shi, diliu juan: Yuanchao shiqi, Mingchao shiqi 中國戰爭史,第六卷:元朝時期,明朝時期 [History of Warfare in China, Vol. 6: Yuan Dynasty Period and Ming Dynasty Period]. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 2016.

Yamauchi Shinji 山内晋次. Nissō bōeki to “iō no michi” 日宋貿易と『硫黄の道』 [The Japan-Song Trade and “The Sulfur Route”]. Tokyo: Yamakawa shuppansha, 2009.

The Tributary System and Chosŏn-Ming Relations: A Conversation with Professor Sixiang Wang

The Tributary System and Chosŏn-Ming Relations: A Conversation with Professor Sixiang Wang

December 12, 2021

In our previous episodes, the term "tributary system" has come up a few times, yet we've never had the opportunity to explain what exactly it is. To better shed light on this topic, and as part of our exploration of Chinese diplomacy, we interviewed Professor Sixiang Wang, an Assistant Professor of Korean history at UCLA who specializes in the diplomatic relationship between Chosŏn Korea and Ming China and Early Modern East Asia. In this episode, Professor Wang will first explain what the tributary system is as a historiographical concept and how it is often used to view China's diplomatic engagement with the outside world, before giving us a more detailed look into the diplomacy between Chosŏn and Ming and how this diplomatic interaction complicates the simple narrative of the tributary system.

P.S. Don't forget to check out this awesome podcast on the steppe nomads at Nomads and Empires!

Contributors

Sixiang Wang

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Sixiang Wang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA. He is a historian of Chosŏn Korea and early modern East Asia, and his research interests also include comparative perspectives on early modern empire, the history of science and knowledge, and issues of language and writing in Korea’s cultural and political history. His current book project reconstructs the cultural strategies that the Korean court deployed in its interactions with Ming China through an examination of poetry-writing, gift-giving, diplomatic ceremony, and historiography, and it underscores the centrality of ritual and literary practices in producing diplomatic norms, political concepts, and ideals of sovereignty in the construction of a shared, regional interstate order.

Yiming Ha

Yiming_2bdedh.jpeg

Yiming Ha is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His current research is on military mobilization and state-building in China between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries, focusing on how military institutions changed over time, how the state responded to these changes, the disconnect between the center and localities, and the broader implications that the military had on the state. His project highlights in particular the role of the Mongol Yuan in introducing an alternative form of military mobilization that radically transformed the Chinese state. He is also interested in military history, nomadic history, comparative Eurasian state-building, and the history of maritime interactions in early modern East Asia. He received his BA from UCLA and his MPhil from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Credits

Episode No. 4

Release date: December 12, 2021

Recording location: Los Angeles, CA

Transcript

Bibliography courtesy of Professor Sixiang Wang

Images

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Cover Image: "Myŏngnyun Hall" 明倫堂, Hanging board with calligraphy by the 1606 Ming envoy Zhu Zhifan 朱之蕃, Sunggyun'gwan University (photographed by Prof. Sixiang Wang)

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Chosŏn Envoys Traveling to Ming China by Sea, by Yi Tŏkhyŏng. It details an envoy mission which travelled to Ming China in 1624. One of a set of 25 paintings, currently held in the National Museum of Korea and reproduced with permission here (Image Source)

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Reception of Ming envoys, unknown painter, currently held in the National Museum of Korea and reproduced with permission here (Image Source)

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Collection of Poems by a Ming Envoy and the Scholars of the Chosŏn Dynasty. A collection of poetic exchange by the 15th century Ming envoy Ni Qian 倪謙 and three Korean scholars, currently held in the National Museum of Korea (Image Source)

Select Bibliography

Bohnet, Adam. Turning Toward Edification: Foreigners in Chosŏn Korea. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2020.
 
Cha, Hyewon. “Was Joseon a Model or an Exception? Reconsidering the Tributary Relations during Ming China.” Korea Journal 51, no. 4 (Winter 2011): 33–58.
 
Fairbank, John King. The Chinese World Order: Traditional China's Foreign Relations. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968.
 
Fairbank, John King and S. Y. Teng. "On the Ch'ing Tributary System." Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 6 (1941): 135-246.
Jung Donghun. “From a Lord to a Bureaucrat – the Change of Koryŏ King’s Status in the Korea-China Relations.” The Review of Korean Studies 19, no. 2 (December 2016): 115–36.
 
Kang, David. East Asia Before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012.
 
Robinson, David M. “The Ming Court and the Legacy of the Yuan Mongols.” In Culture, Courtiers, and Competition : The Ming Court (1368-1644), edited by David M. Robinson, 365–422. Harvard East Asian Monographs 301. Cambridge, Mass.: Published by the Harvard University Asia Center: Distributed by Harvard University Press, 2008.
 
Robinson, Kenneth R. “Centering the King of Chosŏn.” The Journal of Asian Studies 59, no. 1 (2000): 33–54.
 
Van Lieu, Joshua. “Chosŏn-Qing Tributary Discourse: Transgression, Restoration, and Textual Performativity.” Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review, no. 27 (June 2018): 79–112.
 
———. “The Tributary System and the Persistence of Late Victorian Knowledge.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 77, no. 1 (July 27, 2017): 73–92. https://doi.org/10.1353/jas.2017.0005.
 
Wang, Sixiang. “Chosŏn’s Office of Interpreters: The Apt Response and the Knowledge Culture of Diplomacy.” Journal for the History of Knowledge 1, no. 1 (December 17, 2020): 9. https://doi.org/10.5334/jhk.17.
 
———. “Compiling Diplomacy: Record-Keeping and Archival Practices in Chosŏn Korea.” Journal of Korean Studies 24, no. 2 (September 1, 2019): 255–88. https://doi.org/10.1215/07311613-7686588.
 
———. “Korean Eunuchs as Imperial Envoys: Relations with Chosŏn through the Zhengde Reign.” In The Ming World, edited by Kenneth Swope, 460–80. Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge, 2020.
 
———. “The Sounds of Our Country: Interpreters, Linguistic Knowledge and the Politics of Language in Early Chosŏn Korea (1392–1592).” In Rethinking East Asian Languages, Vernaculars, and Literacies, 1000–1919, edited by Benjamin A. Elman, 58–95. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2014.
 
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