One of the classes I’m taking this term is ART208, “Art of China”, which I was a little hesitant about signing up for because it wasn’t directly linked to my Japan studies but I figured what the hell.
I hoped it would be at least somewhat educational, since the Japanese have been borrowing or adapting culture from China for centuries anyway.
I have never had such low expectations and gotten so much out of a class.
Mostly, it’s because the teacher is spending an awful lot more time teaching us all the assorted invasions, rebellions and assorted drama that China has gone through then he is actually teaching us art history, or maybe he’s just being really insidious about how he’s teaching us art history, which is a distinct possibility. We’ve also gotten a good helping of Buddhist history as it applies to Asia, and the more of that I get exposed to, the more I understand just how useful it’s going to be.
Today’s lecture was on the Qing dynasty, so it was pretty much about the Manchu invasion of China in the 1640s and the assorted resistance movements that held on for a few years and so on and so forth.
As a result, I now understand the plot of every Jet Li movie I have ever seen.
Even if I’d gotten nothing else from this class – and I’ve actually gotten an awful lot – it would STILL have been worth it. Think I’m going to watch me some Fong Sai Yuk and Last Hero In China this weekend.