We're building an exciting new information source all about China. We found other sites were poorly structured, too detailed (such as Wikipedia) or just too old-fashioned. What we thought was needed was a carefully constructed set of pages with strict editorial control so that links and pages are consistent, up-to-date and easy to navigate without clutter.
The name “Chinasage” came about because this can be read as either “china sage” (中国英明zhōng guó yīng míng) or “china's age” (中国时代zhōng guó shí dài) , which promotes our new knowledge resource at a time when China has come of age in the World.
China Sage News
We keep track of news reports from China but steer clear of the headlines that are well reported elsewhere. Here are the latest couple of reports. For more stories visit news section.
With everyone turning away from plastic as much as possible the use of wood must be due for a comeback.
62 year old Wang Dewen from Shandong has become an unlikely Internet sensation with his carpentry skills. Only using hand tools he demonstrates the satisfaction of making complex objects such as toys for his grandson from a single block of wood. Watching him work wood with handsaws, chisels and mallets is very satisfying. He does not use nails or glue only good old-fashioned jointing techniques.
This YouTube video ➚ shows him making a traditional, sturdy Luban stool. In China his video channel 'Gong Shi Dao' is followed by over 2 million people.
During the past two thousand years the passport to a steady income and job security was a job in the Imperial civil service. Somethings never change, it is still the case in the Peoples' Republic. There used to be prized jobs (the iron rice bowl) that offered cradle to grave medical care, free education for the children and a pension. These have all but disappeared except in the government civil service. Figures just released show that 1,400,000 people applied for just 24,000 jobs in the civil service. That is one job per 60 applicants. To narrow down the field a grueling examination will need to be passed with flying colors. The traditional Chinese view of the importance of study and examination success continues unabated.
There was a time that westerners claimed that Chinese culture only really started about 500BCE and that 'history' of earlier periods were just legends. Now archeology has established the validity of not only the Shang Dynasty 1600-1100BCE but the earlier Xia dynasty 2100-1600BCE. The new Erlitou Relic Museum in Luoyang, Henan has been opened to house many finds from excavations in the area that give details of life in those early days.
Here are the last few news updates about our web site. For older entries please visit our site news section.
Tue 3rd Sep
Sounds, the Future and the oldest Thesaurus
A mixed bag of updates to the web site has now been released. Looking ahead to the future new Chinese calendars for 2021 and 2022 have been added. These includes all the public and traditional holidays. While doing this work we found an error in the lunar month calculation for 2020 which has been corrected.
Our three Mandarin Chinese lessons remain popular and we have added sound effects so you can here the words pronounced - very important when getting to grips with the Chinese tones.
Some time ago we added a page on the Hanlin Academy but failed to mention an even older academic institution - the Taixue which was up and running 2,000 years ago. With now added a bit about it. On the same lines there is one ancient text, may be 2,400 years old that has a good claim to be by far the oldest Thesaurus, this is the ‘Er ya’, so we've added a bit about that.
The big new page we've added attempts to summarize the Mongol conquest of China and Asia. Although Genghis khan is widely covered elsewhere we found very few maps that clearly show the expansion of the Mongol Empire and this made it hard to understand. We've also found some nice illustrations of the Mongol people and paintings of the Mongol conquest.
The Mongols in Hungary 1241. Hungary. Ink and paint on pergament. King Bela on the flight from the Mongols. The Mongol leader might be Qadan, a son of Ogedei. Painted 1358. Image by Szechenyi National Library available under a Creative Commons License ➚
We use a consistent style for links within Chinasage. An internal link taking you to another page within our site is shown like this while a link to a page on any other web site is shown like this ➚.
We use Chinese characters wherever appropriate. Most browsers should display both the characters and the pinyin correctly. We highlight any use of the older Wade Giles system. Except where stated all characters are the modern simplified form used in the People's Republic rather than the traditional ones (pre-1970s). To help you learn Chinese characters many of the very common characters are highlighted thus: 中 hovering the mouse over the character pops up a box showing further information about the character.
Dates are given using the BCE/CE ➚ (Before Common Era and in Common Era) year convention rather than BC/AD. If a date is not followed by BCE or CE it should be taken as CE.
All the text on the Chinasage web site is our own, we do not copy and paste from other web sites. We research each topic from a number of separate sources. The only exception to this are quotations and image credits. All text is our copyright and can not be used/copied without our permission. We are independent of any other company or government, the opinions expressed are our own. We do not receive funding from any external agency or organization.
Teacup Media (China History Podcast)
We are delighted to be able to promote links to Laszlo Montgomery's excellent Teacup Media ➚ series created over the last six years. Lazlo Montgomery ➚ has in depth knowledge of building commercial contacts with China over 25 years. This set of 200 podcasts totals 100 hours of audio commentary which covers every conceivable topic in Chinese history. Highly recommended.
Feel free to contact Chinasage to point out any errors, omissions or suggestions on how to improve this web site.