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Especially over the 7th 8th and early 9th centuries CE East Asia was dominated by the great Tang China Empire which is shown covering the whole area of ethnic China plus Annam northern Vietnam to the south and the Tarim Basin in central Asia shown gold outlined in the map below At this time neighboring Japan and Korea were also deeply influenced by the patterns and technologies of Chinese Confucian civilization Tang rule began in China in 618 CE when the Tang dynasty solidified the reunification of China which under the Han 206 BCE - 220 CE had first created successful Confucian imperial rule Tang reunification confirmed both the importance of Confucianism as the best way to get stable effective rule and the dominance of centralized Chinese states when at their strongest over the rest of East Asia Internally Chinese rule and society was based first and foremost on Confucianism Confucianism had at its core the ideas of the man known in history as Confucius who lived in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE Confucianism is not a religion rather it is a philosophy concerned with how best to organize and run a stable fair successful society Confucius believed that the best society and government was one in which each person knew his or her own role and fulfilled it completely He thought governing was best done by educated dedicated gentlemen not women Most of these would be well-born among other things because in his day only the elites had a chance at a good education But good birth was not enough or even an absolute requirement The key requirement was to study the nature of good society and government and then to apply it honorably both in ones individual life example and in ones position in government exercise of power Confucianists believed good governm ent was concerned about the interests of all people although it expected people of different status to fulfill
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