Why don’t Westerners find Chinese history interesting?

Why don’t Westerners find Chinese history interesting?

If you read the comments for this Chinese video (translated through YouTube), you’ll see lots of people saying how they find western history interesting and wish to learn and understand it more.

Yet a similar sentiment is rarely if ever expressed for Chinese history. Why is this? What’s boring about Chinese history?

  1. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    I don't think westerners dont like Chinese history its just that their history is pretty hard to tackle at first

  2. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    >What’s boring about Chinese history?
    It isn't boring. It’s just extremely hard to understand when everything sounds the same.

  3. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    cultural barrier
    too specific names,locatives and terminology
    hard to memorize and put all together

  4. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    >Yet a similar sentiment is rarely if ever expressed for Chinese history. Why is this?
    They don't have a lot of soft power, Japan on the other hand has exported a ton of media and their culture and history has been spread much further because of this.

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      I've been immune to it, when I see something Japan related I just leave. Been more interested in China, albeit modern China. Tho studying about it in depth made me apathetic.

      • 1 year ago
        Anonymous

        >when I see something Japan related I just leave

      • 1 year ago
        Anonymous

        You're on a site owned by a Japanese guy.
        You're on a site created by a guy who loves Japanese culture.

        • 1 year ago
          Anonymous

          That's a genetic fallacy. I've joined this website long after extra boards were created and hatred of anime has always been the norm. You still have /a/ and /jp/ tho, would never lurk there.
          I've seen people banned for avatarfagging with anime pictures, for good reason, that's against the rules.

          • 1 year ago
            Anonymous

            avatarfagging is not anime
            avatarfagging is naggerization

            Anime is anime, its everywhere.

  5. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    I find it interesting, I liked this series and it got me into it. I could read about old Chinese men trying to outsmart each other for hours.

  6. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    >Why don’t Westerners find Chinese history interesting?
    There's no Chinese equivalent of anime to serve as an entry level opening point to it. Same reason why most of the west isn't interested in most types of eastern culture.

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous
    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      There was, but Beijing in its infinite wisdom decided to kill Hong Kong cinema and its kickass action movies

  7. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    There's barely any exposure to it in the west. I'd say that's the main reason.

  8. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    cause its possible that most of chinese history is fake
    >modern understanding of chinese history comes from the dunhuang manuscripts
    >forgetting china's national pastime of forging historical items
    >china wont let any one authenticate them
    pre dunhuang china taught an ait type theory because they had no idea about their history

  9. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    I’m surprised people in the comments seem to even be fairly familiar with history of Richard the Lionheart. I don’t think people in the west can name even one medieval Chinese emperor.

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      Take anything you see in a YT comment section with a grain of salt.
      The israeliteess that runs YT is notorious for not only censoring political opponents of organized israelitery but actually changing the content of their comments.

  10. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Chinese History be like:
    >Lu Yongfeng of the Yellow Banner Brigade fights Weihan Zhang of the Leaping Dragon Faction at the battle of Panda Pass
    >Total casualties: 600 million, 100 million civilians eaten

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      Underrated post

  11. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Japans rips-off Chinese culture and brings it to the west as their own. Half of the anime tropes is directly imported from Journey to the West.

  12. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    It's painfull boring, repetetive and confusing

    >Ching Yuang of the southern Wing dynasty defeated Wang Qing of the northen Wing in the battle of the Yacataman desert. 20000 northen Wing men were eaten alive
    >Aside superficial aspects, Chinese dynasties/ages seems
    interchangeable across the millenians
    >Outside of the Mongols and Manchus nobody was ever be able to invade them, so it's always boring Chinese-on Chinese action. There is a reason the Mongol conquest of China and their Yuan dynasty is often the pre-modern timeframe of chinese history better know by normies
    >Chinese dynasty had the habit to rewrite history to fit their agenda, and their high centralization and the institutional continuity across the ages made their 1984 tier effort actually doable. So there is a good possibility that most of their recorded history is bullshit

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      Yeah, almost all the time Chinese history is about how kings lost the mandate of heaven and some other guy got it then rose up and take the throne. They rarely go into the social and political situation that led to demise of the dynasty in the first place.
      >Let all blame it on the previous king

      • 1 year ago
        Anonymous

        Forgeries always existed everywhere, but outside of China the lack of institutional continuity made people ignorant enough about their pasts to make blatanty errors in their forgery attempts (like the donation of Costantine using medieval terms like kingship and feudal rights)
        Instead the Chinese historians had a good knowledge of their past, at least up to the rise of Qin (and even earlier. Song age antiquaries were well educated about the bronze age Shang for example). So they had the knowledge to make realistic forgeries while ommiting or twisting actuall historical events

        • 1 year ago
          Anonymous

          >pope forged donation of Constantine
          Look at this retard and laugh

  13. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    W. European history - Latin
    E. European history - Classical Greek and OCS
    Islamic history - Arabic
    Indic history - Sanskrit
    East Asian history - Classical Chinese

    Latin and Greek shit got translated into English par the course. OCS shit did not which is why most people can reasonably talk about Byzantines but have fuck-all knowledge about Bulgary/Rus'/Romanians.
    Arabic got translated into French and German because those were very interested in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Translating from French and German to English is cheap and plentiful.
    Sanskrit got translated into modern Indian.
    Cla. Chinese got translated into Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Vietnamese.
    All of those languages are already expensive to find good translators for in media, let alone finding professional ones with a history academic background.

    So if you want to get into this shit, you need to learn a language. Even more-so than Mesopotamian/Egytpian history where knowing German and French unlocks much better scholarship, but the biggest names are already translated into English.
    The other way around, this doesn't apply. Chinese already speak Chinese so learning about their own history is accessible. And they all learn English at school so anything done in that is also relatively accessible to them as well.

  14. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Too difficult to remember the names

  15. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Xinjiang is stolen Dzungar clay

  16. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    >Why don’t Westerners find Chinese history interesting?
    They were.
    >https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orientalism_in_early_modern_France
    >https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinoiserie#History
    France went nuts for it. Jesuits even promoted Louis XIV as the European parallel to the Kangxi Emperor.

  17. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Names are a nightmare. It's not just racism, for example Indian or Arabic history is great. But Chinese? I tried reading about the 3 kingdoms era, only name I remember is Cao Cao because it's a funny one. Otherwise I jsut can't, names are too similar and impossible to pronounce let alone memorize.

  18. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    (OP)
    Names obviously. I've spent the past few years casually learning about Chinese history but whenever a source gets too name focused it becomes impossible to follow. Even with the 3k game it took me ages memorise who characters were

    Liu bei meets lu bu who fights liu bang who attacked li chong on the advice of li dan and liang tai while ling bao watched

  19. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    I just don't find chinese or chinese history interesting, aside three kingdoms.

  20. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    I'm sure there's a bunch of interesting shit that happened in chinese history - but at first glance it sure as fuck doesn't seem like it is.

    My impression of chinese history is that it's game of thrones. Wang Lin, Wang Lout and Wang Shake-It-All-About all want to be the emperor or fuck the emperor and the emperor wants to fuck everyone else over, except when it's his favourite concubine Wang Lot murdering everyone or cutting the soles off peoples feet so she can see why they don't get frostbite. For like a thousand years. And sure, the same could be said of europe, but at least you have different countries and cultures clashing and fucking borders moving around. All I know for China is that at some point the mongols came and ate face and otherwise it was just different people fighting over the middle kingdom.

    Adding to that, there isn't really a good cultural touchstone to act as a foundation. European history has the greeks & romans and then the christians coming along. Everyone knows how those guys worked. With china I suspect the whole completely different cultural values/confucianism thing trips people up subtly and means it's not always obvious even *why* something happened. The past is already a different country, but the past in a different country under a completely different moral system is a different country cubed. The few bits and pieces we do get from china tend to be the most grotesque stuff like the castrations or the death of a thousand cuts which makes the whole place sound like a bunch of barbarian murderers you dont want to read more of.

    And yeah, china doesn't have a good cultural export to act as an introduction. I don't know all that much japanese history either, but I'm familiar enough through anime that all japanese names don't just blend together to me and I can figure out roughly how to say them in my head and remember them enough to google them at 2am when I'm bored. China I wouldn't know where to begin.

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      "China long united must divide and China long divided must unite"

      This is your starting point, personally the Civil Wars are just too chaotic and confusing to me so I just focus on the long lasting dynesties like Chin, Han and Tang while ignoring the Warring States and Three Kingdoms periods in-between them

  21. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    At least according to bilingual friends the translation quality from Chinese to European languages is overwhelmingly garbage, and most of the Chinese histories and legends you'll commonly find on bookshelves in the US, UK, etc come from 19th century translations by European missionaries and scholars who had basic functional grasp of the languages but couldn't translate the tone and artistic aspects to save their lives, and garbled a bunch of words and references as well. Imagine someone with no familiarity with English slang encountering a sentence like "John had a skeleton in his closet." So the end result is stuff that reads as interesting and enrapturing in Mandarin has the version available in English be the equivalent of a crappy Wikipedia article summary of a plot.

  22. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Because the stats are bullshit
    5 million men fought in 2k bc, then the han empire ran for 10 years before being deposed by the pingping

  23. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    >the duke of everlasting light engaged with the king of the mountains, but due to a betrayal by the Prince of the ever ending plains he forgot to put his armour on

  24. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Everyone else itt pretty much explained it. The barrier of entry is massive due to the abundance of names and east asian cultural concepts that you have to go out of your way to study in order to actually understand the situation properly. I've been casually reading into the topic over the years and the only periods i have some solid knowledge is Qin, Yuan, a bit of Ming, some Three Kingdoms and thats really it. The rest of what i know is just general societal stuff.

  25. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    >Why don’t Westerners find Chinese history interesting?
    China is background flavor. Indo-Europeans comprise all the main characters of history.

  26. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    very long, repetative, all look same, weird names

  27. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    As others have pointed out, the names (and to a lesser extent place names and words/concepts) are nightmare mode.

    Chinese history also doesn't have as much visual representation as Western or Japanese history. Everyone in the West who casually reads history has a rough idea of what the "characters" like Richard the Lion Heart of Joan of Arc or Caesar, whatever, looked like. In contrast there aren't many famous depictions or images from Chinese history beyond the most cursory Westernized shit like Mulan or Kung Fu Panda and so Westerners tend to just assume all of Chinese history looks like that. All the major figures look the same, etc.

    Chinese history is also complicated by the fact that China is a huge fucking landmass, comparable to all of Europe. There are always many important players in many different parts doing different things, many battles or events happening concurrently, etc. Northern and Southern China are massively different, same with the West (which is desert) and the North, which is mostly plains and mountains.

    Basically Chinese history is the asian version of Byzantine history, on a larger and longer scale, with a language barrier, and it lacks significant media portrayal in the West to begin with. If you want to study Chinese history it requires extensive reading and learning about abstract concepts, geography, etc, that just isn't that accessible or interesting to the casual reader.

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      >Everyone in the West who casually reads history has a rough idea of what the "characters" like Richard the Lion Heart of Joan of Arc or Caesar, whatever, looked like
      This is absolutely ridiculous. Just because you saw some inaccurate Victorian art of Richard and read a brief description mentioning his height and hair color doesn't mean you'll have any clue what he looked like.
      >Chinese history is also complicated by the fact that China is a huge fucking landmass, comparable to all of Europe
      This makes it much easier to learn. You can learn the political history of a very large region just by studying one dynasty. In Europe you'd need to do the same with several dynasties with the sole exception of Roman times.

      • 1 year ago
        Anonymous

        >doesn't mean you'll have any clue what he looked like
        That wasn't my point. My point is that even if people's mental image of a historical person is totally false, they still HAVE a mental image. It's much easier to remember people when they have both a name and a face. Whether that face is accurate or not is irrelevant.

        >This makes it much easier to learn
        It makes exactly like learning the history of several regions at once, with everything that entails. Aside from the fact that China was frequently divided into multiple factions and competing dynasties, learning the history of a single Chinese dynasty is the same amount of work as learning the history of several competing European dynasties, even if it is just one unified political entity.

      • 1 year ago
        Anonymous

        >This is absolutely ridiculous. Just because you saw some inaccurate Victorian art of Richard and read a brief description mentioning his height and hair color doesn't mean you'll have any clue what he looked like.

        No, it's a valid argument. From my point of view of an ignorant European, but with just a bit more knowledge than the average people that is a problem. You can't really visualize Chinese historical figures as they are not popular at all.
        I know about Mao Tzedung because of his iconic image where he is in his uniform and is saluting and cheering like in the propaganda posters
        I know about Chiang Kai Shek because one might look at WW2 Chinese history and see him in his uniform.

        But anything before that is a blur. You have some vague image about how a pre-1900 Chinese ruler looked like from some popular media but most people couldn't really know if it was from 1200 or from 1700 AD.
        Meanwhile people have some basic idea about how medieval or Renaissance European leader looked like

      • 1 year ago
        Anonymous

        Accuracy doesn't matter. The point is people have a mental picture. People might not know anything about 1700s Europe or America, but they do mentally picture guys in powdered wigs and the period dress; they don't know the details of medieval warfare or the crusades, but they can mentally picture guys in chainmail and suits of armor with swords; they don't the Napoleonic Wars, but they can picture Napoleon. And in Japan, they don't have to know any of the historical details to get a mental picture for "samurai" or girls in kimonos with powdered faces.

        The same just doesn't apply to Chinese history.

        • 1 year ago
          Anonymous

          He have "Emperor Big Fat Fuck and his thousand whores" "Empress Mother-in Law-From-Hell" "Evil Scheming Eunuchs" and "Great Khan Kill'Em'All"

          the problem is the Histories repeat these characters over and over again so it doesn't really matter who they were.

  28. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    I love Chinese history so much. Even Indian history falls just a bit short of its majesty. (Though arguably they did surpass the Chinese in the field of philosophy and religion, hence the success of Buddhism) All of the dynasties are so rich and interesting and its scale just overwhelms the imagination when you think of all the countless lives and fascinating stories it told and is still telling. Their supreme achievement of being one of the major population centers of the Earth while staying mostly united and well-governed while India, Europe, and the Near-East more often splintered and squabbled really makes it appealing to me.

    I still like the West more of course since I am of it but China is an easy second favorite, even surpassing great cultures like that of Hindoostan, Persia, and Egypt.

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      >I love Chinese history so much.
      No you don't, OP made it quite clear nobody likes Chinese history. Ergo your statement cannot be correct.

  29. 1 year ago
    Anonymous
  30. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    For the same reason German history is boring. Boo hoo ethnically homogenous region sharts it self and goes into civil war every 150 years. The only interesting times are when foreing powers get involved. China isn't a civilization, its just a country.

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      Have you ever simply considered that you are boring? China and Germany have contributed much more to the world than you ever will. Perhaps learn some humility and appreciation for what they've given you. China isn't and certainly wasn't very homogeneous either. You need to think of them as a country, yes, but on a continental scale.

      • 1 year ago
        Anonymous

        You're obviously butthurt but the poster you're replying to is right. I too think German history is boring. And if we're fair to it, they tried to destroy civilization as such quite a few times.

        • 1 year ago
          Anonymous

          How many books on German history have you read lately? You seem to be an expert on the subject after all.

  31. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    There is no cultural overlap unlike with japan which is honestly mostly due to anime and weaboos

    China is so insulated from the outside world, ive never met a chinese person, almost never heard the language spoken, and only know basic stuff like three kingdoms period

    Japanese anime popularity spread to the youth of the west in the 80s/90s and has since exploded, china would need to produce something similar that has the same cultural influence as anime does

  32. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    >Why don’t Westerners find Chinese history interesting?
    It's largely communist state propaganda

  33. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Western history
    >Rise and fall of the greatest empires the world has ever witnessed
    >Huge wars that have shaped history forever with dozens of countries participating
    >Birth of culture and religion

    Eastern History
    >The Zhang Dynasty was destroyed by the Dhang Dynasty and then nothing happened who cares

  34. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    [...]

    Scandinavian schizophrenic?

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      look at this npc. your programing works great

  35. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Western works have been translated into every other language under the sun. This is why, for example, it's not unusual to find Shakespeare being performed in Japan, or even being shown normally in their culture (i.e., you're just as likely to see Hamlet or Romeo & Juliet appear in an anime as you are to see it appear in a western cartoon when the writers need a school play). This applies to literature, mythology, and yes, history. In China, the dynasties all can tend to bleed together, the political situation isn't as clearly stated, the names all sound the same, and it's just not as readily available because significant amounts of text just haven't been translated. Pop history buffs, if they know anything about China, probably just gravitate to the Chinese Civil War/Second Sino-Japanese War, because of the WWII association, and the Heavenly Kingdom, because "dude Jesus's Chinese brother."

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      Even Romanian plays are performed in Japan, they are like that...

  36. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    >Chinese history
    I don't read fiction. Chinese had history, and repeatedly decided to destroy it and fabricate a more convenient story.

  37. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    [...]

    >by "white" of course I mean "Turkic"

  38. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Chong Dynasty gets replaced by Ching Dynasty gets replaced by Zhang Dynasty ad nauseam

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      Sure but the external enemy changes enough to give the dybesties their own character Hans who keep sending millions of soldiers to freeze to death in Korea and die of maleria in Vietnam feel very different from Tang who are trying to trick Turks into fighting the Tibetians for them

  39. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    I read tons of stuff of Europeans going to Asia from the 12th to 17th centuries, but Western sources indicate very little of the other way around (I've come across a few Japanese sources). Then there was an article I read a few years ago that had dubious claim some Asian skeleton was found in a grave from 1st century Italy.
    If I were anyone in pre-European colonialism, I'd definitely be one of the first guys to want to go explore what's on the other side of the world with all these rumors of "the refined and sophisticated yellow men," or the "island nation of Jampon (Japan) filled with gold" or "the land of the round-eyed Daqin (Roman) masters of architecture and water magic."

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