East Asia

Writing on bone, shells, wood and silk existed in China long before the 2nd century BC. Paper was invented in China around the 1st century AD. The discovery of the process using the bark of the blackberry bush is attributed to Ts'ai Louen, but it may be older. Texts were reproduced by woodblock printing; the diffusion of Buddhist texts was a main impetus to large-scale production. The format of the book evolved with intermediate stages of scrolls folded concertina-style, scrolls bound at one edge ("butterfly books") and so on. The first printing of books started in China and was during the Tang Dynasty (618907), but exactly when is not known.[3] The oldest extant printed book is a Tang Dynasty work of the Diamond Sutra and dates back to 868.[3] When the Italian Catholic missionary Matteo Ricci visited Ming China, he wrote that there were "exceedingly large numbers of books in circulation" and noted that they were sold at very low prices.[4] A concertina is a free-reed musical instrument, like the various accordions and the harmonica. It has a bellows and buttons typically on both ends of it. When pressed, the buttons travel in the same direction as the bellows, unlike accordion buttons which travel perpendicularly to it. Also, each button produces one note, while accordions typically can produce chords with a single button. The concertina was developed in England and Germany, most likely independently. The English version was invented in 1829 by Sir Charles Wheatstone and a patent for an improved version was filed by him in 1844. The German version was announced in 1834 by Carl Friedrich Uhlig. The Tang Dynasty (Chinese: ; pinyin: Tang Chao; IPA: [t t?]; Middle Chinese: Dang) (June 18, 618 June 1, 907) was an imperi

l dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li (?) family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire. The dynasty was interrupted briefly by the Second Zhou Dynasty (October 8, 690 March 3, 705) when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne, becoming the only Chinese empress regnant, ruling in her own right. The Tang Dynasty, with its capital at Chang'an (present-day Xi'an), which at the time was the most populous city in the world, is generally regarded as a high point in Chinese civilizationequal to, or surpassing that of, the earlier Han Dynastya golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Its territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivalled that of the Han Dynasty. In two censuses of the 7th and 8th centuries, the Tang records estimated the population by number of registered households at about 50 million people.[2][3] Yet, even when the central government was breaking down and unable to compile an accurate census of the population in the 9th century, it is estimated that the population had grown by then to about 80 million people.[4][5][a] With its large population base, the dynasty was able to raise professional and conscripted armies of hundreds of thousands of troops to contend with nomadic powers in dominating Inner Asia and the lucrative trade routes along the Silk Road. Various kingdoms and states paid tribute to the Tang court, while the Tang also conquered or subdued several regions which it indirectly controlled through a protectorate system. Besides political hegemony, the Tang also exerted a powerful cultural influence over neighboring states such as those in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.