20111030-wikicommons Deng XiaopinggXiaoping.jpg
After Mao's death, China opened up more. Many socialist programs were dismantled; China began withdrawing support from revolutionary groups around the globe; foreign tourists on special tours were allowed into China; the Shanghai Puppet theater was allowed to open its doors again; and lovers were again shown in films, although they discreetly did their kissing behind closed doors.

The most significant political move Mao made in his later years was in March 1973, when he reinstated Deng Xiaoping as vice premier, paving the way for his ascendancy after Mao's death. Even so, Hua Guofeng, Mao's colorless but loyal security chief, was Mao's chosen successor. He was a classic cadre who had hoped to run the economy with Soviet-style five year plans, emphasizing heavy industry, and communal agriculture. Shortly after Mao died Hua had the Gang of Four arrested.

The jubilation following the incarceration of the Gang of Four and the popularity of the new ruling triumvirate (Hua Guofeng, Ye Jianying, and Li Xiannian, a temporary alliance of necessity) were succeeded by calls for the restoration to power of Deng Xiaoping and the elimination of leftist influence throughout the political system. By July 1977, at no small risk to undercutting Hua Guofeng's legitimacy as Mao's successor and seeming to contradict Mao's apparent will, the Central Committee exonerated Deng Xiaoping from responsibility for the Tiananmen Square incident. Deng admitted some shortcomings in the events of 1975, and finally, at a party Central Committee session, he resumed all the posts from which he had been removed in 1976. [Source: The Library of Congress]

James Griffiths of CNN wrote: “After Mao’s death, Deng Xiaoping emerged as the country's paramount leader, initiating four decades of economic development and a gradual repudiation of orthodox Marxism. Deng and his supporters oversaw the reversal of Cultural Revolution policies and the official opening up of China's economy. While Deng is often given credit for turning China from a collectivist, Communist economy into the powerhouse it would become,” according to historian Frank Dikotter, “Deng's reforms were a reflection of those forced upon the country from the bottom up, by a populace alienated to and despairing of Communism. [Source: James Griffiths, CNN, May 13, 2016 /^\]

Good Websites and Sources on Deng Xiaoping: Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Life of Deng Xiaoping ; CNN Profile ; New York Times Obituary ; China Daily Profile ; Wikipedia article on Economic Reforms in China Wikipedia ; Wikipedia article on Special Economic Zones Wikipedia .

Good Websites and Sources on the Tiananmen Square Protests: Graphic pictures and ; Tiananmen Square Documents ; Gate of Heavenly Peace ; Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; BBC Eyewitness Account Film: The Gate of Heavenly Peace has been praised for its balanced treatment of the Tiananmen Square Incident. Gate of Heavenly Peace

Books Abour Deng Xiaoping: Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra F. Vogel (Belknap/Harvard University, 2011); Burying Mao: Chinese Politics in the Age of Deng Xiaoping by Richard Baum (1996, Princeton University Press); China After Deng Xiaoping: The Power Struggle in Beijing Since Tiananmen by Willy Wo-lap Lam (1995, P.A. Professional Consultants); Deng Xiaoping by Uli Franz (1988, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich); Deng Xiaoping and the Chinese Revolution: A Political Biography by David S.G. Goodman (1994, Routledge); Deng Xiaoping: Chronicle of an Empire by Ruan Ming (1994, Westview Press); Deng Xiaoping and the Making of Modern China by Richard Evans 1993, Hamish Hamilton); Deng Xiaoping: My Father by Deng Maomao (1995, Basic Books); Deng Xiaoping: Portrait of a Chinese Statesman edited by David Shambaugh (1995, Clarendon Paperbacks); The New Emperors: Mao and Deng---a Dual Biography by Harrison E. Salisbury (1992, HarperCollins). Books about Modern China worth reading include The Search for Modern China by Jonathan Spence, China-Alive in a Bitter Sea by Fox Butterfield, To Get Rich is Glorious by Orville Schell, The New Emperors by Harrison Salisbury, Coming Alive-China After Mao by Roger Garside and The Dragon Wakes by Christopher Hibbert. You can help this site a little by ordering your Amazon books through this link:

Books About Tiananmen Square: Timothy Brook’s “Quelling the People: The Military Suppression of the Beijing Democracy Movement” is regarded as the most complete book on Tiananmen Square. According to Ian Johnson it is “a work by a classically trained historian who turned his powers of analysis and fact-digging on the massacre. Even though Brook’s book doesn’t include some important works published in the 2000s (especially the memoirs of then Party secretary Zhao Ziyang and a compilation of leaked documents known as The Tiananmen Papers), Quelling the People remains the best one-volume history of the events in Beijing.” One should also note the works of Wu Renhua, a Tiananmen participant and author of several Chinese-language works, as well as a a book by Jeremy Brown of Simon Fraser University.

Good Chinese History Websites: 1) Chaos Group of University of Maryland ; 2) WWW VL: History China ; 3) Wikipedia article on the History of China Wikipedia 4) China Knowledge; 5) e-book ; Links in this Website: Main China Page (Click History)

Leaving the Cultural Revolution Behind?

drawing of the Gang of Four

The Communist Party has officially declared the Cultural Revolution a "disaster." Some textbooks mention it and the Great Leap Forward but not the atrocities and millions of deaths associated with them. Any allusion or mention of the Cultural Revolution in the media is banned. Scholars who have attempted to research it have ended up in jail. For many ordinary Chinese the Cultural Revolution is something people don’t want to talk about or confront and is increasingly becoming irrelevant in their present lives.

In the years after the Cultural Revolution, the radical camp fought back by building an armed urban militia, but its mass base of support was limited to Shanghai and parts of northeastern China--hardly sufficient to arrest what it denounced as "revisionist" and "capitalist" tendencies. In January 1975 Zhou Enlai, speaking before the Fourth National People's Congress, outlined a program of what has come to be known as the Four Modernizations for the four sectors of agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology. This program would be reaffirmed at the Eleventh National Party Congress, which convened in August 1977. Also in January 1975, Deng Xiaoping's position was solidified by his election as a vice chairman of the CCP and as a member of the Political Bureau and its Standing Committee. Deng also was installed as China's first civilian chief of PLA General Staff Department. *

Most people believe that the Cultural Revolution seriously delayed China’s development. But not everyone agrees.The dissident journalist Lui Binyan told Newsweek, "Most Chinese would probably agree that the reforms that began in 1979 under Deng Xiaoping would never have taken place without [the Cultural Revolution]...The Red Guards who had followed Mao so fanatically grew disillusioned. They became the first generation capable of independent thinking, full of insubordinate spirit. It is this generation that forms the backbone of Chinese society. Many have become influential writers, scholars, journalists and entrepreneurs as well as middle- to high-ranking officials in the government, the army and the Communist Party."

Rehabilitation of Deng Xiaoping

Deng in 1976

Among the most prominent of those rehabilitated was Deng Xiaoping, who was reinstated as a vice premier in April 1973, ostensibly under the aegis of Premier Zhou Enlai but certainly with the concurrence of Mao Zedong. Together, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping came to exert strong influence. Their moderate line favoring modernization of all sectors of the economy was formally confirmed at the Tenth National Party Congress in August 1973, at which time Deng Xiaoping was made a member of the party's Central Committee (but not yet of the Political Bureau). [Source: The Library of Congress *]

Deng was restored to his official posts in July 1977 after being purged by Mao. His “reform and opening” policy was approved at the same party meeting in December 1978 in in which his rival Hua Guofeng was ousted. Orville Shell wrote in Newsweek, "Deng's resistance to pure ideology and his ability to moderate his political ambitions allowed him to survive so long at the center of power. He came to be known as xiao pingzi, or 'the little bottle,' a pun on his name that alluded both to his ability to bob up back up after each of the numerous purges he suffered and to his 4-foot-11-inch height."

Carl Minzner wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “Ideologically, Deng decisively broke with Maoist isolationism in the late 1970s. China opened up. Students flowed out; outside influences flowed in. When other party leaders criticized such policies for allowing dangerous foreign influences to circulate, Deng famously responded, “If you open the window for fresh air, you have to expect some flies to blow in.” With Deng's rise, key elements that marked Maoist rule during the 1950s and '60s vanished. Gone were the all-powerful supreme leader, the frenzied cult of personality and the regular purges of the top ranks. Deng and his successors settled into a low-key style of collective governance marked by a search for consensus. Elite politics became institutionalized. Sure, periodic campaigns occasionally ensnared mid-level cadres. But unwritten rules guaranteed that the very top echelon was immune, untouchable. [Source: Carl Minzner, Los Angeles Times, October 20, 2014]

How the Chinese Communist Party Maintained Power After the Cultural Revolution

Daniel Leese told the Los Angeles Review of Books: "Besides the threat of brute force and censorship regarding historical issues, the stimulation of economic growth is cited as the most important factor guaranteeing political and social stability. However, the legacies of the Cultural Revolution forced the party to deal with past injustices in much more detail than is commonly known. [Source: “Conversation with Denise Ho, Fabio Lanza, Yiching Wu, and Daniel Leese on the Cultural Revolution” by Alexander C. Cook, Los Angeles Review of Books, March 2, 2016 *~*]

Gang of Four drawing

“While the trial of the Gang of Four and the resolution on party history are common knowledge, below the surface, the CCP was faced with millions of cases that did not easily fit these simplistic ways of dealing with the past. Who was to be considered victim or perpetrator and based on what standards? How were victims to be compensated for their ordeals and what about stolen property and withhold wages? Were party members or groups whose participation was important to reform to be treated differently than ordinary citizens? These questions were of fundamental importance and constitute core issues that can be considered part of what we now call “transitional justice.” Although China did not witness the fall of a dictatorial regime, and therefore seems ill-suited for the application of this concept, nevertheless there can be no denying the fact that the party consciously adopted certain elements and rhetoric associated with transitional justice, even while taking every effort at distinguishing between the Chinese situation and human rights violations in other contexts. *~*

“Previous injustices were interpreted as temporary miscarriages of justice to be solved on an individual basis in a political system portrayed as generally sound. The party tried to preclude the formation of collective claims or the overburdening of local budgets. In both scope and timing, it was inevitable that case revisions saw great regional differences. Just as Yiching has turned historians’ attention to local history, our research group in Freiburg analyses how the party dealt with Maoist era legacies in different regions, ranging from the rehabilitation of former capitalists to the purge of persecutors within the party. Yet despite the political character of the “rehabilitation campaign” and the obvious continuities in the Chinese judiciary, the reversal of verdicts changed the fate of millions of people. Not least, the research leads us to rethink many aspects of what actually happened during the Cultural Revolution. *~*

China's Constitution

The Constitution of the People's Republic of China was ratified in 1982 and amended and adopted at the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on October 21, 2007. The constitution enshrines the values of “security, honor and interests of the motherland.” It includes Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory. There was some discussion about Jiang Zemin’s “Three Represents” being included. The Chinese constitution has been called a “collection of slogans.” It purportedly offers the freedoms of speech, press and association. Many of the laws are not all that different from laws in Western countries the only problem is that these laws have traditionally been ignored, interpreted in strange ways or not enforced.The constitution is not allowed to be used for arguments made in court and courts have no right to review constitutionality. This weakness is based on judicial interpretation by China’s top prosecutor in the 1950s that regular laws were detailed and sufficient. The Communist Party is viewed as the final arbitrator of the law.

According to Columbia University’s Asia for Educators: “ The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has had four constitutions, promulgated in 1954, 1975, 1978, and 1982. The current version, adopted on December 4, 1982 by the Fifth National People’s Congress of the PRC, has since been amended four times, in 1988, 1993, 1999, and 2004. It was created as a part of the reform program in which China moved away from the planned socialist economy and toward a mixed economy in which the market and private property have played increasingly large roles. [Source: Asia for Educators, Columbia University, Primary Sources with DBQs, <|>]

Texts of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (1982)

right The Preamble of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (1982) reads: “China is one of the countries with the longest histories in the world. The people of all nationalities in China have jointly created a splendid culture and have a glorious revolutionary tradition. Feudal China was gradually reduced after 1840 to a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country. The Chinese people waged wave upon wave of heroic struggles for national independence and liberation and for democracy and freedom. [Source: The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, adopted on December 4, 1982, by the Fifth National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China at its Fifth Session; Asia for Educators, Columbia University, Primary Sources with DBQs, <|>]

“Great and earth-shaking historical changes have taken place in China in the 20th century. The Revolution of 1911, led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, abolished the feudal monarchy and gave birth to the Republic of China. But the Chinese people had yet to fulfill their historical task of overthrowing imperialism and feudalism. After waging hard, protracted and tortuous struggles, armed and otherwise, the Chinese people of all nationalities led by the Communist Party of China with Chairman Mao Zedong as its leader ultimately, in 1949, overthrew the rule of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism, won the great victory of the new democratic revolution and founded the People’s Republic of China. Thereupon the Chinese people took state power into their own hands and became masters of the country. <|>

“After the founding of the People’s Republic, the transition of Chinese society from a new-democratic to a socialist society was effected step by step. The socialist transformation of the private ownership of the means of production was completed, the system of exploitation of man by man eliminated and the socialist system established. The people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants, which is in essence the dictatorship of the proletariat, has been consolidated and developed. The Chinese people and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army have thwarted aggression, sabotage and armed provocations by imperialists and hegemonists, safeguarded China’s national independence and security and strengthened its national defense. Major successes have been achieved in economic development. An independent and fairly comprehensive socialist system of industry has in the main been established. There has been a marked increase in agricultural production. Significant progress has been made in educational, scientific, cultural and other undertakings, and socialist ideological education has yielded noteworthy results. The living standards of the people have improved considerably. <|>

“Both the victory of China’s new-democratic revolution and the successes of its socialist cause have been achieved by the Chinese people of all nationalities under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the guidance of Marxist-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought and by upholding truth, correcting errors and overcoming numerous difficulties and hardships. <|>

“The basic task of the nation in the years to come is to concentrate its effort on socialist modernization. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the guidance of Marxist-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, the Chinese people of all nationalities will continue to adhere to the people’s democratic dictatorship and follow the socialist road, steadily improve socialist institutions, develop socialist democracy, improve the socialist legal system and work hard and self-reliantly to modernize industry, agriculture, national defense and science and technology step by step to turn China into a socialist country with a high level of culture and democracy. <|>

Hua Guofeng with Mao in 1976

Hua Guofeng

Hua Guofeng was Mao’s successor and widely seen as bridge between the excesses of the Mao era and more pragmatic policies under Deng. "With you in charge, I am at ease,” Mao Zedong is supposed to have told Hua. Hua took power in September 1976 and lasted for two years, his power eroding during that time, until he was pushed out by Deng Xiaoping. He was forced out as Communist Party chairman in 1981 and slipped into obscurity. He died in 2008 at the age of 87.

Born into a poor family in 1921, Hua became a guerilla fighter in the Mao’s Communist movement at the age of 15. After the Communists came to power he held a number of post and took over as premier when Zou Enlai died, He was chosen after Mao’s death as a compromise candidate “who didn’t set off any alarm bells in any camp” according to one historian. . Mao is said to said, “With you in charge, I’ m at ease.” After he took power Hua attempted to revive the economy, rebuild the education system and allow urban people banished to the countryside to return home and was given credit for holding he party together during a tumultuous transition.

The arrest of the Gang of Four took place under Hua but it unclear what role if any he had in it. Many think the decision to make the arrest was made by senior leaders in the military and internal security forces and Hua went along with their decision. It has been said one reason Hua was ousted was that he continued to espouse the ideology of the Cultural Revolution. Deng maneuvered to get Hua ousted because he was seen as an obstacle to reform. Hua was effectively stripped of his power at the party meeting in December 1978.

Deng Grabs Power

Hua Guofeng

After Mao's death on September 9, 1976, Mao's chosen successor, Hua Guofeng, called Deng back from internal exile to help him restore order and oust the Gang of Four. Deng and Hua battled each other for two years until Deng won enough support from other elite party members to oust Hua.

According to Columbia University’s Asia for Educators: “Deng Xiaoping engineered a take-over of the Communist Party leadership in 1978, which culminated at the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party in December of that year, when his supporters took over the Central Committee and the Central Committee’s Political Bureau (Politburo). [Source: Asia for Educators, Columbia University, Primary Sources with DBQs, <|>]

“As part of his struggle to take control of the Party leadership, Deng had tacitly allowed democracy activists in Beijing to put up posters at “Democracy Wall” and to print and circulate informal news magazines. Inasmuch as the activists attacked the Cultural Revolution and Mao’s successor, Hua Guofeng (b. 1921), they were helpful. However, when Deng had gained power, the activists were no longer of any value — in fact, their questioning and challenging of Deng and his policies made them a liability. The repression began in the spring of 1979. This was part of the larger process of Deng Xiaoping asserting his control and preparing the Party, the government, and the country to move in the direction of economic reform and opening to the outside world that would characterize the period of Deng’s leadership. <|>

When Deng emerged as China's de facto leader in 1978 he was 78. Ronald Reagan, the United States' oldest president, was 77 when he left office. Deng was advised by an inner circle called the Eight Immortals. Most of them like Deng were veteran Communist Party leaders purged during the Cultural Revolution and, under Deng, were given high government positions in the 1980s and 90s. The last of the Eight Immortals, Bo Yiho, died in 2007 at the age of 98.

In the early 1980s, then party chairman Hua Guofeng was ousted following accusations of “continuing to advocate the worship of Comrade Mao Zedong while creating the opportunity for and allowing himself to be worshipped”.

Battle Between Hua Guofeng and Deng Xiaoping

Hua Guofeng

The post-Mao political order was given its first vote of confidence at the Eleventh National Party Congress, held August 12- 18, 1977. Hua was confirmed as party chairman, and Ye Jianying, Deng Xiaoping, Li Xiannian, and Wang Dongxing were elected vice chairmen. The congress proclaimed the formal end of the Cultural Revolution, blamed it entirely on the Gang of Four, and reiterated that "the fundamental task of the party in the new historical period is to build China into a modern, powerful socialist country by the end of the twentieth century." Many contradictions still were apparent, however, in regard to the Maoist legacy and the possibility of future cultural revolutions. [Source: The Library of Congress *]

The new balance of power clearly was unsatisfactory to Deng, who sought genuine party reform and, soon after the National Party Congress, took the initiative to reorganize the bureaucracy and redirect policy. His longtime protege Hu Yaobang replaced Hua supporter Wang Dongxing as head of the CCP Organization Department. Educational reforms were instituted, and Cultural Revolution-era verdicts on literature, art, and intellectuals were overturned. The year 1978 proved a crucial one for the reformers. Differences among the two competing factions--that headed by Hua Guofeng (soon to be branded as a leftist) and that led by Deng and the more moderate figures--became readily apparent by the time the Fifth National People's Congress was held in February and March 1978. *

Serious disputes arose over the apparently disproportionate development of the national economy, the Hua forces calling for still more largescale projects that China could ill afford. In the face of substantive losses in leadership positions and policy decisions, the leftists sought to counterattack with calls for strict adherence to Mao Zedong Thought and the party line of class struggle. Rehabilitations of Deng's associates and others sympathetic to his reform plans were stepped up. Not only were many of those purged during the Cultural Revolution returned to power, but individuals who had fallen from favor as early as the mid-1950s were rehabilitated. It was a time of increased political activism by students, whose big-character posters attacking Deng's opponents--and even Mao himself--appeared with regularity. *

Hu Yaobang

Hu Yaobang was leader of the Chinese Communist Party from 1981-87. He was sacked in 1987 for being soft on what was known as “bourgeois liberalisation”—the embrace of Western-style freedoms.

According to The Economist: “Hu remains popular. This is in part because of his image—as an earthy, unpompous, tolerant figure whose small stature prompted jokes that he was the only Chinese leader who literally looked up to the diminutive Deng Xiaoping. And bourgeois liberalisation, or some of its facets, remains attractive to many, especially during a period in Mr Xi’s China in which the slow, incremental broadening of personal freedom seems to be in reverse. Moreover, Hu was China’s leader, alongside Deng, when China began righting some of the wrongs done during Mao Zedong’s tyrannical rule. Many of the countless people who had been persecuted under Mao, and were then allowed to pick up the threads of their lives again, were (and remain) grateful to Hu personally. They included Xi Jinping’s late father, Xi Zhongxun. Like Hu and Deng, the elder Xi was a party leader of the old, Long March generation, whom Mao turned against. His rehabilitation is said to have owed much to Hu’s intervention. Now, as in 1989, the highest level of Chinese politics is dominated by a relatively small number of families whose mutual debts and grudges span the generations.” [Source: The Economist, November 28, 2015 /+\]

Extolling Hu Yaobang

Hu Yaobang

In November 2015, when the 100th anniversary of Hu Yaobang’s birth was marked, The Economist reported: “The last time people turned out in large numbers in Beijing to commemorate Hu Yaobang, it did not end well. In April 1989 he had died of a heart attack. On the eve of his funeral, 1 million people took part in the biggest anti-government demonstration yet seen in the People’s Republic....Hu was a plausible symbol for pro-democracy protesters, who then staged a weeks-long sit-in in Tiananmen Square in the heart of the capital. They brought party rule to the brink of collapse. It took the massacre of hundreds on June 3rd-4th to bring an end to their movement. [Source: The Economist, November 28, 2015 /+\]

“So it seems odd that the party should have made so much of the centenary on November 20th of Hu’s birth. Xi Jinping, the present party leader, and his six fellow members of the Politburo’s ruling Standing Committee attended a commemoration in the Great Hall of the People, on Tiananmen. Mr Xi’s speech extolled Hu as “a time-tested loyal communist fighter and a great proletarian revolutionist”; newspapers were filled with laudatory biographies; a new book of his utterances appeared. /+\

“The respect paid to a man who symbolises a liberal strain the party has spurned, and who will forever be associated with its near-death experience in 1989, has prompted speculation about the leadership’s intentions. Is Mr Xi, having spent three years in power cracking down on dissent, about to emerge as Hu’s political heir, a closet liberal? Might it even presage a “reversal of verdicts” over the Tiananmen protests, no longer to be seen as the work of traitors but of misguided idealists? Both of these explanations seem unlikely. The boosting of Hu may reflect a factional struggle among party leaders, played out, as at times in the past, over the corpse of a fallen comrade. Other interpretations are more mundane. They cast light on how Chinese politics has changed since 1989 and, more strikingly, on how it has not.” /+\

On theory is that Xi Jinping “hopes to bask in Hu’s reformist glow while reinterpreting “reform” to mean his own policies, and quietly cheering that he faces no living standard-bearer for liberalism. Minxin Pei, of Claremont McKenna College in California, argues that to ignore Hu’s centenary would have been more startling than marking it. Despite losing his job, Hu remained to his death on the Standing Committee. Under Mr Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao (no relation), the party also marked Hu’s 90th birthday in 2005. It takes anniversaries seriously. Two years ago, the centenary of one late leader’s birth generated a television series and even postage stamps. That was Xi Zhongxun. For Mr Xi to ignore his father’s saviour would have looked worse than churlish./+\

“In this context, the publicity given to the event appears to demonstrate Mr Xi’s self-confidence. Under him the party is still not ready to confront its Tiananmen demons, but it does not have to worry about invoking the memory of the man in whose name protesters first took to the streets. Mr Xi can present himself as one of Hu’s ideological successors and nobody dares gainsay him. Another analysis, however, would be that Mr Xi, for the reasons just outlined, had no choice but to lavish praise on Hu, and that the celebrations were engineered by those in the party unhappy with his centralisation of power and his illiberalism. They served as a reminder that the party’s ideology is not monolithic but, in an old-fashioned phrase, the result of a two-line struggle. That is another way in which Chinese elite politics has not changed: it is a black box, and however rational the analysis, the opposite may also be true.” /+\

Image Sources:Wikimedia Commons,

Text Sources: Asia for Educators, Columbia University <|>; Library of Congress; New York Times; Washington Post; Los Angeles Times; China National Tourist Office (CNTO); Xinhua;; China Daily; Japan News; Times of London; National Geographic; The New Yorker; Time; Newsweek; Reuters; Associated Press; Lonely Planet Guides; Compton’s Encyclopedia; Smithsonian magazine; The Guardian; Yomiuri Shimbun; AFP; Wikipedia; BBC. Many sources are cited at the end of the facts for which they are used.

Last updated September 2016

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of country or topic discussed in the article. This constitutes 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you are the copyright owner and would like this content removed from, please contact me.