The Pattern of Asia

By John E. Brush; Norton S. Ginsburg | Go to book overview

xxi
Burma

AS SIAM IS THE LAND OF THE MENAM CHAO PHYA, SO BURMA IS THE land of the Irrawaddy. The delta and interior plains of the Irrawaddy and its tributaries form the bulk of the good agricultural land, the centers of population, and the real home of the Burmese-speaking people. The Union of Burma includes a belt of mountains and plateaus bordering the plains and enclosing them on the east, west and north, which is sparsely inhabited by non-Burmese tribal peoples (Map 26). Burma's 261,610 square miles of territory also include the west-facing coasts of Tenasserim and Arakan along the Bay of Bengal, inhabited in part by the Burmans.

Burma is a new country by comparison with India or China. Its authentic history dates only from the eleventh century A.D., when King Aniruddha of Pagan brought central Burma under his rule. Mongoloid in race and speaking a language akin to Tibetan, the Burmese people are believed to have moved into the Irrawaddy plains from the northeast between A.D. 200 and 800. They owe their civilization more to India than to China. It was the ancient Indian expansion overseas to Southeast Asia that brought writing, Hinayana (Theravada) Buddhism,1 and other elements of civilization by way of the Talaing (Mon) people, whose flourish

____________________
1
Hinayana (Little Vehicle) is one of the two great divisions of Buddhism and encompassed the southern Buddhist countries, Ceylon, Burma, Siam, and Further India, in contrast to Mahayana (Great Vehicle) which spread from India to Central Asia, Tibet, China, and Japan.

-440-

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The Pattern of Asia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Contents xi
  • Maps xiii
  • I - Asia The Physical Basis 1
  • II - Asian Asia Patterns and Problems 21
  • III - East Asia An Introduction 46
  • V - Japan Agriculture and Food Supply 86
  • VI - Japan Industry and Commerce 108
  • VII - Korea 130
  • VIII - China Physical Diversity 155
  • IX - China Agriculture and Food Supply 168
  • X - China The North and Far West 190
  • XI - China The South 213
  • XII - China Industry and Commerce 239
  • XIII - China Political Organization, Population, And Prospects 258
  • XIV - Mongolian People's Republic 274
  • XV - Southeast Asia An Introduction 290
  • Selected Geographical Bibliography 321
  • XVII - Indonesia 344
  • XVIII - Malaya and British Borneo 370
  • XIX - Thailand 391
  • XX - Indochina The Two Viet, Cambodia, and Laos 410
  • XXI - Burma 440
  • XXII - South Asia Peoples and Cultures 458
  • XXIII - South Asia The Physical Basis of Life 483
  • XXIV - South Asia Political Organization 523
  • XXV - Northern India and The Himalayan Countries 558
  • XXVI - South India 596
  • XXVII - Pakistan 632
  • XXVIII - Ceylon 663
  • XXIX - Afghanistan 679
  • XXX - Southwest Asia An Introduction 698
  • XXXI - South Asia Economic Patterns 716
  • XXXII - Southwest Asia Regional Problems 733
  • XXXIII - Turkey 745
  • XXXIV - Iran 767
  • XXXV - The Fertile Crescent, I Israel Ande Lebanon 790
  • XXXVI - The Fertile Crescent, II Syria, Jordan, Iraq 811
  • XXVII - The Arabian Peninsula 831
  • XXXVIII - Russia and Asia 845
  • XXXIX - Soviet Asia 873
  • Index 909
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