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  The Great Wall of China
  China History
  The Forbidden City
  Eunichs in Imperial China
  The Grand Canal
  Hutongs of China
  The Terracotta Army
  Chinese Dynasties
  Panda Bears
  Chinese Dragon Dance
  Along the Silk Road
  Chinese Porcelain Trade
  The History of Silk
  Chinese Foot Binding
  The Summer Palace
  The Ming Tombs
  General Kwan
  Peking Opera
  Tang Pottery
  The Dragon Dance
  Tibet History
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  China Facts & Stats
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  Mongolian Rule
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  Chinese Religion
  Dawn of History in China
  First Imperial Period
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  Rise of the Manchus
  The Opium War
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  Peoples Republic of China  

The description of this trade route to the west as the `Silk Road' is misleading. In fact, no single route or road was taken. In crossing Central Asia, several different branches developed, passing through different oasis settlements. The name `Silk Road' is relatively new in historic terms, and was actually coined by a nineteenth century German scholar named von Richthofen

It is often thought that the Romans had first come in contact with silk on one of their campaigns against the Parthians in 53 B.C. It is said that the Romans learned from Parthian prisoners that silk came from a mysterious tribe in the east, who they referred to as the silk people, or `Seres.'  Caravans heading towards China carried gold and other metals, ivory, precious stones, and glass to trade. In the opposite direction, besides silk, furs, ceramics, jade, bronze objects, lacquer, and iron were carried.  The most significant commodity carried along this route though, was not silk, but religion. Buddhism came to China from India, along the northern branch of the route and Christianity also made an early appearance on the scene. Click here to read more.

Though the word doesn’t sound as romantic as the meaning, sericulture refers to production of silk. The history of silk has it roots decades back. However, silk was an unknown thing for the West for long. The Natural History by Pliny in 70 BC reads, " silk was obtained by removing down from the leaves with the help of water…" – a very clear evidence of ignorance about silk. 

Perhaps the secret of silk is the safest guarded one in history.

As the Chinese legend goes, Lady Hsi-Ling-Shih , the wife of the mythical Yellow Emperor initiated silkworm rearing. She also invented the loom. Considering the reign of Yellow Emperor, China can proudly boast of silk rearing from 3000BC. However, the archeological finds trace the origin of sericulture even much earlier. Click here to read more.

Long before the literature of the Western hemisphere gave us tales of knights in armor gallantly fighting fire breathing dragons, the Chinese dragon had become a popular and well beloved figure.  It is interesting that the same creature depicted good qualities in one culture and was quite a nasty beast in another!  Today, we associate the Dragon Dance as the highlight of the Chinese New Year celebration.  Chinese communities spend months training their dancers and preparing their dragon costumes for the New Year. 

The dragon in China was first known as a river spirit.  Actually, dragons were thought to inhabit all water, including rain.  Additionally, dragons were linked to the ancient Chinese pearl of wisdom.  This legacy is important to the Dragon Dance, as you shall see!  Unlike their European cousins, Chinese dragons were regarded as good, helpful and friendly spirits with nothing but positive qualities.  Dragons were known for their intelligence, fortitude, and wisdom along with possessing the quality of longevity. 

In Chinese astrology, being born in the Year of the Dragon was special and highly desirable.  People with the good fortune to be born in this time period were considered to possess the good qualities of the dragon spirit.  Since the dragon year only comes around once every twelve years, we are lucky that the Chinese astrological chart has plenty of other great animal representatives with good and desirable qualities.  Recent dragon years include 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976 and 1988.  Click here to read more.

We offer the Internet's largest selection of Asian Arts, Crafts, and Collectibles with over 4,000 different items in stock in our Maryland warehouse. Our products are handcrafted and imported from Japan, China, Korea, Bali, India, Vietnam, Russia, Ceylon, Nepal, and Thailand. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your visit.

Sushi & Sake Set for Two
Sushi & Sake Sets
White Rabbits / Brown Rabbits
Chinese Snuff Bottles
Netsuke, Inro, Ojime
Gold Leaf Painted ~ 10 Inch Turnip Vase
Gold Leaf Lacquer
Pair of 10 Inch Closionne Vases

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