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Han dynasty

Dynasty of China that ruled from 202 BC to 220 AD. The Han period saw the beginning of one of the distinguishing features of the Chinese educational and statem system: the recruiting of members of the bureaucracy through civil service examinations. The dynasty attained it greatest territorial expansion under the emperor Wu Ti (r 140 BC - 87 BC), who extended Han power west to Central Asia, north to Manchuria and Korea, and south to Yunnan, Hainan Island, and Vietnam. The entire Han era was one of political and cultural centralization and expansion. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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