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Imperial China

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Most European audiences know this Chinese period from Asian pop culture sources such as Wuxia movies, or Japanese works such as the Dynasty Warriors series of games and Yokoyama Mitsuteru Sangokushi, though most of these are based on much older Chinese novels, folk-stories and other source material.

Life in Imperial China, according to this view, apparently involved lots of politics and betrayal around the Emperor's solid gold palace, punctuated by battles featuring big hulky brocade-wearing brutes mowing down peasant soldiers by the thousands with their flashy musou attacks. When you met a fair maiden, either she was skilled enough with martial arts to kick your butt, or she was a supernatural creature in disguise.

See Dynasties from Shang to Qing for a history of this series of ages (it's often forgotten just how long that history is; "Imperial China" lasted for over 2,100 years,note  while the pre-Imperial era easily lasted more than a millennium), and No More Emperors for what happened when the last of the Chinese kingdoms and empires fell in February 1912.

Popular tropes from this time period are:

Depictions in media:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 


  • The stage play and later opera, Turandot.

  • Funko Pop! has a DC Comics line of figures called "Imperial Palace", which is made of superheroes from The DCU dressed in medieval Chinese armors.

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    Western Animation 
  • Two episodes of Histeria! are centered around China. Oddly enough, the show's resident Chinese character, Cho-Cho, barely appears in either episode.
  • Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat, which is set during the Qing Dynasty.