This introductory chapter presents an overview of this book's study of Northeast Asia. In the 1930s, American historian and political scientist, Robert Kerner, first studied the region. According to Kerner, Northeast Asia is comprised of the Korean Peninsula, the Manchurian Plain, the Mongolian Plateau, and the mountainous regions of Eastern Siberia. Beginning in the sixteenth century, the region was subject to the Siberian continental weather system, which resulted in long winters. This weather system consequently bred a nomadic civilization based on mobility, hunting, and animal husbandry. Diverse ethnic groups speaking varied languages (Korean, Tungusic, Mongolic, Turkic, and Sinic) were scattered across the region. These people also held various religious beliefs (including Buddhism and Confucianism). Owing to this diversity and an increased fondness for power, the region bred political dynasties that ruled over the four territories of the region in the succeeding decades.
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