The origin of Chinese and Japanese are a mystery.
While there are claims that the Japanese descended from the Chinese there is yet to be a conclusion.
One does not find much beyond Buddhism in China , thanks to their self censorship.
However , there are materials available to indicate that Hinduism was in existence in China before the advent of Buddhism.
Please read my post on this.
Now there are references in the Mahabharata that the Chinese fought on the side of the Kauravas in the Epic Battle of Mahabharata, they, being the friends of Bhagadutta, who was close to Duryodhana.
Vagadatta of Pragyotispur joined the Kurus and we find that the Chinese people sided with Vagadatta, the king of Pragyotispur. It is also found that Vagadatta was present in Yudhisthiras court with many Kirat, Chin, and other soldiers.
However, during the Rajasuya Yaga of Yudhishtra,Bhagadutta agreed to Arjuna to pay Homage to Yudhistra and be his ally.
It is also stated that the Chinese were the descendants of the son of Pururavas,Ayu.
There is a reference in the Chinese tradition that the ancestors of the Chinese people came to China after crossing the high mountain ranges to the South.
Lost Chinese History supports that King named Vikrama conquered all the parts of Modern China.
He gave Chinese culture a new life which was lost due to internal conflicts.
This probably refers to Vikramadtiya.
King Yudhisthira wanted to perform the greatest of all sacrifices viz. the Rajasuya sacrifice. This involved military activity along with the usual sacrificial rites. The king’s armies would march under his appointed military generals in four cardinal directions and defeat all the kingdoms encountered in their paths. Any kingdom can chose to accept the sway of the king peacefully or choose to battle against the king’s military general. King Yudhisthira obtained a huge army by defeating the rising Magadha empire of king Jarasandha as Bhima slew Jarasandha in a dual of mace-fight. Taking a portion each of that army, the four brothers of king Yudhisthira, viz. Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva marched from Indraprasthato the four cardinal directions. Arjuna was responsible for the military expedition towards the northern direction.
Like Jarasandha, king Bhagadatta was another impediment for Yudhisthira’s Rajasuya sacrifice. Jarasandha was slain by Bhima by executing the clever strategy formed by Krishna. Bhagadatta was however a friend of Pandu, the father of the five Pandavas. Arjuna chose to use diplomacy to subdue Bhagadatta, rather than slaying him in battle.
Pragjyotisha,Captal of Bhagadatta.
Pragjyotisha is mentioned as a city only once (Mbh.5.48) in Mahabharata. The name Pragjyotisha is applied to the whole of the territory controlled by Bhagadatta, which included the regions north to Indraprastha as well. As a result, confusion arose in the location of the city of Pragjyotisha.Gohati in Assam is usually considered to be the Pragjyotishapura or the city of Pragjyotisha. The location of the city can be in Himachal Pradesh as well. There is a village named Kamaru (Kamru) in Baspa Valley (Sangla Valley) of Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. This is a candidate location of Pragjyotisha city. The name ‘Kamaru’ could be the remnant of the name ‘Kamarupa’ another name of Bhagadatta’s territories. The name Kamarup is however not found in Mahabharata. This name is not used in Mahabharata to denote any territory of Bhagadatta. The name Kamaru or Kamru is also found in Tibet to the north of Bhutan as well. It is not clear if this territory belonged to the Chinas mentioned as allied to Bhagadatta. Mahabharata mentioned about a China territory close to Sindhu river in Tibet as well.
Prag-jyotisha (Praag:- East; jyotisha: light, astronomy) means the eastern light. Hence it lied to the east, but probably from the point of view of the land of the five rivers (Punjab). Mahabharata also mentions another city or territory with similar name viz. Uttarayotisha (Uttara-jyotisha) meaningthe northern light. Jyotisha also means astronomy. It is not clear if these cities has anything to do with astronomy or if Prag-jyotisha and Uttara-jyotisha had some relationship. Uttarayotisha is mentioned as part of Nakula‘s military expedition to the west.
According to French art historian Rene Grousset, the name China comes from “an ancient” Sanskrit name for the regions to the east, and not, as often supposed, from the name of the state of Ch’in,” the first dynasty established by Shih Huang Ti in 221 B.C.
The Sanskrit name Cheena for China could have been derived from the small state of that name in Chan-si in the northwest of China, which flourished in the fourth century B.C. Scholars have pointed out that the Chinese word for lion, shih, used long before the Chin dynasty, was derived from the Sanskrit word, simha, and that the Greek word for China, Tzinista, used by some later writers, appears to be derivative of the Sanskrit Chinasthana. According to Terence Duke, martial arts went from India to China. Fighting without weapons was a specialty of the ancient Ksatriya warriors of India.
The story of Sun Hou Tzu, the Monkey King, and Hsuang Tsang. It is a vicarious and humorous tale, an adventure story akin to the Hindu epic of Ramayana, and like Ramayana, a moral tale of the finer aspects of human endeavor which come to prevail over those of a less worthy nature. The book ends with a dedication to India: ‘I dedicate this work to Buddha’s Pure Land. May it repay the kindness of patron and preceptor, may it mitigate the sufferings of the lost and damned….’
(source: Eastern Wisdom, Michael Jordan, p. 134-151)
Hu Shih, (1891-1962), Chinese philosopher in Republican China. He was ambassador to the U.S. (1938-42) and chancellor of Peking University (1946-48). He said:
“India conquered and dominated China culturally for two thousand years without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.”
Lin Yutang, author of The Wisdom of China and India:
“The contact with poets, forest saints and the best wits of the land, the glimpse into the first awakening of Ancient India’s mind as it searched, at times childishly and naively, at times with a deep intuition, but at all times earnestly and passionately, for the spiritual truths and the meaning of existence – this experience must be highly stimulating to anyone, particularly because the Hindu culture is so different and therefore so much to offer.” Not until we see the richness of the Hindu mind and its essential spirituality can we understand India….”
“I see no reason to doubt,” comments Arthur Waley in his book, The Way and its Power, “that the ‘holy mountain-men’ (sheng-hsien) described by Lieh Tzu are Indian rishi; and when we read in Chuang Tzu of certain Taoists who practiced movements very similar to the asanas of Hindu yoga, it is at least a possibility that some knowledge of the yoga technique which these rishi used had also drifted into China.”
Both Sir L. Wooley and British historian Arnold Toynbee speak of an earlier ready-made culture coming to China. They were right. That was the Vedic Hindu culture from India with its Sanskrit language and sacred scripts. The contemporary astronomical expertise of the Chinese, as evidenced by their records of eclipses; the philosophy of the Chinese, their statecraft, all point to a Vedic origin. That is why from the earliest times we find Chinese travelers visiting India very often to renew their educational and spiritual links.
Citation and References.