- Parent Collection: Harvard University Asia Center
Harvard East Asian Monographs
The Harvard East Asian Monographs Series was initiated in 1956 and now totals over 400 published titles.
Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.Sort by title, author, format, publication date, or price »
A careful, factual account of the institutional forms and foreign relations in the Ch’ing dynasty after 1860.
Small-scale industries in rural areas in China are today an essential element of regional development programs. This monograph analyzes two main development strategies. One involves technology choices in a number of industrial sectors, most of which were initiated during the Great Leap Forward in the late fifties. The other approach is the integrated rural development strategy where a number of activities are integrated within or closely related to the commune system.
Valentin Rabe focuses on the recruitment of personnel, fundraising, administration, promotional propaganda, and other logistical problems faced by the agencies in the United States. When generalizations concerning the American base require demonstration or references to the field of operations, China—the country in which American missionaries applied the greatest proportion of the movement’s resources by the 1920s—is used as the primary illustration.
This well-documented study discusses the social and economic changes in Shandong province before the influence of the West was felt at the end of the nineteenth century. The authors show that by the sixteenth century, commercial and handicraft towns linked to national and local markets had already begun to emerge.
This detailed biography of Japan’s postwar prime minister was favorably received in the United States and has sold widely in translation in Japan.
The development of modern China’s most important export commodity, silk, is traced from the opening of the treaty ports to the 1930s. This study examines the silk industry, one of China’s most advanced traditional economic enterprises, as it moved into large-scale trade with the West.
The ninth title in the series Studies in the Modernization of the Republic of Korea offers new insights into the role of finance in a rapidly developing country. Combining history and theory, it provides a rigorous test of previous theoretical propositions and illustrates the danger of easy generalization from partial evidence.
This final volume in the series Studies in the Modernization of the Republic of Korea, 1945–1975, is an analysis of the contribution of tax and expenditure policy to Korea’s rapid economic development during the 1953–1975 period. The results of the analysis show that Korea did not follow the traditional path of a steadily increasing tax effort, reliance on direct taxes, and emphasis on income distribution. Instead, through improved tax administration and expenditure control, the savings rate was increased dramatically.
The century-long process by which a distinct pattern of Japanese labor relations evolved is traced through the often turbulent interactions of workers, managers, and, at times, government bureaucrats and politicians. The author argues that it was not until the 1940s and 1950s that something closely akin to the contemporary pattern emerged.
It is generally believed that Mao Zedong’s populism was an abrupt departure from traditional Chinese thought. This study demonstrates that many of its key concepts had been developed several decades earlier by young May Fourth intellectuals, including Liu Fu, Zhou Zuoren, and Gu Jiegang. The Chinese folk-literature movement, begun at National Beijing University in 1918, changed the attitudes of Chinese intellectuals toward literature and toward the common people.
This study analyzes New Theses (Shinron) by Aizawa Seishisai (1781–1863) and its contribution to Japanese political thought and policy during the early modern era. New Theses is found to be indispensable to our understanding of Japan’s transformation from a feudal to a modern state.
Kawai Eijirō was a controversial figure in Japan during the interwar years. Dedicated to the idea that the socialist aspiration for economic equality could be combined with a classical liberal commitment to individual political and civil rights, he antagonized both Marxists and Japanese nationalists. This is the first study of Kawai in English.
William Hung was instrumental in opening China’s rich documentary past to modern scrutiny, and he helped shape one of 20th-century China’s remarkable Yenching University. In 1978, he began recalling his life to the author in weekly taping sessions. His reminiscences encompass the issues and dilemmas faced by Chinese intellectuals of his period.
Fogel tells the strange story of this cocky, indolent carouser who became a disciplined scholar and passionate advocate of the worth of all humanity. Fogel examines Nakae’s Sinological work in the context of his wide reading in German philosophy, Western historiography, and classical Chinese sources. He also translates Nakae’s wartime diary.
Here is the first real comparison of the civil governments of two traditional East Asian societies on an institution-by-institution basis. Woodside examines in detail the surviving statutes of both societies in his political and cultural study, a pioneering venture in East Asian comparative history.
This account of efforts to build a domestic Japanese computer industry is enlivened with quotations from industrial leaders commenting on the stages through which Japan has emerged as a world-class competitor.
Hideyoshi—peasant turned general, military genius, and imperial regent of Japan—is the subject of an immense legendary literature. He is best known for the conquest of Japan’s 16th-century warlords and the invasion of Korea. But his lasting contribution is as governor whose policies shaped Japanese politics for almost 300 years.
This second edition of Dru Gladney’s critically acclaimed study of the Muslim population in China includes a new preface by the author, as well as a valuable addendum to the bibliography, already hailed as one of the most extensive listing of modern sources on the Sino-Muslims.
These essays are by scholars who have studied with Benjamin Schwartz, who taught at Harvard from 1950–1987. Through his teaching and writing, he became a major force in the field of Chinese studies, setting standards—above all in the area of intellectual history—that have been a source of inspiration to students and scholars worldwide.
The heir of a samurai family, an acknowledged authority on economics, a professor at one of Japan’s leading universities, an early popularizer of Marxism in Japan, a Japanese Communist on his own unique terms, and, finally, the author of an autobiography that is a classic of modern Japanese literature, Kawakami Hajime is an important figure in the history of modern Japan. Bernstein provides a portrait of Kawakami’s complex personality as well as a narrative of the context and content of Japanese left-wing politics in the 1920s.
Drawing on rich historical materials from both sides of the Pacific, including corporate records and government documents never before made public, Mason examines the development of both Japanese policy towards foreign investment and the strategic responses of American corporations.
These journal entries continue the sequence begun in Entering China’s Service and cover the years when Hart was setting up Customs procedures, establishing a modus operandi with the Ch’ing bureaucracy, and inspecting the treaty ports. They culminate in Hart’s return visit to Europe with the Pinch’un Mission and his marriage in Northern Ireland.
Heavenly Warriors traces in detail the evolutionary development of weaponry, horsemanship, military organization, and tactics from Japan’s early conflicts with Korea up to the full-blown system of the samurai.
Palais theorizes in his important book on Korea that the remarkable longevity of the Yi dynasty (1392–1910) was related to the difficulties the country experienced in adapting to the modern world. He suggests that the aristocratic and hierarchical social system, which was the source of stability of the dynasty, was also the cause of its weakness.
Constantine Vaporis challenges the notion that an elaborate and restrictive system of travel regulations in Tokugawa Japan prevented widespread travel. Instead, he maintains that a “culture of movement” developed in that era.
Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit brings a sophisticated and graceful method of analysis to this English translation of her book on the shishōsetsu, one of the most important yet misunderstood genres in Japanese literature.
Credit for the swift unification of Japan following the 1868 overthrow of the Tokugawa shogunate is usually given to the national leaders. Baxter argues that brilliant leadership at the top is not sufficient to explain how regional separatist tendencies and loyalties to the old lords were overcome in the formation of a nationally unified state.
In this series of meditations on seven of Tanizaki Jun’ichiro’s novels and novellas, the renowned translator Anthony Chambers focuses on the thread of fantasy that Tanizaki weaves throughout his work. He examines Tanizaki’s subtle use of storytelling devices to evoke his characters’ alternate sense of reality and to encourage the reader’s participation in their fantasies.
The short-lived Kenmu regime (1333–1336) of Japanese Emperor Go-Daigo is often seen as an inevitably doomed, revanchist attempt to shore up the old aristocratic order. But far from resisting change, Goble here forcefully argues, the flamboyant Go-Daigo and his associates sought to overcome the old order and renegotiate its structure and ethos.
In this ethnography of the everyday life of contemporary Korea, Denise Lett argues that South Korea’s contemporary urban middle class not only exhibits upper-class characteristics but also that this reflects a culturally inherited disposition of Koreans to seek high status.
In the twelfth century, along the borders of the Japanese state in northern Honshu, three generations of local rulers built a capital city at Hiraizumi that became a major military and commercial center. Known as the Hiraizumi Fujiwara, these rulers created a city filled with art, in an attempt to use the power of art and architecture to claim a religious and political mandate. In the first book-length study of Hiraizumi in English, the author studies the rise of the Hiraizumi Fujiwara and analyzes their remarkable construction program.
Since it opened in 1983, Tokyo Disneyland has been analyzed mainly as an example of the globalization of the American leisure industry and its organizational culture, particularly the "company manual." By looking at how Tokyo Disneyland is experienced by employees, management, and visitors, Aviad Raz shows that rather than being an agent of Americanization, Tokyo Disneyland is a simulated "America" showcased by and for the Japanese. It is an "America" with a Japanese meaning.
Most scholarship on Japan’s cultural policy toward modern China reflects the paradigm of cultural imperialism. In contrast, this study demonstrates that Japan was mindful of Chinese opinion and sought the cooperation of the Chinese government. China, however, actively sought to redirect this policy to serve its national interests and aspirations.
This study links two sets of concerns—the focus of recent studies of the nation on language, culture, education, and race; and the emphasis of diplomatic history on international developments—to show how political, diplomatic, and cultural concerns work together to shape national identity.
Kitasono Katue was a leading avant-garde literary figure, first in Japan and then throughout the world, from the 1920s to the 1970s. He was instrumental in creating Japanese-language work influenced by futurism, dadaism, and surrealism. This critical biography examines the life, poetry, and poetics of this controversial and flamboyant figure.
Through a close examination of economic trends and case studies of particular families, this study demonstrates that Japan’s protoindustrial economy was far more volatile than portrayed in most studies to date. Few rural elites survived the competitive and unstable climate of this era.
Offering the first systematic examination of five modern Japanese fictional narratives, all of them available in English translations, Atsuko Sakaki explores Natsume Sōseki’s Kokoro and The Three-Cornered World; Ibuse Masuji’s Black Rain; Mori Ōgai’s Wild Geese; and Tanizaki Jun’ichirō’s Quicksand.
This book is a study of labor relations and the first generation of skilled workers in colonial Korea, a subject crucial to the understanding of modernization in twentieth-century Korea. Born in rural Korea, these workers confronted both the colonial experience and the modern workplace as they interacted with Japanese managers and workers.
Investigating the late 16th through the 19th century, this work looks at the shifting boundaries between the Choson state and the adherents of Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity, and popular religions. It counters the static view of the Korean Confucian state and elucidates its relationship to the wider Confucian community and religious groups.
This volume seeks to shed new light on the nationalist paradigm of Japanese repression and exploitation that has dominated the study of Korea’s colonial period (1910–1945). The authors adopt a more inclusive, pluralistic approach that stresses the complex relations among colonialism, modernity, and nationalism.
The unique amalgam of prayer and play at the Sensōji temple in Edo is often cited as proof of the “degenerate Buddhism” of the Tokugawa period. This investigation of the economy and cultural politics of Sensōji, however, shows that its culture of prayer and play reflected changes taking place in Tokugawa Japan, particularly in the city of Edo.
Hyung Il Pai examines how archaeological finds from Northeast Asia have been used in Korea to construct a myth of state formation emphasizing the ancient development of a pure Korean race that created a civilization rivaling those of China and Japan. He shows that the Korean state was formed far later with influences from throughout Northern Asia.
This book explores the issues of nation and modernity in China by focusing on the work of Zhou Zuoren (1885-1967), one of the most controversial of modern Chinese intellectuals and brother of the writer Lu Xun. Zhou was radically at odds with many of his contemporaries and opposed their nation-building and modernization projects. Through his literary and aesthetic practice as an essayist, Zhou espoused a way of constructing the individual and affirming the individual’s importance in opposition to the normative national subject of most May Fourth reformers.
This study of Japan’s transformation by the economic crises of the 1930s focuses on efforts to overcome the effects of the Great Depression in rural areas, particularly the activities of local activists and policymakers in Tokyo. The reactions of inhabitants of rural areas to the depression shed new light on how average Japanese responded to the problems of modernization and how they re-created the countryside.
Focusing on the marginal region of Toyama, on the Sea of Japan, the author explores the interplay of central and regional authorities, local and national perceptions of rights, and the emerging political practices in Toyama and Tokyo that became part of the new political culture that took shape in Japan following the Meiji Restoration. Lewis argues that in response to the demands of the centralizing state, local elites and leaders in Toyama developed a repertoire of supple responses that varied with the political or economic issue at stake.
This manual for students focuses on archival research in the economic and business history of the Republican era (1911–1949). Following a general discussion of archival research and research aids for the Republican period, the handbook introduces the collections of archives in the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan.
Nearly forty years after the outbreak of the “Minamata Disease,” it remains one of the most horrific examples of environmental poisoning. Based on primary documents and interviews, this book describes three rounds of responses to this incidence of mercury poisoning, focusing on the efforts of its victims and their supporters, particularly the activities of grassroots movements and popular campaigns, to secure redress.
In this history of Japanese involvement in northeast China, the author argues that Japan’s military seizure of Manchuria in September 1931 was founded on three decades of infiltration of the area. This incremental empire-building and its effect on Japan are the focuses of this book.
In the traditional Chinese symbolic vocabulary, the construction of gender was never far from debates about ritual propriety, desire, and even cosmic harmony. Competing Discourses maps the aesthetic and semantic meanings associated with gender in the Ming–Qing vernacular novel through close readings of five long narratives.
Ayukawa Yoshisuke (1880–1967) was the founder of the Nissan conglomerate and the leader of the Manchuria Industrial Development Corporation, one of the linchpins of Imperial Japan’s efforts to economically exploit its overseas dependencies. He was also a proponent of free trade and global economic interdependence. In Unfinished Business, through exploring the reasons for Ayukawa’s failure, Iguchi illuminates many of the economic problems of today’s Japan.
In texts from the mid-Heian to the early Kamakura periods, certain figures appear to be “marginal” or removed from “centers” of power. But why do we see these figures in this way? This study first seeks to answer this question by examining the details of the marginalizing discourse found in these texts.
In this new study of desire in Late Imperial China, Martin Huang argues that the development of traditional Chinese fiction as a narrative genre was closely related to changes in conceptions of the fundamental nature of desire.
The twelve essays in this volume underscore the similarities between Chinese and American approaches to bilateral diplomacy and between their perceptions of each other’s policy-making motivations.
In this comprehensive study of the rhetoric, narrative patterns, and intellectual content of the Zuozhuan and Guoyu, David Schaberg reads these two collections of historical anecdotes as traces of a historiographical practice that flourished around the fourth century BCE among the followers of Confucius.
Informed by theories of nostalgia, collective memory, cultural nationalism, and gender, this book draws on the author’s extensive fieldwork in probing the practice of identity-making and the processes at work when Japan becomes “Japan.”
For much of the twentieth century, the May Fourth movement of 1919 was seen as the foundational moment of modernity in China. Recent examinations of literary and cultural modernity in China have, however, led to a questioning of this view. By approaching May Fourth from novel perspectives, the authors of the eight studies in this volume seek to contribute to the ongoing critique of the movement.
In the history of traditional Japanese waka poetry, Shinkokinshū of 1205 is generally regarded as one of the three most important anthologies. The collection—the “New Kokinshu”—is in many ways a neo-classical effort. Reading history backward, scholars have often taken this to be a nostalgia for greatness presumed to have been lost in the wars of the late 1100s. In this detailed study of the origins of Shinkokinshū, the author argues that the compilers of Shinkokinshū instead saw their collection as a “new” beginning, a revitalization and affirmation of courtly traditions, and not a reaction to loss. It is a dynamic collection, full of innovative, challenging poetry—not an elegy for a lost age.
Since 1979 China’s leaders have introduced reforms that have lessened the state’s hold over the lives of ordinary citizens. By examining the growth in individual rights, the public sphere, democratic processes, and pluralization, Ogden seeks to answer questions concerning the relevance of liberal democratic ideas for China and the relationship between a democratic political culture and a democratic political system.
Few institutions are as well suited as the monarchy to provide a window on postwar Japan. The monarchy, which is also a family, has been significant both as a political and as a cultural institution. Ruoff analyzes numerous issues, stressing the monarchy’s "postwarness" rather than its traditionality.
Rather than focusing on the psychology of personal emotions at work, this study concentrates on emotions as role requirements, on workplace emotions that combine the private with the public, the personal with the social, and the authentic with the masked. In this cross-cultural study of "emotion management," the author argues that even though the goals of normative control in factories, offices, and shops may be similar across cultures, organizational structure and the surrounding culture affect how that control is discussed and conceived.
The nine essays in this volume reexamine the “hundred days” in 1898 and focus particularly on the aftermath of this reform movement. Their collective goal is to rethink the reforms not as a failed attempt at modernizing China but as a period in which many of the institutions that have since structured China began.
A collaborative effort by scholars from the United States, China, and Japan, this volume focuses on the period 1972–1989, during which all three countries, brought together by a shared geopolitical strategy, established mutual relations with one another despite differences in their histories, values, and perceptions of their own national interest. Although each initially conceived of its political and security relations with the others in bilateral terms, the three in fact came to form an economic and political triangle during the 1970s and 1980s. But this triangle is a strange one whose dynamics are constantly changing. Its corners (the three countries) and its sides (the three bilateral relationships) are unequal, while its overall nature (the capacity of the three to work together) has varied considerably as the economic and strategic positions of the three have changed and post–Cold War tensions and uncertainties have emerged.
The authors analyze the social, cultural, and political meaning attached to the cult of Confucius; its history; the legends, images, and rituals associated with it; the power of the descendants of Confucius; the main temple in the birthplace of Confucius; and the contemporary fate of temples to Confucius.
Despite Taiwan’s rise as an economic force in the world, modernity has not led to a Weberian process of disenchantment or curbed religiosity. To the contrary, other factors—social, economic, political—have stimulated religion. How and why this has happened are central issues in this book.
In the extension of the Japanese empire in the 1930s and 1940s, technology, geo-strategy, and institutions were closely intertwined in empire building. The central argument of this study of the development of a communications network linking the far-flung parts of the Japanese imperium is that modern telecommunications not only served to connect these territories but, more important, made it possible for the Japanese to envision an integrated empire in Asia. Even as the imperial communications network served to foster integration and strengthened Japanese leadership and control, its creation and operation exacerbated long-standing tensions and created new conflicts within the government, the military, and society in general.
For 1,300 years, Chinese calligraphy was based on the elegant art of Wang Xizhi (A.D. 303–361). But the emergence in the 17th century of a style modeled on the rough, broken epigraphs of ancient artifacts led to the formation of the stele school. Eminent calligrapher and art theorist Fu Shan (1607–1685) was a dominant force in this school.
Ming and Qing China were well populated with foxes, shape changers who transgressed the boundaries of species, gender, and the metaphysical realm. In human form, they were immoral succubi and good wives/good mothers, tricksters and Confucian paragons. Huntington investigates the fox as alien and attempts to establish the boundaries of the human.
A house is a site, the bounds and focus of a community. It is also an artifact, a material extension of its occupants’ lives. This book takes the Japanese house in both senses, as site and as artifact, and explores the spaces, commodities, and conceptions of community associated with it in the modern era.
In the early 20th century, China began to import and then to manufacture thousands of consumer goods. Politicians feared trade deficits. Intellectuals feared loss of national sovereignty. And manufacturers wondered how they could survive a flood of cheap imports. Gerth argues that the responses of these groups helped foster modern nationalism.
This book deals with the poetic configurations of the private garden in cities from the ninth to the eleventh century in relation to the development of the private sphere in Chinese literati culture.
In 1908, a very public crusade against opium was in full swing throughout China, and the provincial capital and treaty port of Fuzhou was a central stage for the campaign. This, the most successful attempt undertaken by the Chinese state before 1949 to eliminate opium, came at a time when, according to many historians, China’s central state was virtually powerless. This volume attempts to reconcile that apparent contradiction.
The Analects (Lunyu) is one of the most influential texts in human history. As a foundational text in scriptural Confucianism, it was instrumental in shaping intellectual traditions in China and East Asia. But no premodern reader read only the text of the Analects itself. Rather, the Analects was embedded in a web of interpretation that mediated its meaning. Modern interpreters of the Analects only rarely acknowledge this legacy of two thousand years of commentaries. This book attempts to redress our neglect of commentaries by analyzing four key works dating from the late second century to the mid-nineteenth century.
The concepts, definitions, and interpretations of property rights, corporate structures, and business practices in contemporary China have historical, institutional, and cultural roots. In tracing the development under founder Zhang Jian (1853–1926) and his successors of the Dasheng Cotton Mill in Nantong, the author documents the growth of regional enterprises as local business empires from the 1890s until the foundation of the People’s Republic in 1949.
Until 300 years ago, the Chinese considered Taiwan a “land beyond the seas,” a “ball of mud” inhabited by “naked and tattooed savages.” The incorporation of this island into the Qing empire in the seventeenth century and its evolution into a province by the late nineteenth century involved not only a reconsideration of imperial geography but also a reconceptualization of the Chinese domain. By viewing Taiwan–China relations as a product of the history of Qing expansionism, the author contributes to our understanding of current political events in the region.
One of the most exciting recent developments in the study of Chinese literature has been the rediscovery of an extremely rich and diverse tradition of women’s writing of the imperial period. This anthology differs from previous works by offering a glimpse of women’s writings not only in poetry but in other genres as well, including essays and letters, drama, religious writing, and narrative fiction.
This book explores how memories of the past become traditions, and the role of these traditions in the institutional development of the noh theater from its beginnings in the fourteenth century through the late twentieth century. It focuses on the development of the key traditions that constitute the "ethos of noh," the ideology that empowered certain groups of actors at the expense of others, and how this ethos fostered noh’s professionalization. The author argues that the traditions that form the ethos of noh, such as those surrounding masks and manuscripts, are the key traits that define it as an art.
This book examines the Nanjing decade of Guomindang rule (1927–1937) and the early post-Mao reform era (1980–1992) of Chinese history that have commonly been viewed as periods of state disintegration or retreat. And they were—at the central level. When reexamined at the local level, however, both are revealed as periods of state building.
Among the earliest and most radical of the Meiji reforms was a plan for a centralized, compulsory educational system modeled after those in Europe and America. But commoners throughout Japan had established 50,000 schools with almost no guidance or support from the government. Consequently, the plan met with resistance, as local officials, teachers, and citizens pursued alternative educational visions. Their efforts ultimately led to the growth and consolidation of a new educational system, one with the imprint of local demands and expectations.
The eleven chapters in this volume explore the process of carving out, in discourse and in practice, the boundaries delineating the state, the civil sphere, and the family in Japan from 1600 to 1950. One of the central themes in the volume is the demarcation of relations between the central political authorities and local communities.
Examining the development of literature depicting the native place (furusato) from the mid-Meiji period through the late 1930s as a way of articulating the uprootedness and sense of loss many experienced as Japan modernized, this book focuses on four authors typing this trend: Kunikida Doppo, Shimazaki Tōson, Satō Haruo, and Shiga Naoya.
This book examines the Chinese opium crisis from the perspective of Qing prohibition efforts. The author argues that opium prohibition, and not the opium wars, was genuinely imperial in scale and is hence much more representative of the actual drug problem faced by Qing administrators. The study of prohibition also permits a more comprehensive and accurate observation of the economics and criminology of opium.
Why does literature’s voice still seduce us into reading? What is the relationship between ethics and history in the study of literature? These essays on Kawabata Yasunari, Murakami Haruki, Karatani Kjin, Furui Yoshikichi, Mishima Yukio, Oe Kenzaburo, Natsume Soseki, and Kobayashi Hideo, visit the force of the scandalous to confront such questions.
Mount Tai in northeastern China has long been a sacred site. Throughout history, it has been a magnet for both women and men from all classes—emperors, aristocrats, officials, literati, and villagers. This book examines the behavior of those who made the pilgrimage to Mount Tai and their interpretations of its sacrality and history, as a means of better understanding their identities and mentalities.
Kokugaku, or nativism, was one of the most important intellectual movements from the seventeenth through the nineteenth century in Japan, and its worldview continues to be influential today. The primary goal of this book is to restore historicity to the study of nativism by recognizing Atsutane’s role in the creation and perpetuation of an intellectual tradition that remains a significant part of Japanese history and culture.
Before the late 1980s Taiwan’s successful exporters were overwhelmingly small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). What accounts for their success and their benign neglect by the state? The author argues that it was an unintended consequence of the state’s policy toward the private sector and its political strategies for managing societal forces.
The Meiji Restoration of 1868 inaugurated a period of great change in Japan; it is seldom associated, however, with advances in civil and political rights. By studying parliamentarianism—the theories, arguments, and polemics marshaled in support of a representative system of government—Kim uncovers a much more complicated picture of this era.
This book documents an Islamic–Confucian school of scholarship that flourished—mostly in the Yangzi Delta—in the 17th and 18th centuries. Drawing on previously unstudied sources, it reconstructs the network of Muslim scholars responsible for the creation and circulation of a large corpus of Chinese Islamic written material—the so-called Han Kitab.
Focusing on the twin themes of crisis and innovation, the seventeen chapters in this book aim to illuminate the late Ming and late Qing as eras of literary-cultural innovation during periods of imperial disintegration; to analyze linkages between the two periods and the radical heritage they bequeathed to the modern imagination; and to rethink the “premodernity” of the late Ming and late Qing in the context of the end of the age of modernism.
The collapse of the Ming dynasty and the Manchu conquest of China were traumatic experiences for Chinese intellectuals. The 12 chapters in this volume and the introductory essays on early Qing poetry, prose, and drama understand the writings of this era wholly or in part as attempts to recover from or transcend the trauma of the transition years.
The sixteen chapters in this volume treat men as well as women, theories of sexuality as well as gender prescriptions, and same-sex as well as heterosexual relations in the period from 1868 to the present. Together, these essays construct a history informed by the idea that gender matters because it was part of the experience of people and because it often has been a central feature in the construction of modern ideologies, discourses, and institutions. Separately, each chapter examines how Japanese have (en)gendered their ideas, institutions, and society.
Since the late 1960s a ubiquitous feature of popular culture in Japan has been the “idol,” an attractive young actor packaged and promoted as an adolescent role model and exploited for marketing. This book offers ethnographic case studies on the symbolic qualities of idols and how they relate to the conceptualization of self among adolescents.
The past becomes readable when we can tell stories and make arguments about it. When we can tell more than one story or make divergent arguments, the readability of the past then becomes an issue. Therein lies the beginning of history, the sense of inquiry that heightens our awareness of interpretation. What are the possibilities and limits of historical knowledge? This book explores these issues through a study of the Zuozhuan, a foundational text in the Chinese tradition, whose rhetorical and analytical self-consciousness reveals much about the contending ways of thought unfolding during the period of the text’s formation.
Relations between China and the United States have been of central importance to both countries over the past half-century, as well as to all states affected by that relationship. The eight chapters in this volume offer the first multinational, multi-archival review of the history of Chinese–American conflict and cooperation in the 1970s.
This book argues that the study of Western medicine was a dynamic activity that brought together doctors from all over the country in efforts to effect social change. By examining the social impact of Western learning at the level of everyday life rather than simply its impact at the theoretical level, the book offers a broad picture of the way in which Western medicine, and Western knowledge, was absorbed and adapted in Japan.
This book presents two histories of the early Korean kingdom of Paekche (trad. 18 BCE–660 CE). The first, written by Best, is based largely on primary sources. This initial history serves, in part, to introduce the second, an extensively annotated translation of the oldest history of the kingdom, The Paekche Annals (Paekche pon’gi).
This study focuses on postwar Japan’s foreign policy making in the political and security areas, the core UN missions. The intent is to illustrate how policy goals forged by national security concerns, domestic politics, and psychological needs gave shape to Japan’s complicated and sometimes incongruous policy toward the UN since World War II.
Native-place lodges are often cited as an example of the particularistic ties that characterized traditional China and worked against the emergence of a modern state based on loyalty to the nation. The author argues that by fostering awareness of membership in an elite group, the native-place lodges generated a sense of belonging to a nation that furthered the reforms undertaken in the early twentieth century.
Underlying Nanjing’s 1930s policies was a concern for the capital’s image—offensive people were allowed to exist as long as they remained invisible. Lipkin exposes the process of social engineering and the ways in which the suppressed reacted to their abuse; he puts the poor at the center of the picture, defying efforts to make them invisible.
The activities of Japanese advertisers helped to define a new urban aesthetic emerging in the 1920s. This book examines some of the responses of Japanese authors to the transformation of Tokyo in the early decades of the twentieth century. William Gardner shows how modernist works offer new constructions of individual subjectivity amid the social and technological changes that provided the ground for the appearance of “mass media.”
This study adopts a double approach to the poetry composed between the end of the first century B.C.E. and the third century C.E. It examines extant material from this period synchronically, as if it were not historically arranged. It also considers how the scholars of the late fifth and early sixth centuries selected this material and reshaped it to produce the standard account of classical poetry.
Compiled in 940 at the court of the kingdom of Shu, the Huajian ji is the earliest extant collection of lyrics by literati poets. Shields examines the influence of court culture on the anthology’s creation and the significance of imitation and convention in its lyrics, situating the work within larger questions of Chinese literary history.
Owen analyzes the redirection of poetry following the deaths of the major poets of the High and Mid-Tang and the rejection of their poetic styles. In the Late Tang, the poetic past was beginning to assume the form it would have for the next millennium—a repertoire of styles, genres, and the voices of past poets.
Distinctive female dress styles, gender divisions of labor, and powerful same-sex networks have long distinguished villages in this coastal region of southeastern China from other rural Han communities. Intimate Politics explores these practices that have constituted eastern Hui’an residents, women in particular, as an anomaly among rural Han. This book asks what such practices have come to mean in a post-1949 socialist order that has incorporated forms of marriage, labor, and dress into a developmental scale extending from the primitive to the civilized.
In seventeenth-century China, the theater began to occupy an important ideological niche among traditional cultural elites. Notions of performance and spectatorship came to animate diverse aspects of literati cultural production. In Worldly Stage, Sophie Volpp sheds new light on the capacity of drama to comment on the cultural politics of the age.
This study of Chinese women in the book trade begins with three case studies, each of which probes one facet of the relationship between women and fiction in the early nineteenth century. Building on these case studies, the second half of the book focuses on the many sequels to the Dream of the Red Chamber and the significance of this novel for women. As Ellen Widmer shows, by the end of the century, women became increasingly involved in the novel as critical readers, writers, and editors.
Founded in the 1820s, the Xuehaitang (Sea of Learning Hall) was a premier academy of its time. Miles examines the discourse that portrayed it as having radically altered Guangzhou literati culture. He argues that the academy’s location embedded it in social settings that determined who used its resources and who celebrated its successes and values.
Scholars have noted the role of China’s demand for silver in the emergence of the modern world. This book discusses the interaction of this demand and the early-19th-century Latin American independence movements, changes in the world economy, the resulting disruptions in the Qing dynasty, and the transformation from the High Qing to modern China.
This book demonstrates that representations of Buddhism by lay people underwent a major change during the T’ang–Sung transition. These changes built on basic transformations within the Buddhist and classicist traditions and sometimes resulted in the use of Buddhism and Buddhist temples as frames of reference to evaluate aspects of lay society.
As a study of Confucian government in action, this intellectual history describes a mode of public policy discussion far less dominated by the Confucian scriptures than expected. It offers a detailed view of members of an ostensibly Confucian government pursuing divergent agendas around the question of “state or merchant?”
By examining how narrative strategies reinforce or contest deterministic paradigms, this work describes modern Chinese fiction’s unique contribution to ethical and literary debates over the possibility for meaningful moral action. By analyzing discourses of agency and fatalism and the ethical import of narrative structures, Knight explores how representations of determinism and moral responsibility changed over the twentieth century.
The writer Higuchi Ichiyō (1872–1896) has been described as a consummate stylist of classical prose. Timothy Van Compernolle investigates the social dimensions of Ichiyo’s imagination and argues that she reworked the Japanese literary tradition in order to understand and critique the emerging modernity of the Meiji period.
Forty lessons introducing students to the basic patterns and structures of Classical Chinese are taken from a number of pre-Han and Han texts selected to give students a grounding in exemplary Classical Chinese style. Two additional lessons use texts from later periods to help students appreciate the changes in written Chinese over the centuries.
By examining the obscured histories of publication, circulation, and reception of widely consumed literary works from late Edo to the early Meiji period, Zwicker traces a genealogy of the literary field across a long nineteenth century: one that stresses continuities between the generic conventions of early modern fiction and the modern novel.
Japan has long wrestled with the memories of World War II. Franziska Seraphim traces the activism of five civic organizations to examine the ways in which diverse organized memories have secured legitimate niches within the public sphere.
Adam Kern offers a close reading of the vibrant popular imagination through kibyōshi, a genre of sophisticated pictorial fiction from late-eighteenth-century Japan. Illustrated with rare prints from Japanese archival collections, these entertaining works will appeal to the general reader as well as to the student of Japanese cultural history.
Sibao today is a cluster of impoverished villages in the mountains of western Fujian. But from the late seventeenth through the early twentieth centuries, it was home to a flourishing publishing industry supplying much of south China through itinerant booksellers. Brokaw describes this rural, low-level operation at the end of the imperial period, tracing how Sibao’s socio-geographical character shaped and affected its progress.
From the mid-seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth century, millions of Korean men trained for the state military examination, or mukwa. But few were actually appointed as military officials after passing the test. In this comprehensive history, Park argues that the mukwa was not only the state’s primary means of recruiting aristocrats as new members of the military bureaucracy, but also a way for the ruling elite to partially satisfy the status aspirations of marginalized regional elites, secondary status groups, commoners, and manumitted slaves.
Scholars of European history assert that war makes states, just as states make war. This study finds that in China, the challenges of governing produced a trajectory of state-building in which the processes of moral and social control were at least as central to state-making as the exercise of coercive power.
Looking at the activities of Taoist clerics in Peking, this book explores the workings of religion as a profession in one Chinese city during a period of dramatic modernization. The author focuses on ordinary religious professionals, most of whom remained obscure temple employees, showing that these Taoists were neither the socially despised illiterates dismissed in so many studies, nor otherworldly ascetics, but active participants in the religious economy of the city.
The Tale of Genji has eclipsed the works of later Heian authors, who have since been displaced from the canon and relegated to obscurity. The author calls for a reevaluation of late Heian fiction by shedding new light on this undervalued body of work and examining three representative texts as legitimate heirs to the literary legacy of Genji.
Between 1751 and 1784, the Qianlong emperor embarked upon six southern tours, traveling from Beijing to Jiangnan and back. These tours were exercises in political theater that took the Manchu emperor through one of the Qing empire’s most prosperous regions. This study elucidates the tensions and the constant negotiations characterizing the relationship between the imperial center and Jiangnan, which straddled the two key provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
During the sengoku era in Japan, warlords and religious institutions vied for supremacy, with powerhouses such as The Honganji branch of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism fanning violent uprisings of ikko ikki, bands of commoners fighting for various causes. Tsang delves into the complex relationship between these ikko leagues and the Honganji institution, arguing for a fuller picture of ikko ikki as a force in medieval Japanese history.
Analyzing textbooks, examination questions and essays, and official and private commentary, Hilde De Weerdt examines how occupational, political, and intellectual groups shaped curricular standards and examination criteria during the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279), and how examination standards in turn shaped political and intellectual agendas. These questions reframe the debate about the civil service examinations and their place in the imperial order.
These chapters trace the biographical thread running through Nakagami’s works while foregrounding such diverse facets of his writing as his interest in the modern possibilities of traditional myths and forms of storytelling, his deployment of shocking tropes and images, and his crafting of a unique poetic language.
This book reconstructs civic education and citizenship training in secondary schools in the lower Yangzi region during the Republican era. It analyzes how students used the tools of civic education to make themselves into young citizens, and explores the complex social and political effects of educated youths’ civic action.
From his birth into the lowest stratum of the samurai class to his assassination by right-wing militarists, Takahashi Korekiyo (1854–1936) lived through tumultuous times that shaped the course of modern Japan. This biography underscores the profound influence of the charismatic finance minister on the political and economic development of Japan.
This book examines how China’s three late imperial dynasties—the Yuan, Ming, and Qing—conquered, colonized, and assumed control of the southwest. Herman highlights the indigenous response to China’s colonization of the southwest, particularly that of the Nasu Yi people of western Guizhou and eastern Yunnan, who left an extensive written record.
The Great Depression was a global phenomenon: every economy linked to international financial and commodity markets suffered. The aim of this book is not merely to show that China could not escape the consequences of drastic declines in financial flows and trade but also to offer a new perspective for understanding modern Chinese history.
Relations between the Chosŏn and Qing states are often cited as the prime example of the operation of the “traditional” Chinese “tribute system.” In contrast, this work contends that the motivations, tactics, and successes (and failures) of the late Qing Empire in Chosŏn Korea mirrored those of other nineteenth-century imperialists.
As industrial and scientific developments in early-twentieth-century Japan transformed the meaning of “objective observation,” modern writers and poets struggled to capture what they had come to see as an evolving network of invisible relations joining people to the larger material universe. For these artists, literary modernism was a crisis of perception before it was a crisis of representation. When Our Eyes No Longer See portrays an extraordinary moment in the history of this perceptual crisis and in Japanese literature during the 1920s and 1930s.
The sacred mountain Ōyama (literally, “Big Mountain”) has loomed over the religious landscape of early modern Japan. Ambros provides a narrative history of the mountain and its place in contemporary society and popular religion by focusing on the development of the Ōyama cult and its religious, political, and socioeconomic contexts.
Murakami Haruki is perhaps the best-known and most widely translated Japanese author of his time. Bringing a comparative perspective to the study of Murakami’s fiction, Suter complicates our understanding of the author’s oeuvre and highlights his contributions not only as a popular writer but also as a cultural critic on both sides of the Pacific.
This book assesses the historical significance of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE)—commonly called the Tokyo trial—established as the eastern counterpart of the Nuremberg trial in the immediate aftermath of World War II.
This collection of essays reveals the Ming court as an arena of competition and negotiation, where a large cast of actors pursued individual and corporate ends, personal agency shaped protocol and style, and diverse people, goods, and tastes converged.
One linchpin of China’s expansion has been township and village enterprises (TVEs), a vast group of firms with diverse modes of ownership and structure. Based on the author’s fieldwork in Zhejiang, this book explores the emergence and success of rural enterprises. This study also examines how ordinary rural residents have made sense of and participated in the industrialization engulfing them in recent decades.
Buddhism in medieval Korea is characterized as “State Protection Buddhism,” a religion whose primary purpose was to rally support (supernatural and popular) for and legitimate the state. This study is an attempt to specify Buddhism’s place in Koryo and to ascertain to what extent and in what areas Buddhism functioned as a state religion.
Writers of late imperial fiction and drama were, Lu argues, deeply engaged with questions about the nature of the Chinese empire and of the human community. This book traces how these political questions were addressed in fiction through extreme situations: husbands and wives torn apart in periods of political upheaval, families so disrupted that incestuous encounters become inevitable, times so desperate that people have to sell themselves to be eaten.
The main theme of this book is the interaction between two “places,” China and Guanzhong, the capital area of several dynasties. This work examines how Guanzhong literati conceptualized three sets of relations: central/regional, “official”/“unofficial,” and national/local. It further traces the formation over the last millennium of the imperial state of a critical communal self-consciousness.
Tao Yuanming (365?–427), although dismissed as a poet following his death, is now considered one of China’s greatest writers. This study of the posthumous reputation of a central figure in Chinese literary history, the mechanisms at work in the reception of his works, and the canonization of Tao himself and of particular readings of his works sheds light on the transformation of literature and culture in premodern China.
The book argues that as Neo-Confucians put their philosophy of learning into practice in local society, they justified a new social ideal in which society at the local level was led by the literati with state recognition and support.
This volume focuses on tropes of visuality and gender to reflect on shifting understandings of the significance of Chineseness, modernity, and Chinese modernity. Through detailed readings of narrative works by eight authors of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the study identifies three distinct constellations of visual concerns corresponding to the late imperial, mid-twentieth century, and contemporary periods, respectively.
South Korea is home to some of the largest evangelical Protestant congregations in the world. This book investigates the meaning of—and the reasons behind—a particular aspect of contemporary South Korean evangelicalism: the intense involvement of middle-class women.
The literary career of Uchida Hyakken (1889–1971) encompassed a wide variety of styles and genres. This book takes up Hyakken’s fiction and essays written during Japan’s prewar years to investigate the intersection of his literature with the material and discursive surroundings of the time.
Chinese officials put considerable effort into managing the fiscal and legal affairs of their jurisdictions, but they also devoted significant time and energy to performing religious rituals on behalf of the state. This groundbreaking study explores this underappreciated aspect of Chinese political life by investigating rainmaking activities organized or conducted by local officials in the Qing dynasty.
The narrative is framed around the terms identity, community, and masculinity. As the author shows, the Uyghurs of Yining, a city in the Xinjiang region of China, express a set of individual and collective identities organized around place, gender, family relations, friendships, occupation, and religious practice.
This book explores the Daoist encounter with modernity through the activities of Chen Yingning (1880–1969), a famous lay Daoist master, and his group in early twentieth-century Shanghai. In contrast to the usual narrative of Daoist decay, with its focus on monastic decline, clerical corruption, and popular superstitions, this study tells a story of Daoist resilience, reinvigoration, and revival.
Eyferth charts the vicissitudes of a rural community of papermakers in Sichuan, tracing the changes in the distribution of knowledge that led to a massive transfer of technical control from villages to cities, from primary producers to managerial elites, and from women to men.
This book describes the ritual world of a group of rural settlements in Shanxi province in pre-1949 North China. The great festivals were their supreme collective achievements, carried out virtually without aid from local officials or educated elites. Newly discovered manuscripts allow Johnson to reconstruct the festivals in unprecedented detail.
Throughout Chinese history mountains have been integral components of the religious landscape. Early in Chinese history a set of five mountains were co-opted into the imperial cult and declared sacred peaks, yue, demarcating and protecting the boundaries of the Chinese imperium. James Robson’s analysis of these topics demonstrates the value of local studies and the emerging field of Buddho–Daoist studies in research on Chinese religion.
Following the end of World War II in Asia, the Allied powers repatriated over six million Japanese nationals and deported more than a million colonial subjects from Japan. Watt analyzes how the human remnants of empire served as sites of negotiation in the process of jettisoning the colonial project and in the creation of new national identities.
This study revolves around the career of Kobayashi Hideo (1902–1983), one of the seminal figures in the history of modern Japanese literary criticism, whose interpretive vision was forged amidst the cultural and ideological crises that dominated intellectual discourse between the 1920s and the 1940s.
Since the 1950s, Abe Kōbō (1924–1993) has achieved an international reputation for his surreal or grotesque brand of literature. Bolton explores how this reconciliation of ideas and dialects is for Abe part of the process whereby texts and individuals form themselves—a search for identity that occurs at the level of the self and society at large.
Urbanization was central to development in late imperial China. Yet scholars agree it triggered neither Weberian urban autonomy nor Habermasian civil society. Using Nanjing as a central case, the author shows that, prompted by this contradiction, the actions and creations of urban residents transformed the city on multiple levels.
Gerteis demonstrates that Japanese organized labor’s discourse on womanhood not only undermined women’s status within the labor movement but also prevented unions from linking with the emerging woman-led, neighborhood-centered organizations that typified social movements in the 1960s.
We live in a world shaped by secularism—the separation of numinous power from political authority and religion from public political, social, and economic realms. This book explores the modern recategorization of religious practices and people and examines how state power affected the religious lives and physical order of local communities.
This book, a condensed translation of the prize-winning Jacqueries et révolution dans la Chine du XXe siècle, focuses on “spontaneous” rural unrest, uninfluenced by revolutionary intellectuals. The author shows that the predominant forms of protest were directed not against the landowning class but against agents of the state, and suggests that twentieth-century Chinese peasants were less different from seventeenth- or eighteenth-century French peasants than might be imagined and points to continuities between pre- and post-1949 rural protest.
How have conceptions and practices of sovereignty shaped how Chineseness is imagined? This ethnography addresses this question through the example of Macau, a southern Chinese city that was a Portuguese colony from the 1550s until 1999.
This work explores interactions between society and environment in China’s most important marine fishery, the Zhoushan Archipelago off the coast of Zhejiang and Jiangsu, from its nineteenth-century expansion to the exhaustion of the most important fish species in the 1970s. Micah S. Muscolino gives us a better understanding of the relationship between past ecological changes and present environmental challenges.
Presenting fresh insights on the internal dynamics and global contexts that shaped foreign relations in early modern Japan, Robert I. Hellyer challenges the still largely accepted wisdom that the Tokugawa shogunate, guided by an ideology of seclusion, stifled intercourse with the outside world, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
For centuries, readers of Tao Qian have felt directly addressed by his poetic voice. This theme in the reception of Tao Qian, moreover, developed alongside an assumption that Tao was fundamentally misunderstood during his own age. This book revisits Tao’s approach to his readers by attempting to situate it within the particular poetics of address that characterized the Six Dynasties classicist tradition. How would Tao Qian have anticipated that his readers would understand him?
Mark Jones examines the making of a new child’s world in Japan, 1890–1930, and focuses on the institutions, groups, and individuals that reshaped both the idea of childhood and the daily life of children. He also places the story of modern childhood within a broader social context—the emergence of a middle class in early twentieth century Japan.
In 736, a Japanese diplomatic mission set out for Silla, on the Korean peninsula. The envoys met with adverse events and returned empty-handed. The futile journey proved fruitful in one respect: a collection of 145 Japanese poems and their Sino-Japanese headnotes and footnotes made its way into the eighth-century poetic anthology Man’yōshū, becoming one of the earliest Japanese literary travel narratives. Featuring deft translations and incisive analysis, this study investigates the poetics and thematics of the Silla sequence, uncovering what is known about the actual historical event and the assumptions and concerns that guided its re-creation as a literary artifact and then helped shape its reception among contemporary readers.
Dennis J. Frost traces the emergence and evolution of sports celebrity in Japan from the seventeenth through the twenty-first centuries. Frost explores how various constituencies have repeatedly molded and deployed representations of individual athletes, revealing that sports stars are socially constructed phenomena, the products of both particular historical moments and broader discourses of celebrity.
Anderson argues that shifts in the gender system during the early Meiji period had mixed consequences for Japanese women. Women gained access to the chance to represent themselves and play a limited political role, but were permitted political participation only as an expression of “citizenship through the household.”
The political fragmentation and constant warfare of medieval Japan did not necessarily inhibit economic growth. Rather, as this book shows, these conditions created opportunities for a wider spectrum of society to participate in trade, markets, and monetization, laying the groundwork for Japan’s transformation into an early modern society.
Drawing on varied archaeological and archival sources, David B. Lurie highlights the diverse modes and uses of writing that coexisted in Japan between the first and eighth centuries. This book illuminates not only the textual practices of early Japanese civilization but also the comparative history of writing and literacy in the ancient world.
Tian, or Heaven, had been used in China since the Western Zhou to indicate both the sky and the highest god. Examining excavated materials, Lillian Tseng shows how Han-dynasty artisans transformed various notions of Heaven—as the mandate, the fantasy, and the sky—into pictorial entities, not by what they looked at, but by what they looked into.
Jun Uchida draws on previously unused materials in multi-language archives to uncover the obscured history of the Japanese civilians who settled in Korea between 1876 and 1945, with particular focus on the first generation of “pioneers” between the 1910s and 1930s who actively mediated Japan's colonial presence on the Korean peninsula.
Maclachlan analyzes the institutions, interest groups, and leaders involved in the evolution of Japan’s postal system from the early Meiji period until 2010. At the crux of her analysis is Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichirō’s crusade to privatize Japan’s postal services, one of the most astonishing political achievements in postwar Japanese history.
This study investigates the Japanese experiment with financial imperialism—or “yen diplomacy”—at several key moments between the acquisition of Taiwan in 1895 and the outbreak of the Sino–Japanese War in 1937, and how these practices impacted the development of receiving nations and defined their geopolitical position in the postcolonial world.
Originally published simultaneously in Chinese and Japanese in 2006, this volume brings to English-language readers the fruits of a critical long-term project by Chinese and Japanese historians addressing contentious issues in their shared modern histories.
Sonia Ryang casts new light on the study of North Korean culture and society by reading literary texts as sources of ethnographic data. Ryang focuses critical attention on three central themes—love, war, and self—that reflect the nearly complete overlap of the personal, social, and political realms in North Korean society.
In this richly illustrated book, Shih-shan Susan Huang investigates the visual culture of Daoism, China’s primary indigenous religion, from the tenth through thirteenth centuries with references to earlier and later times. Huang shows how Daoist image-making goes beyond the usual dichotomy of text and image to incorporate writings in image design.
Cultural Revolution Culture, often denigrated as pure propaganda, was liked not only in its heyday but continues to be enjoyed today. Considering this art—music, stage works, posters, comics, literature—in its longue durée, Barbara Mittler suggests it builds on a tradition of earlier works, allowing for proliferation in contemporary China.
Hwansoo Ilmee Kim explores the dynamic relationship between Korean and Japanese Buddhists in the years leading up to the Japanese annexation of Korea. Conventional narratives portray Korean Buddhists as complicit in the religious annexation of the peninsula, but this view fails to account for the diverse visions, interests, and strategies that drove both sides.
Satoru Saito examines the similarities between detective fiction and the novel in prewar Japan. Arguing that interactions between the genres were critical moments of literary engagement, Saito demonstrates how detective fiction provided a framework through which to examine and critique Japan’s literary formations and its modernizing society.
Jung-Sun N. Han examines the role of liberal intellectuals in reshaping transnational ideas and internationalist aspirations into national values and imperial ambitions in early twentieth-century Japan. Han’s focus is on the ideas and activities of Yoshino Sakuzo (1878–1933), who was a champion of prewar Japanese liberalism and Taisho democracy.
Strict decrees on the observance of death were part of the myriad laws enacted under the Tokugawa shogunate to control nearly every aspect of Japanese life. Hirai explores how this class of legislation played an integrative part in Japanese society by codifying religious beliefs and customs the Japanese people had cherished for generations.
Practitioners of private law opened the way toward Japan’s legal modernity in ways the samurai and the state could not. Tracing law regimes from Edo to Meiji, Flaherty shows how the legal profession emerged as a force for change in modern Japan, founding private universities and political parties, and contributing to twentieth-century legal reform.
Koreans and Burakumin, two of the largest minority groups in modern Japan, share a history of discrimination that spans the decades of Japan’s modernization and imperial expansion. Jeffrey Paul Bayliss explores the historical processes that cast them as “others” on the margins of the Japanese empire and that also influenced their views of themselves.
South Korea was one of the poorest economies on the planet after the Korean War; by the twenty-first century, it had become a middle-income country, home to some of the world’s leading industrial corporations. From Miracle to Maturity offers an analysis of Korea’s remarkable economic growth and considers whether its economy is now underperforming.
In the late 1800s, Japanese leaders invited Unitarian missionaries to Japan to further modernization. Mohr looks at the debates sparked by the encounter between Unitarianism and Buddhism and considers how the idea of “universal truth” was used by both missionaries and by Japanese intellectuals and religious leaders to promote their own agendas.
Two-Timing Modernity integrates queer, feminist, and narratological approaches to show how key works by Japanese male authors in the early twentieth century encompassed both a straight future and a queer past by staging tensions between Japan’s newly heteronormative culture and the recent memory of a male homosocial past now read as perverse.
Income Inequality in Korea explores the relationship between economic growth and social developments over the last three decades. Analyzing equalizing trends in the 1980s to early 1990s and reversals since the 1997–1998 financial crisis, the authors examine the growing gap between rich and poor in Korea and offer solutions for reducing inequality.
One of the central literary texts of the Heian period (794–1185), Tales of Ise has inspired extensive commentary. Offering a comprehensive history of the work’s reception, Jamie L. Newhard reveals the ideological and aesthetic issues shaping criticism over the centuries as the audience for classical Japanese literature expanded beyond the aristocracy.
Sho Konishi traces the emergence from 1860 to 1930 of transnational networks of Russian and Japanese “cooperatist anarchists” devoted to creating a state-free society. Arguing that this radical movement forms one of the intellectual foundations of modern Japan, Konishi offers a new approach to Japanese history that challenges Western narratives.
The Real Modern examines three Korean authors of the 1930s—Pak T’aewon, Kim Yujong, and Yi T’aejun—whose works critique competing modes of literary representation in the period of Japanese colonial rule. A re-reading of modernist fiction within the imperial context, it sheds new light on the relationship between political discourse and aesthetics.
This book is about the losers of the Meiji Restoration and the supporters who promoted their legacy. Using sources ranging from essays by former Tokugawa supporters like Fukuzawa Yukichi to postwar film and “lost decade” manga, Michael Wert shows how shifting portrayals of Restoration losers have influenced the formation of national history.
Facing the Monarch examines the role of rhetoric in shaping the dynamic between Chinese ministers and monarchs in the era between the Spring and Autumn period and the later Han dynasty. Essays analyze classical Chinese works to provide fresh perspectives on the impact of political circumstances on modes of expression.
The 1949 birth of the People’s Republic of China divided the nation into many political entities, displacing millions. Examining a body of understudied literary and cultural output in mainland China and elsewhere after World War II, Xiaojue Wang investigates how writers responded to these shifts to shape a new Chinese subjectivity in their works.
A Sense of Place examines the vast Kantō region as a locus of cultural identity and an object of familial attachment in late fifteenth and early sixteenth century Japan. Using memoirs, letters, travelogues, land registers, and other documents, David Spafford analyzes the relationships of the eastern elites to the space they inhabited.
This study offers a new view of South Korea’s transformation since 1960.Focusing on three turning points—the creation of the development state in the 1960s, democratization in 1987, and the 1997 economic crisis—Jongryn Mo and Barry R. Weingast show how Korea sustained growth by resolving crises in favor of greater political and economic openness.
Melek Ortabasi reassesses the influence of Yanagita Kunio (1875–1962), a folk scholar and elite bureaucrat, in shaping modern Japan’s cultural identity. Only the second book-length English-language study of Yanagita, this book moves beyond his pioneering work in folk studies to reveal the full range of his contributions as a public intellectual.
Hiraku Shimoda places the origin of modern Japanese regionalism in the tense relationship between region and nation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This study shows that “region,” often seen as a hard, natural place that impedes national unity, is in fact a supple spatial category that can be made to reinforce nationalist sensibilities.
Trent E. Maxey documents how religion came to be seen as the “greatest problem” by the architects of the modern Japanese state. Maxey shows that in Meiji Japan, religion designated a cognitive and social pluralism that resisted direct state control. It also provided the state with a means to contain, regulate, and neutralize that plurality.
The first full-length biography of a premodern Japanese nun, The Princess Nun is the story of Bunchi (1619–1697), daughter of Emperor Go-Mizunoo and founder of Enshōji. The study incorporates issues of gender and social status into its discussion of Bunchi’s ascetic practice to rewrite the history of Buddhist reform and Tokugawa religion.
Rise of a Japanese Chinatown focuses on a Chinese immigrant community in the Japanese port city of Yokohama from the Sino–Japanese War of 1894–1895 to the normalization of Sino–Japanese ties in 1972 and beyond. It tells the story of how Chinese immigrants found an enduring place within a monoethnic state during periods of war and peace.
Natasha Heller offers a cultural history of Buddhism through a case study of the Chan master Zhongfeng Mingben. Monks of his stature developed a broad set of cultural competencies for navigating social and intellectual relationships. Heller shows the importance of situating monks as actors within wider sociocultural fields of practice and exchange.
Chinese martial arts novels from the late nineteenth century are full of suggestive sounds. Characters curse in colorful dialect accents, and action scenes come to life with the loud clash of swords. Paize Keulemans examines the relationship between these novels and earlier storyteller manuscripts to explain the purpose and history of these sounds.
Investing Japan demonstrates that foreign investment is a vital and misunderstood aspect of Japan’s modern economic development. This study investigates the role played by foreign companies in the Japanese experience of modernization, highlighting their identity as key agents in the processes of industrialization and technology transfer.
Sukhee Lee posits an alternative understanding of the relationship between the state and social elites during the Southern Song and Yuan dynasties. Challenging the assumption of a zero-sum competition between the powers of the state and of local elites, Lee shows that state power and local elite interests were mutually constitutive and reinforcing.
Ink landscape painting is a distinctive feature of the Northern Song, and Song painters created some of the most celebrated artworks in Chinese history. Foong Ping shows how landmark works of this era came to be identified first as potent symbols of imperial authority and later as objects by which exiled scholars expressed disaffection and dissent.
Catherine L. Phipps examines a largely unacknowledged system of “special trading ports” that operated under full Japanese jurisdiction in the shadow of the better-known treaty ports. Phipps demonstrates why the special trading ports were key to Japan’s achieving autonomy and regional power during the pivotal second half of the nineteenth century.
From the 1910s to the 1940s, a wave of anarchist, Marxist, nationalist, and feminist leftist groups swept the Korean cultural scene with differing agendas but shared demands for equality and social justice. Sunyoung Park reconstructs the complex mosaic of colonial leftist culture, focusing on literature as its most fertile and enduring expression.
The Korean Economy provides an overview of Korean economic experience since the 1950s, with a focus on the period since democratization in 1987. Chapters analyze the Korean experience from a wide range of economic and social perspectives, as well as describing the country’s economic challenges going forward and how they can best be met.
During the Heian period, the sacred mountain Kinpusen came to cultural prominence as a pilgrimage site for the most powerful men in Japan, but these journeys also had political implications. Using a myriad of sources, Heather Blair sheds new light on Kinpusen, positioning it within the broader religious and political history of the Heian period.
Focusing on Japan’s Kwantung Leasehold and Railway Zone in China’s northeastern provinces, Emer O’Dwyer traces the history of Japan’s prewar Manchurian empire over four decades to show how South Manchuria was naturalized as a Japanese space and how this process contributed to the success of the Japanese army’s early 1930s takeover of Manchuria.
Under the Ancestors’ Eyes elucidates the role of Neo-Confucianism as an ideological and political device by which the elite in Korea regained and maintained dominance during the Chosŏn period. Using historical and social anthropological methodology, Martina Deuchler highlights Korea’s distinctive elevation of the social over the political.
Joseph R. Dennis demonstrates the significance of imperial Chinese local gazetteers in both local societies and national discourses. Whereas previous studies argued that publishing, and thus cultural and intellectual power, were concentrated in the southeast, Dennis shows that publishing and book ownership were widely dispersed throughout China.
Focusing on its adaptation in the Chinese context, Catherine Vance Yeh traces the rise of the political novel to international renown between the 1830s and the 1910s. Yeh explores in detail the tensions characteristic of transcultural processes, among them the dynamics through which a particular, and seemingly local, literary genre goes global.
In Defensive Positions, Noell Wilson shows how control of coastal defense by regional domains exacerbated the shogunate’s inability to respond to major military and political challenges as Japan transitioned from an early modern system of parcelized, local maritime defense to one of centralized, national security in the nineteenth century.
Miri Nakamura examines bodily metaphors such as doppelgangers and robots that were ubiquitous in the literature of imperial Japan. Reading them against the historical rise of the Japanese empire, she argues they must be understood in relation to the most “monstrous” body of all in modern Japan: the carefully constructed image of the empire itself.
The Chinese Communist welfare state was established with the goal of eradicating income inequality. Paradoxically, it widened that gap, undermining a primary objective of Mao Zedong’s revolution. Nara Dillon traces the origins of the Chinese welfare state from the 1940s to the 1960s to uncover the reasons why the state failed to achieve this goal.
Zhao Ma explores lower-class women’s struggles with poverty, deprivation, and marital strife in Beijing from 1937 to 1949. He shows how the everyday survival tactics they devised allowed them to subtly deflect, subvert, and “escape without leaving” powerful forces such as the surveillance state, reformist discourse, and revolutionary politics.
Since the last years of the Qing dynasty, youth has been made a new agent of history in Chinese intellectuals’ visions of national rejuvenation. Mingwei Song combines historical investigations of the origin and development of the modern Chinese youth discourse with close analyses of the novelistic construction of the Chinese Bildungsroman.
Stigmatized throughout Japanese history as outcastes, the burakumin are contemporary Japan’s largest minority. In this study of youths from two different communities, Christopher Bondy explores how individuals navigate their social world, demonstrating the ways in which people make conscious decisions about disclosing a stigmatized identity.
Seth Jacobowitz rethinks the origins of modern Japanese language, literature, and visual culture, presenting the first systematic study of the ways that media and inscriptive technologies available in Japan at its threshold of modernization in the late nineteenth to early twentieth century shaped and brought into being modern Japanese literature.
By the late eleventh century the Song court no longer dominated production of information about itself. Hilde De Weert demonstrates how the growing involvement of the literati in publishing such information altered the relationship between court and literati in political communication for the remainder of the Chinese imperial period.
Elizabeth Kindall’s definitive study elucidates the context for the paintings of Huang Xiangjian (1609–1673) and identifies geo-narrative as a distinct landscape-painting tradition lauded for its naturalistic immediacy, experiential topography, and dramatic narratives of moral persuasion, class identification, and biographical commemoration.
Matthew Fraleigh examines the life and works of Narushima Ryūhoku (1837–1884): Confucian scholar, world traveler, pioneering journalist, and irrepressible satirist. This is the first book-length study of Ryūhoku in a Western language and one of the first Western-language monographs to examine Sinitic poetry and prose composition in modern Japan.
Beheaded for plotting against the Qing empire, poet Qiu Jin would later be celebrated as a Republican martyr and China’s first feminist. Hu Ying studies Qiu’s enduring bond with Wu Zhiying and Xu Zihua, who braved political persecution to keep her legacy alive. In doing so, their friendship fulfilled its ultimate socially transformative potential.
Mark E. Byington explores the formation, history, and legacy of ancient Puyŏ, the earliest archaeologically attested state to arise in northeastern Asia. He discusses how the legacy of Puyŏ contributed to modes of statecraft of later northeast Asian states and provided a basis for a developing historiographical tradition on the Korean peninsula.
Timothy J. Van Compernolle reconsiders the rise of the modern novel in Japan by connecting the genre to new discourses on ambition and social mobility, arguing that social mobility is the privileged lens through which Meiji novelists explored abstract concepts of national belonging, social hierarchy, and the new space of an industrializing nation.
Heekyoung Cho investigates the meanings and functions that translation generated for modern national literatures during their formative period and reconsiders literature as part of a dynamic translational process of negotiating foreign values. Cho’s study focuses on literary and cultural relations among Russia, Japan, and colonial Korea.
Movements of people—through migration, exile, and diaspora—are central to understanding power relationships in Japan 900–1400. But what of more literary moves: texts with abrupt genre leaps or poetic figures that flatten distances? Terry Kawashima examines what happens when both types of tropes—literal travels and literary shifts—coexist.
Anna Andreeva challenges the twentieth-century narrative of Shinto as an unbroken, monolithic tradition. By studying how and why religious practitioners affiliated with different religious institutions responded to esoteric Buddhism’s teachings, this book demonstrates that kami worship in medieval Japan was a result of complex negotiations.
In this in-depth study, Felix Boecking challenges the widely accepted idea that the key to Communist seizure of power in China lay in the incompetence of Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government. It argues instead that international trade, government tariff revenues, and hence China’s fiscal policy and state-making project all collapsed.
Chien-hsin Tsai examines the reinvention of loyalism in colonial Taiwan through the lens of literature. He analyzes the ways in which writers from colonial Taiwan—including Qiu Fengjia, Lian Heng, and Wu Zhuoliu—creatively and selectively employed loyalist ideals to cope with Japanese colonialism and its many institutional changes.
Honored and Dishonored Guests chronicles Western communities in wartime Japan, using this body of experiences to reconsider allegations of Japanese racism and racial hatred. Its thesis is borne out by a mosaic of stories from dozens of foreign families and individuals, and yields a unique interpretation of race relations and wartime life in Japan.
Aesthetic Life is a study of modern Japan, engaging the fields of art history, literature, and cultural studies, seeking to understand how the “beautiful woman” (bijin) emerged as a symbol of Japanese culture during the Meiji period (1868–1912).
Brian Steininger revisits Japan’s mid-Heian court of the Tale of Genji and the Pillow Book, where literary Chinese was not only the basis of official administration, but also a medium for political protest, sermons of mourning, and poems of celebration.
Lisa Yoshikawa explores the role history and historians played in imperial Japan’s nation and empire building from the 1890s to the 1930s. Through a close reading of vast, multilingual sources, Yoshikawa argues that scholarship and politics were inseparable as Japan’s historical profession developed.
Japan’s “merchant capital” in the late sixteenth century, Osaka remained an industrial center into the 1930s, developing a distinct urban culture to rival Tokyo’s. Osaka Modern maps the city as imagined in Japanese popular literature and cinema—as well as contemporary radio, television, music, and comedy—from the 1920s to the 1950s.
By tracing Korean-educated agents’ efforts to articulate the vernacular nomenclature of medicine over time, Soyoung Suh examines the limitations and possibilities of creating a mode of “Koreanness” in medicine—and the Korean manifestation of cultural and national identities.
Yoon Sun Yang argues that the first literary iterations of the Korean individual were female figures in late nineteenth century domestic novels. This study disrupts the canonical account of a non-gendered, linear progress toward modern Korean selfhood and examines translation’s impact on Korea’s construction of modern gender roles.
Drawing on in-depth interviews with animation professionals, field research, and a wide-scale market survey, The Anime Boom in the United States investigates the Japanese export of anime television and film to the United States. This story carries broad significance for those interested in understanding the cultural and media globalization.
Nathan Hopson unravels the contested postwar meanings of the Northeast Tōhoku region of Japan to reveal the complex and contradictory ways in which that region has been incorporated into Japan’s shifting self-images since World War II.
Michael A. Fuller’s innovative textbook for learning classical Chinese poetry moves beyond the traditional anthology of poems translated into English and instead brings readers—including those with no knowledge of Chinese—as close as possible to the texture of the poems in their original language.
Revolutionary Waves analyzes the crowd in the Chinese cultural and political imagination and its global resonances by delving into a wide range of fiction, philosophy, poetry, and psychological studies—raising questions about the promise and peril of community as communion and reimagining collective life in China’s post-socialist present.
Navigating Semi-Colonialism examines steam navigation, which was introduced by foreign powers to Chinese waters in the mid-nineteenth century. Anne Reinhardt illuminates both conceptual and concrete aspects of this regime, arguing for the specificity of China’s experience, its continuities with colonialism, and its links to global processes.
Legal Lessons examines how China’s party-state attempted to motivate ordinary citizens to learn laws during the Mao period. Archival records, advice manuals, and colorful propaganda materials reveal how official attempts to promote “correct” understanding of laws intersected with the interpretations and practical experiences of the people.
Halle O’Neal unpacks jeweled pagoda mandala paintings and their revolutionary entwining of word and image to reveal crucial dynamics underlying Japanese Buddhist art—including invisibility, performative viewing, and the spectacular visualizations of embodiment.
Give and Take offers a new history of government in Tokugawa Japan (1600–1868), one that focuses on ordinary subjects: merchants, artisans, villagers, and people at the margins of society. Maren Ehlers explores how high and low people negotiated and collaborated with each other as they addressed the problem of poverty in early modern Japan.
Chieko Nakajima tells the story of China’s unfolding modernity, exploring changing ideas, practices, and systems related to health and body in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century Shanghai. She explains how local customs fashioned and constrained public health and, in turn, how hygienic modernity helped shape local cultures and behavior.
In the first comprehensive study of Guo Moruo in English, Pu Wang explores the dynamics of translation, revolution, and historical imagination in twentieth-century Chinese culture. Guo was a romantic writer, Mao Zedong’s last poetic interlocutor, a Marxist historian, president of China’s Academy of Sciences, and translator of Goethe’s Faust.
Korean Buddhists, despite living under colonial rule, reconfigured sacred objects, festivals, urban temples, propagation—and even their own identities—to modernize and elevate Korean Buddhism. By focusing on six case studies, this book highlights the centrality of transnational relationships in the transformation of colonial Korean Buddhism.
Imaginative Mapping analyzes how intellectuals of the Tokugawa and Meiji eras used specific features and aspects of the landscape to represent their idea of Japan and produce a narrative of Japan as a cultural community. Nobuko Toyosawa argues that the circulation spatial narratives allowed readers to imagine the broader conceptual space of Japan.
Famine Relief in Warlord China explores disaster responses during the greatest ecological crisis of the pre-Nationalist Chinese republic. Pierre Fuller details how indigenous action from the household to the national level, not international intervention, sustained the lives of millions of the destitute in Beijing.
Powers of the Real analyzes the cultural politics of cinema’s persuasive sensory realism in interwar Japan. Examining cultural criticism, art, news media, literature, and film, Lewis offers new perspectives on media history, the commodification of intimacy and emotion, film realism, and gender politics in the “age of the mass society” in Japan.
In this groundbreaking study, Maram Epstein identifies filial piety as the dominant expression of love in Qing dynasty texts. By decentering romantic feeling as the dominant expression of love during the High Qing, Orthodox Passions calls for a new understanding of the affective landscape of late imperial China.
Regional Literature and the Transmission of Culture provides a textured picture of cultural transmission in the Qing and early Republican eras. Study of drum ballads opens up new perspectives in Chinese literature and history and offers a new paradigm that will interest scholars of cultural history, literature, legal history, and popular culture.
Flowering Tales is the first extensive literary study of A Tale of Flowering Fortunes (Eiga monogatari), a historical tale that covers 150 years of births, deaths, and happenings of late Heian society, a golden age of Japanese court literature.
In Wings for the Rising Sun, scholar and former airline pilot Jürgen Melzer tells the history of Japanese aviation as a story of international cooperation, competition, and conflict. He details how Japan absorbed technologies from abroad, fostered public enthusiasm for aviation at home, and eventually crafted boldly original flying machines.
Edith Sarra radically rethinks The Tale of Genji by focusing on the figure of the house—both the narrative’s images of aristocratic mansions and its representation of their inhabitants. Unreal Houses opens new perspectives on the architectonics of the Genji and the feminine milieu that midwifed what has been called the world’s first novel.
Chinese Ways of Seeing and Open-Air Painting chronicles the life of a modern art form. In the late 1910s Chinese painters began working outdoors. They also adopted linear perspective and Cartesian optics. Yi Gu reflects on the complex interaction of local and Western aesthetics within the new form and on the nature of visual modernity in China.
An extensively researched history of China’s Yangzi Delta silk industry, Red Silk compares two very different groups of silk workers and their experiences in the revolution, and how their actions compelled the party-state to adjust its policy that ultimately proved disastrous.
With the ascension of a new emperor and the dawn of the Reiwa Era, Kenneth J. Ruoff expands upon and updates The People’s Emperor, his study of the monarchy’s role as a political, societal, and cultural institution in contemporary Japan.
Drawing on a decade of research, Erin Brightwell analyzes eight Mirrors and related medieval Japanese texts recounting the history of that time and place. Downplayed and obscured by previous scholars, the mirrors emerge as a once-dominant genre of historical writing—a means by which authors brought order to the chaos of the period.
Earthquake Children is the first book to examine the origins of modern Japan’s infrastructure of resilience. Janet Borland vividly demonstrates that Japan’s contemporary culture of disaster preparedness—and its people’s ability to respond calmly in times of emergency—are the results of learned and practiced behaviors inspired by earlier tragedies.
Dancing the Dharma examines the theory and practice of allegory by exploring a select group of medieval Japanese noh plays and treatises. Understanding noh’s allegorical structure and paying attention to the localized historical context for individual plays are key to recovering their original function as political and religious allegories.
In Varieties of State Regulation, Yukyung Yeo explores how the Chinese central party-state continues to oversee the most strategic sectors of its economy, and how the form of central state control varies considerably across leading industrial sectors, depending on the dominant mode of state ownership, conception of control, and governing structure.
Spanning the fields of book history, travel literature, map history, and visual culture, Printing Landmarks provides a new perspective on Tokugawa-period culture. Robert Goree draws on diverse archival and scholarly sources to explore why meisho zue enjoyed widespread and enduring popularity.
A Third Way tells the story of Deng Xiaoping’s experimentation with export-led development inspired by Lenin’s New Economic Policy and the economic reforms of Eastern Europe and Asia. This book provides important new insights about the crucial period of the 1980s and how it paved the way for China’s transformation into a global economic superpower.
One Belt One Road argues that the largest global infrastructure development program in history is not the centralized and systematic project that many assume. Rather, Eyck Freymann suggests, the campaign aims to build the cult of Chinese President Xi Jinping while exporting an ancient model of patronage and tribute.
Korea’s financial development has been a tale of liberalization and opening but the new system has failed to steer the country away from financial crises. This study analyzes the changes in the financial system and finds that financial liberalization has contributed little to grow and stabilize the Korean economy.
In Opportunity in Crisis, an exploration of the late Qing Cantonese migration along the West River, Steven B. Miles situates the Cantonese upriver and overseas migration within the same framework, thus reconceiving the late Qing as an age of Cantonese diasporic expansion rather than one of state decline.
Grace C. Huang reconsiders Chiang Kai-shek’s leadership and legacy in an intriguing new portrait of this twentieth-century leader. Comparing his response to imperialism to those of Mao, Yuan Shikai, and Mahatma Gandhi, Huang widens the implications of her findings to explore alternatives to Western expressions of nationalism and modernity.
A groundbreaking study of prison religion, Karma and Punishment introduces a form of chaplaincy rooted in the Buddhist concept of doctrinal admonition. Through research and fieldwork, Adam Lyons uncovers a dimension of Buddhist modernism that developed as Japan’s religious organizations carved out a niche as defenders of society by fighting crime.
Chinese Asianism analyzes Chinese views of East Asian solidarity in light of Chinese nationalism and Sino–Japanese relations. Advocates of Asianism packaged Asia for their own agendas, often by translating and interpreting Japanese perspectives. As China now plays a central role in East Asian development, Asianism is once again of great importance.
Uncertain Powers presents a nuanced study of female leadership in medieval Japan. Sachiko Kawai explores the important political and economic roles of twelfth- and thirteenth-century Japanese royal women who, confronted with social factors and gender disparities, transformed authority into power by means of cooperation, persuasion, compromise and coercion.