The Edwin O. Reischauer Lectures
The first Japanese-born and Japanese-speaking U.S. Ambassador to Japan (1961–1966), Edwin O. Reischauer started his career teaching at Harvard University and eventually became the director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute. Following his stint at the embassy in Tokyo, Reischauer returned to academic life at Harvard and spent his remaining years giving lectures, promoting U.S.–Japan relations, and writing. Established in 1986, the annual Reischauer Lectures are sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies (previously the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research) at Harvard.
Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.
East Asian Civilizations: A Dialogue in Five Stages
The doyen of Confucian studies in America here constructs a magisterial overview of 3,000 years of East Asian civilizations, principally in the form of dialogues among the major systems of thought that have dominated the Asian world’s historical development.
China and Japan in the Global Setting
The relationship between China and Japan remains among the most significant of all the world’s bilateral affairs—yet it is also the most tortured and the least understood. Akira Iriye adds brilliant clarity to the past century of Chinese–Japanese interactions in this masterful interpretive survey.
The Four Little Dragons: The Spread of Industrialization in East Asia
Vogel brings masterly insight to the underlying question of why Japan and the little dragons—Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore—have been so extraordinarily successful in industrializing while other developing countries have not.
Politics of Development: Perspectives on Twentieth-Century Asia
Political scientist Robert Scalapino traces the evolution of Asian countries in our century, seeking to determine the precise mix of culture, experience, scale, timing, leadership, and policy that shapes individual developing nations. Blending discussions of political, cultural, and economic events, Scalapino provides scenarios for the future that give grounds for hope but that also underscore the dangerous potential for racial conflict and religious fanaticism.
The Lyric Journey: Poetic Painting in China and Japan
Poetic paintings—works done in response to lyric poems or as pictorial equivalents to them—compose a major category of East Asian art. In this beautifully illustrated book, James Cahill looks at three exemplary traditions in this genre.
The Chinese Overseas: From Earthbound China to the Quest for Autonomy
The Chinese overseas now number 25 to 30 million, yet the 2,000-year history of the Chinese’s attempts to venture abroad and the underlying values affecting that migration have never before been presented in a broad overview. In pursuing this story, international scholar Wang Gungwu uncovers some major themes of global history.
The Asian American Century
Warren Cohen reviews the role of the United States in East Asia over the past century, making a convincing case for American influence in Asia as generally positive. He illustrates specific ways in which American culture has affected Asians, from forms of government to entertainment, and offers valuable insights into the nature of cultural exchange. And in a fascinating and eye-opening assessment of the “Asianization” of America, Cohen observes that Asian influences in food, film, music, medicine, and religion are now woven deeply—and permanently—into the American fabric.
Lost Modernities: China, Vietnam, Korea, and the Hazards of World History
Woodside offers an overview of the bureaucratic politics of preindustrial China, Vietnam, and Korea. He focuses on the political and administrative theory of the three mandarinates and their long experimentation with governments recruited in part through meritocratic civil service examinations.
Visible Cities: Canton, Nagasaki, and Batavia and the Coming of the Americans
The eighteenth century witnessed the rise of the China market and the changes that resulted in global consumption patterns, from opium smoking to tea drinking. In a valuable transnational perspective, Leonard Blussé chronicles the economic and cultural transformations in East Asia through three key cities: Canton, Nagasaki, and Batavia.
Articulating the Sinosphere: Sino-Japanese Relations in Space and Time
Joshua Fogel offers an incisive historical look at Sino–Japanese relations from three different perspectives. Introducing the concept of “Sinosphere” to capture the nature of Sino–foreign relations both spatially and temporally, Fogel presents an original and thought-provoking study on the long, complex relationship between China and Japan.
Cultivating Global Citizens: Population in the Rise of China
Current accounts of China’s rise emphasize economics and politics. Susan Greenhalgh, one of the foremost authorities on China’s one-child policy, places governance of population at the heart of China’s ascent. Focusing on the decade since 2000, she argues that the politics of population has been critically important to the state’s globalizing agenda, by helping transform China’s rural masses into modern workers and citizens, strengthening and legitimizing the PRC regime, and boosting China’s economic development and comprehensive national power.
East Asian Development: Foundations and Strategies
East Asia has three of the most powerful economies on earth, but they are losing steam. Dwight Perkins draws on extensive experience in the region to explain the reasons for this rapid economic growth since the 1960s and to ask if the recent slowdown is a local phenomenon or typical of all economies at this stage of development.
Empire and Righteous Nation: 600 Years of China-Korea Relations
Historian Odd Arne Westad provides a concise, insightful overview of 600 years of relations between China and the Koreas. The story traces the transition from Korean cultural and political dependence to the tensions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, providing essential background to a complex contemporary geopolitical dynamic.
The Borders of Chinese Architecture
Chinese architecture is astonishingly uniform. Buddhists, Daoists, and Muslims, inside China and beyond, built Chinese-style structures the same way for two thousand years, despite mastering new technologies along the way. Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt offers an authoritative overview of design principles that have stood the test of time—and geography.