Harvard University Asia Center
The Harvard University Asia Center was officially established on July 1, 1997, to reflect Harvard’s deep commitment to Asia and the growing connections between Asian nations. The center is an active organization with varied programs focusing on international relations in Asia and comparative studies of Asian countries and regions. Harvard’s study of Asia is spread across the University’s departments and schools, and a wide array of disciplines come together under the auspices of the Asia Center. Through such a convergence, the Center brings a layered, multifaceted approach to the scholarly description of events to probe questions of history and culture, of economics, politics, diplomacy, and security, and the relationships among them.
The Asia Center supplements and connects other Asia-related programs and institutes and the University and provides a focal point for interaction and exchange on topics of common interest for the Harvard community and Asian intellectual, political, and business circles.
- Harvard Contemporary China Series
- Harvard East Asian Monographs
- Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series
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 »
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.
This is the first book in English to analyze the Chinese literary scene during the post-Mao thaw in government control. The seven contributors originally presented their research at a 1982 international conference at St. John’s University, New York.
The recent flood of reminiscence literature in China has reserved a special place of prominence for Ai Ssu-ch’i. This is not only because he was so admired by Mao, but also because he devoted his life so enthusiastically and wholeheartedly to the Party. Joshua Fogel traces the pattern of this devotion via Ai’s crucial role in spreading Marxist-Leninist thought among Chinese intellectuals.
Along with the political and economic reforms that have characterized the post-Mao era in China there has been a potentially revolutionary change in Chinese science and technology. Here sixteen scholars examine various facets of the current science and technology scene, comparing it with the past and speculating about future trends.
What do Chinese literature and film inspired by the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) have in common with media of the May Fourth movement (1918–1930)? This book demonstrates several shared aims: to liberate narrative arts from aesthetic orthodoxies, to draw on foreign sources for inspiration, and to free individuals from social conformity.
This first significant collection of essays on women in China in more than two decades captures a pivotal moment in a cross-cultural—and interdisciplinary—dialogue. For the first time, the voices of China-based scholars are heard alongside scholars positioned in the United States.
Zouping offers important general lessons for the study of China’s rural transformation. The authors in this volume, all participants in a unique field research project undertaken from 1988 to 1992, address questions concerning the role of local governments as economic actors, market reform, and inequality.
China’s move to an open market economy ended the political chaos and economic stagnation of the Cultural Revolution and sparked an unprecedented economic boom. Yet this success came at the cost of a weakening central government, increasing inequalities, and fragmenting society. The essays here explore this contradiction.
This collection of essays addresses the meaning and practice of political citizenship in China over the past century, raising the question of whether reform initiatives in citizenship imply movement toward increased democratization.
Observers often note the glaring contrast between China’s economic progress and its stalled political reforms. This volume, written by experienced scholars, explores a range of grassroots efforts—initiated by the state and society alike—to restrain corrupt behavior and enhance the accountability of local authorities.
Unrest in China, from the dramatic events of 1989 to more recent stirrings, offers a rare opportunity to consider how popular contention unfolds in places where speech and assembly are tightly controlled. The contributors to this volume argue that ideas inspired by social movements elsewhere can help explain popular protest in China.
This timely and important collection of original essays analyzes China’s foremost social cleavage: the rural–urban gap. The contributors, many of whom conducted extensive fieldwork, examine the historical background of rural–urban relations; aspects of inequality apart from income (access to education and medical care, the digital divide, housing quality and location); experiences of discrimination, particularly among urban migrants; and conceptual and policy debates in China regarding the status and treatment of rural residents and urban migrants.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A careful, factual account of the institutional forms and foreign relations in the Ch’ing dynasty after 1860.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This volume explores commercial relations between the U.S. and China from the 18th century until 1949, fleshing out with facts the romantic and shadowy image of “the China trade.” These nine chapters by specialists in the field have developed from papers presented at a conference supported by the national Committee on American–East Asian Relations.
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.
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.
One of the first, most widely-read and respected histories of Korea, Ki-baik Lee’s Han’guksa Sillon has been translated into English by Edward W. Wagner. A New History of Korea offers Western readers a distillation of the best scholarship on Korean history and culture from the earliest times to the student revolution of 1960.
Lurid depictions of sex and impotence, themes of emperor worship and violence, the use of realism and myth—these characterize the fiction of Mishima Yukio and Oe Kenzaburo. Napier discovers surprising similarities as well as provocative dissimilarities in the work of two writers of radically different political orientations.
This dual-language compilation of seven complete major works and many shorter pieces from the Confucian period through the Ch’ing dynasty will be indispensable to students of Chinese literature as well as theorists and scholars of other languages.
Timothy Brook studies three widely separated and economically dissimilar counties. He draws on rich data in monastic gazetteers to examine the patterns and social consequences of patronage.
P’ansori, the traditional oral narrative of Korea, is sung by a highly trained soloist to the accompaniment of complex drumming. In the first book-length treatment in English of this art form, Pihl traces its history from roots in shamanism and folktales through its 19th-century heyday and discusses its evolution in the 20th century.
This important new study explores the impact of Neo-Confucianism on Korean society and politics between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries.
W. Wayne Farris has developed the first systematic analysis of early Japanese population, the role of disease in economic development, and the impact of agricultural technology and practices. In doing so, he reinterprets the nature of ritsuryō institutions.
Richard Davis has expertly crafted a stirring narrative of the last years of Song, focusing on loyalist resistance to Mongol domination as more than just a political event. Seen from the perspective of the conquered, the phenomenon of martyrdom reveals much about the cultural history of the Song.
The realignment of the Chinese social order that took place over the course of the Sung dynasty set the pattern for Chinese society throughout most of the later imperial era. This study examines that realignment from the perspective of specific Sung families, using data on two groups of Sung elites—the grand councilors who led the bureaucracy and locally prominent gentlemen in Wu-chou (in modern Chekiang).
Unlike traditional Japanese literature, which has a rich tradition of comedy, modern Japanese literature is commonly associated with a high seriousness of purpose. In this pathbreaking study, Joel Cohn analyzes works by three writers—Ibuse Masuji (1898–1993), Dazai Osamu (1909–1948), and Inoue Hisashi (1934– )—whose works constitute a relentless assault on the notion that comedy cannot be part of serious literature.
This book, the most detailed and comprehensive study of pao-chüan in any language, studies 34 early examples in order to understand the origins and development of this textual tradition. Although it focuses on content and structure, it also treats the social context of these works, as well as their transmission and ritual use.
During the Song dynasty (960-1278), some members of China’s elite found an elegant and subtle means of dissent: landscape painting. By examining literary archetypes, the titles of paintings, contemporary inscriptions, and the historical context, Alfreda Murck shows that certain paintings expressed strong political opinions--some transparent, others deliberately concealed. She argues that the capacity of painting’s systems of reference to allow scholars to express dissent with impunity contributed to the art’s vitality and longevity.
This volume analyzes the representation of gender and desire in elite, male-authored literary texts in China dating from roughly 200 B.C. until 1000 A.D.
While specialized studies in Chinese literature multiply, an adequate history of Chinese literature based upon such studies has still to be written. Most of the eight articles reprinted in this volume have been unavailable for some time, and their reissue has been undertaken to fulfill a persistent demand.
This small but comprehensive dictionary contains 7,773 Chinese characters and 104,000 compounds taken from the classics, general literature, magazines, and newspapers.
This book reproduces a rare printed text of the Bolor Erike (Chaplet of Crystals), written in the 18th century but preserving a number of recitals relating to Chinggis Qaghan and his line and to the history of the Mongols under the Chinese Ming dynasty. A thorough textual and historical analysis is included.
Based on an extensive study of Jianyang imprints, genealogies of the leading families of printers, local histories, documents, and annotated catalogs and bibliographies, Printing for Profit is not only a history of commercial printing but also a wide-ranging study of the culture of the book in traditional China.
In medieval Japanese literature, the practices of initiation ceremonies and secret transmissions found in esoteric Buddhism began to be incorporated into the teaching of waka poetry. The main figure in this development was 13th-century poet Fujiwara Tameaki, whose commentaries transformed secular texts into allegories of Buddhist enlightenment.
By treating the issues of cosmology, sacrifice, and self-divinization in a historical and comparative framework that attends to the contemporary significance of specific arguments, Puett shows that the basic cosmological assumptions of ancient China were the subject of far more debate than is generally thought.
The goal of this volume is to consider the relationship of writing to materiality in China’s literary history and to ponder the physical aspects of the production and circulation of writing.
The 18th-century Chinese novel Rulin waishi (The Unofficial History of the Scholars), Wu Jingzi’s (1701–54) ironic portrait of literati life, challenges the reader to come to grips with the mid-Qing debates over ritual and ritualism, and the construction of history, narrative, and lyricism.
As traced in Words Well Put, the vision of poetic competence evolved for over a millennium from calculated performances of inherited words to sincere passionate outbursts to displays of verbal wit combining calculation with the appearance of spontaneity. This book tells the story of the development of poetic competence to uncover the complexity of the concept and to identify the sources and exemplars of that complexity.
As descendants of the great courtier-poets Fujiwara no Shunzei (1114–1204) and his son Teika (1162–1244), the heirs of the Reizei house can claim an unbroken literary lineage spanning over eight centuries. Carter combines family history, literary criticism, and historical research in a coherent narrative tracking the evolution of the Reizei Way.
Using an interdisciplinary approach drawing on the research of archaeologists, anthropologists, and religious, social, and art historians, this book seeks to recover the motivations behind the creation of religious art, including temple buildings, sculpture, and wall paintings.
The Liang dynasty (502–557) was among the most brilliant and creative periods in Chinese history and is among the most underestimated and misunderstood. This book contextualizes the literary culture of this era, exploring the literary works themselves, the processes of literary production, and the intricate interactions of religion and literature.
Since the mid-1980s, Taiwan and mainland China have witnessed a resurgence of academic and intellectual interest in ruxue—“Confucianism”—variously conceived as a form of culture, an ideology, a system of learning, and a tradition of normative values. This study shows how ruxue has been conceived in order to assess its achievements.
Liu Yuan’s Lingyan ge, a woodblock-printed book from 1669, re-creates a portrait gallery that memorialized 24 vassals of the early Tang court. This study examines the dialogues created among the texts and images in Lingyan ge from multiple perspectives.
Liu Zhi (ca. 1670–1724) was one of the most important scholars of Islam in traditional China. His Tianfang xingli (Nature and Principle in Islam), the Chinese-language text translated here, focuses on the roots or principles of Islam. The copious annotations to the translation explain Liu’s text and draw attention to parallels in Chinese-, Arabic-, and Persian-language works as well as differences.
In the sixteenth century, European missionaries brought a foreign and global religion to China. Converts then transformed this new religion into a local one. Focusing on the still-active Catholic communities of Fuan county in northeast Fujian, this project’s implications extend beyond the issue of Christianity in China to the wider fields of religious and social history and the early modern history of global intercultural relations.
Four themes dominate this study of the late Mongol empire in Northeast Asia: the need for an all-inclusive regional perspective; pan-Asian integration under the Mongols; the tendency for individual and family interests to trump those of dynasty, country, or linguistic affiliation; and the need to see Koryŏ Korea as part of the wider Mongol empire.
By the turn of the twentieth century, Japan’s military and economic successes made it the dominant power in East Asia, drawing hundreds of thousands of Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese students to the metropole and sending thousands of Japanese to other parts of East Asia. Drawing extensively on vernacular sources in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, this book analyzes the most active of these contact nebulae: semicolonial Chinese, occupied Manchurian, and colonial Korean and Taiwanese transculturations of Japanese literature.
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.
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?
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.
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.”
This detailed biography of Japan’s postwar prime minister was favorably received in the United States and has sold widely in translation in Japan.
Sovereignty is based on control of territory. This book uses Song China to explain how a pre-industrial regime organized itself spatially in order to exercise authority. On more than a thousand occasions, the Song court founded, abolished, promoted, demoted, and reordered jurisdictions in an attempt to maximize the effectiveness of limited resources in a climate of shifting priorities, to placate competing constituencies, and to address military and economic crises.
This study aims to engage the textual realities of medieval literature by shedding light on the material lives of poems during the Tang, from their initial oral or written instantiation through their often lengthy and twisted paths of circulation. Tang poems exist today in stable written forms assumed to reflect their creators’ original intent. Yet Tang poetic culture was based on hand-copied manuscripts and oral performance. We have almost no access to this poetry as it was experienced by contemporaries. But if we do not understand how Tang people composed, experienced, and transmitted poetry, we miss something fundamental about the roles of memory and copying in the circulation of poetry as well as readers’ dynamic participation in the creation of texts.
A discharged official in mid-Ming China faced significant changes in his life. This book explores three such officials in the sixteenth century—Wang Jiusi, Kang Hai, and Li Kaixian—who turned to literary endeavors when forced to retire. Instead of formal writing, however, they engaged in the stigmatized genre of qu (songs), a collective term for drama and sanqu. As their efforts reveal, a disappointing end to an official career and a physical move away from the center led to their embrace of qu and the pursuit of a marginalized literary genre. After their retirements, these three writers became cultural leaders in their native regions.
During the early decades of the Meiji period, the Japanese encountered the idea that the social position of women reflected a country’s level of civilization. Anderson argues that shifts in the gender system led to contradictory consequences for women. On the one hand, women gained access to the language of rights and the chance to represent themselves in public and play a limited political role; on the other, the modern Japanese state permitted women’s political participation only as an expression of their “citizenship through the household” and codified their formal exclusion from the political process.
Ancestral ritual in early China was an orchestrated dance between what was present (the offerings and the living) and what was absent (the ancestors). This study is a history of the early Chinese ancestral cult, particularly its cognitive aspects. Ancestor worship was not, the author contends, merely mechanical and thoughtless. Rather, it was an idea system that aroused serious debates about the nature of postmortem existence, served as the religious backbone to Confucianism, and may even have been the forerunner of Daoist and Buddhist meditation practices.
Emperor Taizong (r. 626–49) of the Tang is remembered as an exemplary ruler. This study addresses that aura of virtuous sovereignty and Taizong’s construction of a reputation for moral rulership through his own literary writings—with particular attention to his poetry. The author highlights the relationship between historiography and the literary and rhetorical strategies of sovereignty, contending that, for Taizong, and for the concept of sovereignty in general, politics is inextricable from cultural production.
The importance of the rich corpus of “Masters Literature” that developed in early China since the fifth century BCE has long been recognized. But just what are these texts? Scholars have often approached them as philosophy, but these writings have also been studied as literature, history, and anthropological, religious, and paleographic records. How should we translate these texts for our times? This book explores these questions through close readings of seven examples of Masters Literature and asks what proponents of a “Chinese philosophy” gained by creating a Chinese equivalent of philosophy and what we might gain by approaching these texts through other disciplines, questions, and concerns.
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.
In December 1978 the Chinese Communist Party announced dramatic changes in policy for both agriculture and industry that seemed to repudiate the Maoist “road to socialism” in favor of certain “capitalist” tendencies. The motives behind these changes, the nature of the reforms, and their effects upon the economy and political life of countryside and city are here analyzed by five political scientists and five economists.
Today’s intellectuals in China inherit a mixed tradition in terms of their relationship to the state. In this stimulating work, twelve China scholars examine that troubled and changing relationship. They focus primarily on the post-Mao years when bitter memories of the Cultural Revolution and China’s renewed quest for modernization have at times allowed intellectuals increased leeway in expression and more influence in policy-making.
In individual case studies, the twelve contributors to this volume document the uneven decollectivization and decentralization of China’s economy in the post-Mao years and the great diversity of the social and political consequences. They deal with the effects of the more materialistic and individualistic reward system on both public and private life in the countryside and in urban settings and the new expectations that economic changes engendered.
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.
With references to some 50,000 articles, 17,000 books, 4,000 chapters in books, 7,000 dissertations, and 4,000 reviews, The Harvard Korean Studies Bibliography is the largest listing of Western-language publications on Korea available in CD format.
These studies examine writings by Protestant missionaries in China from 1819 to 1890. Nine historians contribute to a composite picture of the missionary pioneers, the literature they produced, the changes they sustained through immersion in Chinese culture, and their efforts to interpret that culture for their constituencies at home.
For more than a century missionaries were the main contact points between the Chinese and American peoples. Here, fourteen contributors studying both sides of the missionary effort, in China and in America, present case studies that suggest conclusions and themes for research.
This spirited book is a study of the adjustments of three nineteenth-century missionaries—Tarleton Perry Crawford and Lottie Moon of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Presbyterian Calvin Wilson Mateer—to life in northeast China. Irwin Hyatt seeks to discover why only some Americans placed among Chinese will find friends and a new appreciation of life.
Until now Japanese military history in the thirties has been viewed largely from the standpoint of the army. Stephen Pelz corrects this imbalance. After 1933, the Japanese Navy made significant technological advances, withdrew from the disarmament system during the Second London Naval Conference of 1935, and began a program of secret expansion. The Japanese naval authorities generated a naval race with the United States, and this competition was a major cause of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.
This is the first full-length critical study of a major period of Chinese poetry to appear in a Western language. The period is neither ancient China nor the medieval T’ang dynasty, source of the most numerous and familiar previous translations, but that of the Sung dynasty (960–1279), whose culture and thought were much more complex and “modern.”
During two crucial years when his movements were being initiated, Mao Zedong addressed various Party groups behind closed doors to explain the new policies and exhort compliance. Recorded at the time and collected for limited circulation in the 1960s by his admirers, the speeches, question-and-answer sessions, and letters here translated have never before been published in China or the West. Introductory essays by Roderick MacFarquhar, Benjamin Schwartz, Eugene Wu, Merle Goldman, and Timothy Cheek provide a context for evaluating and interpreting the nineteen texts translated in this volume.
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.
Included here are English versions of four previously untranslated representative San-yen stories: a detective story, an erotic story, an exemplary tale, and a pseudo-historical heroic story. The Latin, German, French, and English translations of San-yen stories are listed in the appendix.
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.
Observers have been predicting the demise of China’s Communist state since Mao’s death. Yet policymakers have managed the fastest sustained economic expansion in world history. This book shows that many contemporary techniques of governance have their roots in experimental policy generation and implementation dating to the revolution and early PRC.
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.
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.
To mark the sixtieth anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies convened a conference to consider this question: After three decades of internal strife, followed by reform, entrepreneurialism, and internationalization, is the PRC here for the dynastic long haul? This volume presents an energetic exchange of views on the topic.
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.
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.
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.
This study revolves around the poet Huang Tingjian (1045–1105), who wrote at the height of one of the most transformative periods in Chinese literary history, the Northern Song (960–1126). Wang examines how the emerging print culture of the period shaped the poetic theory and practice of Huang and the Jiangxi School of Poetry he founded.
In this first systematic study in English of the highly influential yet overlooked thinker Xue Xuan (1389–1464), author Khee Heong Koh seeks to redress Xue’s marginalization while showing how a study interested mainly in “ideas” can integrate social and intellectual history to offer a broader picture of history.
This book explores two important moments of dislocation in Chinese history, the early medieval period (317–589 CE) and the nineteenth century. Xiaofei Tian juxtaposes a rich array of materials from these two periods in comparative study, linking these historical moments in their unprecedented interactions, and intense fascination, with foreign cultures.
Examining the transnational film star system and the formations of historically important stars, Making Personas casts new light on Japanese modernity from the 1910s to 1930s. The book shows how film stardom began and evolved, looking at the production, representation, circulation, and reception of performers’ images in film and other media.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Courtesans, Concubines, and the Cult of Female Fidelity traces changing gender relations in China from the tenth to fourteenth centuries. By taking women—and men’s relationships with women—seriously, this book makes a case for the centrality of gender relations in the social, political, and intellectual life of the Song and Yuan dynasties.
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.
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.
In Four Cries of a Gibbon by the late-Ming dynasty playwright Xu Wei, characters move between life and death, and male and female, as they seek to articulate who they truly are. In this first critical study and annotated translation, Shiamin Kwa considers how Wei’s exploration of identity paved the way for further reflection in later fiction and drama.
China’s sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw an unprecedented explosion in the production of woodblock-printed books. This volume considers what a wide range of late Ming books reveal about their readers’ ideas of a pleasurable private life, as well as their orientations toward early modernity and toward traditional Chinese sources of authority.
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.
The earliest anthology of Chinese poetry, the Book of Poems has served as an ideal of literary perfection and also a major subject of literary criticism since imperial times. Bruce Rusk unravels the competitive, mutually influential relationship through which classical and literary scholarship on the poems co-evolved from the Han dynasty to the Qing.
A reference work from one of the world’s preeminent linguists, A Comprehensive Manchu–English Dictionary substantially enlarges and revises Jerry Norman’s 1978 Concise Manchu–English Lexicon. With hundreds of new entries and a new introduction on pronunciation and script, it will become the standard English-language resource on the Manchu language.
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.
The dominant literary genre in Song dynasty China, shi poetry reflected profound changes occurring in Chinese culture from 960–1279. Michael A. Fuller traces the intertwining of shi poetry and Neo-Confucianism that led to the cultural synthesis of the last years of the Southern Song and set the pattern of Chinese society for the next six centuries.
David M. Robinson explores how grand displays like the royal hunt, archery contests, and the imperial menagerie were presented in literature and art in the early Ming dynasty. He argues these spectacles were highly contested sites where emperors and court ministers staked competing claims about rulership and the role of the military in the polity.
After the 1911 fall of the Qing dynasty, many declared the classical Chinese poetic tradition dead. In Modern Archaics, Shengqing Wu draws on extensive archival research into the poetry collections and literary journals of two generations of writers to challenge this claim and demonstrate the continuing significance of the classical form.
The rapid rise and fall of the southern kingdom of Wu inspired many memorials in the former capital city of Suzhou, including the building of temples, shrines, and monuments. Analyzing the history of Wu as recorded in ancient Chinese texts and literature, Olivia Milburn illuminates the cultural endurance of this powerful but short-lived kingdom.
An exception to the rule that the first-rank poets in premodern China were men, the woman poet Li Qingzhao (1084-1150s) occupies a crucial place in Chinese literature. Ronald C. Egan challenges conventional thinking about Li, examining how critics tried to accommodate her to cultural norms from late imperial times into the twentieth century.
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.
K. E. Brashier examines practices of memorializing the dead in early imperial China. After surveying how learning in this period relied on memorization and recitation, he treats the parameters name, age, and kinship as ways of identifying a person in Han public memory, as well as the media responsible for preserving the deceased person’s identity.
Wai-yee Li examines the discursive space of women in seventeenth-century China. Using texts written by women or by men writing in a feminine voice, as well as writings that turn women into signifiers of lamentation or nostalgia, Li probes the emotional and psychological turmoil of the Ming–Qing transition and subsequent moments of national trauma.
Historians have long been perplexed by the complete disappearance of the medieval Chinese aristocracy by the tenth century—the “great clans” that had dominated China for centuries. Nicolas Tackett resolves the enigma of their disappearance using new, digital methodologies to analyze a dazzling array of sources.
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.
Tamara T. Chin explores the politics of representation during the Han dynasty at a pivotal moment when China was asserting imperialist power on the Eurasian continent and expanding its local and long-distance (“Silk Road”) markets. Chin explains why rival political groups introduced new literary forms with which to represent these expanded markets.
Sarah M. Allen explores the tale literature of eighth- and ninth-century China to show how written tales of the Tang canon we know today grew out of a fluid culture of hearsay in elite society. The book focuses on two main types of tales, those based in gossip about recognizable public figures and those developed out of lore concerning the occult.
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.
Friendships between writers of the mid-Tang era became famous through the many texts they wrote to and about one another. Anna M. Shields explores these texts to reveal the complex value the writers found in friendship—as a rewarding social practice, a rich literary topic, a way to negotiate literati identity, and a path toward self-understanding.
Through an exploration of contemporary Chinese popular religion from its cultural, social, and material perspectives, Wei-Ping Lin paints a broad picture of the dynamics of popular religion in Taiwan. Analyzing these aspects of religious practice in a unified framework, she traces their transformation as adherents move from villages to cities.
In Northern Song China, reform-minded statesmen sought to remove the tension between the Confucian Classics and statist ideals of “big government.” Jaeyoon Song illuminates the interplay between classics, thinkers, and government in statist reform, and explains why the uneasy marriage of classics and state activism had to fail in imperial China.
Ellen Widmer examines the writings of a literary family whose works embodied shifting attitudes toward women in late Qing China. She illuminates the diachronic bridge between the late Qing and the preceding period, the synchronic interplay of genres during the family’s lifetimes, and the interaction of Shanghai publishing with other regions.
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.
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.
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.
Rebecca Doran offers a new understanding of major female figures of the Tang era—including Wu Zhao, Empress Wei, and Shangguan Wan’er—within their literary-historical contexts, and delves into critical questions about the relationship between Chinese historiography, reception-history, and the process of image-making and cultural construction.
Li Mengyang (1473–1530) was a scholar-official who initiated the literary archaist movement that sought to restore ancient styles of prose and poetry in sixteenth-century China. Chang Woei Ong situates Li’s quest to redefine literati learning as a way to build a perfect social order in the context of intellectual transitions since the Song dynasty.
Celestial Masters is the first book in any Western language devoted solely to the founding of Daoism. It traces the movement from the mid-second century CE through the sixth century, and provides a detailed analysis of ritual life within the movement, covering the roles of common believer or Daoist citizen, novice, and priest or libationer.
Scholars have described the eighteenth century in China as a time of “state activism” and often associate the Taiping Rebellion and postbellum restoration efforts with the origins of elite activism. Seunghyun Han, however, argues that the ascendance of elite activism can be traced to the Jiaqing and Daoguang reigns in the early nineteenth century.
W. Puck Brecher overturns standard narratives of wartime Japan’s racial attitudes, focusing on the experiences of Western civilians rather than enemy POWs in Japan. His bold thesis is borne out by a broad mosaic of stories of police harassment, suspicion, relocation, starvation, internment, and torture, as well as extraordinary acts of charity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bannermen Tales is the first book in English to offer a comprehensive study of zidishu—a popular storytelling genre created by the Manchus in early eighteenth-century Beijing. With original translations, musical score, and numerous illustrations of hand-copied and printed texts, this study opens a new window into Qing literature.
Tracing journeys of Cantonese migrants along the West River and its tributaries, Steven B. Miles describes the circulation of people through one of the world’s great river systems between the late sixteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In Red Legacies in China, Mao-era legacies serve as a framework to examine the cultural productions and afterlives of the communist revolution in order to understand China’s continuities and transformations from socialism to postsocialism. Essays discuss arts, literature and film, language and thought, architecture, museums, and memorials.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The third century CE—the Jian’an era or Three Kingdoms—holds double significance for the Chinese cultural tradition. Its writings laid the foundation of classical poetry and literary criticism. Its historical personages and events also inspired works of art throughout Chinese history. Xiaofei Tian examines the interface of these two nostalgias.
Ancestors, Kings, and the Dao outlines the evolution of musical performance in early China, first within and then ultimately away from the socio-religious context of ancestor worship. The focus of this study is on excavated texts; it is the first to use both bronze and bamboo narratives to show the evolution of a single ritual practice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Building for Oil is a historical account of the oil town of Daqing in northeastern China during the formative years of the People’s Republic and describes Daqing’s rise and fall as a national model city. Hou Li traces the roots of the Chinese socialist state and its early industrialization and modernization policies.
The Qing Empire in the early nineteenth century faced bureaucratic corruption, food shortages, infrastructure decay, domestic rebellion, adverse balances of trade, and a previously inconceivable foreign threat from the West. William T. Rowe uses literati reformer Bao Shichen as a prism to understand contemporary response to this general crisis.
Suyoung Son examines the widespread practice of self-publishing by writers in late imperial China, focusing on the relationships between manuscript tradition and print convention, peer patronage and popular fame, and gift exchange and commercial transactions in textual production and circulation.
Early medieval writers in China understood and manipulated a shared intellectual lexicon to produce meaning. Wendy Swartz explores how these writers developed a distinctive mosaic of ways to participate in their cultural heritage by weaving textual strands from a shared and expanding store of literary resources into new patterns and configurations.
China and India have been powerfully shaped by both transnational and subnational forces. Beyond Regimes explores local and global influences as they play out in the contemporary era with a focus on four intersecting topics: labor relations; legal reform and rights protest; public goods provision; and transnational migration and investment.
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.
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.
“Song Lyric,” ci, is one of the most loved forms of Chinese poetry, radically distinct from “Classical Poetry,” shi. Stephen Owen examines song lyric’s literary traditions, including its origins, major writers and collections, and development into a genre, while offering a new hypothesis on the relationship between song practice and written text.
In the first book focusing on premortem shrines in any era of Chinese history, Sarah Schneewind places the institution at the intersection of politics and religion. This legitimate, institutionalized political voice for commoners expands a scholarly understanding of “public opinion” in late imperial China, and illuminates Ming thought and politics.
The Mongol conquest of north China inflicted terrible destruction, wiping out more than one-third of the population and dismantling the existing social order. Jinping Wang recounts the riveting story of how northern Chinese people adapted to these trying circumstances and interacted with their conquerors to create a drastically new social order.
Ya Zuo places Shen Gua (1031–1095) on the broad horizon of premodern Chinese thought, and presents his empiricism within an extensive narrative of Chinese epistemology. Her study provides insights into the complex dynamics in play at the dawn of Neo-Confucianism and urges readers toward a deeper appreciation of the diversity in Chinese thinking.
Drawing on a rich array of primary sources, Hsiao-t’i Li focuses on the reformed operas staged in Shanghai and Xi’an in the early 20th century. Extensive information on both traditional/imperial China and revolutionary/Communist China reveal simplications of these “modern” operatic experiences and changing features of Chinese operas over five centuries.
Feeling the Past in Seventeenth-Century China highlights the central role played by the body in writers’ memories during the Ming–Qing cataclysm. Sight, sound, taste, and touch configured ordinary experiences next to traumatic events. This embodied experience reveals literature’s mission of remembrance as a moral endeavor in cultural continuity.
Through research into Daoist ritual in history and as it survives today, Andersen shows that the concept of truth in Chinese Daoist philosophy and ritual posits being as a paradox anchored in the inexistent Way, and consists in seeking to be an exception to ordinary norms and rules of behavior which nonetheless engages what is common to us all.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Chinese Dreamscape, 300 BCE–800 CE investigates what dreams meant in late classical and early medieval China. Mapping a common dreamscape that underlies manuals of dream interpretation, scriptural instructions, and other texts, Robert Ford Campany sheds light on how people in a distant age wrestled with—and celebrated—the strangeness of dreams.
Structures of the Earth is the first study of the emergent genre of geographical writing and the metageographies that structured its spatial thought during the “Age of Disunion” and continue to illuminate spatial complexities that have been incompatible with the imperial and nationalist ideal of a monolithic China at the center of the world.
In his reading of the Shishuo xinyu, the most important anecdotal collection of medieval China, Jack W. Chen presents an extended meditation on the anecdote form, both what it affords in terms of representing a social community and how it provides a space for the rehearsal of certain longstanding philosophical and cultural arguments.
Alexander Des Forges reads shiwen from a literary perspective, showing how the examination essay redefined prose aesthetics, transformed the work of writing, and marked the aesthetic as a key arena for contestation of authority as candidates, examiners, and critics joined to form a dominant social class of literary producers.
An evolutionary framework is used to examine how the Chinese state relates with non-state actors across several fields of governance. This approach provides insight into the circumstances wherein the party-state exerts its coercive power versus engaging in more flexible responses or policy adaptations.
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.
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.