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Interaction and Reintegration
The evolution of Hong Kong, as a British colony and now a Special Administrative Region at China's door step, has always been inextricably intertwined with the situation in China. This relationship is examined through various perspectives in this volume.
The Transformation of Tamil Literature in Nineteenth-Century South India
Details the transformation of Tamil literary culture that came with colonialism and the encounter with Western modernity. A true tour de force, this book documents the transformation of one Indian literature, Tamil, under the impact of colonialism and Western modernity. While Tamil is a living language, it is also India’s second oldest classical language next to Sanskrit, and has a literary history that goes back over two thousand years. On the basis of extensive archival research, Sascha Ebeling tackles a host of issues pertinent to Tamil elite literary production and consumption during the nineteenth century. These include the functioning and decline of traditional systems in which poet-scholars were patronized by religious institutions, landowners, and local kings; the anatomy of changes in textual practices, genres, styles, poetics, themes, tastes, and audiences; and the role of literature in the politics of social reform, gender, and incipient nationalism. The work concludes with a discussion of the most striking literary development of the time—the emergence of the Tamil novel.
Ethnic Revival in Southwest China
The communist Chinese state promotes the distinctiveness of the many minorities within its borders. At the same time, it is vigilant in suppressing groups that threaten the nation's unity or its modernizing goals. In Communist Multiculturalism, Susan K. McCarthy examines three minority groups in the province of Yunnan, focusing on the ways in which they have adapted to the government's nationbuilding and minority nationalities policies since the 1980s. She reveals that Chinese government policy is shaped by perceptions of what constitutes an authentic cultural group and of the threat ethnic minorities may constitute to national interests. These minority groups fit no clear categories but rather are practicing both their Chinese citizenship and the revival of their distinct cultural identities. For these groups, being minority is, or can be, one way of being national.
Buddhist Healing, Chinese Knowledge, Islamic Formulas, and Wounds of War
Confluences of Medicine is the first book-length exploration in English of issues of medicine and society in premodern Japan. This multifaceted study weaves a rich tapestry of Buddhist healing practices, Chinese medical knowledge, Asian pharmaceuticals, and Islamic formulas as it elucidates their appropriation and integration into medieval Japanese medicine. It expands the parameters of the study of medicine in East Asia, which to date has focused on the subject in individual countries, and introduces the dynamics of interaction and exchange that coursed through the East Asian macro-culture.
The book explores these themes primarily through the two extant works of the Buddhist priest and clinical physician Kajiwara Shozen (1265–1337), who was active at the medical facility housed at Gokurakuji temple in Kamakura, the capital of Japan’s first warrior government. With access to large numbers of printed Song medical texts and a wide range of materia medica from as far away as the Middle East, Shozen was a beneficiary of the efflorescence of trade and exchange across the East China Sea that typifies this era. His break with the restrictions of Japanese medicine is revealed in Ton’isho (Book of the simple physician) and Man’apo (Myriad relief formulas). Both of these texts are landmarks: the former being the first work written in Japanese for a popular audience; the latter, the most extensive Japanese medical work prior to the seventeenth century.
Confluences of Medicine brings to the fore the range of factors—networks of Buddhist priests, institutional support, availability of materials, relevance of overseas knowledge to local conditions of domestic strife, and serendipity—that influenced the Japanese acquisition of Chinese medical information. It offers the first substantive portrait of the impact of the Song printing revolution in medieval Japan and provides a rare glimpse of Chinese medicine as it was understood outside of China. It is further distinguished by its attention to materia medica and medicinal formulas and to the challenges of technical translation and technological transfer in the reception and incorporation of a new pharmaceutical regime.
Wang Bi on the Laozi
A systematic study of Wang Bi's (226-249) commentary on the Laozi, this book provides the first systematic study of a Chinese commentator's scholarly craft and introduces a highly sophisticated Chinese way of reading the Taoist classic, one that differs greatly from Western interpretations. The Laozi has been translated into Western languages hundreds of times over the past two hundred years. It has become the book of Chinese philosophy most widely appreciated for its philosophical depth and lyrical form. Nevertheless, very little attention has been paid to the way in which this book was read in China. This book introduces the reader to a highly sophisticated Chinese way of reading this Taoist classic, a way that differs greatly from the many translations of the Laozi available in the West. The most famous among the Chinese commentators on the Laozi—a man appreciated even by his opponents for the sheer brilliance of his analysis—is Wang Bi (226–249). Born into a short period of intellectual ferment and freedom after the collapse of the Han dynasty, this self-assured genius, in the short twenty-three years of his life, dashed off two of the most enduring works of Chinese philosophy, a commentary on the Laozi and another on the Book of Changes. By carefully reconstructing Wang Bi’s Laozi text as well as his commentary, this book explores Wang Bi’s craft as a scholarly commentator who is also a philosopher in his own right. By situating his work within the context of other competing commentaries and extracting their way of reading the Laozi, this book shows how the Laozi has been approached in many different ways, ranging from a philosophical underpinning for a particular theory of political rule to a guide to techniques of life-prolongation. Amidst his competitors, however, Wang Bi stands out through a literary and philosophical analysis of the Laozi that manages to “use the Laozi to explain the Laozi,” rather than imposing an agenda on the text. Through a critical adaptation of several hundred years of commentaries on the classics, Wang Bi reaches a scholarly level in the art of understanding that is unmatched anywhere else in the world.
The Canadian Protestant Missionary Movement in the Japanese Empire, 1872-1931
Drawing on both Canadian and Japanese sources, this book investigates the life, work, and attitudes of Canadian Protestant missionaries in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan (the three main constituent parts of the pre-1945 Japanese empire) from the arrival of the first Canadian missionary in East Asia in 1872 until 1931. Canadian missionaries made a significant contribution to the development of the Protestant movement in the Japanese Empire. Yet their influence also extended far beyond the Christian sphere. Through their educational, social, and medical work; their role in introducing new Western ideas and social pursuits; and their outspoken criticism of the brutalities of Japanese rule in colonial Korea and Taiwan, the activities of Canadian missionaries had an impact on many different facets of society and culture in the Japanese Empire. Missionaries residing in the Japanese Empire served as a link between citizens of Japan and Canada and acted as trusted interpreters of things Japanese to their home constituents.
The British Protestant Missionary Movement in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, 1865-1945
The influx of Protestant missionaries from Britain to Japan, Korea and Taiwan was an integral part of the British presence in East Asia from 1865 to 1945. Ion draws on both British and Japanese sources to examine the life, work and attitudes of the British missionaries, women and men, who ventured far from their homeland to preach the gospel. He explores the role played by British Protestants as both Christian missionaries and informal ambassadors of their own country and civilization. Through their educational, social and medical work the missionaries helped introduce Western ideas and social pursuits which in turn affected different facets of society and culture in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The study illustrates how the British missionaries’ intent to introduce Christianity was affected by the response of the East Asians to Western ideas.
In describing the high drama of the British missionary movement’s pioneering days in the late nineteenth century to its persecution during the late 1930s, Ion casts light on a particular, yet important, aspect of the changing tides of Anglo-Japanese relations. This book will ably complement his previous study of Canadian missionaries in East Asia during the same period.
Chosen as one of the 15 outstanding books of 1993 for mission studies by the International Bulletin of Missionary Research.
The Canadian Protestant Missionary Movement in the Japanese Empire, 1931-1945
In this pioneer study, Ion investigates the experience of the Canadians who were part of the Protestant missionary movement in the Japanese Empire. He sheds new light on the dramatic challenges faced by foreign missionaries and Japanese Christians alike in what was the watershed period in the religious history of twentieth-century East Asia.
The Cross in the Dark Valley delivers significant lessons for Christian and missionary movements in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe which even now have to contend with oppression from authoritarian regimes and with hostility.
This new book by A. Hamish Ion, written with objectivity and scholarly competence, will be of interest to all scholars of Japanese-Canadian relations and missionary studies as well as to general historians.
Joint Ownership of Arable Land in Early Modern Japan
Cultivating Commons challenges the common understanding of Japanese economic and social history by uncovering diverse landholding practices in early modern Japan. In this first extended treatment of multiple systems of farmland ownership, Philip Brown argues that it was joint landownership of arable land, not virtually private landownership, that characterized a few large areas of Japan in the early modern period and even survived in some places down to the late twentieth century. The practice adapted to changing political and economic circumstances and was compatible with increasing farm involvement in the market. Brown shows that land rights were the product of villages and, to some degree, daimyo policies and not the outcome of hegemons’ and shoguns’ cadastral surveys. Joint ownership exhibited none of the “tragedy of the commons” predicted by much social science theory and in fact explicitly structured a number of practices compatible with longer-term investment in and maintenance of arable land.
Exploring early modern society from the ground up, this work provides new perspectives on how villagers organized themselves and their lands, and how their practices were articulated (or were not articulated) to higher layers of administration. It employs an unusually wide array of sources and methodologies: In addition to manuscripts from local archives, it exploits interviews with modern informants who used joint ownership and a combination of modern geographical tools (hazard maps, soil maps, digital elevation models, geographic information systems technologies) to investigate the degree to which the most common form of joint ownership reflected efforts to ameliorate flood and landslide hazard risk as well as microclimate variation. Further it explores the nature of Japanese agricultural practice, its demand on natural resources, and the role of broader environmental factors—all of which infuse the study with new environmental perspectives and approaches.
Cultivating Commons will be welcomed by Japanese historians, those in other regional-national fields, and social scientists concerned with issues of resource management, economic development, and rural society.
Forts, Ships and Weapons over 450 years
The forts built from the early seventeenth century onwards, the ships that defended Macau’s waters, the weapons that armed the facilities and the soldiers and sailors who manned them all are carefully detailed in The Defences of Macau. These forts, cannon and small arms were a familiar part of society for hundreds of years, and a significant part of Macau’s heritage. Macau is fortunate in having so many artifacts remaining, but very little research has been done on them. Richard Garrett, a retired civil engineer and an expert in antique weapons, addresses this gap by identifying many rare and unique weapons. More than 200 illustrations, many in colour, serve as a visual record of what has survived. Some of the forts are included among Macau’s World Heritage sites. Many visitors and those interested in the history of the region will be interested in these forts and arms that remain in relative abundance in Macau. The book will also appeal to those scholars specialising in military and arms history.