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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.
Malaria in Modern East Asian History
This book studies the development of approaches to combating malaria in Hong Kong, Okinawa, Taiwan, and mainland China in the colonial and post-colonial periods as a dynamic process of interaction between the objectives of the state, international interests, emergence of new medical knowledge and technology, changing concepts of disease, as well as local society.
Government and Politics
This volume analyses the evolution of a unique brand of politics in Hong Kong. It examines how a Crown Colony system responded to the demands made of it by its Chinese and British residents in the shadow of the often volatile politics of modern China.
This book puts together historical documents that illustrate the lives and concerns of Hong Kong people through a century and a half of colonial rule.
Hong Kong Memoirs
The book contributes to the ongoing search for Hong Kong identity in the Special Administrative Region and will resonate among people in Hong Kong as well as those interested in the fate of the former colony.
The Evidence of Early Chinese Historiography
An innovative approach to historical records assesses how evidence claims and policy arguments were put forth in the royal courts of early China.
The Role of Hong Kong
In this colourful story of the Hong Kong Observatory, P. Kevin MacKeown takes us through the development of the Observatory in the Crown colony in the period 1882–1912, featuring in particular its nettlesome founding director William Doberck. A Danish astronomer with little interest in meteorology, though eminently qualified for the senior scientific position, Doberck proved to be a very difficult employee — constantly clashing with his superiors, his confreres, and with the commercial community. Despite the antagonism between Doberck and the Jesuit observatories, a successful storm warning system was developed over several years. MacKeown also introduces the earliest efforts of quantitative meteorology in the region, and documents the additional contributions made by Jesuit observatories at Manila and Shanghai. The study of typhoons and their forecasting was of the greatest importance, and MacKeown details the earliest studies of storms in the China Sea. Apart from general readers interested in Hong Kong’s history, this book will attract historians of science, especially those familiar with China and with Western colonialism in Asia.
Protestant Burials in Macao
Many of the the major figures (British, European and American) during the turbulent events leading to the Opium War are buried in the Old Protestant Cemetery in Macao. The stories told by the inscriptions on the 160 gravestones there form Macao and Hong Kong's heritage.
Hong Kong Guerrillas in the Second World War and After
This book thus finally gives due prominence to the role of the Chinese guerrillas in Hong Kong during the war, while at the same time setting that struggle into the broader contexts of Guangdong province, the long war between China and Japan, and the victory of the Communists and the early years of their rule in the South.