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East Asia Program, Cornell University

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East Asia Program, Cornell University

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Another Stage Cover

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Another Stage

Kanze Nobumitsu and the Late Muromachi Noh

Another Stage - Kanze Nobumitsu and the late Muromachi Noh Theater is a long overdue book-length study of the late Muromachi period noh practitioner Kanze Nobumitsu (1435 - 1516). In this three-part book, Lim highlights the importance of historical and societal contexts in which Nobumitsu and his peers composed and performed, using another important noh practitioner Zeami and his treatises as points of reference. In the second part of the book she discusses the formation of the modern category of furyū noh to which Nobumitsu has been closely related, and showcases the talent of Nobumitsu with in-depth readings of his noh plays. Nobumitsu's versatile talent in noh composition is vividly reflected in the wide-ranging subject matter and compositional style in the plays examined here. The concluding section of the book examines the problematic issues in the study of late Muromachi noh plays in contemporary scholarship. The author emphasizes the critical need in contemporary noh discourse to expand beyond the canonical aesthetics established by Zeami in order to achieve a more comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the noh theater.

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China on the Margins

Should modern Chinese history be approached from the center looking out or from the margins looking in? In this book, twelve contributors attempt to answer this question. In the process, they adopt various conceptual schemes for understanding relations between the center and the margins, including at least four different ones: capital as center and provinces as margins; coast as center and interior as margins; cultural metropolis as center and parochial hinterland as margins; China as a center and bordering states also as centers with margins in between. The contributors explore the relations between these centers and margins in periods of time that span three major political eras: the Qing dynasty (1644-1912); the Republic of China (1912-1949); and the People's Republic of China (1949-present).  To highlight long-term comparisons and contrasts, essays on all three eras appear in each half of the book.

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Disarming the Allies of Imperialism

The State, Agitation, and Manipulation during China's Nationalist Revolution, 1922-1929

This study provides a striking new explanation of how China’s Nationalist Party (GMD) defeated its rivals in the revolution of 1922-1929 and helped bring some degree of unification to a country torn by class, regional, and ideological interests. Disarming the Allies of Imperialism argues that inconsistency—more than culture, ideology, or any other factor—gave nationalism its unique edge. Revolutionary leaders manipulated revolutionaries and non-revolutionaries alike to advantage their own positions and seize national power, sometimes seeking to protect foreign lives and property and shield Chinese merchants from agitative disruptions, sometimes voting to do the opposite. Exploiting the symbiotic yet contradictory relationship between state-building, which sought foreign ties and international recognition; and low-level agitators committed to confrontational anti-imperialist objectives, top Guomindang leaders were able to manipulate political circumstances to their own benefit. For example, party leaders stirred up anti-Christian sentiment, pitting popular forces against mission schools, while simultaneously intervening to rescue these same schools from agitative destruction, thus “helping” missionaries to soften their attitudes toward the revolution and eventually embrace the new order.

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Endless War

Fiction and Essays by Wang Wen-hsing

Edited by Shu-ning Sciban and Fred Edwards

This volume consists of translations of twenty-four fictional works and five essays by Wang Wen-Hsing, plus a dedicated author's preface.  Wang is one of the most celebrated modernist writers in Taiwan and the recipient of Taiwan's most prestigious National Culture and Arts Award (Literature Category).  This anthology brings to English readers excellent works written in the earlier period of Wang's writing career; most of the works are published for the first time in English.  This book is an important introduction not only toward understanding Wang's writings in particular, but also to understanding Taiwan modernist literature in general.

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Last Biwa Singer, The

A Blind Musician in History, Imagination and Performance

2010 Winner, Tanabe Hisao Prize in Musicology This work is an exposition of the traditions of Japanese blind singers who accompanied themselves on the biwa, and of the complex identity of Yamashika Yoshiyuki (1901-1996), a man widely portrayed as the last such living relic of the medieval bards called biwa hoshi. The author draws upon approaches from Japanese historical and literature studies, performance studies and ethnomusicology in an examination of history, which yielded on the one hand images of blind singers that still circulate in Japan, and on the other a particular tradition of musical story-telling and rites in regional Kyushu, of representations of Yamashika in diverse media, of his experience training for and making a living as a professional performer and rituals from the 1920s on, and of the oral compositional process in performances made between 1989 and 1992.

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Like Clouds or Mists

Studies and Translations of No Plays of the Genpei War

Elizabeth Oyler and Michael Watson, Editors

This volume is organized to roughly follow the order of events presented in the Kakuichi-bon variant of the Heike. Essays and translations focus on a series of major events from the Heike: Kiyomori’s rise (the “Giō” cycle of plays); Yoshinaka’s push to the capital; the flight of the Heike and the battle of Ichi-no-tani; and the aftermath of the war. Each event features a series of one to three plays preceded by essays.

Making Law Work Cover

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Making Law Work

Chinese Laws in Context

By studying law implementation in different areas and at different levels, contributors from various disciplines give a nuanced picture of law implementation in China, showing that it is rare to find examples of complete success or failure. Instead, making law work in actual practice, and in any society, is a matter of degree. Successful implementation depends upon many different preconditions, which includes political will, legal knowledge and level of education among officials and other actors, effective enforcement mechanisms, popular trust, and favorable socioeconomic factors. The study is multidisciplinary in character and builds on insights from both sociology of law and political science.

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Minako Oba

Of Birds Crying

Translated by Michiko N. Wilson and Michael K. Wilson

Of  Birds Crying (Naku tori no, 1985), the recipient of the Noma Bungei Prize, is loosely based on the author’s own life, recounting six months in the lives of Yurie Mama, a well-established middle-aged novelist married to Shōzō, a scientist. In this deeply psychological novel, a tapestry of extraordinary moments expands and interconnects via interior monologues and dialogues ranging from the humorous and farcical to the somber and meditative. Acutely perceptive social and cross-cultural commentaries fill the narrator’s voice and the characters’ conversations. Long-forgotten incidents come back to life, triggered by the sight of an ancient tree, the name of a flower, or the crying of a bird, and memories spawn tales within tales. Despite the fact that the characters’ motives for their actions defy prediction, these seemingly disparate elements are woven into a coherent whole, a reflection of the interdependency of humanity and nature in its wholeness that is one of the many underlying threads of the story.

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Negotiated Power in Late Imperial China

The Zongli Yamen and the Politics of Reform

Negotiated Power in Late Imperial China: The Zongli Yamen and the Politics of Reform explores the nature and functioning of reform during the nineteenth century of China.  By analyzing the bureaucratic modes of management that developed around the creation and evolution of the Zongli Yamen or Foreign Office (1861-1901), the book demonstrates the vitality of not only the Chinese State, but also the institutional traditions of its Manchu rulers.

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New Chronicles of Yanagibashi and Diary of a Journey to the West

Narushima Ryuhoku Reports from Home And Abroad

Winner of 2011 US-Japan Friendship Commission Prize This book features complete annotated translations of Narushima Ryūhoku's two most widely read and influential texts, both of which showcase the innovative and experimental use of Chinese-language discourse taking place in Japan during the nineteenth century.

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East Asia Program, Cornell University

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