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East Asia Program, Cornell University
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.
Poems and Songs from Japanese Prisoner-of-War Camps
From the Foreword by David McCann: "... Bishop McKendree’s gathering of songs and poems from the Japanese prisoner of war camps of World War II is a remarkable outcome to a brutal experience. ... The materials were elusive in their circulation among the prisoners, dangerous to those who composed or performed them, and certainly would have been fatal to McKendree, had he been caught with them. ... These songs and poems will also tell the reader something of what their authors, composers, singers—and scribe—lived through. We can sense, but dimly, certain of the details of the physical environment, the personalities of the prisoners and of the guards, and the events which brought them together. These songs and poems will summon forth, for those who were there, a sense of common purpose and experience, of shared hope and despair, defeat and accomplishment; for other readers—and my earnest wish is to have this book find its way to Japanese readers, too—a sense of honor, compassion and respect."
How can capitalists’ motivations during a Communist revolution be reliably documented and fully understood? Up to now, the answer to this question has generally eluded scholars who, for lack of nonofficial sources, have fallen back on Communist governments’ official explanations. But the essays in this volume confirm that, at least in the case of the Communist revolution in China, it is finally possible to make new and fresh interpretations. By focusing closely on individuals and probing deeply into their thinking and experience, the authors of these essays have discovered a wide range of reasons for why Chinese capitalists did or did not choose to live and work under communism. The contributors to this volume have all concentrated on the dilemma for capitalists in China’s Communist revolution. But their approach to their subject through archival research and rigorous analysis may also serve as a guide for future thinking about a variety of other historical figures. This approach is well worth adopting to explain how any members of society (not only capitalists) have resolved comparable dilemmas in all revolutions—the ones in China, Russia, Vietnam, Cuba, or anywhere else.
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.
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.
Fiction and Essays by Wang Wen-hsing
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.
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.
Studies and Translations of No Plays of the Genpei War
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.
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.
Of Birds Crying
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.