Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies

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Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies

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Cantonese Society in Hong Kong and Singapore

Gender, Religion, Medicine and Money

Marjorie Topley, Edited by Jean DeBernardi

The volume collects the published articles of Dr. Marjorie Topley, who was a pioneer in the field of social anthropology in the postwar period and also the first president of the revived Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Her ethnographic research in Singapore and Hong Kong set a high standard for urban anthropology, and helped creating the fields of religious studies, migration studies, gender studies, and medical anthropology, focusing on topics that remain current and important in the disciplines. The essays in this collection showcase Dr. Topley’s groundbreaking contributions in several areas of scholarship. These include “Chinese Women’s Vegetarian Houses in Singapore” (1954) and “The Great Way of Former Heaven: A Group of Chinese Secret Religious Sects” (1963), both important research on the study of subcultural groups in a complex urban society; “Marriage Resistance in Rural Kwangtung” (1978), now a classic in Chinese anthropology and women’s studies; her widely known and cited article, “Cosmic Antagonisms: A Mother-Child Syndrome” (1974), which investigates widely shared everyday practices and cosmological explanations that Cantonese mothers invoked when they encountered difficulties in child-rearing; and “Capital, Saving and Credit among Indigenous Rice Farmers and Immigrant Vegetable Farmers in Hong Kong's New Territories” (2004 [1964]).

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Custom, Land and Livelihood in Rural South China

The Traditional Land Law of Hong Kong's New Territories, 1750–1950

Patrick H. Hase

Land was always at the centre of life in Hong Kong’s rural New Territories: it sustained livelihoods and lineages and, for some, was a route to power. Villagers managed their land according to customs that were often at odds with formal Chinese law. British rule, 1898-1997, added further complications by assimilating traditional practices into a western legal system. Custom, Land and Livelihood in Rural South China explores land ownership in the New Territories, analyzing over a hundred surviving land deeds from the late Qing Dynasty to recent times, which are transcribed in full and translated into English. Together with other sources collected by the author during 30 years of research, these deeds yield information on all aspects of traditional village life – from raising families and making a living to coping with intruders – and evoke a view of the world which, despite decades of urbanization, still has resonance today.

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Early China Coast Meteorology

The Role of Hong Kong

P. Kevin MacKeown

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.

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East River Column

Hong Kong Guerrillas in the Second World War and After

Sui-jeung Chan

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.

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Escape from Hong Kong

Admiral Chan Chak Christmas-Day Dash, 1941

Tim Luard

On 25 December 1941, the day of Hong Kong’s surrender to the Japanese, Admiral Chan Chak—the Chinese government’s chief agent in Hong Kong—and more than 60

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For Gods, Ghosts and Ancestors

The Chinese Tradition of Paper Offerings

Janet Lee Scott

Throughout For Gods, Ghosts and Ancestors, paper offerings are presented as a vibrant and living tradition expressing worshippers' respect and gratitude for the gods, as well as love and concern for departed family members.

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Forgotten Souls

A Social History of the Hong Kong Cemetery

Patricia Lim

This book follows on from the mapping and recording of the about 10,000 graves that make up the Hong Kong Cemetery for a database which will be held in the archives of the Hong Kong Memory Project and the Royal Asiatic Society among other places. The silent tombs and elegantly carved inscriptions dating from 1842 up to the present day aroused curiosity in the author about who these long-buried people were and how they lived their lives. Lim has teased out from many sources the answers to these questions. This small, alien and rather disparate band of adventurers came from a number of far distant countries to live and work in the tiny and insignificant British foothold of Hong Kong on the edge of a huge and little understood empire. The book tries to show their relationships with each other and with their Chinese neighbours on the island. It has attempted to breathe life into the stories behind the gravestones so that the Hong Kong Cemetery can be viewed as a cradle of history as well as a final resting place for the dead.

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Governors, Politics and The Colonial Office

Public Policy in Hong Kong, 1918?8

Gavin Ure

This book explores the making of public policy for Hong Kong between 1918 and 1958. During much of this period, the Hong Kong government had limited policy-making capabilities. Many new policies followed initiatives either from the Colonial Office or from politicians in Hong Kong. This book examines the balance of political power influencing how such decisions were reached and who wielded the most influence—the Hong Kong or British governments or the politicians. Gradually, the Hong Kong government, through implementing new policies, improved its own policy-making capabilities and gained the ability to exercise greater autonomy. The policy areas covered by this book include the implementation of rent controls in 1922, the management of Hong Kong’s currency from 1929 to 1936, the resolution of the financial dispute over matters arising from World War II, the origins of Hong Kong’s public housing and permanent squatter resettlement policies, negotiations over Hong Kong’s contribution to its defence costs and the background to the granting of formal financial autonomy in 1958. Governors, Politics and the Colonial Office will be of interest to historians and political scientists, and to anyone with a general interest in the social, economic and political development of Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong Internment, 1942-1945

Life in the Japanese Civilian Camp at Stanley

Geoffrey Charles Emerson

Life in the Japanese Civilian Camp at Stanley tells the story of the more than three thousand non-Chinese civilians: British, American, Dutch and others, who were trapped in the British colony and interned behind barbed wire in Stanley Internment Camp from 1942 to 1945. From 1970 to 1972, while researching for his MA thesis, the author interviewed twenty-three former Stanley internees.

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Portugal, China and the Macau Negotiations, 1986–1999

Carmen Amado Mendes

On 20 December 1999 the city of Macau became a Special Administrative Region of China after nearly 450 years of Portuguese administration. Drawing extensively on Portuguese and other sources, and on interviews with key participants, this book examines the strategies and policies adopted by the Portuguese government during the negotiations. The study sets these events in the larger context of Portugal’s retreat from empire, the British experience with Hong Kong, and changing social and political conditions within Macau. A weak player on the international stage, Portugal was still able to obtain concessions during the negotiations, notably in the timing of the retrocession and continuing Portuguese nationality arrangements for some Macau citizens. Yet the tendency of Portuguese leaders to use the Macau question as a tool in their domestic political agendas hampered their ability to develop an effective strategy and left China with the freedom to control the process of negotiation. The first sustained analysis of the Macau negotiations from the Portuguese perspective, this book will be of interest to historians, diplomats, and students of international relations.

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