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Tang Studies 13 (1995) Sui-Tang Studies in Japan in 1993* OSAWA MASAAKI *¥RlElJB SOPHIA UNIVERSITY Translated by JOHN LEE St. Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia The writing of these reviews is, I remember having heard once, comparable to paying corvee service to the field. I, for one, have benefited from the services provided by such reviews, and it cannot be denied that the information contained in them plays an important role. The reviews are nevetheless published under the names of particular authors. Regardless of whether these assignments are given on the basis of past achievements or rather on future prospects, the content of a review is constrained by the author's understanding of the issues. Further and unambiguous pursuit of the point will inevitably lead us to conclude that the performing of public service, comparable to the paying of a corvee obligation, is impossible with these reviews. My preoccupation with this aspect of the review makes me declare, at the outset, that I intend to write mine in a way that departs perhaps from the norm. I shall review last year's achievements , more precisely, by remaining stoically faithful to my own limited understanding of the issues. Having so declared, I am then called to explain what my understanding of the issues entails. Simply put, I find the significance of studying Chinese history in the grasping of China's contemporary reality from historical perspectives. This calls for an inquiry into the despotic state and the historical characteristics of its accompanying economy and society. Last year, a group of us who share the same understanding published the results of our joint research under the title The East Asian Despotic State and Society-Economy (Higashi Ajia sensei kokka to shakai, keizai :~rrv7'W:f\ill00~U::*±~, ~m), edited by Nakamura Satoshi IftH~. Despite differences among individual contributors , the volume nevertheless attempted, under several thematic ,. Originally published in Shigaku zasshi, 103.5 (1994): 853-59. 143 Lee: 52 Summary 1993 headings, a new construction of Chinese history. My own contribution explained in greater detail my understanding of the issues. The same understanding will serve as the basis of this review of the year's achievements in the study of Sui-T'ang history. Before I begin presenting details, I ought perhaps to explain briefly the contents of the joint volume just mentioned. The volume starts with an essay by Nakamura Satoshi, titled IIAReconstruction of the Theory of Premodern Chinese History: An Introduction" (Chugoku zenkindaishi riron no sai kosei: josetsu q:tlEDtrili.ft5t!J!Bii€il7.>N .$;:Fj;m). Essays by Watanabe Shin'ichiro i1fmffi-R~, Shimai Kazuyasu 8b1lS--btt, Miyazawa Tomoyuki '8iR§;nz, and myself touch directly upon Sui-T'ang history. Watanabe's essay, titled liTheEarly Chinese Despotic State and the Official Class" (Chugoku kodai sensei kokka to kanjin kaikyu ~~l!iftW:1I1IJOO~U~11r ARft&), raises the idea of the lIofficialclass" as the ruling class and of the lIideologicalclass" on the basis of the analysis of the despotic state from the Han to the T'ang. Shimai's essay is titled "State Ownership and Peasant Ownership of Lands in China" (Chugoku ni okeru kokkateki tochi shoyu to nominteki tochi shoyu t::j:lOOh::tO~tQOO*IY-J±imffl~f c!:J1l~IY-J±itf!ffl:ff). The essay examines the litwin-tax period" between the late T'ang and the late Ming, which represented the third phase in the evolution of the rent-collecting method by the Chinese state. Watanabe attempts to place the conflict between state ownership and peasant ownership, evident during the period, in the evolutionary context of the Chinese pattern of land ownership. In his essay, titled "The Evolution of Money Economy from the T'ang to the Ming" (To yori Min ni itaru kahei keizai no tenkai Jl!f.t ~ IlJJf;:"'t.:::~j{MimrJf(1)~rm), Miyazawa examines the state of finance-based distribution and of market-oriented distribution between the seventh and the sixteenth centuries, presenting the money economy as its form of expression. My own essay, titled "Perspectives on the Theories of the Middle Class and of Human Relationships " (Chukanso ron to ningen kankei ron e no ichi shiten q:tMlIitfH:Aflflmtf*~Q)-mJA...


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