This innovative textbook for learning classical Chinese poetry moves beyond the traditional anthology of poems translated into English and instead brings readers—including those with no knowledge of Chinese—as close as possible to the texture of the poems in their original language. The first two chapters introduce the features of classical Chinese that are important for poetry and then survey the formal and rhetorical conventions of classical poetry. The core chapters present the major poets and poems of the Chinese poetic tradition from earliest times to the lyrics of the Song Dynasty (960–1279).
Each chapter begins with an overview of the historical context for the poetry of a particular period and provides a brief biography for each poet. Each of the poems appears in the original Chinese with a word-by-word translation, followed by Michael A. Fuller’s unadorned translation, and a more polished version by modern translators. A question-based study guide highlights the important issues in reading and understanding each particular text.
Designed for classroom use and for self-study, the textbook’s goal is to help the reader appreciate both the distinctive voices of the major writers in the Chinese poetic tradition and the grand contours of the development of that tradition.
This book, an in-depth study of Nationalist tariff policy, fundamentally challenges the widely accepted idea that the key to the Communist seizure of power in China lay in the incompetence of Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government. It argues instead that during the second Sino-Japanese War, China’s international trade, the Nationalist government’s tariff revenues, and hence its fiscal policy and state-making project all collapsed.
Because tariffs on China’s international trade produced the single greatest share of central government revenue during the Nanjing decade, the political existence of the Nationalist government depended on tariff revenue. Therefore, Chinese economic nationalism, both at the official and popular levels, had to be managed carefully so as not to jeopardize the Nationalist government’s income. Until the outbreak of war in 1937, the Nationalists’ management of international trade and China’s government finances was largely successful in terms of producing increasing and sustainable revenues. Within the first year of war, however, the Nationalists lost territories producing 80 percent of tariff revenue. Hence, government revenue declined just as war-related expenditure increased, and the Nationalist government had to resort to more rapacious forms of revenue extraction—a decision that had disastrous consequences for both its finances and its political viability.
The Anime Boom in the United States provides a comprehensive and empirically-grounded study of the various stages of anime marketing and commercial expansion into the United States. It also examines the supporting organizational and cultural processes, thereby describing a transnational, embedded system for globalizing and localizing commodified culture.
Focusing primarily on television anime series but also significant theatrical releases, the book draws on several sources, including in-depth interviews with Japanese and American professionals in the animation industry, field research, and a wide-scale market survey. The authors investigate the ways in which anime has been exported to the United States since the 1960s, and explore the transnational networks of anime production and marketing. They also investigate the many cultural and artistic processes anime inspired.
The analysis of the rise and fall of the U.S. anime boom is the starting point for a wider investigation of the multidirectional globalization of contemporary culture and the way in which global creative industries operate in an age of media digitalization and convergence. This story carries broad significance for those interested in understanding the dynamics of power structures in cultural and media globalization.
Ennobling Japan’s Savage Northeast is the first comprehensive account in English of the discursive life of the Tōhoku region in postwar Japan from 1945 through 2011. The Northeast became the subject of world attention with the March 2011 triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. But Tōhoku’s history and significance to emic understandings of Japanese self and nationhood remain poorly understood. When Japan embarked on its quest to modernize in the mid-nineteenth century, historical prejudice, contemporary politics, and economic calculation together led the state to marginalize Tōhoku, creating a “backward” region in both fact and image. After 1945, a group of mostly local intellectuals attempted to overcome this image and rehabilitate the Northeast as a source of new national values. This early postwar Tōhoku recuperation movement has proved to be a critical source for the new Kyoto school’s neoconservative valorization of native Japanese identity, fueling that group’s antimodern, anti-Western discourse since the 1980s.
Nathan Hopson unravels the contested postwar meanings of Tōhoku to reveal the complex and contradictory ways in which that region has been incorporated into Japan’s shifting self-images since World War II.
This study of modern Japan engages the fields of art history, literature, and cultural studies, seeking to understand how the “beautiful woman” (bijin) emerged as a symbol of Japanese culture during the Meiji period (1868–1912). With origins in the formative period of modern Japanese art and aesthetics, the figure of the bijin appeared across a broad range of visual and textual media: photographs, illustrations, prints, and literary works, as well as fictional, critical, and journalistic writing. It eventually constituted a genre of painting called bijinga (paintings of beauties).
Aesthetic Life examines the contributions of writers, artists, scholars, critics, journalists, and politicians to the discussion of the bijin and to the production of a national discourse on standards of Japanese beauty and art. As Japan worked to establish its place in the world, it actively presented itself as an artistic nation based on these ideals of feminine beauty. The book explores this exemplary figure for modern Japanese aesthetics and analyzes how the deceptively ordinary image of the beautiful Japanese woman—an iconic image that persists to this day—was cultivated as a “national treasure,” synonymous with Japanese culture.
During China’s transition from dynastic empire to nation-state, the crowd emerged as a salient trope. Intellectuals across the ideological spectrum have used the crowd trope to ruminate on questions of selfhood and nationhood, and to advance competing models of enlightenment and revolution.
Revolutionary Waves analyzes the centrality of the crowd in the Chinese cultural and political imagination and its global resonances by delving into a wide range of fiction, philosophy, poetry, and psychological studies. Bringing together literary studies, intellectual history, critical theory, and the history of human sciences, this interdisciplinary work highlights unexplored interactions among emerging social-scientific forms of knowledge, new aesthetic modes of representation, and changing political imperatives. The work brings into relief the complexities of the modern Chinese crowd discourse, which generated subjectivities and oriented actions, enabled as well as constrained the expression of togetherness, and thus both expanded and limited the horizon of political possibilities in the emerging age of mass politics.
The first in-depth examination of the aesthetics and politics of the crowd in modern Chinese literature and thought, Revolutionary Waves raises questions about the promise and peril of community as communion and reimagines collective life in China’s post-socialist present.
The notion of the individual was initially translated into Korean near the end of the nineteenth century and took root during the early years of Japanese colonial influence. Yoon Sun Yang argues that the first literary iterations of the Korean individual were prototypically female figures appearing in the early colonial domestic novel—a genre developed by reform-minded male writers—as schoolgirls, housewives, female ghosts, femmes fatales, and female same-sex partners. Such female figures have long been viewed as lacking in modernity because, unlike numerous male characters in Korean literature after the late 1910s, they did not assert their own modernity, or that of the nation, by exploring their interiority. Yang, however, shows that no reading of Korean modernity can ignore these figures, because the early colonial domestic novel cast them as individuals in terms of their usefulness or relevance to the nation, whether model citizens or iconoclasts.
By including these earlier narratives within modern Korean literary history and positing that they too were engaged in the translation of individuality into Korean, Yang’s study not only disrupts the canonical account of a non-gendered, linear progress toward modern Korean selfhood but also expands our understanding of the role played by translation in Korea’s construction of modern gender roles.
Written Chinese served as a prestigious, cosmopolitan script across medieval East Asia, from as far west as the Tarim Basin to the eastern kingdom of Heian period Japan (794–1185). In this book, Brian Steininger revisits the mid-Heian court of the Tale of Genji and the Pillow Book, where literary Chinese was not only the basis of official administration, but also a medium for political protest, sermons of mourning, and poems of celebration.
Chinese Literary Forms in Heian Japan reconstructs the lived practice of Chinese poetic and prose genres among Heian officials, analyzing the material exchanges by which documents were commissioned, the local reinterpretations of Tang aesthetic principles, and the ritual venues in which literary Chinese texts were performed in Japanese vocalization. Even as state ideology and educational institutions proclaimed the Chinese script’s embodiment of timeless cosmological patterns, everyday practice in this far-flung periphery subjected classical models to a string of improvised exceptions. Through careful comparison of literary and documentary sources, this book provides a vivid case study of one society’s negotiation of literature’s position—both within a hierarchy of authority and between the incommensurable realms of script and speech.
Naming the Local uncovers how Koreans domesticated foreign medical novelties on their own terms, while simultaneously modifying the Korea-specific expressions of illness and wellness to make them accessible to the wider network of scholars and audiences.
Due to Korea’s geopolitical position and the intrinsic tension of medicine’s efforts to balance the local and the universal, Soyung Suh argues that Koreans’ attempts to officially document indigenous categories in a particular linguistic form required constant negotiation of their own conceptual boundaries against the Chinese, Japanese, and American authorities that had largely shaped the medical knowledge grid. The birth, decline, and afterlife of five terminologies—materia medica, the geography of the medical tradition, the body, medical commodities, and illness—illuminate an irresolvable dualism at the heart of the Korean endeavor to name the indigenous attributes of medicine.
By tracing Korean-educated agents’ efforts to articulate the vernacular nomenclature of medicine over time, this book examines the limitations and possibilities of creating a mode of “Koreanness” in medicine—and the Korean manifestation of cultural and national identities.
The brutality and racial hatred exhibited by Japan’s military during the Pacific War piqued outrage in the West and fanned resentments throughout Asia. Public understanding of Japan’s wartime atrocities, however, often fails to differentiate the racial agendas of its military and government elites from the racial values held by the Japanese people. While not denying brutalities committed by the Japanese military, Honored and Dishonored Guests overturns these standard narratives and demonstrates rather that Japan’s racial attitudes during wartime are more accurately discerned in the treatment of Western civilians living in Japan than the experiences of enemy POWs.
The book chronicles Western communities in wartime Japan, using this body of experiences to reconsider allegations of Japanese racism and racial hatred. Its bold thesis is borne out by a broad mosaic of stories from dozens of foreign families and individuals who variously endured police harassment, suspicion, relocation, starvation, denaturalization, internment, and torture, as well as extraordinary acts of charity. The book’s account of stranded Westerners—from Tokyo, Yokohama, and Kobe to the mountain resorts of Karuizawa and Hakone—yields a unique interpretation of race relations and wartime life in Japan.
Making History Matter explores the role history and historians played in imperial Japan’s nation and empire building from the 1890s to the 1930s. As ideological architects of this process, leading historians wrote and rewrote narratives that justified the expanding realm. Learning from their Prussian counterparts, they highlighted their empiricist methodology and their scholarly standpoint, to authenticate their perspective and to distinguish themselves from competing discourses. Simultaneously, historians affirmed imperial myths that helped bolster statist authoritarianism domestically and aggressive expansionism abroad. In so doing, they aligned politically with illiberal national leaders who provided funding and other support necessary to nurture the modern discipline of history. By the 1930s, the field was thriving and historians were crucial actors in nationwide commemorations and historical enterprises.
Through a close reading of vast, multilingual sources, with a focus on Kuroita Katsumi, Lisa Yoshikawa argues that scholarship and politics were inseparable as Japan’s historical profession developed. In the process of making history matter, historians constructed a national past to counter growing interwar liberalism. This outlook—which continues as the historical perspective that the Liberal Democratic Party leadership embraces—ultimately justified the Japanese aggressions during the Asia-Pacific Wars.
Images of the city in literature and film help constitute the experience of modern life. Studies of the Japanese city have focused on Tokyo, but a fuller understanding of urban space and life requires analysis of other cities, beginning with Osaka. Japan’s “merchant capital” in the late sixteenth century, Osaka remained an industrial center—the “Manchester of the East”—into the 1930s, developing a distinct urban culture to rival Tokyo’s. It therefore represents a critical site of East Asian modernity. Osaka Modern maps the city as imagined in Japanese popular culture from the 1920s to the 1950s, a city that betrayed the workings of imperialism and asserted an urban identity alternative to—even subversive of—national identity.
Osaka Modern brings an appreciation of this imagined city’s emphatic locality to: popular novels by Tanizaki Jun’ichirō, favorite son Oda Sakunosuke, and best-seller Yamasaki Toyoko; films by Toyoda Shirō and Kawashima Yūzō; and contemporary radio, television, music, and comedy. Its interdisciplinary approach creates intersections between Osaka and various theoretical concerns—everyday life, coloniality, masculinity, translation—to produce not only a fresh appreciation of key works of literature and cinema, but also a new focus for these widely-used critical approaches.
Movements—of people and groups, through travel, migration, exile, and diaspora—are central to understanding both local and global power relationships. But what of more literary moves: textual techniques such as distinct patterns of narrative flow, abrupt leaps between genres, and poetic figures that flatten geographical distance? This book examines what happens when both types of tropes—literal traversals and literary shifts—coexist.
Itineraries of Power examines prose narratives and poetry of the mid-Heian to medieval eras (900–1400) that conspicuously feature tropes of movement. Terry Kawashima argues that the appearance of a character’s physical motion, alongside literary techniques identified with motion, is a textual signpost in a story, urging readers to focus on how the work conceptualizes relations of power and claims to authority. From the gendered intersection of register shifts in narrative and physical displacement in the Heian period, to a dizzying tale of travel retold multiple times in a single medieval text, the motion in these works gestures toward internal conflicts and alternatives to existing structures of power. The book concludes that texts crucially concerned with such tropes of movement suggest that power is always simultaneously manufactured and dismantled from within.
Mark E. Byington explores the formation, history, and legacy of the ancient state of Puyŏ, which existed in central Manchuria from the third century BCE until the late fifth century CE. As the earliest archaeologically attested state to arise in northeastern Asia, Puyŏ occupies an important place in the history of that region. Nevertheless, until now its history and culture have been rarely touched upon in scholarly works in any language. The present volume, utilizing recently discovered archaeological materials from Northeast China as well as a wide variety of historical records, explores the social and political processes associated with the formation and development of the Puyŏ state, and discusses how the historical legacy of Puyŏ—its historical memory—contributed to modes of statecraft of later northeast Asian states and provided a basis for a developing historiographical tradition on the Korean peninsula. Byington focuses on two major aspects of state formation: as a social process leading to the formation of a state-level polity called Puyŏ, and as a political process associated with a variety of devices intended to assure the stability and perpetuation of the inegalitarian social structures of several early states in the Korea–Manchuria region.
Translation’s Forgotten History investigates the meanings and functions that translation generated for modern national literatures during their formative period and reconsiders literature as part of a dynamic translational process of negotiating foreign values. By examining the triadic literary and cultural relations among Russia, Japan, and colonial Korea and revealing a shared sensibility and literary experience in East Asia (which referred to Russia as a significant other in the formation of its own modern literatures), this book highlights translation as a radical and ineradicable part—not merely a catalyst or complement—of the formation of modern national literature. Translation’s Forgotten History thus rethinks the way modern literature developed in Korea and East Asia. While national canons are founded on amnesia regarding their process of formation, framing literature from the beginning as a process rather than an entity allows a more complex and accurate understanding of national literature formation in East Asia and may also provide a model for world literature today.
Struggling Upward reconsiders the rise and maturation of the modern novel in Japan by connecting the genre to new discourses on ambition and social mobility. Collectively called risshin shusse, these discourses accompanied the spread of industrial capitalism and the emergence of a new nation-state in the archipelago. Drawing primarily on historicist strategies of literary criticism, the book situates the Meiji novel in relation to a range of texts from different culturally demarcated zones: the visual arts, scandal journalism, self-help books, and materials on immigration to the colonies, among others. Timothy J. Van Compernolle connects these Japanese materials to topics of broad theoretical interest within literary and cultural studies, including imperialism, gender, modernity, novel studies, print media, and the public sphere. As the first monograph to link the novel to risshin shusse, Struggling Upward argues that social mobility is the privileged lens through which Meiji novelists explored abstract concepts of national belonging, social hierarchy, and the new space of an industrializing nation.
“Autumn wind, autumn rain, fill my heart with sorrow”—these were the last words of Qiu Jin (1875–1907), written before she was beheaded for plotting to overthrow the Qing empire. Eventually, she would be celebrated as a Republican martyr and China’s first feminist, her last words committed to memory by schoolchildren. Yet during her lifetime she was often seen as eccentric, even deviant; in her death, and still more in the forced abandonment of her remains, the authorities had wanted her to disappear into historical oblivion.
Burying Autumn tells the story of the enduring friendship between Qiu Jin and her sworn-sisters Wu Zhiying and Xu Zihua, who braved political persecution to give her a proper burial. Formed amidst social upheaval, their bond found its most poignant expression in Wu and Xu’s mourning for Qiu. The archives of this friendship—letters, poems, biographical sketches, steles, and hand-copied sutra—vividly display how these women understood the concrete experiences of modernity, how they articulated those experiences through traditional art forms, and how their artworks transformed the cultural traditions they invoked even while maintaining deep cultural roots. In enabling Qiu Jin to acquire historical significance, their friendship fulfilled its ultimate socially transformative potential.
Plucking Chrysanthemums is a critical study of the life and works of Narushima Ryūhoku (1837–1884): Confucian scholar, world traveler, pioneering journalist, and irrepressible satirist. A major figure on the nineteenth-century Japanese cultural scene, Ryūhoku wrote works that were deeply rooted in classical Sinitic literary traditions. Sinitic poetry and prose enjoyed a central and prestigious place in Japan for nearly all of its history, and the act of composing it continued to offer modern Japanese literary figures the chance to incorporate themselves into a written tradition that transcended national borders. Adopting Ryūhoku’s multifarious invocations of Six Dynasties poet Tao Yuanming as an organizing motif, Matthew Fraleigh traces the disparate ways in which Ryūhoku drew upon the Sinitic textual heritage over the course of his career. The classical figure of this famed Chinese poet and the Sinitic tradition as a whole constituted a referential repository to be shaped, shifted, and variously spun to meet the emerging circumstances of the writer as well as his expressive aims. Plucking Chrysanthemums is the first book-length study of Ryūhoku in a Western language and also one of the first Western-language monographs to examine Sinitic poetry and prose (kanshibun) composition in modern Japan.
The occupation of the northern half of the Chinese territories in the 1120s brought about a transformation in political communication in the south that had lasting implications for imperial Chinese history. By the late eleventh century, the Song court no longer dominated the production of information about itself and its territories. Song literati gradually consolidated their position as producers, users, and discussants of court gazettes, official records, archival compilations, dynastic histories, military geographies, and maps. This development altered the relationship between court and literati in political communication for the remainder of the imperial period. Based on a close reading of reader responses to official records and derivatives and on a mapping of literati networks, the author further proposes that the twelfth-century geopolitical crisis resulted in a lasting literati preference for imperial restoration and unified rule.
Hilde De Weerdt makes an important intervention in cultural and intellectual history by examining censorship and publicity together. In addition, she reorients the debate about the social transformation and local turn of imperial Chinese elites by treating the formation of localist strategies and empire-focused political identities as parallel rather than opposite trends.
Visit Hilde De Weerdt’s website for Information, Territory, and Networks to access and explore an interactive database containing the core data on which the arguments of the final chapters of her book are based.
Huang Xiangjian, a mid-seventeenth-century member of the Suzhou local elite, journeyed on foot to southwest China and recorded its sublime scenery in site-specific paintings. Elizabeth Kindall’s innovative analysis of the visual experiences and social functions Huang conveyed through his oeuvre reveals an unrecognized tradition of site paintings, here labeled geo-narratives, that recount specific journeys and create meaning in the paintings. Kindall shows how Huang created these geo-narratives by drawing upon the Suzhou place-painting tradition, as well as the encoded experiences of southwestern sites discussed in historical gazetteers and personal travel records, and the geography of the sites themselves. Ultimately these works were intended to create personas and fulfill specific social purposes among the educated class during the Ming-Qing transition. Some of Huang’s paintings of the southwest, together with his travel records, became part of a campaign to attain the socially generated title of Filial Son, whereas others served private functions. This definitive study elucidates the context for Huang Xiangjian’s painting and identifies geo-narrative as a distinct landscape-painting tradition lauded for its naturalistic immediacy, experiential topography, and dramatic narratives of moral persuasion, class identification, and biographical commemoration.