Publications

2015
Writing, Publishing, and Reading Local Gazetteers in Imperial China, 1100-1700
J. R. Dennis, Writing, Publishing, and Reading Local Gazetteers in Imperial China, 1100-1700. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

This book is the definitive study of imperial Chinese local gazetteers, one of the most important sources for premodern Chinese studies. Methodologically innovative, it represents a major contribution to the history of books, publishing, reading, and society.

By examining how gazetteers were read, Joseph R. Dennis illustrates their significance in local societies and national discourses. His analysis of how gazetteers were initiated and produced reconceptualizes the geography of imperial Chinese publishing. Whereas previous studies argued that publishing, and thus cultural and intellectual power, were concentrated in the southeast, Dennis shows that publishing and book ownership were widely dispersed throughout China and books were found even in isolated locales. Adding a dynamic element to our earlier understanding of the publishing industry, Dennis tracks the movements of manuscripts to printers and print labor to production sites. By reconstructing printer business zones, he demonstrates that publishers operated across long distances in trans-regional markets. He also creates the first substantial data set on publishing costs in early modern China—a foundational breakthrough in understanding the world of Chinese books. Dennis’s work reveals areas for future research on newly-identified regional publishing centers and the economics of book production.
 

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Table of Contents

List of Maps and Figures

Introduction

Index

Writing Technology in Meiji Japan: A Media History of Modern Japanese Literature and Visual Culture
S. Jacobowitz, Writing Technology in Meiji Japan: A Media History of Modern Japanese Literature and Visual Culture. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

Writing Technology in Meiji Japan boldly rethinks the origins of modern Japanese language, literature, and visual culture from the perspective of media history. Drawing upon methodological insights by Friedrich Kittler and extensive archival research, Seth Jacobowitz investigates a range of epistemic transformations in the Meiji era (1868–1912), from the rise of communication networks such as telegraph and post to debates over national language and script reform. He documents the changing discursive practices and conceptual constellations that reshaped the verbal, visual, and literary regimes from the Tokugawa era. These changes culminate in the discovery of a new vernacular literary style from the shorthand transcriptions of theatrical storytelling (rakugo) that was subsequently championed by major writers such as Masaoka Shiki and Natsume Sōseki as the basis for a new mode of transparently objective, “transcriptive” realism. The birth of modern Japanese literature is thus located not only in shorthand alone, but within the emergent, multimedia channels that were arriving from the West. This book represents the first systematic study of the ways in which media and inscriptive technologies available in Japan at its threshold of modernization in the late nineteenth to early twentieth century shaped and brought into being modern Japanese literature.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures

Introduction

Index

Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900–1959
M. Song, Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900–1959. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

The rise of youth is among the most dramatic stories of modern China. Since the last years of the Qing dynasty, youth has been made a new agent of history in Chinese intellectuals’ visions of national rejuvenation through such tremendously popular notions as “young China” and “new youth.” The characterization of a young protagonist with a developmental story has also shaped the modern Chinese novel. Young China takes youth as a central literary motif that was profoundly related to the ideas of nationhood and modernity in twentieth-century China. A synthesis of narrative theory and cultural history, it combines historical investigations of the origin and development of the modern Chinese youth discourse with close analyses of the novelistic construction of the Chinese Bildungsroman, which depicts the psychological growth of youth with a symbolic allusion to national rejuvenation. Negotiating between self and society, ideal and action, and form and reality, such a narrative manifests as well as complicates the various political and cultural symbolisms invested in youth through different periods of modern Chinese history. In this story of young China, the restless, elusive, and protean image of youth both perpetuates and problematizes the ideals of national rejuvenation.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Prologue

Index

The Korean Economy: From a Miraculous Past to a Sustainable Future
B. Eichengreen, W. Lim, Y. C. Park, and D. H. Perkins, The Korean Economy: From a Miraculous Past to a Sustainable Future. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

South Korea has been held out as an economic miracle—as a country that successfully completed the transition from underdeveloped to developed country status—and as an example of how a middle-income country can continue to move up the technology ladder into the production and export of more sophisticated goods and services. But with these successes have come challenges, among them poverty, inequality, long work hours, financial instability, and complaints about the economic and political power of the country’s large corporate conglomerates, or chaebol.

The Korean Economy provides an overview of Korean economic experience since the 1950s, with a focus on the period since democratization in 1987. Successive chapters analyze the Korean experience from the perspectives of political economy, the growth record, industrial organization and corporate governance, financial development and instability, labor and employment, inequality and social policy, and Korea’s place in the world economy. A concluding chapter describes the country’s economic challenges going forward and how they can best be met.

The volume also serves to summarize the findings of companion volumes in the Harvard–Korean Development Institute series on the Korean economy, also published by the Harvard University Asia Center.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

List of Tables and Figures

Index

The Proletarian Wave: Literature and Leftist Culture in Colonial Korea, 1910–1945
S. Park, The Proletarian Wave: Literature and Leftist Culture in Colonial Korea, 1910–1945. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

Socialist doctrines had an important influence on Korean writers and intellectuals of the early twentieth century. From the 1910s through the 1940s, a veritable wave of anarchist, Marxist, nationalist, and feminist leftist groups swept the cultural scene with differing agendas as well as shared demands for equality and social justice. In The Proletarian Wave, Sunyoung Park reconstructs the complex mosaic of colonial leftist culture by focusing on literature as its most fertile and enduring expression. The book combines a general overview of the literary left with the intellectual portraits of four writers whose works exemplify the stylistic range and colonial inflection of socialist culture in a rapidly modernizing Korea. Bridging Marxist theory and postcolonial studies, Park confronts Western preconceptions about third-world socialist cultures while interrogating modern cultural history from a post-Cold War global perspective.

The Proletarian Wave provides the first historical account in English of the complex interrelations of literature and socialist ideology in colonial Korea. It details the origins, development, and influence of a movement that has shaped twentieth-century Korean politics and aesthetics alike through an analysis that simultaneously engages some of the most debated and pressing issues of literary historiography, Marxist criticism, and postcolonial cultural studies.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

List of Plates and Figures

Index

Real and Imagined: The Peak of Gold in Heian Japan
H. Blair, Real and Imagined: The Peak of Gold in Heian Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

During the Heian period (794–1185), the sacred mountain Kinpusen, literally the “Peak of Gold,” came to cultural prominence as a pilgrimage destination for the most powerful men in Japan—the Fujiwara regents and the retired emperors. Real and Imagined depicts their one-hundred-kilometer trek from the capital to the rocky summit as well as the imaginative landscape they navigated.

Kinpusen was believed to be a realm of immortals, the domain of an unconventional bodhisattva, and the home of an indigenous pantheon of kami. These nominally private journeys to Kinpusen had political implications for both the pilgrims and the mountain. While members of the aristocracy and royalty used pilgrimage to legitimate themselves and compete with one another, their patronage fed rivalry among religious institutions. Thus, after flourishing under the Fujiwara regents, Kinpusen’s cult and community were rent by violent altercations with the great Nara temple Kōfukuji. The resulting institutional reconfigurations laid the groundwork for Shugendō, a new movement focused on religious mountain practice that emerged around 1300.

Using archival sources, archaeological materials, noblemen’s journals, sutras, official histories, and vernacular narratives, this original study sheds new light on Kinpusen, positioning it within the broader religious and political history of the Heian period.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

List of Maps and Figures

Glossary-Index

Significant Soil: Settler Colonialism and Japan's Urban Empire in Manchuria
E. O'Dwyer, Significant Soil: Settler Colonialism and Japan's Urban Empire in Manchuria. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

Like all empires, Japan’s prewar empire encompassed diverse territories as well as a variety of political forms for governing such spaces. This book focuses on Japan’s Kwantung Leasehold and Railway Zone in China’s three northeastern provinces. The hybrid nature of the leasehold’s political status vis-à-vis the metropole, the presence of the semipublic and enormously powerful South Manchuria Railway Company, and the region’s vulnerability to inter-imperial rivalries, intra-imperial competition, and Chinese nationalism throughout the first decades of the twentieth century combined to give rise to a distinctive type of settler politics. Settlers sought inclusion within a broad Japanese imperial sphere while successfully utilizing the continental space as a site for political and social innovation.

In this study, Emer O’Dwyer traces the history of Japan’s prewar Manchurian empire over four decades, mapping how South Manchuria—and especially its principal city, Dairen—was naturalized as a Japanese space and revealing how this process ultimately contributed to the success of the Japanese army’s early 1930s takeover of Manchuria. Simultaneously, Significant Soil demonstrates the conditional nature of popular support for Kwantung Army state-building in Manchukuo, highlighting the settlers’ determination that the Kwantung Leasehold and Railway Zone remain separate from the project of total empire.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps, Figures, and Tables

Introduction

Glossary-Index

The Efficacious Landscape: On the Authorities of Painting at the Northern Song Court
P. Foong, The Efficacious Landscape: On the Authorities of Painting at the Northern Song Court. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

Ink landscape painting is a distinctive feature of the Northern Song, and painters of this era produced some of the most celebrated artworks in Chinese history. The Efficacious Landscape addresses how landmark works of this pivotal period first came to be identified as potent symbols of imperial authority and later became objects through which exiled scholars expressed disaffection and dissent. In fulfilling these diverse roles, landscape demonstrated its efficacy in communicating through embodiment and in transcending the limitations of the concrete.

Building on decades of monographic writings on Song painting, this carefully researched study presents a syncretic vision of how ink landscape evolved within the eleventh-century court community of artists, scholars, and aristocrats. Detailed visual analyses of surviving works and new insight about key landscapes by the court painter Guo Xi support the perspective put forward here and introduce original methodologies for interpreting painting as an integral element of political and cultural history. By focusing on the efforts of emperors, empresses, and eunuchs to cultivate ink landscape and its iconography, this investigation also tackles the social and class dichotomies that have long defined and frustrated existing scholarship on this period’s paintings, highlighting instead the interconnectedness of painting practice’s elite modalities.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction

Index

Empires on the Waterfront: Japan’s Ports and Power, 1858-1899
C. L. Phipps, Empires on the Waterfront: Japan’s Ports and Power, 1858-1899. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

Empires on the Waterfront offers a new spatial framework for understanding Japan’s extended transition into the modern world of nation-states. This study examines a largely unacknowledged system of “special trading ports” that operated under full Japanese jurisdiction in the shadow of the better-known treaty ports. By allowing Japan to circumvent conditions imposed on treaty ports, the special trading ports were key to achieving autonomy and regional power.

Catherine L. Phipps uses an overtly geographic approach to demonstrate that the establishment of Japan’s maritime networks depended on initiatives made and carried out on multiple geographical scales—global, national, and local. The story of the special trading ports unfolds in these three dimensions. Through an in-depth assessment of the port of Moji in northern Kyushu, Empires on the Waterfront recasts the rise of Japan’s own empire as a process deeply embedded in the complicated system of maritime relations in East Asia during the pivotal second half of the nineteenth century.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps and Tables

Introduction

Index

Chinese History: A New Manual, Fourth Edition
E. Wilkinson, Chinese History: A New Manual, Fourth Edition. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

At the end of the Qing dynasty, works of fiction by male authors placed women in new roles. Fiction’s Family delves into the writings of one literary family from western Zhejiang whose works were emblematic of shifting attitudes toward women. The mother, Wang Qingdi, and the father, Zhan Sizeng, published their poems during the second half of the nineteenth century. Two of their four sons, Zhan Xi and Zhan Kai, wrote novels that promoted reforms in women’s lives. This book explores the intergenerational link, as well as relations between the sons, to find out how the conflicts faced by the parents may have been refigured in the novels of their sons. Its central question is about the brothers’ reformist attitudes. Were they based on the pronouncements of political leaders? Were they the result of trends in Shanghai publishing? Or did they derive from Wang Qingdi’s disappointment in her “companionate marriage,” as manifested in her poems? By placing one family at the center of this study, Ellen Widmer illuminates the diachronic bridge between the late Qing and the period just before it, the synchronic interplay of genres during the brothers’ lifetimes, and the interaction of Shanghai publishing with regions outside Shanghai.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

List of Boxes

Subject Index

Materializing Magic Power: Chinese Popular Religion in Villages and Cities
W. - P. Lin, Materializing Magic Power: Chinese Popular Religion in Villages and Cities. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

Materializing Magic Power paints a broad picture of the dynamics of popular religion in Taiwan. The first book to explore contemporary Chinese popular religion from its cultural, social, and material perspectives, it analyzes these aspects of religious practice in a unified framework and traces their transformation as adherents move from villages to cities.

In this groundbreaking study, Wei-Ping Lin offers a fresh perspective on the divine power of Chinese deities as revealed in two important material forms—god statues and spirit mediums. By examining the significance of these religious manifestations, Lin identifies personification and localization as the crucial cultural mechanisms that bestow efficacy on deity statues and spirit mediums. She further traces the social consequences of materialization and demonstrates how the different natures of materials mediate distinct kinds of divine power.

The first part of the book provides a detailed account of popular religion in villages. This is followed by a discussion of how rural migrant workers cope with challenges in urban environments by inviting branch statues of village deities to the city, establishing an urban shrine, and selecting a new spirit medium. These practices show how traditional village religion is being reconfigured in cities today.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Maps, Figures, and Tables

Index

Traces of Grand Peace: Classics and State Activism in Imperial China
J. Song, Traces of Grand Peace: Classics and State Activism in Imperial China. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

Since the second century BC the Confucian Classics, endorsed by the successive ruling houses of imperial China, had stood in tension with the statist ideals of “big government.” In Northern Song China (960–1127), a group of reform-minded statesmen and thinkers sought to remove the tension between the two by revisiting the highly controversial classic, the Rituals of Zhou: the administrative blueprint of an archaic bureaucratic state with the six ministries of some 370 offices staffed by close to 94,000 men. With their revisionist approaches, they reinvented it as the constitution of state activism. Most importantly, the reform-councilor Wang Anshi’s (1021–1086) new commentary on the Rituals of Zhou rose to preeminence during the New Policies period (ca. 1068–1125), only to be swept into the dustbin of history afterward. By reconstructing his revisionist exegesis from its partial remains, this book illuminates the interplay between classics, thinkers, and government in statist reform, and explains why the uneasy marriage between classics and state activism had to fail in imperial China.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures

Introduction

Original Passages in Chinese Script

Index

One Who Knows Me: Friendship and Literary Culture in Mid-Tang China
A. Shields, One Who Knows Me: Friendship and Literary Culture in Mid-Tang China. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

The friendships of writers of the mid-Tang era (780s–820s)—between literary giants like Bai Juyi and Yuan Zhen, Han Yu and Meng Jiao, Liu Zongyuan and Liu Yuxi—became famous through the many texts they wrote to and about one another. What inspired mid-Tang literati to write about their friendships with such zeal? And how did these writings influence Tang literary culture more broadly? In One Who Knows Me, the first book to delve into friendship in medieval China, Anna M. Shields explores the literature of the mid-Tang to reveal the complex value its writers discovered in friendship—as a rewarding social practice, a rich literary topic, a way to negotiate literati identity, and a path toward self-understanding. Shields traces the evolution of the performance of friendship through a wide range of genres, including letters, prefaces, exchange poetry, and funerary texts, and interweaves elegant translations with close readings of these texts. For mid-Tang literati, writing about friendship became a powerful way to write about oneself and to reflect upon a shared culture. Their texts reveal the ways that friendship intersected the public and private realms of experience and, in the process, reshaped both.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Index

Picturing the True Form: Daoist Visual Culture in Traditional China
S. -shan S. Huang, Picturing the True Form: Daoist Visual Culture in Traditional China. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

Picturing the True Form investigates the long-neglected visual culture of Daoism, China’s primary indigenous religion, from the tenth through thirteenth centuries with references to both earlier and later times. In this richly illustrated book, Shih-shan Susan Huang provides a comprehensive mapping of Daoist images in various media, including Dunhuang manuscripts, funerary artifacts, and paintings, as well as other charts, illustrations, and talismans preserved in the fifteenth-century Daoist Canon. True form (zhenxing), the key concept behind Daoist visuality, is not static, but entails an active journey of seeing underlying and secret phenomena.

This book’s structure mirrors the two-part Daoist journey from inner to outer. Part I focuses on inner images associated with meditation and visualization practices for self-cultivation and longevity. Part II investigates the visual and material dimensions of Daoist ritual. Interwoven through these discussions is the idea that the inner and outer mirror each other and the boundary demarcating the two is fluid. Huang also reveals three central modes of Daoist symbolism—aniconic, immaterial, and ephemeral—and shows how Daoist image-making goes beyond the traditional dichotomy of text and image to incorporate writings in image design. It is these particular features that distinguish Daoist visual culture from its Buddhist counterpart.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures

Introduction

Index

2014
Negotiated Power: The State, Elites, and Local Governance in Twelfth- to Fourteenth-Century China
S. Lee, Negotiated Power: The State, Elites, and Local Governance in Twelfth- to Fourteenth-Century China. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2014. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

The internal dynamics driving the relationship between the state and local society during the Southern Song and Yuan dynasties has both captivated and baffled scholars. In this book, Sukhee Lee posits an alternative understanding of the relationship between the state and social elites in the middle period of Chinese imperial history. Directly challenging the assumption of a zero-sum competition between the power of the state and that of local elites, Negotiated Power shows in vivid detail how state power and local elite interests were mutually constitutive and reinforcing. It was precisely the connectedness of social elites to the state, as well as the presence of the state in local life, that was essential to the rise of a self-conscious local elite society during this period. In probing the historical trajectory of Mingzhou prefecture (today’s Ningbo), Lee makes extensive use of local gazetteers from the Southern Song and the Yuan dynasties, and the abundant literary collections that still survive from this area, including some 280 epitaphs written for Mingzhou people of the time.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

List of Maps and Figures

Index

Investing Japan: Foreign Capital, Monetary Standards, and Economic Development, 1859-2011
S. J. Bytheway, Investing Japan: Foreign Capital, Monetary Standards, and Economic Development, 1859-2011. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2014. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

Investing Japan demonstrates that foreign investment is a vital and misunderstood aspect of Japan’s modern economic development. The drive to become a modern industrial power from the 1860s to the 1930s necessitated the adoption and internalization of foreign knowledge. This goal could only be achieved by working within the overarching financial and technological frameworks of Western capitalism. Foreign borrowing, supported by the gold standard, was the crux of Japan’s pre-war capital formation. It simultaneously financed domestic industrial development, the conduct of war, and territorial expansion on the Asian continent. Foreign borrowing also financed the establishment of infrastructure in Japan’s largest cities, the nationalization of railways, the interlinked capital-raising programs of “special banks” and parastatal companies, and the rapid electrification of Japanese industry in the 1920s.

Simon James Bytheway investigates the role played by foreign companies in the Japanese experience of modernization while highlighting their identity as key agents in the processes of industrialization and technology transfer. Investing Japan delivers a complex, multifaceted analysis, intersecting with the histories of formal and informal economic imperialism, diplomacy, war financing, domestic and international financial markets, parastatal and multinational enterprise, and Japan’s “internationalization” vis-à-vis the emerging global market.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

List of Tables and Figures

Index

The "Greatest Problem" Religion and State Formation in Meiji Japan
T. E. Maxey, The "Greatest Problem" Religion and State Formation in Meiji Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2014. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

At its inception in 1868, the modern Japanese state pursued policies and created institutions that lacked a coherent conception of religion. Yet the architects of the modern state pursued an explicit “religious settlement” as they set about designing a constitutional order through the 1880s. As a result, many of the cardinal institutions of the state, particularly the imperial institution, eventually were defined in opposition to religion.

Drawing on an assortment of primary sources, including internal government debates, diplomatic negotiations, and the popular press, Trent E. Maxey documents how the novel category of religion came to be seen as the “greatest problem” by the architects of the modern Japanese state. In Meiji Japan, religion designated a cognitive and social pluralism that resisted direct state control. It also provided the modern state with a means to contain, regulate, and neutralize that plurality.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

List of Figures

Index

Illusory Abiding: The Cultural Construction of the Chan Monk Zhongfeng Mingben
N. Heller, Illusory Abiding: The Cultural Construction of the Chan Monk Zhongfeng Mingben. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2014. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

A groundbreaking monograph on Yuan dynasty Buddhism, Illusory Abiding offers a cultural history of Buddhism through a case study of the eminent Chan master Zhongfeng Mingben. Natasha Heller demonstrates that Mingben, and other monks of his stature, developed a range of cultural competencies through which they navigated social and intellectual relationships. They mastered repertoires internal to their tradition—for example, guidelines for monastic life—as well as those that allowed them to interact with broader elite audiences, such as the ability to compose verses on plum blossoms. These cultural exchanges took place within local, religious, and social networks—and at the same time, they comprised some of the very forces that formed these networks in the first place. This monograph contributes to a more robust account of Chinese Buddhism in late imperial China, and demonstrates the importance of situating monks as actors within broader sociocultural fields of practice and exchange.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

List of Illustrations

Glossary-Index

Lost and Found: Recovering Regional Identity in Imperial Japan
H. Shimoda, Lost and Found: Recovering Regional Identity in Imperial Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2014. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

Lost and Found offers a new understanding of modern Japanese regionalism by revealing the tense and volatile historical relationship between region and nation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Aizu, a star-crossed region in present-day Fukushima prefecture, becomes a case study for how one locale was estranged from nationhood for its treasonous blunder in the Meiji Restoration, yet eventually found a useful place within the imperial landscape. Local mythmakers—historians, memoirists, war veterans, and others—harmonized their rebel homeland with imperial Japan so as to affirm, ironically, the ultimate integrity of the Japanese polity. What was once “lost” and then “found” again was not simply Aizu’s sense of place and identity, but the larger value of regionalism in a rapidly modernizing society.

In this study, Hiraku Shimoda suggests that “region,” which is often regarded as a hard, natural place that impedes national unity, is in fact a supple and contingent spatial category that can be made to reinforce nationalist sensibilities just as much as internal diversity.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Map

Index

The Princess Nun: Bunchi, Buddhist Reform, and Gender in Early Edo Japan
G. Cogan, The Princess Nun: Bunchi, Buddhist Reform, and Gender in Early Edo Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2014. Buy this book from Harvard University PressAbstract

The Princess Nun tells the story of Bunchi (1619–1697), daughter of Emperor Go-Mizunoo and founder of Enshōji. Bunchi advocated strict adherence to monastic precepts while devoting herself to the posthumous welfare of her family. As the first full-length biographical study of a premodern Japanese nun, this book incorporates issues of gender and social status into its discussion of Bunchi’s ascetic practice and religious reforms to rewrite the history of Buddhist reform and Tokugawa religion.

Gina Cogan’s approach moves beyond the dichotomy of oppression and liberation that dogs the study of non-Western and premodern women to show how Bunchi’s aristocratic status enabled her to carry out reforms despite her gender, while simultaneously acknowledging how that same status contributed to their conservative nature. Cogan’s analysis of how Bunchi used her prestigious position to further her goals places the book in conversation with other works on powerful religious women, like Hildegard of Bingen and Teresa of Avila. Through its illumination of the relationship between the court and the shogunate and its analysis of the practice of courtly Buddhism from a female perspective, this study brings historical depth and fresh theoretical insight into the role of gender and class in early Edo Buddhism.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

List of Figures

Index

Pages