Modernity and Revolution in Eastern Asia: Chinese Socialism in Regional Perspective (東亞的現代性和革命: 區域觀點下的中國社會主義)

in Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives
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The article discusses possibilities offered by a regional perspective for a more comprehensive understanding of the rise and fall of socialism in Eastern Asia. It suggests that a regional perspective brings into view interactions among radicals that are absent from or marginal to nationally based accounts. A regional approach requires attention to region-formation itself as a problem. Regions are not just physical entities that are given but are themselves subject to ongoing construction and reconstruction. The discussion elaborates on this question by way of conclusion, and suggests that the anthropological concept of “ecumene” may serve to articulate a conception of the region that recognizes cultural commonalities while also allowing recognition of differences. Radical interactions in Eastern Asia were part of the modern constructions of an Eastern Asian region, which in the usage here encompasses both the East and Southeast Asian regions of post-World War ii geopolitical conceptions of the area, that also have served as the basis for area studies divisions of labor since then. (This article is in English.)





By the 1920s, when reaction in Japan led increasingly to the suppression of radical activity, Shanghai and Guangzhou would seem to have replaced Tokyo as a gathering place for radicals. See the discussion of anarchism and Marxism below.


John Crump, Hatta Shuzo and Pure Anarchism in Interwar Japan (N.Y.: St. Martin's Press, 1993), 30.


Dongyoun Hwang, “Beyond Independence: The Korean Anarchist Press in China and Japan inthe 1920s and 1930s,” Asian Studies Review 31, (1) (March 2007), 3. According to Hwang, Yu, associated with a terror oriented group of Korean anarchists, was close to Bajin, and taught for a while in the 1920s in the Lida College in Shanghai, which offered a home to anarchists. Sim, who was also close to Bajin, worked for a while for the Guofeng ribao (National Customs Daily) in Shanghai. He had a brother, Sim Geukchu (Shen Keqiu in Chinese) who also participated in these activities. The two also worked closely with Japanese anarchists, surnamed Sano and Matsumoto, who were also active in Shanghai during these years. Personal communication.


Arif Dirlik, “Timespace, Social Space, and the Question of Chinese Culture,” Monumenta Sericaliv (2006): 417.


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