Literary Sinitic and East Asia

A Cultural Sphere of Vernacular Reading


Editor / Translator:
In Literary Sinitic and East Asia: A Cultural Sphere of Vernacular Reading, Professor Kin Bunkyō surveys the history of reading technologies referred to as kundoku 訓讀 in Japanese, hundok in Korean and xundu in Mandarin. Rendered by the translators as ‘vernacular reading’, these technologies were used to read Literary Sinitic through and into a wide variety of vernacular languages across diverse premodern East Asian civilizations and literary cultures. The book’s editor, Ross King, prefaces the translation with an essay comparing East Asian traditions of ‘vernacular reading’ with typologically similar reading technologies in the Ancient Near East and calls for a shift in research focus from writing to reading, and from ‘heterography’ to ‘heterolexia’.
Translators are Marjorie Burge, Mina Hattori, Ross King, Alexey Lushchenko, and Si Nae Park.

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Kin Bunkyō (Professor emeritus, Kyoto University) is a zainichi Korean scholar who publishes widely in Korean, Japanese, and Chinese on premodern Literary Sinitic literary culture in general, and on Yuan dynasty drama in particular.
Ross King (Professor of Korean, Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia) publishes widely on Korean historical linguistics and dialectology, as well as on comparative questions of language and writing in the Sinographic Cosmopolis.
Editors’ Preface
 Vernacular Reading in the Sinographic Cosmopolis and Beyond
Author’s Preface to the English Edition
List of Figures
Acronyms and Abbreviations

 1 Buying Tickets at the Station
 2 A Ticket Gate
 3 Sinographic Expressions in East Asia
 4 “Vernacular Reading”: The Kundoku Phenomenon in the Sinographic Cultural Sphere

1 Reading Literary Sinitic—kundoku “Vernacular Reading” in Japan
 1 What Is Kundoku?
 2 Kundoku and Chinese Translations of Buddhist Sutras
 3 The Ideological Context of kundoku
 4 The Initial Stage of Kundoku: From the Early Nara to the Mid-Heian Periods
 5 Kundoku in the Period of Maturity: From the Mid-Heian to Insei Periods (ca. 10th to 12th Centuries CE)
 6 New Developments in Kundoku: From the Kamakura to Early Modern Periods
 7 Kundoku since the Meiji Period

2 Vernacular Reading in East Asia
 1 Hundok on the Korean Peninsula
 2 Hundok in Silla and Kokunten in Japan
 3 Ideological Background of hundok on the Korean Peninsula
 4 Vernacular Reading Phenomena on the Periphery of China
 5 Vernacular Reading Phenomena in China

3 Writing in Literary Sinitic: The Diverse World of Literary Sinitic in East Asia
 1 The World of Poetry in East Asia
 2 The Diversity of Literary Sinitic

4 Concluding Thoughts: The East Asian Literary Sinitic Cultural Sphere
 1 A Diverse Range of Ways to Pronounce Sinographs
 2 A Diverse Range of Ways to Read Literary Sinitic
 3 A Diverse Range of Literary Sinitic Inscriptional Styles
 4 Literary Sinitic Inscriptional Style and Social Class
 5 East Asian Literary Sinitic Cultural Sphere

5 Epilogue
Index of Named Individuals
Index of Texts Cited
Index and Glossary of Terms
All interested in the interplay between sinographic texts and local vernaculars in East Asia, and in the history of vernacular reading of Literary Sinitic texts across the premodern Sinographic Cosmopolis.
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