In Chinese Character Manipulation in Literature and Divination, Anne Schmiedl analyses the little-studied method of Chinese character manipulation as found in imperial sources. Focusing on one of the most famous and important works on this subject, the Zichu by Zhou Lianggong (1612–1672), Schmiedl traces and discusses the historical development and linguistic properties of this method. This book represents the first thorough study of the Zichu and the reader is invited to explore how, on the one hand, the educated elite leveraged character manipulation as a literary play form. On the other hand, as detailed exhaustively by Schmiedl, practitioners of divination also used and altered the visual, phonetic, and semantic structure of Chinese characters to gain insights into events and objects in the material world.
The Zichu by Zhou Lianggong (1612–1672)
Anne Kathrin Schmiedl
Gender and Representation in Late Imperial and Republican China
This book explores the mutual constitutions of visuality and empire from the perspective of gender, probing how the lives of China’s ethnic minorities at the southwest frontiers were translated into images. Two sets of visual materials make up its core sources: the Miao album, a genre of ethnographic illustration depicting the daily lives of non-Han peoples in late imperial China, and the ethnographic photographs found in popular Republican-era periodicals. It highlights gender ideals within images and develops a set of “visual grammar” of depicting the non-Han. Casting new light on a spectrum of gendered themes, including femininity, masculinity, sexuality, love, body and clothing, the book examines how the power constructed through gender helped to define, order, popularise, celebrate and imagine possessions of empire.
In Censorship in Colonial Indonesia, 1901–1942 Nobuto Yamamoto examines the institutionalization of censorship and its symbiosis with print culture in the Netherlands Indies. Born from the liberal desire to promote the well-being of the colonial population, censorship was not practiced exclusively in repressive ways but manifested in constructive policies and stimuli, among which was the cultivation of the “native press” under state patronage. Censorship in the Indies oscillated between liberal impulse and the intrinsic insecurity of a colonial state in the era of nationalism and democratic governance. It proved unpredictable in terms of outcomes, at times being co-opted by resourceful activists and journalists, and susceptible to international politics as it transformed during the Sino-Japanese war of the 1930s.
The World’s Oldest Encyclopaedia of Technologies
Edited by Zengjian Guan and Konrad Herrmann
In Kao Gong Ji: The World’s Oldest Encyclopaedia of Technologies, Guan Zengjian and Konrad Herrmann offer an English translation and commentary of the first technological encyclopaedia in China. This work came into being around the 5th century C.E. and contains descriptions of thirty technologies used at the time. Most prominent are bronze casting, the manufacture of carriages and weapons, a metrological standard, the making of musical instruments, and the planning of cities. The technologies, including the manufacturing process and quality assurance, are based on standardization and modularization. In several commentaries, the editors show to which degree the descriptions of Kao Gong Ji correspond to archaeological findings.
Networking Businesses and Formation of Regional Economy
Edited by Chi-cheung Choi, Takashi Oishi and Tomoko Shiroyama
In Chinese and Indian Merchants in Modern Asia, the contributors put together an important and lucid study of overseas Chinese and Indian merchants and their impacts on the emerging global economy from the nineteenth to twentieth centuries. In contrast to the conventional focus on the merchants’ networks per se, the chapters of this volume uncover their “networking,” the process in which they constructed and utilized linkages based on the shared concepts such as caste, kin alliances, and religion. By analyzing the interactions between the merchants and the European and Japanese empires, along with Asian states, this volume provides the critical insights into the configuration of the regional economic order in the past and at present.