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J. Bruce Jacobs

The Kaohsiung Incident of 1979-1980 disturbed Taiwan’s dictatorship and ultimately contributed to Taiwan’s democratization. This book analyzes the precursors to the Kaohsiung Incident, the Kaohsiung Incident itself, the following trials and the contributions of these events to Taiwan’s democratization.
After the indictments were issued, the murder of the mother and twin daughters of Lin I-hsiung, one of the defendants, shocked Taiwan and the world. The government accused the author, a well-known scholar of Taiwan, of being involved in the murder case and he was placed under “police protection” for three months. Part 2 of this book is the writer’s memoir of that period.

Contesting the Yellow Dragon

Ethnicity, Religion, and the State in the Sino-Tibetan Borderland, 1379-2009


Xiaofei Kang and Donald S. Sutton

Winner of the 2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award

This book is the first long-term study of the Sino-Tibetan borderland. It traces relationships and mutual influence among Tibetans, Chinese, Hui Muslims, Qiang and others over some 600 years, focusing on the old Chinese garrison city of Songpan and the nearby religious center of Huanglong, or Yellow Dragon. Combining historical research and fieldwork, Xiaofei Kang and Donald Sutton examine the cultural politics of northern Sichuan from early Ming through Communist revolution to the age of global tourism, bringing to light creative local adaptations in culture, ethnicity and religion as successive regimes in Beijing struggle to control and transform this distant frontier.

Antiquarianism, Language, and Medical Philology

From Early Modern to Modern Sino-Japanese Medical Discourses


Edited by Benjamin A. Elman

Based on several research seminars, the authors in this volume provide fresh perspectives of the intellectual and cultural history of East Asian medicine, 1550-1800. They use new sources, make new connections, and re-examine old assumptions, thereby interrogating whether and why European medical modernity is an appropriate standard for delineating the modern fate of East Asia’s medical classics. The unique importance of early modern Europe in the history of modern medicine should not be used to gloss over the equally unique and thus different developments in East Asia. Each paper offers an important contribution to understanding the dynamics of East Asian medicine, namely, the relationship between medical texts, medical practice, and practitioner identity. Furthermore, the essays in this volume are especially valuable for directing our attention to the movement of medical texts between different polities and cultures of early modern East Asia, especially China and Japan. Of particular interest are the interactions, similarities, and differences between medical thinkers across East Asia,
Contributors include: Susan Burns, Benjamin A. Elman, Asaf Goldschmidt, Angela KC Leung, Federico Marcon, MAYANAGI Makoto, Fabien Simonis, Daniel Trambaiolo, and Mathias Vigouroux.


Edited by Benjamin A. Elman

The authors consider new views of the classical versus vernacular dichotomy that are especially central to the new historiography of China and East Asian languages. Based on recent debates initiated by Sheldon Pollock’s findings for South Asia, we examine alternative frameworks for understanding East Asian languages between 1000 and 1919. Using new sources, making new connections, and re-examining old assumptions, we have asked whether and why East and SE Asian languages (e.g., Chinese, Manchu, Mongolian, Jurchen, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese) should be analysed in light of a Eurocentric dichotomy of Latin versus vernaculars. This discussion has encouraged us to explore whether European modernity is an appropriate standard at all for East Asia. Individually and collectively, we have sought to establish linkages between societies without making a priori assumptions about the countries’ internal structures or the genealogy of their connections.
Contributors include: Benjamin Elman; Peter Kornicki; John Phan; Wei Shang; Haruo Shirane; Mårten Söderblom Saarela; Daniel Trambaiolo; Atsuko Ueda; Sixiang Wang.

Ryōsai Kenbo

The Educational Ideal of 'Good Wife, Wise Mother' in Modern Japan


Shizuko Koyama

Winner of the 2013 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award

The famous ryōsai kenbo, or ‘good wife, wise mother’ role of women was not, after all, a traditional Confucian view but a modern construct. In fact, its first appearance in Japan, as Koyama Shizuko points out, was in the latter half of the nineteenth century – due principally to the influence of European ideas about women. Girls at the time were proud to fulfill their new role of contributing to not just the family but to the formation of the state. Koyama’s discovery has transformed how we see modern women’s history in Japan and the similar discoveries that have followed regarding China's ‘wise wife, good mother’ and Korea's ‘wise mother, good wife.’
Previous studies have interpreted ryōsai kenbo thought, which was widely recognized in nationally-sanctioned educational standards, as a ‘backward’, ‘feudal’ or even ‘reactionary’ view of women, and therefore peculiar to girls’ and womens’ education in prewar Japan. As a result, ryōsai kenbo thought was seen to be completely distinct from postwar views of women in Japan and Western Europe that have also emphasized the role of women as wives and mothers.
Here, however, ryōsai kenbo thought is examined as a mode of thought inseparable from such issues as the formation of the modern citizen-state and the formation of the ‘modern family.’ Instead of reducing it to a specific, pre-World War II Japanese ideal of womanhood, Koyama argues that ryōsai kenbo thought is, in fact, a modern mode of thought related to, and having much in common with, views of the qualities desirable in a woman both in postwar Japanese society, as well as in modern Western nations and beyond.