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Barak Kushner

Ramen, Japan’s noodle soup, is a microcosm of Japan and its historical relations with China. The long evolution of ramen helps us enter the history of cuisine in Japan, charting how food and politics combined as a force within Sino-Japan relations. Cuisine in East Asia plays a significant political role, at times also philosophical, economic, and social. Ramen is a symbol of the relationship between the two major forces in East Asia – what started as a Chinese food product ended up almost 1,000 years later as the emblem of modern Japanese cuisine. This book explains that history – from myths about food in ancient East Asia to the transfer of medieval food technology to Japan, to today’s ramen “popular culture.”

Japan in Decline

Fact or Fiction?

Edited by Purnendra Jain and Brad Williams

To what extent is Japan in decline? In recent years popular writings, media commentaries and analysts often take the view that the rise of Japan is long since over and that the world's second largest economy is not just treading water but that society and the economy are failing, with potential catastrophic outcomes. But is this really the case? Could it be that once again Japan is being misread and misinterpreted? Are there not both obvious and less obvious signs of renewal and recovery? And how might the new DPJ-led government reform Japan? Based on papers given at a major international conference held at the University of Adelaide in November 2009, this thesis is examined here by a group of the world's leading specialists in their fields, addressing many of the key issues facing Japan today, from the economy and environment, to education, social policy, politics, internationalization, diplomacy, security. This volume will have wide-ranging interdisciplinary relevance for students and specialists alike.

Nagasaki

The British Experience, 1854-1945

Brian Burke-Gaffney

Long overdue, this important first full length account in English of the history of Japan’s first foreign settlement, which for centuries was the country’s only ‘front door’to the outside world, will be widely welcomed. Following the opening of Japan’s ports in 1859, Nagasaki rapidly became one of Japan’s leading industrial centres, which included shipbuilding, but, other than the history surrounding the atomic bombing of August 1945, in the post-war period, it has been largely overshadowed by interest in the Meiji settlements of Kobe and Yokohama. Fully illustrated, the value of the work is reinforced by additional key data to be found in the appendices, including the 1866 and 1898 Directories of Foreign Residents, the 1872 List of Property being Rented, a List of Existing Cultural Assets of the Former Nagasaki Foreign Settlement and a chronology of ‘Madame Butterfly and Nagasaki’.

Kenji Matsuo

This first major study in English on Japanese Buddhism by one of Japan’s most distinguished scholars in the field of Religious Studies is to be widely welcomed.The main focus of the work is on the tradition of the monk ( o-bo-san) as the main agent of Buddhism, together with the historical processes by which monks have developed Japanese Buddhism as it appears in the present day.

(Bat-Erdene Batbayar) Baabar

Edited by C. Kaplonski

This is the first history of Mongolia available in English which benefits from access to historic data that only became available following the collapse of the socialist regime in 1990. Accordingly, it highlights the role of international politics, especially the former Soviet Union, Russia, China and Japan, in the shaping of modern Mongolia’s history. The volume actually comprises three ‘books’. Book One, entitled 'The Steppe Warriors', offers a history of Mongolia up to the 1911 revolution; Book Two, entitled ‘Incarnations and Revolutionaries’ addresses political developments in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (1920s); Book Three, entitled ‘A Puppet Republic’ provides an in-depth analysis of the 1920s and 30s, concluding with the 1939 Haslhyn Gol Incident, The Second World War, the Post-war Map of Asia and the Fate of Mongolia’s Independence.

The End of Nomadism?

Society, State and the Environment in Inner Asia

Caroline Humphrey and David Sneath

The vast steppe region of Inner Asia is historically dominated by Mongol culture, Buddhist-shamanist religion and an economy based on mobile pastoralism. Now, as its constituent states – China, Russia and Mongolia – adapt to market conditions, this long-standing cultural economic zone is seen to be facing more radical change than at any previous time in its past.

Culture and Environment in Inner Asia

Volume 2: Society and Culture

Edited by Caroline Humphrey and David Sneath

Complementing The Pastoral Economy and the Environment, this volume examines the great social change experienced throughout the region following the demise of the Soviet Union, the advent of democracy in Russia and the economic reforms in China. Its contents include an examination of social attitudes regarding the environment, education, employment and unemployment, the effect of privatization policies, women’s work, and traditional pastoral practice and relationship with the environment of the Oirat Mongols.