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Rethinking Networks of Exchange and Material Culture
Silk Road studies has often treated material artifacts and manuscripts separately. This interdisciplinary volume expands the scope of transcultural transmission, questions what constituted a “book,” and explores networks of circulation shared by material artifacts and manuscripts. Featuring new research in English by international scholars in Buddhist studies, art history, and literary studies, the essays in Beyond the Silk and Book Roads chart new and exciting directions in Silk Road studies.
Contributors are: Ge Jiyong, George A. Keyworth, Ding Li, Ryan Richard Overbey, Hao Chunwen, Wu Shaowei, Liu Yi, Lan Wu, Sha Wutian, Michelle C. Wang, and Stephen Roddy.
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Sui-Wai Cheung’s study of the institutional history of copper coins in the Ming dynasty reveals how emperors and statesmen perceived and used the copper coins at their disposal. In this process, he uncovers the reality of the Sons of Heaven, showing that although Ming emperors seemed to have unlimited power, they could not afford the upkeep on their palace.

In this revealing history of Ming China, Cheung argues that especially after the breakdown of the household registration system, the aim of the Ming coinage system was to create a new source of income in order to maintain the emperor's domain in Beijing.
Editor:
Exploring an array of captivating topics, from hybridized Buddhist music to AI singers, this book introduces Japanese music in the modern era. The twenty-five chapters show how cultural change from the late nineteenth century to the present day has had a profound impact on the Japanese musical landscape, including the recontextualization and transformation of traditional genres, and the widespread adoption of Western musical practices ranging from classical music to hip hop.
The contributors offer representative case studies within the themes of Foundations, Heritage, Institutions, and Hybridities, examining both musical styles that originated in earlier times and distinctly localized or Japanized musical forms.
Zuozhuan (Zuo Tradition) is the foundational text of Chinese historiography and the largest text from preimperial China. For two millennia, its immense complexity has given rise to countless controversies, with scholars debating its nature, time of composition, and historical reliability.
In the present volume—the first of its kind in any Western language—leading scholars of ancient China, Greece, and Rome approach Zuozhuan from multi-faceted perspectives to examine in detail Zuozhuan’s sources, narrative patterns, and meta-narrative devices; analyze the text in dialogue with other ancient Chinese works; and open it to the comparative study with ancient Greek and Roman historiography.
Contributors are: Chen Minzhen, Stephen Durrant, Joachim Gentz, Martin Kern, Wai-yee Li, Nino Luraghi, Ellen O’Gorman, Yuri Pines, David Schaberg, and Kai Vogelsang.
Transnational Approaches to Modern Japan and the Wider World
The 'Opening of Japan' has been central to the retelling of Japan's modern history. Reopening the Opening of Japan fundamentally reconsiders what that historical moment entailed. What did intensified connections between Japan and the world mean both inside and outside of the country, and what does this tell us about Japan's historical significance on a global scale? The chapters excavate a rich array of surprising cross-border connections, from the global trade in mummified mermaids to the Japanese-Russian intellectual links underpinning the work of Akira Kurosawa.
Re-thinking connectivity through non-state transnational perspectives, the book guides readers to new ways of doing and writing history.
Contributors are: Lewis Bremner, Natalia Doan, Manimporok Dotulong, Maki Fukuoka, Eiko Honda, Sho Konishi, Mateja Kovacic, Joel Littler, Chinami Oka, Yu Sakai, Olga Solovieva, and Warren Stanislaus.
Through close examination of a set of educational works discovered among the Dunhuang manuscripts, this book presents new insights into the literary training undertaken by the elite of medieval China. In their contents and structures, these works tell us what parts of the literary and cultural inheritance the elite were expected to learn and how they learned them.
The material aspects of these manuscripts—including handwriting, copying errors, and paratextual additions—show how students in Dunhuang used and reproduced them. What emerges is a picture of a literary education that is more diverse in its sources, and also more haphazard, than previously imagined.
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Who was Yang Tinghe? Despite being one of Ming China’s most eminent officials, Yang and his career have long eluded scholarly study in the West.
In this volume, Aaron Throness engages a trove of untapped Ming sources and secondary scholarship to recount Yang Tinghe’s political life, and in unprecedented detail. Throness explores how Yang, a pragmatic politician and conservative Confucian, rose through the bureaucracy and responded to dire threats to the Ming court from within and without. He also traces Yang’s meteoric rise to power, the clashes that occasioned his downfall, and his apotheosis as dynastic savior. Through Yang Tinghe’s successes, struggles, and failures this political biography offers a critical appraisal of both the man and his times.