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Reform, Utopia and Global Teleology in Kang Youwei's Datong Shu
In Confucian Concord, Federico Brusadelli offers an intellectual analysis of the Datong Shu. Written by Kang Youwei (1858-1927) and conceived as his most esoteric and comprehensive legacy to posterity, the book was eventually published only posthumously, in 1935, being “too advanced for the times” in the author’s own opinion.

Connecting the book to the author’s intellectual biography and framing it within the intellectual and political debate of the time, Brusadelli investigates the conceptual and philosophical implications of Kang’s ‘global prophecy’, showing how an apparently ‘utopian’ and ‘escapist’ piece of literature was actually an attempt to save (at least ideally) the imperial political order, updating the traditional Confucian universalism to a new, ‘modern’ world.
In An Chunggŭn: His Life and Thought in his own Words, Jieun Han and Franklin Rausch provide a complete translation of all of An’s writings and excerpts from his trial and appeal. Though An is most famous for killing Itō Hirobumi, the contents of this volume show that there was much more to him than that. For instance, far from being anti-Japanese, An thought deeply about how China, Japan, and Korea could work together to build a regional peace that would eventually spread throughout the world. Now, for the first time, all of An’s extant writings have been assembled together into an English translation that includes annotations and an introduction that places An and his works in their historical context.
This translation was funded by the Institute of Korean Studies, Yonsei University.
The Eurasian Heartland, the Silk Roads and Food
Crossroads of Cuisine provides a history of foods, and foodways in terms of exchanges taking place in Central Asia and in surrounding areas such as China, Korea or Iran during the last 5000 years, stressing the manner in which East and West, West and East grew together through food. It provides a discussion of geographical foundations, and an interlocking historical and cultural overview going down to the present day, with a comparative country by country survey of foods and recipes. An ethnographic photo essay embracing all parts of the book binds it all together, and helps make topics discussed vivid and approachable. The book is important for explaining key relationships that have not always been made clear in past scholarship.
Reference Grammar, with Textual Selections
The Omoro Sōshi (1531–1623) is an indispensable resource for historical linguistic comparison of Old Okinawan with other Ryukyuan languages and Old Japanese. Leon A Serafim and Rumiko Shinzato offer a reference grammar, including detailed phonological analyses, of the otherwise opaque and dense poetic/religious language of the Omoro Sōshi.

Meshing Western linguistic insight with existing literary/linguistic work in Ryukyuan studies, and incorporating their own research on Modern Okinawan, the authors offer a grammar and phonology of the Omoro language, with selected (excerpts of) songs grammatically analyzed, phonologically reconstructed, translated, and annotated.
Women, Media, and Colonial Modernity in the Interwar Years
The East Asian Modern Girl reports the long-neglected experiences of modern women in East Asia during the interwar period. The edited volume includes original studies on the modern girl in Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria, Japan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, which reveal differentiated forms of colonial modernity, influences of global media and the struggles of women at the time. The advent of the East Asian modern girl is particularly meaningful for it signifies a separation from traditional Confucian influences and progression toward global media and capitalism, which involves high political and economic tension between the East and West. This book presents geo-historical investigations on the multi-force triggered phenomenon and how it eventually contributed to greater post-war transformations.
This book is the first comprehensive introduction to the Tangut language and culture. Five of the fiſteen chapters survey the history of Western Xia and the evolution of Tangut Studies, including new advancements in the field, such as research on the recently decoded Tangut cursive writings found in Khara-Khoto documents. The other ten chapters provide an introduction to the Tangut language: its origins, script, characters, grammars, translations, textual and contextual readings. In this synthesis of historical narratives and linguistic analysis, the renowned Tangutologist Shi Jinbo offers a guided access to the mysterious civilisation of the ‘Great State White and High’ to both a specialized and a general audience.
Chinese Visions of Progress, 1895 to 1949 offers a panoramic view of reflections on progress in modern China. Since the turn of the twentieth century, the discourses on progress shape Chinese understandings of modernity and its pitfalls. As this in-depth study shows, these discourses play a pivotal role in the fields of politics, society, culture, as well as philosophy, history, and literature. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that the Chinese ideas of progress, their often highly optimistic implications, but also the criticism of modernity they offered, opened the gateway for reflections on China’s past, its position in the present world, and its future course.
Historical and Comparative Perspectives
The Transnational Cult of Mount Wutai explores the pan-East Asian significance of sacred Mount Wutai from the Northern Dynasties to the present day. Offering novel readings of comparatively familiar visual and textual sources and, in many cases, examining unstudied or understudied noncanonical materials, the papers collected here illuminate the roles that both local actors and individuals dwelling far beyond Mount Wutai’s borders have played in its making and remaking as a holy place for more than fifteen hundred years. The work aims to contribute to our understanding of the ways that sacred geography is made and remade in new places and times.
The fifteen studies presented in Confucian Academies in East Asia offer insight into the history and legacy of these unique institutions of knowledge and education. The contributions analyze origins, spread and development of Confucian academies across China, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan from multiple perspectives. This edited volume is one of the first attempts to understand Confucian academies as a complex transnational, intellectual, and cultural phenomena that played an essential role in various areas of East Asian education, philosophy, religious practice, local economy, print industry, and even archery. The broad chronological range of essays allows it to demonstrate the role of Confucian academies as highly adaptable and active agents of cultural and intellectual change since the eighth century until today. An indispensable handbook for studies of Confucian culture and institutions since the eighth century until the present.

Contributors are: Chien Iching, Chung Soon-woo, Deng Hongbo, Martin Gehlmann, Vladimír Glomb, Lan Jun, Lee Byoung-Hoon, Eun-Jeung Lee, Thomas H.C. Lee, Margaret Dorothea Mehl, Steven B. Miles, Hoyt Cleveland Tillman, Nguyễn Tuấn-Cường, Linda Walton and Minamizawa Yoshihiko.


It is almost impossible for even a modern Chinese to imagine that the archery range was an integral part of Chinese academy compounds, and was promoted as a part of its Confucian education. It is true that in Confucius’s classical teaching, archery was a part of the so-called six arts that constituted the education of a gentleman, but it’s becoming a part of government schools’ educational curriculum appeared quite late, only in the Song times. Before that, archery was taught only in military camps, and at most as a part of civil rituals, taking place mainly for ceremonial purposes, such as “Village Libation Ceremonies.” Systematic and wholesale rethinking on the purpose and curriculum of education in the 11th to 13th centuries, during which both government and privately or family organized schools began to appear in large numbers, led to significant consequences. Debates on the relationship of schools and the imperial examination system that was also rising in importance, and the rise and intensified activity of the so-called private academies, resulted in a rethinking on how Confucian ideals could be implemented both within and without the public/government educational sphere, archery becoming part of this rethinking. The re-emergence of Confucian thinking resulted in the idea of “Confucian-military generals,” in that civil officials were expected to involve themselves in military policing and martial activities, and that military officials should receive sufficient Confucian education to enable them to help realize Confucian ideals of a stable and harmonious civil order. Several famous Song thinkers were singled out as quintessential “Confucian generals”—Fan Zhongyan most prominently. It grew into a tradition in that many thinkers in later times were also praised for their military aptitude. Actually, the conception was not new, but it became a widely embraced conception in the Song times, and it was at this time that “archery ranges” (shepu 射圃) first appeared notably in school compounds. The academies also gradually caught up. Although there is no evidence that Song academies already had archery ranges, the practice had definitely begun to appear in various government school compounds or government offices. Obviously, this reflected at least a preliminary or fledgling realization again of archery as education or rite. By the Mongol Yuan times, the building of archery ranges had become widespread, and references to academies with archery ranges began to appear in the early Ming. By the mid-Ming times, the academies were almost uniformly equipped with them. Many influential scholars wrote essays extolling their importance and even expounded on their educational values, advocating their construction. Archery ranges continued to be built in academies, especially after the academies had become largely an integral part of government schools and preparatory institutions of the imperial examinations. The rise of archery ranges in Chinese academy education was not intended to make academies realize the ideal of complete education for the upbringing of a gentleman (junzi 君子)—one who has a balanced life in both mind and body (originally conceived to be similar to an uomo universale)—but rather, was designed to help cement a society of uniformity, managed in an orderly way according to moral ideologies. Indeed, the archery range’s perpetuation depended ironically on its function as a site where members of government schools (of which many academies had evolved into) gathered for ritualistic performances and, perhaps even more often, to listen to imperial decrees and prescripts. The existence and continuation of the ranges thus reflected perfectly the Chinese penchant for “squares”—the peculiar Chinese equivalent of “public spaces.”

In: Confucian Academies in East Asia