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The book investigates China’s relations to the outside world between ca. 100 BCE and 1800 AD. In contrast to most histories of the Silk Roads, the focus of this book clearly lies on the maritime Silk Road and on the period between Tang and high Qing, selecting aspects that have so far been neglected in research on the history of China’s relations with the outside world. The author examines, for example, the power alliance between the Tang and the Arabs during Tang times, the specific role of fanbing 蕃兵 (frontier tribal troops) during Song times, the interrelationship between maritime commerce, military expansion, and environmental factors during the Yuan, the question of whether or not early Ming China can be considered a (proto-)colonialist country, the role force and violence played during the Zheng He expeditions, and what role of the Asia-Pacific world played for late Ming and early Qing rulers.
Editors: Andrew Hall and Leighanne Yuh
Education, the production of knowledge, identity formation, and ideological hegemony are inextricably linked in early modern and modern Korea. This study examines the production and consumption of knowledge by a multitude of actors and across languages, texts, and disciplines to analyze the formulation, contestation, and negotiation of knowledge. The production and dissemination of knowledge become sites for contestation and struggle—sometimes overlapping, at other times competing—resulting in a shift from a focus on state power and its control over knowledge and discourse to an analysis of local processes of knowledge production and the roles local actors play in them. Contributors are Daniel Pieper, W. Scott Wells, Yong-Jin Hahn, Furukawa Noriko, Lim Sang Seok, Kokubu Mari, Mark Caprio, Deborah Solomon, and Yoonmi Lee.
Author: Joshua Frydman
The introduction of writing enables new forms of literature, but these can be invisible in works that survive as manuscripts. Through looking at inscriptions of poetry on garbage and as graffiti, we can glimpse how literature spread along with writing.
This study uses these lesser-studied sources, including inscriptions on pottery, architecture, and especially wooden tablets known as mokkan, to uncover how poetry, and literature more broadly, was used, shared and thrown away in early Japan. Through looking at these disposable and informal sources, we explore the development of early Japanese literature, and even propose parallels to similar developments in other societies across space and time.
Editor / Translator: Stuart Robson
Contributor: Hadi Sidomulyo
Javanese, a major language of Southeast Asia, possesses a little-known literature, occurring in various phases, Old, Middle and Modern. This publication presents a remarkable example, from the poetical literature of Middle Javanese, in an edited text with English translation and an extensive commentary. The aim is to acquaint a wider audience with this literature, in the hope of drawing attention to its fascinating qualities. Set principally in the Singhasari area of East Java, the narrative follows the journey of the lovers, Pañji Margasmara and Ken Candrasari, offering a glimpse of the beauty of the Javanese landscape in the 15th century. The cultural, historical and archaeological details preserved in the text help to shed light on the closing years of Majapahit, a largely unexplored period in Javanese history, before the age of Islam.
Author: Di Luo
Beyond Citizenship focuses on the role of literacy in building a modern nation-state by examining the government provision of adult literacy training in early twentieth-century China. Based on untapped archives and diaries, Di Luo uncovers people’s strategic use of literacy and illiteracy in social interactions and explores the impact of daily experiences on the expansion of state power. Highlighting interpersonal and intergroup relations, Beyond Citizenship suggests a new methodology of studying literacy which foregrounds the agentive role of historical actors and so moves away from a more traditional approach that treats literacy itself as the key factor enabling social change.
China has a long and complex history of interactions with the world around it. One of the most successful imports—arguably the most successful before modern times and the impact of the West—is Buddhism, which, since the first centuries of the Common Era, has spread into almost every aspect of Chinese life, thought and practice.
Erik Zürcher was one of the most important scholars to study the history of Buddhism in China, and the ways in which Buddhism in China gradually became Chinese Buddhism. More than half a century after the publication of Zürcher's landmark The Buddhist Conquest of China, we now have a collection of essays from the top contemporary specialists exploring aspects of the legacy of Zürcher's investigations, bringing forward new evidence, new ideas and reconsiderations of old theories to present an up-to-date and exciting expansion and revision of what was arguably the single most influential contribution to date on the history of Chinese Buddhism. Contributors are Tim Barrett, Stephen R. Bokenkamp, Funayama Toru, Barend ter Haar, Liu Shufen, Minku Kim, Jan Nattier, Antonello Palumbo, and Nicolas Standaert.
Volume Editors: Walter Pohl and Veronika Wieser
This book compares the ways in which new powers arose in the shadows of the Roman Empire and its Byzantine and Carolingian successors, of Iran, the Caliphate and China in the first millennium CE. These new powers were often established by external military elites who had served the empire. They remained in an uneasy balance with the remaining empire, could eventually replace it, or be drawn into the imperial sphere again. Some relied on dynastic legitimacy, others on ethnic identification, while most of them sought imperial legitimation. Across Eurasia, their dynamic was similar in many respects; why were the outcomes so different?
Contributors are Alexander Beihammer, Maaike van Berkel, Francesco Borri, Andrew Chittick, Michael R. Drompp, Stefan Esders, Ildar Garipzanov, Jürgen Paul, Walter Pohl, Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Helmut Reimitz, Jonathan Shepard, Q. Edward Wang, Veronika Wieser, and Ian N. Wood.
Military History and Ethnicity. Volume 1: The Twenty-Eight Yuntai Generals of the Eastern Han
Author: Fan Ye
Editor / Translator: Shu-hui Wu
Fan Ye’s Book of Later Han (Houhanshu) is enormously important as China’s most complete work on Eastern Han history in biographical form. For the first time in any Western language, the author introduces Fan Ye’s magnificent writings in lively translation with rich annotation and informative and insightful commentary.
This first volume covers its early military history and highlights the lives and achievements of the twenty-eight generals who helped Emperor Guangwu unify China and establish the Eastern Han dynasty (Houhanshu, 15-22).
Also included are images of these twenty-eight founding fathers, maps, and information related to early Eastern Han systems.