The article demonstrates how early Korean Americans actively utilized the publication of books and journals in Korean vernacular language as a vehicle to educate next generation for the nation’s self-reliance, to strengthen national power among Koreans for independence movement, and to preserve national spirit during Japanese occupation in early 20th century.
Dr Peter Marie Suski was born in Japan but migrated to the United States in 1898. He practiced as a physician in southern California but had a lifelong interest in the languages of East Asia and put together a valuable collection of books, which was donated to the University of Southern California in 1962.
Revealing a little-known treasure at USC, this paper traces Suski’s life and book collecting through his autobiography and correspondence, and examines the subject coverage, research value and rarity of his collection of Chinese rare books. Several rare and special editions of Chinese rare book titles are highlighted in the paper, such as a 1618 manuscript copy of Shimo Juanhua 石墨鐫華, a 1748 palace edition of Yuanjian Leihan 淵鑑類函, and an 1825 first impression of Zijian 字鑑, all of which are featured in the USC Libraries online exhibit “Eastern Culture Nucleus: Chinese Rare Books in the USC Libraries (https://scalar.usc.edu/works/chinese-rare-books/index).”
Both ‘sign’ and ‘symbol’ are words with a long and polysemic history in Western culture. Moreover, the 120-year history of the modern semiotics movement has failed to provide a highly needed definition of these most basic terms, thus resulting in ambiguity of the definition of the discipline itself. This paper proposes defining ‘sign/symbol’ as ‘a sensuous entity to be regarded as carrying meaning’. Furthermore, the terminological chaos that arises between ‘sign’ and ‘symbol’, which originated in Western languages, has caused chaos for translators in selecting the appropriate Chinese term from the options Fuhao and Xiangzheng, since a phonetic rendition is hardly possible in Chinese. On this basis, the paper attempts to define ‘semiotics’ as ‘the formal study of meaning-making’. In this understanding, semiotics covers not only signification but also communication and interpretation of meaning.
Further Adventures on the Journey to the West (Xiyou bu, 1641) is a quintessential literati novella that has inspired critical investigations in disciplines such as formal realism, structuralist narratology, psychological realism, stream-of-consciousness, and dream interpretation. This paper examines how the novella, in the form of a printed book, facilitated a reading experience of the text as a Buddhist allegory for readers’ self-interrogation, recognition, and alteration. Spectatorship plays a key role in readers’ experience of literature in its cognitive capacity: if Monkey as an allegory of the mind is the subject enacted by the text constantly positioned as a spectator of his own dreamscape, the subject enacted by the reader observes Monkey’s journey as a performative terrain sustained by historical and social imaginaries. In addition, illustrations function as a paratextual device that forges new image-text relationships to transcend the linear narrative, thereby altering one’s textual knowledge as part of the reading experience. By investigating the act of seeing that transpires on three levels, this study hopes to gain insight on a gnostic experience between seventeenth-century readers and the xiaoshuo narrative as literary and material artifact.
This article presents a few unpublished notes, included in two different Jesuit letters, which provide new details about the Jesuit Mission Press in late sixteenth-century Japan. Information about the problems that the Jesuits faced in the internal administration of the printing press and the tools that they employed to run it can be found in these notes, which may be useful for those interested in the Jesuit Mission Press, and in general, in the history of book-production in Japan.