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The Transnational Cult of Mount Wutai

Historical and Comparative Perspectives

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Edited by Susan Andrews, Jinhua Chen and Kuan Guang

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 Language of the Old-Okinawan Omoro Sōshi

Reference Grammar, with Textual Selections

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Leon A. Serafim and Rumiko Shinzato

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.

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Jinbo Shi

This book is the first comprehensive introduction to the Tangut script and grammar, materials and manuscripts, and the historiography of Western Xia in any language. Five of the fifteen chapters survey the history of the Tangut Empire, the historiography of Tangut Studies, as well as new advancements in the field, notably research on the recently decoded Tangut cursive writings found in Khara-Khoto social, economic and military documents. The other ten chapters formally introduce the Tangut language: its linguistic origins, characters, grammars, translations, textual and contextual readings. In this synthesis of historical narratives and linguistic analysis, renowned Tangutologist Shi Jinbo offers specialists and general audience alike a guided access to the mysterious civilisation of the ‘Great State White and High’.

Culture in Common

Wang Yiting’s Art of Exchange with Japan

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Walter Davis

Culture in Common explores the transnational history of traditionalist art in modern East Asia through a contextualist account of a Chinese artist’s engagement with Japan. Crossing national and disciplinary divides, Walter Davis illuminates how Wang Yiting (1867-1938) mediated Sino-Japanese cooperation in fields to which he contributed importantly—art, business, philanthropy, and religion—adapting traditional forms of expression to projects and concerns of a modern, international milieu.

Grounded in the Japanese archive, Culture in Common expands our understanding of Wang Yiting’s oeuvre and artistic practices, reveals origins, accomplishments, promises, and limitations of the cross-cultural exchanges he espoused in an era of increasing international tensions, and draws attention to the historical importance and shifting historiographical fortunes of twentieth-century Sino-Japanese visual culture.

Philippe Régnier and Pietro P. Masina

Gregory Coutaz

Abstract

The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA’s) engagement in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) enables China to reassure the international community and change perceptions of its global intentions. Natural disasters are expected to increase worldwide, requiring greater PLA involvement in international HA/DR missions. However, maximising the public relations benefits of participating in such missions will require leadership to avoid short-term irritations and political speculation that often accompany China’s foreign intervention, hampering Beijing’s soft-power initiatives.

Takdir Ali Mukti, Tulus Warsito, Surwandono, Idham Badruzaman and Ulung Pribadi

Abstract

This article focuses on paradiplomatic management in Aceh, Indonesia, and Catalonia, Spain, as a comparative study. The two different regions have at least two similar characteristics: both are recognised by central government as widely autonomous provinces compared to other provinces, and both obtained the wider autonomy in the same period, 2006; they also have same problems with revolutionary groups that attempt to withdraw from central government. This qualitative research aims to examine paradiplomatic management in both local governments. The main objective is to identify similarities and differences in paradiplomatic patterns and to scrutinise paradiplomatic activism pertaining to the instrument of political movements in both regions. The findings confirm that patterns of paradiplomacy management are typically similar, and influenced by the dynamic of local political movements, and that paradiplomatic activism is an instrument in political movements. It is argued that paradiplomatic management by secessionist regions performs the same pattern both in federal and unitary systems, and is reflected in the changes of regional laws on paradiplomatic affairs.

The ‘Same Bed, Different Dreams’ of Vietnam and China

How (Mis)trust Could Make or Break It

Quan-Hoang Vuong, Thu-Trang Vuong, Manh-Tung Ho and Hong-Kong T. Nguyen

Abstract

Vietnam–China relations could be captured in the Chinese expression ‘同床异梦’, ‘same bed, different dreams’. Analysing Vietnam–China’s asymmetric relationship, cultural and political similarities, divergences in global ambition and the involvement of foreign powers, this study shows how the relationship is increasingly interdependent but is equally fragile. One possible cause is the low level of trust on both sides, evidenced by repeated calls to ‘consolidate political trust’ or ‘enhance mutual trust’ in their high-level bilateral dialogues.

Understanding the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

An Initiative to Make China Great Again?

Y.-Y. Chang

Abstract

This article re-examines China’s proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) taking into account historical and philosophical narratives. It assumes that the BRI has crucial strategic implications; in particular, that it is not as altruistic as claimed but rather a self-interested proposal aiming to restore China’s grandeur and influence. The Chinese Dream (中國夢) and the concept of Tianxia (天下), ‘all under heaven’) are discussed to illustrate how the initiative is ‘marketed’. It ends with an interpretation of the impacts that the BRI might have on other parts of the world.