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War and Stereotypes

The Image of Japan’s Military Abroad


Edited by Frank Jacob and Sepp Linhart

Japan has always been fascinating for foreign observers. This volume will show, how its military has been perceived abroad and what image about the Japanese Army existed between 1853 and 1945 in the minds of those who read and heard stories from the Far East.
When forcefully opened by a US mission in 1853, Japan was transformed by its ruling elites into a strong nation state, whose military and political forces wanted to avoid a colonization by foreign powers. Therefore, Japan’s military capacities were of special interest and the army and navy were westernized very fast. Japanese soldiers became known as “Asia’s Prussians,“ and were often described as “gallant enemies“. This image, however, should rapidly change after the First World War. During the battles in China since 1937, and the Pacific since 1941, the Japanese soldiers were often referred to as “devils.“ This volume will take a closer look at the images of Japan’s military abroad to show how these images were created, how they changed and what stimulated the differences with regard to the foreign perception of Japan and its military between 1853 and 1945.


Fanxi Wang

Edited by Gregor Benton

Wang Fanxi, a leader of the Chinese Trotskyists, wrote this book on Mao more than fifty years ago. He did so while in exile in the then Portuguese colony of Macau, across the water from Hong Kong, where he had been sent in 1949 to represent his comrades in China, soon to disappear for decades into Mao’s jails. The book is an analytical study whose strength lies less in describing Mao’s life than in explaining Maoism and setting out a radical view on it as a political movement and a current of thought within the Marxist tradition to which both Wang and Mao belonged. With its clear and provoking thesis, it has, since its writing, stood the test of time far better than the hundreds of descriptive studies that have in the meantime come and gone.

Buddhism in Central Asia I

Patronage, Legitimation, Sacred Space, and Pilgrimage


Edited by Carmen Meinert and Henrik Sørensen

The ERC-funded research project BuddhistRoad aims to create a new framework to enable understanding of the complexities in the dynamics of cultural encounter and religious transfer in pre-modern Eastern Central Asia. Buddhism was one major factor in this exchange: for the first time the multi-layered relationships between the trans-regional Buddhist traditions (Chinese, Indian, Tibetan) and those based on local Buddhist cultures (Khotanese, Uyghur, Tangut, Khitan) will be explored in a systematic way. The first volume Buddhism in Central Asia (Part I): Patronage, Legitimation, Sacred Space, and Pilgrimage is based on the start-up conference held on May 23rd–25th, 2018, at CERES, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany) and focuses on the first two of altogether six thematic topics to be dealt with in the project, namely on “patronage and legitimation strategy” as well as “sacred space and pilgrimage.”


Nanny Kim

The commercialized economy of late imperial China depended on efficient transport, yet transport technologies, transport economics as well as its role in local societies and in interdependencies of environments and human activities are acutely under-researched. Nanny Kim analyses two transports systems into the Southwest of Qing China through the long eighteenth century and up to the mid-nineteenth century civil wars. The case studies explore shipping on the Upper Changjiang in Sichuan and through the Three Gorges into Hubei, and road transport out of the Sichuan Basin across northeastern Yunnan and northwestern Guizhou into central Yunnan. Specific and concrete investigations of a river that presented extreme dangers to navigation and carriage across the crunch zone of the Himalayan Plateau provides a basis for a systematic reconstruction of transport outside the lowland centres and their convenient networks of water transport.