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The Huihui Yaofang was an encyclopedia of Near Eastern medicine compiled under the Mongol Yuan Dynasty for the benefit of themselves and the then Chinese medical establishments. Some 15% of the work survives, from a Ming Dynasty edition, and is here translated for the first time into English. We extensively introduce the translation with introductions situating it within the history of western and Chinese medicine, and provide critical apparatus for understanding. We provide accounts of the medicines and foods, with comparisons to other works of the time and to modern folk uses of these medicines in the Middle East. We show that the work is solidly western Asian, specifically derived from Persian-speaking Central Asia, and is adapted to Chinese use in several ways but without losing its western character.

Abstract

Sinophone studies has improved the visibility of a range of Chinese-language cultural products and is expanding into a transnational and multilingual academic enterprise. With firm acknowledgement of the pragmatic benefits the Sinophone has brought (particularly to Anglophone and Taiwanese academia), this paper reflects on some of the problems embedded in the underlying premises and ideological mechanisms of the concept of the Sinophone that have so far been under-discussed. As a first step towards a more self-reflective meta-discourse about Sinophone studies, it highlights three areas that warrant more clarification and debate before the concept is applied to specific analyses: the significance of the Chinese Cold War; the matrix of multiple Sinocentrisms; and the double-edged sword of theoretical generalisation. In this process, I emphasise the institutional formation of the ‘Sinophone’ both as a cultural field and as an academic discourse, and highlight the significant role that Taiwan has been playing in this.

In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies

Abstract

This article argues that Taiwan’s distinctive historical position—at the centre of multiple overlapping colonial jurisdictions and historiographical traditions—furnishes an important opportunity to consider how indigenous pasts and experiences themselves played a role in disrupting or redirecting historical narratives of global connection. It examines texts by Ming travellers Chen Di (Dongfan ji, 1603) and Zhang Xie (Dong Xi yang kao, 1603); Dominican writers, including Jacinto Esquivel (1632); and later histories of early modern Japanese expansion and the dissemination of the Sinkan Manuscripts (Murakami, 1897, 1933). What all these foreign observers of Taiwan had in common was their struggle to integrate Taiwanese indigenous pasts into their existing grids of historical knowledge. By focusing on this ‘historiography of the other’, the article challenges commonplace assumptions regarding pre-modern foreign relations and indigenous forms of social organisation, showing how Taiwan can play a role in challenging operating foci of global history.

In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies
Author: Wen-Pin Lin

Abstract

Although anti-Chinese riots are rare in Cambodia, the ethnic Chinese in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge era experienced some of the most severe repression in the world. The situation had improved by the 1990s, following the Hun Sen government’s abolishment of discriminatory policies towards them. The positive opinion of the Cambodian-Chinese was given another boost when Chinese capital flooded into the country. Keeping a low profile in politics and contributing to the national economy through their businesses have been the ways in which the ethnic Chinese survived in Cambodia. This does not mean that they have had no interest in politics; rather, they have preferred to engage with it through patron-client relationships with ruling politicians through their businesses. However, as the main stakeholders of the Cambodian political economy and the main pipeline through which Chinese capital flows, the Cambodian-Chinese would be in the firing line should Chinese investment not work out in the long-term.

In: Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives

Abstract

With more than thirty ethnic groups, Malaysia is renowned for its multiculturalism and ethnic diversity. Unlike in Indonesia and the Philippines, where ethnic Chinese are rarely given the opportunity to serve in the central government. Therefore, political parties focus on ethnic needs and issues.

Therefore, it is important to gain a greater understanding of the degree to which ethnic Malaysian Chinese are participating in these elections and what sort of political powers their political parties maintain. Aside from the introduction and conclusion, the paper is divided into three sections. The first part investigates the geographic areas that represent different ethnicities across Malaysia and the regions. The second section examines how much political influence the ethnic Chinese Malaysians maintain. The last section analyzes how ethnic Chinese Malaysian’s political participation has evolved over the years.

In: Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives
Authors: Dong-Yu Lin and Ping Lin

Abstract

During the early twentieth century, strong nationalistic ideas sprang up in Indonesia. Some Chinese elites in professional positions under the Dutch colonial government tended to side with the Dutch with the pro-Dutch attitude; some working for Chinese newspapers or agencies developed the pro-China stance; some supported and cooperated with the indigenous people with the pro-independence tendency; and others had their inclinations transformed over the course of time. After examining the life history of a few prominent Chinese figures, this article shows that three levels of factors—international politics in East Asia, local politics in the Dutch East Indies, and their life histories under Dutch rule (together with travel experience to China)—were critical for each Chinese person in establishing or transforming their often hybrid political orientations. The Chinese preference was neither monolithic nor settled, so the general assumption that “Chinese people are loyal to China” in Indonesian politics of the colonial era should be revised.

In: Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives
In: Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives
Author: Wan-Ping Tai

Abstract

The value attached to the concept of guanxi (關係) by Chinese enterprises in Southeast Asia can be observed in their business culture. Previous scholars have attributed the success of Chinese enterprises in Southeast Asia to “guanxi networks.” The author’s observations on Thai enterprises made over a 5-year period are here used to validate their research findings. In conclusion, the author classifies Thailand as a market economy where business activities are conducted based on the value of guanxi and economic strategies.

In: Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives
A New English Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary
Editor / Translator: Alexander Vovin
Book sixteen of the Man’yōshū (‘Anthology of Myriad Leaves’) continues Alexander Vovin’s new English translation of this 20-volume work originally compiled between c.759 and 785 AD. It is the earliest Japanese poetic anthology in existence and thus the most important compendium of Japanese culture of the Asuka and Nara periods. Book two is the tenth volume of the Man’yōshū to be published to date (following books fifteen (2009), five (2011), fourteen (2012), twenty (2013), seventeen (2016), eighteen (2016), one (2017), nineteen (2018), and two (2020). Each volume of the Vovin translation contains the original text, kana transliteration, romanization, glossing and commentary.
A Cultural and Sociolinguistic Study of Dutch as a Contact Language in Tokugawa and Meiji Japan
In The Dutch Language in Japan (1600-1900) Christopher Joby offers the first book-length account of the knowledge and use of the Dutch language in Tokugawa and Meiji Japan. For most of this period, the Dutch were the only Europeans permitted to trade with Japan. Using the analytical tool of language process, this book explores the nature and consequences of contact between Dutch and Japanese and other language varieties. The processes analysed include language learning, contact and competition, code switching, translation, lexical, syntactic and graphic interference, and language shift. The picture that emerges is that the multifarious uses of Dutch, especially the translation of Dutch books, would have a profound effect on the language, society, culture and intellectual life of Japan.