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Korea: The Past and the Present (2 vols)

Selected Papers From the British Association for Korean Studies Baks Papers Series, 1991-2005

Edited by Susan Pares and Jim Hoare

Established in 1982, the British Association for Korean Studies has published nine sets of Papers in the period 1991–2005 – the outcome of conferences, study days and workshops. The themes of Korea past and Korea present were selected to give the editors and BAKS council the widest choice of options in terms of scholarship, subject matter and interest.

Edited by Alexander Vovin and José Andrés Alonso de la Fuente

Languages of Asia publishes monographs and other books based on original research and dealing with the languages of Asia as well on the languages of adjacent regions that originated in Asia, but are currently found elsewhere, such as, for example Western Turkic languages. The series focuses on descriptive and historical linguistics as well as on typology, with a special emphasis on descriptions of poorly known or inadequately and/or insufficiently described languages of the past and present, as well as in the works that significantly advance our knowledge about proto-languages in the area. Works published in the area of historical-comparative linguistics strictly adhere to the traditional Comparative Method. The series will potentially include dictionaries, glossaries, manuals, and other learning tools.

The series published an average of one volume per year over the last 5 years.


Edited by Hiroko Tomida and Gordon Daniels

For the first time, many of the world’s leading scholars in the field of Japanese women’s history met in Edinburgh in 2003 and presented papers addressing the themes of ‘Pioneering Women in Japan’ and ‘General Issues in Japanese Women’s History’. This volume, containing most of the papers, which have been specially edited and revised for publication, together with an in-depth contextual Introduction by Dr Hiroko Tomida and Dr Gordon Daniels, is the outcome. By definition, therefore, the volume contains some of the most recent findings in this field in Japan, Australia, the United States and the UK, and introduces new approaches to studying Japanese women’s history. In addition, it contains a special contribution on Ichikawa Fusae by Professor Barbara Molony.

Edited by Minoru Fujita and Michael Shapiro

There is much that is remarkable about this volume. Its roots date back to an international conference on Shakespeare and kabuki with the theme ‘Traditions of Cross-dressing and Cross-gender Casting’, held near Kobe, Japan, in August 1995. In January of that year Kobe had suffered a major earthquake resulting in significant loss of life and great damage to the infrastructure. At last, it is now possible to publish most of the papers that were presented at the Kobe conference (together with some additional contributions), which have been edited, and where necessary, revised for publication; and though so long delayed, the essays continue to represent key areas of research by some of the world’s most distinguished scholars in their fields. The topics addressed include feminism, transvestism, cross-dressing, cross-gender casting, Elizabethan boy actors and kabuki onnagata. Importantly, the volume also contains a full transcription of the Open Forum session which concluded the conference, providing the reader with a quality debate on the main issues. Also included is a plate section featuring images from the 1991 London staging of an 1886 kabuki version of Hamlet, directed by Koji Orita, today Artistic Director of Japan’s National Theatre, along with Orita’s original presentation on the staging of his kabuki Hamlet, with an introductory commentary by Scott Johnson.

Singing the Kyrgyz Manas

Saparbek Kasmambetov's Recitations of Epic Poetry

Edited by Keith Howard and Saparbek Kasmambetov

Today, the Kyrgyz Manas is one of the most celebrated epic heroic poems in the world. At the turn of the new millennium it was appointed a UNESCO ‘Masterpiece in the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Mankind’, signalling its global significance. It sits alongside Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, or the South Asian Mahābhārata and Rāmāyana, although politics and language have during the twentieth century conspired against allowing it to become as well known.
In contrast to previously published material, this book focuses on one septegenarian contemporary performer, Saparbek Kasmambetov who inherited the oral tradition of his culture, adding details and other elements to his storytelling, as he saw fit. Consequently, the volume does not offer a literal translation in poetic form, but is presented as a story – as originally intended; the contextual/historical account situates Soviet/Kyrgyz with Western accounts of Manas and other epic heroic poetry.
Part I offers a translation of seven episodes from the Manas, as sung by Saparbek, with accompanying CDs – the translations of all the episodes being based on the recordings.
Part II comprises three chapters examining oral epic poetry and the Manas; the Kyrgyz Manas recorded, performed and studies; finally, a study of Saparbek Kasmambetov – the performer.
The accompanying plates are the work of Gouljan Arslan, Saparbek Kasmambetov’s granddaughter.

Enigma of the Emperors

Sacred Subservience in Japanese History

Ben-Ami Shillony

This important new and original study on the institution of the Japanese emperors, from their mythological beginnings to the present day, focuses on the enigma of the institution itself, namely, the extraordinary continuity of the Japanese dynasty, which is unknown anywhere else in the world, yet which is now at risk on account of more recent laws of succession. The prisms through which this remarkable achievement is examined are the notions of divinity, gender and subservience. The volume is divided into nine sections: Strange Survival; The Feminine Beginnings of the Japanese Monarchy; Empresses and Consorts; Subservience as Power; Rising Fortunes in an Era of Peace; Meiji: the National Father Figure; The Elusive Divinity of the Modern Emperors; Return to Sacred Subservience; Continuity in Danger. Based on earlier research first published in Japanese ( Haha Naru Tenno), Enigma of the Emperors adds significantly to the existing corpus of work on this subject, addressing many traditional preconceptions and misconceptions along the way. Accordingly, it will undoubtedly be welcomed within scholarly circles, as well as being of particular interest to a wider readership, not least because of its relevance in the context of the major contemporary issues surrounding the future of the dynasty in the twenty-first century.

Japan and The Illustrated London News

Complete Record of Reported Events, 1853–1899

Edited by Terry Bennett

The Illustrated London News, launched in 1842, was the world’s first illustrated newspaper and an immediate success. Its first report on Japan, however, was not until eleven years later when as a result of Commodore Perry’s much discussed plan to ‘open’ Japan it published a substantial piece entitled ‘The United States Expedition to Japan’ in the issue of 7 May 1853, opening with the portentous words: ‘The presence of a large and powerful American fleet in the Eastern Seas possesses an unexpected interest at the present moment...’ Various reports by unnamed correspondents continued for the next eight years, until August 1861 when Charles Wirgman’s first report with illustrations appeared. Described as ‘Our Special Artist and Correspondent’, Wirgman was to be the ILN’s principal source for reporting on Japan for many years, and famously reported the attack on the British Legation in July 1861 and the British bombardment of Shimonoseki in 1864. After the mid-1870s Wirgman’s input declined and the work of other artists and reporters appeared instead. The ILN’s own obituary on Wirgman was published on 28 March 1891. By the late 1880s new photogravure printing technology was in place and the appearance of the paper changed significantly. Furthermore, the reporting from Japan diminished noticeably; indeed, there were a number of years in the period featured in this volume when not a single item on Japan appeared. But in the mid-1890s the ILN carried in-depth reporting on the Sino-Japanese War (1894-5), to the virtual exclusion of any other stories, and then reported nothing for the following two years. This volume concludes in 1899, the year of ratification of the ending of the Unequal Treaties between Japan and the Great Powers, which had major implications for Japan and its nascent empire; yet the ILN failed to make any reference to it. Instead, its one report for the final year of the nineteenth century was on the launch of the British-built battleship Asahi, which was to play a major role in the Imperial Japanese Navy during the forthcoming Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) – a war which once again was to preoccupy the ILN pages. Thus, Japan and The Illustrated London News provides readers and researchers for the first time with a ‘one-stop’ access point to the complete record of reported events relating to Japan in the critical half century following its opening to the West.

Edited by Kevin O'Rourke

Korea's traditional love poetry is little known in the West. This anthology contains examples of all genres: vernacular to long lyrical poems. A witty informative commentary links the poems and sets them in context.

Herbert Plutschow

Largely ignored hitherto by Western scholars, Plutschow’s Edo Period Travel provides the first in-depth study of the subject which is centred on fifteen of the period’s most notable travellers, some of whom are well known in other fields – as intellectuals, artists, poets, folklorists and natural scientists , for example – but rarely, if at all, as travellers. The first traveller put in the spotlight is the celebrated intellectual and botanist Kaibara Ekiken (1630-1714) and the last is the explorer of Ezo (now Hokkaido) and government official Matsuura Takeshiro (1818-88). Such was the thirst for knowledge in the Edo period that some travel accounts (estimated to number over 2000) became best-sellers in their day, not least for their voyeuristic appeal, including those of Kaibara Ekiken and Tachibana Nankei, which are included in this volume. This important research on how the Japanese discovered their own country and cultural identity has considerable interdisciplinary appeal. Of particular interest also is the author’s discussion on the nature of this new travel writing and the self-centred observation and ‘seeing’ that developed in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, he calls the ‘Japanese Enlightenment’.


Edited by Michael Dillon

The focus here is on the Chinese speaking Muslims known as the Hui or Huihui, their religion and communities being found mainly in northwest and southeast China. The contents include papers on the conflict between Muslim groups, and between Muslims and the Chinese state in imperial times, culminating in the communal violence and rebellion of the 1860s. Other subjects include the contact between Christian missionaries and Muslims, Japan’s policies towards the Hui Muslims during the Second World War, and the Chinese Communist Party’s policy on national minorities as it affects Muslims. Islam has had a presence in China since the earliest years of the religion, initially with the itinerant populations of traders and diplomats from the heartland of the Islamic world on the periphery of China. Subsequently, migration and intermarriage created settled communities.