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During the second half of the twentieth century the countries of East Asia saw one of the most remarkable transformations in human history, from overwhelmingly poor societies to global powerhouses of accumulation, proletarianisation and mega-urbanisation. This volume features Marxist scholars from East Asia and Europe who are pioneering a new approach to this transformation using the theory of state capitalism. The essays analyse the histories of countries on either side of the Cold War divide within the broader framework of twentieth century global capitalist expansion, while at the same time offering a sophisticated critique of Developmental State Theory.

Contributors are: Tobias ten Brink, Gareth Dale, Jeong Seongjin, Michael Haynes, Kim Ha-young, Kim Yong-uk, Lee Jeong-goo, and Owen Miller
Children's Leisure Activities in Russia, 1920s-1940s
Building the Lenin Mausoleum in Snow Bricks: Organising Children's Games in Pre-War Soviet Russia

The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries witnessed an upsurge of interest among Russian intellectuals in play as a psychological and pedagogical phenomenon. As the Italian psychologist Giovanni Amonio Colozza, whose treatise was translated into Russian in 1909, put it, play represented 'the free and central expression of those interior things that need to be outwardly expressed'. This view of play as central to childhood development was also influenced by the work of James Sully and G. Stanley Hall, and other members of the 'child study' or 'paidology' movement. The 'mother's diaries' and 'father's diaries' extensively published by Russians in the 1910s and early 1920s regularly noted children's games as part of their record of day-to-day development, and after the Revolution, much work on recording games was also done by the Experimental Stations of Narkompros.
This psychological or anthropological view of play was only one among various approaches, however, and after the Revolution, and particularly from 1925, it began to be vigorously challenged by an instrumental view of play as a central element in peer-group socialisation and, more particularly, in learning about future adult roles. Play was used, as methodological guides for nursery-school teachers indicate, in order to inculcate 'politically correct' attitudes. Baby dolls and fashion dolls were regarded with disapproval, because they reinforced traditional gender stereotypes and, in the second case, frivolity; dolls representing members of 'national' (i.e. ethnic) minority groups were given the stamp of approval, since they could be used to tutor children in internationalism. Children were taught new variants of familiar games, such as constructing the Lenin Mausoleum with snow bricks dyed red, rather than houses or igloos, or playing Co-operative Shop and Collective Farm Market using wooden models and building blocks. Even before the Revolution, efforts to provide children with 'rational leisure' had begun (an example was the children's summer playground run by volunteers on Petrograd Side, St Petersburg, in the 1910s); now, the Pioneer and Komsomol movement devoted huge energy to efforts to 'clean up' children's games in the streets and courtyards of cities, and also among village children. Pioneers themselves were used as a 'revolutionary avant-garde' to propagandise new kinds of game among 'unorganised children': building bird-boxes instead of robbing nests, playing 'Communists' against 'Fascists' instead of 'Cossacks and Robbers', engaging in healthy and beneficial 'active games' instead of taking part in games of chance such as 'heads or tails' or playing cards for money.
The movement for 'socialisation through play' and 'rational leisure' was documented in many hundreds of publications, both in periodicals (for example, Doshkol'noe obrazovanie [Pre-School Education], Prosveshchenie na transporte [Education in Railway Schools],Na puti k novoi shkole [On the Road to the New School], and Pedologiya), and in separate short books and brochures. The selection here, taken from materials held in the Russian State Library and in the Ushinsky Pedagogical Library in Moscow, gives a representative overview of the different trends. Our choice has been carefully considered to include books published in the provinces as well as in Moscow and Leningrad, to place heavily ideologised tracts alongside more liberal materials, and to offer a spread of material covering different age groups, from pre-schoolers to pre-teens. We have concentrated on books that contain material about the actual practices of play, as opposed to schematic recommendations, and on material that is particularly characteristic of the era. The selection runs chronologically to the late 1930s (the Second World War brought a break in attitudes to this subject, as in other areas of child care).
Many of the items included are now extremely rare - the condemnation by state decree of 'pedological perversions' in 1936 led to a purge of pedagogical literature from many libraries, and, as with other kinds of functional literature, the guides were also often used till they wore out. The material that we have gathered offers a unique insight into one of the most important and characteristic areas of socialising the young in early Soviet Russia, and a window into the mentality of the 'first Soviet generations' as well.

Professor Catriona Kelly (Oxford)
In: Selected Writings of Han Yongun
From Social Darwinism to 'Socialism with a Buddhist Face'
Editors / Translators: and
One of Korea’s most eminent Buddhists and political activists in the independence movement during the long years of Japan’s colonization of his country, Han Yongun , otherwise known as Manhae (1879-1944), was a prolific writer and outstanding poet, known especially for his poetry collection Nim ui ch’immuk (‘The Silence of the Lover’). This volume, however, concentrates on translations of his principal non-literary works, which are published here in English for the first time. It focuses on his ideas for the revitalization of Korean Buddhism in the modern world; the nature of Buddhism as a religion; his critique of the atheist movements fashionable among the communists of his time, together with memoirs of his early life and travels. Selected Writings of Han Yongun, published in collaboration with the Academy of Korean Studies, also contains an introductory essay on Manhae’s life, his relationship with socialist ideas as well as the significance of some of the ideas discussed in the translated writings. Students and researchers in Korean Studies, Studies in Buddhism and Comparative Religions will find this collection invaluable.
In: Selected Writings of Han Yongun


The wealthiest guilds of the Choson Dynasty (1392-1910) capital, Seoul, formed part of the government's provisioning system, providing mainly luxury goods for royal palaces, government offices and tribute gifts to China and Japan. The guild merchants were also expected to provide corvée labour to the government on a regular basis, although by the late nineteenth century much of this labour was commuted to cash payments. Using a collection of surviving documents from the guildhall of the Myonjujon (Guild of Domestic Silk Merchants), this paper looks in detail at the burden of corvée labour, particularly during the politically and economically tumultuous years between 1884 and 1894. It finds that the merchants' corvée reflected the close relationship between guilds and government and also the two-sided nature of this relationship for the merchants. Thus, while they received certain protections and privileges from the government, the guild merchants were also particularly vulnerable to official corruption, which found a damaging outlet in the corvée system. Les guildes les plus riches de la dynastie de Chosaon (1392-1910) Séoul ont fait partie du système de l'approvisionnement du gouvernement, fournissant principalement des marchandises de luxe pour les palais royaux, les bureaux du gouvernement et les cadeaux d'hommage pour la Chine et le Japon. Les guildes était aussi obligés à fournir au gouvernement la corvée régulière, bien que par la fin du dix-neuvième siècle beaucoup de ce travail ait été commuté aux paiements en espèces. En utilisant une collection de documents extant dansla maison de la guilde des marchands en soie domestiques (Myaonjujaon), cet article regarde en détail le fardeau de la corvée, en particulier pendant des années tumultueuses, politiquement et économiquement, entre 1884 et 1894. Il constate que la corvée des marchands reflétait la relation étroite entre les guildes et le gouvernement et également le caractère double de cette relation pour les marchands. Ainsi, alors qu'ils recevaient de certains protections et privilèges du gouvernement, les marchands de guilde étaient particulièrement vulnérables à la corruption officielle qui menait à l'abus du système de la corvée.

In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient