Search Results

Rediscovering Confucianism

A Major Philosophy of Life in East Asia

Torbjörn Lodén

This book provides an outline and an appraisal of Confucianism as a system of ideas and beliefs that evolved during the past 3 millennia and continue to do so. Its roots are traced back to pre-Confucian times, followed by a detaled examination of some 40 Confucian thinkers. It also describes the social context of evolution of Confucian thought.

M. Cristina Cesaro

Han Chi- nese, while at the same time an ongoing exchange between the two groups is also displayed in the food domain (food items, vocabulary, meal patterns, etc.). Uyghur attitudes to and beliefs about food need to be analysed within the broader context of ethnic relations in contemporary Xinjiang

In Search of Nature

The Japanese Writer Tayama Katai (1872-1930)

Kenneth G. Henshall

Tayama Katai (1872–1930) was a major writer in Japan's modern history. He was the leader of the (later) naturalist movement around 1906–1912, and author of its representative novel Futon (1907), which established a trend of autobiographical novels. His perception of 'nature' changed through the years from natural beauty to the 'natural individual' – on which Japanese later naturalism was based, following German models rather than French – and ultimately fate, time and religion. All his writings are naturo-centric in one sense or another.

In this ground-breaking study, In Search of Nature, Kenneth G. Henshall provides a 'cradle-to-grave' account of Katai and his prose fiction, and also corrects the mistaken belief that Japanese naturalism was a failure.

Anthony Walker

with human affairs; consequently, it can serve no useful purpose to “worship” them. This paper seeks to demonstrate that these peculiarities of Lahu custom and belief derive from a Maha ̄ ya ̄ nist movement that swept through the Lahu mountain homelands in southwestern Yunnan, probably beginning in the

‘I Have My Own Spaceship’

Folk Healers in Kalmykia, Russia

Baasanjav Terbish

practices and beliefs of medlegchis as ‘surviving Kalmyk Buddhist practices’ (or ‘historical Kalmyk Buddhism’) in opposition to a monastic version of Buddhism imported to Kalmykia from Tibetan monasteries in India in the 1990s. The revival of monastic Buddhism in post-Soviet Kalmykia being her main topic

Won-Oh Choi

This highly engaging volume by one of Korea’s leading scholars of comparative mythology – the the first study of its kind in English – provides a valuable introduction to centuries-old beliefs, myths and folk tales relating to Cosmology and Flood, Birth and Agriculture, Messengers of the Underworld, Shamans, Disease, Good Fortune, Love and Family, Gods of Village Shrines, and Heroes. Containing thirty traditional stories, the book is fully illustrated throughout and contains a wide variety of Korean art, including rare shamanist paintings, as well as the work of some contemporary Korean artists. All the stories, based on Korean oral tradition, have been retold by the author according to their main plot and meaning because the original texts’ songs by shamans, containing many obsolete words and obscure idioms, are not easily understood today. The original title and source, including text notes, are provided at the end of each story. The author’s Introduction sets out the historical background and significance of the myths that appear here. He also provides full details of each of the Korean gods and their roles in mythology. While being a welcome addition to the literature on Korean culture for the non-specialist, An Illustrated Guide to Korean Mythology also provides an invaluable reference source for scholars and researchers in the fields of East Asian Mythology and Anthropology, as well as Korean History, Religion and Literature.

Junko Fujiwara

insisted religions and magic are unworthy of belief was widespread and scientific knowledge was widely promoted. Therefore a maj ority of people came to consider magic only a 'superstition'. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a movement to revive magic began. During fieldwork in the years

Laetitia Merli

interesting gathering place for nationalist organisations, more concerned with cultural and identity issues than with questions of individual misfortune. This paper will present examples, through recent rituals, of how new shamans use Chinggis Khan – whose cult was also forbidden – in a system of beliefs and

Herbert Plutschow

Based on new documents, especially von Siebold’s correspondence (including letters to his wife Taki), written advice and draft treaties which were placed in the public domain in 2002 by the Brandenstein-Zeppelin family, the author argues that such is their significance a full re-evaluation of von Siebold’s advisory role vis a vis the United States, Russia and the Netherlands in particular, both before and after the successful opening of Japan in the 1850s is now justified. This new study challenges the conventional Western scholarly view that the key figures involved in the opening of Japan were confined to the US Navy’s Commodore Matthew Perry, and the diplomats Townsend Harris of the US and Rutherford Alcock of the UK. A close examination of the new sources suggests otherwise and also puts von Siebold’s agenda to ‘save’ Japan from being overtaken by what he referred to as the colonial and commercial ambitions of the West’s great maritime nations in a new light. The author also takes pains to debunk the long-held view that von Siebold was a Russian spy. Even so, it is accepted that von Siebold remains a controversial figure whose role was more often than not ‘tinged with considerable selfish aspirations and a belief in his personal infallibility’.

From Taoism to Einstein

Ki and Ri in Chinese and Japanese Thought. A Survey

Olof G. Lidin

Ki emerged first and is the thread that runs through the millennia of Chinese philosophy. Ri was added later in Sung times and, together, ki and ri became the mainstay and core of Chinese beliefs in Sun (960-1279), Ming (1279-1644) and Ch’ing (1644-1911) times. In this remarkable and inspirational study, researched over many years, the author takes the view that ki can profitably be compared with European philosophy. In China, the ki thread appears as an original ‘primal ki’ ( genki), which is the source of all things and affairs. The search is for the whole. In Greece, and later in Europe, the thinking goes in the opposite direction: it searches for the exact truth in the independent units of the cosmos, the atoms, the truth being found in the part. The study has three separate but interrelated parts. Part I delineates the ki and ri philosophy as it developed in China; Part II presents Confucian study and learning in Tokugawa Japan (1600-1868); Part III finishes with conclusions about things East and West and the situation in today’s world. From Taoism to Einstein will have wide appeal to students of Eastern religion and philosophy, as well as students of East Asian history and political science, and Chinese and Japanese studies in general.