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Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov

Inner Asia 10 (2008): 37–63 © 2008 Global Oriental Ltd The Black Box: Notes on the Anthropology of the Enemy NIKOLAI SSORIN-CHAIKOV University of Cambridge ns267@cam.ac.uk ABSTRACT This article critically revisits the Foucauldian perspective on modernity by exploring the constitutive importance

Nogami Yaeko

K. Matsuo

The Straw Sandal

or The Scroll of the Hundred Crabs (Mukashi-banashi Inazuma-byōshi)

Kyōden Santō

Carmen Blacker’s spirited translation of Santo Kyoden’s Mukashi-banashi inazuma byooshi (from which the title ‘The Straw Sandal’ is taken), considered by Aston to be his masterpiece, reveals a multi-layered and fascinating tale of revenge – Japanese-style, thereby providing a classic example of this popular genre within Japanese literature. Aston makes the point that the plot of this late-eighteenth-century novel, developed over twenty chapters or episodes, is so complicated that ‘it is impossible to give an adequate summary…’ But he goes on to promise several murders, a harakiri and other suicides, terrific combats, hairbreadth escapes, strange meetings and surprising recognitions. In addition, there are scenes of witchcraft and enchantment with dreams, magic terrors and ghosts who rove by night. The Straw Sandal, which contains most of the original black and white woodblock prints together with textual notes added by the translator, will surely be widely welcomed both in the world of literature as well as that of Japanese Studies.

Series:

Edited by Hugh Cortazzi

This latest volume of leading figures in the history of Anglo-Japanese relations offers a classic menu of personalities, themes and events (in all 25 contributions). Contents include the writings of the Cambridge scholar Carmen Blacker and leading historian William Beasley; British military observer and Times reporter of the Russo-Japanese War General Sir Ian Hamilton; philosophers Arnold Toynbee, Bertrand Russell and George Bernard Shaw; the Chosu students Inoue Kaoru and Yamao Yozo who were later key figures in the Meiji period modernization of Japan; and Walter Dening, scholar and missionary. Subjects treated include horse breeding and horse-racing, the Japanese influence on British architects, the beginnings of golf in Japan and Japanese gardeners in Britain.

The Kazakhs

Children of the Steppes

Chokan Laumulin and Murat Laumulin

Here is a well-informed, concise introduction to the culture and history of the vast territory of Kazakhstan, equivalent to the size of Western Europe, located at the centre of geographical Eurasia. Written by two brothers – one a distinguished scholar and the other well known in Kazakhstan’s media – the book focuses on the Kazakh people who today make up over half the population of some 15 million. Topics covered include Kazakhstan’s historical heritage including the Soviet legacy, its geography and the national psychology, religion and culture and how to do business. Kazakhstan first appeared on the world stage in 2001 with the opening of its oil pipeline linking its vast Tengiz oil field with the Russian Black Sea port of of Novorossiysk.

My Mongolian World

From Onon Bridge to Cambridge

Urgunge Onon

The distinguished Mongolian scholar Urgunge Onon’s reminiscences offer a rare insight into the culture and lifestyle of a Daur Mongol in the first half of the twentieth century. Covering the years from his youth to middle age, the author offers a wide spectrum of experiences from a disappearing world, including everyday family life, shamanist customs, the role of the bonesetter, wolf hunting, falconry, folklore and some of the great legends of the past, including the story of ‘The Black Old Man’. He also recalls at length how he was kidnapped and held to ransom, his association with Prince Demchügdongrob and Mongolia’s fight for independence, as well as his relationship with the Japanese Imperial Army and wartime experiences in Japan. In 1948 he took his family off to the US and studied at Johns Hopkins University – the first Mongol to do so – and acquired US citizenship in 1957. In 1963 he moved his family to England and taught at the University of Leeds until his retirement in 1985, when he became a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge, and helped to found the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit (MIASU). Onon’s reminiscences have deepened over time and will be welcomed by students of Mongolian history and culture as well as those familiar with his earlier writings on shamanism and his childhood.

Tribes of Central Asia

From the Black Mountain to Waziristan

H. C. Wylly

While serving in the British Army in India’s North-West frontier region in the 1890s, Colonel H.C. Wylly found that there was no reliable, up-to-date information on the tribes or on the terrain. His work, first published in 1912, remains a valuable source of reference for the detailed descriptions of the tribes and their way of life, as well as for the regional background and information on the campaigns waged by the British in their attempts at subjugation. Wylly writes: ‘Following the decline of Sikh power…[these tribes] have there become our natural and troublesome inheritance.’
‘It seemed to me,’ he adds, ‘that there was room for a single volume, compiled from official and other sources, describing the more turbulent of the tribes beyond our Border, the countries they inhabit, and the campaigns which the Indian Government has undertaken against them during the last sixty-five years.’

,Tara Tibetan Reform and the Kalmyk Revival of Buddhism 241 Sneath, David Editorial Introduction 207 Ssorin-Chaikov, NikolaiThe Black Box: Notes on theAnthropology of the Enemy 37 Waley-Cohen, Joanna Review of Dzengseo, The Diary of a Manchu Soldier in Seventeenth- Century China. Introduction, translation and