Saluting the Yellow Emperor

A Case of Swedish Sinography


Saluting the Yellow Emperor tells the fascinating story of a group of Swedish scholars who rediscovered the pronunciation of the Chinese classics, buried Silk Road cities, and a Chinese Stone Age, while spiriting antiquities out of Asia. Mining Swedish archives and drawing on letters, diaries, personal papers, and published accounts, it is the first collective history on this group of China scholars. In his analysis, Perry Johansson turns Edward Said’s argument about orientalism inside out. Rather than simply serving Western imperialism, Bernhard Karlgren, Johan Gunnar Andersson, Sven Hedin, Osvald Sirén, and Jan Myrdal were opportunists who highly appreciated the Chinese Empire whose civilizing mission in East and Central Asia they supported in word and deed. Whether friendly with Mao or Hitler, their occidentalist disdain of Western egalitarian societies made them champions of the Chinese mythology of obedient peasants ruled by an enlightened autocracy.
No Access


EUR €124.00USD $154.00

Biographical Note

Perry Johansson is Research Assistant Professor at the David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University. He has published extensively on sinography and Chinese-Western relations.

Table of contents

Chapter One: What was sinology?
Chapter Two: Archaeology and the Western Origin of China
Chapter Three: The Swedish Chinese Expedition
Chapter Four: Empire and Ethnography
Chapter Five: The Karlbeck Syndicate
Chapter Six: The Truth Behind the Peking Man
Chapter Seven: The Spiritual Far East
Chapter Eight: Swedish Maoism
Chapter Nine: Report from a Chinese Village
Chapter Ten: Anti-Imperialism?
Sinophilia: A Conclusion


All those interested in intellectual history, Western perceptions of China, postcolonial studies, the history of communism, and East-West relations, as well as archeologists, museologists, and sinologists.


Collection Information