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Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 11:39 pm

Running Dog Wang Jingwei Buy Ultram Without Prescription, There is a lot of treason to be found in the vicinity of LOC number DS777.5195.W34 in the Harvard-Yenching library. It's Wang Jingwei (汪精衛) territory, infamous puppet lord of wartime occupied China, Ultram dangers, and reviled former patriot turned running dog of Japanese imperialism. He is also known as Wang Zhaoming (汪兆銘 Wang Chao-ming), Wang Jingwei being his pen name. On the shelves nearby we find books by and on his underlings Chen Gongbo and Zhou Fohai, buying Ultram online over the counter, equally reviled figures who lived long enough to go on trial for being Chinese traitors, or hanjian (漢奸). Real brand Ultram online, In the Harvard-Yenching library's English language collections, this section houses an unusual volume only a few pages in length:

Will of Wang Chao-Ming
Translated by Bonggi Kim
The Korean Republic
Seoul, Korea

It opens, "This translation of Wang Chao-ming's will into English is intended to look into his cause in collaborating with imperialist Japan." (( Wang Jingwei, Ultram dose, Kim Bonggi trans. Will of Wang Chao-Ming Unpublished manuscript in Harvard-Yenching library, Buy Ultram Without Prescription. Hollis number 009048141. Ultram images, )) Following a short introduction is the dozen page translation of what claims to be Wang Jingwei's final written testament. It is signed October, 1944 — he would die in November, before Japan's defeat and the text is now known as "My Final State of Mind" (我最後之心情), purchase Ultram online no prescription, a document whose authenticity has been contested ever since the original was first published in the Hong Kong Chunqiu (春秋) in early 1964. (( See 沈立行 《汪精卫的《日记》和“遗嘱”之谜》纵横 2000.2, Ultram street price, 56-57 for an inconclusive discussion of its authenticity. Buy Ultram Without Prescription, )) Its publication was also widely reported in Japan, including the English language Japan Times. (( I haven't checked the microfilm of their early May, 1964 issues to see if their reporting on the will included any translation of the document but if they did, it might be interesting to compare it to Kim's, where can i order Ultram without prescription. ))

Justifying Collaboration

This text attributed to Wang, if real, Ultram reviews, is of historical interest because its author offers detailed justifications for collaboration with Japan, and writes about his plans for the postwar period. (( The Chinese text can be found online at 人民网 here as of 2010.4.12. Wang Jingwei justified his collaboration in a number of other texts as well, herbal Ultram, including in a March 30, 1939 open letter "A Reply to an Overseas Chinese" (复华侨某君书). See 劉傑 「汪兆銘と「南京国民政府」―協力と抵抗の間 in 劉傑, 楊大慶, 三谷博 eds, Buy Ultram Without Prescription. Buy Ultram no prescription, 『国境を越える歴史認識―日中対話の試み』 (Tokyo, 東京大学出版会 2006) for the full text in Japanese. )) "We planned to hand over to the Nationalist government the areas recovered from the enemy occupation," he writes, Ultram online cod, though at the time, the "enemy" Japan is his military ally. Purchase Ultram online, Using the famous "Shield" argument used to justify Vichy collaboration with Nazi Germany, Wang goes on to say, "the Nanjing government entered into an alliance with Japan as a means to fight for lost sovereignty and get as many materials as possible under Japanese occupation." (( ibid., 6, about Ultram. )) He writes of his successes so far in supporting Japan's war effort including the overturning of unequal treaties, recovering foreign concessions, Ultram dose, and claims that he has "not tolerated any foreign intervention in domestic affairs..." (( ibid., 10. Buy Ultram Without Prescription, )) He worries about the fate of Manchuria, which Japan refuses to return to China, but claims that he must press on in his efforts. "I am well aware of the forthcoming surrender of Japan," and is optimistic since the Japanese show renewed sincerity in their negotiations with him, Ultram reviews. (( ibid., 11. Ultram from mexico, ))

In his closing, Wang even expresses hope for the future of Sino-Japanese relations after Japan's defeat, which will ultimately hinge upon a thorough enlightenment of the Japanese people and the magnanimity of the Chinese government. (( It is remarkable that he sees only the need for the magnanimity of Chinese government policy, no prescription Ultram online, and not by the Chinese people who suffered under Japanese occupation. The original Chinese is, "將來戰後兩國能否有自動提攜,互利互賴,仍有賴于日本民族之徹底覺悟,及我政府對日之寬大政策。" ))

Kim Bonggi - The Korean Translator

The translation of this text is, perhaps ironically, interesting for a similar reason, Buy Ultram Without Prescription. Following the copy of the translation, Buy Ultram without a prescription, we find attached a letter from the translator, addressed to the chief librarian of the "University of Colombia" in New York. (( I assume Columbia University Starr East Asia library has the original letter and document. A CLIO library search reveals an entry for the translation and attached letter located at DS778.W3 )) In it, Ultram for sale, Kim writes with what can only be interpreted as a significant degree of sympathy for Wang. In the letter, Ultram street price, dated August 10, 1964, we find the following passage.

Buy Ultram Without Prescription, Wang, A leading political figure in modern China, played a vital role in the formation of the country. His collaboration with the [sic] however, buy cheap Ultram, tarnished his image as the great patriot with lifelong devotion to his country.

Many Chinese people, Discount Ultram, in fact, did not hesitate to call him a traitor, but others think that he was forced to bow to the inevitable and that what he did was a risk that had to be assumed in the interests of the Chinese people.

Whether servile collaboration with the Japanese militarists is precisely the term for the acts of Wang is still open to debate, Ultram over the counter, but it is not difficult to suppose that his actions proceeded from the difficulty of finding solutions to the problem of a war that had been dragging on with no end in sight. He strove to regain the lost sovereignty of the Chinese people, Buy Ultram from mexico, but he fell short of the affecting it despite his determination. Even his death was at one time rumored to be an unnatural one, Buy Ultram Without Prescription.

Whatever his real motive was, it cannot be denied that the last words of Wang himself will be helpful in determining why he made the decision to establish the Nanking government with the support of the invading Japanese. As far as his will is concerned, canada, mexico, india, it is apparent that he did not act for personal gain, but rather with the hope that he could restore the lost land of China through negotiations—not through force of arms against the overwhelming odds with which China was forced at the time. Ultram forum, In order to avoid attaching undue significance to his real motives which resulted in the establishment of the Nanking regime in collaboration with the invading Japanese militarists, I had better refrain from commenting on the issue; nevertheless, I sincerely hope thet [sic] the material which I send you will be of some interest in helping your studies on matters that concern the modern history of China.

Kim Bonggi, born in 1921 or 1920, order Ultram online c.o.d, was one of the founders, in 1953, Ultram dosage, of the English language newspaper, The Korean Republic, and at the time of writing this letter, its "President-Publisher." That newspaper later became The Korea Herald but during the anti-government protests and martial law atmosphere of 1964 it was, comprar en línea Ultram, comprar Ultram baratos, like most of South Korea's media, barely more than a propaganda pamphlet and devoid of criticism for the dictatorship of Park Chung-hee. Ultram pictures, According to this biographical entry, 김봉기(金鳳基) was born in Seoul, graduated from Seoul University (( Unless he actually graduated from the Japanese run Keijō Imperial University and someone changed the name to its postwar equivalent, this would seem to suggest he completed his university education after the summer of 1946, order Ultram online overnight delivery no prescription. Buy Ultram Without Prescription, )) and held positions in two conservative newspapers, the Chungang ilbo and Chosŏn ilbo, as well as serving on the council of the Asian People's Anti-Communist League. (( 亞細亞反共聯盟 in Korea, these organizations, What is Ultram, founded throughout Asia in the 1950s still exist but have changed their names. They are national chapters of the World League for Freedom and Democracy, formerly the World Anti-Communist League. Kim was also involved in the 大韓公論社, after Ultram, which appears to have published a number of things, but I don't know much about the organization. Ultram images, ))

What led Kim to translate this Chinese text into English, or even if he merely posed as its real translator, go through the trouble to have it sent to an American university.

Kim was under 25 at the time of Japan's defeat in 1945 so this did not leave him much time to progress along the careers paths under Japanese colonialism that could have given him the brand of collaborator, Buy Ultram Without Prescription. (( Someone by the name 김봉기(金鳳基) is listed on a recently published list of suspected Japanese collaborators, Ultram without prescription, in the category of "pro-Japanese" organizations, but I am not sure this is the same person. Online buying Ultram hcl, Another 김봉기(金鳳基) was executed in 1907 for his anti-Japanese resistance efforts. )) However, at the peak of Japan's power in 1942, he was surely old enough to have been caught up in the excitement of Japan's seemingly unstoppable military advances against the colonial powers of the West or to at least have begun thinking about what his place would be as a Korean in a Japanese empire, buying Ultram online over the counter.

On the highly symbolic March 1st and August 15th anniversaries in 1964, Kim's Korean Republic was filled with stories of a valiant Korean resistance to Japan and reported on celebrations commemorating Korea's final liberation from its colonial master, Australia, uk, us, usa, but reading Kim's August letter I think we can see clearly the sympathy many Koreans who had lived through the Japanese colonial period felt for the collaborator's dilemma, and believed, though they might be careful where and how they expressed their views, that even despised figures like Wang Jingwei might ultimately be remembered one day as national heroes, Ultram steet value. (( The political cartoon shown here is by 麦非, and can be found in 沈建中 ed. 抗战漫画 (Shanghai, 上海科学院出版社, 2005), 206. ))

UPDATE: For one more location which has a more rich, if very dated, discussion about the mysterious document and the controversy surrounding it, see John Hunter Boyle's bibliographical note in his China and Japan at War, 1937-45: The Politics of Collaboration (1972) on pages 395-397.

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Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 11:45 pm

Atenolol For Sale, I was struck, preparing for class yesterday, that the Tonghak and Taiping faiths were surprisingly similar and arose nearly simultaneously: Syncretic monotheistic faiths drawing on Confucian, Christian and indigenous magical traditions, with anti-foreign reformist programs and a counter-cultural ethos of equality. (( The Japanese "New Religions" of the 19th century are very heavily Shinto-influenced, Atenolol reviews, Atenolol wiki, with some Buddhism and almost no Christianity, nor did any of them become political movements, cheap Atenolol no rx. After Atenolol, It's not the same. )) There are obvious differences, where can i buy Atenolol online, Order Atenolol online c.o.d, too, in teachings and in the leadership, where to buy Atenolol, Atenolol trusted pharmacy reviews, but the structural similarities raise some interesting possibilities for research and teaching.

I'm not the first person to have this insight apparently, is Atenolol addictive, Purchase Atenolol online no prescription, though it doesn't look (from what little I can tell from these links) like there's any hint of direct connection between them. I'm a little surprised, discount Atenolol, Effects of Atenolol, frankly, that World History textbooks (which love those kinds of parallel moments) haven't picked up on it, no prescription Atenolol online. Doses Atenolol work, Of course, Korea's place in World History textbooks overall is pretty pitiful at the moment and the Taiping movement rarely gets more than passing mention in an already busy and traumatic Chinese 19th century, Atenolol over the counter. Atenolol long term, With the rise of religious history, it seems likely that these issues might come closer to the forefront, buy Atenolol no prescription, Atenolol pharmacy, though, and I'd be curious to know if anyone else out there does something with this confluence, Atenolol forum. Atenolol no rx. Atenolol samples. Order Atenolol no prescription. Atenolol photos. Ordering Atenolol online. Atenolol without a prescription. Atenolol dosage. Atenolol australia, uk, us, usa. Where can i order Atenolol without prescription. Atenolol dose. Atenolol images. Atenolol steet value. Low dose Atenolol. Atenolol without prescription. Atenolol no prescription. Atenolol interactions. Atenolol from mexico. Atenolol use. Atenolol pics. Atenolol schedule. Atenolol brand name.

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Asian symbols

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 8:39 am


Useless Tree has a post up on the Chinese roots of the Korean flag. This post led me to look up an interesting, if rather old, article on the use of "the T'ai Chi symbol in Japanese wartime propaganda." ((Rowe, David Nelson. “The T'Ai Chi Symbol in Japanese War Propaganda.” The Public Opinion Quarterly 5, no. 4 (Winter 1941): 532-547.)) That Japanese governments in  China used "Chinese/Pan-Asian" images like the Great Ultimate was not news to me. What was new was his discussion of the use of the image in Korea. Obviously in the end it ended up on the Korean flag, but before that it was a very common symbol in Korean architecture, turning up on all sorts of gates and entryways, especially for official buildings, schools, temples, etc. Rowe also says that the symbol turned up on the Independence Arch in Seoul, which was erected right after the Russo-Japanese War and symbolized Korean independence. Soon after that the flag became a symbol of resistance against Japan. Has anybody done anything more recent than Rowe on Korean nationalist symbolism?


(A Little) Chinese History at ASPAC

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 2:14 am

There was, I'll admit, a lot of Chinese content at ASPAC which I didn't see. Such is life. I did see two papers which I want to discuss here briefly, though, from the "Globalization and Cultural Links" panel: on Qing "Dragon Robes" and transnational adoption.

Shu Hwa Lin, from the UH-Manoa Department of Family & Consumer Sciences (( I had to check. The UH-Manoa department shows up on the third page of results. I guess it's a Land-Grant thing, from what I'm seeing. Lin seems to be from the Apparel Product Design And Merchandising side of the program, which includes a "History of Western Fashion" and several "ethnic" and regional fashion courses. )) reported on Manoa's own collection, particularly on early 20th century "Dragon Robe" exemplars and the iconography and numerology of elite fabrics. I suppose it's no surprise to our readers here that Chinese elites used elaborate patterns and multiple symbols to indicate status and rank. There were twelve symbols for sovereignty (( Sun, moon, mountains, dragons, a constellation of three stars, pheasants, flame, a pair of bronze sacrificial cups, seaweed, grain, an axe, and "fu" )) , accumulated over the years, as well as eight symbols of good fortune from Buddhist sources. (( canopy, conch shell, vase, royal umbrella, the Wheel of the Law, endless knot, lotus, a pair of fish. )) The importance of the numbers 9 and 5 came up repeatedly: on the highest ranked nine-dragon robe, for example, five were visible from all angles. The robes represented about 2.5 years worth of work. (( This site says eight years, which sounds about right for six million stitches )) What was a surprise, to me, was that UH-Manoa has a textile archive with over eighty thousand items, including five dragon robes and a number of other items from the Qing dynasty. (( What wasn't a surprise was that the archive isn't adequately funded to properly store and preserve all those artifacts. Lin mentioned their search for a donor to provide "a cabinet" for the Qing exemplars several times during the talk. ))

Alexander Yamato, Asian-American Studies coordinator at SJSU, talked about "Transnational Adoption of Asian Children by Americans," a topic near and dear to a lot of hearts. It was a very good survey of the issues, emphasizing the way in which a lot of them centered around issues of identity: identity of the children, of the adopting parents, and of ethnic immigrant groups, etc. Even what he described as the "political economy" of overseas adoption was closely tied up with issues of national identity: he talked about the black eye Korea took in the late '80s when they hosted the Olympics and Asia Games but were best known in the West for their export of poor children and GI orphans; similarly, Chinese adoption policy has sometimes reacted to foreign reportage or their perception of reputation. There was a period when adoption was heavily promoted by the Chinese government, and even extended to "non-traditional" families -- singles, homosexual couples -- but policy has shifted in the last ten years to include not only heterosexual stability but health (height, weight, age) and wealth as requirements for would-be adoptive parents. This is in response to the perception of China's population and poverty problems -- unwanted girls, lots of poor rural families. (( I can't imagine where that perception's come from. I only know three adoptive families with Chinese girls among my immediate circle of acquaintances off the top of my head. My wife and I have been speculating that the deep gender imbalance in China under the one-child policy combined with the exodus of adopted girls is going to produce some odd pressures over the next decade or so. ))

On the adoptive side, the identity issues are pretty substantial, starting with the cognitive dissonance of growing up racially Asian in America with a Caucasian family: at what point does the family address the issue, if at all? Are these children considered "immigrants"? Would travel to the country of origin be considered a "return"? Is their identity as Asian American a racial or cultural one? How to negotiate the relationship with the country/culture of origin, particularly given the reputation many of these countries have of "unwanted babies"? There's no answers to most of these questions: the impression I got is that there are a wide variety of individual approaches and responses, but no consensus on what results these produce or what might be a "best" approach. There is a growing economy associated with these children (( According to Yamato's numbers, there were over sixty thousand adoptees from China over the last fifteen years, and over two hundred thousand from Korea )) : not just the commodification of adoption on the "front end" but also the rise of a sort of "heritage industry" which includes cultural camps and classes in the US, and tours and travel to the country of origin (often subsidized by the state).

The adoption issue connects to the "Diaspora?" issue, which is something I'll talk about over here later.


Asian History News Dump, March 2007

This is a "dump": all the Asia related stuff I've saved over the last.... two months? Anyway, nobody else has blogged about it, so I thought I'd toss it out there. I hope to resume more ... measured blogging soon. [Crossposted at all three Frog Blogs; sorry about the irrelevant stuff.]

The increasingly inaptly named JapanFocus website has a fantastic study of ethnic Koreans in Yanbian, China and their economic connections to both Koreas and Korean diaspora communities. The existence of this community -- the origins of which are rooted in Korean refugee migration from the Japanese incursions of the 1590s and early 20th century -- has provided a conduit for FDI, but has also been a factor in the ongoing historical/territorial debates between Chinese and Koreans (Even Salon has noticed!). Perhaps the most interesting section for me was the last third, where issues of remittances and the social standing of the Yanbian Korean-Chinese were raised: "famliarity breeds contempt" seems to be the theme, as relations between the Yanbian community and both Korean and overseas communities have gone through euphoric phases but generally been lukewarm in person, with the China-based community coming out on the short end.

In related news, JapanFocus also has an excerpt of a new translation by Joshua Fogel of Yamamuro Shin'ichi's Manchuria under Japanese Domination. Prasenjit Duara is not mentioned by name, but his works is, I think, implicitly criticized; Yamamuro's view of Manchuria is closer to Louise Young's ...someone should do a review essay drawing on all three.

It appears that our recent historiographical nightmare is over because Abe has apologized "as prime minister" for Japan's use of "sex slaves" (there was a fascinating debate on the terminology at H-Japan the end result of which is that a really concientious commentator cannot refer to the phenomenon of wartime military brothels with coerced participants except by using quotation marks or by going into long, long discussions of terminology).

I've been staying out of this whole brouhaha, mostly because of the rank ahistoricality of most of the discussion. Abe's initial point, that coercion was overstated and reevaluation is needed, is absurd on the face of it, replacing legalistic standards of evidence for historical ones. Regarding the rejection of the 1993 government finding by nationalist legislators, I can only repeat what I've said before, which is that if your pride or legitimacy rests on a denial the realities of history, it's time to find new sources of pride and legitimacy. The personal testimonies of former sex slaves before Congress, members of the Japanese military, etc.

Of course, the "debate" about the Nanjing massacre goes on: Joint historical committees come and go. Revisionist textbooks in Japan downplay atrocities, and Taiwanese textbooks seem to be focusing more on Chinese crimes than Japanese (and what can I say about the Taiwanese Nazi party? It would take a whole post...). A Chinese legislator even proposed "Humliation Day" as a commemoration of Japan's 1931 invasion.

I was struck by a Korea report of a new planed textbook which would take both Chinese and Japanese historical errors to task, while another report suggests that unique Korean errors are being promoted. This follows Presidential scolding of Japan and a lawsuit over Yasukuni Shrine.

The Matteo Ricci map [via] is fascinating, but I can't figure out why there are katakana readings of many of the place names, unless it is a later Japanese copy. Speaking of Japanese sources, the UC Japanese Historical Text Initiative looks like a great multilingual resource; a password is required to get at the texts, though not for their very detailed electronic publications, including a list of "Basic terms of Shinto" (which goes well beyond basic), their "Shinto Shrine atlas" and Contemporary Papers in Japanese Religion series.

Joe's Brief History of Lawyers in Japan (MutantFrog seems to be having some trouble at the moment, but I'm assuming it'll be back shortly) is a great example of timeline construction.

1854: The second known reference to European-style lawyers in Japanese literature. They are described as "accompanying stupid people to court and writing documents for them."

There's a new history resource, WikiHistory [via]. While I have grave doubts about the wiki "movement" I do think that it could be a good tool for creating valuable resources. This is one such attempt, though the strictly chronological format means that it's going to be useful for people looking for very specific kinds of connections, rather than general users, at least for a while. Still, if you're interested in contributing to a wiki, this wouldn't be a bad place to start. Certainly the only one I've considered, so far.

Clint Eastwood's movies on the Iwo Jima battles have gotten a lot of attention. Ian Buruma cites them as models for humanistic storytelling, and Noriko Manabe chronicles some Japanese reactions (which got a really sharp response on H-Japan). Both of them, I think, miss the point: Buruma cites the exceptional humanity of a few Japanese characters but he seems to ignore the basic inhumanity of the vast majority of them. I don't fault Eastwood for this, mind you: a movie exploring the human emotions and motivations of most Japanese soldiers would be very different indeed. I don't think Shintaro Ishihara's kamikaze valentine is going to quite fit the bill, though. Manabe's piece attacks Eastwood as a cultural imperialist, an essentialist position that would obliterate anyone's ability to do history in any form; she also cites "critiques" of the movie by online Japanese without ever trying to evaluate the strength of those critiques.

Chinese cultural heritage preservation is a huge task, with potentially large payoffs. China is considering legislation to auto-patent indigenous knowledge to prevent western bioprospectors from exploiting China's resources. Great Wall reconstruction is a perennial favorite. Language preservation is trickier, but essential to China's claims to be a multi-ethnic and culturally diverse and responsible nation. 700 year old Korans are great sources, and Chinese can even learn from foreigners. It can even be fun: Han Recreation Society is a huge hit in Beijing, reportedly, reinforcing my belief that in any given large city, you can find a group of people that will do anything for fun. And a new movie commemorates a young Englishman in China during WWII particularly his efforts to help orphans.

New materials from the Japanese Imperial house may shed light on WWII, of course. In case you missed it, George Weller's dispatches from Nagasaki have been published, but a Japanese translation of this expose of the Royal family will not be. And new material from the CIA sheds light on an aborted coup attempt, the postwar careers of Japanese war criminals, and CIA agents imprisoned in Communist China (I highly recommend that last one, by the way, for the great details and real drama, though I think the discussion of "brainwashing" is a bit cavalier). The agents came home right around the time of Nixon's ping-pong diplomacy (There's a whole book about it, now).

Lafcadio Hearn is having a renaissance, as is whaling. There's a new Japan Blog Matsuri which will run at the end of each month. Speaking of blog carnivals, there's a new History Carnival Aggregator, a "One-stop shop for announcements about history-related blog carnivals."

The opium problem in the late 19c US wasn't Chinese. The Moon Cake problem, however is. Former "rightists" are starting to speak out in China.

In southeast Asian monarchical news, archaeologists get environmental and discover that an early Cambodian capitol was abandoned due to water shortages. Vietnam's old imperial city is getting refurbished with lots of help from overseas. And "Balthazar Napoleon de Bourbon, a jovial Indian lawyer and part-time farmer," is the entirely unofficial heir-apparent to the pre-Revolutionary French monarchy. The only way this next item is "royal" is the nature of the pain: Buddhism prevents extermination of poisonous ants. Religious convictions can be inconvenient (no, I'm not ready for Passover!).

Many, perhaps most, of the above links without hat-tip credit came from HNN.


AHC Call for Posts, plus

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 4:09 am

Roy Berman, the MutantFrog himself, will host the next Asian History Carnival at Mutant Frog Travelogue on the 18th. Get your nominations in to him directly (roy dot berman at gmail dot com), through or with tags. Remember, if you don't submit anything, we may pick the worst thing you ever posted publicly....

A few other news notes:

Pandas are cute particularly when they move

China establishes new rules for News services, and they're not liberalizing them, either.

"No surprises": Korea-China History Wars Continue, in anticipation of the collapse of North Korea. Or just because.

Jeffery Wasserstrom reviews Peter Hessler's Oracle Bones, and finds it superior to Kristof and WuDunn among others. It's going on my shortlist for next semester's "Issues and Problems of Contemporary China".

NPR's take on the new Mao-lite Shanghai textbooks.


Creating East Asia

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 10:50 am

东亚三国的近现代史 A History of Modern and Contemporary East Asia is a book that got a lot of press when it first came out, since it was written by a team of scholars from China, Korea, and Japan, and is being published in all three languages. If you want ground zero of creating a common East Asian identity this book is it. Needless to say there are some problems with this whole project.

三国人民作为近邻,从很久以前就开始友好相处。但有时也发生争斗和战争。The people the three countries are neighbors, and have long had good relations. But at times there have been conflict and war. p.2

This is something of an understatement, since the book focuses heavily on the War (Two of the four sections deal with it.) This is a bit disappointing. Not to deny the importance of the war, or to suggest that we should miss a chance to point out how badly the Japanese behaved, but it does not help as much as it could in creating and East Asian history. In the Korean preface we are told that China and Korea have had a long relationship. In the modern period they have both been invaded by “other countries” (别国家) Obviously imperialism is a big part of the modern history of all these places, and the Japanese Empire is probably the most important aspect of imperialism. Focusing too much on the war, however, leaves very little room for comparative stuff on how the people in the various countries have dealt with the problems created by modernity.

The editors seem to be aware of this, however, and the book has a lot of sideboxes. In fact there is not much of a narrative thread at all, just bits and pieces of the stuff that would seem to go into a comparative re-thinking of East Asian history. Some of this is fairly mechanical. For instance in the section on women we get three short accounts of feminist pioneers from China, Japan, and Korea. These are the type of things the authors could have lifted from lots of other textbooks, and, as in other places, these bits seem to still be tied to national history.

Much more interesting is the section on the Independence, resistance, and social movements. 独立抵抗运动与社会运动 They open with a section on the Korean March 1st (Samil) independence movement of 1919. They then discuss the Chinese May 4th movement of the same year. They point out that May 4th was inspired by Samil, although they don’t take this as far as I would like. They also take both movements out of their national ghetto by calling them reactions to Wilson’s idea of National Self-determination. Next is a section on the “social movement” which includes a section on the plight of workers and peasants, accounts of the founding of Communist parties in all three countries, and an account of movements on behalf of outcastes in Japan and Korea.

All of these are movements or things that could be considered “anti”, especially if you look at them from the point of view of the Japanese state. How to tie them all together? The final part of the section is an account of the Kanto earthquake of 1923. (Actually they say 1932. Too many typos in here.) This was a big earthquake that killed a lot of people, but is also known for the massacres of Koreans and leftists that took place in its aftermath.

The authors point out that not only Koreans were killed. Chinese and rural Japanese were also attacked, in part because the police and mobs asked potential victims to pronounce “One yen fifty sen” to test their Japanese-ness. In addition to mob killings the police directly targeted known leftists. The authors claim that the Japanese authorities were afraid that the leftists would use the earthquake to tie together the various strands of popular thought, and so the police used people’s prejudice against Koreans, Chinese, and socialists to encourage attacks on scapegoats and take pressure off the government.

There are some problems with this. First, if the government really did think that Japanese leftists were capable of anything that organized and competent they were really ill-informed. The authors also don’t explain where “the people’s” dislike of Koreans and socialists came from or what it meant. “The Japanese state disliked them all” is a nice deus ex machina in linking all these things together, but it does not really work.

The approach is particularly weak when it comes to China. Focusing on Japanese ultra-nationalism is o.k. for understanding 20th century Japan, helpful for understanding Korea, and probably counter-productive for understanding China. It is significant that Mao and Chinese revolutionaries in general get very short shrift in here. No doubt the 1/3 of the authors who were from China were reluctant to get all revisionist on Mao, but more importantly the whole focus on Japanese imperialism puts a lot of China’s revolutionary history in the shade. I wonder how it would be different if they decided that Vietnam was part of East Asia.

Despite all that, I like the attempt. It almost feels like the beginning of Western Civilization as a concept, people casting around for the things that will tie together clearly related but also quite different histories. Sadly at least to start with in the modern period the Japanese imperialist make a good central pillar for this project.


A simple Miscellany

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 2:03 am
Ralph Luker's uncovering of the wonderful linguistic debunkings of 1421 by Bill Poser and friends (in two parts; note: Is Menzies just making up words in Chinese, and if so, why do so many Chinese people seem to take him seriously? theory: he's exploiting the linguistic uncertainty of diverse dialects.) reminded me that I've got a few other interesting links tucked away. The archaeo-biological investigation of an imperial garden from the Southern Yue state (a breakaway from Qin not reconquered by the Han until 111 bce) has produced another claim of Chinese origins (the "wax gourd") as well as some fascinating detail about foods and garden design. Also, more Koguryo finds in the oddly contested region (subscription required: this one's free) will undoubtedly be cited by both sides. Speaking of anniversaries: Andrew Meyer notes the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre and muses on its meanings. I don't have anything new to say on the subject, so go read him.


Asian History Carnival #3

Welcome to the third Asian History Carnival! It's traditional for blog carnivals to have some kind of internal organization.... Heh. Media and Popular Culture We've got a particularly high profile today, because an Asian History Film just won three Oscars, though being the awards for Art Direction, Cinematography, and Costume, we might as well still be laboring in obscurity. Memoirs of a Geisha was long on style, but Emma in Sydney sums up the movie in verse and suggests why the movie won no awards for content. I still haven't seen a review of the film by an historian, and I'm not volunteering. Speaking of movies, J. Otto Pohl (who seems to have finished up his Human Cost of Communism series for now) got the coveted call from Hollywood: Historical Consultant! Perhaps there'll be more work for historical consultants now that China's outlawing historical liberties in film? Well, judging by Sam Crane's analysis of historical writing in China, only historical materialists need apply, in that case. In the days of the US Occupation of Japan, as Konrad Lawson relates, media outlets had to be careful particularly if they were going to persist with nationalistic tropes. segue -- Japanese Nationalism Japanese, on the other hand, are taking more liberties than they used to: Japanese historical movies seem to be getting more nationalistic, or at least more sympathetic to militarists. Japan and Korea: Identity and Legality How hard is it to determine identity and nationality? Well, it seems like a pretty cut-and-dry category most of the time, but check out the story of this Korean-German (or Japanese-Dutch) playwright in the US who gets investigated as Japanese during WWII The comments are very interesting, too, as people try to work out how to tell who's what with regard to Annexation-era documents. Much clearer, but also a fantastic source for classroom discussion, here's a link to an archive of photographs [slow loading, but worth it!] by Korean art photographer Jeong Hae-chang taken in the 1930s. In spite of the elegance of the images, it's not like the Japanese occupation was friendly or gentle. One Korean scholar killed himself on the eve of Annexation in 1910, leaving behind a powerful statement in poetry and prose. Less than ten years later the Koreans rose up only to have their activists killed and aspirations crushed. Another "identity issue" which rambles on forever, it seems, is the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute. The Flying Yangban has a very detailed analysis of the controversy in three parts: Japan's claims, Korea's claims, and post-WWII agreements; there's a fourth post coming, he says, focusing on the post-1951 legal situation. The best comment was from Bunklehatch on the "Cyprus Solution": divide the island in half, and presumably split the difference on economic zones, too. Practical, but thoroughly unacceptable, it seems. segue -- Korean Nationalism There are dividing lines that run through Korea still, and not just the DMZ. Owen Miller discussed some of the current debates about Korean history, the strain of nationalism and ideology that runs through them and the ongoing struggle to define the issues. Historiography: How We Write In response to Duara's argument about Manchukuo's modernity, I proposed a new umbrella term for studies of Imperialism, colonialism and post-colonialism: Colonialogy (also here), trying to tie together the many strains of critical and ideological writing on these issues. The particular tension here is over the question of whether colonial control could be developmentally positive, and Owen Miller again took up the Korean side of the issue, with his usual vigor and intelligence. Konrad Lawson took up the question of whether we -- anglophone historians, mostly -- are sufficiently engaged with Asian language scholarship, by way of an article -- which Konrad did not endorse -- arguing that non-natives can't have the intuitive understanding of natives.... Alan Baumler responds to a discussion of whether the rest of us are sufficiently engaged with military history via Mary Elizabeth Berry's AAS Presidential address The anthropologists have made deep inroads into the question of perspective and engagement: Kerim comments on a Japan Focus article by Scott Simon about Taiwanese aboriginal histories of Japanese occupation, raising all sorts of issues about the perspective from which we write and the sources we use. Segue -- Debunking The Gavin Menzies "Did Zheng He discover America" controversy erupted anew with the release of a purported 1418 map. Nobody here was buying it, and if you follow some of the links in the comments you'll find really good reasons why. When Truth Matters: Pride The debate over the origins of Indian culture and the Indian people took an interesting twist with recent DNA studies, and this post also contains an interesting meditation on the difference between a "theory" and a plausible story. Sometimes the stories aren't so plausible: Did you know that Chinese -- at least Altays -- invented Skiing? Also golf. Because nobody likes to be forgotten, Sheilax has been blogging the history of the Malays of Tumasik and their rise to power When Truth Matters: War and Guilt Penal history is an interesting field, as Frank Dikötter makes clear when he introduces the IIAS issue featuring articles on the history of prisons in Burma, India, and Hokkaido, Japan HK Dave has some thoughts on the French expedition to Beijing against the Boxer seige: a farce he calls it, and points out that missionary activity was a critical issue in the uprising. In the ever-popular WWII field, Curzon relates the recollections of a Tokyo Catholic woman about the Firebombing of Tokyo and Scott Evensen (aka Plunge), outlines a brief in favor of the atomic bombings. After that, the war was over, right? Not quite, as Operation August Storm, the Soviet entry into Manchuria lasted well after surrender and added another list of atrocities to an already long ledger of pain. Japan's wartime history is still being litigated, particularly with regard to forced labor from China and Korea. Hcpen contrasts German and Japanese post-war actions and concludes that the apology issue isn't over. Iraq's history is on trial as well: A roundup of links and stories related to the 148 deaths for which Saddam Hussein is currently on trial (disturbing images). Most people who don't study Korea don't realize that there was a Korean guerilla War, 1966-69, sparked by North Korean incursions. The South Korean response was aborted, resulting in a recently recounted atrocity of South Korea against its own soldiers. Segue - War, Memory and Religion Davesgonechina found A civil dialogue on Yasukuni. It's extremely long, detailed and ought to be fodder for someone's senior thesis. Religion and Culture Curzon describes some of Japan's more martial Buddhist figures, and speculates about their connection to samurai culture. Remco Breuker describes a Korean insect extermination ritual and discourses on rituals, science and naturalism. Alan Baumler tries to contextualize male tears. Put all this together and you've got more questions than answers, but it's great fun! Things change: The last Jewish synagogue in Tashkent to be destroyed. Things persist: Alexandra Moss, visited a traditional paper-making operation: neat pictures, too! Sometimes the Old can be New again: A Hindu temple in Singapore is attracting Buddhists and Daoists and Confucianism is on the rise. segue: Blogging for Education Morgan Pitelka of Occidental College has his whole Premodern Japan seminar blogging. It's an interesting mix of recent scholarship on Japan with methodological material about museums and physical culture. Pitelka's got a ringer in the class, Tim Anderson, who's doubling as a Museum liason and who posts incredibly useful stuff like this discussion of Yoshitoshi prints and these tips for writing about museum exhibits. The rest of the class seems to be mostly posting reading summaries, which are quite good. In an e-mail to me, he said that he's not sure what's to become of the blog after the semester's done: Count me as one vote for keeping it up, or converting it to some more organized archival form. Blogging to Win: Politics and Historical Analogies Katie McKy's column isn't technically blogging, but her analogy between Bush and Hirohito is so blogworthy that I'm surprised I haven't seen bloggers take it up. I'm not sure that the analogy is terribly apt -- there are other monarchies besides Japan's in the world -- but given my own analogy between Iraq and Manchuria, I'm not discounting it out of hand, with the usual caveats about historical analogies. Though you wouldn't know it in the Chinese press, the 1989 Tiananmen massacre continues to have implications in Chinese politics, and the example of Tiananmen 1989 seems surprisingly relevant to recent Philipine politics. Going back further, Mao's birthday inspired ESWN to translate an article about Mao nostalgia, an attitude he doesn't share (there are links there for anti-Mao commentaries, as well). Sepia Mutiny tracked South Asian references in State of the Unions back to Truman and discovered that it only comes up when there's trouble. Speaking of trouble, Ian Lamont is analyzing Chinese news reports and finds that Vietnam only gets mentioned when it's a problem for the Chinese. The End: Food and Clothing Now, I take food history pretty seriously, so I don't want anyone thinking that this is the "comic relief" at the end. That said, it's hard not to wonder whether to laugh at the Japanese bakudandon, or Bomb Bowl Lunch, that Alan Christy came across. People are creative, adaptable and eager to consume! India Pale Ale was a response to the problem of shipping beer, and hcpen is "really passionate about the Chinese dress called the QiPao or Cheongsam." And that's the lot! Many thanks to those who sent submissions, suggestions and who helped publicize the call for posts including, but not limited to: Simon World, Roy Berman, Adam Richards, Sharon Howard, Ralph Luker, Abigail Schweber, Sam Crane, Morgan Pitelka, and especially Konrad Lawson. All errors of fact, spelling, interpretation or tone are entirely my fault. Unless they're not..... The next AHC should be in two months: the position of host is open for now, but speak up soon, or you'll miss it and have to wait! Until then, you can still submit articles to the Blog Carnival folks and we'll make sure they get to the right person. Until then, there's a bunch of great carnivals coming up next week: the ancient/medieval Carnivalesque, the Carnival of Bad History and the grand old flagship History Carnival at History:Other


World Historical Trends: Valentine’s Day Surgery?

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 2:52 pm
My father sent along this article about the rise in Shanghai of plastic surgery being marketed to couples as a Valentine's Day celebration/present. I don't know which is the more interesting world historical trend: the rise of Valentine's Day as a secular world event or the spread of plastic surgery as a status symbol, in spite of its risks [via]. Of course, at some point someone will try to make an analogy or comparison or otherwise link this with footbinding, but I think it's going to be a tough sell, given the temporal and cultural distance between the two practices, without some serious underlying theoretical foundation.... On slightly more serious note, the latest Japan Focus (which is going to have to change its name soon, given its broader scope) includes an interesting and nicely detailed article by Yonson Ahn about the historiographical border war between Korea and China.

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