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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #179: December 17, 2004

The International Journal of Asian Studies


Journal Name: The International Journal of Asian Studies: Volume 2 - Issue 01 - January 2005
Print ISSN: 1479-5914 Online ISSN: 1479-5922


THE EMERGENCE OF PEASANT SOCIETIES IN EAST ASIA (pp1-23)
Hiroshi Miyajima (Sungkyunkwan University)
Abstract:
In the recent debates about Confucianism and its role in East Asian economic development, there has been little discussion about why East Asian societies embraced Confucian values in the first place. Here, "Confucian" refers particularly to the ideas of the Song dynasty Zhu Xi school (neo-Confucianism) which became associated in China with the shidafu scholar-bureaucrat class. Zhu Xi political philosophy was anchored in a centralized governing bureaucracy under the emperor, and differed markedly from political ideals underlying medieval feudal society in Europe, for example. Land-ownership was not a condition of shidafu status, and there is only a partial resemblance between the Chinese landowner and European feudal ruling strata. In Japan and Korea, notwithstanding the fact that neo-Confucianism was an imported philosophy and there arose discrepancies between its ideas and social reality, it sank deep roots into both societies. This paper looks at the conditions that allowed this to happen, and concludes that the spread of Confucian ideas depended on structural changes in Korea and Japan that were similar to those that had occurred in China. It is in the emergence of peasant society that we find the key to such changes. This, I contend, is a far more important watershed than the one that divides early-modern and modern.


A COMPARATIVE HISTORICAL STUDY OF THE CENSUS REGISTERS OF EARLY CHOSON KOREA AND MING CHINA (pp25-55)
Younghoon Rhee (Seoul National University)
Abstract:
A comparison of Choson census registers from Sanum-hyon and Ming census registers from Huizhou clearly reveal structural differences between the two regarding the state and society. The main focii for comparison are relations between household and family, status of household members, the existence (or not) of a slave status such as nobi, the administrative structure for compiling the registers, and, through them, the characteristics of how the state governed the farming class. The study shows that during the Choson period, farmers were awarded tasks and duties (chik'yok) on an individual basis by the state, through which their social status was determined. Many of the farmers were nobi, enslaved men and women working either for the state or for yangban and government officials. The structure of the household between individual families was not necessarily uniform; an internal two-strata structure of chuho and hyopho is evident, higher and lower status households. State rule of the farming communities also showed a dual structure, with household members and land separated. It is very clear that inevitably the state governed only indirectly, through local petty officials of the "local scribe" (hyangni) class. Not only did these aspects not exist in contemporary Ming society but even in comparison with pre-Song history, Choson society exhibited special structural characteristics, in that it was not a centralized bureaucratic state like that which developed in the Ming.


THE 1890S KOREAN REFORMERS' VIEW OF JAPAN A MENACING MODEL? (pp57-81)
Vladimir Tikhonov (Oslo University)
Abstract:
This paper explores the nuances of the perceptions of Japan by Korea's reformist press of the late 1890s, chiefly by Tongnip sinmun (18961899, edited by So Chaep'il and Yun Ch'iho). The main finding of the paper is that, despite the Christian reformists' avowed allegiance to the USA as their ideal model of "civilization", Japan was taken as a practical model an example of how a fellow East Asian country, which was supposedly "30 years ago even more backward than Korea", could succeed in "civilizing" itself. At the same time, reformists' nationalist reaction against domineering "colonial" behavior of the Japanese inside Korea often took the form of an appeal to "international" read "American"/"European" "standards of civilization". The conclusion the study of some of the earliest forms of Korea's Westernizing nationalism leads us to is that the "Occidentalist" worldview of the early Christian nationalist reformers was a complex, multi-layered and often self-contradictory phenomenon, in which "oppressive" features are not easily distinguishable from "liberational" ones. Its key treatment the prettified, essentialized picture of the "Occident", believed to be the only "true", "ideal" civilization could work "oppressively" as it put Korea's traditional culture in the position of "barbarism" to be exorcized, while looking "emancipatory" when used as the yardstick for criticism of Japanese encroachment.


INTRA-ASIAN TRADE AND THE BAKUMATSU CRISIS: RECONSIDERING TOKUGAWA COMMERCIAL POLICIES IN LATE EDO PERIOD JAPAN (pp83-110)
Robert I. Hellyer (Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania)
Abstract:
By moving away from locating the significance of late Edo period Japanese foreign trade within the context of industrialization, this essay offers an alternative interpretation of the weakness of the Tokugawa regime and contrasting success of the Satsuma domain during the bakumatsu period crisis of the mid-nineteenth century. It argues that the marine product export trade to China provides a useful tool to understand the Tokugawa commercial strategy that focused not on "capital accumulation," so important in the Western experience, but on supporting the economy of Nagasaki and the port's key role in the system of foreign relations. In turn it shows how Satsuma, not fettered with the same "national" goals, developed a more flexible strategy that used marine product exports to build a broad domestic and foreign trade network. With its commercial enterprises, Satsuma challenged Tokugawa commercial dominance and by implication, political authority, contributing to the larger political divisions that helped to define the bakumatsu crisis.


MARRIAGE IN TAIPEI CITY: REASONS FOR RETHINKING CHINESE DEMOGRAPHY (pp111-133)
Arthur P. Wolf and Hill Gates (Stanford University)
Abstract:
The only pre-1950 Chinese cities for which reliable demographic records exist are those in Taiwan. Analysis of two samples of the records from Taipei City produces surprising results. Urban women were far less likely to marry than rural women and consequently had markedly lower fertility. This was due to a greater demand for female labor in the city but not because employment outside of the home freed women to refuse marriages arranged by their parents. Parental authority was as strong in the city as in the country. The difference was that given the possibility of remunerative employment for their daughters many parents chose to keep them at home rather than giving them to another family in marriage.


The International Journal of Asian Studies (2005)
Copyright ©2005 Cambridge University Press


(This journal is available online at: http://www.journals.cambridge.org/jid_ASI)
Posted with permission from the publisher.

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