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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #207: September 9, 2005

The International Journal of Asian Studies


Journal Name: The International Journal of Asian Studies: Volume 2 - Issue 02 - July 2005
Print ISSN: 1479-5914 Online ISSN: 1479-5922


INTRODUCTION TO "THE FORMATION OF A JAPANOCENTRIC WORLD ORDER" (pp183-184)
Shiro Momoki (Osaka University)
Abstract:
Traditionally, East Asians have tended to hold a strong national, or state-centric, view. In the modern university system established in the Meiji period in Japan, Japanese history was defined as National History, and strictly differentiated from Asian history, as National (i.e. Japanese) literature was differentiated from Chinese literature. Imperial Japan used the theory of expansionism to justify its hegemony in Asia, but that theory collapsed with the close of World War II. Political complications, furthermore, made it difficult for Japanese historians to have contacts with their fellow Asian scholars. Under these circumstances the tradition of National History was reinforced among the academic circle of Japanese historians. Predominant in this version of Japanese history was the image of early modern Japan as a self-contained, "mono-ethnic" state, in "sea-locked isolation", and the Tokugawa bakufu's sakoku (national seclusion) policy was the symbol of that isolation. Internationally renowned studies on Japan's foreign relations by scholars such as Kobata Atsushi and Iwao Seiichi did not attract much attention in Japan.


THE FORMATION OF A JAPANOCENTRIC WORLD ORDER (pp185-216)
Arano Yasunori (Rikkyo University, Tokyo)
Abstract:
Two major phenomena helped define Japan's foreign relations in the early modern period: the ban on international maritime travel and trading, and the Japanese adaptation of a Sinocentric rhetoric governing foreign relations with tributary states. In this article I will describe and analyze how these phenomena emerged and evolved, with special emphasis on the role they played in shaping Japan as an early modern nation state and forming for it a sense of "national identity." My examination will focus on them especially in the context of Japan's relationship with its East Asian neighbours, and I place particular emphasis on four points.


THE GLOBALIZATION OF CHINESE BUDDHISM: CLERGY AND DEVOTEE NETWORKS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (pp217-237)
Yoshiko Ashiwa and David L. Wank (Hitotsubashi University and Sophia University, Japan)
Abstract:
The article examines the globalization of China's Buddhism. Such new modern values as science and progress, along with competition from Christianity stimulated a modern reform of Buddhism in China in the early twentieth century that was then carried abroad through emigration and other transnational movement. This paper examines the ongoing interactions among Buddhists across difference nation-state spaces that have constituted the spread of this Buddhism. We show how transnational networks of clergy and devotees are constituted through affiliations of kinship, loyalty and region. These, in turn, faciliate allocations of personnel, money, and legitimacy that have not only institutionalized Buddhism in Southeast Asian and North American overseas Chinese communities but also supported its revival in late twentieth century China.


YAMAUBA: REPRESENTATION OF THE JAPANESE MOUNTAIN WITCH IN THE MUROMACHI AND EDO PERIODS (pp239-264)
Noriko T. Reider (Miami University)
Abstract:
This paper discusses the nature of the yamauba and the transformation of its image over time through an examination of its appearance in literature, folktales and art, focusing on, but not limited to, the early modern period. Literally, "yamauba" means an old woman who lives in the mountains, an appellation indicating a creature living on the periphery of society. Medieval Japanese literature equates the yamauba to a female oni (ogre/demon), sometimes devouring human beings who unwittingly cross her path. She is, however, not entirely negative or harmful. She is also credited with nurturing aspects, though these attributes are not always at the forefront of her character. Indeed, the emphasis on attributes imparted to that character changes significantly over time. A portrayal of the yamauba in the medieval period is predominantly of a witch-like white-haired hag, but by the end of the seventeenth century, the yamauba had come to be considered the mother of Kintaro, a legendary child with Herculean strength. By the eighteenth century, with a help of favorable depictions of the yamauba in puppet and Kabuki plays, she is portrayed by ukiyo-e artists as an alluring, beautiful woman who dotes on her son. The paper concludes that the yamauba remains a familiar figure in present-day Japanese society, and is still identified as a character of the disenfranchised "other."


INDEPENDENT PAPERS

CHRISTIANITY AND THE OTHER: FRIEDRICH SCHLEGEL'S AND F. W. J. SCHELLING'S INTERPRETATION OF CHINA (pp265-273)
Lucie Bernier (National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan)
Abstract:
Every culture is self-centred and distinguishes itself from others which are inadvertently positioned off-centre. Thus ancient Greece called the non-Greeks barbarians, and the ancient Chinese called their own country the Celestial Empire and considered those who did not practise their culture as barbaric. In the modern age, Europe distinguished itself from the non-West principally by two features: Christianity and capitalism. Generally, it is considered that Christianity produced capitalism (Max Weber), so that the former can really be considered the foundation of Western Culture. In my paper, I demonstrate that Christianity is used to measure and construct non-European peoples and cultures within the western perception of the philosophy of history. Christianity is given supreme value, and related religions are considered to be corrupted in varying degrees, with non-theistic cultures bringing up the very rear.


MULLA SADRA BETWEEN MYSTICAL PHILOSOPHY AND QURAN INTERPRETATION: THROUGH HIS COMMENTARY ON THE "CHAPTER OF EARTHQUAKE" (pp275-289)
Shigeru Kamada (University of Tokyo)
Abstract:
This article explores the interpretation of the Quran presented by Mulla Sadra (d. 1050AH/1640), a mystic philosopher of Ithnacashari Shica Islam in Iran. First, in his Keys to the Unknown (Mafatih al-ghayb), we know the general mechanism of how reading the Qur'an realizes spiritual perfection. Mulla Sadra considers the Quran as the source of spiritual wisdom with a multi-layered structure of meaning. Through concentration on Qur'anic texts, a reader's soul will be open to a deeper layer of meaning with an awareness of a higher level of spiritual perfection. As a concrete example, we examine his commentary on the Chapter of Earthquake (Surat al-Zalzalah), which depicts the catastrophic events on the Last Day. In the literal meaning, or the surface layer of meaning, he intuits as a hidden deeper meaning the incessant re-creation and dynamic flux of existence towards perfection, which also explains different transformations of human beings in the hereafter. We find here another spirituality of Islam, which differs from that of the Islam built on the surface meanings of the Qur'an.


RURALISM IN CHINA: REINTERPRETATION OF POST-COLLECTIVE DEVELOPMENT (pp291-307)
Kyung-Sup Chang (Seoul National University)
Abstract:
This paper reinterprets the societal nature of Chinese rural development by introducing the concept of ruralism. By ruralism, extending Edward Said's epistemology, I denote all those social, cultural, political, and economic ideas and actions about rural peoples and places that have been devised and implemented by urban-based elite groups to justify urban-centered programs of economic and social transformation and necessitate self-negating changes (and non-changes) in rural people's everyday life. Ruralism has much more to do with the interests of urban economic, political, and social groups than with the realities of rural people's life. However, it exerts a formidable self-fulfilling power by inducing and coercing rural people to comply with the specific ways of thinking, acting, and relating described or, more precisely, prescribed therein. Ironically, communist China, which had been built through an agrarian social revolution, presents a particularly pertinent case of ruralist (under)development. The suppression of nonagricultural activities and geographic mobility, the compulsory concentration in grain production, and the forced social, political, and economic autarky (or self-reliance in euphemism) all presupposed a stagnant, introverted, and austere mode of existence on the part of Chinese peasants. Therefore, many of the particular characteristics of peasant life in the collective era were ruralist inventions and reinventions which Chinese peasants were neither accustomed to nor pleased with. In many respects, post-Mao rural reform has been a process of undoing and thereby unlearning the ruralist policies and practices of the collective era. Such undoing, more unexpectedly than expectedly, came to release the enormous developmental potential of autonomous peasant families in agricultural, industrial, and tertiary economic activities. But the undoing of ruralism is in no sense complete, and even new elements of ruralism have been added during the reform process.


LAW, STATE AND SOCIETY IN CHINA [3]

THE NATURE OF SOCIAL AGREEMENTS (YUE) IN THE LEGAL ORDER OF MING AND QING CHINA (PART ONE) (pp309-327)
Hiroaki Terada (Kyoto University)
Abstract:
The two most notable forms of law in the Ming and Qing periods were state law and private contracts. They were thought to exist separately, as the saying went: "The state has laws while individuals have private contracts." Scholars have also held the same view; they have contrasted the two, defining the former as vertical, authoritative and a political tool to govern the state, and the latter as horizontal, voluntary and a tool to regulate economic activities of individuals. Social agreements that were instituted in order to maintain order in villages, however, had characteristics of both; on one hand they were contracts drawn up voluntarily by the villagers, but on the other hand, they also had the aspect of commands given by village leaders for ordinary members to observe. The opening section looks at studies that have been made on written law and private contracts. The following section examines how village compacts were instituted and how they were enforced. Three types of village compact are examined village regulations, village compacts based on the Confucian moral code, and alliances connected with rent-resistance movements. Part Two will discuss the nature of coercive commands and voluntary contracts, both of which commonly coexisted in a unique mixture in village compacts, and will then expand the conclusion drawn from the discussion above to the level of the state, to present a new framework for understanding the relationship between statutory law and private contracts, and that between state authority and social power.


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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