(continues 2001 and 1998-2000 logs)
5 June 2003
Cultural and linguistic concept mapping: guanxi, amae, etc. etc.: I need to collect candidates

13 June
Janglish Panglish A whimzikaru rooku atua Japanese adaptation of English words.

16 July
China Historical GIS at Harvard (thanks to Mike Smitka for reminding me)

24 July
Dogs and Demons: Tales from the dark side of Japan (Alex Kerr, 2001)

first half of chapter 1 and NYT review
But one must ask: How satisfying would a portrait of American culture and politics be if it described only corporate cover-ups, reality television, racial profiling, misogynistic rap lyrics, widening income disparities, electoral miscounts, police brutality, glass ceilings, suburban sprawl, hate crimes and the excesses of the Las Vegas strip? While each of these is a slice of the contemporary American pie, they add up to less than the full plate of national life. So it is with this important and oddly romantic, if imbalanced, book.
amazon.com reviews, and Asian Wall Street Journal review

Tokyo skyscrapers

review with 2 Murakami sources too

Murakami Haruki

Big in Japan feature (see also Toshiro Mifune and Hello Kitty ditto --and Big in Japan from Metropolis Japan Today, whence the preceding come)

biginjapan.org ("adventures from the gaijin ghetto")

"big in japan" google search

Tom Waits lyrics for "Big In Japan"

25 July
The morning's summary thoughts on the why and wherefore:

How [in what ways?] can we approach the essence of Japanese/Chinese/Korean culture? society? How shall we comprehend the niceties, subtleties, nuances of (1) language, (2) behavior, (3) concepts that denizens work with [and to what degree do we understand the 'essence' of our own culture/society]? What tools are available to us? How shall we learn their efficient and appropriate use?
I have generally thought of examples and problems (in the forms of texts and images [still and moving]) as the way in to these challenges, and hope also to preserve and project an appropriate humility in attempting to use the multitude of tools to get something like answers. I'd like to be able to put together a coherent and sensible array of such examples and problems, and accumulate students' responses to them.

I reorganized the box of East Asia materials, setting up folders and generally orienting (ooops...) myself to what's there. My next task/problem is arraying all of the subjects into some sort of sequence or mapping of topics, so as to decide which to leave out, and what tacks to take. 30 July
What (if anything) to do with Aum Shinrikyo? A google search for 'aum shinrikyo sarin' gets 8000+ hits; Murakami's Underground: The Tokyo gas attack and the Japanese psyche (BP605 .O88 M8613 2001) is a remarkable document (add 'murakami' to that search and get 270+ hits)

2 Sept
from thoughts while hiking:

The broad questions
  1. How shall we understand distribution in space and time?
  2. order and organization, past and future
  3. culture and ethnicity
Each to negotiate a piece to concentrate on --to gather information on past/present/future, to understand in terms of connections and likages to outside, and internal dynamics

Rashomon for (1) versions of Reality and (2) questions about the uniquely Japanese... only 88 minutes

Do all cultures have pathologies? They surely have internal variants, including gender, age, class...

4 Sept
Some bits to develop and incorporate:

Rashomon and studies in the nature of Truth

In principle, I believe that one can learn from anything. The trick is in taking control of the process.

A case in point: John Burdett's The Last Six Million Seconds is set in Hong Kong shortly before the Colony was handed back to China. I have found a number of arresting paragraphs that have more or less direct connection to Anth 230, and cache them here:
It all came back to drugs in the end. Drugs sold provided the funds; drugs abused provided the adventure; drugs shared provided the company; drugs prescribed provided the cure. The First World was the drug addict. Illegal drugs were only the tip of the iceberg. Take into account the barbiturates and the amphetamines, then add in the spectrum of antidepressants; in other words, make a list of all the popular tranquilizers and stimulants of prescription, and you had not so much an epidemic, not even a pandemic, as thbe colonization of the human species by traders in chemicals, from the multinational pharmeceutical companies at the top to the street corner dealers at the bottom. And it had all happened in the last years of the twentieth century. (72)

What he remembered most about his English wife was her complaining. She was very different from a Chinese wife; the problem did not seem to lie in lack of material possessions or social status. Sandra's moans emanated from high moral ground. Hong Kong was shallow and materialistic, greedy, inhuman. Chan deduced that the British Isles were a fortress of psychological depth, moral courage, human kindness. He set himself to understand more, to take advantage of his wife's wisdom and background. He found that she had an agile with that ranged over English and American cultures with apparent ease. She used different voices, different accents to accord with certain moods. One funny little voice was used when she wished to convey affection. Chan wondered why she could not express love in her own voice, but he learned to live with it. A phony New York accent was used when she would have liked to be foreceful; an upper-class British accent appeared when she thought he was being uncouth.

It was the videos that precipitated the end, though he could never have predicted it. He'd subscribed to a rental shop largely to try to alleviate the homesickness she compained of from time to time. She'd reacted with enthusiasm, renting mostly old videos of English comedy shows with a strong satirical, self-mocking bite. As he'd sat with her night after night, he'd begun to realize where her voices came from. Not only her voices. Her opinions, her moral postures --even her disdain for Hong Kong was a rerun of a BBC documentary. The English, it seemed, in their cold, wet climate spent hours in front of televisions being told what to think and who to be. He was married to a collage of Monty Python, Spitting Image, Black Adder, Not the Nine o'Clock News and a range of similar shows... (103)

"...When she reached her home village, it was infested with Red Guards. China's second civil war this century, called the Cultural Revolution, was in its closing stages. As a ruse to keep power Mao Zedong set his people against each other, the young against the old, brother against brother, pupil against teacher, wife against husband. It was an orgy of hate, Chinese style. But to some of the outside world it was a corageous socialist experiment. Wise men and women from Europe and America were taken to a kind of Walt Disney China where everything was wonderful, the people full of smiles.

"The real China was villages like Mai-Mai's, where they arrested her for being a capitalist running dog. They put her in a dunce cap and paraded her through the streets. Red Guards about her age, or younger. They made her confess, something she was glad to do since she believed everything they told her and supposed she must have been deluded by the wicked West..." (107-108)

Read and Respond

What are the interesting and important questions?

Other Rashomon reviews: Ted Prigge 1998, James Berardinelli 1998, and another, anonymous

Chinese Organized Crime and

AUTHOR Booth, Martin.
TITLE The dragon syndicates : the global phenomenon of the Triads / Martin Booth.
IMPRINT New York : Carroll & Graf, 2000, c1999.
CALL NO. HV6441 .B585 2000.

8 Sept
Reviews of Chunhyang from rottentomatoes.com, metacritic, and greenmanreview (the latter much more detailed). Most reviews are pretty predictable, but a few take on the interesting questions, notably Rob Content's, which includes this:

American film reviewers are by-and-large dead to both poetry and to politics. Their collective, and mutually reinforcing, fixation upon the elements of romance and adventure has allowed even the most obvious elements of political subtext in Ang Lee's widely-praised but poorly understood Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to pass without notice.... Several wildly lazy critics complained that the use of Cho's performance is redundant — since we don't need to be told what we can see for ourselves. But in fact, over and over, what Cho tells us is belied by what we're seeing exactly at that moment. Cho tells us that Mongryong's horse took off toward Seoul from Chunhyang's compound like "a flying tiger"; what we see instead is an overburdened little pony mincing its steps along an uneven path, while Pangja tugs ineffectually at the bridle. We're told that Mongryong is wearing the blue cloak of a royal "Ethics Official" when he heads home from Seoul after scoring the highest mark on the civil service exam; instead we see him wearing the cream colored robe of the beggar.

Cho's narration is thus far from reliable, and when the camera cuts periodically to a contemporary Korean audience responding passively and sentimentally to his version of events, we're being warned not to repeat their mistake. Instead, we're being signaled to attend to the action of Chunhyang for ourselves. If we do, we can easily figure out what our present-day pansori, Im Kwon Taek, has made new the traditional tale. What he's made is a deeply class-conscious story of resistance to unjust authority in which two young lovers wield poetry as a weapon of rebellion... (the whole excellent text is available) A narrative version of the story is available, and links to a page on the 71th Chunhyang Festival and another on sites, including the grave of Chunhyang, "discovered in 1962", and some unspeakable cartoons. Another summary includes the facts that the "oldest version of the tale was written in Chinese by Yu Chin Hahn in 1754, but it was told much earlier by bards, called 'kwangdae', roaming the Korean countryside, in a rhythmic chanted narrative which later became known as Pansori." More disneyfication and the story in 9 episodes. See also the concluding dialog, and a report of a North/South joint production in Pyongyang (from The People's Korea.

interview with Im Kwon-Taek, and Humanism Above All

Also found: Korea since c. 1400, Korean DVDs, and a course description from U. Pitt:

This course will provide an introduction to Korean society and culture through a close study of the recent and highly acclaimed film Chunhyang, which is a theatrical version of a famous traditional literary work in the Korean literary tradition. The film, which was first shown in Pittsburgh last year, won a number of international prizes. It provides a complex and visually effective window into late Korean traditional culture, literature, and the performing arts. Through films and readings, students will study the Korean culture as a complex, intricate, and interrelated fabric of meanings and symbols. By using the film Chunhyang, students will broaden their understanding of Korea in several historical, artistic, and socio cultural environments. Topics to be presented include historical aspects of the Korean language, the relationship between language and cultural behavior, reflecting on such diverse aspects of society as family structure and marriage, gender issues, the class system, the agricultural life of Korean society, education, relations to other neighboring cultures, and forms of artistic expression. The course will also examine changes in values, social and cultural institutions, and values associated with modernization in the late twentieth century, which are considerably different from those in Chunhyang. Films and video/CDs will be used whenever possible to allow students to visual the society as it develops in the course of change.

Japanese Old Photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji Period from Nagasaki University Library

Asian Film Connections

Ermo ...and Wooster reviews page

9 Sept
B's comments on Chunhyang:

What constrains evil people, possessors of absolute power? Despots rule by creating FEAR, via extreme punsihments: OBEY, don't question.

how to Rule, what is proper government.

Confucianism says what should be, against the essence of human nature? A battle between the tendency of corruption through power... greed happens... Want is the controlling force. The Three Poisons: Desire, Aversion/Hate, Ignorance... these are the sources of Suffering

Trying out a new Web archiving site:

Translating Kurosawa by Patrick Crogan
from the notes:
According to Japanese film historian, Donald Ritchie, in The Films of Akira Kurosawa, 3rd Ed. (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1996), its prize at Venice was a profound shock to the Japanese. It was a film not made for export and as such, it was assumed it would not be understood by a foreign audience. Some critics could not see how a period film would be of interest to the West. ‘Eventually’ says Ritchie ‘they decided that it was because Rashomon was "exotic"... and that foreigners liked exoticism’ (p. 80). The cross-cultural reception of Kurosawa’s work has been a topic of debate from the outset of his international fame, both in Japan and outside it

From Asian Times:

Japan: Hip-hop's new home By Alecia McKenzie

Asia's Hello Kitty consumers lap up credit By John Mulcahy

Chushingura episode synopses from TV series

10 Sept

oracle bones
social stratification
standardization of written language
orthographic systems

A polity of a certain size/complexity needs record keeping, which generally starts with specialist scribes, who keep track of things like tribute, taxes, inventories, censuses...
education in literacy is a 'finding system' for talent (cf ballet...)

a character (or a word/acronym --viz DNA) triggers the connected information, which can be thought of as embedded in a semantic network, the connectins within which give richness of implication when a word is invoked.

Thus, /ren/ is a core concept in a set of values; its translation as 'virtue' exemplifies the problem of lexical mapping: 'virtue' is currently linked to notions of morality and discretion in personal life, but etymologically vir = 'man', and the notion of 'gentleman' [which has 'gens' at its root...] was linked.

'honor' has a similar story, and is very complicated in English, because it's connected to notions of proprietous relations of the individual to society, etc etc

Studying any subject means learning a new vocabulary. Each lexical item has a story connected to it, and study involves gradual absorption of the texture of ideas and concepts in the semantic network. Many are quite complex, especially those at the core of a particular semantic network --consider 'force' and 'energy' in physics.

As beginning students in a domain, we have to settle for preliminary glimpses of what will turn out to be great complexities. The Classics are worth reading/study because they have profoundly shaped society because they have been studied endlessly. The Analects is surely one of these Classics ...cf the Bible, but with care...

'Confucian state ideology' (571)

Images of Master Kung:

from an article that begins "Confucianism is a Chinese religion based on the teachings of Confucius a philosopher who died about 479 B.C..."
19th c. steel engraving
Chinese idealized portrait
on silk
in robes
in library
in color
Shanghai statue
kid's drawing
Kosmon church
bathroom etiquette
with sword
resin statue
banknote and closeup
with tourists
on a plinth
Babeck portrait
in Hong Kong

11 Sept
Both civil order and civil disorder come from ...something. Working out the details is a matter of some complexity, and plenty of interest. Among the threads to braid: N-C-R (with stories for each), dynastic cycles, regional rebellion, meritocratic examinations, social stratification, enculturation, etc.

Transnational China Project at Rice --see their Fall/Winter 2002 and Spring 2003 report of activities.


Buddhist sites in Gansu (map)

Chinese Geographic Names: from Wade-Giles to Pinyin

grabbed Population for 2357 administrative units for the year 1999. The units recorded are at the ADM3 level, or county level, and include not only counties but also urban and other districts." from http://www.fas.harvard.edu/%7Echgis/ (.xls)

Animated Chinese characters

Chinese Studies WWW Virtual Library

12 Sept
Biflora, "a scientific database with information about the highly endangered plant species of the island of Hainan, P.R. China, first. As a part of the Indo-Burma region this island is considered to be one of the "biodiversity hotspots" of the world."

TAL Apparel google search

Basic information on Confucius from japan-guide.com

Online versions of The Chinese Classics ...Legge translation of Analects, others in the Confucian Canon

Intellectual trends in Japanese Confucianism

The flourishing of neo-Confucianism was the major intellectual development of the Tokugawa period. Confucian studies had long been kept active in Japan by Buddhist clerics, but during the Tokugawa period, Confucianism emerged from Buddhist religious control. This system of thought increased attention to a secular view of man and society. The ethical humanism, rationalism, and historical perspective of neo-Confucian doctrine appealed to the official class. By the mid-seventeenth century, neo-Confucianism was Japan's dominant legal philosophy and contributed directly to the development of the kokugaku (national learning) school of thought.

The importation of Confucianism and Buddhism from Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy... see also Neo-Confucianism, the samurai code and Tokugawa society

About Korea, including Resurgence of Neo-Confucian Rule

Iron Chef compendium Kaga Takeshi Actor & Chairman Kaga

16 Sept
"Rashomon effect" google search: Love Canal, Black Panther Party, Yamashita Riki's analysis, Despina Kakodaki's bibliography, etc.

19 Sept
Korean Studies is available through Project Muse

Origins of the Choson Dynasty (review)
The I ching in Late-Choson Thought (Ng Wai-ming)
Late Choson Society as Reflected in a Shamanistic Narrative: An Analysis of the Pari Kongju Muga (Michael Pettid)
Pre-Hankul Materials, Koreo-Japonic, and Altaic (Alexander Vovin)
The Korean Alphabet: Its History and Structure (review) (Florian Coulmas)

I've been messing with layers from http://www.fas.harvard.edu/ ~chgis/data/chgis/downloads/v2/datasets/archive/datalist.html with middling success. The DEMs have 3 bands, and I can't figure out just what each one shows. It's not simply topography... The ZIP files are in R:\china\histgis\ and the unZIPped are in R:\china\chgisv2\

22 Sept
History regional option summary of late traditional history

23 Sept
made R:\eastasia\fujianlights.mxd

made R:\china\allfujian.shp (merging counties)

24 Sept
Some messing around with Fujian layers, semi-successful. In R:/china/chgisv2/ is the gwsfujian.shp layer, which for some reason doesn't show up in the /china/ directory in ArcMap, though it's there as well. Its coordinates aren't correct yet, so it doesn't line up with the other layers...

I'll remind myself that the 1990 Census Variables key is here...

Kwaidan from amazon.com (reminding me that the stories are by Lafcadio Hearn). Here's the text for Hoichi the Earless, and of the Kobayashi film... and a UMich review gives the Japanese names of the original stories (Kurokami, Yuki-onna, Miminashi Hoichi, and Chawan no naka). See also Hearn's preface. The Project Gutenberg text is here.

SARS summary in Nature

25 Sept
Here's one I just happened to find while looking for Fujian/Fukien stuff:

The Geographical Distribution of Floods and Droughts in Chinese History, 206 B.C.-A.D. 1911 Yao Shan-Yu The Far Eastern Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 4. (Aug., 1943), pp. 357-378.

A Hierarchical Regional Space Model for Contemporary China (Henderson & Skinner 1999)

Origins and Evolution of a Geographical Idea: The Macroregion in China Carolyn Cartier. Modern China, Volume 28, Number 1 (January 1, 2002), pp. 79-142

Footloose in Fujian: Economic Correlates of Footbinding Hill Gates Comparative Studies in Society and History Volume 43, Number 1 (January 2001)

Family and Reproduction in East Asia: China, Korea, and Japan compared 8 October 2002 G. William Skinner

29 Sept
Links for Chinese Religions and Philosophy from Kenyon

Pansori explanation, and an example as a RealPlayer file, and another with several actors.

1 October
The Tale Of Sim Chung

Among the many stories, pansori dramas, and folk tales, the Tale of Sim Chung is one of the classic examples of the Confucian virtue of filial piety. Korean's heartwarming story is about a very beautiful girl, Sim Chung, who sacrifices her life so that her blind father can regain his sight.
this raises the subject of the EXEMPLARY story...
From People's Daily News, Tuesday, April 03, 2001:

First Ever Conference on Filial Piety Held in SW China

The first-ever national conference on loyalty and filial piety to be held in China opened in Chengdu, capital city of southwest China's Sichuan Province recently.

More than 100 scholars from both home and overseas attended the conference.

The aim of the conference is to assimilate the quintessence of filial piety, enhance the cohesive force of the Chinese nation, promote social stability and eliminate the negative influence of feudalism in modern life, said the organizer.

Participants agreed that the basic principle of morality is to love the motherland and people.

Scholars from Taiwan said people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits accept traditional virtues of Chinese culture, which closely integrate people on both sides.

The conference was jointly organized by the Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, the Provincial Academy of Social Sciences and the Society for Promoting Cross-Straits Exchanges in Sichuan Province.

Filial Piety in Modern Times: Timely Adaptation and Practice Patterns (Kyu-taik Sun)

Filial Piety in Modern Times: The Ideal and Practice of Parental Care (Elaine C. Pang)

Cyber-Experience Hall of Loyalty and Filial Piety

Buddhism and Society: Filial Piety

New book: Women and Confucian cultures in premodern China, Korea, and Japan

...Korea and Japan, where imported Chinese institutions and texts were superimposed on native social structures... (3)

of 'Confucianism': premodern Korean and Japanese scholars viewed it as a cluster of ethical ideals articulated in the Chinese classics as well as the texts themselves... the term still exercises enormous rhetorical power on scholarly and popular minds. There is a long history of using "Confucianism" as a shorthand for something less amenable to a simplistic narrative: Chinese civilization, secret of Asian economic success, or obstacle to modernization... the making of Confucianism into a symbol and Confucius into an icon distorts by simplification... (3)

Filial Piety: An Understanding with links to literary exemplars

"paragons of filial piety" google search

text of The Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety, written by the Yuan Dynasty scholar Guo Jujing ("didactic examples of commendable behavior, taken from ancient Confucian teachings...")

?hs? Catches Fish for His Stepmother (Utagawa)

Muso, One of the 'Twenty-Four Paragons of Filial Piety' Artist: Suzuki Harunobu

Saved R:\china\gwsadaeag.mxd which has provincial boundaries

Trouble and strife: Taiwan's imported brides By Laurence Eyton (Asia Times 2 Oct)

Chun-hyang in Washington By John Kie-chiang Oh Professor Emeritus, Catholic University of America

...the identity of the author of the Tale of Chun-hyang is unknown, according to ``The History of Korea'' by Han Woo- keun (East-West Center Press) and ``A History of the Korean People'' by Andrew C. Nahm (Hollym Press).

It is possibly because an apparently gifted story teller, probably a member of the aristocratic (yangban) class, did not wish to be identified as a writer of commoners' literature in hangul, the Korean vernacular used by lower class people and women.

The author might have been a scholar who had failed the royal examinations mostly on Confucian classics required for appointment to official positions. These examinations were written completely in Chinese characters, just as French was the lingua franca in the diplomatic world.

The anonymous author's knowledgeable treatment of both the scholar official family and the former courtesan and her daughter, Chunghyang, indicate that he, or she, knew worlds of both the privileged aristocracy and the aging and still unattached courtesan and her pretty offspring. The loss of a literary talent from Korean officialdom probably resulted in a lasting gift of a folk literature to the Korean people - and now to the world.

One Culture, Two Cinematic Nations: Korean Cinema Hye Seung Chung

Women in Royal Court Mired in Power By Yang Sung-jin

Neo-Confucianism Social Values in Korean society

In Choson Dynasty Korea, four rather distinct social strata developed:
  1. the scholar-officials, collectively referred to as the yangban;
  2. the chungin (literally ‘middle people’), technicians and administrators subordinate to the yangban;
  3. the commoners or sangmin, a large group composed of farmers, craftsmen, and merchants;
  4. and the ch'ommin (literally despised people), at the bottom of society.
To ensure stability, the government devised a system of personal tallies in order to identify people according to their status."

Yangban (YUHNG-bahn). "In the strictest sense of the term, yangban referred to government officials or officeholders who had passed the civil service examinations that tested knowledge of the Confucian classics and their neo-Confucian interpreters. They were the Korean counterparts of the scholar-officials, or mandarins, of imperial China. The term yangban, first used during the Koryo Dynasty, means literally ‘two groups,’ that is, civil and military officials. Over the centuries, however, its usage became rather vague, so that the term can be said to have several overlapping meanings.

Strictly speaking, a yangban lineage was one that consistently combined examination success with appointments to government office over a period of some generations. During the Choson period, examination candidates had to show several generations of such ancestry on both sides to be admitted to the civil service examinations. A broader use of the term included within the yangban two other groups that could be considered associated with, but outside of, the ruling elite.

The first group included those scholars who had passed the preliminary civil service examination and sometimes the higher examinations but failed to secure government appointment. In the late Choson Dynasty, there were many more successful examination candidates than there were positions. The second group included the more remote relatives and descendants of government officials. Even if these people were poor and did not themselves serve in the government, they were considered members of a ‘yangban family’ and thus shared the aura of the elite as long as they retained Confucian culture and rituals."

Chungin (CHOONG-yihn). "Below the yangban yet superior to the commoners were the chungin, a small group of technical and administrative officials. They included astronomers, physicians, interpreters, and professional military officers, as well as artists. Local functionaries, who were members of a lower hereditary class, were an important and frequently oppressive link between the yangban and the common people. They were often the de facto rulers of a local region."

Sangmin (SAHNG-mihn). "The commoners, or sangmin, composed about 75 percent of the total population. These farmers, craftsmen, and merchants alone bore the burden of taxation and were subject to military conscription. Farmers had higher prestige than merchants, but lived a hard life."

Ch’ ommin (CHUN-mihn). "Below the commoners, the ‘base people’ or ch'ommin did what was considered vile or low-prestige work.They included servants and slaves in government offices and resthouses, jailkeepers and convicts, shamans, actors, female entertainers (kisaeng), professional mourners, shoemakers, executioners, and for a time at least, Buddhist monks and nuns.

Also included in this category were the paekchong, apparently descended from Inner Asian nomads, who dealt with meat and the hides of animals, were considered ‘unclean,’ and lived in segregated communities. Slaves were treated as chattels but could own property and even other slaves. Although numerous at the beginning of the Choson Dynasty, their numbers had dwindled by the time slavery was officially abolished at the end of the nineteenth century.

Human Rights in South Korea: Confucian Humanism versus Western Liberalism Dennis P. Halpin

Mencius described the transformation of a man into a ruler as follows:
"When God intends to invest a man with high office, He first of all sends him disturbance of mind, weariness of body, hunger of appetite, emptiness of soul, and turns all he does into confusion. By so doing, He works upon his heart and awakens him to a patient humble spirit, so that the man can then do things great and high that he never could have done before."
A virtuous king would, by this definition, be that rare combination of humble and great, bringing peace, prosperity and social harmony to his blessed subjects. What, however, if evil local officials sought to oppress the "paeksong" (the common folk) far from the royal eyes in the capital? Chosun Dynasty Korea provided theoretically for that inevitability as well, by the secret inspector system as described in detail in the Korean folk opera "Chunhyang" or Spring Fragrance. In this tale from traditional Korea, Spring Fragrance, a dazzling young girl from the wrong side of the tracks (due to the fact she was the offspring of a kisaeng, or local courtesan) falls for a handsome young scholar preparing for the national examinations to become a Confucian gentleman and court official. The boy friend goes off to the capital and Spring Fragrance is left alone to preserve her virtue from the drunken and lecherous local governor. This governor, when he is not overtaxing, robbing and beating local peasants, is at first cajoling, then threatening, and finally increasingly brutalizing the virtuous Spring Fragrance so that she will give in to his advances. Just when the evil governor is about to torture our heroine for her refusal to surrender her virtue, the young suitor, who has returned in disguise, reveals himself holding the royal seal which allows him to travel around the countryside incognito, checking on potentially corrupt local officials for the royal court. As our loving pair is reunited in an embrace, the lecherous governor is hauled off by imperial guards to exile in a remote corner of the kingdom, or worse, while a grateful peasantry cheers. Such is the idealized Confucian version of enforcement of human rights.

The late Nineteenth Century Scot-Canadian missionary to Korea, James Scarth Gale, summed up the difference in concept of idealized rule between Koreans and Westerners in the following insightful passage:

"We think of the oriental as under the iron heel of depotism, whereas the truth is, he was usually very content and in most cases left happily alone. Our ideal of government is a noisy democracy; his, a wise and good ruler."
But what if a king were not wise and good? (for the system did not always work, Spring Fragrance notwithstanding.) Signs and omens would emerge in a perceived scientific way when the harmony of the Court and the welfare of the State were disrupted by an unwise or even evil king: falling stars and famine, eclipses of the sun and plague, even ghostly spectres, all pointed to the fact that the "Mandate of Heaven" had changed. Koreans still remember the Fifteenth Century "little king" Tanjong, strangled to death at age sixteen by agents of his evil uncle Sejo. But Sejo got his comeuppance when:
If ghosts did not bring divine revenge, then the people, maybe even led by a wise court official or a virtuous general, had an obligation to overthrow the existing order. Thus, Korea underwent its final dynastic change in 1392 when General Yi Song-gye determined that the "Mandate of Heaven" had changed. He overthrew the Buddhist-centered and by then corrupt Koryo Dynasty replacing it with his own Confucian-centered "Chosun" Dynasty. This Dynasty lasted until Korea's annexation by Japan at the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

If one wished not to seek the overthrow of the government, one could follow the tradition afforded to scholars of making a formal remonstration to the throne, politely pointing out the ill-advised policies of the ruler (as Chinese students did to the Communist leadership in Tiananmen Square in 1989.) Most absolute monarchs, of course, do not take kindly to veiled criticism even prepared in poetic language. The criticizing scholar could expect banishment to a far corner of Korea: the far northeast of Hamkyung province (Korea's Siberia), presently the reported location of a number of DPRK concentration camps, and the far southern island of Cheju (Korea's Elba) were the favored locations. Or one could await the arrival of a cup of hemlock and quietly commit suicide. Suicide also became, over time, a method of voluntary expression of disagreement with the throne by a loyal, senior official. The most famous case of this in Korean history is that of General Min Yonghwan, a relative of the slain Queen Min. He committed suicide in November 1905 when he learned of Meiji Prince Ito Hirobumi's forced entry with Japanese troops into the Royal Palace to seize the Korean Foreign Ministry's seal to affix Korea's assent to the formation of a Japanese protectorate over Korea. The personal pain and national humiliation were just too great. Formal annexation by Japan followed five years later.

The Ch'unhyang Story (adapted from Ha Tae Hung Folk Tales of Old Korea 1967)

another rendition of the Chunhyang story

As the Magistrate received his guests and presided over the gala dinner, Yi Mong-nyong managed to get into the palatial "yamen" and even to approach the host.

"I am a poor man," said he, "and I am hungry. Give me something to eat."

The furious Magistrate commanded his servants to kick the intruder out.

Yi Mong-nyong entered the place again by climbing on the shoulders of his servants. The Magistrate of Unbong (Called Yungjang) was sitting there. Yi Mong-nyong came up to him and said. "I am hungry, could you not let me have something?" Yungjang called one of the gisaengs and asked her to bring something to the beggar.

Yi Mong-nyong then addressed Yungjang;

"I am obliged to you for giving me food, and I wish to repay you with a little poem." Then he extended a paper on which Yungjang read the lines:

This beautiful wine in golden vases
Is the blood of a thousand people.
This magnificent meat on these jade tables
Is the flesh and marrow of ten thousand lives.

(more lines from another version):

When the drops roll down from the candles,
Burning in this banquet hall,
The tears of the hungry people
Pour from their sunken eyes.
Even louder than the noisy song of these courtesans
Resound the complaints of the oppressed peasants."

When the drops roll down from the candles, Burning in this banquet hall, The tears of the hungry people Pour from their sunken eyes. Even louder than the noisy song of these courtesans Resound the complaints of the oppressed peasants."

Yungjang, greatly alarmed, cried:

"It is against us," and he passed the paper to the host who asked: "Who wrote this poem?" "It is the young beggar," said Yungjang, pointing to Yi Mong-nyong. But he was frightened, thinking that whoever wrote such a poem must be more than a common beggar, so he rose up suddenly pretending urgent affairs and fled. Other officials sprang to their feet in similar terror and on by one they left the room, but each, as he tried to leave was stopped by the servants of Doryung, acting under orders of the King's Envoy. The officials soon understood that the Envoy was the beggar who had written the poem.

Korean writing

Chinese writing has been known in Korea for over 2,000 years. It was used widely during the Chinese occupation of northern Korea from 108 BC to 313 AD. By the 5th century AD, the Koreans were starting to write in Classical Chinese - the earliest known example of this dates from 414 AD. They later devised three different systems for writing Korean with Chinese characters: Hyangchal, Gukyeol and Idu. These systems were similar to those developed in Japan and were probably used as models by the Japanese.

The Idu system used a combination of Chinese characters together with special symbols to indicate Korean verb endings and other grammatical markers, and was used to in official and private documents for many centuries. The Hyangchal system used Chinese characters to represent all the sounds of Korean and was used mainly to write poetry.

The Koreans borrowed a huge number of Chinese words, gave Korean readings and/or meanings to some of the Chinese characters and also invented about 150 new characters, most of which are rare or used mainly for personal or place names.

The Korean alphabet was invented in 1444 and promulgated it in 1446 during the reign of King Sejong (r.1418-1450), the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty. The alphabet was originally called Hunmin jeongeum, or "The correct sounds for the instruction of the people", but has also been known as Eonmeun (vulgar script) and Gukmeun (national writing). The modern name for the alphabet, Hangeul, was coined by a Korean linguist called Ju Si-gyeong (1876-1914).

3 October
A slice of Korea in China By Alan Fung (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/EJ04Dg01.html), to accompany ethnicity stuff

RLG search 'fujian and migration'

Hakka house architecture

Hakka population by counties

Timeline for Taishan County and maps of Taishan County (SW of HK) (Its population is about 1 million, and is the homeland of some 1.3 million expatriates Overseas Chinese in over eighty countries..."

Analects: Waley translation and Legge translation

Confucius listserv

Confucius and the Scholars (Charlotte Allen, The Atlantic April 1999

Confucian image gallery

Lexicon of Confucianism based on an ongoing manuscript of Prof. Lao Sze-kwang

Analects in Chinese from Wesleyan

Made R:\china\fujiantopo.mxd and a rasterlayer 'fujiantopog'

8 October
some Fujian migration links

9 October
symbolism and the Korean flag and more detail(followup to a question by Christina Kim)

Japanese writing systems, Korean and Chinese (and see also spoken Chinese, Cantonese, Teochew, Geyinze [from Omniglot])

On Xizao

Gordon Bass review
Edwin Jahiel review

google search: snakehead fujian (543 hits), snakeheads fujian (1100 hits)

BBC story with route maps

Washington Post report, June 24, 2000

Alien Smuggling in Fujian 9-20-1999

Chinese officials help people flee, studies show (Vancouver Sun, 1999)


At the Margins of the Chinese World System: the Fuzhou Diaspora in Europe

...and some toothsome quotations:
The INS estimates that at least 100,000 Chinese are smuggled abroad each year. New York City is the preferred destination for many Chinese migrants; many work in the service and garment industries to repay smuggling fees of $20,000 to $50,000. A New York lawyer says that Chinese businesses in New York City turn to smugglers to get new employees because of labor shortages: "It's not that the employers are trying to exploit (migrants) or trying to get cheap labor. They're trying to get labor, period."

Most of the Chinese migrants are from Fujian, a province roughly the size of Illinois with a population of 32 million and a tradition of emigration. Fujian, a center of export-oriented shoes, textiles, toys and consumer electronics production, ranks eighth in terms of wealth among China's 30 provinces. Some of the young men trying to emigrate complain that employers prefer to hire women—many of whom are migrants from poorer provinces-- for factory jobs. In some villages, 10 percent of the population has emigrated.

The apparent paradox of an economic boom and increased emigration reflect the desire of better-off residents to emigrate to do even better. The government says that the typical Fujianese urban resident has an income 20 percent higher than the national average, while Fujianese peasants have incomes 36 percent higher than farmers elsewhere in China. One said that rural Sichuanese migrants in Fujian play the same role of filling undesirable jobs that Fujianese do in the US. English schools in Fujian advertise courses in "Restaurant English," claiming in ads that: "For the money you'll make in a day and a half working in America, you can study a full semester of Restaurant English."

Many Fujianese are successful abroad. A 1997 ranking of the richest Asian businessmen found that 39 were ethnic Chinese, including 23 from Fujian, although none of the 23 Fujianese lived in Fujian. Among Chinese states, only Guangdong has more migrants abroad.

At the margins of the Chinese world system: The Fuzhou diaspora in Europe Frank N. Pieke (a long paper on the subject)


(see also 24 April log entries

10 October
Got interested in Japanese copper and silver production this morning:

Sumitomo history
Copper in History (International Copper Study Group)
Ashio copper-mine poisoning incident
A Full List of the Papers of the Bulletin of the Metals Museum
Nippon Foundation Library

History of Silver Production (Silver institute)
Cycles of Silver: Global Economic Unity through the Mid-Eighteenth Century
Dennis O. Flynn and Arturo Giráldez
Journal of World History, vol. 13, no. 2 (Fall 2002) pp. 391-427

Abstract: Conversion of China’s monetary and fiscal systems to a silver standard led to a doubling in the value of silver in China vis-ŕ-vis the rest of the world by the early sixteenth century. Heightened profit opportunities induced an unprecedented surge in silver production in Spanish America and in Japan. Destined ultimately for China, tens of thousands of tons of silver passed through Europe via long-distance maritime and overland trade routes. Fifty tons of silver annually also reached China via the Pacific Ocean after the founding of the Spanish city of Manila in 1571. Japan exported huge quantities of silver to China until the late seventeenth century. New American crops were also introduced to Chinese agriculture via the Manila galleons, contributing to a doubling or more of Chinese population in the eighteenth century. Silver demand grew along with China’s population, which in turn led to a fifty percent silver price premium in China. Largely in response to buoyant demand, more Mexican silver was produced during the eighteenth century than had been produced by all of Spanish America during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries combined. Subsequently, during the second half of the eighteenth century, a "tea and opium cycle" propelled British fortunes in Asia. Economic, environmental, and demographic histories must not be viewed as independent phenomena. It is a mistake to view societies around the world as independent of or weakly connected to global forces. All heavily populated continents have been deeply connected since the sixteenth century.
Sado Gold Mine history
China Trade Silver: A little-known cargo in early U.S.-China trade
The Elimination of Imported Currency at the End of the 17th Century (Journal of Japanese Trade and Industry)
Until the Edo period (1603-1868), Japan depended on copper coins imported from China for its currency...
and see also Japan and the Song, Mongol and Ming Dynasties China - A Vast Repository of Goods and Cultures and others in the series of Special Articles on Japanese Civilization by Kawakatsu Heita

chronology from Binghamton

From the Met: Qing Dynasty Painting from Metropolitan Museum of Art... also Japan 1600-1800, Korea 1600-1800, Great Waves: Chinese Themes in the Arts of Korea and Japan, and the site generally...

On the Basque/Ainu hypothesis:

language isolates...
from Waseda: Tamura, Suzuko Linguistics Ainu, Basque, Linguistics
phonological comparison
Numbers in Ancient and Proto-Languages

13 October
The Road Home

official Web site
Zhang Yimou's Long Road Home: The personal and aesthetic odyssey of China's premier director (Alan A. Stone)
Zhang Yimou Returns to Form by G. Allen Johnson
Two Lives In China, With Mao Lurking By Stephen Holden (New York Times)

14 October
Zhang Yimou Essay (Fabian Ziesing)

found cached in google:

Translation of Zhang Yimou's letter to Gilles Jacob, concerning Zhang's withdrawal from the Cannes Film Festival 1999.

Text is a translation from the Chinese original posted in the Internet Edition of the Beijing Youth Daily, April 20, 1999.

Respected President XXX:

I have decided to withdraw my films 'Not One Less' and 'My Father, My Mother' from you and will not be taking part in this year's Cannes Film Festival. The reason is I feel you have seriously misunderstood these two films and it is a misunderstanding I cannot accept.

My two films both concern beloved themes. 'Not One Less' expresses our deep love for children and this whole national cultural situation for us today and our concerns for the future. 'My Father, My Mother' sings the praises of the truth and purity of love between a man and a woman. These are feelings common to all mankind. Therefore it is surprising that you critique my films on 'political' grounds. This is nothing but political or cultural prejudice.

For many years, I have been an enthusiastic and active participant of the Cannes Film Festival. Cannes has an important place in my heart,just as it does for every other director around the world. To be selected to take part in Cannes is a great honour for us. But today, I have decided to withdraw because my faith in the cherished artistic motives of the festival has been shaken. I am very sorry that this has happened.

Whether a film is good or bad, each person can have his or her own way of looking at it, this is only natural. But I cannot accept that when it comes to Chinese films, the West seems for a long time to have had just the one 'political' reading: if it's not 'against the government' then it's 'for the government'. The naivete and lack of perspective (lit. 'one-sidedness') of using so simple a concept to judge a film is obvious. With respect to the works of directors from America, France and Italy for example, I doubt you have the same point of view.

I hope this discrimination against Chinese films can be overcome in time. Otherwise it will not only be an injustice to me, but also to other Chinese directors, including the next generation of young directors and their works.

Yours Sincerely,
Zhang Yimou

interview with Zhang Yimou, covering various films

Mary Farquhar's general appraisal from Senses of the Cinema

Jeff Walls' review


Zhang Yimou, often regarded as China's leading contemporary filmmaker, directed this drama chronicling the ebb and flow of one family's fortunes, set against the backdrop of China's tumultuous history between the 1940s and the 1970s. Fugui (Ge You) is the father of a once-wealthy family whose addiction to gambling and chronic bad luck causes him to lose his home in a game of dice with Long'er (Ni Dabong). Fugui's wife Jiazhen (Gong Li) abandons him, and he finds himself working as a peddler, until the man who now owns his home gives him a pair of shadow puppets. Fugui learns the art of puppetry and travels as a performer; while on the road, he is arrested by Nationalist forces, until he is liberated by advancing Red Army factions, and he comes him home to his wife and children as they adapt to the nation's new leadership. While once a lazy spendthrift, Fugui vows to change his ways, and he struggles to become a better worker and citizen. But Fugui and his family soon realize that there is adversity waiting for them around every corner, and the onset of the Cultural Revolution makes it clear that China's new regime can be as corrupt and callous as the old order. While a Grand Prize winner at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival and recipient of the Best Foreign Language Film award at the 1995 BAFTA Awards, Huozhe did not fare well in its homeland. Chinese censors objected to the film's commentary about political abuses in China's past, as well as Zhang Yimou's attempts to present the film at several international festivals. As punishment, he was forced to write a formal apology and was not allowed to make another film for two years. (http://www.foreignfilms.com/films/2148.asp)

more Huozhe reviews

Birth of a Beijing Music Scene (Matthew Corbin Clark)

WGBH streaming video: China in the Red

Beijing's Bruce has the blues

Rock writers around the world have raved over China's Cui Jian, comparing him to Bruce Springsteen. But few in China can make such calls; most have never heard this invisible rock star, since Beijing rarely allows him to play. By Ron Gluckman/Beijing
15 October
In the wake of To Live yesterday, it's worthwhile to think about how to find resources that will help to explain the Cultural Revolution to people who were born more than 10 years after it ended... Here's a selection of candidates, stressing variety:
Wikipedia entry
Cultural Revolution bibliography from U. Maine
Virtual Museum of Cultural Revolution from Hua Xia Wen Zhai
Scrapbook of the Revolution: Interpreting the Mao Era (magnificent collection by S. Jacobson)
Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times (University of Washington exhibition)
BBC Glossary of China's Communist Revolution
The Cultural Revolution: The Four Olds (from Australia's Powerhouse Museum)
Chinese Political Posters as Social and Historical Documents from Indiana University
The Cultural Revolution Decade, 1966-76 from UMd
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution & the Reversal of Worker's Power in China from PL Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 3, November, 1971
Cultural Revolution Campaigns posters
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution - Thirty years later from A World to Win
China: Whose Revolution? from marxists.de
from Hoover Institution's The Political Evolution of China
DECISION CONCERNING THE GREAT PROLETARIAN CULTURAL REVOLUTION ( Adopted on 8 August 1966, by the CC of the CCP)(official English version)
Annie subject search: 'China History Cultural Revolution 1966 1969'
Several from Annie:
TITLE        China's Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969 : not a dinner party / 
               Michael Schoenhals, editor.
IMPRINT      Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, c1996.
CALL NO.     DS778.7 .C456 1996.

AUTHOR       Chan, Anita.
TITLE        Chen Village under Mao and Deng / Anita Chan, Richard Madsen, and
               Jonathan Unger.
IMPRINT      Berkeley : University of California Press, c1992.
CALL NO.     HN733.5 .C423 1992.

AUTHOR       Liu, So-la, 1955-
TITLE        Hun tun chia li ko leng. English.
TITLE        Chaos and all that / Liu Sola ; translated from Chinese by 
               Richard King.
IMPRINT      Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, 1994.
CALL NO.     PL2879.S6 H8613 1994.

AUTHOR       Cheng, Nien, 1915-
TITLE        Life and death in Shanghai / Nien Cheng.
IMPRINT      New York : Grove Press, 1987, c1986.
CALL NO.     DS778.7 .C445 1987.

AUTHOR       Butterfield, Fox.
TITLE        China, alive in the bitter sea / Fox Butterfield.
IMPRINT      Toronto ; New York : Bantam Books, 1983, c1982.
CALL NO.     DS778.7 .B87 1983.

TITLE        New perspectives on the Cultural Revolution / edited by William
               A. Joseph, Christine P.W. Wong, and David Zweig.
IMPRINT      Cambridge, Mass. : Council on East Asian Studies/Harvard 
               University : Distributed by Harvard University Press, 1991.
CALL NO.     DS778.7 .N48 1991.

AUTHOR       Huang, Shaorong.
TITLE        To rebel is justified : a rhetorical study of China's Cultural 
               Revolution Movement, 1966-1969 / Shaorong Huang.
IMPRINT      Lanham : University Press of America, c1996.
CALL NO.     DS778.7 .H83 1996.
And here's a link to a Maoist International commentary on the film: "To Live" Obscures Chinese Revolution

And some links to materials on other issues raised in the film:

The Image of a "Capitalist Roader"--Some Dissident Short Stories in the Hundred Flowers Period (in Studies) Sylvia Chan The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs, No. 2. (Jul., 1979), pp. 77-102.

A Step Toward Understanding Popular Violence in China's Cultural Revolution Lu Xiuyuan Pacific Affairs, Vol. 67, No. 4. (Winter, 1994-1995), pp. 533-563.

On the `Two Roads' and Following our Own Path: The Myth of the `Capitalist Road' (in Studies) Louis T. Sigel The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs, No. 7. (Jan., 1982), pp. 55-83

On Socialist Development and the `Two Roads' (in Comment) Graham Young The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs, No. 8. (Jul., 1982), pp. 75-84.

Students and Class Warfare: The Social Roots of the Red Guard Conflict in Guangzhou (Canton) Anita Chan; Stanley Rosen; Jonathan Unger China Quarterly, No. 83. (Sep., 1980), pp. 397-446.

Resisting Modernity in Contemporary China: The Cultural Revolution and Postmodernism Guo Jian Modern China, Vol. 25, No. 3. (Jul., 1999), pp. 343-376

Reassessing the Cultural Revolution (in 20 Years on: Four Views on the Cultural Revolution) Lucian W. Pye China Quarterly, No. 108. (Dec., 1986), pp. 597-612.

What IS it to "lose face"? This phrase comes up so often that you'd think it would have been examined for its underpinnings. The term may be literally a translation of diu lian or tiu-lien (also mei lianmian, 'to have no face'), and includes the territories of shame, embarassment, and humiliation in social settings, or in a more positive context, the question of "prestige gained and status secured or improved" (Hsien, below).
Leaving a Brand on China: Missionary Discourse in the Wake of the Boxer Movement James L. Hevia Modern China, Vol. 18, No. 3. (Jul., 1992), pp. 304-332. (see pg 13 for a discussion of missionary perceptions of 'face' as a "play-acting" social game)
The Chinese Concepts of "Face" Hsien Chin Hu American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 46, No. 1, Part 1. (Jan. - Mar., 1944), pp. 45-64.

kuan hsi and guanxi

JSTOR search for 'guanxi' in title or abstract gets 6 hits, including Gifts, Bribes, and Guanxi: A Reconsideration of Bourdieu's Social Capital Alan Smart Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 8, No. 3. (Aug., 1993), pp. 388-408.
The Culture of Guanxi in a North China Village Yunxiang Yan The China Journal, No. 35. (Jan., 1996), pp. 1-25.
Factions and the Politics of Guanxi: Paradoxes in Chinese Administrative and Political Behaviour (in The Nature of Chinese Politics) Lucian W. Pye The China Journal, No. 34. (Jul., 1995), pp. 35-53

see also wikipedia entry, guanxi summary and other links, one from 'Busines Effectiveness'

Songs of the Red Guards: Keywords Set to Music Vivian Wagner

It occurred to me to wonder how best to sum up the anthropology of the worlds we saw in To Live:

(Plenty to work with for each of those, and there are others too).

20 October
There are many directions we could take from the point[s] we're at now, and I'd like to try looking at why the characters in To Live act as they [seem to] do. What's in their heads and on their minds? To state the problem a bit more ambitously, how are we (westerners, outsiders, observers with our own imperfectly understood cultural systems for interpreting and evaluating...) to make sense of the events we see dramatized in To Live? We note that it's NOT ethnographic, though it is believable, and it does reflect at least a version of some events that really DID happen.

We see people whose lives are disrupted by Events much bigger than themselves [always true...], and we need to know more about those Events: their origins, their upshots, their costs and benefits...

Perhaps some other films will help:

Freedom Fighter is really about post-Tiananmen events... see Remarks by Lian Shengde (Speech at the Lincoln Memorial rally about Hong Kong Article 23; Delivered in Washington, DC, December 14, 2002)

Niu peng is ??

A breath: surviving the 20th century in China is about a calligrapher/artist...

The Gentleman Scholar, 1994. This work is based on a pun that stems from the sounds of the Chinese words for magpie and persimmon, being the same as those for 'gentlemanly scholar'. PS349568. The poem reads: The greedy bird gazes at the persimmons, with the appetite of intellectuals yearning to go into business. Well, if you are really interested in money then go for it like a yuppie, in stead of dithering like a scholar. Be a real man! Image courtesy the British Museum
(from http://www.worldbookdealers.com/articles/nw/nw0000000469.asp)

The First National Exhibition of Cartoon Art, Shanghai, 1936

Chinese Posters from The Chairman Smiles

Picturing power in the People's Republic of China, Posters of the Cultural Revolution Harriet Evans, Stephanie Donald eds (on order...)

Smash the Old World! Huang Yongyu (see also the Enemies section of Living Revolution) Artist and writer Huang Yongyu is one of China’s most famous cultural figures of the last half-century. He was a professor at the Central Art Academy, and became one of the principal targets of the Cultural Revolution. Mao Zedong's wife, Jiang Qing, helped organize the Black Painting Exhibition, which featured Huang's works. Huang was incarcerated in a makeshift prison referred to as ox-pens since the prisoners were called, in Mao's terms, "ox-demons" and "snake-spirits." He was later exiled to the countryside. ...see more from Morning Sun

excerpt from The Winking Owl: Visual Effect and Its Art Historical Thick Description by Eugene Y. Wang

transcript of an interview with Huang Yongyu (BBC)

23 October
Looking over the Meditations on the Cultural Revolution, I note that quite a few respondents saw the issue as blind adherence to, or support of, Mao. The Party apparatus seems to me to be the remarkable thing, not the personification: that people will comply out of fear isn't very surprising, but that so many will buy in to oppression is what needs to be explored. I don't think for most it's really a matter of a Mao personality cult, but rather a matter of going along to get along. If 'everybody' wears a Mao badge [or flies a flag...], then to NOT perform that symbolic behavior is to be ...well, what?

The nail that sticks out gets pounded down, as the proverb says. We really should be asking HOW the mass campaigns were orchestrated and directed, and at the same time we really should be watching out for their analogs in our own fair city...

26 October Virtual Tour of Edo (Ken Matsushita)

Age of Edo from Smithsonian

27 October
reference to "Kemmu Code" in Chushingura... I had to do a bit of searching to find that it's 'kemmu shikimoku'

28 October
On Death Poems:

from salon.com

from Annie: Japanese Death Poems: Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death
by Yoel Hoffmann (Editor), Jisei (Contributor)
PL759 .J37 1986

collection of haiku

Rebellions and suchlike

I went looking for a nice neat LIST of rebellions and peasant uprisings, and what's most interesting is that I didn't find any attempts to compile such lists. I did find some pointers to ideas that need some exploration:...one is curious about the Yellow Turban Uprising and others with tempting names... the official view is of 'bandits' and 'rebels' of course

burdens of taxation...

The mid-19th century witnessed the outbreak of uprisings in various parts of China (see Map 1.1): the Taiping Uprising (1850-64); the Nian Uprising (1851-68); the Yunnan and Sichuan Muslim Uprising (1855-74); the Northwestern Muslim Uprisings (1863-74); the Red Turban Uprising (1855-57); and the Miao Uprising (1850-72). (fromLecture on the Man-Land Ratio

184 AD (near the end of the Han dynasty): "The Yellow Turbans were a Daoist-inspired anti-dynastic movement which rose in response to famine, epidemics, natural disasters, and the political decline of the dynasty.." (chinainstitute.org)

Some from JSTOR:

Yellow Turban Religion and Rebellion at the End of Han Howard S. Levy Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 76, No. 4. (Oct. - Dec., 1956), pp. 214-227.

A Study of The Fang La Rebellion Kao Yu-Kung Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Vol. 24. (1962 - 1963), pp. 17-63.

Social Unrest and Rebellion in Jiangnan during the Six Dynasties William G. Crowell Modern China, Vol. 9, No. 3, Symposium: Peasant Rebellions in China. (Jul., 1983), pp. 319-354.

Rebellion and Revolution: The Study of Popular Movements in Chinese History Frederick Wakeman, Jr. The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 36, No. 2. (Feb., 1977), pp. 201-237.

Communist Interpretations of the Chinese Peasant Wars (in Historiography under the Communists (III)) James P. Harrison China Quarterly, No. 24. (Oct. - Dec., 1965), pp. 92-118

'rebellion' in title in JSTOR Asian Studies (n=36)

Symposium: Peasant Rebellions in ChinaModern China, Vol. 9, No. 3 Jul., 1983

30 October
Aum Shinrikyo

A search of amazon.com for "aum shinrikyo" gets 263 hits

Yangtze Farewell from Orion Magazine


Tondemo (Japanese slang: "outrageous" or "preposterous") is a category of entertainment. Tondemo is defined by the Academy of Outrageous Books (Togakkai) as "something amusing us from a perspective that differs from what the author intends." (Wikipedia)

31 October
Registered aliens in Japan 1990-1997

2 November
Several things for Thursday's class:

3 November
Thinking about news and its implications... a search in Asia Times for 'corruption' gets 1084 hits, and it's possible to SORT by date. The trick is to know just how to take/evaluate these things, and that's part of what needs to be the subject of Thursday's class.

13 November
Wrapped gifts: Ritual prestations and social obligations in contemporary Japan

OED on 'prestation'

Marcel Mauss entry from anthrobase.com

15 November
On the 'Chinatown' case

google 'chinatowns' ... including Chinatowns and Other Asian-American Enclaves ( David Johnson) and Chinatowns of the World with interactive maps, and panoramas of several Chinatowns ...and google "chinese gangs" (2000+ hits)

Chinatown Gangs (Chicago especially)


Asian Street Gangs and Organized Crime in Focus from Illinois Police & Sheriff's News

Rotating Credit Associations
google search for phrase (ca 1000 hits), including
Rotating credit associations and the diasporic economy Laguerre, MS / Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship Vol. 3, No. 1 1998 --which it turns out we can get to full text via Proquest

Geertz, Clifford. 1962. The Rotating Credit Association: A "Middle Rung" in Development. Economic Development and Cultural Change, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 249-54. (no online access, but in Leyburn)

Resources on Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs)

The Comparative Study of Rotating Credit Associations Shirley Ardener The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 94, No. 2. (Jul. - Dec., 1964), pp. 201-229.

A Circle of Friends, A Web of Troubles: Rotating Credit Associations in China BY KELLEE S. TSAI

18 November
The question of just how folklore connects to anthropology arises... so I did a bit of hunting. I grabbed

AUTHOR       Dundes, Alan.
TITLE        Folklore matters / Alan Dundes.
IMPRINT      Knoxville : University of Tennessee Press, c1989.
CALL NO.     GR71 .D86 1989.

AUTHOR       Blacker, Carmen.
TITLE        Selections. 2000.
TITLE        Collected writings of Carmen Blacker.
IMPRINT      Tokyo, Japan : Edition Synapse ; Richmond, Surrey, [England] : 
               Japan Library, 2000.
CALL NO.     DS804.5 .B54 2000.
to help me wrestle with presenting that digression... The Blacker book has a wonderful chapter "Supernatural abductions in Japanese folklore"

...and also found
Introduction To Korean Folklore, and looked into the Korean and Japanese varieties of feng shui (Pung Su and hogaku/kaso, respectively)

Japanese Folklore course page from U. Florida --pointer to Folk Legends of Japan that "every Japanese kid grows up listening to"

If we pursue the question of how we are to evaluate the standing/reality of 'folklore' or 'ethnophilosophy', we find ourselves pretty quickly in the realm of Cultural Relativism: a current Culture Wars watershed

psych version
View that norms among different cultures set the standard for what counts as normal behavior, which implies that abnormal behavior can only be defined relative to these norms. Therefore, no universal definition of abnormality is therefore possible, only definitions of abnormality relative to a specific culture are possible.
anthro version
the ability to view the beliefs and customs of other peoples within the context of their culture rather than one's own.
...and anthrobase.com version (more extensive):
...two meanings, the first moral and political, the second methodological. Methodologically, cultural relativism means that while the anthropologist is in the field, he or she temporarily suspends ("brackets") their own esthetic and moral judgements. The aim is to obtain a certain degree of "understanding" or "empathy" with the foreign norms and tastes. Morally and politically, cultural relativism means that we respect other cultures and treat them as "as good as" one's own. During fieldwork one frequently discovers that this is not as easy as it may sound.

So are all versions of Reality to be "equally privileged", or are some more CORRECT than others? Are Truths subjective, or are there realms of OBJECTIVE truth? This is contested territory in present-day American culture, awash in controversy and angry rhetoric, with political and religious overtones. How is an anthropologist to deal with such contention? One possibility is to adopt it as a problem for study, but it's easy to see how perilous that might be: there's very little middle ground in debates on abortion or same-sex marriage, scarcely any 'neutral' place for the observer to stand in the conflict over world views.

A fragment:

The growing negative cynosure of the New Right's eye... is not anthropology as a whole, but the anthropological construction of cultural relativism, or the attempt to envision other cultures from within their own cognitive frameworks..."
(di Leonardo Exotics at Home 1998:335)

And where are we with fantasy, with folktales, with "ethnophilosophy", with "superstitions"? What do we DO with the idea that ghosts not only exist, but that they are active forces in human affairs?

"Hungry ghosts": text of ANCESTORS AND GHOSTS: THE PHILOSOPHIC AND RELIGIOUS ORIGINS OF THE HUNGRY GHOST FESTIVAL By Darren A. Bryant (rescued from google cache)

...but there's a video game of the same name, and lots more... we're in 'popular culture' terrain, where we can ask awkward questions about our OWN culture's fantastical. Consider the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy...

Discovering the Truth about Saint Nicholas --and transmutation to 'Santa Claus'

The Tooth Fairy history and A brief exercise in critical thinking, and Tooth Fairy Around the World

28 April 2004
A review of Mian Mian's Candy provoked me to order it from Amazon, and got me thinking about possible strategies for the next iteration of Anth230. It might be interesting to use a number of pretty much contemporary sources --films like Beijing Bicycle, this book, others-- to focus attention on 'current' (i.e., last 10 years) East Asian questions and issues, if I can figure out a good means to do it. It seems that Beijing Bastards is still not available, alas.

Another element I think might be worth emphasizing is the phenomenon of Shenzhen (and other kindred Special Economic Zones). The question is how to define that focus --clearly there are demographic aspects, and various Tales from the personal perspective.


Smoke billows from the back of a truck after chemicals it was carrying exploded near the Qianhai Primary School on Gangwan Thoroughfare in Shekou on Thursday. No casualties were reported. (Inset) Firefighters put out the fire. The chemical was not identified.
(April 23, 2004 ShenZhen Daily)

A City of Migrants (Dongguan)

Shenzhen(2)--A City of Dreams

Shenzhen is a city of migrants and more than 95 percent of the city's population is from the other parts of China. Their miscellaneous backgrounds are tempered by modern urban civilization, producing a new regional culture characterized by diligence, go-getting spirit, open-mindedness, and adaptability to new concepts and modes.

Shenzhen is a city made up of migrants with diverse cultural backgrounds. According to the 5th national census in 2000, there were 5.81 million migrants, about 80% of the total urbanites, the highest ratio in China. Because of what is mentioned above, probably, Shenzhen is the fastest growing city in the world, or even in human history in a sense.

Wikipedia on Shenzhen

7 July
I've reformatted Laura Turner's lists of Chinese and Japanese films in the Leyburn video collection.

Ergodic Music: The I Ching, an old Ergodic text

What makes this text ergodic is the manner in which it is consulted. One should not read the I Ching from beginning to end. Instead, the user writes down a question and throws yarrow sticks or three coins six times in order to build a hexagram. Sometimes, a hexagram has moving, or changing, lines. If this is the case, the user will have two hexagrams... Once the hexagrams are built, the user will consult the judgments that match the hexagrams in the book “in order to stimulate creative thought about their current situation and to decide how they should adapt their actions to the needs of the time” (Balkin, Jack M. The Laws of Change: I Ching and the Philosophy of Life. New York: Stocken Books, 2002:5).
According to Espen Aarseth, an ergodic text is a text that requires active and rigorous participation from the user. Aarseth, in the first chapter of his book, Cybertext uses the concept of the ergodic text to explain electronic texts and environments like Zork, an early computer role-playing game. Aarseth uses an electronic text as the principal text , but states that the concept underlying the idea of an ergodic text is applicable to more traditional mediums such as print, as well. The I-Ching, open ended because of its function as a tool for divining the future, is as a book that contains an ergodic structure. While Aarseth had a particular format in mind, that of the text adventure game, the concept works for other electronic media structures that incorporate gaming and play. The idea of a text structured in such a way as to require a rigorous and active participation by the operator spawns a host of questions regarding the act of reading,writing, literacy, and all textual functions, as well as a number of questions about the medium used to accomplish both. (http://www.well.com/~reid/cybertext.html)
Rashomon in the Blogosphere?

29 July
planning 230 for fall 2004

8 September
This morning I found a Christian Science Monitor story To get to know the real Chinatown, don some headphones, on a product of audible.com: a walking tour of NY's Chinatown. It's available in MP3 for $9.95, and I couldn't resist trying a new technology for an apposite product...

I've experimented successfully with using Remote Desktop Connection to go to my office machine and run the soundfile from there, after finding that my CD burner wasn't particularly interested in moving the file(s) from one medium to another. This will evidently work in P302 (John Watkins and I tried it in the Biology computer lab), and I need to try 114... and the answer is: YES, it works.

The trick: from the RUN command, type mstsc and then enter the target machine's IP address (my machine is currently .104.126 --DHCP may play havoc with that eventually). We THINK that the target machine has to be ON but not logged in.

Sound files aren't necessarily the prime use, unless one can access the specific bits one wants (Jon Udell has a lot on that), and Maciej Ceglowski has a good explanation of WHY this is so...