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In the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), China experienced far greater access to political information than suggested by the blunt measures of control and censorship employed by modern Chinese regimes. A tenuous partnership between the court and the dynamic commercial publishing enterprises of late imperial China enabled the publication of gazettes in a wi…
 
Counting Dreams: The Life and Writings of the Loyalist Nun Nomura Bōtō (Cornell UP, 2021) tells the story of Nomura Bōtō, a Buddhist nun, writer, poet, and activist who joined the movement to oppose the Tokugawa Shogunate and restore imperial rule. Banished for her political activities, Bōtō was imprisoned on a remote island until her comrades resc…
 
Laurence Coderre’s Newborn Socialist Things: Materiality in Maoist China (Duke UP, 2021) is an exciting book that considers Chinese socialist culture seriously in terms of materiality and theory by tracing the contours of Maoist China through the heretofore unexpected lens of the commodity and consumerism. In Coderre’s book, the “newborn socialist …
 
Mozina’s Knotting the Banner: Ritual and Relationship in Daoist Practice (U Hawaii Press, 2021) weaves together ethnography, textual analysis, photography, and film, inviting readers into the religious world of Daoist practice in today’s south China by exploring one particular ritual called the Banner Rite to Summon Sire Yin, as practiced in centra…
 
Robert Hellyer’s Green with Milk and Sugar: When Japan Filled America's Tea Cups (Columbia UP, 2021) is a tale of American and Japanese teaways, skillfully weaving together stories of Midwesterners drinking green tea (with milk and sugar, to be sure), the recent and complex origins of Japan's love of now-ubiquitous sencha, Ceylon tea merchants expl…
 
Robert Hellyer’s Green with Milk and Sugar: When Japan Filled America's Tea Cups (Columbia UP, 2021) is a tale of American and Japanese teaways, skillfully weaving together stories of Midwesterners drinking green tea (with milk and sugar, to be sure), the recent and complex origins of Japan's love of now-ubiquitous sencha, Ceylon tea merchants expl…
 
Today I talked to anthropologist J. W. Traphagan's novel The Blood of Gutoku: A Jack Riddley Mystery in Japan (Balestier Press, 2021) Jack Riddley is an anthropologist all too ready to retire – he is done with university politics and is eager to start his new life in a sleepy village in northern Japan. What wasn’t involved in his retirement plan is…
 
To call the hundred years that straddle the nineteenth- and twentieth-centuries as a radical period of change for China is an understatement, moving from the Imperial period, through the Republican era, and ending in the rise of the PRC. Dr. Elizabeth LaCouture’s Dwelling in the World: Family, House, and Home in Tianjin, China, 1860–1960, published…
 
An English mission to Japan arrives in 1613 with all the standard English commodities, including wool and cloth: which the English hope to trade for Japanese silver. But there’s a gift for the Shogun among them: a silver telescope. As Timon Screech explains in his latest book, The Shogun’s Silver Telescope: God, Art, and Money in the English Quest …
 
An English mission to Japan arrives in 1613 with all the standard English commodities, including wool and cloth: which the English hope to trade for Japanese silver. But there’s a gift for the Shogun among them: a silver telescope. As Timon Screech explains in his latest book, The Shogun’s Silver Telescope: God, Art, and Money in the English Quest …
 
Susanne Klien's book Urban Migrants in Rural Japan: Between Agency and Anomie in a Post-growth Society (SUNY Press, 2020) provides a fresh perspective on theoretical notions of rurality and emerging modes of working and living in post-growth Japan. By exploring narratives and trajectories of individuals who relocate from urban to rural areas and se…
 
Buddhism and Modernity: Sources from Nineteenth-Century Japan (University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2021) is a welcome new collection of twenty sources on modern Japanese Buddhism, translated and with introductions. The editors (Hans Martin Krämer and Orion Klautau) and translators have curated a diverse array of materials focusing on the struggles of Japa…
 
Susanne Klien's book Urban Migrants in Rural Japan: Between Agency and Anomie in a Post-growth Society (SUNY Press, 2020) provides a fresh perspective on theoretical notions of rurality and emerging modes of working and living in post-growth Japan. By exploring narratives and trajectories of individuals who relocate from urban to rural areas and se…
 
Buddhism and Modernity: Sources from Nineteenth-Century Japan (University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2021) is a welcome new collection of twenty sources on modern Japanese Buddhism, translated and with introductions. The editors (Hans Martin Krämer and Orion Klautau) and translators have curated a diverse array of materials focusing on the struggles of Japa…
 
From Country to Nation: Ethnographic Studies, Kokugaku, and Spirits in Nineteenth-Century Japan (Cornell UP, 2021) tracks the emergence of the modern Japanese nation in the nineteenth century through the history of some of its local aspirants. It explores how kokugaku (Japan studies) scholars envisioned their place within Japan and the globe, while…
 
From Country to Nation: Ethnographic Studies, Kokugaku, and Spirits in Nineteenth-Century Japan (Cornell UP, 2021) tracks the emergence of the modern Japanese nation in the nineteenth century through the history of some of its local aspirants. It explores how kokugaku (Japan studies) scholars envisioned their place within Japan and the globe, while…
 
An An Ise monogatari Reader: Contexts and Receptions (Brill, 2021) is the first collection of essays in English on The Ise Stories, a canonical literary text ranked beside The Tale of Genji. Eleven scholars from Japan, North America, and Europe explore the historical and political context in which this literary court romance was created, or relate …
 
At first glance, medicine and poison might seem to be opposites. But in China’s formative era of pharmacy (200–800 CE), poisons were strategically deployed as healing agents to cure everything from chills to pains to epidemics. Healing with Poisons: Potent Medicines in Medieval China (U Washington Press, 2021) explores the ways physicians, religiou…
 
What is the impact of Internet technology communication in China? How do Chinese people view "privacy" differently from the western perspective? How is the newly passed China's Personal Information Protection Law going to impact people's lives? In a conversation with Joanne Kuai, a visiting PhD Candidate at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, El…
 
In Recharging China in War and Revolution, 1882–1955 (Cornell University Press, 2021), Ying Jia Tan explores the fascinating politics of Chinese power consumption as electrical industries developed during seven decades of revolution and warfare. Tan traces this history from the textile-factory power shortages of the late Qing, through the struggle …
 
Everyone looks to Singapore as a role model for what they want their country to be. Several countries from China to Rwanda hope to emulate its high administrative competence, standard of living, and “social harmony.” Post-Brexit Britain wants to copy the city-state’s assertive and independent position in the world economy and its aggressive support…
 
The Bloomsbury Handbook of Japanese Religions is edited by Erica Baffelli, Fabio Rambelli, and Andrea Castiglioni published by Bloomsbury, 2021. The Bloomsbury Handbook of Japanese Religions offers a comprehensive overview of the current state of the field of Japanese Religions with a specific focus on overlooked topics. Instead of the traditional …
 
Kimiko Tanaka and Nan E. Johnson's Successful Aging in a Rural Community in Japan (Carolina Academic Press, 2021) discusses population aging in rural Japan and shows how rural communities have changed socially and demographically in recent years. The authors explain how rural depopulation has led to political consolidation and how the welfare syste…
 
On the podcast today, I am joined by Minhua Ling, Assistant Professor in the Centre for China Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong to talk about her book, The Inconvenient Generation: Migrant youth coming of age on Shanghai’s edge, which was published in 2019 by Stanford University Press. After three decades of massive rural-to-urban migr…
 
Kimiko Tanaka and Nan E. Johnson's Successful Aging in a Rural Community in Japan (Carolina Academic Press, 2021) discusses population aging in rural Japan and shows how rural communities have changed socially and demographically in recent years. The authors explain how rural depopulation has led to political consolidation and how the welfare syste…
 
The Bloomsbury Handbook of Japanese Religions is edited by Erica Baffelli, Fabio Rambelli, and Andrea Castiglioni published by Bloomsbury, 2021. The Bloomsbury Handbook of Japanese Religions offers a comprehensive overview of the current state of the field of Japanese Religions with a specific focus on overlooked topics. Instead of the traditional …
 
Kyokutei Bakin's Nansō Satomi hakkenden is one of the monuments of Japanese literature. This multigenerational samurai saga was one of the most popular and influential books of the nineteenth century and has been adapted many times into film, television, fiction, and comics. An Ill-Considered Jest, the first part of Hakkenden, tells the story of th…
 
Kyokutei Bakin's Nansō Satomi hakkenden is one of the monuments of Japanese literature. This multigenerational samurai saga was one of the most popular and influential books of the nineteenth century and has been adapted many times into film, television, fiction, and comics. An Ill-Considered Jest, the first part of Hakkenden, tells the story of th…
 
Erin Y. Huang’s Urban Horror: Neoliberal Post-Socialism and the Limits of Visibility (Duke UP, 2020) is an expansive and ambitious book that explores the affective territory of “neoliberal post-socialist China” as it manifests in contemporary Chinese (language) cinema. Pushing beyond the geographic boundaries of the PRC and the confines of art cine…
 
The latest book from author Brian Harvey @BrianHarveyAut1, this is probably the first English language analysis of the individuals, institutions and early space projects that would eventually lead, not just France, but Europe to its status as a leader in designing, building and operating complex space infrastructure.…
 
Once a powerful figure who reversed the disintegration of China and steered the country to Allied victory in World War II, Chiang Kai-shek fled into exile following his 1949 defeat in the Chinese civil war. As attention pivoted to Mao Zedong’s communist experiment, Chiang was relegated to the dustbin of history. In Chiang Kai-shek’s Politics of Sha…
 
One would think that comparing civilizations as far removed in time and space as Ancient Egypt and Ancient China might not reveal much. Yet Professor Tony Barbieri’s Ancient Egypt and Early China: State, Society, and Culture (University of Washington Press: 2021) gleans much from a deeply-researched comparison of political structures, diplomatic re…
 
Rakugo, a popular form of comic storytelling, has played a major role in Japanese culture and society. Developed during the Edo (1600–1868) and Meiji (1868–1912) periods, it is still popular today, with many contemporary Japanese comedians having originally trained as rakugo artists. Rakugo is divided into two distinct strands, the Tokyo tradition …
 
Howard chats with Dang Qun, one of the three founding partners of Beijing-based MAD architects, about aesthetics, history, cultural distinctiveness and architecture's unique balance of the concrete and ethereal. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supp…
 
Rakugo, a popular form of comic storytelling, has played a major role in Japanese culture and society. Developed during the Edo (1600–1868) and Meiji (1868–1912) periods, it is still popular today, with many contemporary Japanese comedians having originally trained as rakugo artists. Rakugo is divided into two distinct strands, the Tokyo tradition …
 
Examining the Green Party Taiwan (GPT) since its establishment through the aftermath of the most recent national elections in January 2020, Dafydd Fell’s Taiwan’s Green Parties: Alternative Politics in Taiwan (Routledge, 2021) focuses on Taiwan’s most important movement party over the last two and a half decades. Despite its limited electoral impac…
 
On September 3, 2021, Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide announced that he would not seek reelection as the president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), effectively declaring his resignation as Japan’s head of government. Listen to Dr. Giulio Pugliese discuss Suga’s short tenure, including his deep unpopularity due to his government’…
 
Liang Luo's book The Global White Snake (U Michigan Press, 2021) examines the Chinese White Snake legends and their extensive, multidirectional travels within Asia and across the globe. Such travels across linguistic and cultural boundaries have generated distinctive traditions as the White Snake has been reinvented in the Chinese, Japanese, Korean…
 
Liang Luo's book The Global White Snake (U Michigan Press, 2021) examines the Chinese White Snake legends and their extensive, multidirectional travels within Asia and across the globe. Such travels across linguistic and cultural boundaries have generated distinctive traditions as the White Snake has been reinvented in the Chinese, Japanese, Korean…
 
In The Values in Numbers: Reading Japanese Literature in a Global Information Age (Columbia UP, 2021), Hoyt Long offers both a reinterpretation of modern Japanese literature through computational methods and an introduction to the history, theory, and practice of looking at literature through numbers. He weaves explanations of these methods and the…
 
In The Values in Numbers: Reading Japanese Literature in a Global Information Age (Columbia UP, 2021), Hoyt Long offers both a reinterpretation of modern Japanese literature through computational methods and an introduction to the history, theory, and practice of looking at literature through numbers. He weaves explanations of these methods and the…
 
'I broke a law simply by being born.' In the late 1980s, Shen Yang was born during the fiercest years of China's One-Child Policy. As the second daughter of the family, she was a massive liability - an excess child, a product of illegal birth. From being raised by her grandparents in a remote village as soon as she was born, to being whisked away t…
 
This episode we speak with Dr Marisa Geyer. She is a pulsar astronomer and Commissioning Scientist at the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) in Cape Town, South Africa. MeerKAT telescope. She also explains her research on pulsars and mysterious Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). We don't yet know what causes FRBs, but Marisa reveals some enti…
 
What is image-based abuse? Why has it been on the rise in Asia, especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic? What has been done to tackle the issue? Raquel Carvalho, Asia Correspondent for the South China Morning Post, shares the story of how a group of journalists across some Asian newsrooms collaborated in a months-long investigation and uncover the st…
 
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