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Session 2: Roundtable: America’s Role in Asia: Cross-Currents and Contradictions (Sponsored by The Asia Foundation)

Organizer and Chair: Catharin Dalpino, Brookings Institution

Discussants: Ezra F. Vogel, Harvard University; Jisi Wang, Chinese Academy; Pranee Thirparat, Chulalongkorn University; Abul Ashan, Independent University of Bangladesh

This roundtable will identify and discuss Asian and American attitudes which underlie—and influence—the key issues in U.S. policy toward Asia. Some are compatible, such as the broad (if often tacit) recognition that the United States continues to play a leading role as a guarantor of regional security. Others are in competition or conflict with one another. Many Asians, for example, perceive the U.S. to be unilateral in its approach to Asian partners; conversely, some Americans believe that Asians are seeking to exclude the United States from regional affairs with the establishment of new groups such as ASEAN-Plus-Three and the Asian Monetary Fund. In the 1990s, Asian-American relations were affected by rising nationalism in both allies and adversaries of the United States, and by alternating waves of triumphalism as the Asian economic "miracle" gave way to the Asian economic crisis. These dynamics have lingered into the new decade of U.S.-Asian relations.

This roundtable brings together the Asian and American leaders of an eighteen-month project on America’s Role in Asia, which commissioned parallel task forces to identify problems in U.S.-Asian relations and recommend measures to bridge gaps in both policy and perception. The project is one of the few efforts to seek commonalities in U.S. relations across the entire Asian spectrum—Northeast, Southeast and South—and over a full range of issue areas. This roundtable discussion will provide valuable insights for Asian and American policymakers, and for scholars of U.S.-Asian relations.


Session 3: Relics and Reliquaries in Asian Art and Culture

Organizer: Susan L. Huntington, Ohio State University

Chair: Lewis R. Lancaster, University of California, Berkeley

Relics and the reliquaries that have been created to house them are among the most important objects of veneration in Asian religions and culture. This panel explores issues relating to relics and reliquaries in Asia, emphasizing the role that relic veneration has played in Asian culture.

The timeliness of this panel is suggested from the number of recent studies that have been produced on relics, relic cults, and pilgrimage over the past decade, both in the European and Asian fields. This panel promises to contribute to the dialogue by bringing new issues and documents to light.

Included in this panel are presentations on relics in Buddhism, Confucianism, and Hinduism. Two papers explore the use of relics in the Buddhist context, arguably the most important relic tradition in Asia. The first, by Dr. Susan L. Huntington, proposes that relics were the principal objects of veneration in early Buddhism and that relic veneration is a dominant theme in the art. The second paper, by Dr. Lewis R. Lancaster, explores relics in relation to the concept of portable sanctity, and, specifically, the spread of the Indian Buddhist relic cult to China. Dr. Julia K. Murray’s paper discusses physical relics associated with Confucius by examining Kongzhai, a little-known shrine to Confucius that formerly existed near Shanghai. The final two papers by Dr. Cecelia Levin and Ms. Mary-Louise Totton examine the concept of the relic in Southeast Asia, specifically in Javanese Buddhism and Hinduism and in relation to the type of Javanese monument known as a candi.

Relics, Images, and the Early Buddhist Art of India

Susan L. Huntington, Ohio State University

For more than a century, art historians and archaeologists have been puzzled by the lack of Buddha images among the earliest surviving Buddhist artistic remains in India. Noting the popularity of Buddha images in later artistic traditions, the early scholars concluded that the absence of the Buddha in the early artistic corpus must have been deliberate, and hypothesized that it was due to prohibitions against creating anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha. The so-called "aniconic theory," which has prevailed in scholarly literature for well over a hundred years, was thus born.

This paper questions the primacy accorded to images by proponents of the "aniconic theory," and instead proposes that early Buddhism and early Buddhist ritual practices were primarily focused on Buddhist relics. Further, it is argued that the importance of relics in early Buddhism is so foundational to the entire Buddhist phenomenon that relic practices were exported to all regions of Asia where Buddhism spread, and today remains a vital focus of much Buddhist practice. In the end, I suggest that a new paradigm should be put in place regarding the early art of Buddhist India, and, in particular, the use of images in relation to the relic cult and relic practices. Such a new paradigm will pave the way for a better understanding of the early artistic remains, as well as their role in the rituals and practices of early Buddhism.

Buddhist Relics in a Foreign Land: Portable Sanctity

Lewis R. Lancaster, University of California, Berkeley

The creation of the relic cult in early Indian Buddhism preceded the development of image veneration. The spread of this practice into Central Asia and from there to China and the rest of East Asia, was a significant part of the religious development. As the rituals and artifacts of the relic appeared along the trade routes of Eurasia, the influence of this particular type of religious practice spread to Syria in the West and from there passed into Christianity. The East Asian relic cult remained within the confines of Buddhism.

One way of viewing the spread of the relic is to see it in terms of the portable sanctity of Buddhism that allowed the religion to move from its homeland to distant areas. The portable sanctity was found in four major aspects of Buddhism: holy persons, sacred texts, relics, and images. Buddhist holy persons were not polluted by travel or contact with strangers, sacred texts could be translated into any language without loss of meaning, and relics and images were transported without ritual problems. The relics of holy persons were brought into China. An unknown practice among the Chinese, the use and reverence of relics was not easily assimilated. The way in which the relic was treated within this region allows us to see one aspect of how cultural and religious traditions transcend boundaries and undergo transformation in a foreign environment.

Bringing Confucius to the South: Relics and Representations at the Qingpu Kongzhai

Julia K. Murray, University of Wisconsin, Madison

In modern times, the religious aspects of the veneration of Confucius (Kongzi; ca. 551–479 BCE) have been denied and suppressed, and he is now generally regarded as a paragon of secular humanism and ethical culture. However, one of the religious dimensions of his cult is signaled by the importance of relics at Kongzhai ("Kong Residence"), a now-destroyed shrine in modern Qingpu county, near Shanghai.

Although Confucius never crossed the Yangzi River, later men wished to associate him physically with the South. In 606, a descendant brought Confucius’s cap, clothes, and jade ornaments from his ancestral temple in Qufu, Shandong, and buried them between Songjiang and Shanghai. The transfer of these "contact relics" signified that the spirit of Confucius could reside in a place where he never set foot. By the mid-Tang, the area had a temple or shrine to Confucius and was known as Kongzi zhai, later simply Kongzhai. In the seventeenth century, coalitions of local residents and serving officials worked to make the Kongzhai a simulacrum of the temple, grave, and home of Confucius in Qufu. In 1705, the Kangxi emperor conferred official recognition on the shrine.

My paper focuses on the multivalent significance of the relics of Confucius and their relationships to alternative forms of representation in the construction of the Kongzhai as a religious site. The presence of relics made it possible to enshrine portrait icons in the offering hall, despite the 1530 ritual reform, and connected the site with popular beliefs and practices relating to deified individuals.

The Hindu-Javanese Candi as a Reliquary

Cecelia Levin, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Classical period of Java (ca. 750–1500) is associated with the enculturation of cultural forms from South Asia, resulting from Java’s contact with India’s religious and philosophical systems. In Java, Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments were recast as candis. The Indian prototypes were initially recognizable, although they were constructed to serve a variety of contemporary purposes. In addition to housing a Buddhist or Hindu deity, they functioned as a memorial to a deceased ruler who had now achieved a divine form, and may have served as a focus for royal funerary rituals.

The preeminent Javanologist Willem F. Stutterheim (1892–1942) envisioned the Javanese candi as a reinterpretation of ancient ancestral cult worship within the framework of Buddhist-Hindu monumental architecture. Unfortunately, his theory was based on the misconception that candis were mortuary edifices containing the remains of a deceased ruler. This line of thinking has been revised through the work of Soekmono who uses archaeological evidence to show that the Javanese candis were commemorative in nature. Despite this more current viewpoint, it can be argued that Stutterheim’s general premise holds true: the Javanese candi did function as an architectural reliquary. While the deceased may not have been buried within, ritual objects and the cult-statue of the deceased ancestor-ruler in the monument’s program likely served as surrogates for the ruler’s earthly remains. Moreover, I propose to show that the changes in style that occurred in the later phase of Java’s Classical period, both in terms of the architectural structure and the stone relief carvings, support the concept of candi as a funerary monument.

Central Javanese Reliquaries and Pripih: A Case Study of Candi Lord Jonggrang

Mary-Louise Totton, University of Michigan

Twenty-eight ritual deposits have been discovered in the main courtyard of the ninth-century complex of Candi Loro Jonggrang of Prambanan, Central Java. My research reveals that the contents of these stone and metal caskets and clay and bronze urns, as well as the several unusual interred skeletons have multivalent functions that are key to the efficacy of this site, the largest Hindu complex of insular Southeast Asia. I argue that the interments of Candi Loro Jonggrang reflect the cosmopolitan connections of its patrons, their indigenous spiritual heritage, and the tendency to amalgamate imported religious doctrines. Furthermore, these deposits map out a cosmology manifested in the orientation and ornamentation of the site’s structures.

At issue is the ongoing discussion of just what these reliquaries were and how they contribute to the definition of what a "candi" is. Soekmono, in his 1977 "Candi Fungsi dan Pengertiannya" (later published as The Javanese Candi: Function and Meaning, 1995) argues that these sacred structures were never funerary monuments although most of the reliquaries contain ashes and bones. He calls these pripih, or ritual deposits, "the soul of the candi," yet Soekmono asserts that because no one has proved that these ashes are mortal remains of a human, we must understand them ultimately as godly relics. Although it is widely recognized from the inscriptional and literary evidence that sacred structures were built to house images representing deified royal ancestors, Soekmono wishes to deny any mortal deposits of these extraordinary beings at those same shrines. I propose careful examination and interpretation of the relics before forming universalist conclusions.


Session 4: Roundtable: The Professionalization of Southeast Asian Language Teaching (COTSEAL Designated Panel)

Organizer and Chair: Ruth Mabanglo, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Discussants: Frederick H. Jackson, Foreign Service Institute; Ngampit Jagacinski, Cornell University; Elizabeth Riddle, Ball State University; Margaretha M. Sudarsih, University of Michigan; Julian K. Wheatley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Keywords: language instruction, Southeast Asian languages.

While acknowledged as crucial to area studies, language teaching has generally been viewed within Southeast Asian studies in the U.S. as a service to the social sciences and other fields, rather than as an academic discipline in its own right requiring professional expertise in special areas of linguistics, education, psychology, sociology, and anthropology. This has contributed to an over-reliance on untrained native-speaker graduate assistants as teachers (often studying some totally unrelated field) under the assumption that those who can speak a language can teach it, given some supervision. Consequences include few well-prepared teachers, lagging curriculum development, and lack of good materials, especially beyond the elementary level. The roundtable will address the state of Southeast Asian language teacher preparation, qualifications, selection, continuity, and working conditions, the ramifications thereof for curriculum and materials development, and the consequences for student achievement. Parallels will be drawn with professionalization in the teaching of other Asian languages as well as more commonly taught languages such as Spanish and English as a Second Language.

The participants represent a variety of languages, topical expertise, and employment perspectives. Each will respond to specific questions as well as contribute remarks in their special areas of expertise. Most of the session will be devoted to discussion among the panelists and the audience.


Session 23: Environmental Politics in East Asia: Actors, Interests, and Information

Organizer: Anna Brettell, University of Maryland

Chair: Miranda Schreurs, University of Maryland

Discussant: Esook Yoon, University of Maryland

Keywords: China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, East Asia, comparative politics, international relations, environmental protection, mass media, state-society relations.

The panel participants’ papers focus on the impact of actors, interests, and information on environmental policy in East Asian countries. Each paper explores environmental politics within the context of economic development and social stability. Each paper seeks to further understand how environmental and social outcomes are shaped at the domestic level and to understand these processes from a comparative perspective.

Climate change, like no other environmental issue, has the potential to have a huge impact on the direction of economic development and international relations. Dr. Schreurs’s paper compares energy and global climate change policy in three countries, including Japan. Her research will explain how specific actors, interests, and ideas have led to divergent/convergent policy outcomes in each country.

Dr. Jahiel’s paper examines the increase in the Chinese media’s coverage of environmental issues, the nature of that coverage, and its impact on environmental policy. She argues that as an actor, the media’s attention to environmental issues is especially significant and she explores the channels by which it affects environmental outcomes.

One hypothesized effect of strengthened media coverage of environmental issues is the increase of public participation in environmental policy processes. Ms. Brettell’s research examines this proposition as well as examining other possible factors that may have led to the observed increase in public participation in China. Specific channels of participation are examined in relation to the particular political, economic, and social circumstances present in China.

Dr. Turner’s research focuses on a specific form of public participation, the activities of environmental non-governmental organizations in Taiwan and Hong Kong. She explores the nature of these groups and the relationships these organizations have formed with their respective governments.

Energy and Climate Change Policy in Japan, Germany, and the United States

Miranda Schreurs, University of Maryland

This paper will present the findings of several years of research and workshops on comparative energy and climate change politics in Japan, Germany, and the U.S. The paper will focus on how these three states are balancing pressures for market liberalization, anti-nuclear sentiments in the population, growing energy demands, and the imperative of greenhouse gas mitigation. The paper will examine the question of whether these three states are converging or diverging in their approach to these issues and why.

An Environmental Movement with Chinese Characteristics

Anna Brettell, University of Maryland

Because of its huge population and rapid economic development, China has the potential to have a detrimental effect on the global environment. This has made scrutiny of China’s implementation of environmental policies increasingly more important. The general literature on environmental implementation suggests that public participation is a crucial factor in determining implementation success. The China-specific literature lacks a discussion of this factor, mainly because there was not much participation to speak of. However, that is no longer true. In the last five years, public participation has increased significantly.

Officials in China have begun to recognize that citizen participation is necessary to achieve environmental protection goals. On the other hand, the government must channel rising environmental awareness, handle the inevitable complaints about pollution, and manage environmental disputes peacefully to avoid social instability and maintain economic growth. The politics of this delicate balancing act are the focus of this paper.

This dissertation research examines the connections between rising pollution levels, greater economic growth, and increased environmental awareness with specific measures of public participation in environmental policy processes in China. It documents growing citizen activism, explains why certain forms of citizen participation are increasing, while other forms are not, and examines the impact of this participation. Preliminary findings indicate most participation is mobilized and "contained" by various government organs and specific laws. At the same time, research indicates that the government accommodates citizen concerns about environmental pollution when social stability is threatened or when more "face" is possible from accommodation.

The Media and Environmental Protection in China

Abigail R. Jahiel, Illinois Wesleyan University

Severe environmental degradation is now a well-documented, sordid by-product of China’s exceptional growth. Also well-documented are the actions the Chinese government has taken to forestall the problem (developing an environmental protection institutional structure, body of law, and set of policy mechanisms) as well as the serious impasses these efforts have faced.

In recent years, the policy arena has expanded notably, however, as forces outside of the established environmental bureaucracy have became involved in environmental issues. Individuals have increasingly fought violations of environmental law; local environmental "interest groups" have emerged, and the media—newspapers, radio and television—have begun to cover a broad range of environmental issues, reporting with depth and frequency on both successes and failures. To fully understand the prospects for environmental protection in China, it is therefore important to consider the role of these new actors.

This paper presents a preliminary study of one of these actors: the media. It argues that the active attention of the media to environmental issues is of particular significance. The media can attract a greater degree of visibility to environmental problems than can individuals or small interest groups. They can directly influence politics by drawing the attention of influential government leaders to environmental concerns, thereby shaping policy agendas; they can also indirectly influence the policy process by creating environmental norms to counter the profit-oriented norms pervasive throughout Chinese society. The paper considers the impetus for the mainstream media’s increased reportage of environmental issues, the types of environmental issues covered, and the effect of media reporting on environmental policy.

Comparing Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations in Taiwan and Hong Kong

Jennifer L. Turner, Woodrow Wilson Center

My central focus will explore what I found as one striking difference between environmental non-government organizations (NGOs) in Taiwan and Hong Kong and their relationship to the state. In Taiwan, the majority of the environmental NGOs are focused on grassroots/local issues and appear to focus on protesting against the government in demanding changes in development practices, pollution cleanup, etc. The Taiwanese environmental movement played a big role in the democratization movement there. In Hong Kong, however, they have a much more corporatist system with environmental NGOs working with the government trying to elicit green changes in development and pollution protection issues. Most green groups in Hong Kong appear to neglect grassroots activism.


Session 24: Danger and Protection in Asian Religions

Organizer: Robert L. Brown, University of California, Los Angeles

Chair: Elizabeth Horton Sharf, University of Michigan

Discussant: Robert Sharf, University of Michigan

Asian religious texts speak frequently of the need to protect from harm. We read of deities converted to Buddhism who vow to protect the faith, while on a more concrete level, sacred words were made into amulets and images or figured in rituals which aimed to protect individuals or the state from catastrophe. This panel explores some of the different ways in which religions were entrusted with the function of protecting from danger. It aims to understand how traditional Asian societies categorized the harms that beset them and how they enlisted supernatural forces to ward off that harm. Each paper deals with a different aspect of this complex phenomenon. We explore protection of the state, of the Buddhist law, of Buddhist sites, and of children. The religions are both Hinduism and Buddhism, but also popular and localized religions. The panel deals with India, East, and Southeast Asian societies. In its methodology it is broadly interdisciplinary, bringing together two art historians and two textual scholars. All of the papers share a common concern with elucidating the concept of supernatural protection, trying to understand what kinds of protection religious rituals, texts or images offered. Ultimately we hope that by pursuing the issue across cultures in this way we may better understand Buddhism and Hinduism in their Indian origins and their flexibility to respond to local needs, both in and outside of India.

Hariti’s Hordes: Protecting Children in Early Indian Religions

Phyllis Granoff, McMaster University

While early Buddhist texts, for example, the Mulasarvastivada Vinaya, the Mahavastu and the Avadana Sataka, reject categorically the use of religious rituals to conceive a child, this by no means indicates a lack of concern for children and their welfare. One of the most familiar images in early Buddhism is that of Hariti, surrounded by her children. Images of Hariti abound in the Gandharan region and texts preserved in Sanskrit and in Chinese tell the story of how Hariti terrorized people by taking away their children until she was converted to Buddhism. But Hariti was only one of a host of demonic figures who caused children harm. In this paper I examine some early Indian stories about the demonic beings who attack children. My sources are the vinayas, avadanas and jatakas for Buddhism and the Mahabharata and Harivamsa for Hinduism. I argue that both Buddhist and Hindu stories may be read as similar developments of early Indian notions of demonic agents of disease. But in Buddhist stories, instead of the familiar paradigm of banishing the offending demon, she is made to serve as a protector of children and of Buddhist sites. It is this transformation from source of danger to source of protection, absent from early non-Buddhist texts like the Harivamsa, that will be the main theme of my paper.

The Place of the Yaksa/i

Daniel J. Ehnbom, University of Virginia

To judge from much scholarly literature, our contemporary understanding of the yaksa/i is determined largely by a retrospective reading from the time in which the divinities’ roles were much diminished. Functioning as protective images and attendant figures in later phases of early Indian sculpture, in the elite streams of Indian religion they gave up their power to the Buddha, bodhisattvas, and brahmanical gods and goddesses, but at a popular level they remain powerful divinities to this day. The later diminished state of the yaksa/i has influenced how we read ancient images, both free-standing and attached to large architectural monuments. A common assumption is that by the 3rd century B.C.E. the yaksa/i had already been "demoted" in the Buddhist context to a protective attendant figure. Both literary and visual evidence suggest that this process was not an abrupt change but one of gradual erosion of power over several centuries. Seeing this gradual process as documented in the visual representation of yaksa/i figures places the transformation into an arena of assertion and even contention rather than simply one of simple adaptation of forms and functions. This is especially evident in a clearly gendered "visual language" that over several centuries (roughly 3rd c. B.C.E. to 3rd c. C.E.) progressively transforms the female form from remote and divine to more overtly eroticised, a progression that seems not to have an analogue in representations of the yaksa for which the power shift is indicated by visual eclipse in monumental art and/or absorption into other divinities. An understanding of these progressions helps clarify both sculptural chronology and the contestation of religious power as reflected in early Indian imagery.

Daoxuan’s Protecting the Dharma: From History to Eschatology

Koichi Shinohara, McMaster University

I propose to explore the idea of protecting the dharma in medieval Chinese Buddhism, focusing on the terms hufa (protecting the dharma) and zhuchi (upholding or preservation). The idea of protecting the dharma is highlighted in the biographical collection compiled by the prominent vinaya master and historian Daoxuan (596–667). The experience of the persecution of Buddhism under Northern dynasties (in 441 and 574) lies behind this innovation. Apologetic concerns appear to have guided other aspects of Daoxuan’s work, for example, the effort to compile a record of Buddhist miracles that occurred in China. In another context Daoxuan uses the term zhuchi in the sense of upholding, protecting, and preserving the dharma. The record of the instruction Daoxuan is said to have received from visiting gods appears to have been collected under the title "The record of the miraculous [instruction] on preservation (zhuchi)," and was organized around the theme of the Buddha’s entrusting of the teaching and various objects to his disciples and the preservation of the traces of the Buddha’s life and teaching in sacred places (Fayuan zhulin, fascicle 10). These ideas are presented here against the background of future persecutions of the Dharma. Here I will examine the biographies Daoxuan collected under the category of hufa and compare the apologetic concerns expressed there with the idea of zhichi as it is presented in other types of writings.

A Magic Pill: The Protection of Cambodia by the Recitation of the Vinasikhatantra in A.D. 802

Robert L. Brown, University of California, Los Angeles

In A.D. 802 King Suryavarman II went to the top of a mountain and there performed certain rituals that were to protect his kingdom of Cambodia from foreign rule, transformed himself into a cakravartin, and found the Angkor dynasty. Four texts were recited, the names of which we have in an inscription, but none of which was extant. In 1985 Teun Goudriaan published a study and translation—The Vinasikhatantra: A Saiva Tantra of the Left Current (Delhi)—of a previously unknown text discovered in the national archives of Nepal in 1974. Goudriaan argues this is one of the texts recited in Cambodia in 802. If true, we must completely rethink the nature of religion in early Cambodia, for the text is a full-blown tantric text unlike anything ever considered to be present in Cambodia. That the very Angkorian kingdom was based on such a text is completely unexpected, and nothing of the art or inscriptions that follow in the next 400 years of the kingdom appears to reveal anything related. This paper asks how this can be, and if, in fact, the Vinasikhatantra can be proposed as being recited by Suryavarman II at the beginning of the ninth century as a protection against his enemies.


Session 25: Reframing an Asian Maritime Culture

Organizer: Cindy Postma, Columbia University

Chair: Michael R. Auslin, Yale University

Discussant: Ronald Toby, Tokyo University

Keywords: Malay world, Shanghai, Yokohama, popular culture, history, international relations, geography.

This panel seeks a definition for an "Asian" maritime culture that embraces East and Southeast Asia. The panel’s papers describe three different maritime communities among the two regions: Shanghai (China), Yokohama (Japan), and Japan in a "Malay" world. These papers take history as their disciplinary medium—a history that reflects not only by texts, but also by things. Thus, the panel proposes an approach to history and culture.

We set out first to define a "maritime culture." The maritime is that of commerce or navigation: as an idea, it encompasses both an exchange and transport of objects and industries over comparatively large bodies of water. Maritime culture begins with the sea—or "seaborne." It is a culture of exchanges and encounters that appears in high relief at sea-bordering settlements and cities. It is also a culture that floats in the imagination of people thinking about the far away and exotic.

Second, the panel grapples with an idea of Asia. While the panel does not exclude inland connections and significance, we describe an Asia by its maritime communities.

Drawing interpretations from art, international relations, geography, and commerce, the panel proposes the following:

To define spatial boundaries that are mapped around the exchange of objects or their industries, and the maritime and cosmopolitan culture that is encompassed within this space.

To describe maritime cultures through their media of transmission. The use of these objects and industries for exoticizing and orientalizing is depicted or contested in the sites of their use: Yokohama, Shanghai or Singapore/ Batavia.

The maritime is often—by its nature of exchange—an exoticized and transient culture. Through an examination of its materiality and ideality, we propose a new approach that illuminates types and degree of inter-cultural exchange. The panel suggests a cultural facet within international relations that hitherto has been ignored. Through these papers, we show how cultural exchanges vitally contribute to the formation of a new Asian and maritime culture.

Framing a Maritime Culture: "Modern" Spatial Considerations of Japan in a Malay World

Cindy Postma, Columbia University

In his South Seas Chronicles of 1910, Takekoshi Yosabur˘ defined the outlines of a territory called the Nany˘. At its edges, he states, are the southern countries of the Malay peoples.

This paper depicts a Japanese and "Malay" world of the South Seas (Nany˘). Starting with Takekoshi’s frame, it charts the Japanese South Seas as they were mapped and written about by Meiji (1868–1912) and late Edo (early nineteenth century) travelers and observers. But this world was not only described by Edo and Meiji visitors, it was also advertised in Nany˘ sources—by an 1870 Singapore dealer of "fine Japanese silks" and "oriental curios," for example. In his novel about the Dutch East Indies of 1898, Pramoedya described a result of Malay-Japanese maritime culture: the Kembang Jepun, or "Japanese flower" districts of Batavia and Surabaya. This paper employs a reading of both Japanese histories and of Southeast Asian sources to frame—thus describe, highlight, and set out a space for—a maritime culture.

The idea of a maritime culture finds a place for a Japan-Nany˘ relationship within what is often described as the era of "high" (European) imperialism. This paper draws a picture of Japan’s nineteenth-century connections to parts of Southeast Asia during that era. It is part of a larger study that addresses Japan’s material and trade relations to the Nany˘ during and after sakoku ("seclusion").

Art and Cultural Resistance: The Shanghai Museum’s Chinese Collection

Laura A. McDaniel, Vanderbilt University

This paper will address the colonial legacy of art and archeology collections in Shanghai.

The concept of the museum was introduced to China from the West, and the Shanghai Museum was the joint domain of French missionaries and the British Royal Asiatic Society until 1952. Much in this collection—including everything from cooking pots to priceless watercolors—emphasized the exoticism and timelessness of Chinese culture.

The paper focuses on the ways in which the Chinese museum-going public (both before and after 1952) effectively resisted, accommodated, and domesticated this colonial master narrative—in an effort to mold the Chinese national heritage. For example, there was an exhibit in 1935 of ornately carved Ming furniture. In their notes and public descriptions of this exhibit, the British curators indicated that they saw this artisan work as "clever," "delicate," "exotic," "refined," etc. However, local urbanites commenting on this exhibit in newspapers complained that the furniture was "impractical" and "uncomfortable." Thus, it was evidence of China’s failure as a culture to achieve the "modernity" that was so coveted at this time.

This paper—while it is not about political history per se—aims to revise the notion of Asian impotence under different treaty regimes/colonial regimes. It accomplishes this through an analysis of power and impotence on a subtle, cultural level—not on a political/economic one.

Transgressing Boundaries: Cultural Malleability in Mid-19th-Century Yokohama

Michael R. Auslin, Yale University

This paper will critique the longstanding portrait of the Yokohama treaty port as comprising two self-sealed worlds: one Japanese, one Western. While issues of language and cultural practice posed formidable hurdles for the Japanese and Western traders interacting at the port, often unheralded were both the concrete cultural exchange and the concomitant perception of that change. Moreover, this exchange flourished in the years before the Meiji Restoration and the subsequent "Westernization" of Japan.

This paper will explore how Yokohama in the 1860s became a public space—not merely an economic one—in which both Japanese and Westerners began to grope toward a more complex cultural understanding of each other. Buttressing this was the physical layout of the port, which—I will endeavor to show—was not as isolating as it seemed. Rather, it contributed to the cultural and economic interchange. Informed by Japanese historians such as Yoshida Nobuyuki, I will employ the work of contemporary Japanese woodblock print artists—primarily Hashimoto—and investigate their perception and artistic creation of a new type of international cultural entrep˘t. I also will use selected contemporary Western accounts by diplomats and merchants to show that this probing of cultural boundaries was not limited to Japanese. In short, members on both sides of the relationship sought to overcome the inherent obstacles to free interaction.

This paper is bound up with a larger study of the Japanese response to the unequal treaty regime of 1858, a study which questions whether Japanese government and society were really impotent in the face of seemingly overwhelming Western power. Rather, contestation of the treaty regime was the norm, and Yokohama became the nexus of this cultural and political encounter. As such, it played a vital role in the formation of a new Asian maritime culture.


Session 44: Crafting Identities: Pottery Communities in Asia as Tradition in Transformation

Organizer and Chair: Nancy Gottovi, North Carolina State University

Discussant: H. Leedom Lefferts, Jr., Drew University

Keywords: tradition, pottery, identity, Korea, Japan, Thailand.

Pottery communities are landscapes of economy, memory, and tradition in which localized identities and power relations between community members are expressed and constituted. What happens when local craft communities become linked to national and global economies? What happens to traditional power relations between community members when the state intervenes with institutions to preserve tradition? This session will examine modern pressures facing several traditional Asian pottery communities chiefly in terms of economic transformation and survival, and the pressures and pitfalls of maintaining "traditional" identities.

In northeast Thailand, economic and ecological factors have resulted in a change from loosely-structured household-based pottery production to factory-based production wherein traditional potters have become employees engaged in making wares for a broader, national market. Potters in the Japanese pottery towns of Mashiko and Shigaraki recognize that the economic viability of their craft is tied to the community’s reputation as producers of important "authentic" "traditional" art and craft. Yet this (re)construction and (re)production of authenticity requires immense efforts on the part of communities in the face of economic, political, and social change. Conversely, over the past century onggi potters and pottery in the Republic of Korea have never enjoyed the status of more elite forms of Korean ceramics. Yet despite a growing interest and celebration in Korean folk culture and crafts, onggi potters still have remained marginalized from Korea’s cultural institutions due to its association with lower class and rural people and the mundane. Together, these papers will explore the changing politics and economics of tradition in pottery communities.

Transforming "Tradition": Creating a Village-Based Factory to Make and Market Stoneware Jars in Northeast Thailand

Louise Cort, Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution

Located in Northeast Thailand near the Mekong River, the village of Phon Bok was part of the network of Thai-Lao farming communities where men earned supplementary income during the dry season (January–May) by making unglazed stoneware ceramics, primarily large jars used for storage and mortars used in cooking. In the long-standing pattern of production, men worked in teams of two (usually relatives or members of the same household), with several teams sharing the use of a wood-firing kiln in rotation. Recently, market competition from factory-produced ceramics, shortage of wood for fuel, and other factors have reduced the profitability of such wares, while contract labor for overseas construction companies in the Middle East, Singapore, and Taiwan has offered a more attractive source of income. Many communities have ceased making stoneware, and production in Phon Bok using the team-based pattern has drastically declined. Since 1990, however, one Phon Bok man has followed an entrepreneurial strategy to capture a larger slice of the remaining market by creating a factory. He supplies capital to buy truckloads of clay and firewood, hires skilled Phon Bok men as workers, and rationalizes production using several different kilns for specific wares. He also markets aggressively, treating not just the Northeast but all of Thailand—and even adjacent Laos—as his potential market. The success of his strategy has led other Phon Bok men to regroup in several other factories. Thus, change initiated by one resourceful individual has produced a fundamental transformation in the production process within the entire community and also enabled it to continue.

The Politics of Pottery and Tradition in Shigaraki, Japan

Nancy Gottovi, North Carolina State University

Shigaraki has been identified as one of the six oldest pottery centers in Japan, having a stoneware tradition since well before the 12th century. In the 16th century, Shigaraki vessels became much appreciated in the tea ceremony, and as the tea ceremony flourished across Japan, so did the reputation of Shigaraki’s potters. As an important traditional pottery community, Shigaraki has undergone many changes throughout its history: in the mid-nineteenth century (Meiji era) Shigaraki artisans began focusing much of their production on highly functional wares such as hibachis, flowerpots and ornamental garden wares, and other more "industrial" ceramic objects, which still account for the majority of the community’s current production.

Recent changes have had a dramatic impact on the small community. The new Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park (Shigaraki Togei-noh-Mori) opened in 1990 which according to some led to fission in the community primarily over a perceived threat to the reputation of Shigaraki as an important traditional pottery town. Though the SCCP was created with the goal of "promoting local [pottery] industry," the Park also has as its mission the training of ceramists from around the world and for whom it provides housing and studio facilities. As Shigaraki has become more internationalized, there has emerged a new "pottery politic" in the community concerned with the preservation of authenticity and tradition. This paper will examine a "heritage" industry in light of these transformative events, and efforts to preserve and culturally redefine "tradition."

Clay Culture: Assessing the Recent Crafts Revival in South Korea

Robert Sayers, National Endowment for the Humanities

The Republic of Korea has emerged in recent decades as something of a potters’ mecca. An entire valley southeast of Seoul supports a thriving industry in revival ceramics, contemporary versions of Korea’s historic celadon and porcelain wares. This comes on the heels of efforts by museums and private collectors to purchase and repatriate the scarce originals, many of which have surfaced in Japan, North America, and Europe, back to their country of origin. At the same time, university art departments are filled to capacity with young students who seek inspiration in both their country’s rich ceramic heritage and the creative currents alive in the international arts community. In my presentation, I will examine the interlocking motives—nationalism, cultural preservation, and nostalgia for a pre-industrial Korea—that undergird all of these developments. At the same time, I will pay particular attention to two case studies that highlight the tension between authentic and "invented" traditions. On the one hand, I will explore the recent emergence of a Korea "tea culture" patterned, its middle-class adherents maintain, after long-lost court ritual. On the other hand, I will discuss the belated, somewhat grudging recognition of a community of artisans—producers of the ordinary foodwares (onggi) once common to virtually every household in the Republic—whose large unheralded work connects in vastly important ways to the very fabric of Korean society.

Contesting Tradition in Modern Mashiko

John Singleton, University of Pittsburgh

The Japanese potters’ town of Mashiko is known around the world as a center of traditional folk art. Aspiring potters have long gone there to learn from established potters; many remained to open their own studios and kilns. Others arrived to open studios after training in art schools or in communities that refused to accept newcomers’ workshops. Newcomers and old-timers identify with a wide variety of pottery arts, technologies, and traditions, some of them associated with the history of Mashiko. Despite a continuously expanding potter population, it remains an economically viable center for pursuing independent art careers. Much of the thriving local tourist industry celebrates specific local traditions of pottery style, local clay, and handcraft technologies. But potters, and other entrepreneurs, pursue many strategies for economic survival in pottery. Most potters work out of small individual or family shops, but a few factories employ specialized workers in old, and new, forms of mass production. There are many different claims for authentic art and local tradition. "Tradition" is contested and invented, even as it is maintained and transmitted in various forms of local instruction and patterns for learning. Working in a community historically associated with a pottery "tradition" provides a frame for establishing oneself in a craft world. But it also requires sustained efforts to maintain, and construct, the authenticity of art and/or a folk "tradition."


Session 45: Pan-Asianism, Internationalism, and (De)Colonization: Struggles Over the Meaning of the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere (NEAC Designated Panel)

Organizer: Taro Iwata, University of Oregon

Chair: Prasenjit Duara, University of Chicago

This panel, entitled "Pan-Asianism, Internationalism, and (De)Colonization: Struggles Over the Meaning of the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere" seeks to address the relationship of Pan-Asianism to internationalism and (de)colonization. This panel is part of three closely-related but independent Border-Crossing panels (see panel 65 and panel 107) that seek to examine how various forms of nationalisms and transnationalisms functioning within the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere articulated with Japanese rhetoric and institutions related to national and ethnic boundaries.

This particular panel will turn the focus on pan-Asian rhetoric broadly conceived, with special attention to the ways that internationalist ideas were deployed within a pan-Asian rhetoric to achieve a variety of often starkly opposing goals. Ranging in geographical scope from the Middle East to India, Russia and Japan, the papers in this panel will shed new light on the relationship between pan-Asianism and colonial and decolonizing projects, and bring attention to racial, ethnic, religious and national identity in the analysis of Japan’s Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere. Specifically, the papers will explore the convergence of Pan-Islamist arguments and Japan’s pan-Asian rhetoric of the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere; the transnational career of influential Indian nationalist Subash Chandra Bose who collaborated with both Nazi Germany and Japan in order to weaken the British hold over India; the intersections between race and class within Comintern internationalism and the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere; and the relations between nation-state borders and pan-Asianism in the Coprosperity Sphere.

Defining an Anti-Western Internationalism: Visions of Civilization in the Pan-Asianist and Pan-Islamist Arguments for Solidarity Between Japan and the Muslim World (1905–1945)

Cemil Aydin, Harvard University

This paper explores the convergence of Pan-Islamist arguments about Japanese-Muslim solidarity against the Western hegemony and Japan’s pan-Asian rhetoric of the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere. A close analysis of the Japanese policy towards the Muslim societies in Asia reveals certain peculiarities, such as the assumption that Muslims will be their potential allies in a possible alternative international order in "Greater East Asia", and the belief that Japan shares a common Asian identity with the unfamiliar cultures of the Asian Muslims. In particular, military policy in the occupied Muslim lands of China and South East Asia showed distinct characteristics compared to Japanese policy towards other occupied Asian nationalities. Did the Japanese political elite’s assumption about transnational Muslim support for their leadership in Asia affect their calculation of power, and influence the decision-making process in the design and ideology of the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere? What was the link between Japanese Pan-Asianist visions about Muslim societies and Japan’s "Islam policy"?

This paper argues that the character and language of the "Islam policy" of the Japanese government during the 1930s had been shaped by the discourse of anti-Western Asian internationalism developed within the context of the ties among Japanese Pan-Asianists and Muslim nationalists since the 1905 Japanese victory over Russia. It traces the vision of Asian internationalism based on a thorough analysis of the writings of Okawa Shumei (1886–1957) and Abdurresid Ibrahim (1854–1944). Okawa Shumei was not only the most prominent Pan-Asianist influencing Japanese leadership, but he was also the founder of Japan’s Islamic Studies in the 1930s, and the long-time advocate of Japan’s alliance with the rising Muslim nationalism. On the other hand, Pan-Islamist activist Abdurresid Ibrahim contributed to the formation of Japan’s "Islam policy" in the 1930s by his intellectual influence on Asianist organizations and thinkers in Japan. While the paper underlines the character, dilemmas and legacy of the Asian internationalism that advocated the solidarity between the Shintoist Japanese Empire and Muslim nationalists, it will make comparisons to liberal and left internationalism of the interwar era.

Subash Chandra Bose, Japan, and British Imperialism

T. R. Sareen, Indian Council of Historical Research

The history of India’s struggle for freedom was unique in the sense that it was fought on two fronts, i.e., one inside the country under Gandhiji, who wanted to achieve it by nonviolent means, and other by the Indian nationalists, who tried to end British domination with the help of foreign powers by violent means.

In this paper, an attempt is made to project the personality of Subash Chandra Bose, his differences with Gandhiji and how he tried to internationalize the Indian liberation movement. Bose collaborated with many foreign powers to weaken the British hold over India. His activities, however, were looked at from different angles by the Americans, the British, the Chinese, and even the Indian political leaders. This paper seeks to dispel much misinformation so far assiduously propagated against Bose by those who categorized him as "guilty," "fascist," and "quisling."

Passing any judgement on Bose’s role during the Second World War and the liberation of India with the help of Japan is not easy. But even his worst critics never had any doubt that Bose was a sincere patriot and his alliance with the enemies of the Raj was only for weakening the British hold over India. Even his blind faith in the sincerity of Japanese intentions—distorted by Allied powers for the regeneration of Asian people—was not devoid of truth.

I will analyze how Bose’s identification with the nationalist aspirations of Southeast Asian countries encouraged its wavering leaders to fight against Western colonialism, and how it gave a certain amount of legitimacy to Japan’s slogan to the Coprosperity Sphere.

The USSR’s Comintern Internationalism and the Greater East Asian Coprosperity Sphere

Vladimir Kojevnikov, Far Eastern University of Vladivostok

The Soviet Union’s Comintern internationalism and Japan’s Greater East Asian Coprosperity Sphere do not at first appear closely related, but a comparison of these two historical constructs provides an interesting perspective on the study of the relationship among nationalism, internationalism, and transnationalism.

The GEACS was a concept based on principles of racial independence and collaboration. Of course the main goal of the framers of this Coprosperity Sphere was economy—to secure resources for the Japanese Empire. But for Japan, the idea of Asian racial unity meant more than just procuring mineral resources from Southeast Asia; the Coprosperity Sphere also became an ideological basis for an Asian transnational framework which would stand in opposition to the "white world." The participating governments and national leaders of the GEACS proclaimed liberation from "white colonialism" and prepared for independence in some cases. The organizing principle was a form of racial transnationalism.

The Comintern, on the other hand, was organized around an ideology—specifically, communist ideology. This organization was created to protect the first communist state (USSR) and to help communist parties in other states to take power, without regard to nationality. It was a proletarian class internationalism. The participants of the Comintern came not only from the "white world", but also from Asia, and Asian participants were some of the most active in it. They organized around the idea of the construction of a communist (international) world, which was not explicitly racialized.

The two historical developments then reveal a subtle but important distinction between race-based transnationalism and class-based internationalism. This paper will illuminate how race, class, nationalism, and internationalism intersected within "Greater East Asia." It will also examine how Japanese and Russian imperialisms engaged with each other through the Coprosperity Sphere and the Comintern.

Pan-Asianism, Diplomacy, and Boundaries: Official Japanese "Foreign" Policy in the Greater East Asian Coprosperity Sphere

Taro Iwata, University of Oregon

Is borderlessness a new concept? How does transcendence of nation-states occur? What is the relationship between (de)colonization and the changing meaning of boundaries? This paper will examine and situate the notion of borders and borderlessness in the historical context of Japan’s colonial expansion in Asia from 1940 to 1945. Specifically, it will interrogate the relations between nation-state borders and pan-Asianism by examining Japan’s "foreign policy" in the coprosperity sphere. I will focus on the influence of pan-Asian ideals on official Japanese perceptions regarding nation-state boundaries in Asia.

The paper will specifically inquire into the meaning of the separation of the Foreign Ministry that handled "pure diplomacy" and the Greater East Asia Ministry (1942) that dealt with other "foreign affairs" within Greater East Asia. What did Prime Minister Tojo Hideki imply about borders and borderlessness when he stated in 1942 that there was "no need for foreign relations" within the Coprosperity Sphere? In what nations and areas did borders blur, and in what other places did borders become elucidated? Analyzing government, military, academic, and media sources on the Greater East Asian Coprosperity Sphere in the first half of the 1940s, I will propose a theoretical framework that illuminates an intricate relationship among formal/informal empires, (de)colonization, pan-Asianism, and "blurred boundaries." Throughout, I will demonstrate that Japanese colonialism did not depend simply, as has often been argued, on Japan’s imposition of essentialistic and fixed ethnic and national identifications on colonized populations, but also on a strategic manipulation of non-essentialistic discourses of flexibility and equality.


Session 46: Roundtable: The Cultural Construction of Politics: Asian Countries’ Foreign Policy in an Era of Globalization

Organizer: Christophe Jaffrelot, Center d’╔tudes et de Recherches Internationales

Chair: Jean-Philippe Beja, Center d’╔tudes et de Recherches Internationales

Discussants: Christophe Jaffrelot, Center d’╔tudes et de Recherches Internationales; Jean-Philippe Beja, Center d’╔tudes et de Recherches Internationales; David Camroux, Instut d’╔dudes Politiques, Paris; Franšoise Mengin, Nationale des Sciences Politiques; Karoline Postel-Vinay, Center d’╔tudes et de Recherches Internationales

For long, foreign policies have been analyzed through a realist view of the world, and dominated by issues of war and peace. Asian countries’ foreign policies are no exception. However, political discourses are constitutive of their very object. Therefore, one should bring to the fore political and social practices that are constitutive of foreign policies on the one hand, and contextualize the latter, on the other hand.

Yet, the issue at stake is not to adopt a culturalist view of politics, but to pinpoint the dialectics between culture and politics in the field of foreign policy. Such an analysis requires not only to lay stress on the values that are mobilized in order to build a diplomatic discourse, but also on the interaction between domestic and foreign issues, particularly in an era of globalization. Generally speaking, this roundtable intends to adopt a historical sociology methodology that attends to the interplay of meaningful actions and structural contexts in order to make sense of the unfolding of intended and unintended outcomes.

As this roundtable will bring together specialists of India, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia, it will show how the same cultural heritages can lead to opposed political discourses and vice-versa. This in turn should bring to the fore irreducible historical trajectories.


Session 47: Remembering War: National Museums and the Construction of National Memory

Organizer: Takashi Yoshida, Columbia University

Chair: Arthur Waldron, University of Pennsylvania

Discussant: Leonard BlussÚ, Leiden University

Keywords: war and memory, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, United States, history, post-WWII.

In creating shared spaces for citizens to commemorate war, the state inevitably participates in shaping the communal memory. In assuming this role, the state must ask what is to be forgotten, and what remembered? How does the state deal with its "people’s war" in national history and memory? Who should be remembered and mourned in a national war memorial? In confronting these questions, the panel examines national museums and the literature they have generated in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the United States.

Arthur Waldron will evaluate military museums in China and Taiwan; Takashi Yoshida will consider the disputes in Japan over Sh˘wakan; Sheila Miyoshi Jager will analyze the War Memorial in Korea; and Matthew Levey will examine the Enola Gay controversy at the Smithsonian Institution. Leonard BlussÚ will relate these controversies to similar debates over public memory in Europe. Each paper presenter is a specialist in the area to be considered and is familiar with the pertinent literature in her/his nation of specialty.

Through a comparative examination of museums and related writings, the panel will explore how the commemoration of war mobilized a variety of discourses about the nation that sought to reinforce the solidarity of a particular national community. To the extent that this commemorative process grew out of, and sought to re-shape, both individual and collective knowledge about war, the panel will address the intimate connection between war and memory, war and nationalism as well as the uniquely distinctive ways in which these nations have remembered their dead.

Military Museums in China and Taiwan

Arthur Waldron, University of Pennsylvania

China is currently paying more attention to its military tradition than it has for fifty years, given the fundamental importance of issues of nationalism, patriotism, and social solidarity in the People’s Republic. My presentation will approach these larger questions by examining and comparing military museums in China and Taiwan. Although both states have strong militaries and military traditions, neither has paid much attention until recently to their history.

Obviously military museums exist chiefly because we have armies and militaries, just as war memorials exist above all because wars have been fought, cost lives, and demand something. But one can cautiously push beyond such obvious points, as I intend to, and look at what is displayed, what is the tone of the display, how accurate or tendentious is the presentation, as well as who are the sponsors, the intended audience, and the anticipated effect, if any. One can also ask, for Taiwan and China, how the differing political courses of the two states—one toward liberalism and pluralism, the other increasingly toward state-sponsored nationalism—are related to the specifics of the museums.

Further material I will draw from includes literary documentation and descriptions found in Chinese publications, guidebooks, memoirs, and so forth, to try to establish the larger context of the museums within both countries, and also pay attention to the extensive comparative literature, with which I already have some familiarity, dealing with memory and memorialization of things military in Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, and other states.

Disputes Over Sh˘wakan: Whom Should We Remember, Asian Victims or Japanese Patriots?

Takashi Yoshida, Columbia University

In March 1999, Sh˘wakan, Japan’s first national museum commemorating the Pacific War, was opened after more than a decade of disputes. The original plan to build a museum was proposed by the Association of Bereaved Families, Japan (Nihon izokukai) in 1980, mainly to mourn military personnel killed in action and to honor their bereaved families. After years of disputes between liberals, who urged that the museum stress destructions inflicted on Asia by wartime Japan, and conservatives/nationalists, who strongly opposed this approach, the museum finally decided to exclude potentially controversial subjects and artifacts. Without detailed explanation, it simply exhibited materials such as "thousand stitch" belly warmers, ceramic irons, and wartime posters. Even the museum’s library observes a careful balance among various ideologies, from Marxist to ultra-nationalist.

The disputes over Sh˘wakan and the "proper" role of museums typify an ever-intensifying cultural struggle. Since the mid-1990s, such disputes have proliferated throughout Japan. Examining Sh˘wakan and its controversy will help us understand contested history and memory of the Fifteen Year War (1931–45) in Japanese society. My presentation will begin with a brief overview of the nationwide controversies over museum exhibits. I shall then analyze the motives of those who quarreled over Sh˘wakan and trace the history of the disputes since 1980. I argue, inter alia, that Sh˘wakan’s case was a stalemate, not a defeat for liberals who wished the museum to give extensive recognition to Japan’s role, not as a victim, but victimizer.

Monumental Histories: Manliness, the Military, and the War Memorial, South Korea

Sheila Miyoshi Jager, Oberlin College

At the turn of the century, shortly before Korea’s colonization by Japan, Korea’s leaders were steeped in Confucianism, wedded to the Choson dynasty (1392–1910) and had no specialized military knowledge. Half a century later, Korea was ruled by people who had been trained primarily as military experts, believed in military values and were known for their military position. The military coup d’etat of 1961 reduced the problem of modernization into a struggle that required a military-like violent assault on old political structures thought to be preventing national "progress." During the economic crisis of 1998, the selective recuperation of Korea’s "warrior" culture was even suggested by the Kim Dae-jung government as a way to get South Koreans out of their economic slump.

Sincere efforts to reproduce and memorialize this warrior past were made with the opening of the War Memorial in 1994, a huge museum/memorial complex located in the middle of Seoul that provides the locus of coalescence for state political expression, identity and history. Far from simply being a poignant reminder of State military power, I argue that the War Memorial is heir to the particular legacy of militarism and nationalism in Korea that sought to link national "progress" with martial prowess, economic "survival" with the cult of martial masculinity. The War Memorial sought not only to tell the story of the strong and heroic nation against the plight of its colonial past; it also advocated martial manhood and brotherly strength as patriotic values against the plight of its divided future.

Fifty Years Later: The National Air and Space Museum and Public Remembrance of World War II in the United States

Matthew A. Levey, Birmingham Southern College

The "Enola Gay controversy" (along with the opening ceremonies of the "National D-Day Museum" and the popularity of "Saving Private Ryan") arose from the convergence of a stable "public" memory of World War II (as "the good war" fought by brave and heroic soldiers to preserve freedom, liberty, and democracy) with a changed "veterans" conception of their wartime past, from being highly critical, in their memoirs and war fiction, of this public depiction of the war to accepting this public version of the war.

The impulse to write changed, from a desire to explain the "reality" of combat to those at home (who, returning soldiers frequently thought did not—and in many cases, even try to—understand their experience) to a desire to be remembered by adopting the commemorative voice of public ceremonies and sites of remembrance. Wanting to show those at home that war is not about "democracy" and other "big words," servicemen depicted graphically the violence and horror of war. Today, horror is much reduced and is mediated by the surrounding flavor of "the good war" conducted by "the greatest generation."

Discussion of "comradeship" illustrates this. Because soldiers tried to explain to their readers that comrade groups were both inclusive and exclusive, often with grave consequences, they initially wrote about comradeship to illustrate that in war you fight for those close to you, not for some "big words" conception of the overall aims of the war; today, because the concept involves only its moral implications (you do anything for your "buddy" because there was "true" love among buddies), "comradeship" is one of those big words.


Session 64: Poster Sessions

Easy Help: East Asian Scholars Electronic Help Desk Pilot Project

Sharon H. Domier, University of Massachusetts; Gail King, Council on East Asian Libraries

The East Asian Scholars Electronic Help Desk, a joint project of the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (NCC) and the Council on East Asian Libraries (CEAL) of the Association for Asian Studies, is a variety of reference services for isolated East Asian Studies scholars in North America. The Electronic Help Desk responds to e-mail requests for digital reference services and provides brief written and electronic guides to processes such as ordering books from Asia, options for document delivery, and configuring personal computers to send and receive vernacular text over the Internet.

Following the lead of the Virtual Reference Desk and services such as AskAsia, this pilot project attempts to support the needs of isolated faculty and librarians through a cooperative effort and by applying new technologies. A group of volunteer faculty and librarians agree to ask and answer an equitable number of questions that cannot be handled locally. The goal is not to replace traditional library services, but to provide a network of support for individuals or institutions that would otherwise be left without any specialized library service.

The pilot of the East Asian Scholars Electronic Help Desk began in September 2000, and its preliminary findings will be presented in this poster session. We look forward to receiving feedback and suggestions from a larger audience through this session, with the goal of launching a full version to serve Asian studies scholars in the near future.

Op-Art Perspectives on Indonesia’s Reformasi Movement During Wahid’s First Year as President

C. Richard Ostrom, California State University, Chico

The op-art works of several Indonesian artists have been featured in exhibitions in Indonesia (and elsewhere) since Suharto’s resignation in 1998. This poster presentation will feature photocopies (most in color) of several of these insightful and thought-provoking works. The poster will also include written information that will aid viewers in their efforts to understand the key points each artist is trying to communicate.

The specific works presented will be chosen from among the following original works I collected in Indonesia in 1998 and 1999:

1. We Need "Democrazy" (sic)

2. Habibie is Suharto’s Puppet (and allows Suharto to continue to loot the country)

3. Habibie’s reform task is like that of Sisyphus (in Greek mythology) and will never be achieved.

4. The Indonesian army poses a dangerous military threat to the reform movement.

5. Indonesia’s reformers must find their way through a complicated maze of barriers to achieve their goal of "total reform."

6. The reforms achieved so far have not yet helped the common people.

I will be revisiting Indonesia prior to my presentation, and will search for more op-art works to add to (or substitute for) those described above.

My students have enjoyed the challenge of interpreting these interesting op-art works, and I am confident that my colleagues will too.

"Women’s Role and Duty" According to the National Morals Textbook During the Russo-Japanese War

Jason Barrows, Hokkaido University

While there is little doubt that the boys were trained to be the soldiers of the future during their school years by the National Morals Textbook, the question of what the girls were to contribute socially and culturally to imperial Japan still remains. This question was addressed by the National Morals Textbook in answer to the effects of the Russo-Japanese War, when the husbands, the main money makers of the family, were drafted and either killed or injured on the battlefield.

There is a section that teaches girls the mother’s responsibility to her family and to the nation. Girls were taught how women should respond to the demands of "total war" and how the parts they played in the conflict challenged traditional ideas about women’s "proper role" in society as wives, mothers, workers, victims, and patriots. A mother’s first duty is to her children. She must properly maintain a home, which is definitely a full-time job, but she must also be employed in some type of work in order to support the family, not to mention she must pay taxes in order to support the war. This poster session will analyze the impact of the Russo-Japanese War on the lives of mothers and on the culture in general.

Japan and Ethiopia in the 1920s–30s: The Rise and Fall of "Sentimental" Relations

Tetsushi Furukawa, Kyoto University

Japan’s relations with various regions of Africa increased during the 1920s and 30s, but Japan and Ethiopia particularly developed close ties since the beginning of the 1920s.

These two "colored" independent nations, exposed to the threat of Western imperial powers, developed "sentimental" relations based on perceived similarities in their history and political situation in a "white dominated world." The mission of Ethiopian Foreign Minister Heruy Walda-Sellasse to Japan in 1931 contributed significantly to the cultivation of close ties between the two nations in both an official and unofficial sense. However, the Italo-Ethiopian Crisis of 1935–36 brought considerations of "realpolitik" to the surface. Instead of being guided by the ideal of Afro-Asian solidarity, Japan’s diplomacy of the time chose the more pragmatic path of cooperation with Italy and gave no substantial support to Ethiopia. The Pro-Ethiopian movement led by Japanese nationalists during the crisis also died out rapidly. The Japanese government agreed to recognize Italy’s annexation of Ethiopia after the crisis, and was followed by Italy’s recognition of Japan’s role in Manchuria. "Sentimental" relations between Japan and Ethiopia were thus sacrificed for the sake of "realpolitik" in the international arena.

Memories of War, Dreams of Peace: Music in Postwar Okinawa

James E. Roberson, Musashino Women’s University

Music, it has been widely noted, is one of the common means of cultural and individual identity construction. This poster session will investigate how music is implicated in the construction of cultural memory in Okinawa. More specifically, this poster will consider the implications for Okinawan cultural identity of the continuities and changes in musical (lyrical) representations of war and peace in Okinawa.

From songs telling of the parting of soldiers going to war, of the terrible experiences of the Battle of Okinawa, and of prisoner of war camps, to the continuing desire for peace in the now fifty-five years of the postwar period, music has been reflexively engaged in the construction of Okinawan cultural identity through its commentaries on and (re)constructions of experience and memory. Okinawan complicity, critique and resistance as lyrically constructed will be examined in relation to the multiple reflexivities of past and present, memory and identity, as these are focused on war and peace. Related discourses about the songs, both contemporaneous with the songs’ first appearances and later uses and interpretations will also be incorporated into the poster.

Okinawan music is here broadly defined to include folk (min’y˘), "uchinaa pop" and various other genres of songs written and performed by Okinawan musicians. However, songs by mainland Japanese artists which have a specifically Okinawan lyrical focus will also be included.

The poster format will be utilized to display relevant song lyrics and related images, and will be supported with laptop computer generated graphics and sound.

Kannagara no michi: The World Through Shinto Eyes

E. Leslie Williams, Clemson University

Despite the omnipresent influence of Shinto in present-day Japan, and the undeniable role that this belief system has played for centuries in Japan’s society and culture, for academics it still largely remains a mystery. Shinto is a spiritual tradition that inculcates reverence for ancestral spirits, the kami. Precisely because Shinto is much more a matter of practice than it is a matter of doctrine, previous academic inquiry has tended to be either descriptive or historical in character, not addressing issues of why specific kami tradition ritual symbols persist in particular patterned aggregations.

And yet, there are very definite, socially-perceived and transmitted ideas that serve to constitute a unique Shinto worldview. The data of this research are the result of more than ninety ethnographic interviews and participant observation of over seventy kami rituals conducted in shrine and non-shrine contexts in 1995–96. By compiling and comparing several informants’ voices on a single issue, a specific, unifying kami tradition cosmology emerges from the preceding mosaic of responses.

Kami belief, as a rule, is focused on boundary phenomena. This fact, in addition to Shinto taboos that are focused on the earth and females, led to the discovery of an "earth-womb" root metaphor which is an important element of Shinto cosmology. This poster will: succinctly outline the mechanics of the "earth-womb" root metaphor; explicate how and why Shinto beliefs regarding ancestral spirits, agriculture, and sexuality become a homogenous whole; and present a stimulating, new theoretical approach to this important topic for all Japanologists.

The Eastern Garden of Yangzhou: Walking into a Lost 18th-Century Chinese Garden

Jin Feng, Purdue University

In the 18th century, the design of Chinese landscape gardens reached a new level of sophistication. An increase in building density on a garden property created a series of spaces with contrasting scenes of varying characteristics. Walking through the spaces of a garden was usually quite sensational as described in literature. Although we can still experience similar sensations when walking through those preserved traditional Chinese gardens, most of them have been altered in later times. Therefore, claiming the existence of the complex and sensational composition of Chinese gardens in the 18th century has yet to be supported by historical evidence.

This presentation is a demonstration of a research project that uses computer generated virtual reality technology to reconstruct the 18th-century garden Dong yuan, or Eastern Garden, in Yangzhou, based on a painting by Yuan Jiang (c. 1680–c. 1755). The demonstration allows viewers to virtually walk into the garden to experience the spaces. Critical views that link one space to another are presented as evidence to support the theory that the garden scenes were created according to compositional principles. The results of this research project indicate that the spatial experience of the garden is quite dramatic. The spaces of different characteristics were beautifully composed so as to enhance the experience of the garden scenes by sensational contrast while entering from one from another. In the walkthrough, we can see that the views in the garden were more likely to be carefully planned than randomly obtained. In terms of methodology, this study indicates that the advancement of technology can surely assist historians to see more of the lost spaces.

Imperial Geography, Local History, and Changing Notions of Territory in Modern China

C. Pat Giersch, Wellesley College

Scholars often note that the Qing dynasty’s conquests provided the basis for modern China’s sovereign territory. Yet, this simple statement conceals complex processes that produced a nation from an empire. As Chinese adopted new standards of territorial sovereignty, for example, they demanded that geographers and historians develop new methods to represent and justify that authority. Relying on numerous maps and historical documents, this paper explores the intersection of geography and history by investigating the Sino-Burmese frontier from 1720–1961.

Qing officials often conceived of frontiers as zonal space, which was usually left to indigenous clients (tusi) to rule. Imperial geographers recorded general topography but did not exhaustively survey frontiers, nor did imperial historians inquire too deeply into local histories. These practices changed as Qing officials adopted international norms of territorial sovereignty. In the 1890s, joint Qing-British teams demarcated the Sino-Burmese frontier for the first time. This process was rancorous as British officials manipulated their cartographic and historical knowledge to challenge Qing claims to tusi regions. In the end, only parts of the boundary were demarcated.

In the 1930s, Chinese scholars reexamined the disputed boundary and accused the British of occupying Chinese territory. These scholars mobilized geography and history to support their claims, but their techniques for map-making and historical interpretation were different than in Qing times. After 1949, PRC officials relied on these techniques to negotiate and map a final boundary and to codify a history that justified their inclusion of erstwhile imperial frontiers in the new Chinese nation state.

Cartoon and Vernacular Power in the Sichuan Railway Rights Protection Movement

Danke Li, Fairfield University

Scholars in the West and Japan have long noticed that Sichuan was a frontrunner of the Railway Rights Protection movement. In May 1911 when the news of the Qing government’s railway nationalization decision reached Sichuan, the movement quickly developed into a mass movement and anti-Qing military uprisings in many parts of the province. However, little has been documented as to why this happened in Sichuan while the same movement gradually died out in other provinces. Existing studies in the West and in Japan suggest that the unique way of the railway taxation in Sichuan and the role of the Gelaohui in the movement were the explanations. This study does not dispute the importance of these approaches, yet it argues that local elite political propaganda in the form of cartoon and vernacular publications and popular culture also played an important role in the making of a mass Railway Rights Protection movement and the 1911 Revolution in Sichuan.

This research studies various cartoons and vernacular newspapers that were created by both the pro- and anti-Railway Rights Protection forces during the movement in order to show how and on what issues the local elites and the Qing provincial government used those new mediums for mass mobilization. It also reveals that, in Sichuan before the New Culture movement, cartoon and vernacular publications had become legitimate and important media for elite political propaganda.

Bringing Chinese Feminism From Elite to Mass: Women’s Studies in Contemporary Popular Women’s Magazines

Sharon R. Wesoky, Allegheny College

In the 1990s, there was a vast expansion of interest in women’s studies in China. This poster will examine how this interest has had a wider impact, beyond institutions of higher education and government, on China’s "laobaixing," or commoners, through women’s studies scholars publishing articles in popular women’s magazines, as well as forming new such publications. Such work on the part of women’s studies scholars includes efforts to raise consciousness on a variety of issues that might be considered "new" in the Chinese context, such as domestic violence and sexual harassment. Such consciousness-raising can be seen as one way that a newly active women’s movement in China seeks to "frame" new issues in a way that is acceptable to both state and society.

The Origins of Taoist Graphic Talismans

Li Yang, University of Arizona

Taoist graphic talismans discussed here mainly refer to a highly stylized form of mystical script utilized by the Taoists as a means of communication with spirits. My study focuses on those that developed parallel with the formation of the Taoist religion from the second through the sixth centuries. During this period, Taoism emerged to establish its claim as the religion of the Chinese people, distinguishing itself from the restricted imperial cult, the assorted practices of popular religion, and the imported religion of Buddhism. As we shall see, Taoist graphic talismans played an important part in early Taoist tradition. They came to be the most important ritual objects used in virtually every Taoist rite. However, treated with utmost reverence, their transmission was strictly kept in secrecy. As a consequence, their origins have been obscured and their meanings are no longer intelligible. It is on such matters that the present author hopes to provide some preliminary speculations in her paper. I hold that Taoist talismans are products of bureaucratization of the Taoist religion, and they are modeled on secular credentials of imperial authority; their immediate origin traces to the graphic talismans practiced in Han popular religion; the composition of graphic talismans embodies Taoist ideology but is deeply rooted in magico-religious traditions, especially those of exorcistic nature; there are principles underlying the making of Taoist graphic talismans. In studying a subject that has received scant attention in Sinology, my research is mainly based on archaeological discoveries and early Taoist literature.


Session 65: Unifying and Dividing Nationalism: The Influence of the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere on Asian Nationalisms (AAS Presidential Designated Panel)

Organizer: Taro Iwata, University of Oregon

Chair: Peter Duus, Stanford University

This panel, entitled "Unifying and Dividing Nationalism: The Influence of the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere on Asian Nationalisms," seeks to address the unifications and the divisions of Asian nationalisms. This proposed panel is part of three closely-related but independent Border-Crossing panels (see panel 45 and panel 107) that seek to examine how various forms of nationalisms and transnationalisms functioning within the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere articulated with Japanese rhetoric and institutions related to national and ethnic boundaries.

This particular panel will focus on the multiple and often contradictory effects of the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere on emergent Asian nationalisms in Vietnam, the Philippines, Manzhouguo, Indonesia, and Korea. Exploring the often unexpected alliances that were formed across national, religious, ethnic and gendered boundaries, the papers in this panel complicate any simple binary understanding of imperialist Japan’s impact on "Greater East Asia" during World War II.

Ultimately the panel will shed light on the ongoing effects of the Coprosperity Sphere in Asia’s postwar experience. Specifically, the papers will explore the role played by the GEACS in the wartime and postwar development of the nationalist and militant religious group of Hoa Hao in Vietnam; a wide variety of nationalist choices made by the Filipinos under the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere; women’s reconfigurations of gender roles and national identities in Manzhouguo before, during, and after the period of GEACS; and the relationship between Thai irredentism and the Coprosperity Sphere.

Under the Japanese Umbrella: South Vietnam’s Hoa Hao during the Japanese Occupation and Aftermath

My-Van Tran, University of South Australia

World War Two brought a new chapter to the history of Vietnam as well as Japan. In the name of the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere Japan played a major part, directly and indirectly, in shaping developments inside Vietnam. This paper examines the political and military emergence of one particular group, the Hoa Hao during this period. The focus is on Huynh Phu So, founder and leader of the Hoa Hao—a religious and nationalist group in Cochinchina—who relentlessly sought national salvation from the French colonialists under Japanese "protection." Huynh Phu So, popularly referred to as Venerable Master-Preacher (Duc Thay) by his devotees, succeeded in building and mobilising a large group able to prosper under the Japanese-French alliance that then dominated Vietnam.

Thus the paper highlights the Japanese impact on the Hoa Hao, including its quasi-military armed wing, the Protectors of Peace (Bao An); itself a creation of the wartime Japanese-French regime which went on to become a nationalist military force following the Japanese surrender. During the following turbulent period from late 1945, which witnessed both the reestablishment of French colonial authority and the rise of the Communist led Viet Minh, and the effort of other nationalists to bring genuine independence to Vietnam, the leader of Hoa Hao emerged as a national leader who posed a challenge to the Viet Minh. Consequently he became a victim of the Viet Minh

The paper concludes that the overall impact of the Japanese occupation on Vietnamese national inspirations was in some respects negative. The nationalists’ hope for genuine independence in peace and unity was diminished. What is more, there are echoes between events in the aftermath of Japanese withdrawal to recent conflict between religious and nationalist groups in South Vietnam, most importantly the Hoa Hao, with the contemporary Communist authorities. Even 53 years after the disappearance of the Hoa Hao’s most revered leader, the Hoa Hao within Vietnam and abroad still seek to pursue his unfinished agenda.

Filipino Nationalism Under Japanese Occupation

Ricardo T. Jose, University of the Philippines

Prior to the Second World War, the Philippines had been set on the road to independence. The Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934 established the semi-autonomous Philippine Commonwealth government, which would serve as a transition government towards independence in 1946. Independence had long been fought for by Filipinos since the time of Spanish colonial rule. Not everyone was happy with the Commonwealth government, however, although these were in the minority: some sectors wanted immediate independence, others wanted social reforms with independence, others doubted the Americans and sought assistance from Japan. When the Japanese occupied the Philippines during the Pacific War, they thus came across varied reactions.

The majority reaction was resistance, direct and indirect. These tied in with the Filipino tradition of fighting for independence were seen as patriotic and the height of nationalism. Many of these groups were strongly allied with the American forces, who were seen as Philippine allies. Other armed groups however, allied themselves with socialism or communism, while others remained independent. Prewar politicians saw themselves as being patriotic by joining the Japanese-sponsored government and standing up to Japanese demands from within the system. Still others equated the Asian spirit of the Japanese with nationalism, and thus sided with the Japanese. The variety of reactions thus led to a confusing definition of nationalism, a confusion which persists to the present.

Gender in the Construction and Deconstruction of Manzhouguo

Dan Shao, University of California, Santa Barbara

This paper will examine the Japanese construction and Chinese deconstruction of Manzhouguo from the perspective of gender. I will use newspapers, popular magazines, biographical materials, memoirs, governmental publications, novels, and movie story plots to analyze what gender roles were assigned to and perceived by women when national and ethnic boundaries were shifting in Northeast China (Manchuria) in the first half of the 20th century.

This paper begins by laying out the historical background of Manzhouguo (1932–1945). I will focus on the major rhetorical strategies concerning ethnic and national relations used by Manzhouguo side and Chinese government. Gender, ethnicity and nationality were closely interwound in the discourse of colonialism and nationalism. In the second part of this paper, I will analyze how women were represented in changing political platforms and ideals, such as ethnical harmony, the Coprosperity Sphere, nationalism, and transnationalism. Then I will use biographical materials to bring the faces and lives of individual women to this study of the construction of gender roles and national identity. Finally I will try to explain how a gendered analysis can help us reach a more comprehensive understanding of the conflict between Chinese and Japanese nationalism, and what insights it brings to our knowledge of the tension between transnationalism and nationalism in political rhetoric and personal experience.

Thai Irredentism and the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere

E. Bruce Reynolds, San Jose State University

Thailand nationalist leader in the late 1930s, Phibun Songkhram, stirred his countrymen by evoking the nation’s past glories and emphasizing the critical importance of military power in an unsettled time. He looked favorably on the rising Japanese influence in Southeast region largely because he hoped that the Japanese would facilitate his quest to regain peripheral lands once under Bangkok suzerainty, but subsequently lost to the French and British. This created a dilemma for the Japanese, who desired Phibun cooperation but were unwilling fully to endorse his territorial ambitions.

Although Phibun did ally with Japan, he did so only after a Japanese military invasion forced an embarrassing Thai military capitulation. Belated and limited Japanese efforts to satisfy Phibun expansionist desires in mid-1943 could not dissipate the tensions and ill will that had developed behind a fašade of Thai-Japanese cooperation. Nor could the Japanese disguise the fact that the tide of war had turned against them. Ultimately his unhappy alliance with Japan cost Phibun his position.

Forced to return the redeemed territories after the war, Phibun rival, Pridi Phanomyong, responded by advocating a new type of Thai regional leadership through a Southeast Asian League. Pridi, however, failed to consolidate his domestic political position and his hopes for a Thai-led regional movement were dashed when the army seized power in Bangkok in 1947 and Southeast Asia divided into hostile camps with the intensification of the Cold War.


Session 66: Asian Regionalism: The Economics of Competition and Cooperation

Organizer and Chair: T. J. Pempel, University of Washington

Discussant: Peter Katzenstein, Cornell University

Keywords: regionalism, Asia, economics, competing networks.

Organizational developments such as NAFTA, the European Union, Mercosur, and ASEAN have led many to conclude that regionalism is a growing and worldwide phenomenon. Certainly, since the early 1980s, ties among many Asian countries have grown closer. Any such generic picture of enhanced Asian closeness, however, masks at least four important sub-trends. First, Asian connections are typically less politically institutionalized than those in most other geographical regions. Instead, Asian connectedness has been driven largely by economics, notably enhanced trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows and production networks. Second, these new economic connections have been far from uniform across the region. Instead, several quite distinctive nodes of connectedness bring together only two, three, or four countries, not the region as a whole. Thus, a "Greater China Network" links Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and sometimes Singapore. Quite distinctive is the network driven by Japanese-owned companies, one that is typically tied to labor intensive production in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Still a different network centers on the Southeast Asia services trade with Singapore and Hong Kong at the core. Third, many ties within Asia are predicated on high levels of national and intra-regional competition. Fourth and finally, the United States and its companies are by no means absent from the "Asian region." The U.S. is the ultimate market for many Asian exports while many U.S.-owned companies compete vigorously throughout Asia; the "Asian" region is actually trans-Pacific. The papers in this panel explore these different facets of the emerging Asian regionalism.

Regional Power Networks: Implications of the Disk Drive Industry

Richard F. Doner, Emory University

This paper grows out of a decade of detailed empirical research on production networks in different industries within Asia. Most striking about the disk drive industry—in contrast to autos or electronics—is the extent to which U.S.-based companies have proven far more competitive than their Japanese, Korean, or Taiwanese-based counterparts. Central to this U.S. corporate success have been ‘regionwide’ production facilities premised on increased political cooperation and declining trade barriers across Southeast Asia. This strategy has thus ignored demands by nationalist politicians to set up complete and independent production facilities in "my" country and even forced increased regionalization.

Positional Power in Asia: How Japanese Machine Manufacturers Gained the Upper Hand in a Regional Contest with U.S. Rivals

Walter Hatch, University of Washington

Hatch is the co-author with Kozo Yamamura of the book, Asia in Japan’s Embrace, a study of efforts by Japanese corporations to expand their production facilities throughout Southeast Asia. This paper is based on three years of detailed follow-up research dealing specifically with Japanese policies aimed at encouraging foreign production in labor-intensive industries throughout Asia and local government policies aimed at industrial development though foreign direct investment. Hatch relies on extensive corporate interviews with Japanese and Southeast Asian executives in the machine tool industry to show how Japanese networks have penetrated Southeast Asia, allowing Japanese-owned firms to increase their world market share of machine tool exports at a phenomenal pace. The consequences for local industrial development, however, have been far less locally beneficial.

Remapping Asia: Competing Networks of Regionalism

T. J. Pempel, University of Washington

This paper grows out of five years of work on Asian regionalism and Asian political economy. It examines recent patterns of foreign direct investment, trade, and private sector portfolio loans across Asia. All show uniform increases, indicating that Asia is indeed becoming more economically connected. But several distinctive economic nodes are apparent—one centered around "Chinese money" that moves from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore into the People’s Republic, another centered around Japanese loans and foreign direct investment going to Korea and Southeast Asia, as well as several others, e.g. nodes involving services centered on Hong Kong and Singapore, and investment and production by Korean companies in Northeast China, Russia, and Southeast Asia. This paper maps these different economic nodes, and examines their political underpinnings and the consequences they present for regional integration.

Japanese FDI after the Asian Crisis: Leveraging Networks and Clusters

Dennis Tachiki, Fujitsu Research Institute

Prior to the Asia economic meltdown in 1997, Japanese money poured into the region in the form of official foreign aid, foreign direct investment, bank loans and real estate purchases. Such loose money was at least partially responsible for the 1997 crisis. Since 1997, Japan’s long-term economic slump, combined with the overall slowdown throughout Asia has meant a general reversal of these earlier trends, but Tachiki’s paper demonstrates how, despite domestic economic problems, Japanese government and business leaders have cooperated in resuming the country’s financial outpouring into the broader region. Almost always, Tachiki argues, this has been in support of Japanese-owned operations. As a result, Japan has gained enhanced political leverage over a number of countries in the region and is using this to ‘regionalize’ production by Japanese-owned firms.


Session 67: Close Encounters with Ming China: International Trade, Diplomacy and Cultural Exchanges

Organizer: Kenneth M. Swope, University of Michigan

Chair: Morris Rossabi, City University of New York

Discussant: John E. Wills, Jr., University of Southern California

Keywords: Ming, international relations.

The Ming dynasty is commonly portrayed as a static, insular state. Received wisdom has it that the Ming adhered to the dynastic founder’s injunction to refrain from unproductive and costly foreign affairs. The Ming ban on maritime trade is typically cited as evidence of this interpretation. Yet a closer examination of the realities of Ming international involvement suggests that this picture needs to be substantially revised. While the Ming may not have been a great seafaring state, China remained the center of trade and culture in Asia and China’s neighboring states were eager to tap into these resources. Scholars used wisdom gained in China to better their own positions at home. Consumer habits among the wealthy in China helped make kings in Myanmar.

There were other dimensions to Ming foreign relations which have, to this point, been largely dismissed as part of the tribute trade system. The Ming was asked to invest kings with their titles, to mediate local and regional disputes, and, as in the case of Korea, to protect its tributaries from military threats. Recognition of authority by Ming emperors was a measure of legitimacy all over Asia and a yardstick by which many of these states judged one another. This panel will demonstrate that Ming foreign relations encompassed a variety of dimensions and situations beyond mere tribute trade, which was in itself flexible and ever changing.

The Giraffe from Bengal: A Symbol of Yongle’s Foreign Relations?

Sally K. Church, University of Cambridge

In 1414 King Saifu-‘d-Din of Bengal sent a giraffe as tribute to the Ming emperor. Presented as a qilin (unicorn), the beast created a stir in the Ming court. To Emperor Yongle, it was an auspicious sign which confirmed his mandate to rule. To eunuchs like Zheng He, in charge of the maritime expeditions responsible for its arrival, it was an opportunity to flatter the emperor. To the king of Bengal, it was a means to improve relations and trade with China. To China’s bureaucrats it showed the frivolity of overseas voyages—the gap between the court’s interests and the people’s needs.

What does this giraffe tell us about China’s foreign relations during Yongle’s reign? China played a variety of roles as master of the "Western Oceans": trade broker, taxi service for foreign envoys, transporter of Chinese goods overseas and of foreign goods and curiosities back home, and international policeman, cleansing the seas of pirates, expelling local usurpers, conferring legitimacy on rulers, and administering law and order. How and why did the Middle Kingdom come to assume these roles in the southern seas? By examining the official and unofficial Ming historical records, the writings of eunuchs who were involved in the voyages, and those of others who watched from outside, I hope to reopen the question of the purpose of the expeditions with a particular eye to the notion that Yongle’s primary motive, as a usurper who needed to win bureaucratic support, was to seek international prestige in order to legitimize his rule in China.

Vietnamese Embassies and Literati Cultural Contact

John K. Whitmore, University of Michigan

Ming times saw the major impact of its model across East Asia, bringing greater emphasis on Confucian ideology, bureaucratic structure, and literati life. There arose in Dai Viet a new cohort of literati who wished to follow this modern Chinese pattern. The composition of the numerous embassies sent by the Vietnamese to Beijing came to include an increasing number of these literati. On their return to Thang-long, many of them received promotions and served in privileged government positions. They also acted to reinforce the social and cultural position of their cohort within Dai Viet. This paper will examine how service on the embassies to China helped strengthen the literati culture and its place in Vietnamese society.

In so doing, I shall look at the changing patterns of the embassies and their composition through the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Using Vietnamese and Chinese documents, I shall attempt to see how the Vietnamese literati presence in and around the Ming court contributed to the position of their cohort within Dai Viet and how the experience that they brought back to their capital helped shape political action there. As these Vietnamese Ming modernists interacted with fellow East Asian literati, observed the Ming government in action, and lived in the midst of Chinese civilization, how did they perceive their own society and what did they think they might be able to accomplish there?

Shan Gems, Chinese Silver, and the Rise of Shan Principalities in Modern Northern Myanmar, c. 1450–1526

Laichen Sun, California State University, Fullerton

Ming China’s overland trade with the Shan principalities in modern Northern Myanmar has received no systematic discussion and its implications for Shan amd Myanmar history have hitherto been completely ignored. Using a variety of Chinese, Burmese and Thai sources, this paper deals with the flow of gems and silver between Ming China and two major Shan principalities (Mongmit and Mohnyin) and offers an economic interpretation of the rise of Mongmit and Mohnyin in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. With the recovery of the Ming economy in the mid-fifteenth century from the devastations caused by the dynastic change a century earlier came the pursuit of extravagant lifestyles in China, punctuated by the fervent search for precious stones across China, especially in the Ming capitals. This "gem fever" drove eunuchs, officials, and civilians to Mongmit and Mohnyin to fetch gems in order to satisfy the gigantic market in China. Consequently the production of, and trade in, gems boomed in these two places. As gems flowed to China, silver from China flowed in the opposite direction in exchange for these symbols of conspicuous consumption. The enormous profits thus accrued from the gem trade greatly enriched the coffers of these two Shan principalities. This economic strength explains, at least in part, Mongmit’s independence from Hsenwi (another Shan principality) in 1484 and Mohnyin’s sack of the Burman kingdom Ava in 1526.

Caught Between the Dragon and the Rising Sun: Sino-Japanese Negotiations Over the Fate of Korea, 1593–1596

Kenneth M. Swope, University of Michigan

In May of 1592 a force of over 150,000 Japanese landed at Pusan in Korea. Within weeks the invaders had chased the Korean King out of his capital and he was holed up on the Chinese border asking the Ming for help. After the defeat of a Ming expeditionary force, the Chinese emissary managed to negotiate a truce with his Japanese counterpart. Initial talks failed and the two sides resumed hostilities early in 1593. The fighting continued through May after which the Japanese retreated to Southeastern Korea and peace talks began.

These negotiations dragged on for over three years and ended in one of the greatest diplomatic blunders of all time which resulted in a renewed Japanese invasion in 1597. Negotiators on both sides manipulated official communications and distorted the facts to their respective governments. The bitter irony of it all was that the Koreans were largely powerless in these talks as the Chinese negotiated on their behalf even though the Koreans were initially vehemently opposed to opening peace talks. This paper shall look at the twists and turns of these events in the context of Korea’s place in the Ming tributary system. The primary sources, which include official dispatches between commanders, letters from the envoys and records of Ming court deliberations, indicate the Chinese did regard their role as Korea’s protector seriously, even if China’s actions were self-motivated to some extent. Thus the Sino-Korean tributary relationship was not confined to trade but encompassed diplomatic and military dimensions.


Session 68: Refiguring the Spatial in Southeast Asia and East Asia (SEAC Designated Panel)

Organizer: Donald M. Nonini, University of North Carolina

Chair and Discussant: Aihwa Ong, University of California, Berkeley

Keywords: new spatialities, spatial imaginaries, globilization, regions.

Southeast Asia is distinctive during the post-Cold War period in the degree to which it has witnessed experiments with and re-envisionings of the spatiality of political and economic life that challenge the formulaic conundrum of "globalization" widely deemed applicable elsewhere in Asia—one which identifies the nation-state defined by a national territory and a resident citizen population, as passively opposed to an external, threatening, and penetrating "global economy." In contrast to this conventional wisdom, throughout Southeast Asia, there have emerged "zones of graduated sovereignty" (Ong 1999), e.g., export processing zones, "growth triangles," and transnational technology parks—where states negotiate sovereignty and the rights of residents; the acknowledgment of diasporic connections and imaginings that cross national borders in the name of flexible production, trade, tourism, hypermodern consumption, and popular culture (Ong and Nonini, 1997); the entrepreneurial state that deploys public-private ventures beyond national territories (e.g., Singapore-Suzhou Township Development Company) (Sum, 1999); the transnational migration of workers in ways that fundamentally refigure national labor markets as partitioned by nationality, gender and race; and the cultural production of a regional "imagined community" of ASEAN nation-states. These experiments are simultaneously cultural and political, gendered and raced, individual and social: they harness personal and social imaginaries, itineraries and biographies even as they regulate and reorder regional spaces for governance and profit-taking.

In this panel, we seek to engage the insights about these experiments from scholars of Southeast Asia with those of scholars of East Asia. In this light, our papers examine the production of "greater China," the Korean diaspora in Japan, and similar phenomena, with the objective of displacing recent mainstream assumptions about the powerless and passive nation-state, the superpotency of "global financial forces," the external, natural, and inevitable character of "globalization," and the futility of political agency, in favor of more fertile theorizations.

Place-ment as a Social Movement: Resident Koreans in the "Hometown" of Japanese Culture

Bruce R. Caron, University of California, Santa Barbara

Descriptions of transnational migrations and diasporic communities usually focus on these being agents of globalization, extra-national solvents that erase the solid cultural boundaries of the nation-state. Here I would also suggest that these communities can also work to redraw internal boundaries, and redefine local differences that states have elided in the construction of national "imagined communities." Local communities excluded from the national narrative can also provide critiques on this narrative and about the interests that maintain it.

In Kyoto, Japan, Korean nationals have created a festival to re-place their social/cultural position in the locale. Kyoto City sells itself as the hometown (furusato) of Japanese culture. Its cultural institutions reflect the story of a homogeneous national race/culture. Most of its Korean population live in districts, such as Higashi-Kujo (East 9th Street) that also include members of Japan’s internally excluded population, namely, buraku neighborhoods. Together, Koreans and buraku-dwelling Japanese comprise most of the local population of individuals whose active exclusion reveals the racial logic of the narrative of "cultural" homogeneity in Japan.

In 1993, members of these communities joined together to create the Higashi-Kujo Madang festival: a multicultural forum with the objective of promoting heterogeneity as an integral feature of the modern state of Japan. They challenge their Kyoto neighbors to re-imagine a national community where exclusion is not the core logic. In this paper I will describe how this new festival logic works as a social movement to re-place the locale of Kyoto as a home for all of its residents.

The Challenge of Cybercapitalism: The Remaking of the ‘Greater China’ Space for Speed-Time

Ngai-Ling Sum, University of Manchester

The emergence of the trans-border spaces of "Growth Triangles" in (South-) East Asia has challenged both the ‘space of flows’ and dichotomistic ‘global-national’ accounts of globalization. This paper seeks to rethink globalization in terms of a complex, tangled dialectic of changes in temporal horizons and spatial scales. To this end, I introduce a middle range concept of "time-space governance" to capture the novelty of these trans-border processes as they developed up to the Asian Crisis. This Crisis and its aftermath have re-opened time and space for trans-border reconfiguration. This now involves a response to the challenges of the so-called "information age." Private and public actors within ‘Greater China’ are re-positioning/re-organizing themselves to capture the benefits of changing space-time relations brought about by information and communication technologies. This paper argues that the region is currently undergoing a transformation of space into speed-time. Given the complex and evolving nature of these changes, I focus on one way in which private-public actors are re-organizing accumulation regimes, namely, through the strategy of siliconization.

The latter involves: (a) the privileging of "silicon valley" discourses (e.g., Hong Kong’s "Cyberport," Taiwan’s "Green Silicon Island," and Shenzhen, the "next Silicon Valley"); (b) discursively constructing new objects of "future growth"; (c) re-configuring techno-economic subjectivities/identities (e.g., "creativity," "enterpreneurial spirits," "high risk, high gain") in the hope of stabilizing a new "regime of truth" based on the knowledge-based economy; and (d) re-ordering certain spatial-material practices in and through struggles and contestations around these issues.

Negotiated Reunion: Creating a Space for Separated Families in Inter-Korean Relations

Nan Kim, University of California, Berkeley

This paper examines how the recent changes in inter-Korean relations have opened a symbolic and social space between North and South Korea around the issue of separated families. Since the Korean War, several million families have been divided across the North-South Korean border, most without the means to contact or learn the whereabouts of their estranged kin for over fifty years. At the historic North-South summit in June 2000, the two Korean leaders agreed that 100 families from each side would be allowed to travel to the other respective country to meet with their family members, presumably opening the door to more regular and widespread exchange of information and further family reunions.

In South Korea, separated-family members are considered to have the most at stake personally in improved relations on the Korean peninsula. This paper explores how, among ordinary South Koreans, the separated-families issue has contributed to a reworking of personal histories as well as a remapping of Korea’s future possibilities in political, economic, and cultural terms. The success of the June summit has made Korean reunification a more tangible prospect than ever before, but the process remains uncertain, the subject of widening debate and speculation. This paper will consider the symbolic importance of the separated-families issue at the center of an inter-Korean reconciliation negotiated directly by the two Koreas, unmediated by other states or international bodies.

Labor Markets and New Geographies in Northeast China: The Case of Young Professionals in Dalian

Lisa M. Hoffman, Chinese University of Hong Kong

In Dalian, a major port city in northeast China, recent urbanization strategies have ranged from the construction of a "Coastal City" and the Hong Kong of the North, to reliance on the natural beauty of the area (described as feminine) and on Singapore as a model of urban control. A common factor in all of these strategies is a desire to link the city with international flows of commerce and tourism—and thus become the center of the Northeast Asian Economic Circle (dong bei ya jingji quan). This reconceptualization of Dalian’s place in international and national geographies links up with labor markets and exchanges that are simultaneously local and international. For example, municipal planners argued that building a Hong Kong of the North required a solid base of educated and talented workers, as well as a wide pool of disciplined laborers. Thus, an analysis of labor markets offers a way to interrogate the ways people made sense of the reconfigured national space and how their local place was situated in wider economic and political arenas. Specifically, this paper discusses how young college graduates conceived of the new national geography as they made decisions about where to work and what to do. Did these new spatialities matter in those decisions? The paper argues that municipal development strategies and spatial orientations such as these in Dalian (gendered and otherwise) were important factors in the young people’s imaginings of how they could accumulate social and economic capital as professionals.


Session 87: Transregional Culture-Building in Premodern and Early Modern Asia

Organizer and Chair: Timothy Lubin, Washington and Lee University

Keywords: Sinicization, Sankritization, Islam, Buddhism, comparative history.

This panel aims to provide a framework for modeling the processes by which "high cultural" systems have been developed and have spread in premodern and early modern Asia. The individual papers will examine the creation and consolidation of Sinitic culture in early China (Brooks), the construction of Sanskritic culture and the mechanics of "Sanskritization" in classical South Asia (Lubin), and a comparison of the Islamizing of Bengal and the Buddhicizing of Southeast Asia in the precolonial and colonial periods (Charney). The broad questions to be addressed are: How do transregional cultural forms relate to the political and social processes they contribute or respond to? What are the cultural vehicles of such a system (e.g., literary texts, public performances, rites and customs)? Through what sorts of individuals and institutions are such systems spread? How are local social and cultural institutions and ideas dealt with by transregional systems (e.g., through accommodation, suppression, redefinition)? What is the role of a literary language or lingua franca in facilitating a sense of transregional unity? What is the impact of such link languages on local languages (e.g., replacement, creation of a high register marked by linguistic borrowings, literization and the generation of new genres)? What sorts of differences are there between transregional culture-building "from above" (directed by religious, political, or economic elites) and "from below" (driven by "popular" appropriations and reform movements originating outside the elites)? Comparing individual cases across diverse regions and periods is meant to provide an opportunity for identifying common patterns, the better to understand what makes each individual case distinctive.

Sinicization in Pre-Imperial East Asia

E. Bruce Brooks, University of Massachusetts

Between the collapse of Jou sovereignty in the early 8th century and the unification of the Chinese culture area by Chin in the late 3rd century, there occurred a number of developments for which the term "Sinicization" is an imperfect though convenient label. I will try to suggest, with a glance at the parallel Greek and Indian multi-state situations, why the Chinese case came as it did. Among the centralizing factors to be considered are: (1) the suppression of non-Chinese peoples and their languages and traditions; (2) an escalation of war and incorporative conquest among the Chinese states; (3) elite propaganda using both genuine and forged texts as authorities in a more or less public debate to establish an effective pedigree for the unity principle; and (4) the emergence of the northern steppe culture as a common enemy. Meanwhile, centralization was hampered by: (1) the increasing importance, to the militarized state, of the ordinary population, whose interests were essentially pacific; (2) the development of new technologies for defense against sieges; (3) a late-4th-century maverick elite theory that provided a basis for stabilizing the multi-state system; and (4) the lack of an effective counterweight to the polarization brought about by the hostilities at the northern frontier. Of special interest is the transformation of the "Sinitic" worldview itself during the period, partly by incorporating concepts of rulership and statecraft drawn from India and Iran, and from the lessons of the Alexandrian conquest of Bactria in the late 4th century. It has perhaps not been sufficiently appreciated that the triumphant Sinitic state rejected (or preserved only in a showcase form) what is usually considered the theoretical basis of the typical (Confucian) Sinitic worldview of the previous centuries.

Sanskritic Culture and Sanskritization from Above and Below in Classical South Asia

Timothy Lubin, Washington and Lee University

Srinivas used the word "Sanskritization" to describe groups’ efforts to raise their status by adopting the practices and linguistic markers associated with Sanskrit texts and Brahmanical ritual forms. Historians have used it to denote instances in which religious and political elites have adopted and promoted Sanskritic deities and ideals, and the use of Sanskrit itself as a criterion of cosmopolitanism and universal values. This paper proposes a model of Sanskritization, examining some crucial moments in the construction of "classical" (literary) Hinduism. The Sanskritic "great tradition," propounded by brahmin priests and scholars, has endured over three millennia through a few basic strategies, continuously redefining itself in relation to local factors, which in turn are smuggled into the panregional culture itself. The Grhya Sutras (6th–2nd century B.C.E.) applied "high-cult" (shrauta) standards to regionally diverse domestic ritual and customary usage. This standardization established mechanisms for promoting brahmin authority and accommodating non-shrauta religious formats (e.g., shrine worship) within a "Vedic" framework. In the early centuries C.E., the Puranas harmonized diverse traditions within an overarching pantheon by identifying or affiliating local saints and deities with Shiva, Vishnu, or the Goddess (while often retaining the local name); the mahatmya knitted local shrines into a pan-Indian geography. Kings adopted Sanskritic deities as patrons, raising costly temples and striking coins with the deity’s name and image, settled brahmins on donated lands, and patronized Sanskrit literateurs. The hagiographical literature of the bhakti movement (9th–18th century) provides a third case, in which the brahmin biographers legitimate even low-caste and female saints in terms of Brahmin standards of holiness.

Islamization and Buddhicization in Precolonial and Colonial Bengal and Southeast Asia

Michael W. Charney, National University of Singapore

Recent work on Islamization in Bengal (Eaton, 1993) and Buddhicization in Burma (Charney, 1999) suggests that these seemingly very different developments have much in common. By looking comparatively at these developments during two phases of changing social relations, this paper seeks to formulate a model for understanding the formation, integration, and maintenance of cultural systems. In the first phase examined, early modern reciprocal social relationships and elite accumulation of agricultural surplus encouraged a system of personal patronage (by ruling elites for themselves and their clients) of saints and arhants and bodies of religious textual specialists. Extraordinary forms of personal piety (e.g., aranya-vasi practices) and religious-language textual orthodoxy according to classical textual norms conferred prestige, and encouraged the acquisition of high-status religious symbols, texts, and titles. In the second phase (the early colonial period), however, popular Muslim and Buddhist communal identities developed in the context of rural dislocation and the commercialization of rural social relations. This formation was fed by rural religious "specialists," increased rural literacy in vernacular languages as a result of both religious and secular indigenous schools (independent of the colonial regime), the production and spread of stories reinforcing a Muslim or Theravada Buddhist world-view, reduced emphasis on textual orthodoxy, religious patronage by group conscription rather than by individuals, and the increasing inclusion in traditional agricultural festivals of Buddhist and Muslim symbols, rites, and religious specialists. Thus, parallel changes in the production and transmission of transregional religious cultures accompanied parallel social, economic, and political developments.


Session 88: Capturing the Benefits of a Global Economy: Foreign Direct Investment and Development

Organizer and Chair: Eric Thun, Princeton University

Discussants: Lynn T. White III, Princeton University; Dan Breznitz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Keywords: technology transfer, foreign direct investment, India, Taiwan.

The movement of manufacturing operations across international borders is certainly nothing new, but the process has been intensified by the liberalization of trade, finance, and investment that has swept the world in the last decade. Companies globalize their operations both to access inputs that are not readily available in their home society (e.g. cheap labor, design/engineering capabilities, raw materials) and to access new markets. With companies scouring the globe looking for new opportunities, one might think—or hope—that the possibilities for entrepreneurial governments in the less developed world would be unprecedented. The reality, of course, is mixed: while in some regions, foreign direct investment is harnessed to increase the capabilities of local firms, in others, foreign firms simply overwhelm their local counterparts.

The intention of this panel is to explore the processes of globalization across sectors and regions with the hope of better understanding why some societies are more fully able to capture the benefits of globalization than others. To do so, the process of relocation and development are explored from different angles: the strategies of different multinational corporations, the position of a country and/or firm in global commodity chains, and the strategies of local firms and governments.

The papers, based on extensive field research in China, India, Mexico, Japan, and Taiwan, all make the case for micro-level analysis as a means of understanding the overall impact of the globalization process. Berta Lynn Liao examines how the origin of investment affects the process of technology transfer; Meenu Tewari analyzes how host country strategies impact local firm development; and Eric Thun considers the problems a recent "host" of foreign investment faces when it in turn begins investing off-shore. By examining each stage of the process, both across industrial sectors (automobiles, electronics, and textile/apparel) and regions (China, India, Japan, Taiwan), the objective of this panel is to better understand the mechanics of globalization and the prospects for host country development.

Comparative Technology Transfer in Taiwan’s PC Industry

Berta Lynn Liao, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This paper looks at the development of Taiwanese, personal computer firms and the role played by Japanese and U.S. FDI and technology transfer in their development. This study looks back at the origins of Taiwan’s electronics industry and traces it through the PC era. TNCs who moved their manufacturing bases to Taiwan were important to the initial development of the industry, as former employees started their own firms and acted as suppliers to these firms. The backward linkages that these start-up firms formed through original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and later, through own-design manufacturing (ODM), were important towards establishing their international presence. However, TNCs are not all alike. Japanese TNCs originally entered the Taiwanese electronics industry to get around tariff barriers and did not open up their purchasing to Taiwanese suppliers to any great extent. In contrast, American firms originally came to Taiwan to use it as an export platform but quickly opened up their supply networks to local firms. As Michael Borrus has documented, U.S. electronics firms employed international production networks to fuel their resurgence in the 1990s, especially in PC production. In contrast, until very recently, Japanese PC production has remained closer to Taiwanese OEM firms. This paper argues that the American role in training personnel, purchasing from Taiwanese firms, and technology transfer far outstripped the role played by the Japanese in Taiwan’s PC industry. Nonetheless, in both cases, the Taiwanese state provided a crucial intermediary role to leverage as much as possible from TNCs and their production networks.

Foreign Direct Investment and the Transformation of India’s Automobile Industry: What are the Mechanisms of Diffusion and Spread?

Meenu Tewari, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

The growing openness and globalization of trade and investment in the auto industry has generated an urgent debate in many developing countries in recent years. Even as policymakers continue to avidly court new investments in the auto sector, and regard the export and technology induced expansion of the auto sector as an important driver of national economic growth and technological capability, many critics have raised the specter of the "dying local firm" (Barnes and Kaplisnky, 2000). As the global auto assemblers that are locating in developing countries rely overwhelmingly (in the first instance) on follow sourcing as a procurement strategy, or on a small group of locally-based first-tier suppliers with global reach, researchers argue that existing supplier networks tend to get progressively undermined and marginalized. While there is ample evidence to support this view, there is also evidence that under some conditions, new technical and organizational knowledge does spread far beyond the first tier in quite innovative ways. Why and under what circumstances does FDI in the auto sector of emerging markets sometimes lead to better diffusion and wider developmental effects on local firms and sometimes not?

This paper draws on fieldwork conducted in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu to examine how the new Foreign Direct Investments, in the region’s auto industry are reshaping local supplier networks. Over the last six years the auto industry in Tamil Nadu has been transformed dramatically by the arrival of three major global auto assemblers: Ford, Hyundai and Mitsubishi, and a significant number of their follow sources. From being a domestically oriented auto components hub till the early 1990s, Tamil Nadu all of a sudden finds itself a player in the export strategy of its global assemblers. These shifts have, and are, changing the structure of Tamil Nadu’s automotive supply base.

The paper finds that while the arrival of the large auto assemblers, and their first tier follow sources has led to an intense struggle among leading local component suppliers about "what to do and who they want to be," and many smaller firms have indeed gone under, a surprising new mechanism seems to be infusing new dynamism into the region’s supply base, and especially among small and medium sized firms. The medium sized follow sources of the auto-assemblers are voraciously forming alliances across sectoral lines with a diverse group of domestic small and medium firms. More than the assemblers, it is this expanding tier of medium sized (overseas) firms that are the most potent mechanism for the diffusion of new and innovative production technologies among domestic producers. Yet, ironically, this process is proceeding on the margins of government policy. Official policies remain focused primarily on the large assemblers. The paper argues that refocusing innovative and strategic policy focus on this growing group of medium sized firms might be important to strengthen and sustain the diffusion and spread of new knowledge that is already occurring. By tracing how the emerging supplier networks interact with the regional government’s past policies, and the resurgent politics of federalism in India, the paper illustrates how the political links of a new group of policymakers with the national coalition has created space for the implementation of such policy interventions.

Growing Up and Moving Out: Globalization in the Taiwanese Textile/Apparel and Automotive Sectors

Eric Thun, Princeton University

The Republic of Taiwan is unusual in that it confronts the challenges of both the developed and the developing world: sectors that not long ago it was struggling to develop are now in a mature stage of development, and decisions must be made whether to retain a manufacturing capacity in these sectors, shift resources out of these sectors, or move manufacturing facilities offshore. This paper analyzes the process of adjustment and relocation in two industrial sectors in Taiwan, the textile/apparel sector and the auto sector, with the purpose of understanding the transformation of a "host" for foreign investment into a source of foreign investment.

The paper argues that a late-developing economy must take into account two factors when considering relocation strategies. First, although the pressures driving relocation (e.g. shortage of workers for low-end manufacturing; increasing labor costs; increased regulation) in Taiwan and advanced industrialized countries may be similar, the strengths and weaknesses of the Taiwanese firms will not be the same. In many cases these strengths and weaknesses can be traced back to how these sectors were initially developed, and consequently the strategy for moving manufacturing capabilities out of Taiwan must take into account how these capabilities came into Taiwan. Second, relocation strategies must take into account both the nature of the value chains within a sector, and the place (both current and potential) of Taiwanese firms in them. Although there is nothing new about relocating factories offshore, the strategies of relocation are influenced by advances in information and manufacturing technologies, and these changes are sector specific. In some sectors, Taiwanese firms have more leverage than others.


Session 89: Cross-Cultural Travel within Asia: Social and Political Networks as Seen through Biographical Works

Organizer: Gray Tuttle, Harvard University

Chair: William Kirby, Harvard University

Discussant: Sucheta Mazumdar, Duke University

Keywords: history, travel, Tibet, China, Japan.

This panel will highlight the diversity and complexity of cross-cultural networks in Asia by examining the personal accounts of individuals who traveled extensively from their homelands to different regions of Asia. The papers explore figures from China and Tibet from the fifteenth to the twentieth century. Geographically, the panel covers Japan, China, Tibet, and Nepal. What binds these temporally and geographically diverse projects is an interdisciplinary study of travel writing employing the fields of anthropology, literature, history, and religion.

Each paper addresses the motivations and goals of a particular traveler and places these within the larger context of social and political networks. Such goals include tourism, politics, and religion, or some combination thereof. However, these broad themes often belie the unique character of individual accounts. What emerge from such personal stories of cross-cultural encounters are intimate portraits of relationships between people of different ethnic groups. The works studied reveal much about the impact cross-cultural journeys had on literary representations of self and ‘other.’

Since many writers of such accounts often engage in what might be termed anthropological description, their works provide vivid details which can contribute significantly to our understanding of the social and political networks that bound together localized times and places in Asia. The papers will each use their particular focus to suggest broader movements between cultures in Asia.

Wang Peng—18th-Century Poet, Artist, Bibliophile— as a Tourist in Nagasaki

Jamie Berger, Harvard University

In the eighteenth century, the overseas Chinese community of Nagasaki, Japan was in decline. Suspicious of their earlier prosperity and of foreign trade in general, in 1689 the Japanese authorities had forced the disparate groups of Chinese traders to relocate to a walled residence compound where they could be more closely monitored. In this paper I will examine mid-eighteenth century Nagasaki Chinese life through the diary kept by Wang Peng.

Poet, artist, bibliophile—Wang journeyed to Nagasaki from his native Zhejiang as a tourist and social commentator. As one of the only known contemporary first-hand accounts of Chinese life in Nagasaki, Wang Peng’s travelogue is a particularly valuable text. In addition to his personal reminiscences, he records many of the institutional aspects of Chinese merchant life that enable one to build a social history of the era. Wang Peng’s vivid portrait of daily life bears witness not only to the mercantilism he found there—he was deeply shocked by the decadence and debauchery he encountered—but also to the interaction of the Chinese merchants and the Japanese host community. It is the goal of this paper to use Wang’s diary as a key to examine certain facets of overseas Chinese inter- and intra-cultural interaction in premodern Japan.

Three Journeys from Tibet to Nepal: The Travels of the Buddhist Master Tsangny÷n Heruka in the 15th and 16th Centuries

Kurtis R. Schaeffer, University of Alabama

Tsangny÷n Heruka (1452–1507) traveled at least three times from his homeland on the Tibetan plateau to the Kathmandu Valley in modern-day Nepal. In 1476, 1494, and 1501 he made the long journey through the Himalayas to visit the sacred Buddhist centers of the Valley, to meet with Valley royalty, and to reconstruct the most important multicultural Buddhist shrine, the stupa of Swayambhunath.

We now have three biographies of this Buddhist master, the earliest of which was composed just one year after his death (1408) and claims to include much autobiographical material. Each biography tells of Tsangny÷n’s three trips to the Kathmandu Valley in varying degrees of detail. This paper briefly describes each journey, and then proceeds to an in-depth analysis of the third and longest journey. During this venture Tsangny÷n oversaw the restoration of Swayambhunath under the patronage of the King of Kathmandu, Ratnamalla (r. 1484–1520), with whom he had forged the important patron-priest (Tib. yon mchod) relationship.

In personal terms the biographies of Tsangny÷n provide a vivid account of the life of one medieval Tibetan Buddhist, a man who was at once religious master, pilgrim, missionary, and politician. Yet he was but one among many who made up the Buddhist network throughout and across the Himalayas, between Indic and Tibetan regions. The biographies thus reveal much about the intercultural and transregional exchanges that occurred during the medieval period. It is the goal of the present paper to explicate the biographies with a focus on such intercultural episodes.

Liu Manqing: A Tibetan-Chinese Woman’s Journey from Nanjing to Lhasa in 1929–1930

Liping Wang, University of Minnesota

Born in Lhasa to a Chinese father and a Tibetan mother, Liu Manqing (Tibetan name dByangs can, 1906–1941) was very young when her family fled the turmoil in Tibet after the downfall of the Qing Dynasty. The family eventually resettled in Beijing where Liu Manqing grew up with a modern Chinese education. In 1928, Liu’s bilingual skills caught the attention of Jiang Jieshi who made her an official in Nanjing. Liu soon petitioned to be sent as a government representative to Lhasa which few Chinese officials had been able to reach since 1911. Against all odds, Liu made it through the dangerous Sichuan-Khams border in the winter of 1929. She then managed to meet twice with the 13th Dalai Lama. Liu Manqing became a celebrity upon returning to Nanjing in 1930, and her account of the journey was published by the prestigious Commercial Press shortly after.

This paper examines Liu Manqing’s legendary journey in the context of Chinese-Tibetan relations in the early 20th century, and it focuses on the specific ways in which she negotiated boundaries of gender and ethnicity through the writing of an autobiographic account. As a Tibetan-Chinese woman undertaking an official mission, Liu was very skillful in manipulating the ambiguity of her identity. She appeared in the travelogue as a Tibetan and refrained from exoticizing her homeland; she also stressed her official mission and related to her urban Chinese reader with terms that were familiar in the discourses of modernity.

There and Back Again: Master Fazun’s Pilgrimage to Tibet and His Goals Upon His Return to China

Gray Tuttle, Harvard University

For the first time in the history of East Asia, Chinese Buddhists went to Tibet to study Tibetan Buddhism early in the twentieth century. I will examine the network of contacts that allowed a Chinese Buddhist monk, Master Fazun, to gain entry into the Tibetan monastic world, first in Khams, then in central Tibet. Having attained his goal of acquiring Tibetan Buddhist teachings, by his own account, Master Fazun would have been content to pursue them for the duration of his life. However, his teachers—both Chinese and Tibetan—encouraged him to return to China to share what he had learned.

When he returned to China, the pressures to use his knowledge in the service of the Chinese state were largely irresistible. However, I will argue that Fazun maintained his original focus on Tibetan Buddhist teachings. When he was drawn into the politics of China’s efforts at incorporating Tibet, he used his knowledge (gained from nine years of first-hand experience) to provide some of the most accurate information about Tibet available in China in the late 1930s and early 1940s. In addition, through his position as the director of a school for Tibetan Buddhism, he was able to bring many Tibetan teachers to China. In this way, he managed to extend his own learning while simultaneously fulfilling the goals of his teachers: to spread Tibetan Buddhism in China.


Session 108: Facets of the Cult of the Bodhisattva Dizang/Jiz˘ in China and Japan

Organizer: Hank Glassman, Instititute of Buddhist Studies

Chair: Richard K. Payne, Institute of Buddhist Studies

Discussant: Stephen F. Teiser, Princeton University

Keywords: Buddhism, religion, pre-modern, China, Japan.

This panel explores various aspects of the worship of the Bodhisattva called Ksitigarbha, or "Earth Womb," in Sanskrit. Though a peripheral figure in India and Tibet, this Bodhisattva (known as Jizo bosatsu in Japan, Dizang pusa in China, and Chijang posal in Korea) became a central deity of the East Asian Buddhist pantheon. The popularity and importance of this Bodhisattva cannot be overstated; nor can his versatility. Over the centuries, he has been seen as an advocate in hell, a savior from disease, a protector on the field of battle, and, most recently, as a guardian of unborn children. The papers in this panel explore the cult of the Bodhisattva in China and Japan in four different historical periods and religious contexts.

The variety evident in the four presentation abstracts reflects the multifaceted nature of this deity and his cult. The iconography of the Bodhisattva makes him the ideal mediator between this world and the next. Since he appears in the guise of a Buddhist monk, it has been easy for people to associate this transcendent figure with mortal members of the clergy. It has been common for people to claim that certain monks were manifestations of Dizang/Jizo or to associate the saving power of the Bodhisattva with the person of the monk in general. The papers on this panel examine the history of the Jizo cult to reveal the relationship between doctrinal representations of the Bodhisattva and popular understandings of sacred mountains, pure lands, heavens, and hells.

Mount Jiuhua and Ksitigarbha: The Sinification of a Bodhisattva

Franšoise Wang-Toutain, ╔cole Franšiase d’Extrŕme-Orient

The Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, Dizang pusa, who is venerated in China as the savior from hell since the VI century is also associated with Mount Jiuhua in Anhui. This link is justified by the story of the Korean monk Jin Dizang who came to these mountains during the VII century. Although a Buddhist cult is attested on Jiuhua shan since that date, it seems it was only a local cult directed to this monk as a person of superior spiritual accomplishment. It was only during the Ming dynasty that Jiuhua shan came to be known officially and on a nationwide scale as the place of worship of Ksitigarbha. The conception of the four great Buddhist mountains (sida mingshan) then appeared. Until contemporary times, the retrospective creation process of hagiographies has not stopped, and the life of the Korean monk is narrated with ever more legendary details designed to prove he really was an emanation of this Bodhisattva. This process resulted in changes in some of the characteristics of Ksitigarbha, such as the date of his feast day and the identity of his attendants that had been defined during the medieval period when he underwent his first sinification. The purpose of this communication is to see how, by the creation of Jiuhua shan as his dwelling place, Ksitigarbha developed in China a real presence and thus became one of the most popular Bodhisattvas in the empire.

Dizang Bodhisattva and the Maitreya Cult: Another Element in the Medieval Chinese View of the Afterlife

Zhiru Ng, Pomona College

Dizang Bodhisattva is especially popular in relation to East Asian beliefs surrounding the afterlife, particularly for his role as savior in the infernal regions and to a lesser extent for his connection with the cult of Amitabha’s Pure Land. A third aspect, less often noted but also very significant, of Dizang’s mortuary function is documented in the Dizang pusa xiang lingyan ji. This tenth-century Chinese compilation of popular narratives contains several miracle tales that explicitly link Dizang belief to the cult of Maitreya, and particularly to the goal of rebirth in Tuista Heaven. Not documented in scriptural or exegetical sources, this connection is however not surprising in view of Dizang’s role as the savior of samsara in the interval between the nirvana of Sakyamuni Buddha and the coming of the Future Buddha Maitreya. More importantly, art historical evidence also suggests some connection between Dizang and Maitreya in medieval China that may have culminated in the incorporation of Dizang in Maitreya raigo art. The connection between Dizang belief and the Maitreya cult ultimately provides another angle on the complexity of medieval Chinese beliefs about the afterlife, again confirming the generalization of pure land belief in medieval China, a theme previous scholarship has elucidated.

An Iconological Investigation of the dokuson Jizoa raigo, the Bodhisattva Jizo in Welcoming Descent

Hank Glassman, Institute of Buddhist Studies

Paintings of the welcoming descent (or raigo) of Amida Buddha and his celestial entourage are a famous subject in the history of Japanese art. The holy host rides down on billowing clouds to greet the dying and welcome him or her into the Pure Land to the west. One figure who can be picked out of the crowd in these raigo paintings is the bodhisattva Jizo. He is represented as a Buddhist monk, carrying a staff in his right hand and a magical jewel in his left. Sometime in the thirteenth century, Jizo began to appear alone in welcoming descent. This iconography gained increasing popularity over the course of the Muromachi period, as did indeed the Bodhisattva himself. I will here trace the pre-history of this iconography of the Jizo raigo and suggest several possibilities for its origins.

My assertion is that the welcoming descent of Jizo comes not from Mt. Hiei, the source of the famous Amida raigo imagery, but rather from the Nanto, or Southern Capital, district of Nara. It is my contention that monks of the Kofukuji temple, closely associated with the Kasuga shrine complex, produced and popularized this iconography, as well as the Jizo cult, at the end of the Kamakura period. Furthermore, I will argue, in doing so they posited salvation through birth not in Amida’s Pure Land far to the west, but rather in Sakyamuni Buddha’s Spirit Mountain Pure Land (ryozen jodo; i.e. Vulture Peak) immanent in Japan as Kasuga’s Mt. Mikasa.

The Bodhisattva Jizo in the Japanese Landscape of Hot Springs and Hells

Duncan Williams, Trinity College

By the late medieval period in Japan, the Bodhisattva Jizo was associated with a multitude of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Japanese local deities. Jizo took on many functions such as protecting people in the hells, assuring safe travel, and healing ailments. By assuming so many forms and functions, this Bodhisattva was inscribed into the Japanese religious landscape. This paper will take up Jizo’s association with hot springs. With a long history relating the healing powers of thermal springs to Buddhist deities and priests, it is not surprising that Jizo came to figure in legends of such healing waters. However, in the case of Jizo, this association figured most prominently at sacred mountains (including Osorezan, Tateyama, and Unzenzan) which, while often representing Buddhist Pure Lands, also incorporated the various sites of hell.

Hot springs symbolized the intermediary zone between this world and the next. For believers, the bubbling volcanic activity and the rising steam of the hot springs resembled the boiling waters of hell, and the reddish tinge of certain springs looked strikingly similar to the so-called Blood Pool Hells, specially reserved for women. It was at these sites that Jizo served to both heal the living and save those in the hell realms. This paper explores, with particular attention to the Jizo cult at Osorezan’s hot springs, Jizo’s incorporation into the physical landscape of sacred mountains and springs as a manifestation of the deity’s enculturation in the geographic and religious landscape of medieval and early modern Japan.


Session 109: Constructing the Transnational Citizen in Asia: Three Perspectives

Organizer: Caroline Reeves, Williams College

Chair and Discussant: Rebecca Karl, New York University

Keywords: transnationalism, identity, education, China, Japan, Tibet.

Most studies of the history and politics of identity formation focus on ways in which individuals come to imagine themselves as citizens of a national community. This panel asks when, how, and why certain individuals (or groups of individuals) look beyond the nation to imagine themselves as members of one or more transnational communities. The panelists examine how discourses on regionalism, internationalism, and globalism have been constructed, and contested, within specific social and institutional settings in Asia. Reeves investigates the International Red Cross organization in China during the early twentieth century; Frechette looks at a contemporary Tibetan settlement camp in Nepal; and Lincicome compares two educational reform movements in pre- and postwar Japan. What, they ask, was the impetus behind each of these initiatives: what temporal factors (economic, political, social) prompted their occurrence, and to what ends? Who took part in these initiatives, and how? What were the specific effects of these transnational discourses? How did they compete with preexisting ethnic, religious, national, and regional discourses for legitimacy?

Taken together, these papers suggest that "Asians" do not simply mimic or respond to transnational discourses emanating from "the West." Of necessity, these discursive practices must be creative and innovative in order to appeal to both national and transnational audiences simultaneously. As this generation of Asianists, and its students, begin to reconsider definitions of community and identity in today’s so-called "era of globalization," it is instructive to look at how the proverbial "Other" is trying to cope with the same phenomenon.

"We Are All Brothers": Creating International Identity in China

Caroline Reeves, Williams College

The early part of the twentieth century was a time of transition for China, for both the elite and the laobaixing (China’s masses). The transformation from being subjects of the Qing Empire to being citizens of the new Republic was a major change facing the Chinese people. Another, equally momentous change was the shift to perceiving themselves as citizens of an international community—rather than subjects of tianxia, all under heaven, the realm of the Emperor. This paper will examine how the international polity was introduced to China’s people through internationally based organizations such as the Red Cross Society, whose motto was "We are all Brothers" (tutti fratelli). Groups such as the Red Cross involved Chinese from all walks of life in an international community, drawing them in as active participants in the national realm and at the same time educating them about the larger world of the organization. In so doing, these organizations ultimately helped create an identity for Chinese citizens that included an understanding of themselves as part of an international community. By examining the publications of the Chinese Red Cross Society from the nineteen-teens and twenties, this paper will explore the assumptions held by the organization’s leaders about the international community and their place in it. It will also explore how these leaders chose to present the international arena to their fledgling constituency in order to draw them into the organization.

Educating "Cosmopolitan Japanese": Mission Impossible?

Mark E. Lincicome, College of the Holy Cross

This paper compares two organized campaigns to "internationalize education" in twentieth-century Japan. That very slogan may seem like a contradiction in terms, given that both historical and contemporary accounts routinely associate Japanese education with state-sponsored attempts to legitimize and perpetuate conceptions of self and society that are not merely nationalistic, but downright chauvinistic and imperialistic. The problem with such accounts—whether those alleging that Japanese popular support for the Pacific War was conditioned by years of classroom indoctrination in the tenets of "loyalty and love of country"; or those that attribute sinister motives to recent laws mandating ceremonial displays of the Japanese flag and the singing of the national anthem in schools—is that they tend to overlook concurrent campaigns calling for "education for international understanding" in order to cultivate a new generation of "cosmopolitan Japanese" (sekai no naka no Nihonjin).

Accordingly, this paper focuses on two such reform movements. The first rode the wave of internationalist sentiment following World War I, only to sputter in the wake of the Manchurian Incident (1931) that dragged Japan into war. The second was embraced by the Japanese political, business, and educational establishments in the mid-1980s, and remains a prominent part of official—and unofficial—educational reform policy today. Whereas my previous work on this topic examined each campaign separately, this paper is explicitly comparative. Was there a common set of conditions (economic, political, social, cultural), at home and abroad, that prompted these calls to internationalize Japanese education? Did these initiatives appeal to the same constituents, and for the same reasons? How did participants grapple with the ideological—and political—challenges to existing definitions of self and nation that were posed by discourses on "internationalism" and "globalization"? What differences account for the apparent failure of the earlier campaign and the longevity of the current one? Did either campaign produce any meaningful changes in Japanese perceptions of themselves and their relationship to the global community?

Tibet, Environmentalism, and the International Community

Ann Frechette, Hamilton College

This paper examines the use of discourses of global environmentalism by the Dalai Lama’s exile administration to make claims to membership in the community of nations. It argues that the exile administration’s expressions of concern for the global environment have two effects. They help maintain support for Tibetan independence among European and American non-governmental organizations; and they change the way in which Tibetan exiles define and discuss what it means to be Tibetan. The starting point for the paper is lesson one of a history textbook published in Tibetan by the exile administration for use in Tibetan settlement camp schools. Entitled "The Origins of Tibet and the Tibetans," the lesson uses Tibetan Buddhist historiography, evolutionary theory, and contemporary global environmentalism to teach what it means to be Tibetan to Tibetan exile school children. The paper goes on to examine other Tibetan- and English-language exile administration publications to demonstrate that the conflation of Tibet with global environmentalism is a coherent strategy to make claims to Tibet’s membership in the community of nations. The paper then examines the effects of the exile administration’s claims. It uses reports by international aid agencies to argue that the principal effect within the international community is to maintain financial support for the Tibetan exile’s independence movement; and it uses statements made by Tibetan exiles in Nepal to argue that the principal effect within the Tibetan exile community is to change how Tibetan exiles define and discuss what it means to be Tibetan.


Session 110: Migrant Identities: Subjectivity and Experience in Rural and Urban Asia

Organizer and Chair: Eric Thompson, University of California, Los Angeles

Discussants: Mary Beth Mills, Colby College; K. Sivaramakrishnan, University of Washington

Keywords: anthropology, geography, identity, migration, urbanism, urbanization.

Migration between rural and urban places has played a major role in what Gavin Jones has called the "thoroughgoing urbanization of East and Southeast Asia." The papers in this panel examine forms of identity and experience among migrants whose movements span the divide between rural and urban. They show that the routes such migrants traverse, their experiences, and the local and national discourses surrounding their movements play a key role in the social and cultural urbanization of so-called "developing" Asian nations. In China, Hairong Yan examines representations of urban-bound migrants centering on the signifier of tu (hick), which she argues signals not so much a rural-urban divide, but an engagement with modernity by middle-class subjects in a global context. Eric Thompson’s paper on urbanism in Malaysia argues that examining the mediate urbanism of schools and television and the self-crafted narratives of migrants moves our understanding of urban-bound migration beyond often taken-for-granted economic explanations. Rachel Silvey’s study of rural-return migrants compares the different senses of nostalgia for those coming back to villages from two Indonesian cities and the ways that their narratives of return call into question hegemonic discourses of development. Mary Beth Mills and K. Sivaramakrishnan draw on their own studies of migration in Thailand and India to deepen and critique the arguments advanced in the papers. Taken together, the panel provides a critical, comparative analysis of the reconfiguration and significance of place-based rural and urban identities in contemporary Asia.

Longing for the Village: Rural-Return Migration under Indonesia’s Economic Collapse

Rachel Silvey, University of Colorado

In West Java and South Sulawesi, Indonesia, the material pressures on urban-based migrants to return to their rural origins have intensified since the beginning of the national economic retrenchment that began in late 1997. Both Ujung Pandang (Sulawesi) and Jakarta (Java) have grown increasingly inhospitable for low-income migrants, as urban unemployment has increased, inflation rates have risen, and civic unrest has threatened urban inhabitants’ general sense of safety and order. However, low-income migrants’ interpretations of, narrations of, and responses to these pressures and dangers differ considerably in villages in the two provinces. In this paper, I interrogate the ways that rural-return migration, and rural places in particular, are differently conceived among groups of migrants in one village in each province. Specifically, I query migrants’ memories of rurality through life history interviews, and examine the ways in which these remembered geographies echo with but also interrupt the development discourse promulgated by the New Order State. I find that the migrants who have returned to their villages from Jakarta express a great deal more nostalgia for their rural origin sites than do their counterparts who have returned from Ujung Pandang. I analyze various explanations for this difference, and argue that migration scholars can move the field forward through marking and destablizing the explanatory hegemony of economic developmentalism within migration studies.

Urbanism and Migrant Identities in Rural Malaysia

Eric Thompson, University of California, Los Angeles

Since the 1970s under the New Economic Policy, the Malaysian state has actively sought, in the words of one prominent politician, to "urbanize the Malays" (membandarkan Melayu) in order that they might compete with Malaysia’s already urban Chinese. Based on fieldwork conducted over several years during 1992–98, this paper examines the effects of a cultural ideology of urbanism mediated by schools and television in rural Malaysia on the process of urban-bound migration. While economic explanations—the search for a job or to make a living—are often taken at face value to explain rural to urban migration, this study argues that economic calculations alone are not sufficient to explain a deeper process of subjective identity formation which shapes the life trajectories of rural Malays. Nowadays, these trajectories more often than not take them out of rural kampung (villages) and into urban places. In that process, they must negotiate not only new social relationships but also evolving structures of ethnic, class, gender, and place-based identities. By bringing together a critique of institutions such as schools and television broadcasting with an analysis of the life histories and self-crafted narratives of rural to urban migrants, the paper shows how such rural migrants experience Malaysia’s rural-urban nexus and the implications of their experience on issues of political economy and identity in Malaysia as it enters the twenty-first century.

Peasant Migrants, Urbanites, and the Market: The Notion of "Tu" (Hick) in Contemporary Discourses of Modernity in China

Hairong Yan, University of Washington

China’s market reform has unleashed unprecedented rural-to-urban migration, which in turn has contributed to dramatic economic growth in the past two decades. But peasant migrants occupy a contradictory position in recent ideological representations of modernity. In the eyes of urbanites, they embody the quintessential "tu" (hick): insulated, outdated, and unenlightened. Their "tu" is perceived as deviant and threatening. Collectively, peasant migrants are perceived as a chaotic mindless force and compared to floods and waves—a mass without consciousness, only to be harnessed by careful maneuvering of market-based principles. However, peasant migrants are also made representative of self-motivated new labor meeting the flexible demands of the Market. Thus, a prominent scholar argues that what is really "village-like" is not rural China, but Chinese cities’ "outdated, laziness-inducing" work unit welfare systems, while Chinese peasants have been self-reliant. This paper deals with the representation of peasant migrants in media and scholarly works. Fei Xiaotong’s Earthbound China is the starting point of my engagement with the discourse of "tu" (hick) and peasant consciousness. I argue that the Chinese urban middle class’s desire to catch up and associate themselves with privileged global modernity has expanded the notion of "tu" from its "earth-bound" meaning to instead mark people, things, and behaviors as "lacking." In this imagining, "tu" is no longer a signifier that divides urbanites from ruralites, but one of elusive modernity that crisscrosses rural/urban, regional, and national boundaries.


Session 129: The State, Social Elites, and Commoners in the Transition to Modern Nationalism in China, Korea, and Japan

Organizer and Chair: John B. Duncan, University of California, Los Angeles

Discussant: Henry Em, University of Michigan

Keywords: interarea, state, nation, nationalism.

This panel focuses on the nineteenth- and twentieth-century emergence of modern nations out of ancient states in China, Korea, and Japan. Whereas much recent scholarship on East Asia stresses the novelty of nation and nationalism as a derivative discourse, a defensive co-opting of modern Western concepts, the papers in this panel explore the ways in which consciousness of belonging to distinct political and cultural collectivities contributed to the reconstruction of premodern polities into modern nation-states. While the paths to modern nation-statehood were different for imperial Japan, colonial Korea, and semi-colonial China, in each of the three countries political and social elites mobilized memories of a distinctive collective cultural and political past to construct a new sense of nationhood. Through examination of these memories, investigation of how they were used, and consideration of interactions between state, social elites, and common people, the panel hopes to shed light on what the three countries shared and what they did not, and in the process contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the rise of nationalism and the formation of modern nation-states in East Asia.

Comparing State Constructions of Social Identity in Late Imperial and Modern China

R. Bin Wong, University of California, Irvine

During the first half of the twentieth century, Chinese officials and intellectuals had two independent bases upon which to promote a common national identity. The first was based on an appeal to Chinese cultural traditions that defined certain national characteristics and a second was built on making the nation strong through adopting various ideas and practices of Western origin. These two approaches to national identity formation were joined in the post-1949 period by the state’s claim to be defending the nation’s interests against foreign powers. Each of these approaches to social identity formation promotes different kinds of relationships between state actors, social elites, and common people. This paper sketches each of these approaches. By comparing them it offers a perspective on the formation of modern Chinese nationalism in a longer historical perspective.

Understanding Nationalism from the Early Modern Japanese Experience

Hiroshi Mitani, University of Tokyo

There are two unsolved problems in understanding nationalism. First, how can we identify "nationalism" today with "nationalism" in the 19th century? We see "nationalism" today as an unceasing movement that divides and bring conflicts among populations, while 19th-century people imagined "nation" as a large population and a basis for imperialism. Second, how can we explain the conspicuous continuity between early modern states and modern nations in East Asia: China, Korea, and Japan? I would like to present a universal model to solve these problems from Japanese experience. First, I define "nationalism" as the "spread of statism among non-elite" while defining "statism" as a "habit of mind that differentiates ‘We’ from the ‘Other’ through some ‘state.’" There was statism already in ancient polities: from small political communities to big empires. Nationalism is characterized by the fact that non-elite sacrifice their lives for ‘their’ countries.

The emergence of nationalism, i.e. the spread of statism, was conditioned by two major factors except for conscious political efforts. As B. Anderson pointed out, unconscious factors did not play a small role. In addition to the printing industry and pilgrimage of officials, I would like to add the role of popular culture spread from the center of the state, i. e. Kabuki played by villagers during early modern Japan. It was a medium of shared imagination by bringing about a multi-lingual situation among the populace. However, pop cultures sometimes go beyond the boundaries of states and form only "soft boundaries." What makes the boundaries hard is state memory. The number of literate people who read Japanese "classics" and history grew during the early modern era, and the memory of glorious past strengthened the normative image of order called Japan. This kind of experience differentiates East Asia from other areas where the efforts to re-establish wide political order failed during modern transformation. On the other hand, the Japanese experience is different from the Chinese one. The formation of state memory accompanied the emergence of an "unforgettable other," i.e., imaginative rivals that every nation has. Chinese centrality in the world order prevented this—and this was one of the factors that made the Chinese the last to be a nation.

What’s in a Kuk?

Andre Schmid, University of Toronto

This paper asks whether the modernist conceit of most studies on nationalism has perhaps been too quick to underplay the various ways collective life at a national level was articulated by literate elites in premodern societies. Dealing with Korea, the paper cautions against the tendency to use necessary and self-sufficient criteria for defining the nation, especially when those criteria are derived from the experience of modern, Western countries and then used to appraise premodern non-Western societies—a methodology sure to produce negative results. The paper also cautions against a postwar emphasis on East Asia as a transcendent cultural realm, with little room for the undercutting position of nations. Instead, the paper proposes that many premodern texts reflect what can be called a sense of nation at the level of the kuk (guo, koku), which served as one locus for writers to articulate a cultural identity between the levels of "East Asia" and the family. In the late Choson period, understanding of the kuk moved beyond the meaning of the state to incorporate a sense of time and space that transcended any single dynasty and included a sense of cultural distinctiveness. In this way, the paper seeks to separate the usual conceptual pairing of nation and nationalism, positing a temporal difference between the existence of a sense of nation in the late Choson dynasty and subsequent nationalist definitions of the nation as a sovereign unit that emerged with the peninsula’s incorporation into the world system.

Popular Perceptions of the State in the Late Choson

John B. Duncan, University of California, Los Angeles

One of the hallmarks of modern nationalism is the way in which ordinary citizens think of themselves as belonging to a larger community symbolized by the nation-state. According to modernist arguments, this is a recent phenomenon in which old locally-specific identities were superceded by new national identities as a consequence of the rise of capitalist modes of production, the propagandizing activities of nationalist elites, and the educational and organizational activities of the modern state. While this argument may be valid in many instances, it may be problematic in a case like that of premodern Korea, which had a long history of centralized bureaucratic rule. We must entertain the possibility that the commoners, through their experience with the bureaucracy, may have had a sense of belonging to a larger collectivity represented by the state. I propose to explore late Choson commoners’ perceptions of the state through an examination of such oral traditions as the Ch’unhyang chon, Hungbo chon, Imjin nok, and Pakssi chon, in which the state and its agents play important roles. These narrative stories, which exist in many versions, were put in written form in the mid- and late nineteenth centuries. Some versions clearly express elite interests and tastes, while others seem to reflect the concerns and values of non-elite social groups. By focusing on the latter, I hope to get some sense of what kind of memories of the state commoners had, and how those memories may have facilitated or hindered the construction of a new national identity.


Session 130: Problematizing Networks in Asian Studies

Organizer and Discussant: Jim Glassman, Syracuse University

Chair: Guang Lei, San Diego State University

Discussants: You-tien Hsing, University of British Columbia; Jim Glassman, Syracuse University

Keywords: network, political economy, peasant workers, gender, transnational networks.

Recent years have seen an explosion of interesting and important work applying various conceptions of networks to the discussion of economic processes in Asia. While this network literature has often successfully challenged economic reductionism by showing how economic processes are socially and culturally embedded, the accomplishment has sometimes been purchased at the cost of foregrounding a static and essentialist conception of the cultures in which networks are embedded. This panel explores different ways of thickening and problematizing some of the conceptions of networks used in research on Asia by critically examining a variety of "networked" social processes, including the migration decisions of peasants, the ways peasant-workers remake industrial flexibility, and the recent challenging of older "crony capitalist" networks through the construction of transnational technocratic expertise within state policy-making bodies. By examining networks in a broad and critical fashion, not only do we hope to usefully problematize various conceptions of networks but also to enable exploration of relationships with older lines of research in economic anthropology, geography, sociology, and international political economy.

Constructing Networks of Peasant Migration in China

Guang Lei, San Diego State University

Social networks have been taken as a key feature of contemporary Chinese peasant migration. Networked peasants are said to eschew formal state-sponsorship and the private marketplace during the migration process. Once in cities they participate most predominantly in the urban informal economy. But how are such networks constructed? Are kinship, family ties, and village relations the ideal grounds for network formation? How are such networks related to the state? These are some of the questions I will address in this paper. I argue that we need to de-naturalize migrant networks and view them as socially-constructed institutions that migrants use for diverse interests.

Gender, Class, and Uses of the Past: Making a Flexible Production Complex in South India

Sharad Chari, University of Michigan

Through the context of a flexible production system in India, I would like to look at the micropolitics of network formation. How, in particular, do peasant-worker men of the Gounder caste in Western Tamilnadu use gender, class, and elements from prior work practices in agriculture in refashioning industrial work into dynamic small-firm networks? I will argue that in the process of enacting what they metonymically describe as their ‘toil,’ these men create a new geography of work—of fraternally networked small firms—from within an older industrial form. Enactments of ‘toil’ and Gounder masculinity allow these ex-peasant small-firm owners to link control over the detail division of labor to control of social labor, bridging power over labor to power over production networks. Consequently, gender mediates the linked production of class and place in a networked geography of work.

Asian Values and Liberal Values: Changing Interpretations of Networks in the Wake of the 1997–98 Crisis

Hans Nesseth, University of Minnesota

The move toward market liberalism in Indonesia has been accompanied by the social delegitimation of one type of network and the legitimation of another type of network. Before the crisis, the rapid growth of Indonesia was associated with close relations between state officials and private business people. The pervasiveness of patrimonialism was recognized by domestic and foreign participants in the economy and understood to be associated with networks based on (ill-defined) Asian values. After the crisis, the interpretation of this kind of network swung in the opposite direction to be understood as destructive crony capitalism. While this re-interpretation was occurring, another kind of network was becoming increasingly socially legitimated. This network is more explicitly market oriented and global in character. A central node in this network is the role of management and macro-economic consultants. Although these actors had been involved in creating the conditions which caused the crisis, they have not been included in the criticisms of crony capitalism. Indeed, consultants have been increasingly called upon to help the Indonesian economy recover from the crisis. One of the most important bases of authority of this network is that it is not a network; it is a market institution that simply responds to demand. Consultants are not cronies. The paper argues that this claim to marketized expertise is grounded upon pre-existing relations of global inequality combined with (contestable) claims to technical knowledge.


Session 131: Politics of Gender, Sexuality and Resistance Discourses—Korea and Okinawa

Organizer, Chair, and Discussant: Mire Koikari, University of Hawaii, Manoa

This panel provides a comparative historical analysis of gender politics in 20th-century Okinawa and Korea. It focuses on the female body as a primary site where complex interactions between colonial/imperial domination and local resistance take place. In each region, exploitation of the local female body has constituted a salient marker of its subordination to foreign powers. In Korea, the "comfort women" system under Japanese colonial rule was followed by sexual exploitation of local women under the postwar U.S. military domination. In Okinawa, ongoing Japanese and U.S. domination in the islands has resulted in numerous cases of sexual victimization of local women since the end of the war, including a recent well-publicized case of rape involving a 12-year-old girl and three U.S. military personnel. Despite the overwhelming nature of foreign domination, however, those subordinated have never been silent. They have engaged in various forms of resistance vis-Ó-vis dominant powers—be it literary expression or protest mobilization. These attempts at resistance are deeply gendered. Local men often become the main actors/speakers in anti-imperial resistance, while local women get marginalized and silenced once again. The resistance strategies used by men and women are often markedly different from each other. Local women have to contend with foreign domination as well as indigenous male domination in their attempt to regain their subjectivity. The panel analyzes the gendered nature of colonial/imperial domination as well as resistance discourses (both in literature and social movements) from perspectives informed by gender studies, colonial studies, and cultural studies.

Asian Women Under U.S. Military Colonialism: Military Violence and the Militarized Economy

Yoko Fukumura, University of California, Santa Cruz

The United States military has been a dominant force in the Asia-Pacific region for more than a century. The U.S. government, especially its military elites, claim that the U.S. military presence in the area has been necessary in order to maintain "peace" and "security"; in some cases they even insist on the "benefit" the U.S. military has brought to the local economy. It is critical, however, to recognize that the militarized international security system has been maintained at the expense of the local environment as well as the social/economic/cultural needs of the population, most importantly women’s human and civil rights.

This paper examines the U.S. military institution in Okinawa, which has been a host for a vast U.S. military presence for fifty-five years, and its impact on the lives of local women. The issues surrounding sexual victimization of women under U.S. militarism have long been neglected. In the process of U.S. militarization and colonialistic domination in the area, the bodies of women have been considered as secondary in comparison to other, "more important" issues, such as alleged economic development. The Japanese government has collaborated with the U.S. military in the victimization of local women. This paper situates the issues concerning sexuality, violence, women’s body and militarism in the historical and geopolitical context of Okinawa. It sheds critical light on the nature of foreign domination and local resistance. The paper also touches upon similar cases in mainland Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines.

Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence: Defining Community Development Through Political Activism

Martha Matsuoka, University of California, Los Angeles

This paper illustrates the intersection of feminist politics, culture, and community development in Okinawa, Japan and suggests that Okinawan women’s activism represents a cultural politics formed from cultural, spiritual, and environmental roots, and shaped by acts of resistance against the U.S. military. The paper argues that the feminist framing of militarism along with the political activism have solidified an ideological framework, established relationships, and built women’s individual and organizational capacity to push for a community-based redevelopment of the military facilities in Okinawa.

The paper presents a case study of Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence (OWAAMV), an antimilitarist network of women in Okinawa that formed in 1995 following the rape of a 12-year old girl by three U.S. servicemen. The activities of OWAAMV reflect the resistance to the patterned violence against women and assaults on the environment by the U.S. military presence in Okinawa. These women’s struggles also represent a proactive movement toward political self-determination and democracy and the evolution of a cultural politics that is unique to the particular history, role, and political struggles of Okinawan women.

Gender Representations and the Construction of Okinawan Masculinity in ďshiro Tatsuhiro’s Cocktail Party

Kyle Ikeda, University of Hawaii

In ďshiro Tatsuhiro’s novella, Cocktail Party, the central metaphor of the United States military’s domination of Okinawa appears as the rape of the Okinawan protagonist’s daughter by an American soldier. My examination of gender in ďshiro’s novella looks not only at the binary of the masculine occupier and feminine occupied that the rape implies, but also at more ambiguous sets of gendered power relations such as the relationship between the Okinawan male protagonist and the American female character Mrs. Miller, between middle-class Okinawan men and lower class Okinawan women, and relations of American men and lower class Okinawan women. My analysis reveals a complex set of gender relations in which Okinawan masculinity is sometimes affirmed and even bolstered, while at other times destabilized or emasculated. I argue, however, that representations of destabilized and disempowered Okinawan masculinity in Cocktail Party are used not to depict or confirm emasculation, but rather to critique and resist the American occupation. The abuses of U.S. occupational power expressed through sexualized violence against Okinawan women have become a rallying point for protecting women. Furthermore, the depiction of Okinawan women as silent, marginal, and dependent serves to construct Okinawan men as vocal, central, and reliable in contrast. Despite ďshiro’s critique of the occupation, his story uncritically appropriates Okinawan female victimhood as a tool for resistance without paying attention to women’s concerns or voices. In Cocktail Party, Okinawan masculinity is empowered and constructed through the marginalization, silencing, and objectification of Okinawan women.

Embodying Han: Nationalism and Resistance in Lost Names and Comfort Woman

Heather A. Bohannan, University of Hawaii

Richard Kim’s Lost Names and Nora Okja Keller’s Comfort Woman are recent novels that portray gendered forms of Korean resistance to Japanese colonialism. Both fictionalized accounts elucidate political and historical constructions of Japan/Korea relations and Korean identity issues within American frames. This paper examines these novels in relation to each other and in light of recent feminist scholarship to argue that women’s traditional culture offers both culture-specific and transnational resistance often invisible in public debates. Feminist theorists have pointed out that Korean men’s nationalist discourse works by co-opting former comfort women’s victimization under Japanese colonialism. Kim’s novel is useful to demonstrate Korean masculinized nationalism based in the traditional notion of han. By re-routing women’s testimonials and calls for justice in the service of what Elaine Kim calls "a man’s talk with a man," this nationalism re-inscribes Korean patriarchal ideology. Ironically, the public testimonial frame itself both foregrounds and subsumes women’s agency by prescribing victimization as the primary mode of empowerment for women. In her fictionalized representation of the Japanese "comfort women" industry of WWII, Keller suggests that in women’s traditional culture, the tools of subterfuge to this conundrum already exist. Through the familiar mother/daughter trope, the novel incorporates traditional shamanism, as well as other forms of women’s folklife and folklore, as a gender-inflected counter-narrative and illustrates how women’s culture often offers refuge from and resistance to male control. Furthermore, it illustrates how the use of storytelling offers alternative modes of encoding experience and memory that elude and undermine public discourse. In Kim’s novel, narrative and traditional culture become the basis for nationalism, but in Comfort Woman they function to subvert nationalist and patriarchal oppression.


Session 132: Individual Papers: Interarea

Organizer: Ronald J. Herring, Cornell University

Testing the Applicability of Public Declarations: Environment, Democracy, and Human Rights after Japan’s 1992 Cabinet ODA Charter

Vincent K. Pollard, University of Hawaii, Manoa

The domestic, transnational, and intergovernmental politics of Japan’s foreign aid to Asian countries like the Philippines, China and others provides a retrospective and forward-looking lens for clarifying the sources and impact of state and non-state power in these interactions.

Stretching Robert Dahl’s concept of "organizational pluralism" in a social process model, to what extent can public statements by Japan’s cabinet about Official Development Assistance (ODA) be taken as a predictor of official behavior? For example, the June 1992 Cabinet ODA Charter ostensibly conditions the granting of aid on the presence and improvement of four types of behavior in recipient countries. These are as follows: (1) environmental protection, (2) human rights protection, (3) democratization, and (4) marketization.

Verbal and schematic models engender predictive typologies of circumstances under which ministries and NGOs are—and are not—likely to be successful in pressing for implementation of social change linked to the first three of these four conditionalities in countries as diverse as China and the Philippines.

Based on evidence from the 1990s, the following inferences with long-term import emerge: (1) very different types of governments have become adept at co-opting and corralling nongovernmental organizations for their own purposes; and at the same time, (2) limited opportunities for transnational nongovernmental cooperation by knowledgeable and skilled public interest groups have continued to expand.

Representing Japan in Singapore: Ong Keng Sen Directs Kuo Pao Kun’s Spirits Play

Yoshiko Fukushima, University of Oklahoma

Ong Keng Sen is a Singaporean avant-garde theatre director in his thirties. This paper attempts to discuss his latest production titled Spirits, which was performed in mid-August 2000. The original work of Spirits, titled Spirits Play and written in Mandarin by a Chinese-Singaporean playwright, Kuo Pao Kun, is about four Japanese—two men, a General and a poet, and two women, a mother and daughter—facing Japan’s defeat at the end of World War II in Singapore. The four characters narrate the ugliness of the war that repeats violence, murders and raping. Uniquely, the production is a collaboration of five Singaporean actors and seven Japanese visual, sound and performance artists. None of them experienced World War II. Among the performance artists are feminist artist, Yoshiko Shimada, and the leader of the performance group made of sex workers, Bubu. The production was performed at two different locations, inside the Battle Box, the war underground bunkers used as the Operations and Command Center by the Malaya Command Headquarters since 1939, and a proscenium auditorium, Victoria Theatre. Inside the Battle Box, the British Army decided to surrender Singapore to the Japanese on 15 February, 1949. Based on my observation of Keng Sen’s rehearsal accompanying the discussion of World War II with his actors, I would like to analyze the process of creation by Keng Sen and other artists, who are from two different countries, colonized and colonizing, question their willingness of confronting World War II as the historical event, and present the result of this attempt including the responses from the Singaporean audiences.

Adaptation and Appropriation: The Construction of Cultural Meanings and Identities in the Consumption of High-Tech Products in Seoul, Shanghai, and Singapore

Sangmee Bak, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

This paper is based on anthropological fieldwork in Seoul, Shanghai, and Singapore focusing on the consumption of high-tech products and its implication in local people’s construction of identities. People not only consider their practical needs when they make purchasing decisions of these products, since they are well aware that owning and using them play important roles in determining how they look in the society. Conspicuous consumption of high-tech goods reveals how consumers in these three societies understand and represent issues related with modernity, Western/non-Western identities, and the role of cultural capital including knowledge and education. "Upgrading" for them is not simply acquiring a newer model product to satisfy technological needs, but is also an act of being up-to-date, and thereby proving that they are "evolved" in line with social change. Multinational manufacturers of high-tech products notice this, and are keen to understand what consumers want to represent by using their products. They find that they have to walk a fine line between catering to local needs and representing global (and Western) images. A comparative analysis among the three cities shows that high-tech product consumption carries diverse meanings, often revealing some important clues in understanding local people’s construction of their own identities, which are quite rapidly transforming with different speed and directions in these societies.


Session 150: Boundary Disputes in the Asia-Pacific Region: An Examination of their Origins, Dynamics, and Resolution

Organizer: Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, University of Pennsylvania

Chair: Carlyle A. Thayer, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies

Discussants: Allen S. Whiting, University of Arizona; Carlyle A. Thayer, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies

Keywords: boundary disputes, maritime disputes, Vietmanese-Cambodian relations, South Korean-Japanese relations, Russo-Japanese relations, Sino-Japanese relations, Sino-Vietnamese relations, Tokto Islands, Takeshima Islands, Kurile Islands, Diaoyu Islands, Senkaku Islands, South China Sea.

The Asia-Pacific Region (APR) has an abundance of territorial and maritime quarrels. In some cases, these disputes have resulted in militarized conflicts such as clashes between Vietnam and China over the Paracel Islands and war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. In other cases, these problems have dampened the development of interstate relations. For example, they have poisoned Russian-Japanese interactions and polluted Sino-Japanese relations. APR controversies over borderlines are of significant interest to many different scholars. They provide information on how states define their national identity, reveal how domestic politics affect external behavior, and represent an important part of the narrative of the post-colonial APR.

This panel adds to our knowledge of several important APR boundary disputes. It also informs our understanding of the reasons for these controversies, the forces that shape their dynamics, and the factors that spur their settlement. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard analyzes the Vietnamese-Cambodian boundary dispute that began in 1975 and ended in 1979. Blanchard highlights the causal role of Cambodian national identity and borderland concerns in the conflict. Youngshik Bong studies the 1996 South Korean-Japanese quarrel over the Tokto/Takeshima Islands. Bong asserts the two countries’ efforts to balance the exigencies of domestic politics and the international environment explain the dynamics of the conflict. Daniel Landau weighs whether domestic political considerations or great power politics has had the greatest effect on Japan’s behavior towards its offshore island disputes. Eric Hyer analyzes the Sino-Vietnamese territorial dispute and recent settlement, arguing that the geopolitical context best illuminates the controversy.

Barbarians at the Gate: The Cambodian-Vietnamese Boundary Dispute, 1975–1979

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, University of Pennsylvania

In April 1975, Khmer Rouge forces landed on the Vietnamese-held islands of Phu Quoc and Poulo Panjang and launched incursions into Vietnam. These assaults led to hundreds of deaths and the Vietnamese seizure in June of Cambodia’s Puolo Wai Island. Over the course of 1977, the conflict escalated with Khmer Rouge troops launching frequent attacks into Vietnam, which were reciprocated by Vietnamese counterattacks. The Cambodians were not cowed by Vietnamese might and continued to strike Vietnam. Vietnam responded in December 1978 with a huge invasion that led to the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime. Why did Cambodia fight with Vietnam given the latter’s superior military capabilities? Was a boundary clash inevitable given the history of conflict between the two states or was it a function of ideological differences between Phnom Penh and Hanoi? I argue that the boundary conflict can be attributed to the Khmer Rouge’s conceptualization of Cambodia’s national identity and borderland considerations. Specifically, the war resulted from its desire to implement a national identity defined in terms of national sovereignty, rectification of past territorial losses, and the removal of foreign influences. It also resulted from the Khmer Rouge’s desire to gain control over its internal borderlands which were "tainted" by Vietnamese influences.

State Policymaking Behavior and the Island Disputes in East Asia: ROK-Japanese Tokto/ Takeshima Dispute

Youngshik Bong, University of Pennsylvania

Since the end of the Cold War, unresolved territorial issues among Asian states have been recognized as potential triggers of interstate conflicts. Such recognition appears to be warranted by a series of recent events in the East Sea/Sea of Japan and the South China Sea. In this paper, I will investigate the 1996–1998 Tokto/Takeshima dispute between South Korea and Japan and examine the causes of its inception, escalation, and conclusion with an emphasis on the political calculations of the state elites in Japan and South Korea. The state elites in both Japan and South Korea constantly shifted their choice of territorial policy according to their priorities between external security and domestic political support. The Tokto/Takeshima case can serve as a window to observe the ways which domestic political game in the two countries extended to the diplomatic realm, and vice-versa. With this point in mind, I will discuss how important international and domestic issues—the North Korean nuclear threat, U.S.-Japan security alliance, political rivalry, and fishery talks—affected the course of the dispute. Based upon the analysis of the Tokto/Takeshima case, I will also delineate theoretical and future implications to the other island disputes in East Asia.

Japanese Island Disputes

Daniel B. Landau, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This paper will explore Japanese political behavior in offshore island territorial disputes. Japan has island disputes with all of its immediate neighbors: (1) the Northern Territories, or Kurile Islands, with the USSR and now Russia; (2) the Takeshima or Tokto islets with South Korea; and (3) the Senkaku or Diaoyudai Islands with the governments in both Beijing and Taipei. These conflicting claims have simmered for half a century and show few signs of resolution. This paper will look at the history of these island conflicts and then compare possible explanations for the persistence of this set of international problems. One possible explanation is that linkages within Japan among the interest groups supporting each separate island claim generate a logrolling effect, with the claims growing more intransigent in combination than they would in isolation from each other. A competing explanation looks outside Japan to the dimensions of great power politics in Northeast Asia during and after the Cold War. Finally, this paper will offer some ideas for resolving these conflicts based on multifunctional international resource regimes and shared sovereignty.

The End Game: The Sino-Vietnamese Boundary Dispute and Settlement

Eric Hyer, Brigham Young University

Although not openly contested at the time, the Sino-Vietnamese boundary dispute was a contentious issue of discussion between the newly established People’s Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, struggling for its survival against the French and Americans. As relations between China and Vietnam deteriorated in the early 1970s, the boundary dispute surfaced and became a major cause of conflict between the two countries. After the end of the Cold War, Beijing and Hanoi have inched toward a final settlement. Although the boundary dispute and settlement can be analyzed from many different perspectives, adopting a systemic structural framework provides insights into the twists and turns the negotiations and armed conflicts have taken over the past five decades. The Chinese and Vietnamese are approaching the final stages of a comprehensive land and sea boundary. However, a settlement of the South China Sea dispute, involving not only China, but also the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan is not in sight. This paper will adopt a historical analytical approach to explain the evolution of the Sino-Vietnamese boundary and consider the future of the South China Sea dispute.


Session 151: Asia, Global Hypergamy, and the Politics of Transnational Marriage

Organizer and Chair: Nicole Constable, University of Pittsburgh

Discussant: Rubie S. Watson, Harvard University

Keywords: interarea, transnationalism, cultural anthropology, gender, marriage.

This panel examines Asian dimensions of global hypergamy. While hypergamy is an older anthropological concept that refers to the practice of women marrying into a superior class or social group, "global hypergamy" considers this phenomena within a broader global, political, and transnational context. These papers present various examples of Asian women who marry or form permanent sexual/romantic relationships with men who are outside of their own social/cultural groups, and often outside of the boundaries of their own nation-state. These men (and their families) often consider themselves the women’s social superiors. This panel questions what it means to "marry up" from a number of different perspectives including those of the men and women involved. We also consider ways in which men and women resist or reform pre-existing marriage patterns, redefine ideas of "tradition" and "modernity," and rework definitions of self and other.

These papers present an ideal context in which to examine ways in which people negotiate new opportunities that arise from global shifts in political and economic boundaries, and changing flows of people, culture and goods. Examining relationships that cross borders between China and South Korea; Hongkong and mainland China; China, the Philippines, Thailand, the U.S., and Europe, we ask: how are these marriages/relationships conceptualized? What various factors motivate men and women to become involved in such transnational relationships? To what extent are imaginings of life across the border realized? To what extent are women self-determined actors with a degree of choice in their own marriage negotiations?

Constructing Wives and Mistresses: Polygyny across the Hong Kong-China Border

Siumi Maria Tam, Chinese University of Hong Kong

This paper examines the complexity of the phenomenon called baau yih naaih, or keeping mistresses in mainland China by Hong Kong men whose legal wives live in Hong Kong. Mobility of personnel across the border since Hong Kong’s reversion to China in 1997 has continued to increase. This involves particularly Hong Kong men as investors, professionals, salaried workers and truck drivers, and also as tourists and consumers in the burgeoning entertainment and service industries. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this paper focuses on the perceptions of the wives and mistresses towards the triadic relationship, and their action in negotiating their subjectivities in the process. The study highlights the social and cultural milieu of polygyny, especially the politics of cultural identity of Hong Kong people vis-Ó-vis mainlanders, the significance of traditional and modern concepts of gender roles, and interpretations of femininity and masculinity in contemporary Chinese society.

Chinese Women, Filipinas, and U.S. Men: Transnational Imaginings of the Ideal Spouse

Nicole Constable, University of Pittsburgh

The opening up of China in the post-Mao period set the stage for the development of new sorts of social and personal relationships between China and the West. In recent years, marriages between U.S. men and Chinese women who met and corresponded via the Internet have become increasingly common. In contrast to stereotypes of passive, poor, and desperate Asian "mail order brides," this paper draws primarily on ethnographic research among urban, educated, and professional Chinese women who correspond with U.S. men in hopes of marrying them, and examines their motivations, approaches to correspondence, and ideas about the suitability of Western men as potential spouses. Contrary to common assumptions about women’s economic motivations, this paper points to women’s personal circumstances, class backgrounds, and marital prospects in the PRC as key features underlying their interest in Western men.

Besides considering Chinese women’s ideas and expectations, this paper also examines U.S. men’s reasons for corresponding with Chinese women versus Filipinas. In contrast to analyses that focus solely or centrally on political-economic factors, that deny women agency in negotiating their marriages, or that stress the sexual or cultural appeal of "Asian women" as the main factor that motivates U.S. men to pursue such relationships, I consider a variety of sociocultural, personal, and political-economic factors that influence relationships between U.S. men and women from China and the Philippines. Overall this paper points to paradoxes of upward mobility, and the varied intersections of gender, sexuality, class, and nationality in the context of transnational marriage.

Forced Migration or Mobility Strategy? Assessing Transnational Marriages Amidst the Global Marketing of Southeast Asian Brides

Jane A. Margold, University of California, Davis

Transnational marriage is one effect of speeded-up globalization, as male and female migrants relocate across borders in response to worldwide labor-market shifts. Transnational marriage is also the result of expanded consumer opportunities, ranging from vacation sex tours for European, North American and Japanese men to more than 70,000 Web sites offering catalogues of "exotic, sensual, submissive" mail-order brides from economically-marginalized nations (Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific 2000). Criminal syndicates intervene in much of this business. In the last decade, more than 30 million women and children have been trafficked within and from Southeast Asia for sexual purposes and economic slavery (Crossette, 2000).

Given this context, transnational marriages are inescapably bound up with the global sex trade. However, an exclusive focus on the structural forces that impel women to marry a near-stranger tells us little of the cultural understandings and practices brought to their risky situations by the aspiring brides. Based on ethnographic inquiry in Finland, the U.S., and the Philippines, this paper examines the subjective experiences of Filipina and several Thai mail-order brides within the global political-economic setting that led them to marry across vast geographic and cultural divides. In documenting how these women have navigated the status, class and other dislocations they have encountered, the aim is to see what limited maneuvering room is available to the dominated as globalization brings dramatically unlike cultures into daily tension.

What’s Love Got to Do with It? Transnational Marriages Between China and Korea

Caren Freeman, University of Virginia

The inability of rural bachelors to attract brides is an increasingly common problem in many rapidly industrializing countries, where educational, occupational, and marital opportunities draw large numbers of women to the cities. In South Korea, the plight of unwed farmers is a highly charged symbol of the underdeveloped, depopulated condition of the countryside. Licensed marriage bureaus respond to the bride shortage crisis by offering "marriage tours" to Northeast China, where dreams of upward mobility induce ethnic Korean Chinese women to marry South Korean farmers. In one respect, the influx of ethnic Korean brides from China into South Korea has emerged out of the complimentary economic restructuring of the two nations. The opening of China’s doors to the global economy in the Post-Mao era coincided with the emergence of labor shortages and rising production costs in South Korea’s export-led economy. As a result of these complimentary developments, South Korean capitalists invest heavily in China’s northern and northeastern provinces, while China supplies workers for factories and wives for farmers.

This paper examines the gendered shape of these migration patterns and the linked transformations in the forms of marriage and kinship that are emerging in response to shifting capital and labor markets. In. particular, this paper looks at how the extreme mobility of women engendered by the labor and marriage market conflicts with Korean cultural norms that favor a domesticated and localized femininity. I will explore the ways in which women both resist and accommodate the competing pressures and practices of their natal and marital families when they decide to enter into transnational marriages.


Session 152: Christian Missions, Indigenous Religions, and Conversion in China and Korea

Organizer: Eric Reinders, Emory University

Chair and Discussant: Lionel M. Jensen, University of Notre Dame

When a religion "spreads" to another culture, missionaries and local converts engage in critical negotiations of the imported and the indigenous, to decide what aspects of each must be asserted, repudiated, or absorbed. This panel explores some the problems and solutions created by that basic foreign/native tension in China and Korea. How did missionaries conceive the relations of Christianity and indigenous religions, and what were the consequences of their views? Lazich’s paper shows that missionaries were not unanimous in their views of these relations, and acted with different readings of Confucianism and Chinese culture. In many cases there was hostility and conflict. Some conflicts centered on a set of interpretive issues, such as translation and terminology. (Accusations of idolatry were made, not only of native ritual practices but also of the use of terms such as shangdi to translate "God.") There were also conflicts over practice, such as the indigenous treatment of icons, and ancestral practice. Baker shows why the Christian refusal to perform the Confucian mourning ritual provoked bloody retaliation. Especially problematic was the transition between indigenous religion and Christianity during the processes of conversion. There were always nagging doubts about the sincerity of conversion, which led to systems of probation and examination, to prove and measure sincerity. Lee’s paper explores the emphasis on rebirth experiences and the telling of conversion narratives in Korean Evangelicalism, and Reinders explores the trope of iconoclasm in Chinese conversions.

Resisting Ritual Hegemony: Catholics Confront the Confucian State in Eighteenth-Century Korea

Donald L. Baker, University of British Columbia

Two centuries ago, the government of Korea reacted violently when Catholicism first penetrated the Korean peninsula and a few members of Korea’s Confucian scholar elite converted to that alien religion. The specific incident which sparked a century of bloody persecution was the refusal of a couple of these new Catholics to mourn for a recently deceased parent in the prescribed Confucian manner. Traditional scholarship has attributed the bloody animosity between Confucians and Catholics to the unyielding conservatism of Korea’s Confucian officials. Little attention had been paid, however, to what those officials were trying to conserve, other than their own privileged positions in a Confucian state and society.

In my presentation, I will argue that those officials were defending the fundamental beliefs and values of their society, particularly the traditional relationship between religion and the state. When Catholics refused to abide by government regulations telling them how to mourn their dead, and insisted on following the directives of their religious leaders instead, they challenged the traditional prerogative of the state to regulate religious activity and religious organizations. In doing so, they threatened one of the pillars of Confucian government: ritual hegemony, the power to define which rituals were legitimate and which were not, as well as who could perform certain rituals and who could not. Such a threat to state control of ritual could not be tolerated without undermining the very foundations of Korea’s Neo-Confucian government.

The Shangdi Conundrum: Nineteenth-Century Missionary Views of Classical Confucianism and the Problem of Conversion

Michael Lazich, Buffalo State College

One of the most formidable challenges that faced the early Protestant missionaries to China in the mid-nineteenth century was the production of a suitably standardized version of the Bible in Chinese. An early translation of the Bible had been completed by the British missionaries Robert Morrison and William Milne in 1819, but by the early 1840s it was generally agreed that this version was badly in need of revision and a joint project was undertaken to produce a more accurate and elegant edition. During the course of this venture a serious controversy arose over the most suitable Chinese term to use to designate "God"—a debate that came to be known as the "Term Question." Those missionaries associated with the London Missionary Society were mostly drawn to the view of W. H. Medhurst and James Legge that the Shangdi, ("Ruler on High"), or simply Di, of the ancient Confucian classics was sufficiently close in meaning and significance to the God of the Bible to use as a term of translation. Most American missionaries, on the other hand, accepted the judgment of E. C. Bridgman and W. J. Boone that the use of the expression was a blasphemous adoption of the name of a Chinese deity and that the most suitable term was the more ambiguous and generic word shen, (spirit). The most significant implication of this debate was the extent to which it highlighted major differences of opinion among the missionaries over Confucian conceptions of Supreme Being and, consequently, the essential relationship of Confucianism to Christianity.

Shattered on the Rock of Ages: Protestant Iconoclasm in China

Eric Reinders, Emory University

Protestant missionaries fostered and practiced iconoclasm in China. Iconoclasm grew naturally out of their preaching against idolatry, and occasionally missionaries were happy to join crowds of converts in festive processions of destruction. However, most were vulnerable to popular hostility and justifiably nervous about their provocative actions and teachings, so there were relatively few cases of direct iconoclasm—foreign missionaries themselves destroying Chinese religious images. Much more frequent was the destruction of images and ancestral tablets by Christian converts, often in the church compound. These acts of destruction were ritual performances. "We all stood around and sang ‘Jesus shall reign’ while the idols burned." On most occasions, the images destroyed by Chinese converts belonged to their own household, but there are also cases where converts attacked the images of others. Some of the converts’ non-Christian images were donated to the missionaries and ended up in collections and museums in England, and on display at the headquarters of the Church Missionary Society.

Like monogamy and meat-eating, and indeed the whole system of probation and examination that new converts were subject to, destroying or handing over one’s family idols became an initiatory proof and a measure of the sincerity of conversion. I contextualise these acts of destruction in terms of Protestant discourses against idolatry and Catholicism, the inheritance of European iconoclasm, prevailing rhetoric about China, and indigenous Chinese treatment of images.

The Great Revival of 1907: The Anchoring of an Evangelical Paradigm in (South) Korea

Timothy S. Lee, University of Chicago

Evangelical Protestantism flourishes in Korea. With almost nine and a half million Koreans—one in every five—an Evangelical, (South) Korea possesses of one of the most vibrant Evangelical cultures in the world. At the heart of Korean Evangelical experience is the Great Revival of 1907. Two circumstances converged to produce this revival: Korea’s dire sociopolitical circumstances at the turn of the century that provoked a sense of crisis in the Korean Protestant community, and the missionaries’ intentional efforts to induce "rebirth" experience among their proselytes, genuineness of whose conversion they suspected. The impact of this epochal effervescence on Korean Protestantism was paradigmatic, comparable to the impact that the Great Awakening of the 18th century has had on American Protestantism. It shaped the ethos of the religion: born-again experience, and telling of conversion narratives, became essential. It produced most of the hallmarks of Korean Evangelicalism: including daybreak prayer, fervid evangelism, and hostility towards non-Christian religions, which often resulted in the destruction of artifacts belonging to such religions. One cannot adequately understand modern Korean culture without understanding Evangelicalism’s place in it; no understanding of Korean Evangelicalism can be adequate if it does not take into account the Great Revival of 1907.


Session 171: Rethinking the Redistributive Economy: The Institutional Origins of Post-Socialist Developments in Vietnam and China

Organizer: Regina Abrami, University of California, Berkeley

Chair: Mark Selden, State University of New York, Binghamton

Discussants: Melanie Beresford, Macquarie University; Mark Selden, State University of New York, Binghamton

Keywords: economic culture, political economy, China, Vietnam.

Did socialism make a difference? This panel examines the interplay of orthodox and unorthodox rationalities of economy in socialist Vietnam and China. We show how idiosyncratic forms of livelihood in socialism played a fundamental role in the definition of economic organization and economic culture in post-socialism. Earlier research on the impact of "socialist legacies" in Vietnam and China has largely focused on the legacy of formal institutions, such as inefficient bureaucracies and state preference toward the state-owned sector to account for the revival of pre-socialist cultural idioms in the economy. In contrast, we show how both state and social actors appropriate these terms as part of their broader conflict over the definition of legitimate post-socialist economic activity.

Our panel contributors have conducted extensive fieldwork, including archival research that allows them to provide a richer account of the successes and failures of the command economy in Vietnam and China. Earlier comparative studies of Asian socialism (Chan et al., 1999) have focused on the role of policy and economic structure in their accounts of difference. Our panel examines instead less visible forces, such as contested notions of economy, productive labor and class. In so doing, we offer a different perspective on studying the command economy. Further, our panel encourages comparative and cross-disciplinary discussion of how differences in "actually existing socialism" engender distinct market formations in the Asian context. To our knowledge, no panel of this kind has been presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies.

Economies Under Different Commands: Socialist Norms and the Making of Market Power in Contemporary Hanoi and Chengdu

Regina Abrami, University of California, Berkeley

Peasants and other classes marginalized in socialism now play a leading role in the urban marketplaces of China, with many of them incorporated into state regulatory bodies as quasi-officials. In contrast, Vietnamese rural citizens who comprised a formidable part of the second economy find it increasingly difficult to sustain a place in the urban arena.

To account for this divergence, I examine the relationship between local-level responses to state socialist ideas of economy and cultural idioms of market power. Challenging existing interpretations of the second economy, I show that underground economic activities do not arise naturally as a response to economic crisis or the systemic inefficiencies of socialist production. Each state faced unorthodox economic activities from the earliest days of state-building. Differences in how they understood the nature of class formation and role of class struggle in socialist development, however, ultimately meant that the particular kind of unorthodoxy and language of resistance that emerged varied in line with the different incentive structure each interpretation offered to local level cadre. Drawing on case material from several villages in the Red River Delta of northern Vietnam and Sichuan Province, China, I explain why the protected intensive networks of underground exchange in Vietnam proved less successful after market transition and ultimately led to a re-assertion of "peasant" identity, while the more autarkic strategies of China’s marginal classes led not only to an expanded role in the urban economy, but converted many into some of the most vocal advocates of law, order and modernity.

States of Emergency: Economic Crisis and the Renovation of Craft Villages in the Red River Delta

Michael DiGregorio, University of California, Los Angeles

The decomposition of Vietnam’s centrally planned economy over the last decade took place through a bottom-up, top-down process in which low-level experiments in market exchange were gradually instituted through state regulations. Most of the studies of this process have focused on agricultural villages and their cooperative institutions. This paper examines the process of transition through the development histories of three industrializing craft villages in the Red River delta.

In narratives of Vietnamese economic and cultural evolution, historic craft villages (lang nghe) in the Red River delta, which employed more than 250,000 people at mid-century, have played an important role as emblems of arrested development. From independence, state policies sought to recover the development potential of craft industries by mobilizing artisans in the project of modernization and socialist transformation. Peasant-artisan-trader households had to be convinced, however, that the forms of organization required by the state were in their interests. Most were, but equally, some were not. As a result, artisans and traders continued to maneuver on the fringes of the planned economy throughout the cooperative period. As economic crises deepened in the late 1970s, opportunities for direct market exchange increased. Artisans and traders took advantage of these opportunities, in the process reinventing forms of industrial production inherited from their own histories. The paper explores how the unorthodox and idiosyncratic forms of household and community production that have emerged from this process have become emblems of rural development and a focus of state support in the contemporary Red River delta.

Collective Land Ownership: The Institutional Roots of Township Village Enterprises

Xiaolin Pei, Cornell University

The question of why economic reform in China generated high economic growth, while East European countries failed to, is a topic of much debate. The two most common explanations are found in the "local state corporatism" and "from redistribution to market economy" models of Chinese transition. Both of these models are rooted in the specific policies that comprise the economic reform program in China. In contrast, I argue that the origins of China's remarkable industrialization of the countryside pre-date the implementation of economic reforms and decollectivization.

Existing models raise many important issues, but they do so at the expense of a more in-depth and historical understanding of township village enterprise development. For example, why was the growth of commune and brigade enterprises already quite high in the 1970s, despite their being no market-conforming fiscal reforms in China? Moreover, the fiscal reforms of the 1980s, believed to have induced the right set of financial incentives to the rural leadership, were applied to the urban collective sector as well. But, we do not see the same rate of growth in this sector as we do in the rural collective sector. The argument of "redistribution to markets" in contrast places emphasis with market forces. But, I argue that the reallocation of rural labor and other resources was not driven by either plan or market. In fact, village enterprises were never supported by the planning system and they emerged at a time when factor markets were weakly developed.

How then do we account for rural industrial development and the reallocation of resources that made it possible? In my paper, I show that collective land ownership substituted for factor markets, reallocating resources in a way that promoted both township village enterprise development and high economic growth from the earliest stages of transition.


Session 172: Political Theatre and Revolution as Spectacle in Asia

Organizer: Julia C. Strauss, University of London

Chair: David Apter, Yale University

Discussants: Sudipta Kaviraj, University of London; David Apter, Yale University

Keywords: political theatre, China, Cambodia, Philippines.

Political theatre is a concept that has been percolating through Asian studies since the publication of Perry and Wasserstrom’s Popular Protest and Political Culture and Modern China (Westview, 1992). This panel seeks to further develop the concept of political theatre in a variety of different locations, times, and political situations in East and Southeast Asia over the past half century. This panel seeks to explore a number of questions about political theatre, defined here as the multiplicity of public forms that put on a show (or what may appear to be a show) in an attempt to appeal to the emotions, to what Gandhi called "the heart." Is the show put on from above, or captured from below? Who are the primary audiences and do those audiences understand that they are witnessing a show?

The Strauss paper, entitled "Campaigns, Public Accusation Meetings and Stirring Up the Masses: Political Theatre and Regime Consolidation in the People’s Republic of China" has a top down perspective. It analyses the public and theatrical elements of political campaigns in the 1950s—part of the Party’s deliberate strategy of mobilizing popular support through public accusation meetings against targeted enemies of the state and the people. It posits that while political theatre can be an effective tool in regime consolidation, its very effectiveness results in a chronic tension between the desire to move the audience from below and the maintenance of control from above.

The Hedman paper, entitled "Revolutionary Spectacle in the Philippines: The ‘Diliman Commune’ of 1971," moves away from state produced political theatre to focus on the show from below (or at least outside the state). It explores the use of alternative radical repertoires, costumes, modes of collective action, and the use of public space as a contrast and challenge to the state. It also suggests ways in which social movements build on and further develop theatrical repertoires across time and space.

The Hughes paper, "Trying Pol Pot on the International Stage" is more comparative and contemporary. It brings in the international dimensions of political theatre, focusing on how two very different international discourses separated by over 20 years have staged (or are preparing to stage) international trials of the Cambodian genocide. Although the events on trial are identical, the theatrical elements of the Soviet/Vietnamese socialist trial of 1979 and the liberal trial now being prepared reveal stark differences in dramatic exposition. The former was a morality play that justified the intervention of Vietnamese forces; the latter a didactic excursion through evil that can ultimately be rectified through liberal democracy.

Campaigns, Public Accusation Meetings, and Stirring Up the Masses: Political Theatre and Regime Consolidation in the People’s Republic of China

Julia C. Strauss, University of London

When it came to power in 1949, the People’s Republic faced a formidable set of challenges: how to expand and consolidate revolutionary state control over the bureaucracy of an enormously large polity, over real and imagined political competitors, and over those social groups with enough clout to block or deflect state initiatives. The primary vehicle through which the party-state met these challenges was the political campaign (zhengzhi yundong). Beginning in 1950 and continuing through the years of political consolidation, a series of political campaigns struck at a broad spectrum of ever widening social groups: landlords, counter-revolutionaries, corrupt bureaucrats, private entrepreneurs, intellectuals, believers in heterodox religion. The efficacy of the political campaign as a powerful tool in the repertoire of the young PRC is beyond question. Yet the record of earlier Nationalist campaigns suggests that there is little about the political campaign that necessarily translates into either popular support or successful regime consolidation.

This paper explores the complex links between political campaigns and political theatre—particularly the public accusation meeting (kongsu hui)—a "show" that the revolutionary state repeatedly put on to "stir up the masses." Substantively, the paper compares the staging, scripts, and audience participation in the accusation meetings of a progression of campaigns: the Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries (1951), the Three-Antis (1951–52), and Sufan (1956). The paper argues that from the beginning these "shows" were characterized by a chronic tension between the desire to impose bureaucratic predictability and control from above and galvanize popular support and participation from below. But over time, as cause and consequence of regime consolidation, the "shows" became semi-privatized and increasingly routinized, largely restricted to the "public" of a particular work unit in which players increasingly knew their appropriate roles. The paper concludes with general reflections on the multiple uses of political theatre from above and below.

Revolutionary Spectacle in the Philippines: The "Diliman Commune" of 1971

Eva-Lotta Hedman, University of Nottingham

In the 1960s, student activists took to the streets of Manila armed with radical political discourse, contentious collective action, and expanding protest repertoires developed within the context of the peculiar social spaces of campus enclaves. In this regard, the flagship in the country’s fleet of (secular) universities, the University of the Philippines at Diliman in Quezon City, not only emerged as the first such enclave for a new radical politics of the early mid-1960s, but also as the premier site for the realization of a (sub)urban campus as revolutionary space with the declaration of the ‘Diliman Commune’ in 1971. After an innovative two-day road blockade to prevent vehicles from entering the campus in solidarity with striking jeepney drivers in January 1971, U.P. students seized again on their newly discovered weapon, the ‘human barricade,’ when strike action resumed in February.

While swift, the rise and fall of the ‘Diliman Commune’ in the late pre-martial law era points to several important themes which this paper seeks to address. For example, the paper revisits the ‘human barricades’ and other Commune actions, and, more generally, inquires into their broader significance for expanding the repertoires of radical protest in the Philippines. Moreover, it explores not merely the repertoires but also the costumes of revolt, including the more lasting legacies thereof on revolutionary spectacle in the Philippines in the aftermath of the Commune. Finally, this paper examines the political discourse of the ‘communards’ and their role in recasting in a Philippine context a revolutionary spectacle with distinct echoes of the Paris Commune, Mao’s cultural revolution, and the wave of student revolts in 1968.

Trying Pol Pot on the International Stage

Caroline Hughes, University of Nottingham

Pol Pot was the subject of two trials in his lifetime—one held by the incoming Cambodian/ Vietnamese regime of 1979, and one held by his former comrades-in-arms shortly before his death in 1997. Currently, negotiations continue between the Cambodian government and the UN regarding the scope of a new trial of former "Khmer Rouge" leaders. This has been regarded as an essential step towards the promotion of justice and healing in present-day Cambodia.

Compared with the 1979 trial, in particular, the proposed international tribunal may be viewed as didactic theatre, intended to promote a new portrayal of the relationships between Cambodia’s watching survivors and ever-present dead. In both trials, primary aim is not the punishment of the many perpetrators of atrocities—many of whom were/are absent, dead or exempt from prosecution. Rather, the aim is to reproduce the "Khmer Rouge" as a manifestation of evil appropriate to the lessons and morals desired to be drawn from an ideologically-driven script.

The 1979 and forthcoming trials cast foreign intervenors in heroic perspective. The 1979 trial produced the "Khmer Rouge" as a manifestation of hegemonism and imperialism, to be overcome by (Soviet/Vietnamese backed) revolutionary struggle. The proposed international tribunal seeks to recreate a "Khmer Rouge" amenable to the discipline of Western politics and science, by providing a textbook version of Cambodian history, for intellectual analysis; an authoritative diagnosis of Cambodian trauma, for medical treatment; and ultimately, a critique of Cambodian society, for rectification through promotion of liberal democratic social practices.


Session 173: Creativity at the Margins: Thailand, India, Japan

Organizer and Chair: Eleanor Zelliot, Carleton College

Discussant: Gary Tartakov, Iowa State University

Keywords: marginalized groups, Thailand, India, Japan.

This panel concerns "sophisticated" creativity, not folklore, by marginalized groups in India, Japan, and Thailand and the way in which it relates to the mainstream in each country. Life at the margins and the problems of desperately poor women are depicted by the Thai writer, Sri Dao Ruang, whose work is outside the normal boundaries of the Thai literary world. The art of Savi Sawarkar, a Dalit, in bold colors and forms deals with the life of the Untouchable in India, and with the forces that hold down the Dalit and the Devadasi (temple prostitute). Does his art speak to the establishment? The Burakumin of Japan are similar to Untouchables in India in terms of their polluting qualities and their treatment as despised peoples. Like the Untouchables of India who now call themselves Dalit (oppressed), they produce writers, but does that literature reach public acceptance? And what is its focus and its appeal? A fourth kind of creativity, music, has come to a new form through the carol service of a Dalit Christian theologian from Madurai which speaks to middle class Christians through the sound and rhythm of the parai (the drum which named a caste from which the English word pariah comes) in combination with Westernized film music. Our discussant is an art historian who has studied Savarkar as well as other Dalit artists and forms of Dalit art and also written on marginalized groups (internal colonization) in the U.S. and India.

Sri Dao Ruang, a Thai Literary Challenge

Robert Drexler, Coe College

Sri Dao Ruang is a Thai short story writer who challenges many of our ideas about Thai literature. This is in part because she is concerned with issues of gender, but more importantly because she is not from the privileged classes. For that reason she is often not taken seriously by other Thai writers—the most frequent charge being that her stories are written by her husband, the editor of the most prestigious intellectual journal in the kingdom!

Sri Dao Ruang challenges the cozy old boy/old girl nexus that dominates Thai writing. In particular, in one of her stories, "Matsii," these unsettling qualities are made clear. The story deals with a destitute mother who has tried to abandon her children at a bus stop in Bangkok and is being chastised by a policeman for not being a "good mother." She tells her difficulties to the policeman who is not sympathetic to the fact that the children’s father has fled, nor to the fact that she is penniless. Finally the woman protests that she is only doing what the Buddha did—abandon his family. This does not set well with the policeman who concludes that she must be insane.

I would like to examine the ways in which Sri Dao Ruang challenges our view of Thailand and the role of the woman and her place in Thai literature. Other young Thai writers also find the status quo destructive to creativity.

Savi Sawarkar, Dalit Artist

Savi Sawarkar, College of Arts, Delhi

The art of Savi Sawarkar is unique. Although there are several professionally trained Dalit artists, Sawarkar is the only one who paints nothing but Dalit subjects: the suffering of the Untouchable; the cruel orthodoxy of the RSS Brahmins; the scowling face of Manu, the classical law giver; the Devadasi (temple prostitute). A teacher at the College of Arts in Delhi, Sawarkar is now in Mexico on a government grant to study the murals of Diego Rivera. A mild mannered and gentle man, his paintings vary from delicate dry point (his field of expertise) to huge, colorful, even violent, murals. His dedication may be seen in the title of a book based on a 1996 exhibition: Voice for Voiceless. He and art historian Gary Tartakov will present slides and comments on a wide range of his work. Sawarkar’s work is too explicitly concerned with injustice and hardship to sell, so what is his purpose? His intent? What connections has he made and can he make with India’s bustling and varied art world? What has he learned from the vivid painting of an earlier political artist, the Mexican Diego Rivera?

Is There a "Burakumin Literature?"

Edward Fowler, University of California, Irvine

Burakumin is the all-inclusive term for the modern period descendants of various outcaste groups living in Japan for centuries. Long believed to differ physically from mainstream Japanese, Burakumin are in fact ethnic Japanese who have lived in largely segregated communities and been discriminated against solely on the basis of blood lines, places of residence, or occupations (e.g. slaughtering, leather-tanning) which are deemed "unclean," which is to say ritually if not physically polluting.

Literacy has come late to Burakumin. Until recently, the literature was about, not by Burakumin. Shimazaki Toson’s The Broken Commandment, 1906, the story of an elementary school teacher who confesses his Burakumin identity and apologizes to his students for hiding it, is the most famous example. Early Burakumin activists, who formed the advocacy group Suiheisha in 1922, ridiculed it. A later example is Sumii Sue’s less sensational The River with No Bridge, 1961–92.

The only well-known Burakumin author in the West is Nakagami Kenji (1946–92), whose saga-like narratives do not explicitly portray Burakumin, which is no doubt part of their appeal to those who want to experience the exotic Other. Nakagami’s achievement is remarkable in its way, but runs the risk of being made into the exception which proves the "rule" of Burakumin non-creativity. This paper will focus on Nakagami’s predecessors, particularly Saiko Mankichi (1895–1970), generally regarded as the first Burakumin writer, and Hijikata Tetsu (1927–), whose work anticipates and critiques (even though it predates) the work of Nakagami.

The Challenge of the Tamil Christian Folk Music of Theophilus Appavoo

Zoe Sherinian, Franklin and Marshall College

This paper investigates the process of creating acceptance of Dalit musical forms by the Tamil Christian mainstream. Using ethnomusicological methods, I explore both Dalit agency and the shifts in mainstream cultural values that result from such acceptance. The Dalit Christian composer/theologian Theophilus Appavoo used the 1993 Christmas Carol Service of the Tamil Nadu Theological Seminar in Madurai to communicate Dalit theology to a conservative, evangelical, middle-class Christian community. This negotiation of identity, theology, and music involved maintaining the integrity of a folk musical foundation while satisfying the desire of middle-class urbanites for a "sophisticated," "light" music sound—an audience who had rejected or "risen above" "degraded" folk culture as they fled the injustices of the village for urban opportunities and anonymity.

I demonstrate how Appavoo appropriated global pop music technology into a Tamil folk aesthetic and used folk strategies of participation and dialogical creation to negotiate with several groups during the production and performance of this annual public forum. Appavoo’s theology reclaims the worthiness of Dalits and their culture. The lyrics and sound of the most popular song of this event, "Manasamattuyappa" (change of heart and mind), propose that people who practice the sins of castism, classism, global imperialism, and sexism should spiritually "change their hearts" in order to change their cultural values. Appavoo attempts to bring a middle-class audience out of the low caste-identity closet to reclaim their pride in the liberative aspects of their folk/village cultural origins.


Session 192: Continuity and Change in the Political Economies of East Asia’s New Democracies: Korea and Taiwan

Organizer: Douglas Fuller, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chair: Chang-Ling Huang, National Cheng-chi University

Discussant: Jinbaek Choi, University of Chicago

This panel grapples with the problem of why democratizing countries appear to depart from previous institutional arrangements in some cases and remain bound to past institutional arrangements in others. Examining Taiwan and Korea, this panel asks what impact these changes from and continuities with the past have for political and economic trajectories of democratizing countries. Dr. Huang and Mr. Fuller present the cases of labor relations and industrial upgrading as ones in which path dependency from the pre-democratic era looms large. Ms. Kim presents an intermediate case in which Korean voters still find ideological resonance in the past where, paradoxically, Taiwanese voters have become focused on issues concerning Taiwan’s future. Mr. Wong goes furthest in arguing the profound impact that democratization has on welfare arrangements, not only in policy implementation, but also in the very discourse of state responsibility for the welfare of its citizens.

Through these contrasting findings, this panel hopes to arrive at some tentative conclusions about the conditions for departure from the past as well as the conditions for continued path dependency for democratizing Asia. This panel will clarify which social phenomena associated with the democratic transition in each country are phenomena related to each country’s specific historic experience and which are the common experiences of democratizing countries. Penultimately, this panel hopes to contribute in identifying the unique and the shared experiences in Taiwan and Korea’s democratization.

Political Repression and the Competitive Labor Market: The Cases of South Korea and Taiwan

Chang-Ling Huang, National Cheng-chi University

Though scholars differ on the definition of a completed democratic transition, South Korea and Taiwan had at least achieved the initial success of democratic transition by the end of 1992. Democracy not only forced the state to adjust its role to the society, the changed rules of the game also had an impact on the existing social and political institutions, including the labor institutions.

Using union re-organization and labor law revision as two examples, this paper aims to show how and why organized workers in South Korea and Taiwan chose different organizational and political strategies to reform union organization and to cope with the changing economic environment. Through the discussion of the interactions between the state and labor, I will argue that the organizational strength of the working class does not correspond to its political gains because the institutional legacies from the authoritarian times in these two countries presented different opportunity structures for their working class. Though South Korean workers have been better organized, the centralized political structure has allowed them no alternatives but to fight a battle for fundamental changes in union organization. Taiwanese workers, on the other hand, have been able to introduce reforms by incremental changes at a manageable scale through local politics.

Past State Intervention and Present Technological Upgrading: The Case of the Semiconductor Industry in Taiwan and Korea

Douglas Fuller, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

While many scholars have sought to explain the success of Taiwan and Korea in high technology sectors, the constraints, which were created by earlier industrial and financial policies, on firm strategies in entering these markets have been ignored. Using the case of the semiconductor industry, this paper argues that the initial state industrial policies continue to impact the development of the Taiwanese and Korean economies by influencing the product strategies of firms attempting to enter high technology sectors. Rather than taking the more immediate state policies towards technological upgrading as the explanation behind very different product strategies, this paper points out that the creation of very different industrial landscapes in the two countries, the Taiwanese one predicated upon SMEs and light debt burdens and the Korean one based on the large chaebol and heavy debt-to-equity burdens, caused firms in the two countries to adopt very different product strategies. The Taiwanese created a whole new niche market in semiconductor foundry manufacturing and the Koreans developed a memory chip industry based on scale competition. While not discounting the effects of democratization in each society and the changes in the international economy commonly associated with globalization, the constraints of the industrial and financial arrangements set up in the era associated with the developmental state have continued to affect firm product strategies in the semiconductor industry despite the many changes in the domestic and international political economies.

Hangover from the Past: Comparison of Electoral Politics in Taiwan and Korea

Jiyoon Kim, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Korea and Taiwan experienced politically important transitions toward democracy and were successfully reborn as two of the most democratic countries in Asia. Even though these two countries share similar aspects of democratization, people’s voting decisions and behavior in Korea and Taiwan are quite different. With a fair portion of electorates being independent voters, Taiwanese voters show prospective voting behaviors with consideration of the future economic stability and the relations with China as they decide their votes. On the other hand, voting decisions of Korean electorates are retrospective, which is combined with dogged party identifications. Therefore, candidates in Korea rely heavily on the party identifications of the voters, which are based on extremely strong regionalism without distinctive platform.

The paper proposes that the differences of voting behaviors and electoral politics between the two countries was due to the differences between the respective national governments’ economic policies and democratization paths. By comparing economic policies and democratization process in these two countries, I will explain why and how the retrospective voting behavior with strong regionalism persists in Korean elections, whereas the Taiwanese electorates show prospective voting behavior. The Korean government’s partial economic policies and vehement democratization movements are the reasons for retrospective voting behaviors among Korean people. On the other hand, the Taiwanese government’s "Taiwanization" reflected in economic policies and incremental democratization process allowed the people to vote with the prospective perspectives.

Constructing Social Citizenship: Democratization and Welfare in Taiwan and Korea

Joseph Wong, University of Wisconsin, Madison

An understudied question in the field of political transitions is the relationship between democratization and welfare reform. Scholars of comparative democratization have called for the state to craft a "socio-economic pact" between the haves and have-nots of society. Many suggest that the viability and meaningfulness of democracy depend upon such a pact. Yet, the challenge of exactly how democratizing states can formulate this welfare pact—especially in the face of forces hostile to welfare state formation—remains unanswered. This paper seeks to interrogate the variable processes of democratization in Taiwan and South Korea. I argue that political democratization sets in motion a process wherein the confrontation of policy ideas and political-economic interests and strategies inadvertently constructs a new discourse of social rights; a discourse that subsequently serves to deepen welfare reform.

I posit that democratizing states will offer some welfare concessions in order to garner societal legitimacy. These welfare concessions, in turn, provide a political arena for contending social groups, newly elected legislators, and a new generation of policy "experts" and bureaucrats. This interaction of ideas and interests, conditioned by institutional constraints, eventually re-defines the notion of "democratic rights" towards a discourse of "social rights." This paper seeks to use the democratization process as an analytical lens through which to examine the interaction between political-economic structural imperatives, institutional frameworks, contending interests, dynamic strategies and the realm of ideas within the area of social welfare policy.


Session 193: Wife or Worker? Contemporary Marriage and Migration of Asian Women

Organizer: Nicola Piper, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies

Chair and Discussant: Keiko Yamanaka, University of California, Berkeley

A dramatic rise in the number of international marriages has occurred in the final decades of the 20th century. With globalization, economic development, and unprecedented ease of travel, the number of individuals working, studying and/or travelling abroad, or making contact with foreigners at home, is rising globally, and so is the number of international marriages.

The papers to be presented at this panel will discuss international marriage in the context of labor migration. Conventional migration studies have typically ignored the phenomenon of marriage for, or as the result of, international labor migration. Current experiences of female immigration, particularly from Asia which is the largest ‘exporter’ of female labor, are characterized by the overwhelmingly large presence of women migrants in the sex sector, in domestic labor, and in the commercial marriage market. However, there is a wealth of different experiences among Asian migrant women that cannot be subsumed under the sole category of semi-/unskilled labor migrants. The situation of professional Asian women and their reasons for migration abroad, therefore, will be part of the discussion.

The proposed papers, therefore, contribute a new viewpoint on labor migration by introducing a gender-specific analysis that goes beyond conventional definitions of labor by contextualizing the issue with the current phase of global restructuring of national economies and into specific regional context with regard to the different destinations of Asian women’s migration. Furthermore, the analysis of Asian women’s experiences as labor migrants or wives in international marriages is not simply a description of suffering, but also of agency.

"Misbehaving Victims": Reading Narratives of "Filipina Brides" in Japan since the 1980s

Nobue Suzuki, University of Hawaii

Since the mid-1980s, Japan has witnessed a significant increase in "international marriages" between Japanese men and women predominantly from China, Korea, and the Philippines. Among these different groups of non-Japanese Asian women, the presence of "Filipina brides" in depopulated rural communities has attracted enormous attention among Japanese and Filipinos. In narratives of "international marriages" in the late 1980s, "Filipina" came to index the "problem of brides from Asia." As seen in the images of "mail-order brides" elsewhere, the effects of various textual and media representations have contained rural Filipino women within the categories of socioeconomic victim and sexual and ethnic-national Other. Simultaneously however, constructions of "Filipino women" in rural Japan have also spun with Japan’s local twists.

This paper analyzes the production of knowledge about "Filipina brides" in rural Japan from the mid-1980s to the present. Based largely on textual sources, I explore the ways in which rural Filipino women have been represented in their relations to social institutions and the discourses of feminists and activists in Japan. One of the major departures of "Filipina brides" in Japan from other "mail-order brides" is that they were brought in to households and villages in order to bear successors for the reproduction of these institutional units. In the context of this body politic(s) of rural households and hollowed-out villages, Filipino women’s "traditional" fecundity and social-reproductive roles are prioritized over male desires. On the other hand, Japanese feminist activists described the situation of "Third World" women as "victims" of First-World, patriarchal oppression. In either case, the Filipino women’s own subjective sexuality and other dimensions of experience have been obviated.

Transnational Employment and Family: Professional Asian Women Migrants in Malaysia

Michelle Wai Lee, National University of Malaysia

Transnationalism has altered women’s lived experiences and given the opportunity for women to shape and pursue personal goals, improve their standards of living and enhance their self-perception. This paper analyses professional Asian women migrants, an under-emphasized group of the new diaspora, in Malaysia. It explores these women’s (who come from Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines) transnational experiences, self-perceptions, and commitments to their job and family. These women not only have enjoyed career advancement (as lecturers, consultants, or managers), but also devised strategies in household/family maintenance (e.g. domestic help or child-care assistance) without sacrificing their careers. Furthermore, migrant women display autonomy in seeking their family’s compromise in the division of domestic labour. This has obviously submerged the conventional gender debate on the confinement and subordination of women in the domestic sphere. Embedded in their overseas employment are new experiences in cross-cultural adjustment, whether in a marriage or household resettlement; upgraded socio-economic status and adaptation to a new environment. Findings from women’s narrations and personal participant observation reveal the (social, economic, or professional) links created by women migrants, enmeshed in personal struggles, ambitions, and the negotiation of family and career.

This chapter contributes to international migration theory, particularly of skilled women in Asia, in relation to transnational labour, marriages and women’s changing roles.

Filipinas in Canada: Deskilling as a Push toward Marriage

Deirdre McKay, Australian National University

Many immigrants from the Philippines to Canada are women who initially arrive as migrants under the Live-In Caregiver Program. This program places them in contract jobs as domestic workers. While the criteria for the LCP select candidates on the basis of professional training (nursing, midwifery or teaching) and experience, the LCP places women in jobs in the home which do not "count" as Canadian labor market experience. Most of these women thus find few opportunities to use the skills and training they bring with them to Canada. Many, from diverse backgrounds and trained as nurses, teachers, accountants, and journalists, experience a long-term re-identification as "housekeeper," "nanny," or, what they gloss as a singular category: DH—domestic helpers.

International marriage is one strategy open to women who want to escape this segregation into domestic work. Analysis of data from interviews with over 60 Filipina migrants will explore how these women understand relationships between Filipina domestics and Canadian men. In the context of their experiences of de-skilling, attitudes to international marriage are ambivalent. Marriage is understood as both a kind of salvation from contract domestic work and a form of entrapment through the exoticization of Filipina brides and the gratitude expected from them. This paper will explore, through excerpts from women’s personal narratives and promotional materials from domestic placement agencies, the problematics of international marriage for contract domestics.

Marriage by Introduction: Social and Legal Realities of ‘Asian’ Wives of Japanese Men

Tomoko Nakamatsu, University of Western Australia

This paper focuses on forty-five women living in urban and rural Japan from Korea, China, and the Philippines who married Japanese men through marriage introduction in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. Labelled "Asian brides" or "rural brides" by the media, and often portrayed as helpless victims by the academics including some feminists, representations of the post-migration experiences of these women largely remain in the paradigm of economic reductionism. While it is evident that their initial "instant marriage" continues to influence their identity construction, hence their lives in Japan, overemphasizing the nature of their marriage prevents us from seeing them as full social actors. Instead of merely categorizing them as primarily brides or labourers, one needs to focus on how these women negotiated reproductive and productive labours, conforming to and/or confronting expectations of their host family and country. The focus on the women’s experience enables us to see a much wider range of perspectives on women married through international marriage introduction.

This paper will investigate these women’s experiences of their decisions to marry, the process of establishing married life and of living in a foreign country. It will firstly delineate the diversity in social background of the women; their reasons for choosing international marriage introduction and the circumstances of introduction. The chapter will then look into their post-migration experiences in the arenas of marriage, family, paid work and the impact of paid work on family relations. The experience of marriage migration for my informants was primarily defined by their wife/mother role. Gender relations in Japanese families and their reflection in labour markets influenced their post-migration experience. The women faced Japanese social structures which defined the position of a wife within a family and the types of paid work a married woman would be able to obtain. Conventional structures, however, did not totally overpower these women’s agency in establishing their own marriage and family. The women did not perform reproductive work in a manner that was simply imposed on, or expected of them, but instead negotiated many daily matters with their husbands and/or parents-in-law. In the paid work force, their foreignness compounded gender limitations further restricting the range of jobs they could perform. Their ascribed female "Asian" traits directed them to particular types of jobs. Their duties in paid work were largely felt to be oppressive, but participation in the labour force itself and the associated independent income was appreciated. Some faced discrimination at work, but managed to work out how to deal with those problems in their own ways. Their experience in paid work influenced how they dealt with domestic matters and their perceptions of the private sphere. The women above all struggled to establish their identities as futsű no fűfu or "ordinary couples."

Lastly, the paper will examine the relationship between the state and these foreign women considering the available types of residential status and their social implications, as well as the processes by which these women have come to select their residential status. The legal and social aspects of citizenship are often integrated in a country like Japan in which nationality acquisition tends to govern other legal and social rights. The koseki (family registration) system which applies exclusively to Japanese nationals is one significant example of such integration. Foreign nationals are excluded from koseki, and this in effect divides a family by nationality. The lack of recognition in koseki affects the foreign women’s decisions about residential status. Thus, how the state regulates "foreign women" and how the women perceive their own and others’ residential status pose important questions in examining the process of being or becoming a citizen in contemporary Japan.


Session 206: Maintaining Identities, Changing Identities: The Baghdadi Jewish Diaspora in South, Southeast, and East Asia

Organizer: Caroline PlŘss, University of Hong Kong

Chair: Chiara Betta, University of Indianapolis, Athens

Discussant: Marcia R. Ristaino, Library of Congress

Keywords: Baghdadi Jews, interarea, identities, history.

The aim of this panel is to explore how Sephardic Jewish traders, most of whom are of Baghdadi origin, have constructed their identities in South, Southeast, and East Asia during the last two centuries. We view identity constructions as strategies which individuals and communities use in order to partake in social and economic benefits in host societies. In order to make comparisons, and to detect similarities and differences, we focus our discussion on a number of key topics. These are the allegiances Baghdadi Jews established with stronger segments in host societies and the identities that Baghdadi Jews constructed in order to foster and sustain these allegiances. The key themes we explore are: the meaning of diaspora and of ethnicity, the identification with Sephardic Judaism and the Baghdadi heritage, the relationship with representatives of the British Empire and with powerful segments of host societies, as well as the internal differentiation in Asian Jewish communities. The study centered on Bombay and Calcutta examines the shifts in Baghdadi Jewish identities in relation to the British Empire, Indian nationalism, and emerging Zionism. The example from Hong Kong looks at how Sephardic Jewish traders used their transnational experiences in order to overcome the dilemma between assimilating to the British and maintaining their Jewish identity. The discussion of Baghdadi Jews in Singapore examines what sustains their alliances and rifts with their host society, as well as with their co-religionists. The analysis from Shanghai surveys the complex process of re-definition of the identities of Baghdadi Jews from being Orientalised to being Anglicised.

Baghdadi Jews in India: Communal Relationships, Nationalism, and Zionism as Issues of Identity

Joan G. Roland, Pace University

The Baghdadi Jewish community in India, which arrived with the British and ultimately departed with the British, provides an unusual opportunity for examining issues of identity, ethnicity, marginality and relationships with non-Sephardi Jews. India was the only Asian country which, by the nineteenth century, still had active indigenous Jewish communities: the Bene Israel of Maharastra and the Cochin Jews of the Malabar Coast. This paper will explore the evolution of the relationships of the Baghdadis with these two groups, particularly the former, in the context of Baghdadi responses to the host society and the colonial rulers. The initial warm relationships between the Baghdadis and the Bene Israel in Bombay cooled as British colonial and racist attitudes, superimposed on a caste- and color-conscious Indian society, led the Baghdadis to dissociate themselves from the "native" Jews. It also examines the social and political contexts which impelled the Baghdadis of Calcutta to emphasize their Sephardic Jewish identity as they struggled to be included in European schools and electorates. Finally, the paper will explore the relationship between Baghdadi identification with the British and their attitudes toward emerging Indian nationalism and Zionism. The paper concludes that the Baghdadis in India shaped their identities in a way that would give them a privileged position in the colonial society: they adapted to British lifestyles and values and resisted assimilation to the Indian host society. Their efforts to be considered as Europeans determined their relationships with their indigenous co-religionists and Indian nationalism.

Hong Kong Sephardic Jews: Shaping Transnational Identities

Caroline PlŘss, University of Hong Kong

This presentation discusses the ways in which Sephardic Jewish traders have built up their identities while residing in Hong Kong. The time period examined is the last one hundred and fifty years and emphasis is placed on how both individual Sephardim and the community formed by them negotiated identities that enabled them to compete for social and economic success in Hong Kong. In order to understand how these identities were shaped, emphasis is placed on transnationalism, that is, on how Sephardic Jews used reference to life in previous societies of residences in order to adapt to the British colonial system and Chinese society. It is especially interesting to survey the development of the responses of the Sephardim to the following dilemma: on the one hand, they needed to adapt to the dominant political forces in Hong Kong in order to find acceptance. This often meant de-emphasizing their Jewish and transnational identities. On the other hand, it was just being Jewish and transnational that conferred Sephardic traders with a competitive edge over other residents in Hong Kong. The data stems from socio-historical research that was carried out from 1997 to 1999. The discussion indicates that the Sephardic Jewish traders’ ability to refer to the experiences gained in several societies of previous residences were crucial in building up their social and economic lives in Hong Kong.

Jewish Identity in Singapore: Cohesion and Dispersion

Joan Bieder, University of California, Berkeley

This paper examines Singapore’s Jewish community from its Baghdad/Calcutta origins in 1830 to its contemporary interactions with modern, independent Singapore in order to understand how the community has retained its cohesion during its tumultuous and challenging history. The Jewish population of Singapore reached its peak population of 1,500–2,000 in the 1920s and 30s, as Askenazi (European) Jews joined their Sephardi brethren. The paper examines the class and cultural rifts that developed within the community during the British colonial period. In late 1941 and early 1942 as the Japanese invasion neared, a dispersion of Jews escaping the war threatened to decimate the community. The 500–600 who remained were interned in prison camps during the Occupation. These Jews came to share a pivotal period of history with other ethnic groups of Singapore. After the war, one Jewish leader with Baghdad roots worked to restructure the now diminished Jewish community while also becoming a charismatic leader and founding father of an emerging Singapore. After Singapore independence, the Jewish community made economic and social gains and began to contribute to the major institutions of Singapore despite their increasingly dwindling numbers. Jewish identity shifted from a marginal or isolated to a more central and secularized position in society. Today the community, stabilized at 180 members, maintains orthodox Sephardi traditions. Jewish leaders have adopted a proactive strategy of outreach and foundation building to ensure that the community persists and possesses a solid future.

"Orientals" or Europeans?: Baghdadi Jews and the British Informal Empire in China

Chiara Betta, University of Indianapolis, Athens

Baghdadi Jews, based in India, moved to Shanghai under the auspices of the British empire after the city was opened to commerce as a result of China’s defeat in the Opium War (1839–1942). The central concern of this presentation is to investigate how Baghdadi merchants operated within the "informal empire" which Britons in China gradually established in the treaty ports after the middle of the nineteenth century. The presentation will, on a general level, attempt to grapple with questions related to the identity of Baghdadi Jews of the trade diaspora in India and China and their attempt to imagine a British identity and relinquish their Ottoman heritage. On a more specific level the presentation will investigate how the Baghdadis fostered distinct local loyalties in Shanghai and, as a result, built a strong allegiance with the British settler community of the city’s International Settlement. The first part of the presentation will suggest that Judaeo-Arabic speaking Bagdhadi Jews, usually born in the Ottoman empire, were regarded as "Orientals" by Shanghai’s Britons until the turn of the twentieth century. The second part will then argue that the Baghdadi merchant elite sought to map a British identity by undergoing a process of Anglicisation which positioned it on the margin of the local Western community. The redefinition of identity by Baghdadi merchants in Shanghai was marked by the maintaining of close links with their Babylonian Jewish roots, the discarding of their Ottoman links, their adoption of Western tastes, and their participation in British empire building.


Session 207: Ethnic Consequences of Migration in Asia

Organizer: Kamal Sadiq, University of Chicago

Chair: Lloyd Rudolph, University of Chicago

Discussant: Saskia Sassen, University of Chicago

Keywords: immigration, ethnicity.

Research on the impact of migration and refugee flows in Asia reveals that some states have failed to deal effectively with diversity that they produce. Others are struggling to deal with diversity. Among the consequences of immigration and refugee flows in Asia are an increase in ethnic violence, anti-immigrant xenophobia and expulsions of migrant groups. For example there has been violence against the Chinese community in Indonesia, deportation of Bangladeshi and Indonesian migrants in Malaysia, animosity towards Bangladeshis in India and efforts to swamp Tibet with Han settlers. Prosperous Asian countries such as Japan, Taiwan and Singapore have attracted immigrant labor from nearby Asian countries. Migration contributes to the continuous formation of plural, multiethnic societies in settings where difference, particularly new forms of difference, are a cause for alarm, resistance. The three papers to be presented in this panel address these immigration-related questions in a variety of contexts. Sadiq addresses the contested nature of racial and ethnic formation that results from Bangladeshi immigrants entering into India. Gaku Tsuda examines the consequences for Japanese identity formation of the presence in Japan of Japanese-Brazilians. Pei-chia Lan analyzes the tensions between Taiwanese employers and Filipino domestic workers. How are "native" immigrant relationships negotiated? Are plural states and multicultural societies such as India, Malaysia, and Indonesia more tolerant and more capable of absorbing migrants than homogeneous societies and nation-states such as Japan and Taiwan? Does the ethnic impact of transnational migration exacerbate Japanese and Taiwanese exclusionary notions of national identity? These are some of the questions that the panel on "Ethnic Consequences of Migration in Asia" will address.

Immigration and Japanese Nationalism: The Ethnic Impact of Nikkeijin Return Migrants

Takeyuki Tsuda, University of Chicago

This paper examines the impact that the recent return migration of Japanese-Brazilians to Japan has on conceptions of Japanese ethnicity. The presence of a large immigrant population of foreign-born, Japanese descendants (nikkeijin) in Japan can potentially challenge essentialist notions of Japanese ethnic identity in which racial descent is assumed to be closely associated with the possession of Japanese culture. However, instead of expanding exclusionary notions of Japaneseness toward multicultural possibilities, nikkeijin return migration has caused a restrictive narrowing of ethno-national identity. The Japanese-Brazilians are ethnically marginalized in Japan as cultural foreigners because the Japanese generally react negatively to their Brazilian cultural differences. In addition, when confronted with those who are of Japanese descent but are culturally Brazilian, many Japanese experience a renewed awareness of their Japanese cultural distinctiveness, resulting in a re-affirmation of their ethno-national identity in contrastive opposition to the Japanese-Brazilians. In this manner, although the massive influx of ethnically different foreigners has disrupted the Japanese political ideology of ethnic homogeneity and has therefore been perceived as a threat by the government, the ethnic impact of global migration does not always subvert the hegemonic power of the nation-state. Instead, global migration can result in a resurgence of cultural nationalism and discourses of Japanese uniqueness that reinforces the nation-state’s hegemonic projects.

When Bangladeshis Become Indians: Who’s an Immigrant? Who’s a Citizen?

Kamal Sadiq, University of Chicago

This paper examines the conflict over Bangladeshi immigration into the northeast part of India and tries to answer the question: who is an Indian? The debate over Indian citizenship is raging under conditions of Hindu nationalism and a large influx of illegal Bangladeshi immigration. As India tries to fence its borders or plan distribution of identity cards, Indian citizenship is being defined and institutional practices outlined. What documents can prove Indian citizenship in a country where most people do not have birth certificates or any other papers to prove their citizenship? Under these circumstances, an influx of millions of Bangladeshi illegals and their ability to acquire residency documents challenges Indian conceptions of citizenship. The fact that areas bordering Bangladesh have become "Muslim" dominant areas and that these illegal immigrants are on electoral rolls has become a "national" security issue in India. Illegal immigrants are able to acquire documents, use social services and influence state elections by being on electoral lists. Is the distinction between being an Indian citizen and an immigrant slowly diluting? Perhaps this is a common phenomenon and can be seen in other parts of the world: the illegal immigration of Mexicans to California, of Chinese immigrants in Britain, etc. What does the Indian case tell us about the tensions between illegal immigration and the practice of citizenship?

Reterritorializing Identities across Borders and at Home: Filipina Migrant Domestic Workers in Taiwan and in the U.S.

Pei-chia Lan, University of California, Berkeley

The recent growth of transnational labor migration within Asia has facilitated a transnational division of domestic labor in this region. Taiwan has become one of the most popular destinations since the early 1990s. Currently a population of 77,933 registered migrant domestic workers resides in Taiwan, and the majority of them are from the Philippines. Domestic employment is characterized by an ironic combination of distance and intimacy. Employers and workers, coming from diverse class and ethnic backgrounds, have frequent and personal interactions with each other in a home setting. Their daily interactions thus become a critical field for both parties to construct and reproduce social boundaries, based on which they identify themselves and exclude others.

This paper looks at the micro-politics between Taiwanese women employers and Filipina migrant domestic workers—how they negotiate social identities in their interactions with each other. Taiwanese employers attempt to validate their newly achieved class status and racial superiority by hiring migrant domestic workers; in contrast, Filipina domestic workers develop strategies to cope with their downward mobility when they work as maids overseas. The symbolic struggle around English further illustrates the uneven distribution of economic and linguistic capital between Taiwanese employers and Filipina workers. Their employment relationship illustrates a dynamic and contested process of racial and class formation, infused with symbolic domination and resistance in their daily interactions.