Search results for: the-country-of-streams-and-grottoes

The Country of Streams and Grottoes

Author : Richard Von Glahn
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This book describes how the remote Luzhou area of Sichuan became fully integrated into Chinese civilization as administrative structures emerged in towns and villages. Richard von Glahn argues that policy decisions by the central government and economic imperatives from core regions instigated and determined local development.

Fountain of Fortune

Author : Richard von Glahn
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The most striking feature of Wutong, the preeminent God of Wealth in late imperial China, was the deity’s diabolical character. Wutong was perceived not as a heroic figure or paragon but rather as an embodiment of greed and lust, a maleficent demon who preyed on the weak and vulnerable. In The Sinister Way, Richard von Glahn examines the emergence and evolution of the Wutong cult within the larger framework of the historical development of Chinese popular or vernacular religion—as opposed to institutional religions such as Buddhism or Daoism. Von Glahn’s study, spanning three millennia, gives due recognition to the morally ambivalent and demonic aspects of divine power within the common Chinese religious culture. Surveying Chinese religion from 1000 BCE to the beginning of the twentieth century, The Sinister Way views the Wutong cult as by no means an aberration. In Von Glahn’s work we see how, from earliest times, the Chinese imagined an enchanted world populated by fiendish fairies and goblins, ancient stones and trees that spring suddenly to life, ghosts of the unshriven dead, and the blood-eating spirits of the mountains and forests. From earliest times, too, we find in Chinese religious culture an abiding tension between two fundamental orientations: on one hand, belief in the power of sacrifice and exorcism to win blessings and avert calamity through direct appeal to a multitude of gods; on the other, faith in an all-encompassing moral equilibrium inhering in the cosmos.

The Origins of the Chinese Nation

Author : Nicolas Tackett
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In this major new study, Nicolas Tackett proposes that the Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127) witnessed both the maturation of an East Asian inter-state system and the emergence of a new worldview and sense of Chinese identity among educated elites. These developments together had sweeping repercussions for the course of Chinese history, while also demonstrating that there has existed in world history a viable alternative to the modern system of nation-states. Utilising a wide array of historical, literary, and archaeological sources, chapters focus on diplomatic sociability, cosmopolitan travel, military strategy, border demarcation, ethnic consciousness, and the cultural geography of Northeast Asia. In this ground breaking new approach to the history of the East Asian inter-state system, Tackett argues for a concrete example of a pre-modern nationalism, explores the development of this nationalism, and treats modern nationalism as just one iteration of a phenomenon with a much longer history.

China s Last Imperial Frontier

Author : Xiuyu Wang
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Combining rich documentation with rigorous analysis, China's Last Imperial Frontier illuminates the internal dynamics of regional power struggle and local resistance that shaped the empire's response to foreign imperialisms in Tibet. The book's extensive engagement with the issues of indigenous society, state capacities in frontier settings, interagency struggle, and regional power competition makes it indispensable reading for students of Sino-Tibetan relations and Qing history.

Dividing the Realm in Order to Govern

Author : Ruth Mostern
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States are inherently and fundamentally geographical. Sovereignty is based on control of territory. This book uses Song China to explain how a pre-industrial regime organized itself spatially in order to exercise authority. On more than a thousand occasions, the Song court founded, abolished, promoted, demoted, and reordered jurisdictions in an attempt to maximize the effectiveness of limited resources in a climate of shifting priorities, to placate competing constituencies, and to address military and economic crises. Spatial transformations in the Song field administration changed the geography of commerce, taxation, revenue accumulation, warfare, foreign relations, and social organization, and even determined the terms of debates about imperial power. The chronology of tenth-century imperial consolidation, eleventh-century political reform, and twelfth-century localism traced in this book is a familiar one. But by detailing the relationship between the court and local administration, this book complicates the received paradigm of Song centralization and decentralization. Song frontier policies formed a coherent imperial approach to administering peripheral regions with inaccessible resources and limited infrastructure. And the well-known events of the Song—wars and reforms—were often responses to long-term spatial and demographic change.

The Conquest of Ainu Lands

Author : Brett L. Walker
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Looks at the history of the Ainu, the native people living in the northernmost island of Japan.

T ang China

Author : S. Adshead
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This book presents a picture focused on the T'ang period, one of China's acknowledged golden ages. Within a looser web of globalization, the T'ang period and its dynamics offers a distant mirror of our own time. An argument in world history may thus cast light on issues in contemporary politics.

Taxing Heaven s Storehouse

Author : Paul J. Smith
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Tea growing was a prosperous industry in Sichuan when Wang Anshi's New Policies created a Tea Market Agency to buy up Sichuanese tea and trade it to Tibetan tribesmaen for cavalry horses. At first the highly autonomous agency not only acquired the needed horses but made a profit. After the Junchen conquest of Noth China, however, market realities changed and the combined Tea and Horse Agency's once successful policies ruined tea farmers, failed to meet quotas for horses, and ran a deficit. Paul J. Smith details the workings of Sichuan tea farming and the tea trade, examines the geopolitical factors that forced the Song to buy horses, and graphically describes the difficulties of driving them more than a thousand miles through rugged mountains with only inexperienced conscripts as trail hands. In this study of fiscal sociology, Smith also explains how the Tea and Horse Agency transformed the Sichuan local eleite, which was notorious for its resistance to state power, into imperial civil servants eager to tax their own region. He draws on modern theories of corporate behavior to explain what made the inner workings of the Agency an extraordinary departure for the Chinese civil service; and he demonstrates how the agency put into practice the most radical New -Policies theories of state economic activism. The Agency made entrepreneurs out of bureaucrats, but ultimately became ruinously tyrannical as the system of state rewards and punishments drove its personnel to actions that crippled key sectors of the economy.

Strange Parallels Volume 2 Mainland Mirrors Europe Japan China South Asia and the Islands

Author : Victor Lieberman
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Blending fine-grained case studies with overarching theory, this book seeks both to integrate Southeast Asia into world history and to rethink much of Eurasia's premodern past. It argues that Southeast Asia, Europe, Japan, China, and South Asia all embodied idiosyncratic versions of a Eurasian-wide pattern whereby local isolates cohered to form ever larger, more stable, more complex political and cultural systems. With accelerating force, climatic, commercial, and military stimuli joined to produce patterns of linear-cum-cyclic construction that became remarkably synchronized even between regions that had no contact with one another. Yet this study also distinguishes between two zones of integration, one where indigenous groups remained in control and a second where agency gravitated to external conquest elites. Here, then, is a fundamentally original view of Eurasia during a 1,000-year period that speaks to both historians of individual regions and those interested in global trends.

A History of Daoism and the Yao People of South China

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