MEARC aims to disseminate the insights gained from its research projects to as broad an audience as possible.
It does this through (public) events, through its Media Centre and by the publication of books. MEARC is proud to have its own book series, one with Routledge Publishers, the MEARC/Leiden Series in Modern East Asian History and Politics, and one with Brill Publishers, the Leiden Series in Comparative Historiography.

All books in both series are mentioned below, along with selected, MEARC related, publications by members of our research community.
A full list of publications by our directors is available on their individual webpages (Chris Goto-Jones / Peter Ho). For all publications of our research community members, please click on their names on the 'Organisation' page.
Debating Culture in Interwar China
by Ya-pei Kuo
to be published 14 June 2012 by Routledge

Abstract: The May Fourth era (1915-1927) is considered a pivotal point in the history of modern China. This period is usually portrayed as a "Chinese Enlightenment", a period during which total change from the past was sought through the appropriation of Western science and democracy.
Conventional narratives concentrate on the dominant intellectual current of the period, the New Culture Movement, as the inspiration for social reform and political revolution. This book challenges that revolution-centered narrative of May Fourth history by showing how the propositions of New Culture were questioned and revised after the initial radical phase. Through a focus on the post-1919 debates on culture, identity, and history, this book argues that Chinese intellectuals reformulated their visions of modernity through critiques of both Occidentalism and totalistic iconoclasm. Importantly, it also argues that the global post-WWI ambivalence towards the idea of Progress in Western civilization impacted significantly on the development of the May Fourth era in its latter stage.

About the author
Ya-Pei Kuo is a former visiting research fellow at MEARC (2006-2007), assistant professor in the department of history at Tufts University. She is currently a visiting research fellow at Leiden University.
Dr. Kuo's PhD dissertation is called “The Cultural Crisis of Modern Chinese Conservatism: The Case of The Critical Review, 1922-1933”
Taiwanese Business or Chinese Security Asset: A changing pattern of interaction between Taiwanese businesses and Chinese governments
by Chun-Yi Lee
published 2011 by Routledge

Abstract: This book investigates how China has used Taiwanese investment and treated Taiwanese investors to pursue political reunification. The book’s main supposition is that both Chinese central and local governments have strategic considerations with respect to Taiwanese businesses. Consequently, through detailed case studies of three cities: Tianjin, Kunshan and Dongguan, the author explores the changing interaction between Taiwanese businesses and the Chinese government, and seeks to provide an explanation of this changing pattern of interaction in the cross-strait political economy.

Through her unique empirical research, Lee shows how Chinese local governments, although being driven by short-term goals, also contribute to the goal of achieving political reunification, and argues that central and local governments complement each other as a consequence. By stressing the importance of long-term political goals and the state’s policy interests and preferences, this research intends to address the various political implications attached to Taiwanese investment in China. This timely and important study presents some of the first systematic empirical research published in English (or any other Western language) focusing on Taiwan’s entrepreneurs (taishang) on the Chinese mainland.

About the author
Chun-yi Lee received a MEARC Writing Up Grant 'Taiwan in Comparative East Asian Perspective' in September 2009 to transform her PhD thesis into a manuscript. 'Taiwanese Business or Chinese Security Asset' is the result of her efforts during her time at MEARC.
Dr. Lee is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the DFG Research Training Group Risk & East Asia at the Institute of East-Asian Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
China and Japan in the Late Meiji Period: China Policy and the Japanese Discourse on National Identity, 1895-1904
by Urs Matthias Zachmann
published 2011 by Routledge

Abstract: The first war between China and Japan in 1894/95 was one of the most fateful events, not only in modern Japanese and Chinese history, but in international history as well. The war and subsequent events catapulted Japan on its trajectory toward temporary hegemony in East Asia, whereas China entered a long period of domestic unrest and foreign intervention. Repercussions of these developments can be still felt, especially in the mutual perceptions of Chinese and Japanese people today. However, despite considerable scholarship on Sino-Japanese relations, the perplexing question remains how the Japanese attitude exactly changed after the triumphant victory in 1895 over its former role model and competitor.

This book examines the transformation of Japan’s attitude toward China up to the time of the Russo-Japanese War (1904/5), when the psychological framework within which future Chinese-Japanese relations worked reached its erstwhile completion. It shows the transformation process through a close reading of sources, a large number of which is introduced to the scholarly discussion for the first time. Zachmann demonstrates how modern Sino-Japanese attitudes were shaped by a multitude of factors, domestic and international, and, in turn, informed Japan’s course in international politics.

Winner of the JaDe Prize 2010 awarded by the German Foundation for the Promotion of Japanese-German Culture and Science Relations

About the author
Urs Matthias Zachmann is Assistant Professor at the Japan Centre of the University of Munich (LMU)
Re-Politicising the Kyoto School as Philosophy
edited by Christopher Goto-Jones
published 2010 by Routledge

Abstract: In Re-Politicising the Kyoto School as Philosophy Christopher Goto-Jones contends that existing approaches to the controversial Kyoto School fail to take it seriously as a school of philosophy, instead focussing on historical debates about the alleged complicity of the School’s members with the imperialist regime in Japan.
The essays in this book take a new approach to the subject, engaging substantially with the philosophical texts of members of the Kyoto School, and demonstrating that the school developed serious and sophisticated positions on many of the perennial questions that lie at the heart of political philosophy. These positions are innovative and fresh, and are of value to political philosophy today, as well as to intellectual historians of Japan. In particular, the book is structured around the various ways in which we might locate the Kyoto School in mainstream traditions of political thought, and the insights offered by the School about the core concepts in political philosophy. In this way the book re-politicises the Kyoto School.

With chapters written by many leading scholars in the field, and representing a contribution to political thought as well as the intellectual history of Japan, this book will appeal to students and scholars of Japanese studies, philosophy and political thought.

About the editor
Chris Goto-Jones is Director of MEARC, Dean of Leiden University College the Hague and Professor of Political Thought and Comparative Philosophy at Leiden University.
Please view his personal webpage for more information.
Ideology and Christianity in Japan
by Kiri Paramore
published 2010 by Routledge

Abstract: Ideology and Christianity in Japan shows the major role played by Christian-related discourse in the formation of early-modern and modern Japanese political ideology.
The book traces a history development of anti-Christian ideas in Japan from the banning of Christianity by the Tokugawa shogunate in the early 1600s, to the use of Christian and anti-Christian ideology in the construction of modern Japanese state institutions at the end of the 1800s. Kiri Paramore recasts the history of Christian-related discourse in Japan in a new paradigm showing its influence on modern thought and politics and demonstrates the direct links between the development of ideology in the modern Japanese state, and the construction of political thought in the early Tokugawa shogunate.

About the author
Kiri Paramore is Assistant Professor in Japanese History at Leiden University, The Netherlands. He received his PhD in 2006 from the University of Tokyo.
In 2006 Dr. Paramore was the first recipient of MEARC's Writing Up Grant, a scholarsip for young academics with outstanding research skills to transform their PhD thesis into a manuscript. Ideology and Christianity in Japan is the result of this transformation.
The Politics of Culture: Around the Work of Naoki Sakai
edited by Richard Calichman and John Namjun Kim
published 2010 by Routledge

Abstract: Naoki Sakai is an important and prominent thinker in Asian and cultural studies and his work continues to make itself felt across a broad range of both national and disciplinary borders. Originally finding a home in the otherwise circumscribed field of Japan Studies, Sakai’s writings have succeeded in large part in destabilizing that home, exposing the fragility of its boundaries to an outside that threatens constantly to overwhelm it.

Bringing together an expert team of contributors from North America, Europe and Russia, this volume takes the groundbreaking work of Naoki Sakai as its starting point and broadens the scope of Cultural Studies to bridge across philosophy and critical theory. At the same time it explicitly problematizes the putative divide between "Asian" and "Western" research objects and methodologies, and the link between culture and the nation.

About the editors
Richard F. Calichman is MEARC Research Affiiliate and Associate Professor of the City College of New York, CUNY, USA.
John Namjun Kim is Assistant Professor at the University of California, Riverside, USA
Political Philosophy in Japan: Nishida, the Kyoto School and co-prosperity
by Christopher Goto-Jones
published 2010 by Routledge

Abstract: Political Philosophy in Japan focuses on the politics of Japan's pre-eminent philosophical school - the Kyoto School - and particularly that of its founder, Nishida Kitarô (1870-1945). Existing literature on Nishida is dismissive of there being serious political content in his work, and of the political stance of the wider school. Goto-Jones contends that, far from being apolitical, Nishida's philosophy was explicitly and intentionally political, and that a proper political reading of Nishida sheds new light on the controversies surrounding the alleged complicity of the Kyoto School in Japanese ultra-nationalism. This book offers a unique and potentially controversial view of the subject of Nishida and the Kyoto School.

About the author
Chris Goto-Jones is Director of MEARC, Dean of Leiden University College the Hague and Professor of Political Thought and Comparative Philosophy at Leiden University.
Please view his personal webpage for more information.
The Left in the Shaping of Japanese Democracy: Essays in Honour of J.A.A. Stockwin
edited by David Williams and Rikki Kersten
published 2006 by Routledge

Abstract: Leftist thought and activism stands as a defining force in the articulation of political culture and policy in modern Japan. Operating from the periphery of formal political power for the most part, the Japanese Left has had an impact that extends far beyond its limited success at the ballot box. The essays that compose this Oxford Festschrift range over a wide set of themes including the tragic careers of two prewar left-wing martyrs (Goto-Jones); Hisashi Asō, the great Socialist apostate (Kersten); the Left’s evasion of constitutional sovereignty (Williams); the rise and fall of Nikkyō-sō (Aspinall); the Left’s impact on privatization and bureaucratic reform (Nakano); the demise of parliamentary Socialism (Hyde); the Left’s recent embrace of free market principles (Schoppa); critical Japan studies and American empire since ‘9.11’ (Williams); and history’s final judgment on the fate of this great political movement (Banno).

About the editors
Rikki Kersten is Professor at the department of Political & Social Change, School of International, Political & Strategic Studies at Australia National University. Together with Professor Axel Schneider, Rikki Kersten won the prestigious VICI award in 2004 to research Historical Consciousness and the Future in China and Japan. This joint research project forms the basis of the Modern East Asia Research Centre.
David Williams, one of Europe’s leading thinkers on modern Japan, is the author of Japan: Beyond the End of History, Japan and the Enemies of Open Political Science and Defending Japan’s Pacific War, all published by Routledge
At the beginning of the 21st century, history as a topic of intellectual discourse has regained its central position. But the discussion of the past is no longer merely a discussion of what happened when; it is more and more a reflection on how we live with our respective pasts, how we conceptualize the past and how we give meaning to it. That is why comparative research on historiography and historical thought has become a major concern of the community of professional historians as well as of the interested public, and this is what the volumes of this cutting-edge series deals with.
The Political Philosophy of Zhang Taiyan: The Resistance of Consciousness
by Viren Murthy
published 2011 by Brill

About the author
Viren Murthy initially studied philosophy at the University of Hawaii before joining the PhD. program in History at the University of Chicago and his work combines these two disciplines. He completed a dissertation entitled, “The Myriad Things Stem from Confusion: Nationalism, Ontology and Resistance in Zhang Taiyan’s Philosophy” in 2006. For this PhD thesis he received the 'MEARC Writing Up Grant' in 2006, intended to transform this dissertation into a manuscript (published by Brill in 2011).
He is generally interested in the attempts of East Asian intellectuals to resist modernity through reviving aspects of the tradition and, in particular, Buddhism. In this light, he also studies the Chinese and Japanese intellectuals of the 1930s and 60s who combine traditional ideas with modern ideologies such as Marxism.

Although his work is historical it constantly hovers around themes that are relevant to contemporary China and Japan, such as nationalism, Marxism, liberalism and the problem of modernity. Thus he is also intrigued by the writings of contemporary Chinese and Japanese intellectuals such as Wang Hui, Sun Ge and Karatani Kôjin. His articles have appeared in Modern Intellectual History, Dushu (the Reader) and Chūgoku tetsugaku kenkyū.
Remapping the Past
by Howard Yuen Fung Choy
published 2008 by Brill

The most prominent literary phenomenon in the 1980s and 1990s in China, historical fiction, has never been systematically surveyed in Anglophone scholarship. This is the first investigation into how, by rewriting the past, writers of Deng Xiaoping’s reform era undermined the grand narrative of official history.
It showcases fictions of history by eleven native Chinese, Muslim and Tibetan authors. The four chapters are organized in terms of spatial schemes of fictional historiography, namely, regional histories and family romances, discourses on diaspora and myths of minorities, nostalgia for the hometown in the country and the city, as well as the bodily text and the textual body, thus broadly covering the eternal themes of memory, language, food, sex, and violence in historical writing.

About the author
Howard Y. F. Choy is assistant professor at Wittenberg University. He received his Ph.D. in comparative literature and humanities from the University of Colorado (2004) and is the assistant author of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Confucianism (New York: Rosen, 2005)
The Politics of Historical Production in Late Qing and Republican China
edited by Tze-ki Hon and Robert J.Culp
published in 2007 by Brill

Abstract: This book examines forms of Chinese historical production happening outside the mainstream of academic history, through such new measures as the publication of textbooks, the writing of local history, the preservation of archival materials, and government attempts to establish orthodox historical accounts. The book does so in order to broaden the scope of modern Chinese historiography, when it focuses primarily on a small group of writers such as Liang Qichao, Gu Jiegang, and Fu Sinian.
Directly linking historical writings to the formation of the nation, the justification of elite authority, and the cultivation of active citizenry, this book shows that historiography is essential to understanding the uniqueness of Chinese modernity.

About the editors
Tze-ki Hon, Ph.D. (1992) in History, University of Chicago, is Associate Professor of History at State University of New York-Geneseo. His research interests cover both pre-modern and modern China. His book, Yijing and the Chinese Politics (SUNY Press, 2005) examines the Yijing commentaries of the Northern Song period. He is an editor of a volume on the May-Fourth New Culture paradigm. Currently, he is completing a book on the Guocui xuebao (1905-1912).
Tze-ki Hon was Visiting Research Fellow at MEARC from 2006 until 2007.
Robert J. Culp, Ph.D. (1999) in History, Cornell University, is Assistant Professor of History and Asian Studies at Bard College. His first book is Articulating Citizenship: Civic Education and Student Politics in Southeastern China, 1912–1940 (Cambridge, MA, 2007). His current work focuses on publishing and cultural production in early 20th-century China.
Historical Truth, Historical Criticism, and Ideology
edited by Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer, Achim Mittag and Jörn Rüsen
published 2004 by Brill

Abstract: Three issues essential to our insight into the concept and function of historical consciousness, and the description thereof, form the core of this book: historical truth, historical comment and criticism, and ideology (including the historian’s trustworthiness).
Taking as a point of departure the workings of these concepts in Chinese historical thinking, the volume carefully draws comparisons with similar topics in the Western tradition. It thus advocates and shows a truly comparative approach that sets the stage for an intercultural dialogue on this important subject.
The first comprehensive work on the political and cognitive dimensions of Chinese historical consciousness set against its Western counterpart.

About the editors
Jörn Rüsen, born in 1938, is President of the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities), Essen, and Professor at the University of Witten-Herdecke. He has published widely on theory and philosophy of history, historiography, historical memory and historical culture.
Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer, born in 1948, is Director of the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel and Professor at the University of Göttingen. His main research interests are in Chinese intellectual history, the history of religions in China, Chinese literature, and the exchanges between China and the West.
Achim Mittag, born in 1958, is presently affiliated with the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut, Essen, working on a project of comparative historiography and compiling a sourcebook on Chinese historiography and historical thinking.
The Asiascape Collection v. 1: Essays in the Exploration of CyberAsia
edited by Christopher Goto-Jones
published 2010 by MEARC/

About: The Asiascape Collection brings together the first 5 Asiascape Ops as well as additional essays drawn from a special Asiascape issue of the newsletter of the International Institute for Asian Studies themed on CyberAsia. It can be downloaded as a PDF, or you can request a beautiful, bound copy for your collection and/or library.

Contributors: Bart Barendregt
Young Sook Choi
Jens Damm
Christopher Goto-Jones
Jeroen de Kloet
Thomas Lamarre
Yoko Ono
Fabian Schäfer
Cobus van Straden

ISSN Asiascape Occasional Paper Series: 1875-2241

Download The Asiascape Collection v. 1 (PDF)

Request a hardcopy version of The Asiascape Collection v. 1 by sending an email to MEARC

About the author
Chris Goto-Jones is director of MEARC, Dean of Leiden University College the Hague and Professor of Political Thought and Comparative Philosophy at Leiden University. Please view his personal webpage for more information.
A History of Nationalism in Modern Japan: Placing the People
by Kevin Doak
published 2007 by Brill

Abstract: This volume provides a systematic overview of the debates over Japanese national identity and nationalism from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present. It presumes that nationalism is a particular form of identity-politics and as such it foregrounds national identity as it has been articulated by influential Japanese intellectuals. Building on theories that situate nationalism as a mode of politicizing the people, this study presents Japanese nationalism as a contestory practice that positions “the people” as what the nation is and what nationalism seeks to achieve. The body of the text is composed of chapters that explore key sites where this practice has been particularly intense and influential (kokumin, minzoku, shakai, tenno).

About the author
Kevin Doak is professor at the Department of Eat Asian Languages and Cultures at Georgetown University and Nippon Foundation Endowed Chair. He is also a Research Afiiliate of MEARC.
Professor Doak specializes in the study of nationalism and democratic thought and culture in modern Japan, as well as in the literary, cultural and philosophical expressions
of public thought and values. He is co-editor of The Journal of Japanese Studies and sits on the executive board of the Society for Japanese Studies. His writings in Japanese have been prominently published in major Japanese newspapers and journals and cited by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in his book Utsukushii Kuni E (2006). Professor Doak's current research focusses on issues related to politics and religion (especially Catholicism) in modern Japan, ranging from jurisprudence, fiction and literary works, and theology.
Modern Japanese Cuisine: Food, Power and National Identity
by Katarzyna Cwiertka
published 2006 by Reaktion Books

Abstract: Over the past two decades, the popularity of Japanese food in the West has increased immeasurably—a major contribution to the evolution of Western eating habits. But Japanese cuisine itself has changed significantly since pre-modern times, and the food we eat at trendy Japanese restaurants, from tempura to sashimi, is vastly different from earlier Japanese fare. Modern Japanese Cuisine examines the origins of Japanese food from the late nineteenth century to unabashedly adulterated American favorites like today’s California roll.

Katarzyna Cwiertka demonstrates that key shifts in the Japanese diet were, in many cases, a consequence of modern imperialism. Exploring reforms in military catering and home cooking, wartime food management and the rise of urban gastronomy, Cwiertka shows how Japan’s numerous regional cuisines were eventually replaced by a set of foods and practices with which the majority of Japanese today ardently identify.

The result of over a decade of research, Modern Japanese Cuisine is a look at the historical roots of some of the world’s best cooking and will provide appetizing reading for scholars of Japanese culture and foodies alike.

About the author
Katarzyna Cwiertka is Professor of modern Japan Studies at the Leiden Institute for Area Studies, Leiden University. Her research to date has utilized food as a window into the modern history of Japan and Korea. Cwiertka is co-editor of Asian Food: The Global and the Local (University of Hawaii Press 2002). Currently, she acts as Principal Researcher of the project “Sustaining Total War: Militarization, Economic Mobilization and Social Change in Japan and Korea”, which is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and investigates the role of war in the development of contemporary East Asia.