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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #164: September 8, 2004

Modern Asian Studies

Journal Name: Modern Asian Studies: Volume 35 - Issue 03 - July 2001
Print ISSN: 0026-749X Online ISSN: 1469-8099

Bad Sushi or Bad Merchant? The 'Dead Fish Poisoning Incident' of 1852 (pp513-531)
HIRAKU SHIMODA (Harvard University)
Why have you been dragged out like this?

That's what you get for skimping on wages

Why are you being taught this lesson?

It's payback time for all of your usury

Why must you suffer here in prison?

Must be for buying up all the cotton

Why can't you get but a cup of tea?

They say because you poisoned the water

Why can't you get but a bite to eat?

Must be the curse of eel and carp. fn1

—From Inga wasan, a Kaga folk ditty

The strange affair began innocuously enough. In the summer of 1851, Zeniya Gohei, a prominent merchant in Kaga han, started a land reclamation project on Kahoku inlet, which lies about three miles northwest of Kanazawa upon the Sea of Japan. Early in the eighth month of 1852, a large number of dead fish floated to the surface of the inlet near the construction site. Within weeks, there were reports of several local residents who apparently died from having eaten the dead fish. In the ensuing flurry of accusations, speculations, and indictments Gohei and his family members were deemed responsible and imprisoned. By the end of the eleventh month of 1852, the eighty-year old Gohei succumbed to 'urinary blockage' and died in captivity.

Nationalist Extremism in Early Showa Japan: Inoue Nissho and the 'Blood-Pledge Corps Incident', 1932 (pp533-564)
STEPHEN S. LARGE (University of Cambridge)
Less than fifteen months after Prime Minister Hamaguchi Osachi was fatally wounded by the right-wing fanatic Sagoya Tomeo on 14 November 1930, the 'mysterious priest' Inoue Nissho orchestrated the Ketsumeidan jiken, or 'Blood-Pledge Corps Incident', in which the former Finance Minister Inoue Junnosuke and the Director-General of Mitsui Dan Takuma, were shot and killed, on 9 February and 5 March 1932, respectively. What made the Ketsumeidan Incident all the more shocking in the troubled context of the Depression and the Manchurian Incident was the fact that at one point the terrorists had planned to kill twenty of Japan's political and financial leaders, not just Inoue Junnosuke and Dan Takuma. The grim implications of this bold conspiracy were soon driven home when Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi was also gunned down in the 15 May Incident that year.

Die for the Boycott and Nation: Martyrdom and the 1905 Anti-American Movement in China (pp565-588)
SIN-KIONG WONG (The National University of Singapore)
On July 16, 1905, an overseas Chinese, Feng Xiawei, committed suicide in front of the American consulate in Shanghai. The impetus for Feng's sacrifice was a labor treaty being negotiated with the United States, which had placed obstacles to the Chinese who would like to go to the United States to make a living. Two months before Feng's suicide, merchants in Shanghai had asked Americans to revise their immigration policy or face a boycott in two months. The Americans showed no sign of yielding. Four days before the deadline, Feng killed himself. This previously unknown individual became a hero in the 1905 boycott movement.

Who was Mr Democracy? The May Fourth Discourse of Populist Democracy and the Radicalization of Chinese Intellectuals (1915-1922) (pp589-621)
EDWARD X. GU (Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University)
Democracy is a symbol of the May Fourth era, and one of the two cores of the so-called 'May Fourth spirit' that generations of Chinese liberal intellectuals energetically want to carry forward in order to promote the liberal develop ment of democratization in China. In an essay published in January 1919 to celebrate the third anniversary of the publication of Xin Qingnian (New Youth), Chen Duxiu, one of the intellectual leaders of the New Culture Movement, respectfully gave democracy and science the nicknames 'Mr Democracy' (de xiansheng) and 'Mr Science' (sai xiansheng), and proclaimed that 'only these two gentlemen can save China from the political, moral, academic, and intellectual darkness in which it finds itself'. Seven decades later, on the eve of the People's Movement on the Tiananmen square in spring 1989, many Chinese intellectuals published enormous essays or articles on the legacies of the 'May Fourth spirit', challenging the official monopoly over the power of historical interpretation. One of the major themes in these essays or articles was the appeal to the young generation of Chinese intellectuals to strive for liberty, democracy, and science by inheriting the 'May Fourth spirit'.

Trouble on the Frontier: Dutch-Brooke Relations and Iban Rebellion in the West Borneo Borderlands (1841-86) (pp623-644)
REED L. WADLEY (International Institute for Asian Studies, The Netherlands)
As European influence expanded in insular Southeast Asia throughout the early modern era, colonial interests shifted from maintaining favorable trade zones along the coasts and rivers to an increasing control of territory and its human populations. The island of Borneo entered the colonial ambit relatively late in this process, but its eventual division between British and Dutch spheres of influence and control has had profound consequences for the peoples that fell under either. There and elsewhere, territorial boundaries sliced across well-established networks of communication, trade, common traditions, and strong ties of kinship. These boundaries came to impose different symbols of formal status on people from the same ethnic groups. From the colonial perspective, boundaries were designed to function negatively, to restrict what was deemed illegal such as smuggling and migration, and positively, to promote legitimate activities like taxation and road construction. The usual colonial attitude was that borders should be precisely defined, clearly demarcated, jealously guarded, and exclusive. Yet the people so partitioned routinely defied the border divisions, causing no small amount of worry to the colonial states.

Masyarakat Adat, Difference, and the Limits of Recognition in Indonesia's Forest Zone (pp645-676)
TANYA MURRAY LI (Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S. Canada)
'We will not recognize the Nation, if the Nation does not recognize us'

This statement was made by AMAN (Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara), the Alliance of Indigenous People of the Archipelago, at their inaugural congress in Jakarta, March 1999. The congress was organized by a consortium of Jakarta-based NGOs, and funded by international donors (USAID, CUSO, and OXFAM among others). Building upon a process of mobilization that began with the International Year of Indigenous People in 1993, the Congress marked the formal entry of masyarakat adat (literally, people who adhere to customary ways) as one of several groups staking claims and seeking to redefine its place in the Indonesian nation as the political scene opened up after Suharto's long and repressive rule. AMAN and its supporters assert cultural distinctiveness as the grounds for securing rights to territories and resources threatened by forestry, plantation and mining interests backed by police and military intimidation. Their attempt to place the problems of masyarakat adat on the political agenda has been remarkably successful. While seven years ago the head of the national land agency declared that the category masyarakat adat, which had some significance in colonial law, was defunct or withering away (Kisbandono 18/02/93), the term now appears ever more frequently in the discourse of activists, parliamentarians, media, and government officials dealing with forest and land issues.

Colonialism, Indigenous Elites and the Transformation of Cities in the Non-Western World: Ahmedabad (Western India), 1890-1947 (pp677-726)
Processes of transformation in cities in the non-western world during the colonial period have often been described as one-way processes through which European colonial regimes restructured the physical and social environments of the cities and established their domination there. Rarely have scholars explored the possibility that these processes could have been contested and negotiated and that the indigenous elites of the cities could have appropriated some of the policies of the colonial governments to their advantage, thereby imparting a somewhat different nature to the changes in the cities. This article seeks to correct this deficiency by showing that the process of change in at least one non-western city, namely, Ahmedabad, a large industrial city in western India, in the first half of the twentieth century, was not a one-way process of the establishment of domination by the colonial government but was instead one where a section of the Indian elites contested the restructuring that the government was carrying out in the city and appropri ated it to bring about their own reorganization of the urban centre. In carrying out the reorganization, the elites also established their political and social hegemony in the urban centre. The article analyses how the Indian elite group brought about the transformation, the nature of the changes fostered and the way in which the process of transformation helped the elite leaders to establish their hegemony in the city.

The Erotics of Moonlight and other Connotations in Modern Hindi Literature (pp 727-741)
THEO DAMSTEEGT (University of Leiden, The Netherlands)
As explained by Abrams (1971:32-3), a connotation is 'the range of secondary or accompanying meanings' which a word 'commonly suggests or implies'. The word 'home', for example, connotes 'privacy, intimacy, and coziness'. Which exact secondary meaning from among the range is evoked 'depends on the particular context in which (the word) is used'. Connotations play an important role in interpreting different types of texts, as shown by Abrams and others. For example, when in fiction events or their setting or atmosphere are presented the way they are perceived by a character, the connotations involved in such observations may well inform the reader about the feelings and values fostered by the character concerned, and thus contribute to an interpretation of the text.

Opposition to the Entry of the Foreign Press in India, 1991-1995: The Hidden Agenda (pp743-763)
PRASUN SONWALKAR (Centre for Mass Communication Research, University of Leicester)
Since 1991, India's courting of foreign investment has been accompanied by protectionist posturing in sensitive sectors like insurance and the media. The tensions in making the shift from a mixed economy to a relatively open and market-oriented economy were evident when the government considered reviewing a ban imposed by Jawaharlal Nehru's government in 1955, and allowing foreign press companies to operate in the country's 'mind-market' in 1991. This led to a welter of protest, forcing the government to drop the move. Since foreign media proposals periodically engage government attention and provoke reactions, this is an attempt to take a closer look at the issues involved. This paper will examine the posturing of the Indian elites, the state of the Indian press, the notion of media-cultural imperialism and the legal question of media ownership by foreign nationals. It will conclude with the suggestion that nationalist, cultural and mercantile interests were conflated to run one of the most effective campaigns by the press against the government in recent years. Large sections were animated by genuine concerns, but mercantile interests rode high, and manipulated them to telling effect.

Modern Asian Studies (2004)
Copyright ©2004 Cambridge University Press

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