Journal Name: The International Journal of Asian Studies: Volume 3 - Issue 01 - January 2006
Print ISSN: 1479-5914 Online ISSN: 1479-5922
CONCEPT OF THE BORDER: NATIONS, PEOPLES AND FRONTIERS IN ASIAN HISTORY (2)
SINGAPORE, HONG KONG AND THE END OF EMPIRE (pp 1-19)
Paul H. Kratoska (University of Singapore)
As major Asian trading centres and former British colonies, Singapore and Hong Kong inevitably have parallel histories. Although their destinies diverged in the latter part of the twentieth century, comparisons between the two places are useful in developing an understanding of the historical circumstances of each city, and also in developing regional perspectives. The burden of the present article lies in three arguments. First, while the Japanese occupation is often seen as a climactic event in Asian history that destroyed the colonial world and set in motion the transition to independence, the economic policies that defined the post-war era were initiated by colonial regimes during the 1930s and continued by nationalist governments after 1945. Second, the political trajectories followed by Singapore and Hong Kong in the first post-war decades were largely determined by unanticipated developments relating to the cold war, and did not follow logically from the situation that existed in the 1930s, or even when the war ended in August 1945. Third, while both places were seen as colonial relics in post-war Southeast Asia and had to contend with nationalist policies that were incompatible with their social make-up and business practices, efforts to assimilate them within national states were unsuccessful, and they continued to flourish as global city states.
HISTORICAL MEMORIES OF A CHINESE ADVENTURER IN A TAY CHRONICLE; USURPATION OF THE THRONE OF A TAY POLITY IN YUNNAN, 1573-1584 (pp21-48)
Christian Daniels (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
By analysing a Tay chronicle and Chinese sources about a case of usurpation in the Tay (Shan) polity of Mäng: Wan: located in southwest Yunnan on the border with Burma (Myanmar) in 1573, this article offers an alternative approach to the use of chronicles as sources for the history of the Tay Cultural Area. It argues that Tay chronicles are media for the creation and transmission of historical memories, and that they can be utilized to redress the excessive subjectivity of Chinese sources precisely because they show how the Tay interpreted events. Analyses of these interpretations in turn reveal the principal concepts underlying Tay political and social organization, thereby allowing historians to establish benchmarks for ascertaining the changes that took place in Tay polities. This study emphasizes that the memory of the usurpation was generated by the realities of Mäng: Wan:'s power relations with China and Burma, and demonstrates that apart from elucidating the role of royal succession, these memories also throw light on some of the larger recurring themes in the history of Tay relations with China, such as the role of Han Chinese migrants in polity building and administration and land alienation by contractual transactions.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: MIGRANT YUNNANESE CHINESE IN NORTHERN THAILAND (pp49-76)
Wen-Chin Chang (Academia Sinica, Taiwan)
In the face of a complex external situation, the migrant Yunnanese in northern Thailand have undergone repeated moves since the 1950s, and the narratives of their lived experiences disclose an ongoing negotiation of their inner self with the external social world across time and space. The feeling of "dwelling in displacement" is the fundamental basis of their narrated stories and this constructs particular discourses on "home away from home". The primary aim of this paper is to analyze their conceptualizations of home and the intertwining of their various migration patterns. It seeks to see how they are shaped by external structural forces on the one hand, and their reaction to them with their interstitial agency on the other. Moreover, by probing their diasporic consciousness linked to the longue durée of Yunnanese mobility, the paper attempts to accentuate the different layers of their perceptions of time and place, and to illuminate their interplay.
INDEPENDENT PAPER. CHINESE CRICKET-FIGHTING (pp77-93)
Yutaka Suga (University of Tokyo)
The so-called hua niao yu chong ("flower, bird, fish, insect") culture of China is a tradition related to the growth and raising of small and easy-to-care-for plants and animals. Typical of this culture is that of fighting crickets. Cricket fights, between two male crickets, is an amusement especially popular among urban dwellers. In the past it was followed by the emperor and the nobility, by the rich and by intellectuals such as the literati. Because of this, previous research into Chinese culture has tended to emphasize only the glamorous side of cricket fighting and paid scant attention to those who sustained it in the background. Nevertheless we cannot ignore those people in rural areas who go out to catch the crickets that will provide amusement for cricket-fight aficionados in the cities. In fact, both urban dwellers, as consumers, and farmers, as providers, sustain the culture of cricket fighting, but there are wide differences between them in terms of folk knowledge and skills. The knowledge and skills of the farmers who hunt crickets are concerned closely with the habits of crickets and resemble the type of knowledge that is based on observation, and so can be explained in terms of entomological ecology and behavioural science. Urban aficionados, on the other hand, care for crickets in terms of how they think crickets should live, quite differently from their natural habitat. They have anthropomorphized them, rearing them as if they were associating with other human beings, and in general have inserted human values into their lives.
ASIAN PERSPECTIVES. ASIAN STUDIES IN "CRISIS": IS CULTURAL STUDIES THE ANSWER? (pp95-110)
Juliet Clark (University of Tasmania)
This article explores some of the benefits and limitations of Cultural Studies in Asian studies with particular reference to the expression of Asian-Australian identity in diaspora. It has been suggested that the influence of Cultural Studies - a discipline that is viewed as more globally relevant - may be an answer to the Asian studies "crisis". In relation to the Cultural Studies approach to Asian-Australian identity, I argue that the discourse and rhetoric of Cultural Studies is highly beneficial in breaking down stereotypes and rebuilding the national narrative of identity. However, as a methodology it is not without limitations.
LAW, STATE AND SOCIETY IN CHINA 
LAW, STATE AND SOCIETY IN CHINA . THE NATURE OF SOCIAL AGREEMENTS (YUE) IN THE LEGAL ORDER OF MING AND QING CHINA (PART TWO) (pp111-132)
Hiroaki Terada (Kyoto University)
In Part One, social agreements (yue) were introduced as a way of examining the relationship between private agreements/contracts and official law in Ming and Qing China. Their breadth and dynamic were illustrated through the analysis of three types of agreement: community agreements, village compacts, and rent-resistance compacts and alliances. Such agreements however were not simply voluntary contracts, for they also had a coercive aspect. Part Two first discusses the way coercion and voluntarism coexisted in social agreements, and emphasizes the importance of the fluctuating relationship between advocacy and response in this. It then looks at the role social agreements played in the local order, particularly at how official pronouncements were mediated by local customary practices, and suggests that both laws and contracts can be analysed in terms of advocacy and response. The validity of this approach may be further tested by applying it to the way pacts have been used in modern China, suggesting that it would be useful to look for the same issues here that have been discussed regarding social compacts in the Ming and Qing periods.
The International Journal of Asian Studies (2006)
Copyright ©2006 Cambridge University Press
(This journal is available online at: http://www.journals.cambridge.org/jid_ASI)