Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of India-China Relations, 600-1400

Sen, Tansen
Duara, Prasenjit

Rowman and Littlefield

Publication Year:

Relations between China and India underwent a dramatic transformation from Buddhist-dominated to commerce-centered exchanges in the seventh to fifteenth centuries. The unfolding of this transformation, its causes, and wider ramifications are examined in this masterful analysis of the changing patterns of the interaction between the two most important cultural spheres in Asia. 

Tansen Sen offers a new perspective on Sino-Indian relations during the Tang dynasty (618-907), arguing that the period is notable not only for religious and diplomatic exchanges but also for the process through which China emerged as a center of Buddhist learning, practice, and pilgrimage. 

Before the seventh century, the Chinese clergy-given the spatial gap between the sacred Buddhist world of India and the peripheral China-suffered from a borderland complex. A close look at the evolving practice of relic veneration in China (at Famen Monastery in particular), the exposition of Mount Wutai as an abode of the bodhisattva Manjusri, and the propagation of the idea of Maitreya's descent in China, however, reveals that by the eighth century China had overcome its complex and successfully established a Buddhist realm within its borders. The emergence of China as a center of Buddhism had profound implications on religious interactions between the two countries and is cited by Sen as one of the main causes for the weakening of China's spiritual attraction toward India.

At the same time, the growth of indigenous Chinese Buddhist schools and teachings retrenched the need for doctrinal input from India. A detailed examination of the failure of Buddhist translations produced during the Song dynasty (960-1279), demonstrates that these developments were responsible for the unraveling of religious bonds between the two countries and the termination of the Buddhist phase of Sino-Indian relations. 

Sen proposes that changes in religious interactions were paralleled by changes in commercial exchanges. For most of the first millennium, trading activities between India and China were closely connected with and sustained through the transmission of Buddhist doctrines. 

The eleventh and twelfth centuries, however, witnessed dramatic changes in the patterns and structure of mercantile activity between the two countries. Secular bulk and luxury goods replaced Buddhist ritual items, maritime channels replaced the overland Silk Road as the most profitable conduits of commercial exchange, and many of the merchants involved were followers of Islam rather than Buddhism. 

Moreover, policies to encourage foreign trade instituted by the Chinese government and the Indian kingdoms contributed to the intensification of commercial activity between the two countries and transformed the China-India trading circuit into a key segment of cross-continental commerce.

Table of contents: 

List of Illustrations 
Foreword by Prasenjit Duara 
List of Abbreviations 

Introduction: China's Encounter and Predicament with the Indic World 

Chapter One: Military Concerns and Spiritual Underpinnings of Tang-India Diplomacy 

Chapter Two: The Emergence of China as a Central Buddhist Realm 

Chapter Three: The Termination of the Buddhist Phase of India-China Interactions 

Chapter Four: The Reconfiguration of India-China Trade and its Underlying Causes 

Chapter Five: The Phases and the Wider Implications of the Reconfiguration of India-China Trade 

Conclusion: From Buddhism to Commerce: The Realignment and Its Implications 

About the Author

Sunday, September 27, 2015





Publication Year:



Table of Contents:
序章 中国の考古学を学ぶために頭に入れておきたいこと
第1節 中国の人文地理
第2節 歴史のあらすじ
第3節 考古学から見た中華文明史の流れ
第1章 中国の石器時代
第1節 旧石器時代
第2節 新石器時代
第2章 夏殷時代――青銅器時代1
第1節 夏王朝の考古学
第2節 殷王朝の考古学
第3章 西周時代――青銅器時代2
第1節 西周時代の都城
第2節 西周時代の墓
第3節 西周時代の土器
第4節 西周時代の青銅器
第5節 西周時代の窖蔵
第4章 春秋戦国時代――青銅器時代3・鉄器時代1
第1節 春秋戦国時代(東周時代)の考古学と年代
第2節 春秋戦国時代の都城
第3節 春秋戦国時代の墓
第4節 春秋戦国時代の土器・陶器
第5節 春秋戦国時代の瓦当
第6節 春秋戦国時代の青銅遺物
第7節 春秋戦国時代の鉄器
第8節 戦国時代の漆器
第9節 考古学からみた春秋戦国時代の歴史的意味
第5章 秦漢時代――鉄器時代2
第1節 秦漢帝国の出現とその文化
第2節 秦咸陽城と前漢長安城・後漢洛陽城
第3節 秦の始皇帝と兵馬俑坑
第4節 漢の皇帝陵と大型墓
第5節 秦漢時代の遺物と文化
第6節 秦漢帝国とその文化拡大
第6章 魏晋南北朝時代――鉄器時代3
第1節 魏晋南北朝時代の都城
第2節 魏晋南北朝時代の墓
第3節 魏晋南北朝時代の仏教遺跡と石窟
第4節 魏晋南北朝時代の経済・文化
第5節 魏晋南北朝時代における中華文明
第7章 隋唐時代――鉄器時代4
第1節 唐の長安城
第2節 隋唐の洛陽城
第3節 隋唐時代の墓
第4節 隋唐時代の窯業遺構と遺物
第5節 隋唐時代の金銀器
第6節 隋唐時代の考古学
付録1 用語解説
付録2 参考文献

Friday, September 25, 2015

Early Daoist Dietary Practices: Examining Ways to Health and Longevity

Shawn Arthur

Lexington Books

Publication Year:
2015 (paperback)


Much as the modern Western world is concerned with diets, health, and anti-aging remedies, many early medieval Chinese Daoists also actively sought to improve their health and increase their longevity through specialized ascetic dietary practices. Focusing on a fifth-century manual of herbal-based, immortality-oriented recipes—the Lingbao Wufuxu 靈寶五符序 (The Preface to the Five Lingbao Talismans of Numinous Treasure)—Shawn Arthur investigates the diets, their ingredients, and their expected range of natural and supernatural benefits. Analyzing the ways that early Daoists systematically synthesized religion, Chinese medicine, and cosmological correlative logic, this study offers new understandings of important Daoist ideas regarding the body’s composition and mutability, health and disease, grain avoidance (bigu 避穀) diets, the parasitic Three Worms, interacting with the spirit realm, and immortality. This work also employs a range of cross-disciplinary scientific and medical research to analyze the healing properties of Daoist self-cultivation diets and to consider some natural explanations for better understanding Daoist asceticism and its underlying world view.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The Wufuxu’s Recipe Structure and Content
Chapter 3: Dietary Regimens: From Herbs to Qi
Chapter 4: Healing and Improving the Physical Body
Chapter 5: Beyond Physical Health: The Wufuxu’s Extraordinary Claims
Chapter 6: Daoist Grain Avoidance Today
Chapter 7: The Wufuxu’s Ingredients and Fasting
Chapter 8: Analyzing Dietary Ideals and Practices
Chapter 9: Conclusion

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Literary Forms of Argument in Early China

Joachim Gentz & Dirk Meyer


Publication Year:

Literary Forms of Argument in Early China explores formal approaches to the study of philosophical texts to present new methods for the analysis of pre-modern thought in China. Attempts made by Chinese thinkers to generate literary forms of philosophical reasoning have gone unrecognised within scholarship in China and the West. Drawing together the expertise of leading scholars of early Chinese textuality, this volume addresses this omission by examining the formal characteristics of an argument, the interrelationship between form and content, as well as patterned compositions and non-linear semantic utterances. With these comprehensive new readings, the volume makes a landmark contribution to the study of written thinking in early China.

Table of Contents:

Preliminary Material   pp i –ix

Introduction: Literary Forms of Argument in Early China   pp 1 –36

A Building Block of Chinese Argumentation: Initial Fu 夫 as a Phrase Status Marker   pp 37 –66

2 Beyond Parallelism: A Rethinking of Patterns of Coordination and Subordination in Chinese Expository Prose
pp 67 –86

3 On the Range and Performance of Laozi-Style Tetrasyllables
pp 87 –111

4 Defining Boundaries and Relations of Textual Units: Examples from the Literary Tool-Kit of Early Chinese Argumentation
pp 112 –157

5 The Philosophy of the Analytic Aperçu
pp 158 –174

6 Speaking of Poetry: Pattern and Argument in the “Kongzi Shilun 孔子詩論”
pp 175 –200

7 Structure and Anti-Structure, Convention and Counter-Convention: Clues to the Exemplary Figure’s (Fayan 法言) Construction of Yang Xiong as Classical Master
pp 201 –242

8 A Ragbag of Odds and Ends? Argument Structure and Philosophical Coherence in Zhuangzi 26        
pp 243 –296

9 Truth Claim with no Claim to Truth: Text and Performance of the “Qiushui 秋水” Chapter of the Zhuangzi        
pp 297 –340


Source: pp 341 –353

Saturday, September 19, 2015

[Dissertation] Food Redistribution during China's Qin and Han Periods: Accordance and Discordance among Ideologies, Policies, and Their Implementation

Kim, Moonsil Lee

University of California, Santa Barbara

Publication Year:

Barbieri-Low, Anthony J.



This dissertation analyzes the food redistribution systems of the Qin and Han periods, finding accordance and discordance among ideologies, policies, and their implementation. During the Qin and Han periods, food was given by the emperor to his subjects through various redistribution systems: salaries, rations, relief, gifts, and feasts. In chapters one to four, I introduce each form of food redistribution that directly or indirectly influenced food consumption and the dietary conditions of people of various statuses: officials, soldiers, elders, widows, victims of natural disaster, and convicts. Using recently excavated documents, received texts, and archaeological remains, I analyze what ancient Chinese people of various statuses experienced under the governmental food system, which pursued moral justification and political, social, and economic benefits both for the rulers and the ruled.

The first chapter investigates the regulations on grain storage in the central and local governments, using the Shuihudi Qin legal texts. The "Statutes on Granaries" and the "Statutes on Food rations at Conveyance Stations" are compared to administrative documents from Liye and Xuanquan to prove that there were significant discrepancies between these statutes and the actual distribution of food.

Chapter two examines the reconstructed salary list and the "Statutes on Bestowals" from Zhangjiashan to see how the idea of discriminatory distribution was reflected in the salary system of the Han and how the system was maintained in spite of the problem of too little salary for the lower officials. The military salary system, which was combined with the ration system, and imperial gift food are examined in the context of a solution to secure the food supply to military families on the frontier and to the lower salary-grade officials.

Chapter three concerns the food distributed to commoners, especially those in distress or danger. This chapter analyzes the welfare food distributions for the aged, female heads-of-household, and victims of natural disaster. I suggest that comfort-food and relief-food policies were actually geared toward pursuing social stability by saving able-bodied peasants and preventing social mobility, rather than having been designed simply to demonstrate filial piety in an emergency situation.

Chapter four deals with ancient Chinese feasting as a method of food redistribution. This chapter examines the two different styles of feasting, the yan 宴 feast and the pu 酺 feast, by applying current anthropological theories of feasts to the roles of ancient Chinese feasts. After theoretical examination, the economy of leftover food after ritualistic feasting is analyzed based on recently discovered documents from Liye. I argue that by using the leftovers and byproducts, the rulers fed people of inferior status who suffered from poor dietary conditions.

The food redistribution system in early imperial China was ideally designed to benefit all people under heaven "equally" within the framework of the social hierarchy, meanwhile providing extra resources to those of lower status and to people in distress. However, the ideology of the regulations and their actual implementation were frequently out of sync, as laws were applied flexibly and human greed worked every possible step of food redistribution.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015




Publication Year:

Table of Contents:

序 論 問題の所在   春秋時代史研究の動向/本書の視座と構成

第一部 春秋時代の軍事と支配構造
第一章 軍事と支配構造  

第二章 滅国・遷徙政策  

第三章 占領政策  

第四章 攻囲政策  

第五章 対峙政策  

第六章 黄国の滅国  

第七章 紀国の遷徙  

第二部 春秋時代の外交と国際社会
第一章 会盟と外交  
第二章 斉覇・晋覇の会盟地  
附論 楚覇の会盟地   楚覇期の会盟地/楚覇と国際社会

第三章 朝聘外交  

第四章 弔問外交  

第五章 婚姻と国際社会  

第六章 国君即位と国際社会  

第七章 衛国の外交と政治  

第八章 杞国の外交と政治  

結 論  課題と展望   あとがき・索 引

Monday, September 14, 2015

Heavenly Khan: A Biography of Emperor Tang Taizong (Li Shimin 李世民)

Victor Cunrui Xiong

Airiti Press

Publication Year:

This historical fiction is based on the true story of Li Shimin (also known as Tang Taizong), the greatest sovereign in Chinese history. About 30 years younger than Muhammad, he grew up in a world of devastating upheaval that tore China asunder and was thrust into the role of a military commander in his father's rebel army while still a teenager. In the process of vanquishing his enemies on the battlefield, he proved himself to be a great military genius on a par with Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon. As emperor, he reigned over a period of Pax Sinica, which was to a large extent as a consequence of his willingness to listen to and adopt the critical suggestions of his court officials. To the religions of his day--Buddhism, Daoism, and Christianity--he showed a high degree of tolerance.  The prestige he had won for Tang China was so high that the states of Central and North Asia honored him with the title of "Heavenly Khan." Although his father founded the dynasty, it was his reign that laid the groundwork for a brilliant empire that was to endure for centuries.

Table of Contents:
Author’s Note i 
Part I. Quest for the Throne (613–626) 1 
Part II. The Good Government of Zhenguan (627–643) 93 
Part III. Last War (643–650) 191 
Bibliography 237 
Chronology 238 
Glossary 241

Saturday, September 12, 2015

[Dissertation] Waiting for Darkness: Judgment, Salvation, and Apocalyptic Eschatology in Medieval China

April D. Hughes

Princeton University

Publication Year:

Teiser, Stephen F.


This dissertation examines Chinese apocalypticism from the end of the third century to the middle of the eighth century. It centers on apocalyptic understandings of the future descent of two savior figures, the Buddha Maitreya and Prince Moonlight. Some scriptures predict that Maitreya will be the next Buddha in this world. Canonical scriptures place his arrival during an era of peace and prosperity, however, some non-canonical apocalyptic texts assert that his descent will occur during a time of chaos and destruction. In some texts, Prince Moonlight is depicted as an intermediary savior who comes prior to Maitreya's arrival, while other texts portray Prince Moonlight as a full-fledged apocalyptic savior whose arrival is associated with calamities.

This dissertation demonstrates that apocalyptic eschatology was central to medieval Chinese thought and was thus available for different social groups to appropriate for diverse and even contradictory purposes, such as to support political rebellion or to reinforce the dominance of the imperial state. This project examines a wide range of material including non-canonical apocalyptic scriptures, pre-modern Buddhist historiographical records, canonical prophecy scriptures, imperial historical records, and medieval mural paintings. Hence the project goes beyond prior studies by making use of canonical and non-canonical scriptures, together with visual evidence.

This study examines conceptions of kingship, salvation, ideal societies, cosmology and notions of time, as well as the relationship between religious and political perfection. Although this study focuses on ideas related to the end of the world that derive largely from Buddhist and to some extent Daoist traditions, this dissertation also raises questions regarding the study of apocalypticism that will be of interest to scholars of other Buddhist traditions as well as those focusing on utopian thought.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Ideology of Power and Power of Ideology in Early China

Yuri Pines, Paul R. Goldin, and Martin Kern


Publication Year:


Ideology of Power and Power of Ideology in Early China explores ancient Chinese political thought during the centuries surrounding the formation of the empire in 221 BCE. The individual chapters examine the ideology and practices of legitimation, views of rulership, conceptualizations of ruler-minister relations, economic thought, and the bureaucratic administration of commoners.

The contributors analyze the formation of power relations from various angles, ranging from artistic expression to religious ideas, political rhetoric, and administrative action. They demonstrate the interrelatedness of historiography and political ideology and show how the same text served both to strengthen the ruler’s authority and moderate his excesses. Together, the chapters highlight the immense complexity of ancient Chinese political thought, and the deep tensions running within it.

Table of Contents:

Preliminary Material
pp i –viii

pp 1 –29

1 Representations of Regional Diversity during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty
pp 31 –48

2 Omens and Politics: The Zhou Concept of the Mandate of Heaven as Seen in the Chengwu 程寤 Manuscript
pp 49 –68

3 Long Live The King! The Ideology of Power between Ritual and Morality in the Gongyang zhuan 公羊傳
pp 69 –117

4 Language and the Ideology of Kingship in the “Canon of Yao” 堯典
pp 118 –152

5 Monarch and Minister: The Problematic Partnership in the Building of Absolute Monarchy in the Han Feizi 韓非子
pp 155 –180

6 The Changing Role of the Minister in the Warring States: Evidence from the Yanzi chunqiu 晏子春秋
pp 181 –210

7 Ideologies of the Peasant and Merchant in Warring States China
pp 211 –248

8 Population Records from Liye: Ideology in Practice
pp 249 –270

9 Political and Intellectual Authority: The Concept of the “Sage-Monarch” and Its Modern Fate
pp 273 –300

pp 301 –336

pp 337 –348

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Cosmopolitanism in the Tang Dynasty: A Chinese Ceramic Figure of a Sogdian Wine-Merchant

Suzanne G. Valenstein

Bridge21 Publications

Publication Year:


This research monograph investigates the aspects of a large Tang dynasty (618–907) porcelaneous mortuary figure of an ethnic Sogdian that belongs to a small, cohesive group of Chinese ceramic figures depicting foreign wine merchants. As key merchants on the famous “Silk Road,” the Sogdians, an Eastern Iranian people, played a significant role in China’s exposure to Western cultures. The interaction among the Chinese, the Sogdians, and the Turkic Eurasian nomads left an indelible mark on Tang China as well. The book also considers the history of alcoholic beverages in China; ceramic technology; and the background of Chinese mortuary furnishings, known as mingqi. Various decorative motifs on the present figure and its analogous examples are traced both chronologically and geographically to their origins. Most of these motifs can be found in the West and most can also be associated with Buddhism, which came to China by way of Central Asia.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Buried Ideas: Legends of Abdication and Ideal Government in Early Chinese Bamboo-Slip Manuscripts

Sarah Allan

Publication Year:

SUNY Press


Four Warring States texts discovered during recent decades challenge longstanding understandings of Chinese intellectual history. The discovery of previously unknown philosophical texts from the Axial Age is revolutionizing our understanding of Chinese intellectual history. Buried Ideas presents and discusses four texts found on brush-written slips of bamboo and their seemingly unprecedented political philosophy. Written in the regional script of Chu during the Warring States period (475–221 BCE), all of the works discuss Yao’s abdication to Shun and are related to but differ significantly from the core texts of the classical period, such as the Mencius and Zhuangzi. Notably, these works evince an unusually meritocratic stance, and two even advocate abdication over hereditary succession as a political ideal. Sarah Allan includes full English translations and her own modern-character editions of the four works examined: Tang Yú zhi dao 唐虞之道, Zi Gao 子羔, Rongchengshi 容成氏, and Bao xun 保訓. In addition, she provides an introduction to Chu-script bamboo-slip manuscripts and the complex issues inherent in deciphering them.

Table of Contents:

History and historical legend

The Chu-script bamboo-slip manuscripts

Advocating abdication : Tang Yú Zhi Dao, "The way of Tang Yao and Yú Shun"

Tang Yú Zhi Dao : translation and Chinese edition

The Zigao and the nature of early Confucianism

Zigao : translation and Chinese edition

Rongchengshi : abdication and utopian vision

Rongchengshi : translation and Chinese edition

The Bao Xun : obtaining the center to become king

Bao Xun : translation and Chinese edition


[Conference] Memory and Text in Premodern East Asia: Concepts, Theories, and Methods

October 1-3, 2015

Columbus, Ohio; Ohio State University campus

"This workshop offers unique opportunities for scholars from the China, Japan, and Korea fields to exchange, compare, and explore different modes of research surrounding “memory and text.” Organized into a three-day program with ten seminars, two roundtables and two keynote speeches, it promises to bring intense and exciting discussion of the interaction between memory and text, may it concern the individual or the group, the spatial or the temporal, or “product” or “process.” Insights from this workshop will provide a foundation from which to draw coherent concepts, theories, and methods for the research of memory and text in premodern East Asian studies. The first of its kind, it is posed to inspire broad and bold rethinking of the study of the past as a subfield across Chinese, Japanese, and Korean studies.

The two roundtables are designed for general discussion about the current state and future directions of memory and textual studies in the three fields; the ten seminars, by contrast, will each focus on a specific topic, including autobiographical memory, generational memory, trauma and memory, public memory and ancestral memory, ritual and memory, orality and memorization, historical memory, social memory, cultural memory through time, and cultural memory through space. Each seminar will be presided over by a lead discussant, who will assign a primary text and a secondary reading for her/his seminar ahead of time; a few of the seminars will be followed by a discussion from a responder, who will respond to the seminar and/or questions from the floor based on her/his research.

The workshop is opened—within the limit of space—to anyone who is interested. Interested parties should contact Meow Hui Goh (goh.25@osu.edu), the organizer, about attending the workshop and read the assigned materials available on this website before the workshop."

Workshop Program

Day One: October 1, 2015

9:00-9:15 Opening Remarks

9:30-10:30 Keynote Speech: Robert Joe Cutter (Arizona State University)

10:30-11:00 Coffee/Tea Break

11:00-12:00 Opening Roundtable “Is That a ‘Memory Boom’ in Premodern East Asian Textual Studies?”
Lead Discussants: Robert Campany (Vanderbilt University), Kirk Denton (Ohio State University), Young Kyun Oh (Arizona State University)

12:00-1:30 Lunch Break

1:30-2:30 Seminar 1 Autobiographical Memory
Lead Discussant: Xiaoqiao Ling (Arizona State University)

2:30-3:30 Seminar 2 Trauma and Memory
Lead Discussant: Meow Hui Goh (The Ohio State University)

3:30-4:00 Coffee/Tea Break

4:00-5:00 Seminar 3 Generational Memory
Lead Discussant: Ying Zhang (The Ohio State University)

6:30-8:00 Dinner (meet 6:15 at hotel lobby)

Day Two: October 2, 2015

9:00-10:00 Seminar 4 Cultural Memory
(A) Cultural Memory Through Time
Lead Discussant: Wendy Swartz (Rutgers University)

10:00-10:30 Coffee/Tea break

10:30-12:00 Seminar 5 Cultural Memory
(B) Cultural Memory Through Space
Lead Discussant: Jiwon Shin (Arizona State University)
Responder: Young Kyun Oh (Arizona State University)

12:00-1:30 Lunch Break

1:30-3:00 Seminar 6 Public Memory and Ancestral Memory
Lead Discussant: K. E. Brashier (Reed College)

3:00-3:30 Coffee/Tea break

3:30-4:30 Seminar 7 Ritual and Memory
Lead Discussant: Michael Puett (Harvard University)

6:30-8:00 Dinner (meet 6:15 at hotel lobby)

Day Three: October 3, 2015

9:00-10:00 Keynote Speech: Michael Puett (Harvard University)

10:00-10:30 Coffee/tea break

10:30-11:30 Seminar 8 Historical Memory
Lead Discussants: Liao Yi-fang (Academia Sinica), Shao-Yun Yang (Denison University)

11:30-12:30 Seminar 9 Social Memory
Lead Discussant: Robert Campany (Vanderbilt University)

12:30-1:45 Lunch Break

1:45-3:15 Seminar 10 Orality and Memorization
Lead Discussant: Christopher Nugent (Williams College)
Responder: Jonathan Zwicker (University of Michigan)

3:15-3:45 Coffee/Tea Break

3:45-4:45 Closing Roundtable “The Future of Premodern East Asian Textual and Memory Studies”
Lead Discussants: Jiwon Shin (Arizona State University), Patricia Sieber (Ohio State University), Jonathan Zwicker (University of Michigan)

4:45-5:00 Closing Remarks

6:30-8:00 Dinner (meet 6:15 at hotel lobby)

*Please click the link below for the reading materials: