Friday, August 31, 2018

Early Korea-Japan Interactions

Mark E. Byington, Ken'ichi Sasaki, and Martin T. Bale

Publication date:
August 2018

University of Hawai’i Press


The present volume presents seven studies of interactions between societies and polities on the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago from an archaeological perspective. The time periods reflected in these studies range from the Mumun and Yayoi societies of the first millennium B.C. to the final consolidation of early states in the seventh century A.D. These studies demonstrate that the archaeological approach yields views of early Korea-Japan interactions that are in many ways richer than those based on written records, often calling for major revisions of previous understandings of the early history of this region.

Table of Contents:

Introduction by Mark E. Byington, Ken'ichi Sasaki, and Martin T. Bale

"Bronze mirrors and Exchange Between Southern Korea and Kyushu" by
Lee Chungkyu

"Interaction Between the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese Archipelago
During the Yayoi Period" by Iwanaga Shozo

"Kaya, Silla, and Wa: Changing Relationships and Their Historical
Backgrounds" by Park Cheun Soo

"Interactions Between Paekche and Wa in the Third to Sixth Centuries A.D.
Based on Patterns of Trade and Exchange" by Woo Jae-Pyoung

"Ancient Kibi, Western Japan, and the Korean Peninsula" by Kameda

"Archaeological Investigations at the Omuro Cairn Cluster in the Central
Highlands of Japan: With Reference to Korean Immigrants in the Fifth and
Sixth Centuries A.D. " by Sasaki Kenichi

"Japan-Korea Interaction Viewed from Eastern Japan" by Habuta

Sunday, August 26, 2018

[Dissertation] Courtly Exchange and the Rhetoric of Legitimacy in Early Medieval China

KOU Lu 寇陸


Harvard University


This dissertation explores the power of words to fashion state legitimacy in early medieval China (the 4th–7th centuries CE). Known as the Northern and Southern Dynasties (Nanbeichao 南北朝), this was a period of political division and fragmentation in which several rival states vied for dominance. This dissertation examines the “cultural wars” that were waged among rival court centers and analyzes the writings produced at and for moments of interstate contact—including the exchange of diplomats, gifts, and letters, which formed a highly contentious ground for competing claims of political and cultural supremacy. It discusses how royal power was carefully represented in material and discursive forms to both awe subjects and intimidate enemies in the medieval court culture, and how legitimacy became a problematic concept that was subject to interpretation and contention during this volatile age.

The first chapter focuses on diplomatic visits and court representatives’ verbal banter. It studies both the “discursive battles” between diplomats and the articulation of hospitality and hostility in poetic genres. The second chapter looks at court compositions on foreign gifts and examines the rhetorical devices used to create and domesticate “the foreign” as a way of proclaiming cultural superiority. Epistolary communication is the topic of the third chapter, in which I investigate the “politics of intimacy” in letters sent across dynastic boundaries. In other words, I argue that seemingly “private” letters—for example, those between friends or between a mother and a son—were intended for public consumption and that the individual voices were subject to states’ exploitation for the purpose of political manipulation. The fourth chapter moves to the unified empire of the Sui (581–619) and early Tang (619–907) and continues to examine the negotiation among different cultural groups, this time in the new political context of unification. I use music as a critical lens to demonstrate that, through meticulous debates over what constituted “orthodox,” “decadent,” and “foreign” music for the empire, “sound” became politicized and was used as a tool of mind control and to shape new political identities. Taken together, these chapters discuss the verbal construction and negotiation of essential concepts such as “legitimacy,” “emperorship,” and “cultural orthodoxy” during the early medieval period.

Following previous scholarly attempts to problematize the “constructedness” of the North and South, this dissertation continues to redress the essentialization of the northern and southern cultures as monolithic and static stereotypes and reveal the complexity of cultural exchanges in the context of court culture in early medieval China. Based on detailed textual analysis of a variety of genres, including envoys’ recorded conversations, poems, poetic expositions, letters, and other “non-literary” genres, I show how elites in both the north and the south employed a shared cultural repertoire and discourse to negotiate the state’s claim to universal authority and fashion different cultural identities. I argue that rhetoric—the adroit manipulation of words and signifying practices—played an active role in constructing “legitimacy,” reconfiguring political reality, and envisioning cultural boundaries. It was through the appropriation of rhetoric and its effects that elites were able to define “self” and “others” and anchor themselves within an imagined cultural lineage.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

北朝社会における南朝文化の受容: 外交使節と亡命者の影響

堀内淳一 (HORIUCHI Junichi)


Publication date:
March, 2018

Table of Contents:

序  章 南北朝交流史の問題と展開
 一 問題意識と課題の設定
 二 北朝と南朝の間の交流に関する研究史
 三 本書の構成

第一章 南北朝間の使節よりみた「文化」の多様性
 一 使者の選定とその背景
 二 使節による文化交流の具体的事例
 三 使者の体現する「文化」の範囲
 四 北朝における使者の資質

第二章 南北朝間の外交使節と経済交流――馬と柑橘――
 一 遣使と来聘
 二 使節の私的な交流
 三 軍事力と正統性の交換

第三章 北朝の使者の帰国後
 一 北魏の南朝遣使と制度改革
 二 魏斉革命と南朝への使者
 三 隋の対陳使者と陳の平定

第四章 府佐属僚からみた北魏の亡命氏族
 一 劉昶・王肅の府佐の構成
 二 亡命者の子孫の府主について
 三 北魏貴族社会と亡命者

第五章 司馬氏の帰郷
 一 司馬氏の北帰について
 二 北魏前期における司馬氏
 三 司馬氏を騙るものたち
 四 華北名族としての司馬氏

第六章 北魏宗室の亡命と帰還
 一 北魏宗室の亡命の理由と経緯
 二 梁における北魏宗室の待遇と帰国
 三 北魏宗室以外の貴族の亡命と帰還

補  論 『陳書』の編纂過程と隋陳関係記事
 一 『陳書』における隋陳外交記事の欠落
 二 『陳書』の成書と流伝
 三 『陳書』阮卓伝にみる隋陳関係

終  章 北朝貴族の目に映る南朝――「島夷」から「万国安和」へ

Friday, August 17, 2018

Social Memory and State Formation in Early China

Min Li 李旻

Cambridge University Press

Publication Date:
May 2018


In this book, Li Min proposes a new paradigm for the foundation and emergence of the classical tradition in early China, from the late Neolithic through the Zhou period. Using a wide range of historical and archaeological data, he explains the development of ritual authority and particular concepts of kingship over time in relation to social memory. His volume weaves together the major benchmarks in the emergence of the classical tradition, particularly how legacies of prehistoric interregional interactions, state formation, urban florescence and collapse during the late third and the second millenniums BCE laid the critical foundation for the Sandai 三代 notion of history among Zhou elite. Moreover, the literary-historical accounts of the legendary Xia Dynasty in early China reveal a cultural construction involving social memories of the past and subsequent political elaborations in various phases of history. This volume enables a new understanding on the long-term processes that enabled a classical civilization in China to take shape.

Table of Contents:

1. Wen Ding 問鼎: gaging the weight of political power
2. Frames of reference: multiple classifications of space
3. Before the Central Plains: the pinnacle of Neolithic development
4. The Longshan 龍山 transition: political experimentation and expanding horizons
5. The rise of the Luoyang Basin and the production of the first bronze Ding vessels
6. The rise of the Henei Basin and the limit of Shang hegemony
7. The rise of the Guanzhong Basin and the birth of history
8. The world of Yu's tracks: a blueprint for political experimentation
9. Conclusion: the emergence of the classical tradition

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Nivison Annals: Selected Works of David S. Nivison on Early Chinese Chronology, Astronomy, and Historiography

Adam C. Schwartz

De Gruyter

Publication date:
July 2018


In his last essay just weeks before his death at the age of 91, David S. Nivison says, "Breaking into a formal system - such as a chronology - must be like breaking into a code. If you are successful, success will show right off." Since the late 1970's Nivison has focused his scholarship on breaking the code of Three Dynasties (Xia, Shang, Zhou) chronology by establishing an innovative methodology based on mourning periods, astronomical phenomenon, and numerical manipulations derived from them. Nivison is most readily known in the field for revising (and then revising again) the date of the Zhou conquest of Shang, and for his theory that Western Zhou kings employed two calendars (His so-called "Two yuan" theory), the second being set in effect upon the death of the new king's predecessor and counted from the completion of post-mourning rites for him (i.e., a "second 'first' year").

Nivison's enabling discovery that the Bamboo Annals (BA) had a historical basis was initially designed to make Wang Guowei's analysis of lunar phase terms (the so-called "Four quarter" theory that separated each month into four quarters) work for Western Zhou bronze inscriptions. In order to do so he had to assume that some inscriptions used a second yuan counted from completion of mourning. The king's death was the most important event late in a reign, so this implied that a king's reign-of-record was normally counted from the second yuan, omitting initial mourning years. It follows that when the unexpressed mourning years are forgotten (or edited out) but the dates of the beginning and end of the dynasty are still known, the remaining reigns-of-record cluster toward the beginning and end, and a reign in the middle is enlarged.

Problems, ideas, and solutions like the one described above are found throughout this new collection of important works on chronology, astronomy, and historiography.

Table of Contents:


1.The He zun Inscription and the Beginning of Zhou
Pages 1-16

2.Supplement to the “The ‘Question’ Question”— British Museum Scapula and British Museum Library Deer Horn
Pages 17-21

3. The King and the Bird: a Possible Genuine Shang Literary Text and Its Echoes in Later Philosophy and Religion
Pages 22-28

4. The Hampers of Zeng: Some Problems in Archaeoastronomy
Pages 29-41

5.New Study of Xiaotun Yinxu Wenzi Jiabian (小屯殷墟文字簡編) 2416
Pages 42-54

6. Research Notes On Yin Li Chronology per Zheng Xuan
Pages 55-61

7. A Tell-tale Mistake in the Lü shi Chunqiu 呂氏春秋: The Earthquake Supposedly in the Eighth Year of Wen Wang of Zhou
Pages 62-68

8. The Origin of the Chaochen Rule
Pages 69-83

9. A New Analysis of the Guoyu 國語 Astrological Text
Pages 84-101

10. Qingming Day, 1040 BC
Pages 102-115

11. Kong Jia of Xia, 1577–1569 BC
Pages 116-127

12. Shaughnessy’s Slip
Pages 128-134

13. Review of Sun, Xiaochun, and Jacob Kistemaker, The Chinese Sky during the Han: Constellating Stars and Society
Pages 135-141

14. Zhang Peiyu on the Dayuan Li yi and the “Jinben” Zhushu jinian 竹書紀年
Pages 142-162

15. The 1046 Hypothesis
Pages 163-194

16. Huang Di 黃帝 to Zhi Bo 岐伯: A Problem in Historical Epistemology
Pages 195-201

17. Was Warring States China Ahead of Greece in Science?
Pages 202-207

18. Notes on Royal Ontario Museum, White Collection, #1908
Pages 208-210

19. 90th Birthday Address
Pages 211-219

20.Two yuan and Four quarters
Pages 220-238

21. The “31 Years” Problem
Pages 239-255

22. The Nivison-Shaughnessy Debate on the Bamboo Annals (Zhushu jinian)
Pages 256-285

23.Important Discoveries and Bad Mistakes
Pages 286-297

Friday, August 3, 2018

Languages of Ancient Southern Mongolia and North China

A Historical-Comparative Study of the Serbi or Xianbei Branch of the Serbi-Mongolic Language Family, with an Analysis of Northeastern Frontier Chinese and Old Tibetan Phonology

Andrew Shimunek

Publication Date:
May 2017

Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz Verlag


This is the first book on the Serbi-Mongolic language family – a major language family of Asia – and the first modern linguistic study of the Serbi (Xianbei 鮮卑) peoples, whose conquest of North China took place at approximately the same time as the Germanic and Hunnic Völkerwanderung into the former Western Roman Empire. The findings presented in this book – the first rigorous and systematic unified theory on the origins of the Mongolic and Serbi languages – add substantially to our understanding of the linguistic geography of Eastern Eurasia, and to the ethnolinguistic history of the Mongolic peoples and their neighbors, including speakers of Chinese, Japanese-Koguryoic, Tibeto-Burman, Tungusic, possibly Indo-European, and later, Turkic. This book also enhances our understanding of attested Middle Chinese, Early Old Mandarin, and Old Tibetan phonology. Moreover, it is the first study to present linguistic sketches of Taghbach (Tuoba 拓跋), Tuyuhun 吐谷渾 (’Azha འ་ཞ་), and Kitan (Qidan 契丹), and to systematically compare Kitan and Mongol morphological and syntactic paradigms, resulting in the first reconstruction of Common Serbi-Mongolic phonology, morphology, lexicon, and syntax. Readers interested in Mongolia, the Mongols, North China, Central Eurasia, the Tibetan Empire, languages of Asia, historical linguistics, and history will find this book to be a useful resource.

Table of Contents:
1. Previous Theories on the Origins of the Mongolic Languages
2. A Brief Ethnolinguistic History of the Serbi-Mongolic Peoples
3. Early Northern Frontier Varieties of Chinese
4. Notes on the Phonology of Old Tibetan
5. Taghbach and other Middle Serbi Dialects of the Northern Wei
6. The T’u-yü-hun (‘Azha) Language
7. The Kitan Language
8. Toward a Reconstruction of Common Serbi-Mongolic
9. The Proto-Serbi-Mongolic Homeland
10. Conclusion