197: Medieval East Asia
Dr. Daniel Meissner
Coughlin Hall 306 (228-3552)
To develop a foundational knowledge of medieval China and Japan through diverse readings in historical and literary texts.
To acquire foundational knowledge of historical themes in medieval East Asian politics, economy and society.
To develop a framework and perspective for comparing oriental and occidental historical periods.
To hone abilities in critical analysis of primary and secondary materials.
To enhance conceptual abilities and independent research skills.
To enhance oral presentation abilities.
Patricia Ebrey, Pre-Modern East Asia: To 1800
Selected Readings on Library Reserve
Each student will be required to lead several discussions during the term on assigned readings. This includes but is not limited to, summarizing major points, making comparisons, providing insights, posing questions, drawing conclusions, etc
This is a reading-intensive course involving names and events unfamiliar to most western students. Consequently, enough time must be allowed each week to carefully read and reflect upon assigned materials. Moreover, students should allow for additional time to acquire information on unfamiliar terms or concepts in order to fully comprehend or more accurately analyze the readings.
Every student is expected to be fully prepared for each class, and to contribute to discussion through informed commentary or constructive inquiry.
Since this class meets only once each week, regular attendance is required. Active participation in class discussion and projects is expected. More than one absence may significantly affect the final grade.
Students are expected to stay current in their readings, complete projects on time, participate in discussions, thoroughly prepare for class and exams, and abide by university rules and regulations as described in the University Bulletin. An incomplete in this course will not be given (except according to university guidelines).
Students who need special accommodations in order to meet any of the requirements of this course should speak to the instructor at the beginning of the semester.
Tentative Class Schedule
Introduction to course requirements and goals
Group map work
Tang Dynasty (589-906) – Politics,
Society, and Religion
Ebrey, Pre-Modern East Asia, Chapter 5.
"Chapter 5: The Middle Empire," Mark Elvin, The Pattern of the Chinese Past (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1973), 54-68.
"Chapter 2: Society," Charles Benn, China's Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 19-43.
"Chapter Nine: The Early Tang Military and the Expeditionary Armies," David Graff, Medieval Chinese Warfare, 300-900 (New York, Routledge, 2002), 183-203.
"Domestic Policies and Reforms of the Tang," Denis Twitchett, ed., The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 3 "Sui and T'ang China, 589-906," Part 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), 203-219.
"Political and Economic Problems Concerning Buddhism," in Victor Mair, Nancy Steinhardt, and Paul Goldin, eds., Hawai'i Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2005), 377-79.
Ping Yao, "Until Death Do Us Unite: Afterlife Marriages in Tang China, 618-906," Journal of Family History 27.3 (July 2002): 207-226. [Must log onto site for off campus access]
Ebrey, Pre-Modern East Asia, Chapter 4.
"Chapter VI: Popular Buddhism," Edwin O. Reischauer, Ennin's Travels in T'ang China (New York: Ronald Press Company, 1955), 164-221.
Week 3: Tang Dynasty
– Culture and Commerce
"Chapter 5: Quan Deyu and the Spread of Elite Culture in Tang China," Kenneth Hammond, ed., The Human Tradition in Premodern China (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 2002), 77-92
"Chapter 3: Cities and Urban Life," in Benn, China's Golden Age, 45-69.
"The First Recorded Cinderella Story," in Mair, Steinhardt, and Goldin, eds., Hawai'i Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture, 363-67.
"Tang Poems as Vehicles for Ideas," in Mair, Steinhardt, and Goldin, eds., Hawai'i Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture, 340.
"Tang Culture: The Poetry of Li Bai (Li Bo)," excerpts from David Hinton, trans., The Selected Poems of Li Po (New York: New Directions Books, 1996.
David Knechtges, "Gradually Entering the Realm of Delight: Food and Drink in Early Medieval China," Journal of the American Oriental Society 117.2 (April 1997): 229-239.
"Chapter 3: Economy: China Takes Centre-Stage," in Samuel Adshead, T'ang China: The Rise of the East in World History (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), 68-92.
"Dou Yi, a Mid-Tang Businessman," in Mair, Steinhardt, and Goldin, eds., Hawai'i Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture, 349-54.
"Introduction to Tang Institutions," Hans Bielenstein, Diplomacy and Trade in the Chinese World, 589-1276 (Boston: Brill, 2005), 5-8; 80-82.
Mickael Flecker, "A Ninth-Century AD Arab or Indian Shipwreck in Indonesia: First Evidence for Direct Trade With China," World Archaeology 32.3: 335-354. [Must log onto site for off campus access]
Week 4: Northern Song Dynasty (960-1227)Required Readings:
Ebrey, Pre-Modern East Asia, Chapter 8.
"Chapter 6: Manorialism Without Feudalism," in Elvin, The Pattern of the Chinese Past, 69-83.
Su Shi, "Parable of the Sun," in Mair, Steinhardt, and Goldin, eds., Hawai'i Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture, 388-89.
"Recollections of the Northern Song Capital," in Mair, Steinhardt, and Goldin, eds., Hawai'i Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture, 405-412.
Ho ping-ti, "Early-Ripening Rice," in Liu and Golas, Change in Sung China: Innovation or Renovation? (Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath & Co., 1969), 30-34.
Robert Hartwell, "Industrial Developments: The Iron and Coal Industries," in Liu and Golas, Change in Sung China, 34-39.
Denis Twitchett, "Changes in the Countryside: The Great Estates," in Liu and Golas, Change in Sung China, 39-43.
Shiba Yoshinobu, "Sung Foreign Trade: Its Scope and Organization," in Morris Rossabi, ed., China Among Equals: The Middle Kingdom and Its Neighbors, 10th - 14th Centuries (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), 89-101.
Week 5: Southern Song Dynasty (1227-1279)
"Hangzhou, The City," in Jacques Gernet, Daily Life in China: on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250-1276 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1962), 38-55.
"Chapter II, Song Society," in Gernet, Daily Life in China, 59-108 (handout).
Robert Foster, "Yue Fei," in Hammond, The Human Tradition in Premodern China, 93-109.
"The Autobiographical Sermon of Zuqin," in Mair, Steinhardt, and Goldin, eds., Hawai'i Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture, 433-36.
Etienne Balazs, "Song Urban Developments," in James Liu and Peter Golas, eds., Change in Sung China, 15-19.
"Footbinding," in Wang Ping, Aching For Beauty: Footbinding in China (New York: Anchor Books, 2002), 4-6; 55-9.
Heian Period(794-1180) – Politics,
Society, and Religion
Ebrey, Pre-Modern East Asia, Chapter 10.
"Heian Society," Conrad Schirokauer, A Brief History of Japanese Civilization (Thomson Wadsworth, 2006), 49-61; 66-7.
"Heian Japan," Ann Walthall, Japan: A Cultural, Social, and Political History (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2006), 30-45.
"The Advent and Assimilation of Chinese Civilization," in Mikiso Hane, Premodern Japan: A Historical Survey (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1991), 25-43.
Janet Goodwin, "Building Bridges and Saving Souls," Monumenta Nipponica 44.2 (Summer 1989): 137-49.
"Rise of the Warrior (Samurai) Class," David Lu, ed., Japan: A Documentary History (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1997), 101-106.
"Knights on Horseback," Hyman Kublin, ed., Japan: Selected Readings (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1973), 63-67.
Heike Monogatari, "The Tale of the Heike," Hiroshi Kitagawa and Bruce Tsuchida, trans., The Tale of the Heike (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1975), xxi-xxvi; 542-46; 554-56; 780-82.
Ebrey, Pre-Modern East Asia, Chapter 7
Week 7: Heian
Period – Culture and Commerce
Donald Keene, "Japanese Aesthetics," in Nancy Hume, Japanese Aesthetics and Culture: A Reader (Albany: SUNY Press, 1995), 27-41.
Donald Keene, "Feminine Sensibility in the Heian Era," in Hume, ed., Japanese Aesthetics and Culture, 109-123.
"Superstitions," Ivan Morris, The World of the Shining Prince: Court Life in Ancient Japan (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1964), 124-32.
Aileen Gatten, "A Wisp of Smoke," Monumenta Nipponica 32.1 (Spring, 1977): 35-48.
Richard Bowring, trans., The Diary of Lady Murasaki (New York: Penguin Books, 1996), xii-xxxiii; 3-19.
Yung-Hee Kim Kwon, "The Female Entertainment Tradition in Medieval Japan: The Case of Asobi," Theatre Journal 40.2 (May 1988): 205-216. [Must log onto site for off campus access]
"Heian City Commerce," in Donald Shively and William McCullough, eds., The Cambridge History of Japan, Vol. 2: Heian Japan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 159-72.
"Heian Trade," Bruce Batten, To the Ends of Japan: Premodern Frontiers, Boundaries, and Interactions (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2003), 164-72; 192-97.
Week 8: Japan
During the Kamakura Period (1180-1333) -- Politics, Society, and Religion
Ebrey, Pre-Modern East Asia, Chapter 11.
"Kamakura Shogunate," and "Buddhism," in David Lu, Japan: A Documentary History, 106-126; 138-42.
G. Cameron Hurst, "The Kobu Polity," in Jeffrey Mass, ed., Court and Bakufu in Japan: Essays in Kamakura History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982), 1-19.
"Kamakura, the Warrior Regime," Pierre Souyri, The World Turned Upside Down: Medieval Japanese Society (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001), 48-61.
"Kamakura Buddhism," Souyri, The World Turned Upside Down, 65-78.
"Kamakura Society," Souyri, The World Turned Upside Down, 1-16.
Week 9: Spring Break
Week 10: Japan During the
Kamakura Period (1180-1333) -- Culture and Commerce
"The Culture of War," Karl Friday, Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan (New York: Routledge, 2004), 137-63.
Haga Koshiro,"Wabi," in Hume, Japanese Aesthetics and Culture, 245-50.
H. Paul Varley, "Zen in Medieval Japan," Monumenta Nipponica 36.4 (Winter, 1981): 463-68.
[Must log onto site for off campus access]
Karen Brazell, "‘Blossoms': A Medieval Song," Journal of Japanese Studies 6.2 (Summer, 1980): 243-266.
[Must log onto site for off campus access]
Ensho Ashikaga, "The Festival for the Spirits of the Dead in Japan," Western Folklore 9.3 (1950): 217-228.
[Must log onto site for off campus access]
Catharina Blomberg, "Bushido: The Concept of Chivalry" The Heart of the Warrior: Origins and Religious Background of the Samurai System in Feudal Japan (Kent: Japan Library, 1994),
Week 11: Mongol
Conquests and Culture (1215-1368) -- Culture and Commerce
Ebrey, Pre-Modern East Asia, Chapter 12.
"Mongol Cuisine," Thomas Allsen, Culture and Conquest in Mongol Eurasia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 127-40.
"Medicine," Allsen, Culture and Conquest in Mongol Eurasia, 141-47.
H.A.R. Gibb, trans. Ibn Battuta: Travels in Asia and Africa (London: Routledge and Sons), 282-300.
"The Journey of William of Rubruck," Owen and Eleanor Lattimore, Silks, Spices and Empire (New York: Dell, 1968), 68-83.
"The Travels of Marco Polo," Owen and Eleanor Lattimore, Silks, Spices and Empire, 84-100.