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H-ASIA December 14, 2007 A reminder: Early Modern Japan Network Panels at the AAS (not printed in program), Thursday, April 3, 2009 ************************************************************************ From: Philip Brown <email@example.com> The Early Modern Japan Network will host two panels at the start of the Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Thursday, April 3, 2008, 1-6 p.m. PLEASE NOTE THIS DATE AND TIME _NOW_ SINCE THIS INFORMATION WILL NOT APPEAR IN THE ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM ("meetings in conjunction," of which the EMJ Network meeting is one, are only listed in the program supplement distributed at the meeting itself). These two programs bring together an international group of scholars to discuss two themes in early modern Japanese and East Asian literature: "Impersonating the Old, Impersonating the New: Transformations of Literati Identities in China and Japan," and "Live from Edo, It's Saturday Night: Ticklish Tales of Text, Image, and Performance in Tokugawa Japan" Full descriptions of the panels, participants and abstracts follow. Best regards, Phil Brown, Chair Early Modern Japan Network Panel I: "Impersonating the Old, Impersonating the New: Transformations of Literati Identities in China and Japan" This panel looks at the ways that the persona of the scholar transformed and was transformed by shifting intellectual landscapes in late imperial China and early modern and Japan. Far from being a static category bounded by geographical borders, this persona derived its enduring attraction both from its association with prestigious aspects of early Chinese elite culture, and from a flexibility which enabled a diverse set of intellectuals to continue to return to it as late as the _bakumatsu_ period. To consider these transformations, Martina Siebert examines _pulu_, a genre of contested scholarly value that flourished from the 17th to the 19th centuries. She shows how _pulu_ authors' justifications of an apparently frivolous pursuit offers insight into the ways that early modern Chinese intellectuals "impersonated" new and prestigious roles as legitimate scholars. Angelika Messner investigates physicians in 17th century China who were involved in a process of re-creating professional identities in the context of a social system that no longer supported them. Cheryl Crowley discusses the work of 18th century Japanese _haikai_ poets associated with the Yahantei school who emulated the ideal of the Chinese scholar-poet in their efforts to claim social and cultural capital. Matthew Fraleigh explores the close identification of the 19th century Japanese intellectual Narushima Ryuhoku with the Chinese poet Tao Yuanming, showing how the persona of the virtuous poet-recluse could be fashioned into a symbol of political and ethical engagement well into the Meiji period, far removed from the time and place in which it originated. "Tilling New Fields of Erudition: Modes of Impersonating _Pulu_ Authorship" Martina Siebert, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science From the Song period onward Chinese scholars engaged in a special genre of writing dedicated to studies of nature and material culture that cultivated a new field in erudition. These writings were labeled "_pulu_" (treatises and registers) both in traditional bibliography and by the authors themselves. In part, _pulu_ corresponded to standards of commentaries on flora and fauna mentioned in the Book of Odes and the coordinates set by the "regional products" (_tu chan_) chapters in local gazetteers. Still, monographs that exclusively dealt with chrysanthemums, snakes or ink slabs were without precedent. The _pulu_'s focus on individual topics, and the literary form in which writers presented them, were altogether new. Because _pulu_ were neither useful for political concerns nor helpful in fostering scholarly careers, scholarly authors tilling this new field at the periphery of the learned landscape invariably felt the need to justify these time-consuming philological and practical endeavors. They thus had to invent for themselves new roles as authors worth impersonating. This paper analyzes the different modes of impersonating authorship in _pulu_ writing. It asks how authors differentiated their approaches from those followed in poetry, local history, pharmacopoeia or encyclopedic writing; how they justified their endeavors; and how they and others positioned this new genre of writing in their biographies. Systematic research into _pulu_ writing has only recently begun. Exploration of the making and reception of _pulu_ provides new possibilities for understanding erudite engagement and impersonation of authorial and scholarly roles outside conventional fields of learning. "Constituting new medical identities in 17th century China" Angelika Messner, Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel In 17th century China, physicians no longer clearly belonged either to the category of "heredity physicians" (_shiyi_) nor to that of "scholar- physicians" (_ruyi_), Despite the fact that this historical binary "_shiyi--ruyi_" no longer functioned, the demarcation was still used in various rhetorical contexts: in particular, medical texts and their paratexts (i.e., prefaces and epilogues), as well as local histories of this period indicate that we must confront a phenomenon of volatile identities which continually emerged and changed in response to the exigencies of the times. For instance, a _shengyuan_(licentiate) was educated with the aim to participate in higher level examinations, and ultimately get a post in the bureacracy. However, during this period many failed; furthermore, the demographic situation was such that in many cases, more candidates passed than posts were available. As a result, a new sense of medical identity began to emerge at this time in which we can observe the accentuation of the phenomenon of "impersonation." This was one which referred to extremely flexible and variable matrices as "cartographic tools" for detecting, explaining and curing diseases, and technical terms such as _bianzheng_ (differentiating pattern, syndrome, symptoms) served as new labels for medical practice. Moreover, some physicians emphasized their role as mediums for the application of genuine medical skills which were said to have been transferred to them from immortals. As I shall argue, these aspects can be seen as fundamental to the constituting of new medical identities in 17th century China. "Pleasure and Transcendence: _Haikai_ Poets' Literati Personae" Cheryl Crowley, Emory University Eighteenth-century Japanese _haikai_ poetry had a close connection with Chinese poetry. A defining characteristic of _haikai_ is its inclusion of a _haigon_ (_haikai_ word), frequently of Chinese origin, and much _haikai_ either alludes to Chinese literature or even explicitly imitates it. In the eighteenth century, not only did _haikai_ poets frequently compose Chinese poetry themselves, but many of them followed lifestyles that were ostensible efforts to take on the personae of the Chinese poets and artists they most admired, like Tao Yuanming, Wang Wei, Li Bo, and Su Shi. The Yahantei School of Yosa Buson (1716-1783), the _haikai_ poet and _nanga_ ('southern" Chinese style) painter, was an important center of this phenomenon. My paper examines key examples from the diverse array of works associated with the Yahantei School: _haikai_ verse and prose, poetic almanacs, and paintings (both _haiga_ and _nanga_). I explore the ways in which this community of _haikai_ poets - largely made up of commoners whose social status denied them other means of advancement - worked to personify the Chinese models they so admired, and in the process gain access to the acquisition and assertion of social and cultural influence. "Plucking chrysanthemums: The Persona of Tao Yuanming in the Work of Narushima Ryuhoku" Matthew Fraleigh, Brandeis University The prose and poetry of Tao Yuanming (375-427) have long endured as sources of inspiration not only for generations of Chinese literati but also for Japanese writers working within the _kanshibun_ tradition. Many of these later writers went beyond simple allusion to Tao Yuanming's works, performatively invoking his literary persona to claim an affinity with the Six Dynasties poet and the reclusive, pastoral sensibility he had come to embody. The nineteenth-century poet, scholar, and journalist Narushima Ryuhoku (1837-1884) is one later Japanese literary figure whose pronounced interest in Tao Yuanming and recurring literary identifications with his persona have been read as definitive evidence of a sort of political disengagement. Yet a closer examination of the various ways in which Ryuhoku drew upon the Tao Yuanming tradition in his poetry, essays, and other works shows that Ryuhoku's invocations were no simple or consistent statement of ideological allegiance. By emphasizing discrete aspects of the Tao Yuanming tradition on different occasions, Ryuhoku could make the recluse poet’s persona function by turns as the epitome of indifference to public affairs or as an emblem for intensely felt political loyalty; as a symbol of resigned retirement, but also as an exponent of aggressive intervention. This paper charts the striking transformations in Ryuhoku's use of the Tao Yuanming figure over time, demonstrating how this classical literary persona constituted a referential repository to be shaped, shifted, and variously spun to meet the emerging circumstances both of the poet and of Japan as a whole. Discussant: Benjamin Ridgway, Valparaiso University -------------------- Panel II: Live from Edo, It's Saturday Night: Ticklish Tales of Text, Image, and Performance in Tokugawa Japan In its open defiance of the literary, dramatic, and cultural past, early modern Japan (1600-1868) saw an increase in the incorporation of humor -- be it scatological, witty, or absurd. It is easy to suggest that this rise in humor as a mode in numerous arts and genres may have to do with the emergence of a new and unique urban-commoner class in the ballooning city of Edo, a class who needed to let off steam by laughing at themselves as well as at the ruling elite. Scholarship has hardly explored this phenomenon in greater depth until recently, perhaps on account of the difficulty of Edo-period texts, especially their wordplay, highly topical allusions, and concealed parodies. And yet consideration of this humor allows us to understand and appreciate the popular imagination of the day and to assess the impact on the Japanese of the twenty-first century. This moderated panel brings together scholars working on humor to explore its contours in literature, theater, and narrative arts. Talks will broach: the humor of story books (_hanashibon_); the stage and literary humor of Ichikawa Danjuro II (specifically his use of visual juxtapositions or _mitate_, and_ haikai_ and comic _serifu_); and the humorous tension between center and periphery in popular travel literature and comic storytelling. ABSTRACTS "Standing Up" to the Past: Saint Narukami's Sexy _Mitate_" Charo D'Etcheverry, University of Wisconsin at Madison _ Mitate_ -- the juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated people, categories, or objects -- cuts a wide swath in Edo period pictorial humor, spanning both the satirical and the laughably incongruous. It plays a similar role in Edo fiction, as the alternately critical and simply silly evocations of _The Tale of Genji_ in Ihara Saikaku's _Life of an Amorous Man_ attest. This paper considers the role of both kinds of _mitate_ humor in the popular kabuki play _Saint Narukami and the God Fudo_. From staging to intertexts, this play, I will argue, presents a particularly effective example of _mitate_'s power to "stand up" to the literary past and "see"it differently--in terms that both flatter and critique the present. "Ichikawa Danjuro II: Writing Laughter for the Stage and for the Page" Laurence R. Kominz, Portland State University Ichikawa Danjuro II, who dominated the Edo kabuki stage from the 1710s to the 1750s, was a prolific writer of kabuki _serifu_, diaries, and _haikai_. He was widely published (thirty-four _serifu bon_, four diaries, numerous _haikai _contributions to his own and others’ anthologies) and widely read, probably initially because he was a celebrity author. Some of his writing for kabuki is considered masterful even today. This presentation will consider Danjuro II’s _haikai_ and comic _serifu_. What were his approaches to humor intended for the stage and for the page, and what sort of relationship was Danjuro, the author, attempting to establish with his readers and audiences? I will compare his use of parody, satire, punning and tongue-twisting, travesty and burlesque in _haikai_ and comic _serifu_. "Center and Periphery in the Humor of the Edo Period" Matthew W. Shores, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa Although it had long been common practice in Japan to poke fun at the backwardness of provincial locals, during the seventeenth century writers like Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) and Kaibara Ekiken (1630-1714) began treating these locals more objectively. Author Jippensha Ikku (1765-1831) took this trend a step further in his great comic travel-novel, _Shanks' Mare_ (_Tokaidochu hizakurige_, 1802-1809), when he reversed the old cliche's by having his city-slicker protagonists, _Edokko_ commoners Kitahachi and Yajirobe, be the butt of all the jokes. Ikku’s book was met with wild praise, and _Shanks' Mare_ inspired the new comic storytelling subgenre of humorous travel anecdotes (_tabibanashi_). This paper addresses this subgenre as well as _Shanks' Mare_, exploring the humor of the trope of the bumbling city slicker. Furthermore, drawing on non-fictional travel journals and other sources, I explore the effect of humorous travel anecdotes on the way that traveling commoners actually viewed themselves. "_Hanashibon_ and the City: Comic Storytelling and the Urban Imagination in Early Modern Japan" Zane Torretta, Columbia University The early years of the Edo period (1600-1868) witnessed the birth of a new literary genre of jocular tales that ranged in length from two sentences to two pages; called "story books" (_hanashibon_), the genre incorporated techniques from both oral tradition and written literature and recast Japan's rural-based storytelling tradition in terms of the dreams, anxieties, and hopes of commoners in new urban space. Although the genre is among the least-known facets of Edo culture, _hanashibon_ proved to be the period's longest-lasting literary genre and one of its most formative, as its authors wrote new works from approximately 1615 until the early years after the Meiji Restoration in 1868 and created a network of influence that impacted every comic genre in the period. Despite being overlooked as a minor genre, _hanashibon_ and its counterparts provide a key to analyzing the changing metropolitan landscape in the Edo period, especially the aspirations of urban commoners, in large part because they were free of the didactic frame that dominated other prose fiction genres; _hanashibon_ existed in an undefined zone outside the bounds of the recognized literary spheres and thereby avoided the strict censorship that the Tokugawa Neo-Confucian legal and ethical apparatus imposed on texts or genres that were considered to be indecent or deficient in moral value. This fact enabled the _hanashibon_ genre to reflect and engage in the shifting cultural imagination of the city throughout the Edo period, and caused the genre to function as a medium of exchange between elite cultures and urban popular cultures. Discussant: Adam Kern, Harvard University ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Forwarded by Philp Brown The Ohio State University for The Early Modern Japan Network ****************************************************************** To post to H-ASIA simply send your message to: <H-ASIA@h-net.msu.edu> For holidays or short absences send post to: <firstname.lastname@example.org> with message: SET H-ASIA NOMAIL Upon return, send post with message SET H-ASIA MAIL H-ASIA WEB HOMEPAGE URL: http://h-net.msu.edu/~asia/