Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Was Yinyuan a Chinese Spy?

Prof. Chen Jinhua at British Columbia recently asked me if Yinyuan was a Chinese spy. It is an interesting question. I have seen similar speculations in some works on Yinyuan. Indeed, the Japanese were alert about possible espionage attempts from China especially during their persecution of Christianity. The bakufu kept an effective intelligence program to collect information on China during the Ming-Qing transition.

Yinyuan was asked to stay in Fumonji 普門寺 in Osaka for six years. One explanation for this long detention was that he was suspicious of being a Chinese spy. However, I didn't see any primary sources directly accused of him or providing any evidence. My personal view is that it was highly unlikely that he had this secret mission. The first question is who he worked for. He could not work for the Manchus. Then he must have worked for Zheng Chenggong 鄭成功 whose ships escorted him to Nagasaki. Then why Zheng Chenggong wanted to spy on Japan.

This spy theory may have something to do with Mukai Genshō 向井元升 who criticized Yinyuan in his Chishihen 知恥篇. I analyzed his essay in Chapter 6 of my book. He knew that Yinyuan had sent his disciples to contact his teacher Feiyin Tongrong who was in the Hangzhou area around that time. He surmised that because the Hangzhou area was occupied by the Manchus, their frequent communication must have divulged information about Japan. Kumazawa Banzan 熊沢蕃山 shared a similar view. (For this discussion, see my book, Leaving for the Rising Sun, page 182.)

However, in the eighteenth century, when the Qing dynasty secured its power, both Kangxi and Yongzheng sent spies to Japan. Kangxi sent a certain Manchu official Mo'ersen 莫爾森 from Hangzhou Silk Manufacturing Office 杭州織造. (Prof. Lynn Struve was very curious about his identity and is researching on him.) Yongzheng's Zhejiang governor Li Wei 李衛 sent Zhu Laizheng 朱來章. The suspected spy ship according to Oba Osamu is the Siamese Vessel no. 2 of the year Kyoho 14 (1729). Oba did mention a Chinese monk who was an informant and Zhu Laizheng obtained useful information from him. (Oba, Books and Boats, pp. 234-235.)

Chinese monk Quanyan Guangchang's tomb at Fukusaiji © Jiang Wu

This monk's name is Quanyan Guangchang  全巖廣昌, the sixth abbot of Fukusaiji 福濟寺. I mentioned him briefly in my book page 224, and his possible espionage activities in page 295, note 30. We know quite a bit about him because Ka'i hentai 華夷變態 has preserved the affidavit he submitted to the Nagasaki officials when he arrived at Nagasaki from China. His full biography can be found in Obaku bunka jinmei jiten 黃檗文化人名辭典, pages 185-6. I visited Fukusaiji during the summer of 2013. Although the old temple structure was completely destroyed by the A-bomb, Quanyan's memorial pagoda remains there.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Index and list of Chinese characters

Today, I finished reviewing the typeset index. There are a few minor mistakes. Because I have to delete all Chinese characters in the text in order to save space, I list the Chinese characters in the index as much as I can. So the index is partially the glossary of Chinese characters. There are still some minor Chinese characters I decide not to include. Anyway, I hope this is the last job I have to do and the typeset PDF is ready to be printed.

Friday, September 19, 2014

blurb and backcover of Leaving for the Rising Sun

I am glad that the backcover is ready for the paperback edition. Thank Prof. Lynn Struve for her kind words.

Back cover
“In this wonderfully informative study, Jiang Wu extends the significance of his previous, groundbreaking book, Enlightenment in Dispute, from China into the greater East Asian sphere of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Through the career and legacy of the eminent monk Yinyuan Longqi (1592–1673) in China and Japan, Wu penetrates the crisis of cultural legitimacy that beset East Asia, particularly Tokugawa Japan, after the demise of the Ming dynasty.”—Lynn Struve, Professor of Chinese History, Indiana University, Bloomington

In 1654 Zen Master Yinyuan traveled from China to Japan. Seven years later his monastery, Manpukuji, was built and he had founded a new tradition, called Obaku.  In this sequel to his 2008 book, Enlightenment in Dispute, Jiang Wu tells the story of the tremendous obstacles faced by Yinyuan, drawing parallels between his experiences and the broader political and cultural context in which he lived.
Yinyuan claimed to have inherited the “Authentic Transmission of the Linji Sect.” After arriving in Japan, he was able to persuade the Shogun to build a new Ming-style monastery for the establishment of his Obaku school. His arrival in Japan coincided with a series of historical developments, including the Ming-Qing transition, the consolidation of early Tokugawa power, the growth of Nagasaki trade, and rising Japanese interests in Chinese learning and artistic pursuits. While Yinyuan’s travel is known in scholarly circles, the significance of his journey within East Asian history has not been fully explored. Leaving for the Rising Sun provides a unique opportunity to reexamine the crisis in the continent and responses from other parts of East Asia. Using Yinyuan’s story as a bridge between China and Japan, Wu demonstrates that the monk’s significance is far greater than the temporary success of a religious sect. Rather, Yinyuan imported to Japan a new discourse of authenticity that gave rise to indigenous movements that challenged, and led to the eventual breakup of, a China-centered world order.

Jiang Wu is an associate professor in Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona. His research interests include Chinese Buddhism, especially Chan/Zen Buddhism and the Chinese Buddhist canon, Sino-Japanese Buddhist exchanges, and the application of spatial analysis tools in the study of religion and culture. He is the author of Enlightenment in Dispute: The Reinvention of Chan Buddhism in Seventeenth-century China (2008).

Friday, September 12, 2014

cover design of Leaving for the Rising Sun

I am glad that the cover design is ready to go and it was approved by Manpukuji as well. I showed it around and people liked it. When my first book was published, I asked for three designs to choose from. I posted them in my office and asked everyone passing by to vote. People chose the one which was not my first choice. But it turned out great. For this one, although it is the only design, after discussion with colleagues and family, this might be my best choice.

Today, I also finished the index. So officially, this book project is completed.

Cover Design for Jiang Wu's Leaving for the Rising Sun by Oxford University Press

Friday, September 5, 2014

Yinyuan's Hometown Fuqing 福清

Recently, a Fuqing native who is a Ph.D student in Hong Kong contacted me after reading my paper "Taikun's Master from China." He was amazed by Yinyuan's achievement. Yes. All Fuqing people should be proud of him. Not only Yinyuan, his teacher Feiyin Tongrong also hailed from Fuqing.

Fuqing map

I have been to Fuqing only once, during my research trip in the summer of 2001. In recent history, Fuqing is famous for legal and illegal immigration during the 1980s. There are a lot of Fuqing people in Japan. (People from its neighboring country Changle 长乐chose to go to New York, according to local sayings.) However, this is not a remote and culturally impoverished place. It is rich in culture. The Song New Confucian thinker Zhu Xi came here at least twice to spread his teaching. Another Song scholar Lin Xiyi 林希逸  was a Fuqing native. His family clan still thrived in the late Ming. One of his descendant became Yinyuan's disciple, the famed Jifei Ruyi 即非如一 in Nagasaki, who published his ancestor's work in Japan. Fuqing produced many jinshi degree holders throughout history. The late Ming prime minister Ye Xianggao 叶向高 was a Fuqing native and it is evident that Ye introduced the Jesuit missionary Guilio Aleni 艾儒略 to Fujian, who temporarily resided in Fuqing. Therefore, Fuqing had a small Christian population in Ming and Qing. Jesuit archival materials in Rome proved it.

Local gazetteer also says that the soil in Fuqing was so poor that many became salt workers, fishers, sailors, or even pirates. Japanese wako pirates sacked Fuqing at least twice and Qi Jiguang fought them with a big victory. It is clear that the land is not rich enough to support its population. I read the local gazetteer of Jianyang country in norther Fujian, where its magistrate complained that monks in his territory often came from Fujian and were often family members and relatives.

Remember that Fuqing is also called Futang 福唐 and Yurong 玉融 in historical sources.