Friday, October 24, 2014

Yinyuan's Secret Mission to Japan

Was Yinyuan a secret envoy to Japan on behalf of Zheng Chenggong to request military aid? Chapter Four of my book seems to be a crucial because I tried to offer a new explanation of his role in Sino-Japanese relation. I wrote a short abstract for this chapter.

This chapter offers a new interpretation of Yinyuans success in Japan by situating his arrival into the bakufus agenda of establishing a Japan-centered world order. The first part of the chapter analyzes the coincidental meeting between Yinyuan and the 1655 Korean embassy at Osaka and the relation between his audience with the shogun and the rejection of Zheng Chenggongs request for military aid in 1658. Highlighting a series of measures the bakufu took to promote Manpukuji, such as requesting Chinese abbots regular audiences with the shogun, this chapter argues that Yinyuan and his Manpukuji had been institutionalized as representing the role of China in a Japan-centered world order.

 I first published this chapter in Journal of East Asian History as "Taikun's Zen Master from China: Yinyuan, the Tokugawa Bakufu, and the Founding of Manpukuji in 1661", which is downloadable from the journal's website. This paper is also translated into Chinese and will be incorporated in a conference volume based on a meeting at Fudan University in 2013. Recently, I presented this chapter in the summer of 2014 at Institute of World History of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Prof. Xu Jianxin 徐建新 is so nice to write a report for it. (He is an expert of Gwanggaeto Stele 好太王碑.) The original report can be accessed from the following link. But I pasted the Chinese text below for those who can read Chinese.

Lecture at Institute of World History of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

2014年09月22日 14:07 来源:中国世界史研究网 作者:徐建新

  吴疆指出,隐元于1654年到达长崎。仅仅一年之后,他便被邀请到现在大阪附近的普門寺。这一举动明显违反幕府将华人限制在长崎的法令。在普门寺几年后,也就是1658年的冬天,隐元被请到江户(东京),受到第四代将军德川家纲和大老酒井忠胜的接见,成为德川幕府建立以来正式接见的第一位中国人。两年以后,也就是1660年, 在酒井忠胜的斡旋下,幕府允许隐元常驻日本,并在京都宇治太和山赐地建立萬福寺。从此以后,中国僧人担任萬福寺住持成为惯例。他们与当时朝鲜通信史和琉球使节一样,在将军即位时奉令到江户觐见祝贺。
  吴疆认为,不应把隱元的角色局限在禅学佛教世界,而应将他置于一个更为宽广的政治和国际的环境背景中来加以观察。为了解释隱元非凡的成功, 必须要仔细地探討早期德川幕府官僚政治的转变和以“日本为中心的世界秩序”的形成。
  在十七世纪,“日本型华夷意识”的新心态开始在日本的政治家和知识份子之間显現, 这种意识以排斥中国为中心的朝贡体系的统治为特征。这个新世界的秩序 主要是以日本和朝鮮的外交关系为主,其次是以和琉球虚构的“外国”关系为基础。为了这个目的, 在对邻近国家所有的外交文件中, 幕府创造了一个新的外交名词来称呼将军: 那就是“大君”。这个“大君外交”的意识形态基础是僭夺了中國“华夷之辩”的论述话语并將中国中心主义的意涵剥离,而代之以 “神國”的日本民族主义理念。在这种形势下, 在幕府的眼中, 隱元不单单只是一个有成就的禅師,同時也是一个来自中国的代表, 如果考虑到自从16世紀中期以後, 中日之間已經沒有正式的外交关系的事实, 他的存在對日本来說是象征性的寓意。可以看出,中国在幕府的潛意识中佔有非常重要的地位,日本在它所想要建立的新世界的秩序中需要有中國的存在和參與。

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Portrait of Buddhist Monks of the Obaku Sect at Cleveland Art Museum

Portrait of Yueshan Daozong

Recently, Prof. Susan Huang at Rice University pointed to me an interesting group portrait of Obaku patriarchs in the collection of Cleveland Art Museum. I immediately examined the image posted on their website and ordered a print for study. According to the website, this group portrait was acquired in 2003. The inscription has the painter's name Nanyue Yueshan 南嶽悅山  and two seals: Yueshan 悅山 and Daozong 道宗. It is clear that this work was painted by the Chinese monk Yueshan Daozong (1629-1709), who was the seventh abbot of Manpukuji and a dharma heir of Mu'an Xingtao 木庵性瑫. He was known as a good calligrapher. But it is rarely known that he was good at portrait painting as well. It is still not clear who were these monks, Chinese, Japanese, or mixed? I have to wait until I receive a better image of this interesting picture. His name was mentioned in my book but only in a passing way.

Portrait of Buddhist Monks of Obaku Sect from Cleveland Art Museum

Friday, October 10, 2014

The New Release day of my book is Nov. 15

Today, the project manager at Newgen KnowledgeWorks informed me that my book Leaving for the Rising Sun now goes to production and the new release day is Nov. 15, a month earlier than the projected release day. A few months ago, the promotion department at Oxford University Press had told me that the book is going to come out earlier and will be available at AAR. This turns out to be true. I must say I now have a very positive view about outsourcing publishing works to companies such as Newgen KnowledgeWorks, which is very professional, punctual, and transparent. The author was informed in the beginning about the publication plan which had been followed exactly. This is not the experience I had with other university presses. I only wished they could have hired a copyeditor who knows more about East Asia.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Japanese Youth who Loves Koxinga 国姓爷 (Zheng Chenggong)

A Japanese fan of Zheng Chenggong, Hirado, Japan, ©Jiang Wu 
Last summer (2013), I went to Hirado 平户 to visit Zheng Chenggong's birth place. Although Yinyuan and Zheng Chenggong never met, Yinyuan was escorted to Japan by Zheng Chenggong's ships from Amoy. Zheng was aware of Yinyuan's success and mentioned him in one of his "state letters" to the Japanese shogun. Yinyuan never went to Hirado. But before moving to Nagasaki, Chinese settlers congregated in Hirado, as the English and the Dutch. Zheng was born here and traveled alone to China at the age of seven.

Unexpectedly, I met a Japanese youth who was a fan of Zheng Chenggong. In such a mushiatsui weather, he wore a Ming-style robe and hat, holding a folding fan with Zheng Chenggong's name on it. He said he came with his uncle from Kumamoto to see the sites related to Zheng Chenggong. His uncle perhaps never spoke to a Chinese and kept saying that Japanese do not like guns, perhaps in fear of a possible Chinese invasion someday. I kept laughing.

I said I want to take a picture of him and he posed very well. I am sorry that I posted his photo in my blog without his consent. The date is August 16, 2013. The location is in front of St. Francis Xavier Memorial Church at Hirado.