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Embracing 'Asia' in China and Japan


Embracing 'Asia' in China and Japan

Asianism Discourse and the Contest for Hegemony, 1912-1933
Palgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series

von: Torsten Weber

103,52 €

Verlag: Palgrave Macmillan
Format: PDF
Veröffentl.: 13.12.2017
ISBN/EAN: 9783319651545
Sprache: englisch

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Beschreibungen

This book examines how Asianism became a key concept in mainstream political discourse between China and Japan and how it was used both domestically and internationally in the contest for political hegemony. It argues that, from the early 1910s to the early 1930s, this contest changed Chinese and Japanese perceptions of ‘Asia’, from a concept that was foreign-referential, foreign-imposed, peripheral, and mostly negative and denied (in Japan) or largely ignored (in China) to one that was self-referential, self-defined, central, and widely affirmed and embraced. As an ism, Asianism elevated ‘Asia’ as a geographical concept with culturalist-racialist implications to the status of a full-blown political principle and encouraged its proposal and discussion vis-à-vis other political doctrines of the time, such as nationalism, internationalism, and imperialism. By the mid-1920s, a great variety of conceptions of Asianism had emerged in the transnational discourse between Japan and China. Terminologically and conceptually, they not only paved the way for the appropriation of ‘Asia’ discourse by Japanese imperialism from the early 1930s onwards but also facilitated the embrace of Sino-centric conceptions of Asianism by Chinese politicians and collaborators.
1 Introduction.- 2 Studying Asianism: The Impact and Legacy of Takeuchi Yoshimi.- 3 Asia becomes an ‘ism’: Early Chinese and Japanese Asianism.- 4 Asianism during World War One: Macro-Nationalism or Micro-Worldism?.- 5 The Radicalization of ‘Asia’ in the post-Versailles Period.- 6 The Regionalization of ‘Asia’: Asianism from Below and its Failure.- 7 Asianism from Above: The Realisation of ‘Asia’ in Manchuria.- 8 Conclusion.
Torsten Weber is Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Humanities Section at the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) in Tokyo, Japan. 
This book examines how Asianism became a key concept in mainstream political discourse between China and Japan and how it was used both domestically and internationally in the contest for political hegemony. It argues that, from the early 1910s to the early 1930s, this contest changed Chinese and Japanese perceptions of ‘Asia’, from a concept that was foreign-referential, foreign-imposed, peripheral, and mostly negative and denied (in Japan) or largely ignored (in China) to one that was self-referential, self-defined, central, and widely affirmed and embraced. As an ism, Asianism elevated ‘Asia’ as a geographical concept with culturalist-racialist implications to the status of a full-blown political principle and encouraged its proposal and discussion vis-à-vis other political doctrines of the time, such as nationalism, internationalism, and imperialism. By the mid-1920s, a great variety of conceptions of Asianism had emerged in the transnational discourse between Japan and China. Terminologically and conceptually, they not only paved the way for the appropriation of ‘Asia’ discourse by Japanese imperialism from the early 1930s onwards but also facilitated the embrace of Sino-centric conceptions of Asianism by Chinese politicians and collaborators.
Explores the emergence of a new, affirmative discourse on Asia in the early twentieth century in the context of shifting power relations between the two countries and the rest of the worldContributes to the transnational history of geopolitical thought in East Asia, transcending national borders and moving beyond national historiographiesAnalyses and compares different affirmations of Asianism, as well as criticisms and rejections of the concept, to offer a more complex understanding of Asianism than previous studies have been able to provide
Explores the emergence of a new, affirmative discourse on Asia in the early twentieth century in the context of shifting power relations between the two countries and the rest of the worldContributes to the transnational history of geopolitical thought in East Asia, transcending national borders and moving beyond national historiographiesAnalyses and compares different affirmations of Asianism, as well as criticisms and rejections of the concept, to offer a more complex understanding of Asianism than previous studies have been able to provide
“Torsten Weber offers the most nuanced account of different Asianisms that existed before Japanese official appropriation of this internationalist vision of solidarity after the Manchurian Incident, and in this way, he helps us better understand the political significance of the complex historical memory battles over the meaning of Asianism today. An essential reading for those interested in understanding the entanglement of both the emancipatory and imperialist aspects of Pan-Asianism.” (Cemil Aydin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA)

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