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Sinology and the Political Thoughts of Modern East Asia: Nationalism and the World Order

Issue 3: Sinology and the Political Thoughts of Modern East Asia: Nationalism and the World Order
Proposed by Hung-Yueh Lan at the Institute of Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University, this project focuses on the resource of Sinology (such as Confucianism and the Chinese language) shared by the Sinospheric countries in the inter-Asian societies.  It examines the ways that the resources of Sinology have facilitated a kind of national knowledge production in  modern Japan and China, including the discourse of Asianism, that of regionalism, and that of world order.   This project also attends to the ways in which historical memories have been utilized and reconstructed in the context of Sinology.
This research will investigate issues of Japanese nationalism and Sinology derived from the Japanese National Morals Debate; the “same written system” imagination and the “rule of right [wangdao]” concept that were employed by Sinologists in the Meiji period; the Asianists, and the world order of the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere, and the development of the discourse of Chinese nationalism and Asianism in modern China. This project teases out how the discourse of “national morals” evolved in China, how Lai Shanyang's Informal History of Japan and other books were circulated in China, as well as how the Japanese intellectual resources contributed to Kang You-Wei's political thoughts. Building on the examination of the above intellectual context, this research attends to interpretations regarding the concepts of “Wangdao [the rule of right],” the “tributary system,” and “Tianxia [all under heaven]” to explore how contemporary Chinese scholars utilize and restructure Confucianism in order to overcome the nation-state system of the modern West, and imagine the future of not only China but also a world order. Finally, with a scope of East Asian intellectual history, this research further analyzes the similarities and differences between, on the one side, the contemporary Chinese nationalism and the discourse of regional order (or even world order) centering around China, and, on the other, the Japanese nationalism, regionalism, and its discourse of world order.   This research will also discuss how the history and politics of Taiwan have been impacted.