Mar 13, 2014

Knowledge, Identity and Modernity Problematique


"Modern China Studies in Japan : Can Knowledge Emancipate Status?," Social Science in China 28, 1 (January 2007): 168-179. (with Chih-yu Shih and Gui-zh Li) (in Chinese) 


Japanese Sinologists are confronted by two questions : whether Europe and America should be resisted and whether China should be excluded. Four research perspectives on China studies in relation to these two issues are put forward , represented by Shiratori Kurakichi , Naito Konan , Tsuda Soukichi and Takeuchi Yoshimi respectively. They each pursued emancipation from a humble status , but according to Youzou Mizouguchi , all failed. Mizouguchi himself attempted to use a new strategy of starting from the historical base of China and doing what he called "alienating" Japan for the sake of China. This enabled him to move freely in and out of China , which meant moving freely in and out of Japan as well. But his failure to define the scope of historical base meant that he was unable to decide what counted as being for the sake of China and what counted as endowing China with subjectivity , so that anybody's actions could be seen as being for the sake of China. At this time his emancipation strategy also failed.