Abstract This essay addresses the problem of memory and forgetting in Chu Tien-hsin's novella “The Old Capital.” In “The Old Capital,” the heroine called “you” is a second-generation mainlander in Taiwan. With the transition of power from mainlander government to inlander government, the heroine has to face the problem of erasure of memory due to the political manipulation in the name of “localization” by the inlander government.This essay reads the heroine's status of existence illustrated in “The Old Capital” by using the critique of place-basedness, a key concept in Sinophone studies. Place-basedness refers to the complex but unique history of Taiwan as a place that allows pluralistic imagination of its inhabitants. By showing both the cultural and political sides of the heroine's peculiar status of existence in Taipei, which is as a minor within the periphery of the greater China, this essay aims to shed light on the tactics of historical narrative of individuals who cannot be identified by relatively stable concepts based on the discourse of “Chineseness,” such as nationalism and languages, thereby providing insight, namely tactics of political intervention of memory and identity formation, into understanding of minor Sinophone literatures.
The Myanmar military seized power in a coup in February 2021. Senior General Min Aung Hlaing justified the takeover by alleging extensive voter fraud in the 2020 general election. The coup soon provoked an immense popular protest in Myanmar comparable to the 8888 and the 2007 Safran uprisings. The revival of military regime is now a serious worry after having a civilian rule since 2011. This article attempts to evaluate the meaning of this ten years.
A distinctive feature of Singapore Chinese society from the 19th century to the first half of the 1900s was its division into five major Bang groups (social and economic communities based on their dialects and birthplaces) and loose segregation. The Chinese locals lived their social and economic lives according to the structure of the Bang groups to which they belonged, and most of them communicated only in their local dialects. The literature on the history of Singapore Chinese society has emphasized that the foundation of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) in 1906 significantly changed these social circumstances. The main function of the SCCC was to control the commercial and economic activities of Chinese locals; additionally, it had a social function, that is, to get several Bang groups to harmonize and cooperate and thus to gain leadership over the entire Singapore Chinese society. Several studies pointed out that the foundation of the SCCC, because of the establishment of the social function of this organization, created the new social structure of Singapore Chinese society that the SCCC can bridge the division between Bang groups and mobilize them for several social activities of the SCCC. The research questions are: How was the social function of SCCC constructed during its establishment in 1906, and what was the social and historical background to this? What were the differences and commonalities in the social circumstances of Singapore Chinese society between, before and after the foundation of the SCCC in 1906? To answer these questions, it is necessary to distinguish the main functions of the SCCC from its social function, and to only focus on the latter and analyze it in detail from the perspective of the social transformation of Singapore Chinese society during this period. This paper discusses the process of establishment of the SCCC and its social activities in its early years as an attempt to bridge the division between Bang groups. These discussions reveal the social and historical background that allowed the SCCC to perform social functions to gain leadership over the entire Singapore Chinese society. This sheds light on the process of the social transformation of the Singapore Chinese society and the importance of the SCCC in the latter half of the 1900s.
Abstract While Britain, Imperial Russia, and China (Qing) contended for supremacy around Tibet, the Indian tea producers and the Indian government planned to expand its sales route by increasing its production in the 1880s. However, the plan failed in Tibet even though the Tibetans already had the habit of drinking tea. This paper examines the reason why India's tea trade with Tibet at the end of the 19th century failed based on the notes written by Westerners and the like. The results show that the failure was caused not only by political factors, but also by economic and cultural factors. In addition to failure of negotiations, Indian tea producers suffered because of their lack of skills to make brick tea, which the Tibetans liked. As a result, the Tibetans did not like both the taste as well as the flavor of brick tea made from Indian tea. Moreover, the Chinese and Tibetans hoped to retain the profits that they received from tea trade in all the areas around Himalayas. In the late 19th century, Britain established an “Indian tea network” throughout the world, however, they failed to involve Tibet into the network. The failure identifies a traditional trade network in this area and brings to light their unwavering sociocultural preference.