The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Lost Kingdoms

afro-textured-art:

Lost Kingdoms

Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century

April 14–July 27, 2014

This is the first international loan exhibition to explore the sculptural art produced in the earliest kingdoms of Southeast Asia. From the first millennium onward, powerful kingdoms emerged in the region, embracing much of Indic culture to give political and religious expression to their identities. Early Hinduism (Brahmanism) and Buddhism arrived early, first witnessed by Sanskrit inscriptions, and shortly thereafter by a proliferation of large-scale religious imagery.

Comments: I’m sure there will plenty of images of the the Buddha with curly hair.

Collective resources from Fordham University, upon request. Please note this post is edited to be Asia-Centric, though the original source does contain global LGBTQ information. All commentary is original to the source, and not Asian History’s. NOTE: Asianhistory cannot vouch for any of the following websites still being updated, in existence, or 100% helpful. 
Via Fordham University’s People with a History: An Online Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans* History, last updated 2007. 
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Chapter 2: The Ancient Near East and Egypt
The oldest human cultures complex enough to be called “civilizations” seem to have emerged in Ancient Iraq and Turkey, and in Egypt. The basic historical distinction between the two areas is that Egypt had a more or less continuous “national” history from the earliest Pharoahs until the rise of Islam, while Iraq, Syria and Anatolia, being much more geographically exposed, were homes to succeeding and not entirely continuous cultures - Sumeria, Akkad, Babylon, Assyria, Persia, Seleucia, to name only a few.
Despite the immense time covered, research into homosexuality seems to have only just begun for these areas, and this is a section of this page that will be developed as more information becomes available. So far much of the discussion is based on Biblical texts, and on the assumption that the hostility of the Hebrew Bible to homosexual practice reflects homosexual activities associated with the surrounding religions.
An area which need more research is evidence of “homoaffectionalism” in these ancient societies: that is relationships based on desire but not necessarily sexual. The epic story of Gilgamesh contains one very important story in this regard.
Texts:
Mesopotamian Law and Homosexuality
Epic of Gilgamesh [extended summary] [At Cambridge]Note that in Tablet I: Cols. 5-6, Gilgamesh relationship with Enkudu is explicitly said to be like that “with a wife”. Some versions, especially summaries, elide the homoeroticism of the text..
The Promise of Inanna to Gender Variants, [At Aztriad]
Myth of Cybele and Attis, [At Aztriad]
Avesta Vendidad: Fargard 8 - Zoroastrian Law Book on Homosexuality [At Avesta Homepage, with links to text in original language]There is some difficulty in dating Zoroastrian scriptures. The Gathas, the presumed writings of Zoroaster, are silent on the subject. The legal texts here were collected in the Vendidad, circa 250-650 CE, and are overtly hostile to male homosexual activity. It has been suggested that they are the root of the Hebrew Scripture’s condemnation - they contain the phrase “Lies with mankind as womankind” for instance. This depends on the assumption that Vendidad is a collection is of much earlier texts. But given the dates the influence may have been from the Hebrew texts. There is a general discussion of Zoroastrianism and Homosexuality on the net.
Chapter 8: Islam
Islam was the last of the great world cultures to emerge. With regard to homosexuality there are polar contrasts. On the one hand The Qur’an seems to condemn homosexuality unequivocally, on the other Muslim societies have shown a great deal of tolerance. From the sexually explicit poems of Al-Andulus [Muslim Spain], to the sexual comedy of The Arabian Nights, to the ecstatic loving of Sufi mystics, to modern Morocco and Tunisia - the Islamic world looked benevolently on men who love [usually younger] men. In India, according to Richard Burton, it was among Muslims, not Hindus, that homosexual eros was most accepted.
The first thing to note is that in some respects Islam has been the most sex-positive of the great world religions: the Christ and the Buddha were both sexually abstinent, but Muhammad was sexually active with a number of wives, and had children. Sex itself was not a bad thing, nor was abstinence desirable.
This sex-positivity of Islam is a starting point for further consideration. So far, until very recently at least, research does not seem to have gone beyond the basics, nor to have escaped the colonialist gaze. The situation is likely to change.
Discussions:
Richard Burton: Terminal Essay, from his edition of the Arabian Nights. Burton’ compilation of data on variety of societies was meant to explain some of the stories in The Nights. In doing so, he provided first overview of Islamic homosexuality.
Edward Carpenter (1884-1929): Iolaus: An Anthology of Friendship [chapter on Arabia and Persia], with extracts from Rumi, Hafiz and Saadi.
Islam and Homosexuality [At Geocities]An extremely homophobic article which claims Islam never tolerated homosexuality.
Texts
The Qur’an on Homosexuality. The full text is available [At CMU]
The Tale of Nur Al-Din Ali and his Son Badr Al-Din Hasan, from The Arabian Nights, translated Sir. Richard Francis Burton. The entire text is available [At Project Gutenberg]
Abu Nawas (c.756-810): Poetry
Sadi: Gulistan, (13th century) Full text of Persian prose/poetry text with significant homoerotic content.
Rumi: Poetry
Websites:
Islam Homepage One of the best Islamic sites, but not sympathetic to gays.
Chapter 26: Ancient China, Japan and Korea 
Discussions:
Homosexuality in the Korean Historical Record [At Utopia-Asia]
A. L. De Silva: Homosexuality and Theravada Buddhism [At BuddhaNet]De Silva discusses the prohibitions for monks in the Vinaya, the figure of the pandaka in the early texts and the application of these texts to lay people.
Peter A. Jackson: The Persistence of Gender: From Ancient Indian Pandakas to Modern Thai Gay-QuingsAustralian Humanities Review, April 1996, [At latrobe.edu.au] On homosexuality in Buddhist countries past and present.
Peter A. Jackson: NonNormative Sex Gender Categories in Theravada Scriptures, Australian Humanities Review, April 1996 [At latrobe.edu.au] Massively information appendix to Jackson’s article.
Robert Aitken: Gay marriage from a Buddhist perspective [At QRD]Aitken is an important figure in American Zen. His discussion here is mainly directed at modern concerns, but he discusses the history.
Chris Berry: Queer Film in East Asia, Australian Humanities Review, July 1996 [At latrobe.edu.au]
Texts
Texts on Chinese Homosexual Tradition
Modern Gay Life in China and Taiwan - Newspaper Reports
Wu Tsao Page [At Sappho Com]China’s foremost Lesbian poet.
Manifesto of 1996 Chinese Tongzhi Conference [At HKGAY]"Tongzhi" is being used in Chinese for Gay. This manifesto directly asserts a historical basis for modern Chinese homosexuals and the differences of Chinese Tongzhi movements with western gay movements.
Websites:
Geschichte der Schwulen und Lesben in Taiwan - History of the Gays and Lesbians in Taiwan [At Free University of Berlin]The site is in English and German. Addresses history since listing of Martial law in 1986. There is an extensive bibliography of German, Chinese, and English works. —>
Sexuality and Edo Culture, 1750 - 1850 Conference site [At U. Indiana]
Yukio Mishima Page [At Geocities]On Japan’s homosexual writer.
Chapter 27: Ancient India
It has proved to be extraordinarily difficult to find much infromation about South Asian homosexuality. Some relevant documents are under “Islam”, (including Richard Burton’s Terminal Essay, in which he claims that homosexual activity was common in Indo-Muslim culture but not Hindu cultures). See also the Buddhist references collected under “China and Japan).
Discussions:
Ramakrishnan: "Bisexuality: identities, behaviors, and politics", Trikone April 1996 [At Internet Archive, from U Texas]
Ian Iqbal Rashid: Naming Names, or How Do You Say ‘Queer’ in ‘South Asian’? [PDF File] [At Rungh]
Texts:
Vatsyayana: Kama Sutra, Part 2. Chap 9, 1883 trans. by Richard Burton. [At Bibliomania.com]On “Mouth Congress” and “different types of eunuchs”.
The Vinaya [Buddhist Monastic Precepts]
Websites:
Shri Krishna as Kali and Lalita [At Shivashakti.com]Although the sexual relationships of Indian gods often follow heterosexual expectations, the individual God/dess may change form and be incarnate as another. This story could be read as gay, lesbian, or multiply transgendered.
Tantrik Links [At Shivashakti.com]Tantricism was the “short path” to Enlightenment in Hinduism and Buddhism. Sexual ecstasy was a particularly important feature, often represented by heterosexual “yab-yum” figures.
Samalinga Collection of South Asian Queer Writings on the WWW
Discussions:
Dennis Altman: On Global Queering [Australian Humanities Review] With Responses from Gary Dowsett, Michael Tan, Donald Morton, Christopher Lane, David Halperin and Fran Martin
Seiichi M. Sunday: Tokyo’s 1st Gay Parade, from Outrageous Tokyo: Japan’s English Language Gay magazine, Nov 1994, [At Internet Archive, from shrine.cyber.ad.jp/~darrell/]
Texts:
Manifesto of 1996 Chinese Tongzhi Conference [At HKGAY]"Tongzhi" is being used in Chinese for Gay. This manifesto directly asserts a historical basis for modern Chinese homosexuals and the differences of Chinese Tongzhi movements with western gay movements.
IGLHRC On-line Resources
Archive of International Lesbian and Gay Press Stories, by Rex Wockner. 
Russian Gay History by Kevin Moss, [At Middlebury]Fairly developed site, with Russian gay links.
Lambda Istanbul The Turkish GLB group maintains an extensive web site. Includes newspaper accounts in both English and Turkish.
Gay Hong Kong An elaborate site. Good for current information
HumrahiA forum for Gays in New Delhi, India
Samalinga Collection of South Asian Queer Writings on the WWW
Bibliographies
Bibliographical Guide to Lesbian and Gay History [Halsall], [Updated November 1998. In HTML and more complete than versions at other websites]This is an extensive bibliographical guide for further research into the history of homosexuality. It is up to date, and will print out at over 110 pages.
Kevin Moss: Russian Gay Studies Bibliography [At Middlebury]
Nonfiction for GBLT Asian/Pacific people [At Geocities]
Archaeology of Gender Bibliography [At Western Michigan]
Intersexuality: An Annotated Bibliography [At Internet Archive, from Holonet.net]
Gender and Ancient Spirituality Bibliography [At Aztriad]
David C. Barnett: Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Issues Annotated Bibliography, [At Earthlink]Focuses on psychology.
Feminist Theory Research [At U Oregon]
LGB Language Use Bibliography [At Internet Archive, from Northwestern U.]
AIDS In Historical Perspective [At CBC Radio] - extensive bibliographical guide to AIDS and other diseases in history
See also: Queer East’s Resources. 

Collective resources from Fordham University, upon request. Please note this post is edited to be Asia-Centric, though the original source does contain global LGBTQ information. All commentary is original to the source, and not Asian History’s. NOTE: Asianhistory cannot vouch for any of the following websites still being updated, in existence, or 100% helpful. 

Via Fordham University’s People with a History: An Online Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans* History, last updated 2007. 

Read More

seanathon23 asked: Could you write about famous LGBT people in Asia and their contributions?

I can give everyone a post that has some Asia-based LGBTQ history links. 

Quick Mod Note —

Unfortunately Tumblr no longer informs me on this blog when I’ve received new messages. This means I’m a fair bit behind on some of the more recent asks, so I’ll be taking a brief break from studies later today to hopefully tackle some of them. 

japaneseaesthetics:

Two Gallinules and Lotus Leaves in Shallow Water in the Rain.  Woodblock print, 20th century, Japan, by artist Soseki. 
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of C. Adrian Rübel
, 1978.417

japaneseaesthetics:

Two Gallinules and Lotus Leaves in Shallow Water in the Rain.  Woodblock print, 20th century, Japan, by artist Soseki. 

Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of C. Adrian Rübel

, 1978.417

(Source: harvardartmuseums.org)

theatlantic:

Two Charts That Put China’s Pollution in Perspective

Everyone “knows” that China is badly polluted. I’ve written over the years, and still believe, that environmental sustainability in all forms is China’s biggest emergency, in every sense: for its people, for its government, for its effect on the world. And yes, I understand that the same is true for modern industrialized life in general. But China is an extreme case, and an extremely important one because of its scale.
Read more. [Image: NASA via Atlantic]

theatlantic:

Two Charts That Put China’s Pollution in Perspective

Everyone “knows” that China is badly polluted. I’ve written over the years, and still believe, that environmental sustainability in all forms is China’s biggest emergency, in every sense: for its people, for its government, for its effect on the world. And yes, I understand that the same is true for modern industrialized life in general. But China is an extreme case, and an extremely important one because of its scale.

Read more. [Image: NASA via Atlantic]

centuriespast:

VajrayoginiDakini (Sarvabuddhadakini)
Tibetan
Philadelphia Museum of Art

centuriespast:

Vajrayogini
Dakini (Sarvabuddhadakini)

Tibetan

Philadelphia Museum of Art

ami-angelwings:

badass-bharat-deafmuslimpunkstar:

An Indian woman, a Japanese woman, and a Syrian woman, all training to be doctors at Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia, 1880s. (Image courtesy Legacy Center, Drexel University College of Medicine Archives, Philadelphia, PA. Image #p0103) (x)

The Indian woman, Dr. Anandi Gopal Joshi, was the first Indian woman to earn a degree in Western medicine, and also believed to be the first Hindu woman to set foot on American soil.
The Japanese woman, Dr. Kei Okami, was the first Japanese woman to obtain a degree in Western Medicine.
The Syrian woman is Dr. Sabat Islambooly.  Her name is spelled incorrectly on that photograph. 
For those interested, here’s more information on other women of color who attended and graduated from Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia in the past, with a focus on the Japanese-American women they accepted during the US WW2 internment of Japanese-Americans.

Wonderful to get further sources. 

ami-angelwings:

badass-bharat-deafmuslimpunkstar:

An Indian woman, a Japanese woman, and a Syrian woman, all training to be doctors at Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia, 1880s. (Image courtesy Legacy Center, Drexel University College of Medicine Archives, Philadelphia, PA. Image #p0103) (x)

The Indian woman, Dr. Anandi Gopal Joshi, was the first Indian woman to earn a degree in Western medicine, and also believed to be the first Hindu woman to set foot on American soil.

The Japanese woman, Dr. Kei Okami, was the first Japanese woman to obtain a degree in Western Medicine.

The Syrian woman is Dr. Sabat Islambooly.  Her name is spelled incorrectly on that photograph. 

For those interested, here’s more information on other women of color who attended and graduated from Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia in the past, with a focus on the Japanese-American women they accepted during the US WW2 internment of Japanese-Americans.

Wonderful to get further sources. 

(Source: badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista)

rmanyc:

Yuthog Yonten Gonpo
Central Tibet; late 17th century
Pigments on cloth
Rubin Museum of Art
Gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin
C2006.66.176 (HAR 185)
fashionsfromhistory:

Married Woman’s Ensemble
Late 19th Century to Early 20th Century
Halh People, Mongolia
VCM

fashionsfromhistory:

Married Woman’s Ensemble

Late 19th Century to Early 20th Century

Halh People, Mongolia

VCM