fleursdartifice said: Hello. I've been doing research on the traditional Korean dance Cheonyongmu for a story (and was able to find excellent sources regarding this dance using the bibliography links in your resource page, thank you!) and I'm trying to dig more into the lives of the male dancers who performed this dance during the Joseon era. I believe that they would be from the chungmin class, but that's where I'm hitting my research roadblock. Would you be able to direct me or have tips of where else to look?
Well I’ve recently covered something similar: here.
Your first and best bet is to look at the sources of your sources. Flip to the back of your books, or the end of your articles and there should be citations and/or a bibliography (otherwise it’s not a good source).
Here’s the best steps you can do:
- Trace the bibliographies of the sources you already have.
- Search for bibliographies or annotated bibliographies relating to the subject
- Identify key words, phrases, and “shelving terms” in your books or articles and search based on these. “chungmin”, “joseon arts and culture”, “joseon”, “traditional korean dance”, “cheonyongmu”, “social structure”, “chungmin class”
- Having trouble with “joseon”? That’s because many works romanize it as “Chosŏn”. When I type in Choson into google + bibliography, I run into one of the central places for studying Korea in the US (Hawaii, naturally). There’s a bibliography on Social Structure and one on Dance. Just between those two, there’s 60+ sources you can look up, search through, etc.
- If you do all of this and still can’t find the information you’re looking for, congrats, you’ve just discovered a dissertation topic.
Duke University Press has around 1,600 of their academic titles available to read online FOR FREE on eDuke Books. You can search by title, author and/or subject! Here is their general list of subjects.
This is a fantastic option for students who need textbooks, research material(s), or individual chapters for various projects but who may not want to cart a ton of books around, need an iPad or browser-friendly format, don’t want to buy books for an intense markup only to get a few bucks back at the end of the semester—or, if you’re not a student but are interested in theory and such (hi).
eDuke also adds new books sometimes, so keep checking back.
Anonymous said: I'm reading Journey to the West right now - can you tell me about Chinese history during the time it was written, and about Indian history and the countries in between as well?
This is one of those questions whose answer could be the subject of multiple books — and probably is(!), as the turn of the Tang/Song Dynasties and the Silk Road’s history from India, Central Asia, and China. Here’s a few of my suggestions (that I have not read, and cannot vouch for in terms of quality):
- Journeys on the Silk Road: A Desert Explorer, Buddha’s Secret Library, and the Unearthing of the World’s Oldest Printed Book - Joyce Morgan
- Silk Road - Valerie Hansen
- Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present - Christopher Beckwith
- In the Footsteps of the Buddha: An Iconic Journey from India to China - Catalogue
- Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600-1400 - Tensen Sen
- Xuanzang: A Buddhist Pilgrim On The Silk Road - Sally Wriggins When Asia Was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks Who Created the “Riches of the “East” - Stewart Gordon
sevanslcanzate said: almost none of those links work anymore ://
I think it’s just the first four or so, as the account was deleted.
Anonymous said: Recently, I am trying to make a grave fictional series. That is, fantasy is that is NOT whimsical OR reduces to people to pageants. Because it is difficult to find representation for diversity in fantasy, would making three separate countries based on Korea (prior to its division), Japan and China be considered offensive? I desire only to create a respectful representation, and an in-depth, human portrayal. Should this be done or be avoided?
That isn’t really my call.
Please feel free to read through the Writing Resources post I made back in 2011 to educate yourself, however. And additionally, an old post that floated around on tumblr cheekily entitled, Gee, I don’t know how to research writing Characters of Color Respectfully. [Some of the first few links don’t work.]
tryinad said: I am writing a story which has a fictional country located between Okinawa and China. Would it historically make sense for such a country to have a monarch with European blood (by way of political marriage) in the 20th century, and for this country to have its own language and retain it?
Short Answer: No.
Medium Answer: Please don’t ask me to validate your placing more white people in power within fictional 20th century Asia.
Long Answer: While historically, the 20th century did see European and American Imperialism, their rules usually came at the expense of the monarchies locally. By 1912, the Qing Dynasty had collapsed (post-Boxer Rebellion), and Sun Yat Sen became the political leader of China. While China was an ally in WWI, starting in 1917, by 1919, China’s Communist Party had formed and was gaining power. The ROC and Chang Kai Shek fled China by the 40’s, and (meanwhile) Japan gained an increasingly nationalistic sentiment that would lead them into WWII and to capture Manchuria by 1931. By 1939, Japan controlled much of China’s eastern coastlines. Korea was ruled by Japan by roughly around 1905-1910, and as for Japanese views and attitudes in the early-mid 20th century regarding foreigners in general the buzzwords you need to look up are:
- Japanese Showa imperialism
- Japanese ultranationalism & Japanese Nationalism
- Amau Doctrine
- Fukoku Kyohei
- Racial Equality Proposal of 1919’s failure
- End of the Anglo-Japanese alliance 1923
- Imperial Rule Assistance Association
The islands that exist between Okinawa and China (aside from Taiwan), are known as the Diaoyutai/Senkaku islands, and has been contested by Japan, China PROC and China ROC, respectively. These Islands were under de jure US control from 1945-1972.
But for European Leadership in the 20th century marrying into a royal family — by 1900, the people of China had an entire rebellion centered around the forceful removal of Christians and European Imperialist powers using the slogan "Support the Qing, exterminate the foreigners."
I am fairly certain that any country in the 20th century would not have wanted a European marital bond, given that most of China and Japan were intent on removing unwanted foreign political influences in the first half of the century, and the second half would not have likely had any political marriages when military force was becoming the de facto method and means of viable political control — a marriage alliance means little when you have the threat of the atomic bomb, for example (thus, the Cold War). Similarly, many Europeans abandoned their Asian colonial islands during WWII — see: The Abandonment of Singapore, by the British.
Between the Boxer Rebellion and….well, all of World War Two, the idea is nonsensical at best. Though if a country would retain their language despite foreign rulers, the answer is, as always — yes, and generally speaking such foreign rulers are doomed to fail if they do not learn the language of their own people. (See also: Yuan Dynasty China, the Goryeo Vassal state and Royal Court, the Mongol Hordes, the Qing Dynasty, etc for those who adopted the common language of their people and rulers.)
If you chose another century, the answer would relatively be the same, in that a European power would be unlikely to marry into a Chinese or Japanese royal family and retain any power — but the reverse could be true. (There are many recorded offerings of secondary princesses or concubines being offered as wives to European powers, including the Pope. — in many instances, particularly in Yuan Dynasty China, marriages were meant to maintain political and military power through women. Mongolian princesses in particular were seen as more important than their husbands in conquered territories and kingdoms, and frequently their husbands were treated as expendable.)
So not really, no.