Essays

Forgotten Allies – Transnational Memories of the Second Sino-Japanese War

Forgotten Allies – Transnational Memories of the Second Sino-Japanese War

“What war?” is a response I often hear after mentioning the Second Sino-Japanese War to friends in Europe or America. Although the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)[1] is actively commemorated within China, its history is relatively unknown in other parts of the world. For many people in the West, the war in China happened far away, […]

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From Woman Warrior to Good Wife – Confucian Influences on the Portrayal of Women in China’s Television Drama

From Woman Warrior to Good Wife – Confucian Influences on the Portrayal of Women in China’s Television Drama

For an upcoming Routledge edition on Religion and the Media in China, I have been working on a chapter about the Confucian influences on the portrayal of women in contemporary Chinese television drama. The volume, that is edited by Stefania Travagnin, focuses on “the intersection of religion and the media in China, bringing interdisciplinary approaches […]

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Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet- Who Do We Think They Are?

Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet- Who Do We Think They Are?

The celebration of the Saint Nicholas festival and the Dutch ‘Sinterklaas’ practices have survived for the last 500 years. Despite the strength of the tradition, disagreement about it has almost become a tradition in itself.

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Review: Reconstructing Postwar Sino-Japanese Relations

Review: Reconstructing Postwar Sino-Japanese Relations

Sino-Japanese Relations after World War II: Abnormal Historical Process and Construction, a review of the book by Liu Jianping.

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Shanghai Baby: Beyond China- A Chinese Novel Banished to the West

Shanghai Baby: Beyond China- A Chinese Novel Banished to the West

“My name is Nikki but my friends all call me Coco after Coco Chanel, a French lady who lived to be almost ninety. She’s my idol, after Henry Miller. Every morning when I open my eyes I wonder what I can do to make myself famous. It’s become my ambition, almost my raison d’être, to burst upon the city like fireworks. “

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Mao’s Honger Naar Macht

Mao’s Honger Naar Macht

Op een zomerse dag in 1958 lag Mao Zedong aan zijn zwembad in Beijing. Het was de beginperiode van Mao’s Grote Stap Voorwaarts, een project dat China binnen vijftien jaar een grotere macht dan Groot-Brittannië moest maken.

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The ‘Magic’ of Memory: Chinese and Japanese Re-Remembrances of the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)

The ‘Magic’ of Memory: Chinese and Japanese Re-Remembrances of the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)

More than 60 years have gone by since the Second Sino-Japanese war. Although time has moved on, the war is still very much alive in memory and affect Sino-Japanese relations to this day.

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Gendered Nationalism and May Fourth: China’s ‘New Woman’

Gendered Nationalism and May Fourth: China’s ‘New Woman’

The May Fourth Movement (1915-24) is also referred to as the Chinese Enlightenment or the Chinese Renaissance. It is the cultural revolution that was brought about by the political demonstrations on the fourth of May 1919

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Beyond the Whale – Japan, The West & The Whaling Issue

Beyond the Whale – Japan, The West & The Whaling Issue

The whaling issue is not that black and white; there’s more to ‘the whale’ than the whale alone. Why did the Japanese start whaling? And why didn’t they stop?

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From Gal to Lady –  Gender, Language and Japan’s Kogals

From Gal to Lady – Gender, Language and Japan’s Kogals

It has been since the middle of the 1990s that a new trend in Japanese women’s language emerged. This new type of slang was used by girls that were labeled “kogals”.

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Crossing the Borders of Gender In China

Crossing the Borders of Gender In China

What does it mean to be a woman in China? What does it mean to be gay? What does sexuality, in general, stand for in Chinese society?

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‘Stick Out Your Tongue’ : A Banned Book on the Health of a Nation

‘Stick Out Your Tongue’ : A Banned Book on the Health of a Nation

Stick Out Your Tongue, originally Stick out your tongue or you’ll have nothing (亮 出你的舌苔或空空荡荡) was first published in China in 1987. The book, a collection of five short stories, depicts Tibet in an exotic and sexualized way, and evoked strong reactions from both Chinese as Tibetan people.

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The ‘Magic’ of Memory: China and its Re-Remembrance of War

The ‘Magic’ of Memory: China and its Re-Remembrance of War

More than 60 years have gone by since the Second Sino-Japanese war. Although time has moved on, the war is still very much alive in the thoughts of the Chinese.

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Local Rape, Global Issue: One Rape and Marginalization in Okinawa and Beyond

Local Rape, Global Issue: One Rape and Marginalization in Okinawa and Beyond

In September 1995, a 12-year-old Okinawan schoolgirl was raped by three US servicemen, not far from the military bases on the island. The incident caused great commotion in Okinawa and Japan, and this outrage quickly raised the debate concerning the presence of US bases in Japan.

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The Imagined Space of ‘Chinatown’

The Imagined Space of ‘Chinatown’

Throughout the 20th century, the concept of ‘Chinatown’ has not failed to stir our imaginations. Many books and films evolve around this part of the city, whether the city is New York, London, Vancouver or Amsterdam

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Taiwan & The Other

Taiwan & The Other

It is very hard to identify one China and define what that one China would be, since China has got many faces. Taiwan is one of those faces of China. The terms “Taiwanese” or “Chinese” have different meanings for different people, and the meaning can also change over time.

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Imagined Communities: Not Andersons’ Book

Imagined Communities: Not Andersons’ Book

Imagined Communities, 26 years after its publishing, still does not fail to bring new insights into the idea of nationalism; a concept that is very important in modern times, since every successful revolution since WWII has defined itself in terms of ‘nationalism’.

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Ambiguous Allies? The Dynamics of Japan/China Relations to Nigeria

Ambiguous Allies? The Dynamics of Japan/China Relations to Nigeria

Japan and China are both on a campaign to widen and deepen their contacts in Africa. Beijing declared 2006 as China’s ‘Year of Africa’ when the China-Africa Summit took place in Beijing. 2008 was Japan’s ‘Africa Year’ when it hosted the fifth annual Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).

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Salaryman&Sodomia: Homosexuality & the Hegemony of Masculinity in Japan

Salaryman&Sodomia: Homosexuality & the Hegemony of Masculinity in Japan

What it means to be a ‘man’ varies to different people and different cultures. Being ‘male’ and being ‘masculine’ are not the same, and what we view as ‘masculine’ in a certain culture is not a set idea, but changeable over time.

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From Big Mac to Rice Burger — Globalization: McDonald’s in Japan

From Big Mac to Rice Burger — Globalization: McDonald’s in Japan

This short essay explores the impact of McDonald’s spread around the world- specifically, of its growth in Japan. Has the coming of McDonald’s restaurants brought American culture to Japan?

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