Introductory post

I am an undergraduate studying International Affairs and Humanities at Florida State University.
I am currently taking Chinese classes as part of my course of study. I am very interested in the study of East Asian and Central Asian history, as well as Asian religions. This is a large part of the reason I chose my major (both of them). So far I've been able to tailor my schedule in a way that has allowed me to take more than a few classes in these fields. I am hoping to eventually work on a DIS project in the field that I can get published in a research journal. After I graduate I am hoping to work for the Peace Corps in either Mongolia or China.

I joined this community in hopes of being able to learn something new, as well as to share any newspaper or journal articles that might be of interest. =)

New route from Japan

“New route from Toyama province, Japan through Russian Far East to Mongolia through Chinese North East will be established for an export and import transportation” reported “Yomiuri Shim bun” daily newspaper April 25, 2011. One of the reasons to open the route is the necessity of used Japanese cars in Mongolia reported. Before any Trans activities were through Port of Tianjin, China to and from Japan. The first experience of new route was in 2009 from “Fushiki Toyama” Port through Vladivostok to Novosibirsk, Russia to deliver used cars and food products to Mongolia. This route was successfully done; the transportation period of goods was decreased from 10 days to 3 days. Due to the notice by officials of Toyama province from “Fushiki Toyama” Port will be shipped to Vladivostok then delivery through Siberian railway to Ulan-Ude, Russia. On the way back goods from North East province of China will be delivered to Far East by train and then shipped to “Fushiki Toyama” Port. Total expenditure of the Development project for this route estimates 19.5 million yens.   New route from Japan

Hernando de Soto is in Mongolia

Famous economist, president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy of Peru Hernando de Soto is visiting Mongolia by the invitation of Mongolian President’s cabinet. Hernando de Soto’s institute runs successful business of increasing living standards of poor class by registering their assets in many countries of the world. In 2010, he visited to Mongolia for a research work. Hernando de Soto paid visit to Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj and reported about the results of his research and discussed about implementation of full scale project. And also, he met with Government officials and talked about improving in the asset registration system.



Handwritten text woes

I'm working on 寶卷 (baojuan), a genre of Chinese religious literature. Recently I've begun to venture out of my comfort zone of late Ming, early Qing printed texts into the handwritten baojuan of the late 19th century.

Need some insight on a variant character. Yes, I've already pored over the variant character dictionary, but I'm just not seeing it in there. I'm really hoping someone here takes one look at this and thinks something like "thian_un, how could you be so dim?? It's obviously X!"

Pesky character circled below. Click for larger, more readable version.

bicycle girl

Chinese Text Project

This looks like an amazing online archive of early classical Chinese texts.

The Chinese Text Project is a web-based e-text system designed to present ancient Chinese texts, particularly those relating to Chinese philosophy, in a well-structured and properly cross-referenced manner, making the most of the electronic medium to aid in the study and understanding of these texts.

Lots of features, including:
  • Ancient text database
  • Integrated dictionary
  • Word lists
  • Parallel passage information
  • Scanned source texts
  • Commentary display
  • Discussion forum


Check it out here:

Looking for academic papers in Japanese

 Hi all,

I'm majoring in Japanese religions and I'm looking for a site where you can download papers written in Japanese. I have some Japanese bibliography I need to check but my university library gives me only papers in English so I don't know where to find the Japanese part of my research.
Could you suggest some sites where you can find papers in Japanese? I'm looking for medical and Japanese religions papers...

(no subject)

Some months ago I was introduced to working with original handwritten manuscripts as primary sources. Needless to say despite having some skill in reading Classical Chinese, when it comes to reading the handwriting of anonymous scribes from the Tang Dynasty, I lack self-confidence. Nevertheless, it is quite a fascinating pursuit that brings the scholar to an almost intimate relationship with their work. We are no longer dealing with neat yet faceless typeset editions of texts, but the original texts written out by hand. The handwriting of an individual can reveal their age and social circumstances. Some texts are obviously copied out by adolescents while others display fine calligraphy which probably reflects a well educated scribe.

Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. Below is part of a Dunhuang manuscript with digital version below:



Indeed reading the original can be difficult. One problem I've encountered is that scribes in medieval China were free to use many variants of common characters. At times their messy handwriting amplifies the problem several fold making characters quite unreadable. I often find myself wondering if their peers could really read all their writing or not. In any case when I look at the original manuscripts it feels less like a faceless study of texts and the human side of the text appears in the handwriting, mistakes and various brush marks.

I invite you to visit the International Dunhuang Project which has a searchable database of digitized texts including manuscripts in Chinese, Tibetan, Sanskrit and other languages.

Fanfiction in Korea

Kind of a random question: I know there's a big fandom community in Japan that creates and distributes fanwork, doujinshi, fanfiction, etc, both online and in stores. I'm also familiar with the online fanfiction communities for English and German speakers.

Do you see anything like either one in Korea?