Conventional scholarship reads the story of Japan’s late 19th-early 20th century encounter with China backward through the lens of wartime, cherry picking evidence to develop a picture consistent with Japan’s later acts of aggression. Using a wealth of resources, including diaries, newspaper accounts, and contemporary journals, Asia for the Asians: China in the Lives of Five Meiji Japanese dispenses with dominant narratives to explore the Meiji view of China, imagined, real and evolving, through the eyes of five people who actually lived and traveled in China and worked with the Chinese. The new picture that emerges, while highly complex, suggests that the potential for cooperation was stronger, the road to conflict less certain, and the responsibility for things gone wrong more difficult to assign than is usually assumed.
Distributed for MerwinAsia
Author: Harrell, Paula;Paula Harrell
(Ph.D. Columbia University) is a China-Japan scholar specializing in twentieth century and contemporary history. In addition to teaching at the University of Maryland and Dickinson College, she worked for a decade as a management specialist on World Bank-financed projects in China. Her contributions to field reporting included analysis for the Bank’s initial planning document for poverty alleviation projects in China, Strategies for Reducing Poverty in the 1990s
(World Bank, 1993). In 2008, Harrell joined the adjunct faculty at Georgetown University where she offers courses on 21st century China in historical perspective. In addition to Asia for the Asians,
her publications include Sowing the Seeds of Change: Chinese Students, Japanese Teachers, 1895-1905
(Stanford University Press, 1992).