Edited by: Viren Murthy, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Axel Schneider, University of Göttingen
The papers collected in this volume congeal around a debate about the ways and extent of the dominance of linear time and progressive history and the concomitant delineation of the nation in Chinese and Japanese historiography. As China and Japan entered the global capitalist system of nation states, the Chinese and Japanese regimes implemented a number of reforms, which resulted in transformations that affected everyday experience. In the face of imperialism and the perceived threat of being split up, the Meiji and late Qing governments radically reoriented policies in order to become wealthy and powerful in the global arena. People not only began to experience time and space in new ways, but elites also were increasingly exposed to Western theories of history and concepts of nationhood, which became dominant. These changes contributed to the production of new types of historical consciousness and collective identity. The essays in this volume each provide a perspective on the complex ways in which imagining national and regional identity in East Asia were and continue to be enmeshed with visions of time and history. This book should be of interest to all those who are interested in nationalism, modernity in China and Japan, global capitalism and the politics of time.