China since Mao by Charles Bettelheim PDF

By Charles Bettelheim

ISBN-10: 0853454744

ISBN-13: 9780853454748

Publication by means of Bettelheim, Charles, Burton, Neill G.

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Because kana characters are seen as an indigenous invention, scholars often overlook or downplay the fact that, in phonographic terms, kana follow from modes used in Chinese scripts related to Indic phonetics, which was disseminated largely by Buddhist monks; and that, in figural terms, kana closely approximate the Chinese style known as grass writing (sōsho). When these facts emerge, scholars do their utmost to transform the singu-     larities of kana into generic distinctions that posit Japanese culture as the horizon for analysis.

In the next section, I present the views of some Japanese scholars on the interactions of Yamato and Han/T’ang in the Heian context. Then, in the final section of this chapter I return to the differentiation between mana and kana to present an alternative way to read the interactions of the Heian court and the Han/T’ang model. Opposition, Negation, Sublation Initially, Western histories of East Asia focused on the Chinese dynasties and much of ancient Japan was construed as little more than failed imitation.

This modern revision of the history and figurality of kana script has had profound consequences for the study of Heian texts. These are some of the quasi-mythic stories that arise around kana and waka: . Modern scholars posit Chinese characters as pictographic or ideographic, submitting that they presented obstacles to the phonetic transcription of Japanese speech from the dawn of Japanese history. Yet Chinese characters clearly were used phonographically and logographically, in Japan as in China.

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China since Mao by Charles Bettelheim

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