Benjamin A. Elman
- Princeton University
The “Rituals of Zhou” in Chinese and East Asian History: Premodern Asian Statecraft in Comparative Context
The Intellectual Impact of Late Imperial Chinese Classicism, Medicine, and Science in Tokugawa Japan: Reconsidering Sino-Japanese Cultural History, 1700-1850
This study examines how Tokugawa scholars transmitted new Chinese classical and medical texts in Japan before and after the Kansei era (1789-1800), when Japanese leaders enforced a campaign supporting the classical orthodoxy. Remarkably, Qing China under the Qianlong emperor (r. 1736-1795) was more open intellectually to new currents of thought than was contemporary Japan. Indeed, many scholars in China, Japan, and Korea were not tradition-bound, or so conservative that they could not also deal with the Western ideas that were increasingly present in East Asia as a result of the Jesuits and later the Protestants in their midst. The new trends in Qing evidential learning and the rise of new forms of traditional Chinese medicine (Kampo) competed with Dutch Learning in Japan.