Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

2 - Java in Discord: Unofficial History, Vernacular Fiction, and the Discourse of Imperial Identity in Late Ming China (1574-1620)

Friday, March 23
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Harding, Mezzanine Level

In the late sixteenth century, thriving private maritime trade brought forth maritime trouble to the late Ming state. In the time of “Japanese” pirates and Hideyoshi’s invasion of Korea, Chinese intellectuals composed unofficial histories and vernacular fiction. Among them, Yan Congjian 嚴從簡 wrote Realms (1574), He Qiaoyuan 何喬遠 compiled Tributes (1597-1620), Luo Yuejiong 羅曰褧 penned Guests (1597), and Luo Maodeng 羅懋登 composed a vernacular novel Enuch Sanbao (1598). This essay will examine how the imminent maritime realities reminded the late Ming authors one cross-border war and two genocides in Java and Sanfoqi during Yuan and early-and-mid-Ming times. These transgressions that violated Chinese official tributary order became memorable and made Sino-Java relations a definite point of comparison for the late Ming maritime piracy problems. This paper argues that the cultural memory of Sino-Java military and diplomatic exchange enabled the intellectuals to lament and to condemn the executed pirates Wang Zhi and Chen Zuyi. The four authors imbue their narratives with personal anxieties and nationalistic sentiments. While the historical narratives tend to moralize and idealize China’s tributary world order, the vernacular fiction paints a more realistic picture of the late Ming state by involving heterogeneous voices of the “other.” Collectively, the four narratives represent various images of the Ming empire, revealing the intellectuals’ deep apprehension of the Ming’s identity, their political criticism of the state, and divergent and even self-conflicted views toward maritime commerce, immigrants, and peoples of different races.  

Send Email for Yuanfei Wang


Assets

2 - Java in Discord: Unofficial History, Vernacular Fiction, and the Discourse of Imperial Identity in Late Ming China (1574-1620)



Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Java in Discord: Unofficial History, Vernacular Fiction, and the Discourse of Imperial Identity in Late Ming China (1574-1620)