Traditions of East Asian Travel 9780857458896

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Table of contents :
Contents
Preface: Traditions of East Asian Travel
CHAPTER 1 Su Shi and Mount Lu
CHAPTER 2 Travel as Poetic Practice in Medieval and Early Modern Japan
CHAPTER 3 Women’s Travel Narratives in Early Modern Japan: Genre Imperatives, Gender Consciousness and Status Questioning
CHAPTER 4 Discovered Other, Recovered Self: Layers of Representation in an Early Travelogue on the West (Xihai jiyou cao, 1849)
CHAPTER 5 The West as a ‘Kingdom of Women’: Woman and Occidentalism in Wang Tao’s Tales of Travel
CHAPTER 6 A Wartime Cinematic Recreation of the Journey Linking China and Japan in the Modern Era
CHAPTER 7 ‘Would That I Were Marco Polo’: The Travel Writing of Shan Shili (1856–1943)
CHAPTER 8 A Letter from the Past and the Present: Tokutomi Roka’s ‘Autumn in Ryōmō ’
Index
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Traditions of East Asian Travel

Journeys The International Journal of Travel Writing Travel writing and other representations of journeys as cultural practice and product are engaging the attention of scholars and commentators in a wide range of disciplines and its study is becoming recognized as an important academic field. the remit of Journeys is to reflect the rich diversity of travels and journeys as social and cultural practices as well as their significance as metaphorical processes. It is a broad-based, peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal of particular interest for those interested in the studies of travel writing from the perspectives of, for example, anthropology, social history, religious studies, human geography, literary criticism and cultural studies. This book was originally published as a Special Issue of Journeys.

Traditions of East Asian Travel

Edited by Joshua A. Fogel

Berghahn Books New York • Oxford

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First published in 2006 by Berghahn Books www.berghahnbooks.com © 2006, 2008 Joshua A. Fogel Reprinted in 2008 Previously Published as a Journeys Special Issue 5: 1, 2004 All rights reserved. Except for the quotation of short passages for the purposes of criticism and review, no part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without written permission of Berghahn Books Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Traditions of East Asian travel / edited by Joshua A. Fogel. p. cm “Previously published as ‘Journeys’ Special Issue 5: 1, 2004.” Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 1-84545-152-X (pbk.) 1. Japan--Description and travel. 2. China--Description and travel. 3. Travelers’ writings, Chinese--History and criticism. 4. Travelers’ writings, Japanese--History and criticism. 5. Travelers--China--History. 6. Travelers--Japan--History. I. Fogel, Joshua A., 1950DS808.T73 2005 915.204--dc22

200505306

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN 978-1-84545-152-3 paperback

Contents Preface: Traditions of East Asian Travel Joshua A. Fogel, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA 1 Su Shi and Mount Lu James Hargett, Department of East Asian Studies, State University of New York, Albany, USA

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1

2 Travel as Poetic Practice in Medieval and Early Modern Japan Steven D. Carter, Department of Asian Languages, Stanford University, USA

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3 Women’s Travel Narratives in Early Modern Japan: Genre Imperatives, Gender Consciousness and Status Questioning Laura Nenzi, Department of History, Florida International University, Miami, USA

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4 Discovered Other, Recovered Self: Layers of Representation in an Early Travelogue on the West (Xihai jiyou cao, 1849) Marion Eggert, Department of Korean Studies, Bochum University, Germany

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5 The West as a ‘Kingdom of Women’: Woman and Occidentalism in Wang Tao’s Tales of Travel Emma Jinhua Teng, Foreign Languages and Literatures Section, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA

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6 A Wartime Cinematic Recreation of the Journey Linking China and Japan in the Modern Era Joshua A. Fogel, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

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7 ‘Would That I Were Marco Polo’: The Travel Writing of Shan Shili (1856–1943) Hu Ying, Department of East Asian Languages, University of California, Irvine, USA

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8 A Letter from the Past and the Present: Tokutomi Roka’s ‘Autumn in Ryo¯mo¯’ Susanna Fessler, Department of East Asian Studies, State University of New York, Albany, USA 167 Index

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Preface: Traditions of East Asian Travel

Joshua A. Fogel Department of History University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

A

s is certainly true elsewhere in the world, the East Asian region has its own traditions of travel and travel writing (Fogel 1996: 13–42; Strassberg 1994). These date back many centuries and until relatively recently continued to influence the ways in which men and women actually travelled (how they moved from place to place, what itineraries they followed, even what emotions they were called upon to experience at given sights) and the genres of travel writings that they produced (prose, poetry and combinations of the two, e.g. Yosano 2001). Tracing the origins and influences of these traditions as well as understanding the impact exerted by Chinese traditions on those of Japan and elsewhere in the region remain important scholarly desiderata. In the essays that follow, we have less wide-ranging goals. We aim at demonstrating the power and potential of travel writing within the literary traditions of early modern and modern China and Japan and from there to the West. These temporal frames are purposefully vague. It is, however, generally agreed that China entered a qualitatively new era in numerous areas of culture, society and economy in the Song dynasty (960–1276), one that many associate with modernity and most would be willing to accept as early modernity. Japan, most agree, entered early modernity in the Tokugawa (or Edo) period (1600–1868) and modernity with the Meiji era (1868–1912). The Song era provides the background for the essay by James Hargett on the Chinese literary master Su Dongpo (1037–1101) and his travel poetry. Steven Carter takes a remarkably similar phenomenon of travel poetry writing for Edo-period Japan by looking at a number of works by vii

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Reizei Tamemura (1712–74). Both examine how travel necessitated the composition of poetry and how the poetry produced fitted within sets of conventions. These essays are followed by a fascinating twist on the developing tropes of travel writing, that of women in the Edo period. Laura Nenzi examines a number of extant travel poems by women of samurai households, largely from the eighteenth century. Her piece particularly complements Carter’s in showing the similarities and differences between men and women of the Edo period. Three essays confront topics from the middle of the nineteenth century when the world of East Asia underwent a great shock and awakening. The West emerged on the scene not just as adversary but in a predatory and largely unwelcome way. Marion Eggert charts the travel narrative of Lin Qian who visited the United States in the 1840s and acquired English, well before that became a common or even desirable career move. In a similar vein, Emma Teng looks at a number of Chinese travellers to the West from this time period who sought to make sense of that jolting experience through a number of ‘Occidentalizing’ tactics. I follow with a look at the first modern voyage to China sanctioned by the Japanese government, that of the Senzaimaru to Shanghai in 1862, including how it was used in a recently discovered film of 1944 by the great director Inagaki Hiroshi (1905–80). Finally, we have two essays from the turn of the last century. Hu Ying examines the travel account written by Shan Shili (1856–1943), a woman who followed her husband first to Japan and then to several European countries, again at a time well before this practice would have had any semblance of the ordinary. Susanna Fessler takes a close look at one of the domestic travelogues of the well-known writer, Tokutomi Roka (1868–1927). As a group these essays offer insights into how different East Asians travelled, what they looked for and what they felt comfortable finding, and the ways in which they wrote up their impressions of the sights and sounds. Although the topic of travel and travel writing by Chinese and Japanese writers has attracted increased interest of late among scholars in the West (see for example Vaporis 1994; Teng 1999 and 2004), it remains largely virgin terrain with vast tracts – fields and sub-fields – awaiting

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scholarly examination. We hope this volume will serve as an impetus for others to pick up the necessary implements and set to work in this field of inquiry.

References Fogel, J. (1996) The Literature of Travel in the Japanese Rediscovery of China, 1862–1945. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Strassberg, R. (1994) Inscribed Landscapes: Travel Writing from Imperial China. Berkeley: University of California Press. Teng, E. (1999) ‘Taiwan as a Living Museum: Tropes of Anachronism in Late-Imperial Chinese Travel Writing’, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 59, 2 (December): 445–84. Teng, E. (2004) ‘Taiwan’s Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683–1895’. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center. Vaporis, C.N. (1994) Breaking Barriers: Travel and the State in Early Modern Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University (Council on East Asian Studies). Yosano, A. (2001) Travels in Manchuria and Mongolia: A Feminist Poet from Japan Encounters Prewar China, trans. Fogel, Joshua A. New York: Columbia University Press.

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CHAPTER 1 Su Shi and Mount Lu

James Hargett Department of East Asian Studies State University of New York, Albany, USA

T

he well-known writer and statesman Su Shi (or Su Dongpo, 1037–1101) spent a good portion of his career as a government official moving from one bureaucratic appointment to another. This was not unusual, for officials in traditional China were routinely shifted from post to post, usually every two or three years, to prevent them from gaining too much power or influence in one office or place. Several of Su Shi’s appointments, however, were in fact demotions. His outspoken criticism of the reform policies of Wang Anshi (1021–85) got Su (and many of his supporters) into some very serious political trouble. The result was their removal, by political opponents, from the national political scene in the capital to posts in the provinces. On a few occasions Su Shi and his followers were able to regain power in the capital and returned – temporarily, at least – to a position of influence. Su Shi’s career as a statesman, then, followed an alternating pattern of service and exile. In his more than forty years as a government officer, Su experienced three periods of political removal: the first from 1080 to 1084 in Huangzhou (in modern Hubei Province); the second from 1094 to 1096 in Huizhou (in modern Guangdong Province); and the last from 1097 to 1100 on Hainan Island in the far south.1 Although there were disadvantages to following a career in which alternating periods of government service and political exile were a distinct possibility,2 Su Shi and his contemporaries (and those who preceded and followed them) actively sought to serve emperor and empire through government service. For many of them, there was no higher duty. Thus, for many officials of the Northern Song dynasty

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(960–1127), especially those like Su Shi who were actively involved in national policy debates, it was practically a foregone conclusion that they would experience a series of displacements, over time, from one political post or exile site to another. In their movements to and from government posts, scholar-officials often made excursions to famous scenic areas or historic sites. We know this because they left numerous written accounts, in both prose and poetry, of their outings. Literary critics and historians usually refer to the prose variety of such works as youji, or ‘travel records’. Su Shi was one of the first authors in China to write extensively in this genre.3 In recent years, numerous anthologies and studies of ‘travel record literature’ have been published, both in China and in the United States.4 This essay concerns a pleasure trip that Su Shi made in 1084, just after his Huangzhou exile, to Mount Lu, a famous scenic area located in what is now northern Jiangxi province. My interest is the literary compositions he produced during the journey; specifically, the way in which he viewed and wrote about landscape there. Before we discuss Su Shi’s visit to Mount Lu and the works he composed there, it will be useful to first provide some brief background information. In 1079 Su Shi was imprisoned and put on trial for writing and disseminating writings that ‘ridiculed and satirized the Court and slandered and abused the inner and outer officials’ (Zhao 1963: 74).5 He was found guilty and banished (exiled) to a minor post in Huangzhou (it was said that he was saved from execution only because the emperor intervened in the case). Su’s activities in Huangzhou were restricted to that jurisdiction for an indefinite period and he was forbidden to affix his signature to official documents. In other words, he was confined to the jurisdiction of Huangzhou and could neither write memorials to the court nor speak out on government affairs. To say the least, Su Shi’s future career prospects looked dim at this point in his life. To make matters worse, his younger brother Su Che (1039–1112) and almost thirty close friends were implicated in the trial. Two of them and Su Che were also sent into exile.

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The Huangzhou exile years Su Shi spent four years in Huangzhou, from the winter of 1080 until the spring of 1084. From a literary perspective, the exile years in Huangzhou were especially productive. Although desperately low on money (he received no salary during the exile), Su Shi was able to borrow the use of some land, where he planted rice, fruit trees and mulberry. This area he eventually named Dongpo, or ‘East Slope’. Securing use of the farm was important because, with no official salary, Su needed a place to grow food. Eventually he bought a piece of property next to these fields and built a study there – his famous ‘Snow Hall’ (Xuetang). With few official duties, the Huangzhou years afforded Su Shi a considerable amount of time to think, read, and write. It is no surprise, then, that his literary productivity was impressive in the early 1080s. In addition to beginning work on commentaries on several classic works such as the Analects (Lunyu) and Book of History (Shujing), Su Shi’s two prose-poems on the Red Cliff (‘Chibi fu’) – which rank among his most famous works – were produced in 1082. At this same time he also began compiling his popular miscellany, the Dongpo zhilin, a project that continued through the later years of his life. While space limitations here prevent a full treatment of Su Shi’s many experiences during the Huangzhou years, we should still note some key developments because these, I would argue, influenced how he experienced and wrote about Mount Lu in 1084. It is essential first to be aware that the exile period in Huangzhou provided Su Shi with time to reflect on three related matters of great concern to him: his past career, current exile and future prospects. George Hatch is correct in saying that during the Huangzhou years Su ‘was determined to forget politics and avoid critical expression’ (Hatch 1976: 2, 934). This is understandable, for the literary inquisition against him and his resulting exile had left Su Shi disgraced and denunciated before the Emperor and the court. Su’s writings at this time give the distinct impression that his main interest in Huangzhou was following the life of a gentleman-farmer, whose main activities and concerns included making improvements on his modest farm, fishing, picking herbs, visiting nearby officials and socializing with the local people.6 Second, during the Huangzhou years Su Shi undertook

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an appraisal and reconstruction of his personal values (Hatch 1976: 2, 934). For the first three months after his arrival in Huangzhou, he lived in the Meditation and Wisdom Buddhist Temple (Dinghui yuan). Thereafter he regularly withdrew to a nearby Buddhist monastery for quiet reflection. Perhaps the most revealing document about Su Shi’s state of mind and priorities at this time is the author’s often quoted ‘Account of the Stabilizing the State Temple in Huangzhou’ (‘Huangzhou Anguo si ji’), in which we find the following comments: [After getting settled in Huangzhou,] I closed the door and made a clean sweep, summoned my spirit and wits, withdrew and reflected, and sought a way to renew myself. I looked back on the ideas I had raised and actions I had taken. All of them missed the Dao. These are not the only reasons to explain my recent crimes. My desire for renewal now comes first; worry about my mistakes is second … . Even if I was to now change my ways, later I will certainly do the same things all over again. Why not commit myself to sincerity and Buddhism and seek to completely purify these imperfections? South of town I found a retreat called the Stabilizing the State Temple … . Every day or two I would go there without fail, where I would burn incense and sit in silence, deeply examining and scrutinizing myself. I then forgot about the relationship between myself and other things. My body and mind both became empty. I searched to find the source of my crimes and disgrace, but could not. My whole conscience was clean and pure; the pollution and filth fell away of itself. Inside and out I was free and lacking all dependence and attachments. I secretly took delight in this and went to the temple from morning to night for five years. (SSWJ: 12, 391–92)7 In the opening line of this passage, Su Shi alludes to a line in Jiang Yan’s (444–505) well-known ‘Rhapsody on Resentment’ (‘Hen fu’): ‘I close the door and make a clean sweep; lock the gate and do not seek public office’ (Xiao 1973: 16, 342). Su Shi’s declaration here is clear: from his trial and imprisonment – experiences that nearly cost him his life – Su learned a hard lesson about the changeability of human situations. The Confucian ‘Way’, to which Su had dedicated his life and career, had almost killed

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him. It is no surprise, then, to discover that his Huangzhou writings say nothing about politics and the future of his career. The next line of his ‘Record’, where he speaks of ‘summoning my spirit’ (shouzhao hunpo), alludes to the famous ‘Summoning the Soul’ (‘Zhaohun’) poem in the Songs of Chu (Chuci) which describes how a shaman manages to summon back a soul lost from home. No doubt, Su Shi also sought to ‘reclaim his lost soul’. But what was he trying to get back? Where, specifically, had he ‘missed the Dao’? What were his ‘crimes’? He provides no answers to these questions because his priority now was ‘desire for renewal’ (yuxin). He concedes, however, his ‘desire for renewal’ notwithstanding, that he was probably destined in the future to make the same ‘mistakes’ all over again. This statement is significant because Su admits that he cannot make any long-term, fundamental changes in the way he thinks and acts. In other words, when he had the opportunity Su Shi would always speak up and criticize government policies that he saw as harmful to the State and its people. Of course, it was his criticism of Wang Anshi and his followers (the so-called Reformers) that got him into political hot water in the first place. For now, at least, he would ‘deeply examine and scrutinize himself’, and the venue he selected for this self-examination process was a local Buddhist monastery. Like many of his contemporaries, throughout his life Su Shi had maintained an interest in Buddhism. This interest expressed itself in many ways.8 What is most important in the context of this essay is that the Huangzhou years represent the most introspective period in Su Shi’s life. Contrary to the statement in his ‘Account of the Stabilizing the State Temple in Huangzhou’, I doubt that Su Shi ever seriously considered abandoning his public career and turning to Buddhism in order ‘to completely purify his imperfections’. His dedication to public service was too strong. But his almost daily retreats to the Anguo Temple offered many benefits. Perhaps the most important of these was that prayer helped Su Shi to forget (temporarily, at least) about the ‘relationship between himself and other things’. He failed to find the source of his crimes and disgrace because it did not exist. The sanctuary of the Stabilizing the State Temple helped Su to ‘empty’ his body and mind, so that his conscience was ‘clean and pure’ and all the ‘pollution and filth’ was now gone. His political rivals no doubt thought that Su Shi should

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feel guilty about his ‘crimes’, but he did not. However, he could not declare his innocence publicly. Such an act would have been dangerous. This is precisely why Su Shi had to take ‘secret’ delight in his new-found independence and detachment. As mentioned above, the Huangzhou years were especially productive from a literary and scholarly perspective. Especially significant in this regard was his commentary on the Book of Changes (Yijing). This work, along with his commentaries on the Analects and Book of History, in many ways concerned Su Shi and his search for (and later confirmation of) values that transcend contemporary politics. More specifically, his commentary on the Yijing in many ways helped Su Shi to ‘return’ to the source of Confucian values and (indirectly) justify his past political behavior. This intent is revealed in a letter where he mentions that his commentaries could ‘correct the mistakes of the past and present in a major way’ (SSWJ: 51, 1482).9 In the most general sense, Su Shi’s reappraisal of himself and his view of the world seems to focus on how Su saw himself in relation to everything around him – the political world, social world, landscapes and what George Hatch calls ‘another, somehow transcendent realm’ (Hatch 1976: 2, 936). Externally, at least, he was clearly able to rise above his circumstances. The comments that Su makes in his ‘Record’ reveal clearly that Buddhist meditations and prayers were critically important in achieving this ‘state of transcendence’. It should be also mentioned that it was precisely at this time that Su adopted the sobriquet (hao) ‘Dongpo jushi’ (‘Buddhist layman of East Slope’). Without a doubt, as Su Shi’s level of self-awareness increased, so too did the Buddhist content of his writings (Hatch 1976: 2, 936). His Huangzhou poems, for example, are characterized by simplicity, depth of introspection and spiritual transcendence, and are heavily infused with the language of his Buddhist immersion. These writings indicate a strong familiarity with a variety of Buddhist su ¯ tras, terms and ideas. Throughout the Huangzhou years, the Buddhist content of his writings appeared with increasingly regularity. Early in 1084, the Emperor Shenzong (r. 1067–85) was apparently eager to restore Su Shi to office and so wrote out (in his own hand) an order assigning him to Ruzhou (modern Henan Province), where he would take up the post of vice-commissioner of military training (tuanlian fushi).10

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This move was also an indication that his exile sentence was being lightened. A farewell banquet was given for Su in the Snow Hall, after which he departed for Ruzhou on 14 May.11 Accompanying him were Chen Zao (ca. 1050–ca. 1100), a lifelong friend and son of the prefect under whom Su had served earlier in Fengxiang; Canliao (or Canliaozi; also known as Daoqian (1043–after 1111)), a monk, close friend and literary associate; and Zhao Ji, the son of Zhao Pin (dates uncertain).12 After leaving Huangzhou, Su and his party travelled by boat down the Yangtze River, stopping at Mount Wuchang (Wuchang shan), East Lake (Donghu), the Xingguo Command, Kindly Love Lake (Cihu), and Ruichang township. They reached the northern section of Mount Lu on 31 May.

Mount Lu The name ‘Mount Lu’ – and this is the case with the names of most of China’s mingshan, or ‘famous mountains’ – does not refer a single, prominent elevation of earth. Rather, it is a collective term that refers to a number of prominent peaks (each having an individual name) within a defined area (for the sake of convenience, hereafter I will refer to this collection of peaks as ‘Mount Lu’). Mount Lu stands in the extreme northern part of modern Jiangxi Province, just south of the Yangtze and just west of Lake Boyang. It stretches on a northeast-southwest axis, about 25 kilometres in length and about ten kilometres in width. Its principal peak, Hanyang feng, rises 1,474 metres above sea level. The origin of the mountain’s name (Lu) is often traced to a Daoist immortal of remote antiquity named Kuangsu, who supposedly once built a home (lu in the name ‘Mount Lu’ literally means ‘hut’ or ‘cottage’) on the mountain.13 Mount Lu remains one of China’s best-known scenic sites and retreats. Two texts penned by the Buddhist monk and founder of Pure Land Buddhism in China, Huiyuan (334–416) – ‘Record of Mount Lu’ (‘Lushan ji’) and ‘Preface to the Poems on Roving to Stone Gate by the Various Buddhist Laymen of Mount Lu’ (‘Lushan zhu Daoren you Shimen shi xu’) – brought much attention to the ‘beauty of its birds and beasts, flowers and trees’ (‘niaoshou caomu zhi mei’) and ‘extraordinary nature of its magic herbs and myriad beings’ (‘lingyao wanwu zhi qi’).14 Since at least

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the Eastern Jin period (317–420), Lushan has been famous for its breathtaking scenery and as a centre for Buddhist activity. ‘Activity’ here means the construction of Buddhist temples to which monks and pilgrims can repair for quiet prayer and meditation. Throughout the dynasties numerous literary figures travelled to Mount Lu and left prose accounts, poems and inscriptions to commemorate their visits. Among the best known of those writers who pre-date the Song dynasty are Tao Qian (or Tao Yuanming, 365–427), Li Bo (701–62) and Bai Juyi (772–846). Because Su Shi’s travel route from Huangzhou to Ruzhou took him past Lushan and because his brother Su Che was in nearby Yunzhou, it would have been surprising if Su Shi had not visited Mount Lu. Such an opportunity could not be missed. Arriving at Mount Lu from the north, Su Shi’s first stop was the ‘Universally Penetrating Chan Monastery’ (Yuantong chanyuan). This institution was famous largely because it was known as the place where the Bodhisattva Guanyin (‘goddess of mercy’) reputedly attained enlightenment (Kong 1998: 618). Su’s father, Su Xun (1009–66), had once visited the monastery and, by coincidence, the day of Su Shi’s arrival marked the anniversary of his father’s death. To observe the occasion Su copied out a Buddhist hymn (jie) and presented it to Kexian, the abbot of the monastery.15 It is not clear exactly how much time Su Shi spent on the north side of Mount Lu, but it was not very long. We know that by the time of the Dragon Boat Festival (10 June) he was already in nearby Yunzhou sightseeing with his brother, whom he had not seen in four years (Kong 1998: 621). In less than a week, however, he was back at Lushan, but this time he approached the mountain from the south. With the one exception of the hymn he presented to Abbot Kexian, all of the other compositions resulting from Su Shi’s visit to Mount Lu in 1084 were written during this second approach of the mountain.16

The literary legacy of Su Shi’s visit to Mount Lu During his visit to Mount Lu, Su Shi composed one ‘report’ (ji) and several poems. The report is titled ‘Personal Report on My Mount Lu Poems’ (‘Zi ji Lushan shi’)17 (SSWJ: 68, 2164–65; hereafter, I shall refer to this text

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simply as the ‘Report’). This prose piece, which is actually a travel record (youji), provides an extremely useful backdrop against which we can examine the various poems Su Shi composed during his visit to Mount Lu. Not surprisingly, in the opening lines of the ‘Report’, Su Shi comments on Mount Lu’s renowned scenery: ‘On my first visit to Mount Lu, the mountain vales were spectacular and lush – something I had never seen before’ (SSWJ: 68, 2165). Such praise, though deserving in the case of Lushan’s renowned mountain scenery, is virtually obligatory in youji. The statement that follows, however, is a bit surprising: It seemed more than I could possibly take in, and so I made it known that I did not wish to compose any poems. But after visiting the Buddhist clergy and laymen on the mountain, they all announced that Su Zizhan [or Su Shi]18 had come for a visit. (SSWJ: 68, 2165) While it might seem a bit odd that Su Shi – the most famous writer in China at the time – would announce that he ‘did not wish to compose any poems’, his initial intent was probably to avoid composing verses to meet requests for them from monks and others who lived on Mount Lu. The enthusiastic greeting he received from ‘Buddhist clergy and laymen on the mountain’, however, immediately inspired a poem. Without thinking, I composed a quatrain that goes: Straw sandals and a green bamboo cane; I strung myself a hundred-cash and embarked on a tour.19 How strange that even deep within the mountain, One and all recognized the former marquis.20 (SSWJ: 68, 2165) This is one of three quatrains that comprise a set of poems titled ‘My First Visit to Mount Lu: Three Poems’ (‘Chu ru Lushan: san shou’; SSSJ: 23, 1209–10). This verse serves as a fitting introduction to Su Shi’s visit to Mount Lu. Equipped with walking sandals, a bamboo cane and some cash, he heads out to explore the mountain. He is surprised, however, to discover that everyone – even those who live ‘deep within the mountain’ – recognizes him.

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The ‘Report’ continues: But soon I jeered at the nonsense of my earlier statement [about not wishing to compose any poems] and composed two additional quatrains that go: Blue-green mountains seem to lack human feelings; Lofty, aloof, irreproachable. If I am ever to know the face of Mount Lu, That will be in years to come, when we are old friends. (SSWJ: 68, 2165) In contrast to the first ‘introductory’ quatrain, cited above, this second poem is significant among Su Shi’s Mount Lu writings. Here he attempts (in the first two lines) to personify the mountain as a ‘friend’, but it is ‘lofty, aloof, and irreproachable’ – so much so that the mountain seems to ‘lack human feelings’ (wusu). At the same time, however, he does not give up hope. Perhaps one day he can come to ‘know’ (shi) the ‘face’ (or ‘true face’, mian) of the mountain, but this will require some period of time, until the poet and the mountain become ‘old friends’ (guren). In order to understand the significance of Su Shi’s visit to Lushan, it is essential to consider what he hoped to accomplish from the experience. The answer, I believe, is found in this quatrain. In short, he was seeking to ‘shi’ the ‘mian’ of Mount Lu. I would argue that the verb shi in this context carries a meaning beyond the usual glosses ‘to know’ or ‘to recognize’, which stress knowledge of something and/or something that is visually familiar. Here, however, Su seems to use shi in the Buddhist sense of ‘discern, comprehend and ultimately experience’.21 The object of the verb shi here is mian. Most often, mian either refers to a human face or designates the flat surface of an object, such as a mirror. When referring to Lushan, Su is using mian to refer to the form, shape or pattern of the mountain. Ultimately, then, Su is seeking to experience the physical forms and patterns of Mount Lu, while consciously or unconsciously ‘discovering more about himself’ in the process. But what does it really mean to ‘experience the physical forms and patterns’ of the mountain? The answer to this question will be revealed later in this essay. For now, suffice it to say that initially, at least, Su Shi failed to achieve this

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purpose. The mountain is simply too ‘aloof and irreproachable’. Perhaps one day it might be possible for the poet to become friends with the mountain, but only after cultivating their ‘relationship’ over several years. The second [quatrain] goes: Since long ago I’ve cherished impeccable scenic views; To sojourn with spirits amid the arcane and misty.22 Now it is no longer a dream: I really am on Mount Lu! Someone sent me a copy of Chen Lingju’s Account of Mount Lu, which I read as I traveled along. (SSWJ: 68, 2165) ‘Chen Lingju’ refers to Chen Shunyu (d. 1074; Lingju was his courtesy name). His Account of Mount Lu (Lushan ji), in five fascicles (juan), was probably composed when Chen served as an official in Nankang command, near Mount Lu, sometime around 1070.23 The third fascicle of this work was designed to serve as a sort of traveller’s guidebook to the mountain, with specific information on routes to be followed, places to visit, and the like. The fourth fascicle of the Lushan ji is an anthology of poems with references to Mount Lu, covering the period from the Jin to the Five Dynasties. No doubt, Su Shi read through the collection carefully, for when he got to the Tang dynasty section of the poetry anthology, he had the following response: ‘I noticed that it [the Lushan ji] mentioned something about the poems of Xu Ning and Li Bo, and I burst out in spontaneous, uncontrollable laughter’ (SSWJ: 68, 2165). To find out what inspired Su’s ‘spontaneous, uncontrollable laughter’, we need to turn to another one of his Lushan verses (not mentioned or included in the ‘Report’). The long title of this poem provides an explanation for Su’s sudden outburst. As it turns out, the inspiration for Su’s laughter does not seem to be a work by Li Bo, but rather one composed by the ninth-century poet Xu Ning (fl. 813): The Generations Have Passed Down Xu Ning’s Poem ‘Waterfall,’ which says: ‘A single expanse smashes the azure mountain hue’. [This] is so crude and vulgar! Moreover, [the Lushan ji] falsely attributes a Bo

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Juyi verse as praising the beauty of this line, using the expression ‘unsurpassed’. Letian [or Bo Juyi] waded in the superficial and the simple, but when did he ever go this far! For this reason I playfully composed a quatrain. (Deng et al. 1960: 474, 5377) As far as Su Shi’s Mount Lu experience is concerned, the merits of his criticism (even ridicule) of Xu Ning’s poem – although fascinating – need not overly concern us here.24 More significant for our purpose is this: in the history of travel writing in China up to the Northern Song, writers who visited well-known scenic sites or historical landmarks almost always acknowledged and praised earlier works about those places.25 However, few, if any, of these visitors ‘used’ youji (here I include prose pieces and poems about travelling to famous places) as a vehicle to judge and criticize the works of earlier writers (as Su Shi is doing here). Later, in the Southern Song dynasty and thereafter, literary criticism became an integral part of youji writing. One reason, then, why Su’s harsh judgment here of Xu Ning’s poem is so significant is that he is breaking new generic ground in youji writing. This new ground is clearly evident in the quatrain Su Shi penned to express his final judgment of Xu Ning’s poem: The head of the Kaixian Monastery requested a poem, so I composed a quatrain for him that goes: The arch drops the Milky Way, a single headstream dangles down; Since days immemorial there have only been the words of the Banished Immortal.26 So numerous are the splashes and spittings from the torrents, But none can wash away Xu Ning’s rank poem. (SSSJ: 23, 1210–11) I moved about the mountain from south to north for some ten days, but found it impossible to write about all the surpassing sights. I selected those that were outstanding, none of which were better than the Rinsing Jade Pavilion and the Three Gorges Bridge. Therefore, I wrote two poems [about these sites]. (SSWJ: 68, 2165)

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The two verses that Su Shi composed to celebrate his visit to the Rinsing Jade Pavilion and Three Gorges Bridge are included in Su Shi shiji (Collected verses of Su Shi) (Su 1982). In a preface to these poems, Su makes a startling confession, which might explain his initial reluctance to compose poetry during his Lushan visit and the fact that he composed relatively few literary works during his approximately ten days’ visit to the mountain. The preface reads: ‘As for my trip to Mount Lu, from south to north I found fifteen or sixteen remarkable and surpassing sights, and probably could not have kept a record of all of them. And I was lazy and didn’t want to write poems [for all of them]. So I selected those among them that were especially lovely and composed two poems’.27 Here we will consider the first of the two poems, entitled ‘The Kaixian Monastery’s Rinsing Jade Pavilion’ (Kaixian Souyu ting): Lofty cliffs stand below a fiery sun; Deep valleys send forth mournful breezes. They break open the azure-jade gorge, From which two soaring white dragons emerge. Jumbled foam spreads frost and snow; An ancient pool rocks the clear sky. Swelled currents slip by without a murmur; Swift runoff, pairs of rocky canyons. I’ve come, but cannot bear to go in there; The moon comes out and soars east of the bridge. Vast and boundless are the white, silvery towers; Deep and heavy is the water crystal palace. I’m willing to follow Master Qin’gao,28 My feet stomp at Master Chijun.29 Clasping a white lotus flower in my hand, I plunge down into the clearness and coolness. Finally, along with Zonglao I made a trip to the Western Forest [Monastery] and composed another quatrain that goes: Looking from the side it forms a range, from the end it forms a peak; From far away or nearby, up high or down below, it’s never the same. I do not know Mount Lu’s true face and eyes,

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And this is simply because I am in the very midst of the mountain itself. (SSSJ: 23, 1219) As for my Mount Lu poems, they indeed conclude right here. (SSWJ: 68, 2164–65) This final quatrain, a product of Su Shi’s visit to Mount Lu in 1084, is probably his most famous poem. While virtually every critic, literary historian, and poetry connoisseur since the Song dynasty has praised this quatrain, few seem to have seriously attempted to tackle the following questions: What does the poem actually mean? What does it refer to? How does it relate to Su Shi’s state of mind during his Lushan visit? Before attempting to discuss the poem, we should note that it is certainly possible to approach and explain it in different ways. For example, one could easily, I think, view this verse as a poetic expression of the Buddhist idea of mangren moxiang (‘blind men groping at an elephant’), an oftenquoted expression that derives from the Nirvana su ¯ tra. Following this reading, the elephant would represent the nature of the Buddha (foxing), while the blind men would stand for ‘all the unenlightened sentient beings’, whose attempts to ‘know’ the Buddha are failures because they can only grasp its ‘parts’ and while doing so ‘miss the whole’. On the occasion of Su Shi’s visit to the West Forest Buddhist Monastery, this would certainly be an appropriate topic for a poem. If we carry this line of understanding a step further, then Su is saying that Mount Lu might be viewed like the Buddha and his teachings; those who write about the mountain’s fantastic scenery often miss the ‘big picture’ (and, by extension, understanding and perhaps even enlightenment) by only describing its various ‘parts’ (a particular peak, valley, and so on). As for Su Shi and his visit to Mount Lu, the ‘big picture’ would be totally experiencing (shi) all aspects of the mountain, or its ‘true face and eyes’. This is the case even when one is standing in the very midst of the mountain. Any sort of ‘complete’ experience, Su is saying, just cannot happen. This is because, depending on where you stand and observe the mountain, your view will always be different. Lushan is simply too multifaceted to be taken all in at once. But if this is Su Shi’s main point here – and I believe it is – then where does that leave us?

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In our quest to better understand Su Shi’s literary works, especially poems and prose writings dealing with landscape, I believe it is essential to be aware of how he understood the process of the perception of images, shapes and contours. Fuelled by Shi’s quatrain ‘To Be Inscribed on the Wall of the West Forest Monastery’ and based on my own reading of his works in which scene (jing) seems to play a primary role, I would suggest the following: for Su Shi, landscape scenes are always dynamic – they are ever changing, always in motion. Change can be the result of many sources, such as the arrival and departure of daylight or shifting weather patterns. The key point here is that all physical environments are dynamic; they are never static. You cannot stand in one place and take in the ‘true face and eyes’ of Mount Lu or any other landscape. This is because mountain scenes, like all physical environments, change as they are viewed by humans moving past or through them. It does not matter if you are walking, climbing, or even travelling by boat down a river. And why is it that these scenes are always changing? Consider these lines: North Mountain is not high by itself; A thousand leagues are entrusted to my feet. How could West Lake have something like this? Myriad forms are born from my eyes. (SSSJ: 32, 1682) Here, in the space of just twenty Chinese characters, we find the core ideas behind how Su Shi perceived landscapes. Our perceptions of North Mountain, West Lake, or anywhere in the world for that matter, are conditioned by where we are and what we are doing at the time of observation. Humans, then, can only see things in ‘parts’ (like the blind men groping at the elephant); never in their entirety (quan). To put it another way, no one could ever see the form or image of Mount Lu in all its manifestations. Ultimately, then, Su Shi is saying that human sense perceptions are limited. In an earlier poem of 1075, he makes this same declaration concerning West Lake in Hangzhou: West Lake – one of the great scenes in the world! Travellers there are neither silly nor sagely.

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Su Shi and Mount Lu

Shallow or deep, everyone finds what they are after, But who could know its entirety? (SSSJ: 13, 644) The sentiments expressed here are very similar to those in the ‘North Mountain’ quatrain considered earlier, but the poet’s argument is stated in bolder terms. Like Mount Lu, West Lake is one of the great scenic wonders of the world. Travellers and writers who visit there are all basically ‘the same’ in that they find what they are after, yet at the same time they are all ‘different’ in that perceptions of the scene there will differ according to where they are and what they are doing during the process of ‘seeing’. Sometimes the most brilliant idea is the simplest idea. Now consider the advice offered in the closing lines of the Hangzhou poem just quoted: With whip and staff, and no special path or road, Push onward, going wherever you like. (SSSJ: 13, 645) A close reading of Su Shi’s landscape verse written from the time he took office in Hangzhou (in 1071) until the end of his life, reveals that he almost always followed his own advice. Rarely, if ever, do we find a fixed perspective. Su is never the ‘outside observer’ reporting on what he sees. His poems have multiple perspectives, which are always changing. They thus have no fixed meaning and are open to multiple interpretations. This is precisely why his landscape poetry is so spontaneous, vigorous and often transcendent in perspective. And it is exactly these qualities that make his quatrain ‘To Be Inscribed on the Wall of the West Monastery’ an outstanding poem.

Notes 1 2

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The most useful study in English of Su Shi’s various exiles is by K.M. Tomlonovic (1989). On Su Shi’s Hainan exile, see my recent essay: Hargett (2000: 141–67). This was certainly the case in the late eleventh century, when rival political factions in China sought to influence government opinion and implement their policies. It should also be noted that political exile could at times be downright dangerous. To cite just one well-known example, in 1097, just before Su Shi left for

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3 4

5

6 7 8 9

10 11 12 13

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15

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his new exile post on Hainan Island, he made arrangements for his own funeral and burial, for he was convinced that there was ‘no hope of ever returning alive’ (Su Shi 1986 (hereafter SSWJ) 56, 1695). For a discussion of Su Shi’s contributions to travel writing in China see J. Hargett (1990: 369–96). In China, numerous youji collections have been published since the 1980s. Here I will mention just two titles: Bei & Ye (1983) and Ni et al. (1996). The first of these collections is distinguished by its superb annotations; the second title is notable for its vast selection of youji, which are arranged by province and particular site. The most comprehensive anthology of Chinese travel literature published to date in a Western language is R.E. Strassberg’s superb Inscribed Landscapes (1994). Fragments of the Imperial Censorate dossier that includes documents related to the investigation and prosecution of Su Shi are collectively known today as ‘Dongpo’s Crow Terrace Poetry Case’ (‘Dongpo Wutaishi an’). For more details, see Hartman (1990: 15–44). This pattern would repeat itself later during Su Dongpo’s Hainan exile. In making my translation, I have consulted Andrew March’s translation, as cited by B. Grant (1994: 108–09). Su Shi’s life-long interest in Buddhism is discussed in detail in B. Grant’s excellent study (Grant 1994). Number 21 in a series of letters to Teng Dadao. For additional information on the presence of Su Shi in his Yijing commentary, see Zeng Zaozhuang (1980: 59–66); R.C. Egan (1994: 68ff); and K. Smith, Jr et al. (1990: 56–99). This occurred on 4 March 1084. See Kong Fanli (1998: 2, 596ff). This date and all dates given below follow the Western calendar. Little else seems to be known about Zhao Pin and his son, Zhao Ji. See Kong Fanli (1998: 23, 612–13). The association of Kuangsu’s ‘hut’ with the name Lushan (‘Hut Mountain’) is mentioned in numerous sources. See, for instance, Zhongguo diming yuyuan cidian (1995: 289–90). Huiyuan’s two texts are conveniently assembled, along with numerous other travel records concerning Mount Lu, by Zhou Luanshu and Zhao Ming (1996). The two quotations here are from Huiyuan’s ‘Record of Mount Lu’ (Zhou & Zhao 1996: 2). Another useful anthology of literary writings on Mount Lu is included (without notes) in Ni et al. (1995: 2, 703–82). These events are described in the long title of a poem (Su Shi shiji 1982 (hereafter SSSJ) 23, 1211–12). In the preface Su also mentions meeting a monk at the monastery who might have known his father. In Kong Fanli correctly notes that the chronological order of Su Shi’s Mount Lu poems in juan 23 of SSSJ is wrong. These poems should appear before his visit to Yunzhou, not after it (Kong 1998: 625). An alternative title for this text is ‘An Account of My Travels at Mount Lu’ (‘Ji you Lushan’). Zizhan was Su Shi’s zi, or courtesy name. This line probably alludes to Ruan Xiu (ca. 270–312), who reportedly often went out walking with a string of a hundred-cash hanging round the neck of his staff (Fang Xuanling 1974: 49, 1366).

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Su Shi and Mount Lu 20 The term ‘former marquis’ (guhou) alludes to Zhao Ping, who, after the Han conquest of the Qin, was enfeoffed as the Marquis of Donglin. Rather than serve as a government official, however, he instead chose to follow the life of a commoner and sell melons outside the eastern gate of Chang’an (Sima 1959: 53, 2017). Su Shi draws a parallel between himself and Zhao Ping because, technically speaking, Su was still out of public office and, like Zhao Ping, perhaps saw himself as now living the preferred lifestyle of a ‘commoner’. 21 Note the following glosses, provided by Ding Fubao (1874–1952) in (1984: 1431): (1) ‘When the heart/mind is clear about and discerning with respect to environment/scene, this is called “shi”’; and (2) ‘To “shi” means to consider one’s basic nature by discerning environment/scene’. If my reading of these glosses is correct, then by ‘clearly discerning’ the scene at Lushan, Su Shi – theoretically, at least – might be able to ‘see’ or ‘discover’ his own basic nature (zixing). This understanding seems to fit with the introspective phase of his life in Huangzhou. 22 This line probably alludes to Li Bo, who was renowned for his ‘sojourning with spirits’ (yu shen you). 23 For additional information on various extant editions of the Lushan ji, see Y. Hervouet (1978: 162). A full-length study of this text can be found in F.C. Reiter (1978). 24 Su Shi does not state the reason(s) for his strong objection to Xu Ning’s verse, especially the line he cites in the title of his poem. My guess is that Xu Ning might have been too literal for Su Shi here, and that he uses the measure tiao, which is usually reserved for rolls of silk or cloth (bu) and not for jie (‘border’ or ‘demarcation line’). 25 R.E. Strassberg (1994: 1–56) discusses this tradition at length. 26 ‘Banished immortal’ refers to Li Bo. The Li Bo poem in question here is the second of two verses entitled ‘Gazing at the Waterfall at Mount Lu’ (‘Wang Lushan pubu’), which can be found in Qu Shuiyuan and Zhu Jincheng (1980: 21, 1241). Su Shi was especially fond of this poem. Here is Li Bo’s poem: The sun shines on Incense Burner Peak, producing purple smoke; Looking from afar, the white waterfall hangs like a long river. The cascading current flies straight down three thousand leagues; One could almost imagine this, the Milky Way descending from the highest heaven. 27 The preface and two poems are found in SSSJ (1982: 23, 1215–16). 28 Qin’gao was once a courtier of King Kang of the State of Song, who played zither and drums. He later supposedly travelled about for several hundred years, eventually settling into the River Zhuo. 29 According to an entry in the Xiyang zazu, if one were to find a carp, it should be released immediately and named Master Chijun. See the commentary in SSSJ (1982: 23, 1216).

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References Bei Yuanchen and Ye Youming (comp. and annot.) (1983) Lidai youji xuan. Changsha: Hunan renmin chubanshe. Deng Pingqiu (ed.) (1960) Quan Tangshi. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju. Egan, R.C. (1994) Word, Image, and Deed in the Life of Su Shi. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Fang Xuanling (ed.) (1974) Jinshu. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju. Grant, B. (1994) Mount Lu Revisited: Buddhism in the Life and Writings of Su Shih. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Hargett, J. (1990) ‘The Travel Records (Yu-chi) of Su Shih (1037–1101)’, Han-hsüeh yenchiu 8, 2 (December): 369–96. Hargett, J. (2000) ‘Clearing the Apertures and Getting in Tune: The Hainan Exile of Su Shi (1037–1101)’, Journal of Sung-Yüan Studies 30: 141–67. Hartman, C. (1990) ‘Poetry and Politics in 1079: The Crow Terrace Poetry Case of Su Shih’, Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews 12 (December): 15–44. Hatch, G. (1976) ‘Su Shih’, in Franke, H. (ed.) Sung Biographies, pp. 900–68. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner. Hervouet, Y. (ed.) (1978) A Sung Bibliography. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press. Kong Fanli (1998) Su Shi nianpu. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju. Ni Zhiyun et al. (comp. and annot.) (1996) Zhongguo lidai youji jinghua quanbian. Shijiazhuang: Hebei jiaoyu chubanshe, 2 vols. Qu Shuiyuan and Zhu Jincheng (collat. and com.) (1980) Li Bo ji jiaozhu. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe. Reiter, F.C. (1978) The Account of Mount Lu (Lu-shan chi) by Ch’en Shun-yü, A Sung Dynasty Historiographic Contribution to the Lu Shan Area Ph.D. thesis, University of Munich. Sima Qian (1959) Shiji. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju. Smith, K., Jr, et al. (eds) (1990) Sung Dynasty Uses of the I Ching. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Strassberg R.E. (1994) Inscribed Landscapes: Travel Writing from Imperial China. Berkeley: University of California Press. Su Shi (1982) Su Shi shiji [cited as SSSJ]. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju. Su Shi (1986) Su Shi wenji [cited as SSWJ]. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju. Tomlonovic, K.M. (1989) Poetry of Exile and Return: A Study of Su Shi (1037–1101) Ph.D. thesis, University of Washington, Seattle. Xiao Tong (ed) (1973) Wenxuan. Hong Kong: Commercial Press. Zeng Zaozhuang (1980) ‘Cong “Piling Yi zhuan” kan Su Shi de shijie guan’, Sichuan daxue xuebao congkan 6: 59–66. Zhao Yi (1963) Oubei shihua. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe. Zhongguo diming yuyuan cidian (1995). Shanghai: Shanghai cishu chubanshe. Zhou Luanshu and Zhao Ming (eds and annot.) (1996) Lushan youji xuan. Nanchang: Jiangxi renmin chubanshe.

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CHAPTER 2 Travel as Poetic Practice in Medieval and Early Modern Japan

Steven D. Carter Department of Asian Languages Stanford University, USA

A

fter some lengthy but necessary preliminaries, my purpose in this essay will be to attempt a response to a simple question concerning a Japanese travel record by the eighteenth-century court poet Reizei Tamemura (1712–74). Tamemura’s record is a slender offering to which little attention has ever been given, in Japanese or in any other language; and doubtless it will remain obscure even after I submit it to brief analysis. The question I ask, however, is one of some significance to students of travel literature in general and Japanese travel literature in particular – namely, ‘How does one makes sense of so minimalist a work, really just a list of poems, as an account of the experience of travel?’ Late in the year 935, Ki no Tsurayuki (ca. 872–945), erstwhile imperial librarian and petty official in the imperial Japanese court, returned by sea from a four-year stint as provincial governor in Tosa, the southernmost province of the island of Shikoku. Sometime after arriving back in Kyoto, he put together a record of his journey entitled Tosa nikki – ‘A Tosa Journal’. What his own ultimate motives were in doing so is a moot point, but there can be no denying that later generations looked to his journal as initiating a new genre, the travel record, or tabi nikki, which thereafter was defined at least partly by the central place it gave to poetic expression as opposed to more straightforward narrative and description. The affiliation of poetry with travel had been established long before Tsurayuki’s time, in chronicles and poetry collections, for instance, as well as in Ise monogatari (Tales of Ise, late ninth century), some of the most important sections of which deal with its hero’s journey to the East

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Country. Further, the first imperially commissioned anthology, Kokinshu¯ (Collection of ancient and modern times, 905), on the editorial board of which Tsurayuki had served 40 years earlier recording his travel journal, had also contained a whole chapter (Book 9) dedicated to travel poems. However, it was after the appearance of Tsurayuki’s record that travelling for the literate classes became virtually synonymous with the composition of poems. There are 56 original poems in Tosa nikki, some attributed to Tsurayuki himself and others to people in his entourage. One of his purposes seems to have been to illustrate a point that he made in the preface to Kokinshu¯: ‘The song of the warbler among the blossoms, the voice of the frog dwelling in the water – these teach us that every living creature sings’ (McCullough 1985: 3). For Tsurayuki, on the road, at least, everyone, from himself and his cohorts to women and even boatmen and children, sings. The connection was one that would persist among Japanese poets – and indeed among many travellers who were not truly poets – for countless generations to come. Thus, the relationship between poetry and travel was established early on in the Japanese literary tradition. It was in the medieval, Warring States, and early modern periods, however, that the writing of travel poetry reached its zenith. Scores of texts appeared in the years between the time of the Genpei Wars (1180–85) and the establishment of the Tokugawa government in the early seventeenth century, followed by literally hundreds more, many of which are still only available in manuscript form, in the subsequent three centuries. During this time, travel itself became what could be termed ‘poetic practice’, as did writing about it in poems and poetic journals. By this I mean that for Japanese poets, travel – or at least an idealized version of travel founded as much on book learning as on ‘real’ experience – thus became as much a test of competence as was participation in a poetry contest back in the capital, or submission of poems for an anthology. All such acts were elements of poetic practice by which poets maintained their status in the literary community and supported the literary enterprise, producing poems in the process. This more than any other factor, I submit, accounts for the peculiar nature of so many Japanese travel records, which to those looking

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for accounts of nitty-gritty experience on the road may seem somehow incomplete. Not all travelling poets were courtiers, of course, but during the centuries in question almost all of them embraced the literary values of court society, which maintained a position of social and cultural dominance even as it lost political hegemony over time. Among other things, this meant that both their approach to travel as an experience and the way they wrote about that experience shared four basic characteristics that historically derive from aristocratic society. The first of these characteristics was the primacy of poetry itself – a feature of Japanese travel writing that is so dominant that it is easy to overlook. But it is important to remember that already by the time of Kokinshu¯ travel had become a fixed topic in poetic composition, which meant that all who participated in poetic events at court or in aristocratic houses had to be able to handle it as a theme, regardless of their personal experience or even interest. For the next millennium, travel would continue to be treated as an essentially poetic topic, along with the seasons, love, grief and religious sentiment. Many travel records were in fact collections of poems loosely connected by tidbits of prose in which the latter was clearly in service to the former. Doubtless there were many even among the literate who did not leave behind any record of their travels, but for those who did the centrality of poetry was a virtually unquestioned element of practice. The second characteristic of Japanese travel writing before the modern era is an extension of the first in the sense that it involves an active turning away from anything that is deemed to be outside the proper realm of the aesthetic: in other words, an elision of immediate, practical concerns, especially commercial or ‘worldly’ ones, in favour of the poetic as a kind of genealogy. In this sense, writing a poem about a famous place meant not just facing a present landscape but also the historic accretions that surrounded it like a discursive shell. The theme is realized explicitly in a poem by Saigyo¯ (1118–90): [Topic unknown] That spring long ago at Naniwa in Tsu –

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was it all a dream? Now only dead leaves on the reeds rustle in the passing wind. (Tsu no kuni no / naniwa no haru wa / yume nare ya / ashi no kareha ni / kaze wataru nari) (Shin kokinshu¯, (New Kokinshu¯) poem no. 625, in Shinpen kokka taikan (1983)). Why Saigyo¯ visited Naniwa on this occasion (if indeed he did, we cannot be sure) we do not know. But what he claims to have seen there is clear. ‘That spring’ of course must refer back to something, and something that any educated reader of the time would immediately remember. In this case the referent is a famous poem by No¯in (988–1050?), an earlier and also well-known traveller. (A poem sent to someone in the first month of the year, when he was living in Tsu Province) Oh that I might share it with a person of true feeling – the spring vista on the coast at Naniwa, in the land of Tsu. (Kokoro aran / hito ni miseba ya / tsu no kuni no / naniwa watari no / haru no keshiki o) (Goshu¯ishu¯ (Later collection of gleanings), poem no. 43, in Shinpen kokka taikan (1983)) Standing before a spring vista, No¯in had hoped for someone with whom he could share his experience, and Saigyo¯’s poem represents a claim to be just that – a person of ‘true feeling’ able to transcend time. The proof he proffers is his poem itself, a more somber one than No¯in’s that shows the ability to respond in kind without merely repeating what the earlier poem had already accomplished. In it Saigyo¯ places himself before a wintry landscape behind which hover the spring colours of No¯in’s poem, both imagistically and thematically. Not surprisingly, Saigyo¯ thus wants less to show that he has seen the actual landscape at Naniwa than that he sees 23

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the earlier poem – a principle that would remain true for centuries to come, when employing the image of reeds in poems about that place would become almost obligatory. Before such a scene, the practical concerns of the moment receded into insignificance. There were probably many other things to see at Naniwa, but Saigyo¯ sought to see beyond them, elevating his discourse from the mundane to the realm of the aesthetic and spiritual. And, just as Saigyo¯ had looked back to No¯in, other travelling poets would look back to Saigyo¯ in turn, even when it meant overlooking much in the present, even in the prose sections of their travel records, let alone in their poems. This endless looking back would become a central feature of travel poetry. One result of this attitude was a tendency to fix attention primarily on places famous in poetry – utamakura or nadokoro, in the vocabulary of the court tradition. This is the third major feature of Japanese travel writing, which builds on the second just as the second did on the first. It goes without saying that anyone striking out on the road between, for example, Kyoto and Kamakura would view thousands of vistas that could easily be put into words. And indeed many poems were written about places of no particular historical significance, although usually those that presented well precedented images. Japanese travel writing is remarkable, however, for concentrating mostly on places that have already elicited poems. This is perhaps not surprising in a tradition that emphasizes community over individuality, but it is noteworthy nonetheless. No¯in was among the first to produce a list of such important places (No¯in utamakura (No¯in’s poetic gazetteer, early eleventh century), in Sasaki Nobutsuna (1956)). Over the coming centuries, numerous such works would appear, and studying them – as opposed to actually going out to see them with one’s own eyes – would become a component in education. Not surprisingly, many other products of a courtly education also manifested themselves in travel writing. The most prominent one is perhaps best seen as an extension of what was seen as the most fundamental truth of Buddhism: transience. For the experience of travel in Japanese poetry is almost always presented in melancholy terms that emphasize the isolation, vulnerability and anxiety of the speaker. Moving from place to place, at the mercy of the elements, often unsure of what might be waiting along the road, a poetic traveller was virtually forced to

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come face to face with the ephemeral nature of existence. Again, Saigyo¯, consciously or not, makes the point: (Written when he was on a journey to the East Country) How could I have known that I would pass this way once more, well stricken in years? Long life alone has brought me to Mount Saya again. (Toshi takete / mata koyu beshi to / omoiki ya / inochi narikeri / sayanonakayama) (Shin kokinshu¯, poem no. 987, in Shinpen kokka taikan (1983)) (Written on seeing Mount Fuji, when he was in the East Country doing religious devotions) As smoke that drifts from the peak of Fuji, fading into the sky with no sure destination – so is the trend of my passion. (Kaze ni nabiku / fuji no keburi no / sora ni kiete / yukue mo shiranu / waga kokoro kana) (Shin kokinshu¯, poem no. 1615, in Shinpen kokka taikan (1983)) In the first of these poems, written when the poet was nearing 70, Saigyo¯ marvels at a long life he never expected while also hinting at the uncertainty of his future, while in the second he speaks more generally of the transient nature of human passions.1 In both cases he chooses a prominent place name as a backdrop for his statements, and in both cases employs travel as a metaphor for human experience. Life, he suggests, is a journey whose end(s) we cannot know. Although it is a point one can never hope to prove, one suspects that it was this feature of travel that in fact recommended it as a poetic topic. Going on the road was a perilous business that easily brought unhappy doctrines to mind. 25

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After Saigyo¯, the most well known Japanese travelling poets were commoners, So¯gi (1421–1502) and Matsuo Basho¯ (1644–94) being the most prominent. Significantly, all of these men were essentially professional poets whose work virtually required travel to meet with old disciples and recruit new ones. But even after the advent of such figures, courtier poets from the highest lineages, whose position at the top of the social hierarchy secured them a dominant place in literary discourse well into the early modern period, left many travel poems and travel records as well. This was particularly true of those born into the so-called ‘poetic houses’ (uta no ie) – the Nijo¯, for instance, and later the Asukai, the Nakanoin and the Karasumaru – who carried the responsibility for instruction and the conduct of poetic affairs at court and in the noble houses. As time went on and the nobility lost political power, they found their activities more and more confined to the traditional arts, crafts and bodies of knowledge, into which they put much of their effort and resources. In this way the poetic houses became a greater force in the cultural economy than even the imperial family in many periods. Their ideas, ideals and practices would profoundly influence attitudes toward travel and travel poetry until the twentieth century, among courtiers and commoners alike. The noble poetic lineage that could claim the most distinguished pedigree from the late medieval period onward was the lineage of Reizei Tamemura, who could trace its line back to the great poet-scholar Fujiwara no Teika (1164–1241). In the early days of the lineage, the Reizei were overshadowed by members of a more senior house, which obliged them to seek out patrons not in Kyoto, but in Kamakura, seat of government for the shogunate in the thirteenth century. One by-product of this misfortune was that travel between the old capital and the military encampment became for them a regular feature of life. This is appropriately attested by the first Reizei travel record, Izayoi nikki (The journal of the sixteenth-night moon), which records the journey of the Nun Abutsu (d. ca. 1283), founder of the lineage, from Kyoto to Kamakura.2 Her son Tamesuke (1263–1328) continued the tradition with a poem sequence on the station stops of the To¯kai Road, entitled the Kaido¯ shukuji hyakushu – One Hundred Poems on the Inns of the Coastal Road.3 Over the years of traveling back and forth between the imperial capital

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and the shogun’s city, he no doubt got to know those stops well. One poem from that sequence, recorded in the voluminous Fuboku wakasho¯ (Japan Collection, 1309; later edited and expanded, 1317–32), a collection put together by one of his disciples, shows that he had done his homework well. The stop on the road which the poem commemorates is Kuroda (‘Dark Paddies’) in Owari Province. Near and far, again everything has disappeared – at Dark Paddies, jet-black in the growing gloom of the evening sky. (Ochikochi mo / imahata miezu / mubatama no / kuroda no sato no/ yu¯yami no sora) (Fuboku wakashu¯, poem no. 14, 692, in Shinpen kokka taikan (1984)) From Tsurayuki’s time, the essence of travel had been defined as a kind of isolation, albeit one tinged with a gentle melancholy: an estrangement made less onerous by the ameliorating influence of natural beauties. Another poem, this one from Tamesuke’s personal anthology, conveys the same thing. Rather than on the onset of evening’s gloom, this poem focuses on the exhilaration of an early morning departure tempered by another kind of loneliness. (Travel) Their destination must be a far one today – for as they set out from the village this morning, they meet no one on the road. (Yuku saki no / tomari ya to¯ki / kono sato o / asa tatsu hodo wa / au hito mo nashi)4 As these and many other poems attest, Reizei Tamesuke was a thoroughly competent poet. Thanks to a combination of his efforts, those of his

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descendants, and the tricks of fate, the Reizei eventually established themselves back in Kyoto. For practical as well as poetic motivations, however, the poets of the house continued to travel and write travel poems. Some wrote under great distress as they wandered through the hinterlands when Kyoto was in turmoil, while others wrote in more peaceful circumstances during lulls between the fighting that dominated the central provinces from the 1460s to the early seventeenth century. All continued in traditions established long before and still accepted as relevant to human experience in any age. Even after half a millennium, the essential features of travel poetry – at least as practised by court poets and their disciples – remained largely unchanged. Surely no event in Japanese history changed the nature of travel more than the establishment of peace and order by the Tokugawa government in the early 1600s. In ways unimaginable just a few years before, the roads were safe and moving from one place to another – once a dangerous venture – became easy. There were more roads, which were better maintained and protected, and many more travellers were using them, for commerce. The Reizei also made use of the roads for the most practical of reasons, as is evident in the career of Reizei Tamemura, fifteenth head of the house and probably the single most important figure in the history of the lineage by any standard – economic, social or artistic. From his house on Imadegawa Avenue, just north of the Imperial Palace and Courtiers’ Quarter in northern Kyoto, Tamemura created a small empire that reached out to almost every corner of Japan, sustained by written correspondence but also by travel on new and safer roads. Born in 1712, Tamemura was trained by his father and the heads of several other courtly poetic houses from childhood and showed talent early. He rose rapidly in the ranks, achieving the offices of Major Counselor and Minister of Civil Affairs in his late forties, along with accompanying Senior Second rank – the highest achievements available to one of his status. By long contract, the annual stipend of the house was fixed at the relatively modest sum of 300 koku per year (a measure of rice calculated to support one person for a full year), but in addition to this he received support from the many disciples of the house who paid annual fees as well as providing gifts on special occasions. The result was a comfortable living for Tamemura and his extended family, with enough left over to allow him the luxury of investing back into the house in a 28

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variety of ways, including a thorough cataloguing of the family library, the commissioning of portraits of not only himself but earlier members of the house, collecting manuscripts and works of art, and the pursuit of other high-class hobbies, from tea to painting and calligraphy. His labours gained him a strong position at court that his heirs would be challenged to maintain. Tamemura engaged in every facet of poetic practice with vigour. First of all, he was active as a teacher, which was the primary activity of the head of any artistic lineage in his day. At court, not just anyone was allowed to teach an art form: such a privilege required long apprenticeship and official recognition. Tamemura himself was not formally licensed to do so by the Emperor until the age of 37 (Kubota 2000b: 5). But even before that time he taught many courtiers informally, as well as commoners. Various meetings were held at the Reizei house on Imadegawa according to a regular monthly schedule, over which he presided, offering his services as a ‘marker’ (tenja) of student work and giving lectures on technique, poetic history and the classics. He also carried on an active correspondence with students living too far away to attend such meetings regularly. By the time of his death, he was said to have over 1,000 disciples, in every district of the country (Yoshimasa kikigaki (Yoshimasa’s transcription), in Kinsei kagaku shu¯sei (1997: 3, 725–26)). Another area in which Tamemura was active was participation at court functions. Like all the arts, poetry had been ritualized long before, and participating at any level required a thorough knowledge of proper etiquette and ceremony. As experts, the members of poetic lineages were called upon to undertake any number of responsibilities – from daisha (provider of set topics for composition) to ‘lector’ (ko¯shi, the man who read poems aloud at gatherings) or ‘marshall’ (dokushi, the man assigned to collect poem slips and proofread them for errors). To Tamemura such responsibilities became routine. Indeed, he became such a fixture at court events that late in life he could boast that in 36 years he had been absent from imperial tsukinami meetings (various meetings held on preestablished days each month) only three times (Kubota 2000b: 5). Finally, of course, Tamemura wrote poems. No one can say how many, but given the fact that education for a young man in his position began early and the prevailing belief that repetition was the best way of learning,

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a figure of 300,000 is not out of the question. His personal anthology contains just over 2,000 poems – the ones that he thought of as exemplary enough to recommend to students and future generations as models. In addition to his personal anthology, Tamemura left behind several travel records, all of which prominently feature poems. As had been the case in earlier ages, courtiers travelled less frequently than commoners: students came to them in most cases, rather than the master going out to recruit, as in the case of Basho¯ (Carter 1997). Tellingly, though, the journeys recorded by Tamemura were to Edo, which under Tokugawa rule had come to compete with Kyoto in both political and cultural terms. Unfortunately, only one of Tamemura’s travel records is available in printed form – the first one, chronologically, which recounts his trip to Edo in the late spring of 1746, when he was still a ‘Consultant’. As mentioned above, it is a short work, only six pages or so in modern printed form, but for that very reason has the virtue of revealing what was expected of such works – minimalism. As a record of poetic practice, in other words, its brevity has the effect of excluding from view anything that was considered extraneous. Although the record makes no mention of it – a significant point, as I shall argue later – the occasion of the 1746 work was to congratulate a newly ascended shogun, Ieshige (1711–61), as a representative of the Emperor and the noble families of his court in Kyoto. At the end of his record Tamemura in fact appends a group of poems composed at the imperial palace in preparation for the journey. As senior poet, his old teacher Karasumaru Mitsuhide (1689–1748), who also made the journey and left his own record of it, had the honour of composing on the topic of ‘Travel Prayer’: With reverence, for the third time I set out on the Eastern Road – blessed as other travellers in the peace of our Lord’s reign. (Augu zo yo / mitabi idetatsu / azumaji no / yukiki mo yasuku / osamareru yo o)

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(Kanto¯ geko¯ no tochu ¯ ei (Poems written on a journey to the Kanto¯), in Tsumoto (1993: 1, 321)) Here the purpose of the journey is at least gestured toward, but even then it is only in the context of praise for the reign of the emperor, Sakuramachi (1720–50), rather than the shogun. Nowhere else is the extra-literary ‘business’ of the travellers alluded to in any way. As is the case with most other travel diaries, the poetic record is restricted to just that – a poetic record, with no digressions. This elision is particularly interesting because we know how important Edo was for the Reizei fortunes in the market of the time. As the seat of shogunal government, the relatively new city on the eastern coast was a bustling place where the demand for cultural services was high. In contrast to the court families, whose koku stipends were in the hundreds, many warrior houses had stipends in the thousands. Not a few among these had signed oaths as disciples of the Reizei before Tamemura’s time. In fact, records indicate that by the time in question the Reizei could count over 400 disciples in Edo (Ishino 1976: 327). This was due partly to the fact that the house had an unassailable pedigree, which was something that statusconscious samurai could understand. But it had also been fortuitous that Tamemura’s father, Tamehisa (1686–1741), had for a time held the position of buke tenso¯ (‘liaison officer’) between the Emperor and the Edo government. This was a much coveted post because it offered many opportunities for making money through gifts from those seeking favour. Also important for the Reizei was the fact that the man holding the position had constant contact with high-ranking samurai, many of whom wanted to gain affiliations with traditions of court, which still had a legitimizing power. Thus, when he set out for Edo, even though the journey was his first to the city, Tamemura already had a large cadre of followers there who were anxious to play host to him in the shogun’s capital. Again, though, this travel record follows the general rule in passing over such matters, which makes for a shorter account – in this case, one that one might argue does not qualify as a travel record at all. For Tamemura’s text, entitled ‘Poems Written on the East Country Road’, is as spare as a travel record can be. It begins matter-of-factly with the statement: ‘[We] set out on the twenty-seventh day of the third [lunar] month of the third year of the

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Enkyo¯ era’ (Kanto¯ geko¯ no tochu¯ ei, in Tsumoto (1993: 1, 315)). Thereafter, Tamemura records mostly poems – 33 of them in all – with only a few words of prose introduction or commentary interspersed here and there. Independent sources tell us that the entire journey took about a month and a half, ending with a return to Kyoto on the fourteenth day of the fifth month. But Tamemura makes no attempt at offering a narrative per se, instead offering poems, virtually all of which were written at famous places, beginning with Kusatsu, going on to Seki, Sayanonakayama, Mariko, Fuji, Miho, Tago no ura, Hakone and O¯iso on the way to Edo, and going through Okabe, Hamamatsu, Shiga and Hamada on the way back. Needless to say, these places are listed in all the standard reference works. Even before Tamemura’s time, hundreds of poems had been written about every one. In a sense, one can say that he is doing no more than adding his name to a list, although that would be to slight the significance of such an act to one who reverenced dedication to past traditions above all else. So Tamemura follows precedent, creating a minimalist record that might seem a mystery to anyone unacquainted with the long traditions behind it. In its brevity, in other words, it assumes much of the reader, who is asked to read it not as a descriptive account in any usual sense of the term, but rather as an account of a court poet’s reaction to an itinerary that was pre-arranged – an account of his poetic practice on a road that is ‘always already’ travelled, to borrow a phrase from contemporary literary theory. Thus at Sayanonakayama, he writes a poem that clearly assumes knowledge of the one by Saigyo¯ quoted above. Continuing on in rainfall that clouds the pines in showering gloom, I travel through the darkness of Saya Mountain. (Furu ame ni / tsuzuku matsubara / kakikumori / yuku kata kuraki / sayononakayama) (Kanto¯ geko¯ no tochu¯ ei, in Tsumoto (1993: 1, 321)) At the same place, Saigyo¯ had expressed uncertainty about his future. For Tamemura, too, the way ahead – here reduced to his way on the Eastern

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Road – is seen as the same. The rain, we may take it, is real rain that Tamemura and his entourage were experiencing, but its effects are augmented by the shadow cast by an earlier poet many generations before. At Mariko, Tamemura composed another poem on rain, connecting it back to a long tradition of poems about nearby Utsuyama (‘Gloomy Mountain’). I had not planned to take lodging for the night at Mariko – nor to be thinking of the past staring out into the rain. (Omowazu mo / yado karu tomari / koko ni mata / furugoto shitau / ame no tsurezure) (Kanto¯ geko¯ no tochu¯ ei, in Tsumoto (1993: 1, 314–21)) The ‘past’ alluded to here no doubt gestures toward the recesses of the poetic tradition, but we also know from one of the few headnotes in the text that Tamemura’s father had stayed in that same place some years before: ‘We stayed in Mariko, waiting for the water in the river to go down. The water was high when my father stayed here back in the Kyo¯ho¯ era [1716–36] as well’ (in Tsumoto 1993: 1, 315). As I have argued elsewhere, one test of competence for a writer in the classical Japanese poetic tradition was to work on two levels at once: to allude to the past in a way that somehow included the present (Carter 1999: 182–5). This was Tamemura’s challenge at every poetic stop along the way. Mariko was by definition such a gloomy place that the rain comes as no surprise. But the fleeting visage of the younger man’s father looming behind the showers adds a kind of depth that was much appreciated by connoisseurs of the art. The ultimate literary challenge on a trip to the East Country was doubtless Mount Fuji, most famous of all places in that region, about which thousands of poems had already been written. For Tamemura, this implied an obligation to come up with a superlative poem. Perhaps this explains why, within a short record, he integrates references to the sacred mountain into ten different poems, just under a third of all the works he

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preserved from his journey. The first comes just after Mariko, when the skies have cleared. (On first seeing Fuji) On a clear day, one need not ask where it is – knowing by the sight of timeless snow up on its peak that surely this is Fuji. (Haruru hi wa / towade mo sore to / toki shiranu / yuki ni shirarete / mukau fuji no ne) (Kanto¯ geko¯ no tochu¯ ei, in Tsumoto (1993: 1, 315)) References to Fuji’s ‘timeless snow’ go all the way back to Yamabe no Akahito (fl. 724–37), who described the snow there as ‘falling, ever falling’ in the eighth century (Man’yo¯shu¯, poems no. 320–1, in Shinpen kokka taikan (1984)). Tamemura’s poem plays on this knowledge, in the process affirming his own membership among the ranks of those who know the poetic history of the peak. Though he has never seen the mountain before, he suggests, there can be no mistaking it for one who already knows what to look for. Once more, travel is seen more as recognition of the old than as searching for the new. Another poem works in the superlatives in a different way. As I gaze on it for this very first time, it rises beyond even my expectations – the snowy peak of Fuji. (Misomete wa / kikishi ni koete / takaki na no / sora ni shiraruru / yuki no fuji no ne) (Kanto¯ geko¯ no tochu¯ ei, in Tsumoto (1993: 1, 315))

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Again, the idea of foreknowledge is articulated openly in the lines of the poem, establishing the bona fides of the poet while at the same time affirming the beauty of a famous landmark. Even after Tamemura has passed Fuji on his way up the coast to Edo, he keeps looking over his shoulder. At Numazu, he comes up with a conceit that seems to be more straightforwardly descriptive but still includes that ever enduring snow: (As I left Numazu, I saw Fuji in the light of dawn) Further down the slope snow remaining from winter is yet in darkness – but not so Fuji’s high peak as new day lights the sky. (Yuki nokoru / fumoto no yama wa / yo o komete / fuji no ne takaku / akuru yo no sora) (Kanto¯ geko¯ no tochu¯ ei, in Tsumoto (1993: 1, 316)) Tamemura’s other poems about other places on the way to Edo are similar in that they all assume or at least reward knowledge of the canon. Reading through them, one gets the unmistakeable impression that Tamemura is following a script. Indeed, one of the rewards of reading through so minimalist a text is that one sees at heart what such a travel record is – a description of a specific trip at a specific time, certainly, but also a highly reduced form of the experience of the poet as poet on the road, with most other digressions stripped away. The last poem Tamemura records before arriving in Edo comes at Hakone. Thereafter, the text surprises us with another terse phrase: ‘Poems written on the return to the capital’. After all this, in other words, Tamemura writes nothing about Edo, the goal of his journey. At least his father, on one of his trips to the shogunal city, had written a poem about the Sumida River, an utamakura since the days of Ariwara no Narihira in the ninth century.5 But Tamemura is so anxious to get back to the capital that he foregoes even that. Without a single word about the military capital of the nation, he instead goes directly on to list the poems written during his return voyage, the last portion of which was by boat. 35

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Anxious to return to the capital, I board with heart aflutter – and then head out on the waves, helped by a following wind. (Miyako ni to / isogu kokoro mo / norite yuku / kaesa no funaji / oikaze zo fuku) (Kanto¯ geko¯ no tochu¯ ei, in Tsumoto (1993: 1, 317)) Thus, Tamemura skips over his experience in Edo as of no relevance to a practitioner of court poetry, even though we know, for instance, that a number of people applied to be accepted as disciples while he was there and that other activities relative to the ‘business’ side of his profession took place (Kubota 2000a: 4). The only thing he records – as an appendix – that relates in any way to his experience in the city is a group of poems by himself and his disciples, from a gathering on the nineteenth day of the fourth lunar month. The topic for all assembled was ‘Cuckoos in the Fourth Month’ – in season, obviously. Predictably, though, what Tamemura’s poems reveal is not engagement with his immediate surroundings but nostalgia for the capital. These mountain cuckoos on the Road through the East Country – so many their voices! While back in the capital they will still be waited for. (Azumaji no / yamahototogisu / miyako ni wa / matsuran koe o / amata ni zo kiku) Back in Kyoto, the cuckoos had the good taste to be more parsimonious with their voices, Tamemura contends. On the roads of the East Country, evidently, the birds had not been so properly trained. Tamemura’s travel record is thus not far in essence from Tamesuke’s hundred-poem sequence on the Eastern Road. Its audience – who would read the record only in manuscript, inasmuch as publication of such works

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was as yet neither practical nor deemed desirable – would of course have been his disciples, first of all, who would have expected such a text from their master. And, what he needed to show them above all was his competence and confidence as a court poet, the product of his long years of dedication to a discipline. However incomplete the record may appear to a modern reader who expects some engagement with the ‘real’ landscape, it was therefore to the initiated an adequate response – and perhaps even more than that, perhaps even something that could be called pure, a product of the distillation process of putting experience into poetic form. Interestingly, the poems in Tamemura’s personal anthology also contain almost no headnotes, aside from a notation of the conventional topics (dai) on which they were written. To give more would have been to admit a kind of professional failure and to insult his audience. One way to test this contention is to compare Tamemura’s record with Uchide no hama (‘Uchide Strand’; the toponymous title taken from a location on the shores of Lake Biwa), Karasumaru Mitsuhide’s account of the same journey (Tsumoto 1993: 1, 250–64), for Mitsuhide was also from a poetic family and had actually been one of Tamemura’s teachers. If there is anything to the concept of travel as a poetic practice less concerned with ‘recording’ the details of an actual landscape than with engaging with a landscape that is already known, then the two works should be fundamentally similar. In terms of length, Mitsuhide’s work is much longer – twice as long, in fact, as Tamemura’s; and it contains more poems, as one would expect of a more lengthy work. But beyond that, it can be said that the works are obviously the product of similar approaches to the experience of the road. Virtually all of the places mentioned in Tamemura’s record are also there in Mitsuhide’s, for instance, and although Mitsuhide includes more narrative description, the same biases are apparent throughout. For example, he too is anxious above all to see Mount Fuji. This is his third trip to the East, but still he is eager for a glimpse of that most famous of utamakura in the East Country, so much so that when he arrives at the first place from which the great mountain is visible – a place called ‘Viewpoint’ – and finds it obscured by clouds, he gives vent in a poem.

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So many the clouds that one cannot make it out, the Mount of Fuji – not even from a Viewpoint unworthy of its name. (Murakumo no / soko to mo wakazu / fuji no yama / koko wa mitsuke no / na ni mo tagaite) (‘Uchide no hama’, in Tsumoto 1993: 1, 252) This is a more witty poem, perhaps, than any of Tamemura’s. But in the way it focuses on the expectations the travellers have as they get closer to Fuji, it is one in spirit with the poems of his student and hosts of poets who preceded him. Whatever his real feelings, the pose he adopts in the poem is openly a pose, a posture adopted for poetic effect. Not surprisingly, Mitsuhide also writes about the rain at Mariko. Here he in fact alludes directly to Tamemura, who is evidently staying nearby. 6th day: Today again, no clearing. The clouds on the peaks and gorges north of our lodgings appear to be bearing down, with no sign of lifting. As I look out into the unending rains, a note from the Captain of the Right comes, asking for my opinion of the poems he had written ¯ tsu to Mariko. along the way – five of them, composed from O From my lodgings at roadside, I gaze all day at descending rain, waiting for the rising waters of the river too to fall. (‘Uchide no hama’, in Tsumoto 1993: 1, 253) Remarkably, this is the only time Mitsuhide mentions Tamemura, who was in every sense a travelling companion. And it cannot be of no significance that when he does, it is not to describe a chat or some other event that happened along the way, but to document an exchange of sentiment via poetry. Mitsuhide is the younger man’s teacher, after all; a

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display of his competence was what was required. Even correspondence was governed by conventions of poetic practice. One is not surprised to learn after all this that Mitsuhide too says nothing about his affairs in Edo. After dutifully noting his arrival at the station stop of Shinagawa, he abandons his narrative and goes on to describe his return to the capital, about which he is just as nostalgic as his young cohort, as a poem written as he approaches his native city makes clear. (On the thirteenth, we left Moruyama and went on from Kusatsu and across the bridge at Atsuta) At last I come back – so many the days since I left the capital, days as long as the span of the bridge at Atsuta. (Kaerikinu / sashimo miyako / ideshi hi no / sue nagakarishi / atsuta no nagahashi) (‘Uchide no hama’, in Tsumoto 1993: 1, 264) Three centuries before, a man named Kensai (1452–1510) had counselled all poets to always compose their work as if facing in ‘the direction of the capital’ (Carter 2001: 319). Evidently, both Tamemura and Mitsuhide had taken the advice to heart. Again, nostalgia for the imperial city is an underlying theme. I am not suggesting, then, that there was collusion between the two men – unless one counts long years of poetic practice. The similarity in their records is a product not of specific planning but of a discipline that informed their approach to writing about travel, certainly, and perhaps even their approach to travel itself. (Who can know?) It was a discipline that, as noted above, consisted in paring away all that might be considered commercial or worldly or unpoetic, focusing instead on an engagement with place as already prescribed within a canon. Literally thousands of poems had been written on the places Mitsuhide wrote about and no doubt he believed that thousands more would be written in the future. The road was a series of such places, where a poet was expected to test

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his mettle. He had choices – This place, or that one just ahead? Toy with the conception here, or there? – but not the sorts of choices most modern travel writers would even recognize as choices. Above all, the choices seldom included dealing with something absolutely fresh and new. Throughout Japanese history there are some Japanese travel records – although not a large number – that do not share the qualities listed here for courtly travel writing. And it should be said that the dominant pattern did not survive long after Tamemura’s time, when not everyone in the larger community of classical poetry was happy with the strictures implied by this kind of idealism. Ban Kokei (1733–1806), a rough contemporary of Tamemura’s, in fact states his dissatisfaction openly in the dedicatory preface to a travel record written by his friend Tachibana Nankei (1754–1806) in the 1780s: In ancient times, when the provinces were under imperial rule, governors and their deputies would write poems about places they visited, which became famous places [meisho, nadokoro]. But as time went by, the greater part of those places disappeared, just as many of the places in provincial gazetteers ceased to exist, leaving us no knowledge of them. Then, in medieval times, one hears that men like No¯in and Saigyo¯ went even to the most unusual places, but they did not leave detailed records of their journeys either. Later came the monk So¯gi, but he too only listed famous places roughly and did not describe them carefully, let alone describe climate and customs. (Saiyu¯ki (Travels in the Western Provinces), in Shinpen Nihon koten bungaku taikei (1991: 98, 174)) Both Kokei and Nankei were poets who had some contact with court poets. But the latter’s travel record through the Western Provinces includes only a few poems, instead describing strange people and events and relying on powers of observation rather than a cultivated courtly sensibility. One way to explain this is to note that Nankei was writing for a larger public who would read his work in a woodblock edition. Another way to account for it is by noting the growing importance of empiricism in late Tokugawa thought. For whatever reason, by around 1800 the old

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ways were honoured only by a few court poets for whom honouring them was a matter of self-preservation and little else. It is worth noting, however, that even among those who were so openly critical of courtly traditions the influence of old conceptions of travel is everywhere present. An example is the work of Ozawa Roan (1722–1801), whose decision to use colloquial expressions in his poetry led to his excommunication from the Reizei school. For while in many ways Roan’s poems do depart from courtly standards in diction, in other ways they are as much a product of ancient habits as those of Tamemura. One of his travel poems makes the point: (Going on a Journey) Along mountainsides I go, and go through fields, go through villages – with the end of my going still far down Michinoku Road. (Yamabe yuki / no yuki sato yuki / yukedo nao / yukusue to¯ki / michinoku no tabi) (Rokujo¯ eiso¯ (Poems in six books), in Wabun waka shu¯, ge (1928: 97)) The syntax of this poem is something that Reizei could never have condoned. In every other way, however, Roan stays within established traditions – which is to say that he uses traditional poetic forms, adding no prose that might help to provide a fuller description of some ‘actual’ scene; that he writes on a conventional topic, using conventional imagery and conceptions; and that he neither mentions any worldly concerns nor avoids the mood of loneliness and alienation that is so dominant a feature of courtly travel poetry. Thus, even a man who defines himself against the Reizei house adheres to old patterns by dint of habit. Here, above all, the point that travel is a highly mediated activity is brought home. Finally, it also bears mentioning that certain features of courtly practice seem to survive among modern writers of traditional forms such as haiku and tanka, two genres that during the twentieth century ironically came to be composed more by common citizens than by

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Travel as Poetic Practice in Japan

cultural elites. Among these practitioners of poetry, whom academics tend to dismiss as mere hobbyists, the idea of writing from within a wellestablished tradition evidently retains some attraction. For them there is some comfort in prescribed form, it appears. Perhaps age-old practices offer a sense of connection with the past that is still sought out by those reluctant to set out – even by jet or bullet train – on a journey unaccompanied by fellow travelers from the past.

Notes 1 2 3 4 5

In his personal anthology, the poem is in the ‘Love’ section, rather than in the ‘Miscellaneous’ section as in Shin kokinshu¯. For a translation, see H.C. McCullough (1990: 340–76). No complete text of the work has survived, although poems from it are quoted in various anthologies. The poem appears in Tamesuke’s contribution to the Kagen hyakushu, poem no. 88. See Shinpen Nihon koten bungaku zenshu¯ (2000: 49, 190). Three poems on the Sumida are recorded in Haru no mifune (On a boat in spring, 1740), by one of Tamehisa’s Edo disciples. See Tsumoto (1993: 1, 232).

References Carter, S.D. (1997) ‘On a Bare Branch: Basho¯ and the Haikai Profession’, Journal of the American Oriental Society 117, 1: 57–69. Carter, S.D. (1999) ‘The Persistence of the Personal in Late Medieval Uta’, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 59, 1 (June): 167–85. Carter, S.D. (2001) ‘Chats with the Master: Selections from Kensai Zo¯dan’, Monumenta Nipponica 56, 3 (Autumn): 295–347. Inoue Muneo (annot.) (2000) Shinpen Nihon koten bungaku zenshu¯ (Complete works of the classical Japanese literary canon, new edition), vol. 49. Tokyo: Sho¯ gakkan. Ishino Masao (1976) ‘Kinsei do¯jo¯ha zuiso¯ ’ (Ruminations on the courtly school of the Edo period), in Kinsei no gakugei (Edo arts), pp. 317–28. Tokyo: Yagi shoten. Kinsei waka kenkyu¯kai (eds) (1997) Kinsei kagaku shu¯sei (Compiled works of poetic scholarship of the Edo period). Tokyo: Meiji shoin. Kubota Keiichi (2000a) ‘Reizei-ke no rekishi: Tamemura (2)’ (The history of the Reizei house: Tamemura, part 2), Shiguretei 72 (April): 4–5. Kubota Keiichi (2000b) ‘Reizei-ke no rekishi: Tamemura (3)’ (The history of the Reizei house: Tamemura, part 3), Shiguretei 73 (July): 4–5. McCullough, H.C. (1985) Kokin wakashu¯, The First Imperial Anthology of Japanese Poetry. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

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Steven D. Carter McCullough, H.C. (1990) Classical Japanese Prose, An Anthology. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Sasaki Nobutsuna et al. (eds) (1956) Nihon kagaku taikei (Compendium of Japanese poetic scholarship). Tokyo: Kazama shobo¯. Shinpen kokka taikan (Complete index to the canon of Japanese poetry in the waka form, new edition) (1983). Tokyo: Kadokawa shoten, volume 1. Shinpen kokka taikan (1984). Tokyo: Kadogawa shoten, volume 2. Shinpen Nihon koten bungaku taikei (Compendium of the classical Japanese literary canon, new edition) (1991). Tokyo: Iwanami shoten. Tsumoto Nobuhiro (ed.) (1993) Kinsei kiko¯ nikki bungaku shu¯sei (A collection of travel journals and diaries of the Edo period). Tokyo: Waseda University Press. Wabun waka shu¯, ge (A collection of poetic prose and poetry in the Waka form, volume 3) (1928), in Nihon meicho¯ zenshu¯ (The Japanese classics, a comprehensive collection series), pp. 1–135. Tokyo: Nihon meicho¯ zenshu ¯ kanko¯kai.

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CHAPTER 3 Women’s Travel Narratives in Early Modern Japan: Genre Imperatives, Gender Consciousness and Status Questioning

Laura Nenzi Department of History, Florida International University Miami, USA

Different Ways of Speaking: The speech of men and women. (Sei Sho¯nagon (1991), The Pillow Book of Sei Sho¯nagon, trans. Ivan Morris. New York: Columbia University Press) Most things produced in the world that are called monogatari [tales] or so¯shi [books in Japanese] come from the hands of women. For this reason, their language is full of flattery and strained laughter; they show no principles of instruction or admonition. One sees only attractively madeup forms, and does not hear a bold, manly style. One is troubled by their busyness, lost in their complexity. They run to the vulgar, or degenerate into lies. All of them are this way. (Hayashi Razan, Tsurezuregusa nozuchi, quoted in Linda H. Chance 1997, “Constructing the Classic: Tsurezuregusa in Tokugawa Readings”, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 117, n. 1 (January–March): 43)

I

n the two and a half centuries of Tokugawa rule (1600–1868) Japan underwent profound transformations of an economic, social, political and cultural nature. What began as an era of warrior rule, of apparently strict application of the law and of theoretically impenetrable social compartments evolved at a fast pace into a time when popular culture attained unprecedented brilliance, the samurai’s identity as fighters was virtually nullified and money often supplanted rank in mediating access to services. In this environment, travel and travel narratives came to play 44

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a significant role in the commoners’ gradual assertion of their own personas. Through a confrontation with otherness mediated by cultural precedent and implemented by detachment from the ordinary, the space of travel allowed for alternative creations of the self and re-definitions of the individual in society. Travel, to a great many people of all social standings, offered both a chance for recreation (in the leisure-related connotation of the term) and for re-creation (that is, re-generation, or creation of a new persona). Detachment from one’s pre-assigned social niche offered the possibility to challenge, however momentarily, one’s roles and identity by subtly questioning the parameters of gender and status that defined the individual in the space of the ordinary. This article discusses some of the implications of the gendered travel narratives of early modern female wayfarers. I will contend that the extended use of classical references, standardized quotes and seemingly recycled emotional outbursts buttressed the authors’ sense of identity against cultural antecedent in a space detached from the familiar. The association with literary precedent allowed women to craft new or better identities: the female members of samurai families empowered themselves outside the household, women of the bunjin (literati) circles became able to define their personas as the bearers and transmitters of a respected cultural tradition, while the wives of townsmen and merchants (as well as certain members of the rural go¯no¯ elite) used education to overcome – with mixed results – some of the egregious status-based handicaps that constrained them. Wealthy farmers and townspeople saw access to education and to the marginal space of travel as an opportunity to interact with the courtly aristocrats and revered icons of antiquity. Intertextual engagement, the divertissement hitherto exclusive to the elegant literati and the itinerant poets, provided commoners with an outlet of a different sort, for it permitted them to question, if only temporarily, the officially imposed logic of social immobility and class consciousness.

Languages of inequality When, in 1860, the samurai Sakai Hanjiro¯ recorded his visit through various renowned locations in Edo, he spared the reader no detail, even informing his audience of how he accidentally stepped in dog excrement 45

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in the Shiba residence of the Satsuma lord (Takeuchi 1993: 35). As he climbed Mount Fuji in 1768, another samurai, Ikegawa Shunsui, described with disdain the activity of prosaic entrepreneurs selling toilet paper to the pilgrims on the slopes of the sacred mountain (Ikegawa 1968: 377). The Nagoya merchant Hishiya Heishichi, who toured Kyushu in 1802, devoted a small section of his travelogue to the description of a muskrat allegedly unique to Nagasaki: ‘It is smaller than ordinary rats, the head is more elongated, and it makes a squeakier sound … . When the locals hear its cry they take it as a sign of good luck’ (Hishiya 1972: 215). Recounting his 1855 journey across several provinces, Kiyokawa Hachiro¯ frequently mentioned his stomach problems or the unpleasant side effects of the summer heat, that made sweat pour out of his pores ‘like a waterfall’ (Kiyokawa 1993: 220). Few, if any, of the women who travelled at the same time as Hachiro¯, Shunsui, Heishichi or Hanjiro¯ ever infused their travel memoirs with such doses of realism. More detached and reluctant to reveal their true colours, female travellers of all social standings carefully layered their travelogues with strata upon strata of elusive poetry, quotes from the classics, ephemeral expressions and oblique hints. They frequently shunned direct involvement or confrontation with the subjects of their writing, and concealed their true opinions behind the convenient veils of tradition. The diary format (nikki) had been since the ‘classic’ Heian period (794–1185) one of the forms of expressions female writers were allowed, indeed expected, to utilize. Like every genre, however, that of the diary involved a specific set of rules and limitations in terms of narrative styles, language and interaction between author and reader. To the genre imperatives gender added more rules. While men like Heishichi and Shunsui did not hesitate to comment on down-to-earth themes and wink at prosaic details, women’s travel narratives come through as more ethereal – at times, in fact, as less genuine and slightly contrived. Burlesque tones à la gesaku (the comic fiction of the Edo period, of which Jippensha Ikku’s (1765–1831) To¯kaido¯chu¯ hizakurige (Shank’s Mare), a picaresque tale of misadventures along the To¯kaido¯ highway, is a fitting example), sarcastic humour, and crude realism found little room in the pages of women’s travelogues once the combination of gender and genre was completed. The female authors of early modern travel diaries tended

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to appeal to the authority of literary tradition to a far greater extent than their male counterparts, and to write Edo space as a reflection, if not a direct projection, of the Heian landscape. Through the extensive use of poetry and of an overly polite language, they offered a distilled depiction of space, surrounding themselves with what appears as an impregnable lyrical barrier. Mukai Chine, for instance, frequently employs conventional imagery and lyrical tropes from poetic anthologies of the Heian period to transfigure both the time and space of her journey into quintessential poetic concepts. Chine was only fifteen years old when, accompanied by her brother Mukai Kyo¯rai, she left Kyoto in 1686 and headed to the Great Shrine of Ise. The son and daughter of a Confucian scholar, Kyo¯rai and Chine were well versed in the classics, and travel provided them with the opportunity to display their sophisticated erudition (Mukai 1982: 165). Although she began her journey in autumn, Chine never directly mentions the season. Instead, in co-authoring the diary with her brother, she resorts to a sequence of visual suggestions drawing on the heritage of poetic tradition, hinting at the time of the year by means of allusive terms commonly associated with autumn: the fog (kiri),1 wild geese (kari), clover (hagi), deer (shika, related to the autumn because their cry evokes the gloominess of the season) and susuki (one of the seven grasses of autumn). It is through poetry that Chine obliquely and elegantly sets the seasonal coordinates at the onset of her memoir: Wild geese this morning Good travel companions On the way to Ise. (Ise made no, yoki michizure yo, kesa no kari) (Mukai 1982: 164) Space undergoes a similar process of evaporation through the use of utamakura (poetic toponyms that allude to precise locations without ¯ mi, explicitly mentioning them). The itinerary through the provinces of O Yamashiro and Ise becomes in Chine’s writing a transfigured passage from symbol into symbol: Shirakawa (a traditional utamakura for Yamashiro), ¯ mi). Suzukayama (a signifier for Ise) and Nio no Umi (a symbol for O

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Women’s Travel Narratives in Early Modern Japan

Because travel writing is ‘a type of autobiographical narrative’ (Stevenson 1982: 9), it is inevitable that such parameters as gender and status affect the quality of one’s engagement with, and representation of, the unfamiliar territory away from home. In penning their memoirs, early modern female travellers resorted to what anthropologist Dorinne Kondo has called ‘languages of identity and inequality’ – forms of expression shaped by family, status and gender (Kondo 1990: 74). In interviewing both male and female employees of a Shitamachi confectioner, Kondo noticed how gender interfered in, and molded, the ‘stories of work’ told by the interviewees: while the male artisans’ tales were constructed around a ‘linear scenario’, women’s accounts appeared ‘fragmentary, almost contingent’ and thoroughly devoid of a master narrative (Kondo 1990: 260).2 Although Kondo’s study focuses on modern day artisanal practices, her findings offer an interesting parallel with the experience of Edo period female travellers. Both Kondo’s pastry confectioners and the early modern women considered in this study engaged, through a conscious choice of narrative techniques, in a ‘culturally specific … production of selves’ (Kondo 1990: 78). Genre imperatives and gender consciousness did not only limit the range of thematic possibilities and the grade of interaction with ‘novelty’ versus ‘heritage’, but also directed linguistic and semantic choices. Playing on the agglutinative character of the Japanese language, a great many female travellers distanced themselves from the scene by erecting linguistic barriers of suffixes, prefixes and auxiliary verbs. Through her extensive use of classical Japanese constructions and of consciously selected verbal forms reminiscent of Heian literature, the anonymous female traveller who penned Azumaji no nikki (1767) asserted her role as, or reenacted the part of, a courtly lady (Anonymous 1985). By resorting to the use of crystallized expressions and standardized poetic formats (such as the 5-7-5-7-7 syllable sequence of tradtional Japanese poems, or waka), female travellers asserted their identity through language and style, defining themselves as transmitters of a solid and respected heritage.3 Far from being an admission of vulnerability, much less of inferiority or passiveness, these linguistic preferences helped women actively define their role along the line of cultural tradition.

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Men, for their part, had a linguistic option that was rarely available to members of the opposite sex. Kanbun, or Sino-Japanese, the distinctive language of male writing since the Heian period, provided an excellent opportunity to rid one’s prose of emotional involvement, as Ki no Tsurayuki (883–946), the author of Tosa Diary, well knew when he defied gender barriers and pretended to be a woman in order to avail himself of the emotionally charged medium of kana-based Japanese. As Herbert Plutschow noted in reference to the Medieval period, detachment from, and involvement with, the space of travel were often mediated at a linguistic level by the possibility to choose between kanbun or Japanese (Plutschow 1981: 7). In the Edo period, the choice of kanbun in a work penned by a woman could in fact make the author appear ‘less feminine’. Hara Saihin (1798–1859), daughter of the Confucian scholar Hara Kosho, infused her travelogues (To¯yu¯ nikki, To¯yu¯ manso¯) with prose and verses in Chinese. While the latter were not especially unusual, the former constituted a bit of a novelty for a woman (Maeda 1976).4 By choosing to appropriate a distinctly male medium of expression, Saihin blurred the boundary between the genders. Further evidence suggests that the adoption of kanbun was just one of the many expediencies through which Saihin redefined her gender obligations: not only did she never marry, she also appeared reluctant to waste time on make-up and hairdos, so much so that many described her as somewhat ‘masculine’ (Maeda 1977: 229–30). A scholar who worked with her father even wrote about her: ‘She is an extraordinary woman, quite a match for any man – she even drinks like a man’ (quoted in Maeda 1977: 224). For her part, Saihin herself admitted in one of her Chinese poems, ‘I intend to go my own way as a person rather than as a woman’5 (quoted in Maeda 1977: 226). Regardless of the language, there is no question that proficiency with the brush empowered women to redefine their identities and assert their value in a direct confrontation with men. One may mention Takizawa Bakin’s (1767–1848) belated praise of the ‘manly spirit’ (otokodamashii) that infused the polemic and somewhat iconoclastic works of Tadano Makuzu (1763–1825) (see Gramlich-Oka 2001), or Muro Kyu¯ so¯’s (1658–1734) comments on Inoue Tsu¯jo (1660–1738) – ‘If she were a man, she would be a man of talent with the potential of becoming a hero. It is sad she is not’ (quoted in Maeda 1977: 213).

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Women’s Travel Narratives in Early Modern Japan

In the early modern period, male travellers who chose to compose records of their journeys in Japanese interacted with the space of travel in many and different ways. The tendency to see space through the lens of literature and to transpose ‘Heian-scape’ onto ‘Edo-land’ was by no means exclusive to the Narihira-loving, Genji-worshipping female wayfarers.6 As socially prone, linguistically extrovert and generally ‘open eyed’ as Edo period male travellers were, they too enjoyed the thrill of garnishing their works with occasional stylish footnotes straight out of the classics. Although he tended to look at the world with the practical eyes of a merchant, Hishiya Heishichi was not completely immune to the allure of literary references, and occasionally composed verses or quoted from the itinerant man of letters Matsuo Basho¯ (1644–94), or from such poetic anthologies as the Man’yo¯shu¯ or the Shin kokinshu¯ (Hishiya 1972: 223, 229, 230). To Heishichi, however, literary refinements represented but a marginal part of the experience. Rather than veiling his scenes in the thin mists of the Heian world, Heishichi has left a portrait of a bustling, lively Edo landscape, a space where people ran to and fro, boats delivered goods, local specialities were advertised and profitable business was conducted. Heishichi felt no need to recreate his identity by wearing the imaginary robes of a poet of antiquity or a courtier, for as a man (and a wealthy textile retailer no less) he wore fairly comfortable clothes already. One is hard put to assume that sheer ignorance of the classics is what impeded Heishichi to catch more glimpses of the past. By the time he travelled, the boom of the popular printing industry, the rise in literacy and the vast availability of reprints or early modern versions of the classics allowed virtually anyone to quote, however imperfectly, at least one or two episodes from The Tale of Genji or Tales of Ise. Men’s reluctance to surrender themselves exclusively to the courtly and elegant themes of Heian literature is best justified by the understanding that, at the intersection of travel and gender, the same site assumed peculiar and at times strikingly contrasting nuances when seen through the eyes of a man and those of a woman, and re-presented through their respective brushes. Visiting Suma in 1777, Arakida Reijo (1732–1806) remarked, ‘since time immemorial this has been a famous location’, and made a point of visiting Suma Temple and ‘the remains of the house that lodged Genji the Shining Prince’ (Arakida 1979a: 76–77). In contrast, Kiyokawa

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Hachiro¯ caught no glimpses of Genji’s exile while on location, but rather limited his memories (or visions) to the military deeds of such medieval warriors as Taira no Atsumori and his assassin, Kumagaya Naozane, and to the epic clash between the Taira and the Minamoto at Ichinotani. While most women tended to search for historical and literary validation primarily in the classics of the Heian period, male travellers often drew their associations from different ages, arguably more masculine ones. To Kiyokawa Hachiro¯, Shinano province manifested the heroic deeds of Takeda Shingen (1521–73) and reverberated with glimpses of his epic battles against his arch-enemy Uesugi Kenshin (1530–1578). ‘If you are a man (danshi naraba),’ adds Hachiro¯, putting a gender-specific spin on his historical association, ‘this is the kind of place you must see and pay attention to’ (Kiyokawa 1993: 87). And although the pace of the journey prevented him from stopping to look at the moon along the Kiso Road, he still found time to ‘check out quite carefully the battlefield at Kawanakajima’ – one of the many stages of the conflict between Shingen and Kenshin (Kiyokawa 1993: 91). Even in an area such as the Kinai region, which more than any other was prone to be transmuted into a classy ‘Heian-scape’ of sorts, Hachiro¯ remained focused on military actions, battles and Medieval vendettas. Rather than Narihira and Genji, his visions included Kusunoki Masashige (1294–1336) and Emperor Godaigo (1288–1339), whose epic deeds alone qualified certain areas as ‘must-sees’ (‘kanarazu ki o tome mirubeki nari’) (Kiyokawa 1993: 136). The road from Nara to Kyoto becomes, in Hachiro¯’s account, ‘truly the stage of many an old battle’, paved with memories of the Genpei Wars (twelfth century) and of the Nanbokucho¯ period (fourteenth century) (Kiyokawa 1993: 141). Even Uji, despite its literary and religious dimensions, is primarily re-presented as the locus of military events: the Byo¯ do¯ in witnessed the heroic sacrifice of Minamoto Yorimasa (1106–1180), while across Uji bridge travelled such heroes as Sasaki Takatsuna (1180s) and Kajiwara Kagesue (d. 1200), en route to many epic enterprises (Kiyokawa 1993: 142–43).7 When the magistrate’s wife Tsuchiya Ayako came to Owari in 1806, she did observe how ‘around here – starting with Sarugababa – are the sites of a great many battles of old’, but also added that ‘these are topics women know nothing about, so I will leave it at that’ (Tsuchiya 1979: 387).

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In their travel narratives, many women and men of the Edo period validated themselves through preferred references to specific sites of gendered power and identity – most notably the Heian age and its related loci suggestive of feminine authority for the former, and the military echoes of the late Heian (Genpei wars) and Medieval ages exuding masculinity for the latter. The functions and goals of the intertextual correlation between these travellers’ diaries and the classics varied, however, not only on the basis of gender, but also on that of status. Among women, the languages and stories of identity served a dual function. In the higher echelons of society, skill with the brush allowed women to boost identities and validate roles vis-à-vis men, while among commoners it helped to question identity as defined by status.

Intersecting gender and status: women’s travelogues between pomp and actual circumstance Women of the elites travelled in secluded palanquins, protected by an entourage of porters and attendants, and frequently ‘removed’ from the actual hustle and bustle of the scene (‘I could not even tell where we were’ (Tsuchiya 1979: 368)). Refinement was the name of the game, for in penning their travelogues they naturally employed expressions, references and rhetorical techniques of great subtlety, along with a great deal of quotes from poetic anthologies and landmark works of the Heian period. Through the validation of tradition these women found first and foremost familiar coordinates in an otherwise unknown space: the steep, foreign and hostile mountain pass at Utsunoyama, for instance, seemed tamed by the notion that so illustrious a traveller as Narihira had trodden its ‘ivy-covered narrow paths’ in the past.8 The engagement with literary precedent also served a second function: as limited as their roles may have been in their homes or in the Edo residences where they remained confined under the dictates of the alternate attendance system, once they stepped out of their imposed niche, women of the bushi class (‘samsurai’ or ‘warrior’) could play the game of asserting themselves by combining detachment from the ordinary and cultural prowess. At a basic level education simply allowed for aggrandisement by emphasizing the divide between the bushi women and the ‘ordinary’ 52

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people they came across, whom they scorned for their untidiness, ignorance, rustic accents and lack of manners. In 1639 the wife of Nakagawa Hisamori, Lord of Oka Domain, left Edo to visit Ikaho hot springs – one of the convenient and acceptable excuses to bypass the laws on female mobility. Through education, Lady Nakagawa pompously asserted her status and drew the line between herself and the unrefined boors (as she saw them) she encountered. One night an innkeeper brought out copies of famous poetic anthologies, including the Kokinshu¯ and the Shin kokinshu¯. Lady Nakagawa, faced with the unexpected lurking of culture and refinement in what she otherwise called ‘the middle of nowhere’ (‘azuma no oku’) (Nakagawa 1979: 5), found herself forced to admit that ‘even these mountain peasants have a soul’ (‘kakaru yama gatsu mo kokoro wa arikeri’) (Nakagawa 1979: 10). To her, education equalled worthiness. However, when her further enquiry regarding copies of The Tale of Genji yielded an unsatisfactory response (‘If I may say, Genshu¯ is quite an unusual name … . That is a person’s name, right? Or is it a type of box? No, it is the name of a musical rhythm. I know I have heard it somewhere’) her final, laconic comment was: ‘Boors, indeed’ (Nakagawa 1979: 11). Although her journey to a renowned onsen resort may have had practical therapeutic goals, Lady Nakagawa chose to transcribe her experience as a cultural mission. The opening of her diary, Ikahoki, is in language and format a tribute to Narihira and the Tales of Ise, and a declaration of dependence on the classics: A man went to a place called Ikaho attracted by its hot springs. He came back, and recounted all the fascinating things [he had seen] in the mountain villages. I wanted to see for myself, I wanted to experience that world. At the same time, I craved to see the myriad of flowers on the Musashi Plain. In mid-autumn, when the moon still lingered in the early morning sky, I arose with the dew and departed. (Nakagawa 1979: 1) The first sentence echoes the traditional beginning of many a section in the Tales of Ise (‘Once upon a time there was a man’, ‘mukashi otoko arikeri’) (Horiguchi & Akiyama 1997: 80; for identical examples, see also 81, 83, 84, 86, 87), instantly bringing the reader into a narrative time and 53

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space associated with the Heian more than the Edo period. Other conventional images such as the flowers of the Musashi Plain, the dew and the autumn moon set the mood for a Heian-esque atmosphere of sorts. When Lady Nakagawa declares that she aspired to ‘experience that world’, one suspects she is referring to the world as seen by Narihira rather than to the real mountain hamlets of her own day and age. At Mount Asama, upon whose slopes the gaze of Narihira had lingered centuries before, Lady Nakagawa again calls upon tradition: ‘Today, the smoke billowing from Asama peak celebrated in the verses of Ariwara Chu ¯ jo¯ [Narihira] … is not visible’ (Nakagawa 1979: 6).9 Through her comment, Lady Nakagawa creates an instant connection between her time and the glorious days of the Heian court. Whereas the noble man of letters had travelled from Kyoto to the ‘far east’ (azuma), the wife of a daimyo¯ from Kyushu was more prosaically journeying from a then military citadel to a hot spring resort. This did not prevent her from identifying herself with the refinements and the spatial coordinates of the literary aristocratic tradition she ever so eagerly sought to embrace. Unlike Lady Nakagawa, whose pomp came from her social prominence as a member of the warrior class (and whose attempt at selfaggrandisement may be explained as a reaction to the relatively subordinate role she had within a bushi household), Arakida Reijo (1732–1806) was primarily a bunjin who penned historical novels, poetry, zuihitsu (literary jottings) and travelogues. Born in Ise Yamada, at the age of thirteen she was adopted by Arakida Taketomo, a priest of the Outer Shrine, and later married a kannushi (member of the Shinto clergy). Despite its principal role as a religious centre, in the second half of the eighteenth century Ise thrived as a cultural microcosm. The scholar Motoori Norinaga (two years Reijo’s senior) led his prestigious school in nearby Matsuzaka, while at the same time a rival academy founded by Arakida Hisaoi (1764–1804) had developed in Uji Yamada.10 Although Reijo never met the two cultural icons in person, it is arguable that she indirectly benefited from the cultural milieu they had created. Because of her husband’s position, moreover, she was granted access to the Miyazaki Bunko, a library for the use of Ise’s clergy. To Reijo the obedience to literary canons and the use of conventional tropes as pillars of her travel narratives served a slightly different function than to Lady Nakagawa. Rather than a momentary release from a subordinate role in the 54

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household, one senses that Reijo sought to permanently validate her identity as a woman of letters by embracing a time honoured and vastly respected traditional heritage.11 The themes and images of Heian literature profoundly influenced her works, and her monogatari (fictional tales or novels) in particular appear to be reflections of the world of Genji. Such a penchant for classical culture could not but flow over into her travel literature. On the ninth day of the second lunar month of 1777 (1777/2/9), Reijo and her husband set out on a two-month journey that would take them to Kyoto, Osaka, Suma, Yamato and Nara: such a feast of poetic assonances that at times Reijo felt overwhelmed (‘before our eyes, famous location after famous location. I cannot begin to say how special this place is’, she wrote on Mount Yoshino (Arakida 1979a: 60)). It was during this journey that Reijo used poetry and culture as tools of empowerment with the goal of asserting her role and identity in the context of literary tradition. In Kiso the road led Reijo to a seemingly unstable log bridge. To gather courage and cross it, she resorted to poetic images: ‘I thought of it as if it were the Suzuka road; as for the roar of the river running below, I thought of it as the melody of a koto’. Underneath the log bridge that I crossed at the sound of the koto runs a mountain torrent. (Koto no ne ni, kore moya kayofu, marukibashi, shita ni nagaruru, yamakawa no mizu) (Arakida 1979a: 28) By detaching herself mentally from the ‘real’ circumstances of travel, and recreating them in visionary and familiar terms, Reijo defeated adversity, but most importantly celebrated her identity as a poet. Historically, poetry-making had served the ritual function of generating the illusion of a safe passage into the unknown, serving ‘as a charm for the spiritual as well as the physical safety and well-being of the traveller’ (Plutschow 1990: 90). A solid poetic precedent had been set with the farewell poems of the Man’yo¯shu¯ (c. 760), virtual talismans whose messages generated a 55

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sense of reassurance and protection (‘Travel safely and be fortunate!’ – poem no. 3253). Reijo knew that: in her inventiveness, she was actually well steeped in tradition. Reijo crafted her persona as a literary traveller also in preparation for her second major journey (1782). Even on this occasion Reijo valued poetic opportunities as chances to prove herself worthy of inclusion in ¯ no, she and her husband the bunjin society. Near the village of O descended along the road leading to a Miroku statue carved on a rock, only to find out that, as the ‘narrow path shaded by the gorges went around and into the deep heart of the mountains … all signs of human presence disappeared. No longer did we hear the birds cry. The cliffs echoed the roar of a river flowing through the wild gorges’. The true literary traveller, Reijo composed a haikai to capture the drama: The path has disappeared, and I scoop up nothing but dew. Springtime grasses. (Michi mo nashi, tsuyu nomi musubu. Haru no kusa) (Arakida 1979b: 126–27) Reijo’s writings reveal the extent of her knowledge and her ability to navigate the perilous waters of poetic citation. Descending from a mountain pass, she is reminded of ‘that poem of old [that begins with] Yamagawa ni kaze no kaketaru’ (Arakida 1979b: 108). The reference is to Kokinshu¯ no. 303, a poem Harumichi no Tsuraki composed on Shiga Pass: The autumn leaves are Unable to resist The current flowing past The weir built by the wind In the deep mountain river. (Yamagawa ni, kaze no kaketaru, shiragami wa, nagare mo aenu, momiji narikeri) (Rodd & Henkenius 1984: 134)

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Reijo’s description of a cloud-veiled Mount Ikoma is more credible as an indirect tribute to the Tales of Ise rather than as an honest representation of reality.12 The legacy of Heian aesthetics resurfaces as she crosses Aoyama on 1782/3/9 and writes: ‘As I saw the flowers blooming on all the trees around me, I was reminded of the ephemeral’ (Arakida 1979b: 128). The perception of the ‘melancholy of fleetingness’ unveils Reijo’s indebtedness to the classic tradition, which had established the notion of mono no aware as one of its key themes. It also speaks plenty about Reijo’s crafting of an identity as a creditable member of the literati elite.13 With the development of popular culture and the appropriation of classical culture by the commoners, the function of the engagement between travellers and historical or literary precedents underwent a transformation. As the aristocratic literary tradition became commercialized, access to culture increased by virtue of the rise of literacy, the surge of the popular printing industry, and the spread of wealth among urban commoners, merchants and even a group of affluent farmers (go¯no¯). Among travellers, some identified their ability to create a connection with the classics as an effective substitute for status in the legitimization of what was becoming a new social hierarchy. The texts of identity and inequality frequently served the purpose of reshaping, rather than confirming, the social coordinates of their authors. Education, combined with wealth, became a badge of sorts through which commoners associated (and in some cases even identified) themselves with the refined men and women of the Heian court, or with the brave military heroes of the Kamakura shogunate. For the less aristocratic among travellers, the faint recollection of an episode of The Tale of Genji learnt from a temple school (terakoya) manual, of a screen, or of a woodblock print reproducing a verse from celebrated poetic anthologies could signify the difference between ‘just’ seeing and actively engaging, between being a spectator and being an actor on the stage of social self-assertion. Near the old site of the Hamana bridge, for instance, Nakamura Ito, wife of a tatami purveyor to the government, was able to make a historical connection because, as she admitted,

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At home back in Kanda I have a double folding screen that depicts the days of old when the Hamana bridge still stood. The illustrations are antique, with wayfarers wearing ceremonial court headgear. Even the landscapes seem of days gone by, although the view is still very beautiful to this day. (Nakamura 1999: 515) The filtering of ‘reality’ through literary canons in the travel narratives of early modern women, far from constituting grounds for their dismissal as sources of historical investigation, speaks clearly about the authors’ attempts to redefine some of their gender and/or social coordinates. See also Nenzi 2004: ‘Cultured Travelers and Consumer Tourists in EdoPeriod Sagami’, Monuments Nipponica 59, 3 (autumn): 293. First they physically detached themselves from their households, shops, and family obligations, and then, through accurate linguistic and stylistic choices, they artificially crafted a cultural separation. The space of travel allowed them to enjoy and exploit the detachment from the ordinary (the ‘liminoid areas’ of Victor Turner) (Turner 1974; Turner 1979) and to behave, if only for a limited amount of time, as the people they aspired to be. Karyo¯ (1696–1771) was the daughter of a prominent pharmacist from Kanazawa, in Kaga domain, and the wife of the merchant Sakajiriya Hachiro¯emon. Hachiro¯emon’s family had received for generations a stipend from the domain for its supply of taiko drums for locally staged Noh plays, and was generally well respected (Minamori 1998: 178). Karyo¯ became a widow in 1748 and filled the new void in her life by pursuing a literary passion she had inherited from her father. After visiting Etchu¯’s most famous locations in the autumn of 1750 she composed Wataridori (Migratory Bird) (Minamori 1998: 172–80). Karyo¯ reveals little of herself in the pages of her travel memoir. The work, structured as a long list of the locations she travelled to, each paired with a poem, has very little narrative and is obviously less an exercise in travel guiding or careful recording than a poetic outburst. Karyo¯ was not interested in describing the people she encountered, the daily activities in the towns she crossed, the quality of the lodgings or the flavours of the foods she was served. Even her frequent (and occasionally sarcastic) remarks on the discomforts of the winter suspiciously recall the conventional, almost mandatory tributes to seasonal conditions and to the hardships of travel typical of the

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classics.14 Prospective travellers reading Wataridori in search of practical information would have had to distil it from poem to poem. Never explicitly laid out, the landscape in Karyo¯ ’s diary is suggested, alluded to, rarefied. Ironically, Wataridori appeals more for what it omits than for what it says, its silences speaking loudly of a traveller’s attempts to conceal her true colours, and to define her experience in the context of a larger-than-life lyrical tradition. While the basic education of samurai girls in the late Edo period included such texts as Hyakunin isshu, Onna imagawa, Onna daigaku, Onna teikin and Onna kyo¯ko¯ (Yamakawa 1992: 25), women of commoner stock were more likely to catch elusive glimpses of the world of the shining prince in the textbooks (o¯raimono) used in terakoya, or through popular forms of art such as board games (sugoroku), cards (karuta) and woodblock prints. Temple schools provided access to literacy to people from all walks of life, their primers introducing students to the study of Japanese and Chinese characters, and to simplified versions of the classics. Predictably, in a gender conscious society such as that of the Edo period, a subgenre of o¯raimono created exclusively for women also appeared. Within this broad category, a limited number of textbooks aimed at teaching women about travel practices in general, about famous locations or about the correct behaviour on visiting temples and shrines.15 Other primers educated them on the historical and literary value of certain sites: Onna yu¯soku hyo¯bunko (1866), for instance, advertised Ikuta no Mori as ‘an old place of poetic relevance’ (‘uta meisho’) whose scenery ‘trigger[s] memories of the past’ (‘mukashi no omoi deraruru keshiki nari’) (Emori 1993b: 286), while Onna sen’yo¯ wakoku ori (1808) introduced women to the notion of poetically charged space by featuring images of eight famous landscapes (Wakanoura in Kii, Sumiyoshi beach in Settsu, the shores of Akashi in Harima, Mount Yoshino in Yamato, Shiokama beach in Rikuoku, the Kamo River in Yamashiro, the Mogami River in Dewa and Mount Fuji in Suruga) associated with a simple waka (Emori 1993b: 244–47, 250–53). Numerous o¯raimono effectively suggested how to re-present space according to Heian canons. Both Onna banzai takara bunko (1784) (Emori 1993b: 240–41) and Onna sen’yo¯ wakoku ori (Emori 1993b: 246) associated the sight of Akashi Bay with the famous Kokinshu¯ poem:

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Dimly through morning mists over Akashi Bay my longings trace the ship vanishing from sight floating silently behind the isle. (Honobono to, Akashi no ura no, asagiri ni, shimagakure yuku, fune o shi zo omou) (Kokinshu¯ no. 409, in Rodd & Henkenius 1984: 165) By dictating stylistic and linguistic choices and by directing attention to locations well known within an established poetic tradition, the o¯raimono standardized the practice of cultural reference across the social board, allowing the less privileged to practice to a turf hitherto exclusive to the higher echelons of society. Classical culture was also popularized through visual means. Travel scenes included in most o¯raimono, but also in the vastly popular woodblock prints or in karuta, featured aristocrats of the Heian period in a variety of celebrated sites (meisho) from antiquity. Handy and convenient, prints and cards familiarized large numbers of commoners with the essence of Heian courtly culture. Illustrations and poetry combined to create indelible mental images of a rarefied Heian landscape, a form of cultural imprinting that reverberated permanently on the travellers’ perception and depiction of reality. For their part, the great ukiyoe masters of the late Edo period promoted the most famous meisho by making them the subjects of print collections that sold voluminously in the bookshops of Edo and other cities. For the price of a meal, anyone could purchase a print and acquaint himself (or herself) with the beauties and the lyrical past of such sites as Akashi, Tago no Ura, Ama no Hashidate or Itsukushima, to name just a few. The print of Akashi Bay (Akashi no ura no zu) by Utagawa Kunisada (1786–1864) includes a pensive Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, to whom a local shrine was dedicated. A poet of Man’yo¯shu¯ fame and master in the use of ‘pillow words’ (makura kotoba), Hitomaro became the reference du jour for the aspiring educated traveller passing through Akashi. By being exposed to the lyrical dimension of a site through the filtered versions of the classics featured in popular literature, or through the

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visual representations of woodblock prints, commoners gained unexpected access to a poetic tradition from which they had previously been precluded. As a result of such ubiquity, it became increasingly easier for them to fashion themselves as cultured travellers and to infuse their memoirs with erudite citations. The era that had begun with a restricted elite of courtiers and literati composing elegant poetry and disdaining the vulgarity of the ordinary had evolved into a time when many travelled the road of education toward the mirage of grandeur. A significant number of educated (or semi-educated) travellers learnt to identify certain sites with specific aesthetic and cultural qualities and interpreted their own participation in a respected poetic tradition as a means of enhancing their status.16 Female travellers of commoner stock seemed particularly active in this respect.17 Those unable to make chic references frequently apologized, in their writings, for ‘putting together clumsy lines’ that ‘may make people laugh’ (Suzuki 1968: 533–34).18 Men, it appears, did not pursue this re-creational avenue as eagerly, for, as Anne Walthall has noted, they ‘could compartmentalize their identity by using different names for their political, familial, and aesthetic activities, putting them on and taking them off like clothing’ (Walthall 1997: 85). For many wealthy townsmen, moreover, an alternative avenue to redefining their status ran through the red light districts, where money often counted more than lineage. Because no such zona franca existed for townswomen, the space of travel became the effective surrogate outlet for personal recreation. Yuya Shizuko (1733–52), the daughter of a merchant and purveyor to the government from Edo Kyo¯bashi, was fortunate enough to study under the famous nativist scholar Kamo no Mabuchi (b. 1697) (Iwatsuki 1999: 69). At the age of eighteen Shizuko made the journey from Edo to Ikaho via Irumagawa, Mount Myo¯gi, Mount Haruna, Sano and Kagoshima, which is described in her diary, Ikaho no michiyukiburi (1750) (see Fukai 1995: 177; Iwatsuki 1999). Her writing is characterized by the presence of remarkably visionary passages, the extended use of poetic imagery drawn from the classics, a profusion of Japanese-style poetry and only a few occasional glimpses of ‘reality’. Despite her origins as a cho¯nin (commoner, townsperson), Shizuko chose to play, on paper, the part of an aristocrat.

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Shizuko, her mother Toji and their friend Toshiari departed on 1750/3/10. The travelogue opens with the use of the lyrical trope ‘grass pillow’ (kusa makura), a standard metaphor for travel and its hardships. Since grass pillows traditionally symbolized the quintessential idea of a journey (Katagiri 1999: 137), it is not surprising that Shizuko employed such conventional imagery at the beginning of her work. Hers, however, was more than an automatic association: it was a conscious attempt to establish from the start an inextricable link with a revered poetic heritage that is suffused with grass pillows: Man’yo¯shu¯ (Prince Arima, scroll no. 2), Kokinshu¯ (Utsuku, no. 376), Shin kokinshu¯ (Tsurayuki, Travel) and Tales of Ise (section 83) to name but a few. Traditional images imbue her every annotation as she marches across dew (tsuyu)-drenched grasses and desolate plains veiled by mist (kasumi), through which she hears the distant cries of wild geese (karigane) and bush warblers (uguisu).19 Immediately after leaving Edo, Shizuko makes a point of mentioning the Musashi Plain, a traditional meisho. The rarefied scenery she depicts does not include farmers at work in the fields, other travellers or roadside knick-knack vendors. Her space is thoroughly filtered through the lens of poetic vision. As days went by, we paid homage to a number of sacred temples. The mountains were so high and the valleys so deep that, even though we were determined, the narrow paths delayed us many times. When the mountain echo answered our sutra-intoning voices, we were reminded of the sadness of things. (Yuya 1979: 319) All these conventional tropes served the purpose both of rarefying Shizuko’s narrative by ‘hinting’ rather than ‘expressing’, and, as a consequence, of sophisticating (thus rendering ‘more aristocratic’) both work and author. The poetry in Shizuko’s diary features a combination of famous quotes and lines composed by herself and her traveling companions. These three Edo townswomen exchanging verses and citations and acting as courtly icons of sorts on their way to a hot spring resort embody the extent to which certain commoners strove to recreate their personas through education. So deep was Shizuko’s identification with her idealized image

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of the classy, elegant traveller, that at Suieiji she writes: ‘I intended to offer my portable bookcase, but some boorish countrywomen were all standing in that one place. It was noisy and hard to take, so I left promptly’ (Yuya 1979: 320). On yet another occasion the three take shelter for the night in a fisherman’s hut. Shizuko laments the wretchedness of the accommodation: ‘It was infinitely, sadly miserable … . Soon we all sat in a row and dried the folds of our sleeves by the campfire … . I realized we were not much different from the fishermen’ (Yuya 1979: 331). Forgetting her mercantile origins, Shizuko displays an attitude more reminiscent of Sei Sho¯ nagon – a Heian court lady who referred to the commoners crowding a temple she was visiting as ‘basket worms’ (Sei Sho¯ nagon 1991: 254) – than of a character from the floating world. Even the arrival at Ikaho, far from degenerating into a chronicle of therapeutic baths, provides her with a poetic opportunity: a cherry tree losing its blossoms offers the chance to reiterate her connection with the classic tradition by recycling the much exploited theme of the resemblance between petals and snowflakes. In the deep of the mountains when the snow outlasts the blossoms I doubt we will see blossoms outlast the snow.20 (Okuyama wa, hana yori nochi no, yuki mo areba, yuki yori nochi no, hana mo mitemashi) (Yuya 1979: 322) As in the case of Lady Nakagawa, the practical implications of Shizuko’s stay at a hot spring resort are completely overshadowed by the attempt to elevate the travelogue to a poetic anthology of sorts, where little or no reference to prosaic activities is allowed. The departure from Ikaho occurs in poetically glorious scenery where wisterias bloom on the eaves of roofs under gloomy skies crossed by floating clouds (ukigumo), and through which resonates the cry of the cuckoo (hototogisu), which conveniently intensifies the anguish of separation.

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On the road again, the group reaches Sano no Funabashi, a famous landmark of Ko¯zuke Province.21 Here Shizuko notices how, despite what the toponym suggested, there are neither floating bridges nor boats, and concludes that ‘only the name has survived’ (na nomi nokorite) (Yuya 1979: 324). At a first glance one may be tempted to interpret Shizuko’s admission as a long awaited touch of realism, or as her rude awakening from that lyrically-induced dream she called a journey. I suspect, however, that the glow of poetic tradition still blurred her vision: how many other travellers before her, for instance, had journeyed to Yatsubashi only to remark that the irises chanted by Narihira in the Tales of Ise no longer existed, dwelling on the distance between past and present? To the townswoman Shizuko, en route from the hot springs of Ikaho back to Edo, Funabashi offered a convenient surrogate of Yatsuhashi, and an excuse to engage in the kind of nostalgic outburst expected from the truly refined. Shizuko’s pragmatic manipulation of tradition was not an isolated incident. With the proliferation of printed materials for the general public, the literary aura of certain locations was re-presented so many times and in so many different works that some distortions of sort were bound to happen. As the taste for parody came to permeate a great many works of the period (the age of senryu¯ and gesaku, comical verses and humorous fiction), the authors of travel narratives did not refrain from indulging in its subtle pleasures every now and then. Wealthy and educated (she was a friend of Shiba Ko¯kan’s),22 Yamanashi Shigako (1738–1814) – whose family ran a brewery in Suruga province – travelled to the Western Provinces and Itsukushima at the age of fifty-five in the company of her son To¯hei, an attendant and her sister’s husband. The group made stops at Akibayama, Ho¯raiji, Ise, Futaminoura, Kyoto, Uji, Nara, Yoshino, Mount Ko¯ya, Osaka, Okayama and Konpira – an array of locations which provided the opportunity for countless stylish quotations. A cho¯nin and a poet, Shigako aptly combined the best of both worlds: she dedicated a poem to the pluri-celebrated meisho Sayo no Nakayama as a true elegant author would have (the pomp), but infused it with an extra flavour by portraying it as the location where travellers could purchase tasty souvenirs (the ‘actual circumstance’), and by punning on the homophony between ‘rice jelly’ and ‘rain’ (ame):

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At noon in famous Saya no Nakayama they sell a deluge of rice jelly cakes in the pouring rain.23 (Hiru naredo, na ni afu Saya no, Nakayama ni, ima furu ame no, mochi wo urunari) By the time Shigako penned her travelogue more and more commoners applied education to the medium of travel for the goal of status re-creation. With the popularization of travel and culture, the attempts at selfaggrandizement through narrative had stretched beyond a simple assertion of superiority outside the confines of the household (as in the case of Lady Nakagawa) to include attempts at a complete redefinition of one’s place in the social hierarchy. The travel narratives of early modern women all speak, to different degrees, of their authors’ struggle to either confirm or defy certain roles. For an Arakida Reijo who fittingly used citations to corroborate her identity as a bunjin, there were countless wives and daughters of shopkeepers, brewers, pharmacists and farmers who sought to refute their status by invoking the ghosts of Narihira and Genji, of Fujiwara Teika and Kakinomoto no Hitomaro. By the nineteenth century most townsmen took to the road to put on the proverbial (yet imaginary) ‘clean clothes of life’ (inochi no sentakumono) that, according to novelist Jippensha Ikku, only the freedom of travel allowed one to wear (Jippensha Ikku 1993: 142). In the travel narratives of their wives, the ‘clean clothes of life’ looked a lot like the elegant robes of a Heian court lady.

Notes 1 2

3

Since the Heian period, kiri was traditionally associated with the autumn, while kasumi designated the springtime fog (Katagiri 1999: 135). C.B. Stevenson (1982: 10) reaches a similar conclusion in regard to Victorian female travellers in Africa who, compared to their male counterparts, tended to produce ‘more private, fragmented, episodic’ works. ‘In contrast to the seventeen-syllable haiku with its distinctly plebeian cast, the thirty-one syllable waka produced within the confines of the imperial court exuded an unmistakably rarefied aura’ (Walthall 1998: 25). Anne Walthall has also argued

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4 5 6 7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

66

that women’s travel diaries employed poetry as a form of communication: ‘Poetry makes a performative break with everyday speech. In so doing, it makes room for voices otherwise marginalized’ (Walthall 1999: 221). Other female travellers who added Chinese poetry to their diaries include, for instance: Inoue Tsu¯jo (1973), Tsuchiya Ayako (1979), and Arakida Reiko (1979a). ‘Jibun wa onna to iu yori wa, hitori no ningen to shite kokorozasu michi o ayumitai’. Narihira and Genji are the male protagonists, respectively, of Tales of Ise and The Tale of Genji, two classics of the Heian period. Sasaki Takatsuna belonged to a family associated with the Minamoto clan. Kajiwara Kagesue was the son of Kagetoki, architect of the feud between Yoritomo and Yoshitsune. Tales of Ise, episode 9, in Horiguchi & Akiyama 1997: 88. Among the female travellers who related to the episode while passing Utsunoyama were Tsuchiya Ayako (1979: 380), Seigen-in Noriko (1977: 6) and Tokugawa Haru (1999: 98). Narihira’s poem at Mount Asama cited in the original text but elided here with elipses runs as follows: Surely no one Far or near But marvels to see The smoke rising from the peak Of Asama in Shinano (Shinano naru, Asama no take ni, tatsu keburi, ochikochibito no, mi ya wa togamenu) (McCullough 1968: 74) A disciple of Kamo Mabuchi and a kannushi for the Inner Shrine, Arakida Hisaoi excelled as a scholar of ancient writings. He is the author of a commentary on the Man’yo¯shu¯ (see Papinot 1972: 19). Carter has made a similar claim in reference to Matsuo Basho¯ and other bunjin of the Edo period. For Basho¯, Carter argues, interaction with tradition represented ‘a professional resolve that [was] meant to connect him with the élite of the past and to show his worthiness to be counted in their number in the present’ (S.D. Carter 1997: 57–69). Though rain may fall, I forbid you, clouds, To veil Mount Ikoma, For I live only To gaze toward my beloved. (Kimi ga Atari, mitsutsu o oran, Ikomayama, kumo na kakushi so, ame wa furu to mo) (McCullough 1968: 89) Following the death of her husband, a 60 year-old Reijo entrusted the family affairs to her teenage son and focused solely on her literary pursuits, participating actively in the poetic circles of Ise Yamada and becoming one of their leading figures. See, for example, Karyo¯ ’s verses (Minamori Reiko 1998: 176): When the time comes In this house, even the foot warmer’s feet Get cold. (Iza sareba, kotatsu no ashi mo, samenu uchi)

Laura Nenzi 15 ‘It is in the way one walks that we see a person’s quality. … Along the way, do not glance to the side and do not stare at other people. Nothing is worse than whispered laughs with other women. It is advisable to walk in a modest fashion’ (Onna kotobuki ho¯raidai [1819], in Emori Ichiro¯ 1993a: 58–59). 16 On the cultural and social pursuits of wealthy farmers see R.K. Thomas (1991), T.C. Smith (1959: 177–79); and A. Walthall (1997). 17 Regarding Matsuo Taseko and her go¯ no¯ peers, A. Walthall (1997: 70) has argued that by appropriating such poetic tradition, rural entrepreneurs distinguished themselves from uneducated country peasants, bridged the gap between them and the samurai class, created a community within the community, linked by culture, and crafted an ‘emotionally and intellectually satisfying identity’. 18 The original explained: ‘The author of such “clumsy lines”, Suzuki Mihoko, was the wife of a merchant’. 19 Specifically, kasumi symbolized the beginning of the spring; wild geese were traditionally associated with two seasons, the autumn (when they flew south), and the spring (when they flew back to the north). The bush warbler sings at the beginning of spring and was linked to plum blossoms. See Katagiri (1999: 104–05, 123–24, 69–70). 20 Note that the third line has six instead of five syllables. 21 According to Katagiri (1999: 544), Sano no Funabashi was a meisho of Ko¯zuke, but Shizuko locates it in Shimozuke. 22 A reference to her can be found in Shiba Ko¯kan’s Saiyu¯ nikki, the account of his 1788 journey from Edo to Nagasaki. When he stayed with the Yamanashi household for a while (from the eighth to the 21st day of the sixth month), he commented: ‘This lady is clever. She has been to Edo a few times, and we became friends talking about it’ (quoted in Maeda 1977: 233). 23 The local speciality was known as ame no mochi, ‘rice jelly cakes’. (Yamanashi 1999: 374).

References Anonymous (1985) ‘Azumaji no nikki’, in Kodama Ko¯ta et al. (ed.) Kamakura shishi, kinsei kindai kiko¯ chishi hen, pp. 164–82. Tokyo: Yoshikawa ko¯bunkan. Arakida Reiko (Reijo) (1979a) ‘Hatsuuma no nikki’ [1777], in Furuya Chishin (ed.) Edo jidai joryu¯ bungaku zenshu¯, vol. 3, pp. 25–101. Tokyo: Nihon tosho sentaa. Arakida Reiko (Reijo) (1979b) ‘Nochi no uma no nikki’ [1782], in Furuya Chishin (ed.) Edo jidai joryu¯ bungaku zenshu¯, vol. 3, pp. 103–34. Tokyo: Nihon tosho sentaa. Carter, S.D. (1997) ‘On Bare Branch: Basho¯ and the Haikai Profession’, Journal of the American Oriental Society 117, 1 (January–March): 57–69. Chance, L.H. (1997) ‘Constructing the Classic: Tsurezuregusa in Tokugawa Readings’, Journal of the American Oriental Society 117, 1 (January–March): 39–56. Emori Ichiro¯ (1993a) Edo jidai josei seikatsu ezu daijiten, vol. 3, katei, shakai. Tokyo: ¯ zorasha. O Emori Ichiro¯ (1993b) Edo jidai josei seikatsu ezu daijiten, vol. 5, shisetsu, ¯ zorasha. do¯shokubutsu, meisho. Tokyo: O Fujiwara Chieko (ed.) (2000) Ukiyoe ni miru Edo no tabi. Tokyo: Kawade shobo¯ shinsha. Fukai Jinzo¯ (1995) Kinsei josei tabi to gaido¯ ko¯tsu¯. Toyama: Kashira shobo¯. 67

Women’s Travel Narratives in Early Modern Japan Gramlich-Oka, B. (2001) ‘Tadano Makuzu and Her Hitori Kangae’, Monumenta Nipponica 56, 1 (Spring): 1–20. Hishiya Heishichi (1972) ‘Tsukushi kiko¯’, in Takeuchi Toshimi, Haraguchi Torao and Miyamoto Tsuneichi (eds) Nihon shomin seikatsu shiryo¯ shu¯sei, vol. 20, pp. 155–262. Tokyo: San’ichi shobo¯. Horiguchi Hideaki and Akiyama Ken (eds) (1997) Taketori Monogatari, Ise Monogatari. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten. Ikegawa Shunsui (1968) ‘Fuji nikki’, in Miyamoto Tsuneichi, Takeuchi Toshimi and Mori Kahee (eds) Nihon shomin seikatsu shiryo¯ shu¯sei, vol. 3, pp. 373–82. Tokyo: San’ichi shobo¯. Inoue Tsu¯jo (1973) ‘To¯kai kiko¯’ [1681], in Editorial Committee for the Collected Works of Inoue Tsu¯jo (ed.) Inoue Tsu¯jo Zenshu¯ Shu¯tei Iinkai, pp. 38–54. Marugame-shi: Kagawa kenritsu Marugame ko¯to¯ gakko¯ do¯so¯kai. Iwatsuki Akie (1999) ‘Yuya Shizuko kashu¯ Chirinokori’, in Edo ki onna ko¯ 10: 60–70. Jippensha Ikku (1992–93) To¯kaido¯chu¯ hizakurige, Aso¯ Isoji (ed.), 2 vols. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten. Katagiri Yo¯ichi (1999) Utamakura utakotoba jiten. Tokyo: Kasama shoin. Kiyokawa Hachiro¯, ed. Oyamatsu Katsuichiro¯ (1993) Saiyu¯so¯. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten. Kondo, D. (1990) Crafting Selves: Power, Gender, and Discourse of Identity in a Japanese Workplace. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Maeda Yoshi (1976) ‘Kinsei keishu¯ haijin Hara Saihin to Bo¯so¯ no tabi, Hara Saihin kenkyu¯ sono ichi’, Fukuoka jogakuin tanki daigaku kiyo¯ 12 (March): 13–29. Maeda Yoshi (1977) ‘Tabi nikki no josei’, in Enchi Fumiko (ed.) Jinbutsu Nihon no josei shi, vol. 6, nikki ni tsuzuru aikan, pp. 207–44. Tokyo: Shu¯eisha. McCullough, H. (1968) Tales of Ise: Lyrical Episodes From Tenth-Century Japan. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Minamori Reiko (1998) ‘Chiyojo no kage ni kakureta Sakajiriya Karyo¯ Wataridori’, Edoki onna ko¯ 9: 172–80. ¯ uchi Hatsuo et al. (eds) Kyo¯rai sensei zenshu¯, Mukai Chine (1982) ‘Ise kiko¯’ [1686], in O pp. 164–67. Kyoto: Rakushisha ho¯zonkai. Nakagawa Hisamori’s wife (1979) ‘Ikahoki’ [1639], in Furuya Chishin (ed.) Edo jidai joryu¯ bungaku zenshu¯, vol. 3, pp. 1–21. Tokyo: Nihon tosho sentaa. Nakamura Ito (1979) ‘Ise mo¯de no nikki’ [1825], in Toyoda cho¯shi hensan iinkai (ed.) Toyoda cho¯shi, betsuhen 1, To¯kaido¯ to Tenryu¯gawa Ikeda wataribune, furoku 2, kiko¯bun, p. 515. Toyoda machi: Toyoda machi. Nenzi, L. (2004) ‘Cultured Travelers and Consumer Tourists in Edo-Period Sagami’, Monuments Nipponica 59, 3 (Autumn): 285–319. Papinot, E. (1972) Historical and Geographical Dictionary of Japan. Tokyo: Tuttle. Plutschow, H.E. (1981) Four Japanese Travel Diaries of the Middle Ages. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Plutschow, H.E. (1990) Chaos and Cosmos: Ritual in Early and Medieval Japanese Literature. Leiden and New York: E.J. Brill. Rodd, L.R. and Henkenius, M.C. (1984) Kokinshu¯, A Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Sei Sho¯nagon (1991) The Pillow Book of Sei Sho¯nagon, trans. Ivan Morris. New York: Columbia University Press. Seigen-in Noriko (1977) ‘Kaihen shu¯jiki’ [1782], in Itasaka Yo¯ko (ed.) Kumamoto tandai ronshu¯ 55, shiryo¯ (July): 1–26.

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Laura Nenzi Smith, T.C. (1959) The Agrarian Origins of Modern Japan. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Stevenson, C.B. (1982), ‘Women Travellers and the Art of Travel Writing’ in Stevenson, C.B. (ed.) Victorian Women Travel Writers in Africa, pp. 1–12. Boston: Twayne Publishers. Suzuki Mihoko (1968) ‘Kawagoe no kiko¯’ [1770], in Saitama kenshi hensan jimusho (ed.) Saitama so¯sho, vol. 2, pp. 529–34. Tokyo: Sanmeisha. Takeuchi Makoto (1993) ‘Sho¯min bunka no naka no Edo’, in Takeuchi Makoto (ed.) Nihon no kinsei 14, bunka no taish¯uka, pp. 7–54. Tokyo: Chu¯o¯ ko¯ronsha. Thomas, R.K. (1991) Plebeian Travellers on the Way of Shikishima: Waka Theory and Practice during the Late Tokugawa Period Ph.D. thesis, Indiana University. ¯ i Tasuko (ed.), Edo Tokugawa Haru (1999) ‘Takahara-in dono omichi no ki’ [1633], in O ki onna ko¯ 10: 97–99. Tsuchiya Ayako (1979) ‘Tabi no inochige’, in Furuya Chishin (ed.) Edo jidai joryu¯ bungaku zenshu¯, vol. 3, pp. 365–408. Tokyo: Nihon tosho sentaa. Turner, V. (1974) Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Turner, V. (1979) Process, Performance, and Pilgrimage: A Study in Comparative Symbology. New Delhi: Concept Publishing. Walthall, A. (1997) ‘The Cult of Sensibility in Rural Tokugawa Japan: Love Poetry by Matsuo Taseko’, Journal of the American Oriental Society 117, 1 (January–March): 70–86. Walthall, A. (1998) The Weak Body of a Useless Woman, Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Walthall, A. (1999) ‘Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration: Texts of Self and Gender’, in Tonomura, H., Walthall, A. and Wada Haruko (eds) Women and Class in Japanese History, pp. 217–40. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan (Center for Japanese Studies). Yamakawa Kikue (1992) Women of the Mito Domain: Recollections of Samurai Family Life. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. Yamanashi Shigako (1999) ‘Haru no michikusa’, in Toyoda cho¯shi hensan iinkai, Toyoda cho¯shi, betsuhen 1, To¯kaido¯ to Tenryugawa Ikeda wataribune, furoku 2, kiko¯bun, pp. 373–76. Toyoda machi: Toyoda machi. Yuya Shizuko (1979) ‘Ikaho no michi yukiburi’, in Furuya Chishin (ed.) Edo jidai joryu¯ bungaku zenshu¯, vol. 3, pp. 317–34. Tokyo: Nihon tosho sentaa.

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CHAPTER 4 Discovered Other, Recovered Self: Layers of Representation in an Early Travelogue on the West (Xihai jiyou cao, 1849)

Marion Eggert Department of Korean Studies Bochum University, Germany

T

he long and complex history of China’s discovery of the West is marked by a high resistance of the ‘public mind’ against the penetration not only of ideas from the West, but also of ideas and news about the West.1 At least since the first Jesuits came to the Chinese court, a good deal of information about the West has been made available, but within the broad and tightly knit network of information channels, it seems to have been digested into virtual obliteration. Of course, the martial knocks and kicks at China’s doors performed by Western powers were the main factor in making the Western world more real to Chinese minds during the nineteenth century. But in making the West recognizable as a civilization in its own right, the reports written by travellers to Western countries played a crucial role for a core section of the literati; the first of these appeared about a generation before the translations of Western works by Lin Shu (1852–1924) and Yan Fu (1853–1921) took on a similar role for a broader public. Those who travelled had the chance to observe how elements of Western culture that threatened or puzzled them at home – such as certain technologies or the relatively high status of women – worked within their own cultural system, to gain awareness of the sense they made within that system and to experience the advantages they might have. Thus, the first wave of Chinese travellers to Western countries, in the 1860s and 1870s, were at least a generation ahead of their contemporaries in their acceptance of

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things Western, as far as can be judged from the travelogues they left behind. The travelogue of the United States I shall analyze here, the Xihai jiyou cao (Sketchy Account of a Journey to Western Seas) by Lin Qian (written in 1849, printed around 1867), is not only the earliest specimen of this group of texts, but the earliest authentic, firsthand travelogue of a Western country ever distributed in China. The Shenjian lu (Report on Things Personally Observed) by Fan Shouyi (1682–1753) of the Kangxi reign (1662–1722) of the Qing dynasty, which is usually accorded the honour of being the earliest extant travelogue on Western countries, was not printed in China before the 1950s; even the manuscript was preserved only in the National Library in Rome (Fang 1954: IV, 187); and obviously it never received any publicity to speak of (Zhong 1985a: 43). Even if it had, it is doubtful what impact it could have exerted. Fan offered little information on the societies he encountered – after all, his destinations were mainly kingdoms whose social structures differed in no fundamental way from the Chinese, at least at the visible level; instead, as a Catholic convert, he focused on the splendour of Christianity, of which the strong forts and rich palaces seem to have been only a part.2 The Hailu (Report on Overseas) of 1820, on the other hand, which was fairly well received, was not truly a firsthand account;3 its terse and sometimes miraculous country reports seem nearer in style and content to the ancient mythic cosmography of the Shanhai jing (Classic of the Mountains and Seas)4 than to the travelogues of Guo Songtao (1818–91) or Zhi-gang (fl. 1866–70) later in the nineteenth century. Lin Qian’s text differs from these precursors in transmitting for the first time an image of a Western country that is neither assimilated nor exoticized, but represents a different order with its intrinsic advantages and disadvantages. Written in 1849, it precedes the first diplomatic missions to the West and their travelogues by about two decades, and it stands out from the latter by being the product of a private and single traveller. In stark contrast to later embassies and their resulting accounts, there was no mission behind Lin Qian’s journey which would have prescribed a focus for his attention, and no pressure to produce a documentary record; nor was he accompanied by compatriots who might have reassured him of his identity, fixed his status and provided a buffer

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zone between him and the foreign country. Furthermore, there was virtually no literary precedent for writing about the country he visited, which – as I shall demonstrate – forced him all the more to work his text into the tradition. All this contributes to the fascination of the Xihai jiyou cao. In discussing this text, I will limit myself to two of its peculiar traits. First, this travelogue does not easily fit into any genre of travel writing, but is structured in a highly complex way; I will argue that this structure itself transports certain messages. Second, while Lin Qian proved to be an able observer, extremely open-minded and even-handed in his judgment, he also told an intensely personal story about the trials his journey entailed for him, his loss and reestablishment of identity, his encounter with a strange world and a fair lady, a crisis and a triumph over it and at last his peaceful return home. In short, he tells an archetypal story of travel and adventure. I shall describe the stages of this narrative and attempt to analyze how this personal story relates to the more factual observations concentrated in the first part of the text. These observations themselves, which amount to a poetic but concise description of the United States, one that is positive but not unrealistic, are of high interest, but not the principal topic of this study.5

Inception and reception of the text The most complete and reliable history/geography of Western countries produced in the nineteenth century, Yinghuan zhilüe (A Brief Survey of the Maritime Circuits) by Xu Jiyu (1795–1873), was printed in 1849, but was only fully recognized for its value in 1866.6 The history of the composition and transmission of the Xihai jiyou cao parallels this neatly – and not purely by chance. Lin Qian (b. 1824) grew up in Xiamen (Amoy), Fujian Province in an impoverished, but educated family. As a youth he seems to have learnt English and from then on earned his living by interpreting for merchants (Zhong 1985a: 14). In 1847 he was invited by several merchants to accompany them to the United States to ‘plough with his tongue’ – probably to teach Chinese.7 While there, he encountered a group of

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Chinese from Chaozhou who had been lured aboard a ship by an Englishman with a promise of trade in Java who instead brought them to New York to display them for money. Lin was instrumental in freeing them from their enslaved status and seeing that they were sent back to China. This, as he describes it, put him in trouble, as the Englishman falsely accused him of robbery; he was later cleared of all charges. In this crisis he received much help from an American family, especially from their young daughter whom he praised as his closest friend. In 1849 he returned home and seems to have composed the Xihai jiyou cao in the same year. This is the date that the cover of the printed edition carries, although the many prefaces and dedications, with their different dates up to 1867, indicate that it cannot have been printed any earlier than the latter year.8 These prefatory and dedicatory texts also bear witness to modest publicity of the travelogue, at least in the Fujian area, prior to its publication. In the 1860s it came to the attention of those whom it would most concern, the so-called Yangwu (Westernizer) faction of reform-minded officials in favour of opening the country to Western influence. On the first page we find four tiji (prose ‘dedications’), three of them by well-known members of this group: Zuo Zongtang (1812–85), Ying-gui (1798–1879) and Xu Jiyu himself, all dated 1865. It may be surmised that money of such provenance helped to bring the small book into print at last, at a time when knowledge of things Western started to enjoy some prestige.

Structure of the text The original edition of the Xihai jiyou cao contains around fifty leaves, but only twelve of them are filled with Lin Qian’s own writing. These few pages are quite literally the core of the booklet, surrounded by numerous complimentary texts. Even Lin’s own writing does not form a single text, consisting rather of four different pieces. The core text among these is the ‘Xihai jiyou shi’ (Poetic account of a journey to Western seas), a fivesyllable poem of 100 lines (50 rhymes). In this 500-character text, he tells the complete story of his journey to America, the country he encountered, the vicissitudes he had to cope with, and his happy return. Of course, the

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more uncommon aspects of his experience remain utterly unintelligible. Like other travel poems since antiquity, this poem is thus preceded by an explanatory preface.9 This preface (‘Xihai jiyou zixu’ (‘Author’s preface about a journey to the Western seas’); hereafter ‘Zixu’), which is six times as long as the poem, is itself written in a highly ornate and often obscure parallel prose style (piantiwen), and it in turn depends on a running commentary in pure ancient-style prose (guwen), inserted in smaller characters, to fully communicate its contents to the reader. The poem is followed by a prose account of the rescue of the Chaozhou people (‘Jiuhui beixiu Chaozhouren ji’ (‘How I saved and returned [to China] people from Chaozhou who had been lured away’); hereafter ‘Jiuhui ji’) and, lastly, by a short biography of Lin’s grandmother who managed to bring up her sons in spite of early widowhood (‘Zumu jiexiao zhuan’ (‘The life of my chaste and filial grandmother’)). These texts are in turn embedded in the abovementioned prose dedications (tiji) and prefaces by friends (‘Xu wu shou’ (‘Five prefaces’)) in front and a fairly large number of dedicatory poems (tishi), plus some postfaces (ba), on the last pages of the book. While it was certainly commonplace for Chinese works of that era to contain (sometimes numerous) complimentary texts by others, the way in which Lin Qian’s record of his experience abroad is fragmented into mutually explanatory shreds and then enveloped by short writings of others testifying to and explicating its significance still draws the reader’s attention. Two things are communicated by this complexity of the work alone: that the news it contains is of great importance, and that it is not easily transmitted. However, both on the structural and on the semantic level (that is, when the contents of the individual pieces are taken into account), the composition of this booklet contains more detailed messages. My starting hypothesis is that the book is constructed in an onion-like shape, the poem in the core being surrounded by symmetrical layers of corresponding texts, as illustrated in Figure 1. The layers I suggest are constituted by common messages the book wishes to transmit about both author and travelogue; thus, they represent different levels of self-representation and concomitantly different aspects of the travel experience.

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prose dedications five prefaces

author’s preface

travel poem

prose record on rescue

postfaces, poems grandmother’s biography

Figure 1. Structure of the text

The meaning of the structure Public significance. I begin my analysis with the outermost layer, the dedicatory texts. The diagram leaves this ring of the ‘onion’ open in order to signify its outgoing function: this assembly of texts may be likened to tentacles stretched out to potential readers, persuading them through name and number of the meaningfulness of the inner layers they shield.10 The introductory prose dedications do so simply by attaching the grandeur of their contributors’ names to the booklet; the authors of the tishi and postfaces express their personal esteem for Lin Qian and their admiration for his accomplishment, and sum up their reading experience in, of course, the most favourable terms. Though some of these texts contain interesting comments both on Lin Qian’s personality and his deed as related in his narrative, few of them talk at all about the curious country he describes. While this textual layer wants to win a readership to the book and thus advertises the latter’s overall significance, attention is directed towards the authorial person and the fact of his journey rather than to the news he brings home. Filial piety. A similar focus on traveller and journey informs the five prefaces. Unlike the more personal and rambling postface which may recount individual reactions to a text, a preface introduces a text and sets the tone for appreciating it. Thus, at least the prefaces might be expected to centre on the more publicly relevant description of the United States. However, although assuming a more formal tone, the prefaces as well stress Lin Qian’s personality and feat. Two keywords are repeated throughout these five texts by different authors: zhuang (‘virility, grandeur’) and xiao (‘filial piety’). Of these two, the theme of filial piety is certainly the more central concern. The first

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and most important among the prefaces, written by Ying-gui, may serve as an example: Lin Qian’s braveness is mentioned twice, but xiao figures five times in the short text, which ends with the words: ‘Thus I have documented it with a few words in order to demonstrate [Lin’s] filial piety’ (Zhong 1985b: 29).11 This concern of the preface writers only reflects – and therefore is seen in my model as constituting one textual layer with – Lin Qian’s own demonstration of his filiality by appending the biography of his grandmother to his travelogue. Indeed, his claim to piety seems to rest on little more than this very biography, as well as the longing for family and home repeatedly uttered in his travel texts. Still, several of the prefaces go as far as to ascribe his good luck to ‘heaven’s retribution for his filiality’ (Yang Gui, ‘Preface’ in Zhong 1985b: 29; Zhou Kuiyuan, ‘Preface’ in Zhong 1985b: 31; Wang Daozheng, ‘Preface’ in Zhong 1985b: 33) and to describe his journey itself as a filial act (Wang Guangye, ‘Preface’ in Zhong 1985b: 31; Wang Daozheng, ‘Preface’ in Zhong 1985b: 33; Wan Peng, ‘Tiji’ (Dedication) in Zhong 1985b: 28). In the Chinese cultural tradition, xiao and travel are on oppositional – or complementary – terms. He who travels far, especially on a private, voluntary journey, used to be suspected of a lack of filial piety: first, he should not have left his parents to themselves;12 second, even after the parents’ death, it was considered unfilial to expose the body bequeathed by one’s parents (yiti) to the dangers of travel.13 On the other hand, filial piety being a prime social virtue, an indication of such piety was the best means to redeem the traveller (who willfully leaves family and society) as a social being. This was clearly the case with earlier famous travellers, most notably the great adventurer Xu Hongzu (1587–1641) whose affectionate relationship with his mother was much extolled by his biographers.14 Similarly, his great successor of early Qing times, Pan Lei (1646–1708), is warmly praised by his eulogists for a filial act in his youth (Wang 1936: juan 13). It is safe to assume that these tales of xiao do not by accident accumulate in the biographies of those who make travel their lifestyle: filial piety is the token of their acceptance of the value system of, and thus their loyalty towards, the community they so willingly left behind. This appears to be the direction in which this layer of the Xihai jiyou cao – the prefaces and the biography – points. In the absence of a modern

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concept of patriotism, filial piety served to protest one’s loyalty towards society. The theme of filiality thus helps to make not only the person, but also the text and the news it brings, more acceptable: the unexpectedness of what the outside world is like is mediated by the predictability of proper social behaviour; and any political message it might contain is softened by the ascertained loyalty. ‘Heroism’, adventure. The third layer of my model is comprised of the two prose texts containing virtually all the factual information we can glean from Xihai jiyou cao. This fact alone is probably sufficient reason to see them as symmetrically surrounding the travel poem. Additionally, both obviously share a common theme: the ‘grandeur’ or ‘virility’ (zhuang) mentioned but not explicated by the prefaces. While the rescue account offers a story of most manly/vigorous conduct, with the narrator bringing near disaster upon himself in the rescue of his compatriots, the ‘Author’s Preface’ (‘Zixu’) relates a grand journey that has been called zhuang in the earlier prefaces for the sheer distance covered and here becomes recognizable not only as a ‘splendid tour’ but also ‘a long trip for an ambitious project’15 through the details depicted. Why, then, is this factual account revolving around the theme of grandeur separated into two texts using different literary media, decorative piantiwen and pure prose? Undoubtedly, the ‘heroic’ story – which has been isolated from the overall account – is easier to tell, so that pure prose suffices as transporting medium. The quality of zhuang it conveys is confined to the author or narrator: nothing unsettling about this. The zhuang nature of the journey, however, is constituted not only by the distance covered, as the prefaces imply: amidst the adventure story of a great journey lie, almost hidden, three or four paragraphs of description of a rich, egalitarian society – a fairyland, but one whose existence is testified by, and whose miracles are partly known in ‘technical detail’ (Zhong 1985b: 37) to the author. While the story of rescuing countrymen is easily acceptable and thus can be told directly, the news of this other world is not. However, as part of an adventure story, it is more easily digested than as a story in and of itself; in this way, filing ‘Zixu’ and ‘Jiuhui ji’ into the same, zhuang-centred layer of the book

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serves as another buffer between the reader and the otherness of the United States. Yet another mediator is the literary style of parallel prose itself. Its basic rhetorical device, providing a comparison or an equivalent to any given entity, creates a certain balance or harmony; the traditional four-six word order serves as a proof of functioning world order. This function of literary embellishment is further borne out by the poem. Literariness. The poem sits in the centre of the booklet like a nut in its shell, and appears to relate the travel experience in a nutshell. In fact, however, it cannot assume this role. Not only would it remain completely obscure without the explanations of the ‘Author’s Preface’; compared with the latter, it is also formulaic and, indeed, inaccurate.16 The foreign land remains unrecognizable in this text; it becomes a fairy tale and a mystery, which it is not in the ‘Author’s Preface’. What can be recognized through the text instead are the literary formulas and the author’s ability and willingness to use them. If the xiao element of the Xihai jiyou cao reassured the reader of the validity of his social norms, the act of composing such a poem as the core travelogue does so for the literary values. Or, more to the point, the casting of news in such a literary fashion even to the point of disregard for intelligibility is a way to ‘bring it home’. Although the ‘bringing’ is endangered, ‘home’ is ascertained. At the core of his text on the Far West, Lin Qian claims his place at the core of his cultural tradition: wen.17

The responsibility for the text I have described the Xihai jiyou cao as a structure of multiple layers of both enticing and comforting messages which served to envelop a central text, the poem, and this centre to be essentially void of any message except its own literariness. I have also argued that this complex structure was a method for neatly wrapping and safely bringing home some most disruptive news. A further argument in this direction could be made by explicating the subtle play of shifting responsibility for the message that is conducted between poem and ‘Author’s Preface’.18 Two interrelated questions arise here. First, is Lin’s news of the West really so new and disturbing that it has to be handled as carefully as this? 78

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Second, should the so-called structural messages be understood as a conscious device? Lin Qian’s news about the United States was perhaps not altogether new, but different in kind from what was available elsewhere. When he composed Xihai jiyou cao, the main sources of information were works by Westerners and works compiled from Western sources: Sizhou zhi (On the Four Continents) by Lin Zexu (1785–1850) and Haiguo tuzhi (Illustrated Gazetteer of the Maritime Nations) by Wei Yuan (1794–1857); the Yinghuan zhilüe was just under way. These history/geographies may contain much of the factual information of the Xihai jiyou cao, for example about the democratic system of the United States; but, inasmuch they are founded on Western accounts concerning the West itself, they lack the spirit of someone having seen and understood. They are filled with unwieldy Chinese transcriptions of Western terms and with historical detail not necessarily significant to their Chinese compilers and readers; little is there to bridge the cultural distance. Lin Qian’s writing, on the other hand, gives the impression of being solely the product of his own observations and inquiries. His story is not one of having heard things exist, but of having seen things in operation. Furthermore, he expresses eagerness to actually implant some of these same things in China, constrained though this is to technological affairs: he claims to be knowledgeable about telegraph and photograph technology,19 and he explicitly offers to help in building ships and railways, should the necessary capital be raised: I was most interested in learning about ships and wagons [of all things operated with steam power], and these can be used to public advantage and for private profit. Only my powers do not suffice to undertake this single-handedly; if some of us had the intention of joining forces, we could reap successes within a year. (Zhong 1985b: 37f) With insertions like this one in the prose commentary, the ‘Author’s Preface’ takes on a somewhat more urgent tone in spite of its literary obliqueness. Moreover, as somebody who profited little from China’s social system, Lin Qian may have been inspired by the social as well as the technical mobility he experienced in the United States. Thus, the message

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of the Xihai jiyou cao itself probably contains its own reasons for being transmitted cautiously. The aforementioned Xu Jiyu is a good example of how controversial a positive view of the West was at the time the Xihai jiyou cao was first composed. As Fred Drake has aptly argued, ‘for Xu Jiyu, to publish the Yinghuan zhilüe was to perish’ (Drake 1975: 168).20 Lin Qian, being no official, had in most likelihood little to be concretely afraid of; but Xu Jiyu’s experience probably bespeaks the degree of tolerance in Chinese literate society in general, not only the political class. Even if there was little cause for Lin to be afraid of political consequences, he must have desired to produce a text acceptable to his countrymen. On another level, the same problem would apply to him. As the ‘Author’s Preface’ impressively conveys, his journey was a highly unsettling experience for him, and writing about it may have been a means to fully come to terms with this experience. Devices serving to mediate his new knowledge to others may also have served to make it acceptable to him. At this point, the question of whether Lin Qian made a conscious effort to hide something becomes moot: he might have had to exert the same effort even if he had not expected a single reader. His story of exploring the outside world is necessarily at the same time a story of facing himself.

The narrative of the ‘Author’s Preface’ (‘Zixu’) The ‘Author’s Preface’ is the place where Lin really tells of the America he has seen; here also he provides insights into the personal experience of his journey. The combination of both is what makes the text peculiar and the latter what makes it a precious example not only of travelogues of the West, but of travel literature in general. Rarely in the Chinese tradition have the psychological stages of distant travel been described so convincingly.21 In the following section, I will give an analytic summary of his account, concentrating on the representation of self and role. The ‘Author’s Preface’ has been aptly divided by Zhong Shuhe (b. 1931) in the modern edition into twelve paragraphs. To further illuminate the structure of the text, it might be divided into three parts: an introductory part (Paragraphs 1–4) about the journey to the United States;

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a purely descriptive part (Paragraphs 5–7), giving his impressions of America; and a ‘story’ part, relating the events he personally encountered during his stay (Paragraphs 8–11, and a very brief coda, Paragraph 12). In the first part Lin offers himself as the passive object of events; in the second, as impartial observer; and in the third, as active subject of affairs. Paragraph 1. The narration of the journey of the ego starts in the first paragraph with a statement of loss of self. Immediately after giving date and time of departure and elaborating on the sorrows of parting, Lin makes two remarkable observations: that his past life seems to have vanished, and that his journey resembles a marionette’s being lifted onto another stage. Departure from the well-known shore is equivalent to starting a second life. Together with the habitual space-time continuum, the continuity of the Self is interrupted: identity is lost through spatial displacement. Paragraph 2. On the ship, he has to realize that the new strange surroundings turn him into a stranger. The lowly sailors look down on him as a Chinese and he has difficulty paying for his meals. Positioned in completely unfamiliar surroundings, he can only dream of home: ‘In my dream I return to my home and take delight in the old quarters; awakened, I am a stranger again, and my eyes meet only red-haired people’. A stranger almost to himself, he experiences further loss of identity through social displacement. Paragraph 3. Both aspects combine to form a deep rift within himself, expressed as a duplicity of lives. His earlier self is mourned in terms of bygone youth, concluding with the line: ‘Things all pass away like this – a deep feeling in ancient as in modern times’. This statement of evanescence seems like a final farewell to the world left behind. Paragraph 4. Enacted leave-taking leads toward a new stage. The emptiness resulting from separation turns into a source of new impressions: ‘Sometimes I sink into desolate bleakness, but the void is no different from the source of sensations’. Forlornness changes into a feeling of boundlessness, here clad into typical Daoist imagery: ‘Then again I roam the Milky Way, not caring about reason in my drunkenness’. The openness of travel allows him a new stance towards the constraints of his life: ‘Rafting the sea to travel far, I jeer at this leather-bag’s short existence; with books to my left and right, I forget that I do not own a speck of land’.

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Now he is ready to disembark on a new shore: ‘Where water is green and mountains blue, I am happy to leave the ship and go onto yonder shore’. Paragraph 5–7. At this point, three long paragraphs of impersonal description of first New York, then the United States in general, follow. The person of the observer enters the scene only in the aforementioned instances of claiming expertise in certain technologies – plus once in connection with Western women. All these instances appear in the inserted prose commentary. Paragraph 8. Women are the main topic of the eighth paragraph, which opens with a reflection on former ignorance: ‘In days past I judged the sky while looking at it from a well’. Next, for the first time he compares the United States to a kind of paradise: ‘Splash, splash the sound of water; the fisherman returns to Peach Blossom Spring’.22 The prose commentary explains: ‘Men and women find their own partners for marriage; their family lives should therefore be happy’. The relationship between the sexes, and the features and talents of Western women, occupy him throughout this section, and as the introductory sentence suggests, again a more personal mode prevails; here he begins to relate his own story by hinting at his relationships with various women. In a way similar to Western exotic literature, the women of the foreign land are what gives the stranger a foothold and grants him a persona.23 Paragraph 9–11. Having thus returned to the centre of his narrative, the narrator can proceed to summarize the story of his rescuing the Chaozhou people. This turns him from observing participant into an agent of affairs, a true hero. The heroic aspect is balanced, however, by the following story (10) of his own entrapment and the help granted him in turn by the American girl, whom we know only by the Chinese transcription: Lei-ji-sheng. Although their relationship remains a chaste one, she becomes his true counterpart, a friend for life. At this point, close to integration into the foreign society, the wheel needs to revolve (otherwise the narrator could not return and the story could not be told). The eleventh paragraph tells of a trip to the Southern States, of his desolation and estrangement there and of the lonely hours spent translating and longing for home. Thoughts and language return home first and the narrator follows suit in person: ‘Though [his cherished grandmother’s] grave is far away, luckily the sails home are soon set’.

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Paragraph 12. The short coda stresses willingness and completeness of this return: ‘If father and mother are alive, being poor does not matter. Born into a prosperous age, why should I want to stay long in a foreign country? I summarized my travel experience in order to supplement the records of overseas regions’. The original motive for travelling – poverty and earning a livelihood – being eradicated, in a way the whole journey is undone and taken back, except for the story which can be brought to some domestic use. The archetypal adventure story presented here, with its typical stages of departure, danger, rescue and return, and with the wondrous and romantic elements that bring it close to the Romanesque, is thus on another level a psychological story of experience, if not of development. The protagonist develops from a dejected nobody into a hero, but is again deflated into an ordinary homesick and home-bound person. The heroic part of the story makes it attractive; the psychological one, convincing. Because he describes his own tribulations in an unassuming way, Lin’s tales about the West become trustworthy, too. Furthermore, perhaps living through the roles of passive, suffering passenger as described in the first part, and active participant as in the last, makes the objective observations of the middle section possible.

Conclusion Two arguments have unfolded, in the two parts of this essay, that may seem somewhat contradictory. In the first part, I tried to show how Xihai jiyou cao hides its upsetting news, the eyewitness account of the United States, behind multiple layers of texts with distracting and reassuring messages. From this perspective, the West as related by Lin Qian might appear as an Other suppressed, or at least veiled. In the second part, I argue that the personal story in which the country report is wrapped serves in exactly its deeply personal nature to make the news attractive and convincing; the West would appear then as an Other appropriated, not unlike Western exoticism appropriated the East in its fantasies. However, I see the two phenomena as working on different levels for the

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same goal: to bring the news home effectively. The strange experience of things Western becomes integrated through these devices – one on a cultural and one on a personal level. In Lin Qian’s tale, the West may sometimes be misinterpreted, but it neither loses its distinctiveness (owing to the structural message of zhuang: the expectation of wondrousness) nor appears as a menace (owing to the structural message of xiao: the reassurance of cultural values). This is the best an exotic reality can hope for. The Xihai jiyou cao is an early and, in its extravagance, a rather successful attempt to digest the experience of Western culture and to transmit the digest to the home audience in a way conducive to absorption and nourishment of the mind. But unfortunately for the text and its author, when all the neat wrapping was finally completed, with the last dedicatory poems added, it had become obsolete: other, more upto-date, more straightforward accounts of similar experiences were under way by then, allowing their predecessor to fall into oblivion.24 To remember this text today is not only to do justice to an early, openminded and sympathetic Chinese traveller to the West. Scrutiny of this obscure text may help to remind us of two things. First, of the obvious but not always accounted for fact that travel literature or even the ‘travelogue’ is not a genre, but a thematic category; attention to authorial decisions on genre and subgenre may often – especially but not only in East Asian contexts – prove revealing regarding authorial intentions. Second, even if the civilizational distance that the text tries to conquer has by now diminished to some degree, the experience of overcoming cultural distance is not necessarily blotted out by the globalization process. With its technique of bringing a recognizably personal, deviating experience into culturally expected and accepted forms, this text may have to teach its own lesson about transculturation processes.

Appendix: ‘Preface to My Account of a Journey to the Western Seas’ (Lin Qian, trans. M. Eggert) (1) When the year was dingwei [1847], the month that of mid-spring, I made use of Eastern winds and travelled far to the West. Winds howled through

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the long nights, on the green ocean under an azure sky. Grim was the sorrow of departure that hung its shadow over me. Like day-flies vanishing in no time, the twenty-four years of my past were over and gone; like a marionette being lifted onto a stage, I traversed the 90,000 li of ocean waves. Moved by what I lived through and saw, I sing my softly sad song; spreading out things of the past in idle talk, I cannot exhaust all my feelings. Thus, I list what appeared before me like mirages, offering marvellous tales of new wonders; I make use of [the illusions of] flowers in the mirror and moon in the water to present great vistas of imposing splendour. (2) Smartweed weeded by a filial son25 – bitter thing amongst bitterness; stars as my coat, moon as my belt – beyond the sky further skies. As father and mother lean on the railing to look out [for me], stars and frost are my parents’ stars and frost; as long as my family counts the days [till my return], heat and cold are my family’s heat and cold. My stomach an empty vault, no use to expect breakfast and dinner; my body a winnowing fan, day and night fanned by wind and rain. With 1,000 pieces of gold for one meal, only kings and princes can retain their pride; the innermost [heart] torn by cutting sorrow, the smells of this foreign region are hard to bear. A lamp is like asking for jade rings, water like washed gold. What my heart cared for all these years is far in the dark; who is around who would know me? Today I am all in strange lands and am saddened by my surroundings. Demon-like vapours and frog-like sounds add to the traveller’s distress; with unkempt hair and ashen head I force myself to partake of the dregs. The seamen, hopping on the beams, call me huoji [clerk]. (The barbarians call us Cantonese ‘clerk’.) Helmsman and captain resemble generals. (It is a Western custom to sail the seas with military force.) Wu Yuan26 blew the flute, but I lack heroic spirit; keeping to the tune like Zhou Yu,27 the love between man and woman is enduring. In my dream I return home and take delight in the old quarters; awakened, I am a stranger again, and my eyes meet only redhaired people. (The barbarians mostly have red hair and blue eyes.) (3) Four times ten days I sailed the sea and was thrice surprised by changes of heat and cold. (During only 40 days on the ocean, heat and cold interchanged three times; this is because of the difference in northern and southern latitudes.) Twice I lived through human life, and my youth of 20 years has been wasted. Thinking back to the tears of Herd-boy and

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Weaving-maid, the traveller knows that he does wrong to his spouse. (I had only been married for a short time when I had to leave home to travel abroad.) Lifting his head to the spinning of the Great Dipper, the unsteady one feels painfully that he has no home. The great empires East and West are opposite to one another on the globe of the earth; North and South on the map show me and my home at each other’s back. (The great earth revolves without pause; what is day in China is night in the West.) Thinking mournfully thus far, tears overcome me; things all pass away like this – a deep feeling in ancient as in modern times. (4) Sometimes I sink into desolate bleakness, but ‘the void is no different from the source of sensations’. Then again I roam the Milky Way, not caring about reason in my drunkenness. I watch how the sea is surrounded by unending sky, and the sky connects to the sea; mindful of the parents who think of their son, the son thinks even more of the parents. Rafting the sea to travel far, I jeer at this leather-bag’s short existence; with books to my left and right, I forget that I do not own a speck of land. Where water is green and mountains blue, I am happy to leave the ship and go onto yonder shore; amidst bright flowers and dark willows I have come to drift along like gossamer. While I still counted the days of blossoming spring, summer had reached me already with the fragrance of lotus. (I had started my journey in Guangdong during the second month, and only in the sixth month reached their country.) (5) Houses 1,000 feet high stand in layers, a mixture of iron and stone. (They use stone for tiles, and each house has an iron rod erected vertically from ground to roof in order to ward off disaster by lightning.) Ten thousand houses rise and tower, and masts and boom cross each other. (Schools and shops as well as ships and wagons are all grand and well maintained.) Ships come and go busily, the pilot-boats propelled by water wheels. (Goods can be exported without tolls, but for incoming goods the duty is high. The piloting boats move with steam power; they can go 100 miles in an hour.) On the streets, goods are transported on wagons and chariots. (There are no porters carrying things on back or shoulders.) Old and young live quietly and securely; men and women mix freely and mirthfully. (Men and women walk hand-in-hand together on the streets.) Fields and gardens are highly valued, the farmers enjoying their harvest sing songs; the riches of mountains and ocean are brought by the

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merchants on market days. (Every seventh day is put aside for rest; neither officials nor civilians work then.) In the Hall of Display of Antiquity bright lamps create fanciful reflections, like colourful clouds at dawn. (They have a hall where wonderful things from all the world are collected and everybody can amuse himself with them; in an upper story lamps are suspended that are turned by a mysterious mechanism; their changing appearance is quite a sight.) An artful postal system transmits secret and urgent messages through a network far and wide; they use 26 encoded signs to reach every province in no time. (Every 100 steps they erected two wooden piles on which they fastened iron wires. With things like vitriol, magnets and mercury, and by the use of a movable track, they encode their 26 letters. At both ends of the connection somebody is on duty. As soon as there is a movement at one end, the one at the other end will know about it, and regardless of subject matter 10,000 miles can be overcome in a second. I know the method in its details.) Water is channelled for hundreds of miles, and all the people profit from it. (The name of the place is Niu-yue-ke [New York]; it is a great port of the Land of the Patterned Flag and the barbarians amass here. At first they suffered from the lack of water, so it was brought in over a distance of more than 100 li by using thick iron tubes as water pipes, which are buried under the surface and take in water from the river. At the same time they built a stone house to store the water, of the same height as the living quarters; the water stored up here is sufficient for the needs of 400 million [sic] people for four months. In each house bronze pipes are buried in the walls which lead in and out of the clear and soiled waters; this is extremely skilful. And from level ground, water gushes several yards into the air, falling profusely down like heavenly flowers.) The ‘tribal chiefs’ mingle with the common folk; noble and lowly are hard to discern; white barbarians and ‘black-faces’ have illegal intercourse and bear forth mixed creatures. (The local barbarians [tufan] are red-coloured and of high stature, by nature upright and simpleminded. Three hundred years ago the English penetrated deep into their land and with time took homestead there. Repeatedly they stole ‘black-faces’ from Africa and sold them as slaves at this place; and they have a prohibition against intermarriage of black and white. Sometimes some people have illegal intercourse; this creates a kind with yellow colour and curled hair.) Heaven and hell are

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what churches contend about; a living sacrifice to buy off the sins is said to save every single person. (The various countries of the West mostly hold up the two religions of ‘Jesus’ and ‘Heaven’s Master’ [Protestantism and Catholicism].) (6) Big and small ships seam the coast; assorted fire weapons encircle the city (that is, cannons). Numinous companions of the earth, sun and moon rotate with the sky, a model of the spheres serves inspection. (These people are very able in measuring the longitudes on sky and earth, even after a year at sea without seeing a single cliff, they do not err in the least. Even the explanations of the shape of sky and earth by the Western scholar Matteo Ricci are not as detailed as this.) Cities have courts, and they make no use of extreme penalties. (Their law provides that both plaintiff and accused bring their advocates, and 24 old men watch and discuss the case. Those found guilty may redeem their punishment with money or else go to jail.) In order to defend city and countryside, soldiers are stationed among the peasantry. Letters are engraved on plates to make the blind read by groping. (The asylum for the blind is extraordinary splendid; they engrave blocks for books so that the blind can read them by touch.) For the penniless, places are set up that rear the orphaned and the widowed. (There are establishments to rescue the orphans and the widowed.) Grain is hulled with wheels and fabric woven with water, as if ghosts were helping in the work; letters are cast in iron, contending heaven in speed and skill. (For their bookprinting with movable type as well as in ships, wagons, flails, looms, and for hammering and casting they use steam-wheels and a machinery to transport movement, which is miraculously fast and effortless. I have set my mind especially on learning about ships and wagons, which can be used to public advantage and private profit. Only my powers do not suffice to undertake this singlehandedly; if some among us had intentions of joining forces, we could reap successes within a year.) Be there wind or rain, storms show their omens on suspended needles; be it suddenly hot or cold, the temperature can be examined on painted needles. (Mercury in glass tubes serves as measuring device for weather situation and temperature.) Mountains and rivers, men and things: light caught in a mirror can fix their appearance. (There is an ingenious mirror; together with certain chemicals and by making use of the sunlight the images of flowers, birds and persons can

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be taken up in a second. I know the method in detail.) In schools, the arts and sciences and the moral principles are taught by men and mastered by women. (There is this woman Lei-ji-sheng: her female fellow students and friends met me with reverence and without any doubts; clearly they were ‘female masters’. In their school there were about four hundred pupils, male and female, from aged six or seven to aged sixteen or seventeen; four teachers, male and female, were on duty. The lessons of every day were divided into morning, noon and afternoon; each week two days are free. This is the general rule.) (7) Theirs is a peaceful community: no beggars, monks or nuns are loafing around. But the four poisons fill all under heaven: among humans there is lewdness, falsity and theft (they too cannot avoid this). Following one’s mind and trusting one’s hand, a person who invents a technique can make a name for himself. (They do not honour empty literacy; instead, anybody who creates a new art that profits the world is richly rewarded.) But those who come from a far-away country and follow other ways are regarded as foolish. (Those who believe in ghosts and gods and revere statues made of wood and clay are looked down on as lowly evil-doers.) Craftsmen and merchants from all the world assemble, bringing about great flourishing; in 30 provinces people spread and multiply, prolonging their ages manifold. Doctors conduct detailed autopsies, if injury is found, the coffin is retained. (Each province has a hospital which is open to everybody; all the poor people can enter and seek treatment without having to pay for it. If somebody dies, they open the corpse and examine the illness; if they find something unexpected, they hold it for more careful examination.) News is printed and distributed, so that salacious practices are difficult to hide. (Great matters of politics and small ones of administration, as well as news from overseas, are printed daily on paper and distributed in all directions; thus, there is no corruption among officials and civilians.) Plantations and farms cover the southern land, autumn harvests cotton and wheat; the north astonishes with industry and business, and the workers receive high salaries. The ‘black-faces’ fill the lower ranks; from one generation to the next. (Since the English sold the ‘black-faces’ at this place, they have been lowly slaves over generations. When their master became impoverished, he just sold them.) As local officials, the able are elected by the crowd, the most votes will

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win. (All positions of power, high and low, are filled by popular vote, and the one who is chosen by the most people reaps success.) Pressed down by tyranny, they fought for eight years. (This land was originally under England’s administrative control, but as it was oppressed by multiple taxes, at last Washington arose to resistance. Thus, it became a country of its own, now competing for hegemony in the West.) The president is honoured, but is replaced every four years. (The people, seeing Washington’s merit for the nation, installed him as President, and after four years kept him for another term; this has become the general rule.) The produce of the land of all four seasons is high in price; half of the continent is barren, and few people live in wide space. (Although their land covers one-fourth of all the world, their population does not amount to that of two provinces of China. With few people to work, naturally the products are high in price.) (8) In days past I judged the sky while looking at it from a well; these days, I have measured the sea with a spoon and rise above Taishan in my spirit. My vision filled with countless images, how could my brush depict them? My ears have heard so many things unheard-of, who can report even the best among them? Splash, splash, the sound of water, the fisherman returns to Peach Blossom Spring; luminous the splendour, as families bequeath their love as in holy antiquity. (Men and women find their own partners for marriage, their family life should therefore be happy.) One can bind his shoe in the melon field, no doubt will arise; one can adjust his hat under the plum tree, and nobody will slander him. (Aboard the ship upon which I returned, the manager kept hugging the wives of the passengers, which was disgusting to see, but nobody seemed to care.) Sitting together in spring breezes, a word connected us in quiet happiness; though the wall could have been crossed, propriety kept its guard 100-fold (I often rubbed shoulders and held hands with [a] Western women [woman] under the moon amidst flowers, but it never led to indecencies.) Beauty concealed under heavy brocades, carpets covering the ground; ornamented the coloured glass, plum and snow reflected in the window. Mounting the horse under peach blossoms – my wild sister shows her white collar, lacquered screens of the fragrant carriage – the roaming woman lifts the whip in evening light. Leaning on the willows, everywhere green hangs down; floating the peach blossoms, beauty has a

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short life-span. (I composed a verse about it: ‘As a good flower comes into the traveller’s hand, not putting her into a golden vase is painful to the sojourner’.) Autumn moon and spring fragrance – the delicate harmony is hard to treat exhaustively; with a life longer than that of the tortoise, one still could not depict the town-toppling beauties. Poems and wine, harp and chess – the ancient swallow flies through the hall; handsome needlework, books and paintings – inebriated I paint the winds of spring. (Of books and painting, harp and chess, the ladies all have the highest understanding.) I want to praise them from my heart, but my words sound inept. With slender waist and dancing feet, she lightly traverses a deep and wide abyss. (My friend of the Suiling family has such a slim, tender waist and is so full of grace that Xiaoman,28 seeing her, would have been struck by shame.) Orioles sing in the sandalwoods, tinkling jade resounds under the moon. (The barbarian women are adept at all kinds of arts, but I most favour the playing of the organ; as their hands press the keys, the feet hold the pedals, the sound is clear and melodious, letting the spirit fly high.) (9) At the time of ‘begging for chances’, by chance I met people from Chaozhou; when the situation grew serious, I found serious friendship in a valorous woman. (At the time there were 26 people from Denghai near Chaozhou who had been lured away by an Englishman and brought by ship to this place. They complained to me how they had been beaten on the ship and how much they suffered as a result of the separation from home. I made efforts to rescue them and at last they were put on a ship and sent back. That I won Lei-ji-sheng for my friend also has its roots in this; afterward, I lived in her home for two months. Alas, trying to rescue, I brought fire onto myself and was all the more moved by her encompassing friendliness. Never would I have thought that the most understanding friend of my lifetime would turn out to be a woman from overseas. And when shall I ever be in a position to requite her? When my memories carry me thus far, I am always close to tears. The story of the enticement is told in detail in the back of this book.) Twenty-six people floating off with the wind, on a limitless sea of bitterness; 200 days of rage held back, but one morning one risks one’s life. The many who wanted to be saved brought disaster with them, feeding the elephant to the snake; I felt pity for those of the same tongue, planning to fish but landed on the

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table myself. Meeting like duckweed on the water, it was difficult to separate and send the other weeds away; like a seamless heavenly garment, we held together at this heaven-sent meeting. The barbarians held court and did not lose touch with reality; with just judgement money was assigned, so that on the same day the return ship left the harbour. (On the 26th of the eighth [lunar] month, they all were able to sail home.) (10) If heaven follows the wishes of man, what hinders waves to roll on flat ground? I am deep of feeling and luckily found friendship’s jade on a foreign mountain. A landlord of high morals bailed out a guiltless accused. (Saving the Chaozhou people I brought disaster on myself, but the father of my friend was so kind as to bail me out of prison for 300 gold coins.) The beauty was full of feeling and enjoyed seeing the carp escape the net. One hundred, eighty degrees of stars and moon link us in remembrance, a ring responds to the emotions. (From Xiamen to her place, the distance is just 180 degrees; moved by her feelings, I gave her a golden ring.) Two months we spent together, her beautiful face full of dignity. (She gave me a small portrait in return.) A whirling spring dream, a smile in the mirror beckons flowers; approaching autumn, in the hearthash we draw letters. (Often we sat around the stove to talk deep into the night.) Although the young man has a wife, his pain encompasses heaven and earth; the young woman never had a companion, her heart is firm like metal or stone. (She often told me she did not intend to marry.) In handling affairs barbarians and Chinese are different, but the strange beauty attracted my heart; by nature the foreign women are full of feeling, but who is her darling? At night dream grass winds around the pool, under a solitary lamp tears wet the bedding; at such times I just look at her picture, a single sheet of paper making me restless on my pillow. (11) Each hour I wait for a message, my traces buried by layers of mountains; for a year I was a stranger in the wild, my countenance dark and haggard. Sitting exposed on the balcony, I watch out in vain for the messenger-craw; in channels the water flows from afar, but brings only one leaf full of letters. (For nine months I stayed in the south, but got only one letter from a friend during that time.) Dark sky vast and wide, I aimlessly compile the dawns and dusks of my fleeting years; as rain and snow fall hard, for nine months my brush affords me idle hours. Like book-eating insects and worms, I chew my way through Chinese and

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English. (I used to translate an English book to disperse my boredom.) Worn brushes pile up, blotting and smearing the black characters. In cold winds and bitter rain, I seek for fragrance in spite of the frost; in a small chamber under flaring skies, steaming sweat flows on my back. Deeply I feel the virtue of cutting one’s flesh to nourish one’s parents; for their life shortening her own, how pious and chaste was she! (While there, I remembered the remarkable filial piety of my grandmother and therefore wrote a report about it, which is appended in detail later in this book.) Voice and face seem right before me, how painful never to meet her again! Though her grave is far away, luckily the sails home are soon set. (12) The strange vistas of mountains and oceans are hard to describe in writing. If father and mother are alive, what does it matter to be poor? Born into a prosperous age, why should I want to stay long in a foreign country? I roughly told of my travel experience to supplement the reports of overseas regions. But my heart is not yet content, so I patch it up with a poem.

Notes 1

2

3

4

5

This happy self-containment may be seen as an indicator of China’s cultural richness rather than of indolence, and it may well be compared with the marginal position in which East Asian Studies finds itself in the Western world, particularly in Europe. A large proportion of Shenjian lu concerns churches, miracle stories, and other material and immaterial facets of Christian culture. Much is made of the often encountered, richly decorated chapels within palaces, probably as tokens of the religion’s political importance. The narrator also stresses the honours bestowed on him by kings and dignitaries, perhaps less out of personal vanity than in order again to prove the high regard in which Christianity stands in European centres of power. The Hailu was written down by Yang Bingnan (fl. ca. 1839) according to the oral account of an ageing blind sailor, Xie Qinggao (1765–1821), who had been forced to work on a Portuguese ship between 1783 and 1797. See K. Ch’en (1942: 208–26), who rightfully calls the Hailu a ‘forerunner of Chinese travel accounts of Western countries’. This terse account of known and unknown worlds, focusing on the miraculous and the demonic, was laid down during the first centuries CE, but contains older material. Xihai jiyou cao was rediscovered in China at the beginning of the intellectually exciting 1980s. Yang Guozhen (b. 1940) introduced the text in 1980 (Yang 1980); and the ten-volume collection by Zhong Shuhe (1985b) opens with this text. Zhong

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6 7 8 9

10

11

12

13

14

15 16

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(1985a: 11–23) offers an informative introduction to the text, entitled ‘Cong zuojing guantian dao yili cehai’ (‘From sitting in the well and looking up to the sky to ladling water from the sea with a spoon’). In the West, it has attracted little attention up to now. Dikötter (1992: 58) mentions, but in my opinion misrepresents, Lin. He creates the impression that Lin, like other early travellers, found the idea of intermarriage with Caucasian women repellant. Nearly the opposite is the case. His name is transcribed ‘Linzhen’ there, perhaps as if he were of Manchu origin, for which I could find no indication. (The character ‘zhen’ is usually pronounced ‘qian’ in names, according to many multi-volume dictionaries of the Chinese language.) In their anthology, D. Arkush and L. Lee do not mention this text, probably because of their preference for texts ‘widely read and influential in China’ (1989: 12). Generally, one obstacle for approaching it is certainly the demanding structure and style of the text. It was used as a textbook by the Zongli yamen at the time (Drake 1975: 221). This is what Yang Guozhen infers (Yang 1980: 89). Yang Guozhen thus settles for 1867 as the probable date of print (Yang 1980: 87). The genre of ‘travel prose’ or youji can be said to have originated from such prefaces, such as the famous ‘You Shimen shi xu’ (‘Preface to a Poem on an Outing to Shimen [‘Stone Gate’]’) by ‘Lushan zhu daoren’ (‘Lay Scholars of Lu Mountain’). The tishi and postfaces outnumber the tici by far. However, a certain symmetry between front and back is maintained through ‘name’ versus ‘number’, as the tici contributors are famous persons, while the authors of the concluding dedications are mostly recognizable as close acquaintances or relatives of Lin Qian, writing because of their personal ties to him, not because of his achievements. Of course, the possibility exists that filial piety was manifest in Lin’s attempt to earn money abroad for the family. However, such a view is never expressed; rather, the purely literary expressions of filial love in Lin’s text are extolled by the other writers. ‘The Master said, “While his parents are alive, the son may not go abroad to a distance. If he does go abroad, he must have a fixed place to which he goes”’ (Legge 1981: 167). On this issue, see also Brook (1998). On p. 119 Brook argues that the stigma against distant travel was alleviated in the sixteenth century; however, it seems not to have totally disappeared at this time. For a sceptical account of the treatment of this mother-son relationship in contemporary biographies, see Ward (2001: 39–41). Riemenschnitter (1998: 204–07) discusses Xu’s ‘performance’ of filial piety. The expressions in quotation marks are lexicalized denotations of zhuangyou. For the ambitious project not intrinsic to, but resulting from, the journey, see below. This is so typical of five-syllable verse that it is difficult to find an example that does not seem too self-evident. Here is one, however: ‘Women and men are high and low, respectively’ (p. 48). Superficial Chinese observers of Western customs were easily lead to think that way; but in his ‘Author’s Preface’ Lin Qian says nothing to this effect. The need to find an expression that parallels his next line, ‘white and black are distinguished as noble and vulgar’, forces this prejudice into his poem.

Marion Eggert 17 Wen translates today as ‘literature’, also ‘elegant, refined’, which derives from the older meaning of ‘pattern’, or ‘normative pattern’. In Confucius’ times the term already signified the core of the Chinese cultural tradition (Bol 1992: 1). 18 The relationship between a poem and its explanatory preface is in itself a complex one, with a tendency for the preface to develop independence (see note 12). But Lin further complicates the relationship by stating at the end of his preface – which would be expected to lead up to the ‘main text’ – that the poem is only ‘an embellishment’ (p. 41). Thus, having read the preface with an expectation to be lead forward to another text, the reader is at this point directed backward instead, and finds herself disoriented within the labyrinth of the textual assembly. 19 Of both he writes: ‘I know the technical details’ (Zhong 1985: 37, 38). 20 Romanization adapted. 21 This has to do with the fact that travel to distant sites was usually conducted either by officials or exiles, who would both constrict themselves to fairly documentary texts. Private excursions (to potentially distant but always domestic places) resulted mostly in highly literary texts, usually concentrating on the place visited and not on the journey there. One rare example of an exception to this pattern is the Pihai jiyou (Small Sea Voyage) of 1698 by Yu Yonghe, discussed with similar insights by E. Teng (Teng 1993; Teng 1995). 22 Peach Blossom Spring has been China’s archetypal social utopia since Tao Qian (365–427) wrote a fictive account of a fisherman’s journey there, Taohuayuan ji. 23 For this phenomenon, see e.g. Reif (1975); on the related equation of unknown territories with a female body, see Weigel (1987). 24 However, the mainstream of society was still highly reluctant to accept the new accounts. Guo Songtao’s fate after delivering his positive news about Great Britain in 1872 was still worse than Xu Jiyu’s – he never made his way back into the officialdom. See Frodsham (1974). 25 My interpretation of the allusion to Shijing 289 and 291 made here; see Hong Ye (1962). 26 That is, Wu Zixu (d. 484 BCE). According to legend, he lived as a flute-playing beggar after arriving in Wu, preparing for his heroic deeds there. 27 A man from the era of the Three Kingdoms, he was famous for his musical knowledge. 28 Xiaoman was a concubine of the great poet Bai Juyi (772–846), made famous by one of his songs about her slender waist and her skill in dancing.

References Arkush, D. and Lee, L. (eds) (1989) Land without Ghosts: Chinese Impressions of America from the Mid-Nineteenth Century to the Present. Berkeley: University of California Press. Bol, P. (1992) ‘This Culture of Ours’: Intellectual Transitions in T’ang and Sung China. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Brook, T. (1998) The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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Layers of Representation in Xihai jiyou cao Ch’en, K. (1942) ‘Hailu: Forerunner of Chinese Travel Accounts of Western Countries’, Monumenta Serica 7: 208–26. Dikötter, F. (1992) The Discourse of Race in Modern China. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Drake, F.W. (1975) China Charts the World. Hsü Chi-yü and His Geography of 1848. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Fang Hao (1954) Zhong Xi jiaotong shi (A history of Chinese-Western contacts). Taibei: Zhonghua wenhua chuban shiye weiyuanhui. Frodsham, J.D. (1974) The First Chinese Embassy to the West: The Journals of Kuo SungTao, Liu Hsi-Hung and Chang Te-yi. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Hong Ye (ed.) (1962) Mao-shih yin-te: A Concordance to Shih-ching. Tokyo: Japanese Council for East Asian Studies, Harvard-Yenching Institute Sinological Index Series. Legge, J. (trans.) (1981) Confucian Analects, in The Four Books. Taibei rpt: Wenhua tushu gongsi, n.d., pp. 123–428. Reif, W. (1975) Zivilisationsflucht und literarische Wunschräume: Der exotistische Roman im ersten Viertel des 20. Jahrunderts. Stuttgart: Metzler. Riemenschnitter, A. (1998) China zwischen Himmel und Erde. Literarische Kosmographie und literarische Krise im 17. Jahrhundert. Stuttgart: Peter Lang. Teng, E. (1993) ‘A Search for the Strange and a Discovery of the Self: Yu Yonghe’s “Small Sea Travelogue” as a Work of Self-Representation’, Papers on Chinese Literature 1: 105–28. Teng, E. (1995) ‘Exploring China’s Last Frontier: Excerpts from Yu Yonghe’s “Small Sea Travelogue”’, Asian Pacific American Journal 4, 1: 89–107. Wang Yuan (1936) ‘Suichutang ji xu’ (Preface to the collected works of Suichutang (Pan Lei)), in Wang Yuan, Juyetang wenji (Collected works of Juyetang (Wang Yuan)). Shanghai: Shanghai yinshuguan. Ward, J. (2001) Xu Xiake (1587–1641): The Art of Travel Writing. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press. Weigel, S. (1987) ‘Die nahe Fremde – das Territorium des Weiblichen’, in Koebner, T. and Pickerodt, G. (eds) Die andere Welt: Studien zum Exotismus, pp. 171–91. Frankfurt: Athenäum. Yang Guozhen (1980) ‘Woguo zaoqi de yi pian Meiguo youliji. Tan Lin Qian de “Xihai jiyou cao”’ (An early Chinese travelogue of the United States: On Lin Qian’s Xihau jiyou cao), Wenwu (November): 87–90. Zhong Shuhe (1985a) Zou xiang shijie, jindai zhishifenzi kaocha Xifang de lishi (Towards the world, the history of intellectuals’ concern with the West in Early Modern times). Beijing: Xinhua shuju. Zhong Shuhe (ed.) (1985b) Zou xiang shijie congshu (Towards the world collection). Changsha: Yuelu shushe.

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CHAPTER 5 The West as a ‘Kingdom of Women’: Woman and Occidentalism in Wang Tao’s Tales of Travel

Emma Jinhua Teng Foreign Languages and Literatures Section Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, USA

I have heard that there are many beauties in the West. Legend has it that there is a Kingdom of Women there. It should not be too much farther from this point. So let us go overseas to search for beauties. (Wang Tao, ‘Beauties beyond the Seas’, ca. 1887)

W

ith these words, the male protagonists of Chinese author Wang Tao’s tale ‘Beauties beyond the Seas’ set sail for Europe in search of women and adventure: among the first beauties they encounter are a troupe of Italian female musicians, who regale them with song and drink, so beginning their memorable exploits. The mythical Kingdom of Women had an established place in Chinese imaginative geography, dating back at least to the Shanhai jing (Classic of Mountains and Seas), an ancient geographic work that recorded numerous fantastic lands. This locus classicus described the Kingdom of Women as a country inhabited solely by women, said to be situated to the far west of China, a location often taken by later interpreters to mean Central Asia. Wang Tao (1828–1897) plays on this association of the direction of the West with a Kingdom of Women, but reconfigures this imaginary geographic space as Europe – the ‘new’ West gaining attention among Chinese audiences of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). As one of the earliest Qing travellers to the West and a founder of modern Chinese journalism, Wang Tao became an important interpreter of the Occident to late-Qing audiences. Wang made his journey to the West in 1867, nearly a decade before the first official Chinese diplomatic 97

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mission to England in 1876. He recorded his experiences in a travelogue and used his travels as a source for fictional stories that he published in the widely read Shanghai illustrated periodical Dianshizhai Pictorial beginning in 1884. Wang Tao is perhaps most famous today among Western scholars as a political reformer, an advocate of introducing ‘Western learning’ in China, and a pioneering journalist (Cohen 1974; McAleavy 1953). But in his travel writing and fiction, Wang also had much to say about Western womanhood in addition to science, technology, the military, and industry. In this chapter I argue that alongside these other topics the representation of women in Wang Tao’s accounts of the West (both fictional and nonfictional) was a vital element of his depiction of ‘Western civilization’. Indeed, in the writings of Wang Tao and other Chinese travellers of his age, the figure of ‘woman’ as other became integral to late-Qing Occidentalism, much as it has been to European Orientalisms (Said 1978; Lowe 1991; Behdad 1994). I will also argue, however, that these gendered imaginative geographies, while possessing numerous parallels, cannot be taken as equivalent discourses. Since the 1970s, much has been written on the importance of the Western woman as a model for the emerging ‘new woman’ in China during the last years of the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries (for example, Rankin 1975; Ko 1994; Hu 2000).1 However, comparatively little has been written on other aspects of late-Qing representations of the ‘Western woman’, such as: her addiction to fashion, her extravagance, her tendency to be bad tempered, and her sexual allure. A glance through the more than 4000 illustrations published in the Dianshizhai Pictorial between 1884 and 1896 reveals a marked fascination with Western women, who are alternatively objects of curiosity and of desire. Alongside images of gunboats, cannons, and Western technology, the Western woman was an important element of this periodical’s representation of the West.2 The various women portrayed include missionaries, doctors, and society ladies, as well as circus performers, cyclists, courtesans, barmaids, and even a ship’s captain.3 From such images, one gains an impression of the Western woman as not only educated and modern, but also mysterious, strange, sensuous, and available. In order to gain a broader understanding of the range of Chinese representations of the Western woman prior to 1898, when such

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representations would become overdetermined by the discourse on the ‘new Chinese woman’, this chapter will examine four stories written by Wang Tao between 1884 and 1887: Haiwai meiren (Beauties beyond the Seas), Meili xiaozhuan (The Story of Mary), Haidi qijing (A Marvelous Realm beneath the Seas), and Haiwai zhuangyou (A Lusty Voyage Overseas). These stories, dubbed here his ‘Western women stories’, were all originally published in the Dianshizhai Pictorial and later included in a volume of Wang’s collected fiction.4 I will discuss these stories in relation to the depiction of Western women in Wang’s Manyou suilu (Random Records of My Wanderings; Wang 1890 and 1985) and other notable early Chinese accounts of the West, focusing primarily on Wang Tao’s fictionalized travels rather than his travelogue, for it was in fiction that Wang was able to expand his characterization of the ‘Western woman’.5 Hence, while building on the existing literature on Chinese discourses about the Western woman, this chapter adopts a somewhat different focus. My primary interest lies not in the construction of Western womanhood as a foil to the ‘traditional Chinese woman’, but in the representation of the Western woman as an element of late-Qing Occidentalism – that is, a discourse constructing the West (Europe and America) as other.6 Placing Wang Tao’s stories within the longer tradition of Chinese exoticism, particularly in relation to Chinese frontier travel writing, I demonstrate how nineteenth-century Occidentalism worked at times in conjunction with, and at other times at cross-purposes to, Western missionary discourse and what has been called ‘imperial feminism’ to produce ideas about the strange new creature known as the ‘Western woman’ (Xifu).7

Wang Tao: reformer, littérateur and geographer A native of Jiangsu, Wang Tao originally trained as a classical Chinese scholar but spent most of his career working with British missionaries, from whom he learned the journalistic profession.8 Wang served for eleven years as assistant to James Legge (1815–1897), the British missionary-sinologist, translating the Chinese classics, and in 1867 was

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invited by Legge to visit Scotland. Travelling to Britain via Suez, Wang sojourned in the British Isles and Europe for over two years. His first-hand observations of Western society convinced him of the need to adopt ‘Western learning’ (Xixue), technology, and Western-style political and social reforms in order to strengthen China. Upon his return to China, Wang worked to found modern Chinese journalism.9 A prolific and wellknown writer, Wang produced several volumes of travel writing, fiction, essays, poetry, diaries, and editorials. He is thus a central figure in lateQing history, a noted reform-minded intellectual, a pioneering journalist, and prominent litteratéur. Although he favoured reform and modernization, it is too simplistic to say that Wang was ‘pro-Western’, for he was also critical of the West and warned of the dangers that Western imperialism posed to China. Prior to the Qing, Chinese geographic knowledge of the West was limited and mostly based on second-hand sources. By the nineteenth century, however, the rise of Western imperialism in Asia had made the acquisition of new geographic knowledge about the West imperative, particularly after China’s defeat in the first Opium War (1842).10 Among the earliest Chinese to compose eyewitness accounts of the West were a few individual private travellers, like Wang and Lin Qian (b. 1824), an interpreter who was invited by English merchants to travel to the U.S. in 1847–49; members of the early diplomatic missions to England, Europe, and the United States; and overseas students. Their accounts would be pivotal in the formation of new geographic and ethnographic knowledge about the West.11 Of this generation of early travellers, Wang was unusual in that he not only recorded his observations in a travelogue, but he also wrote a number of fictional stories in the genre of the Chinese classical tale, or ‘tales of the strange’ (chuanqi) based on his experiences abroad. The scene of the female musical troupe in ‘Beauties beyond the Seas’, for example, is loosely based on Wang’s encounter with German travelling musicians in Aden.12 Drawing on his real-life travels, these stories straddle the boundary between fiction and nonfiction, and many of them incorporate a pseudo-ethnographic mode of representation, integrating explanations about Western geography and customs into the narrative.13 Thus, as Rania Huntington has demonstrated, Wang’s works occupy a ‘special space

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between journalism and entertainment fiction’ (Huntington 2003: 364). Hence, Wang’s tales served both as amusement and as important vehicles to introduce readers to new ideas and information. Wang is also noteworthy, inasmuch as the serialization of his travelogue and fiction between 1884 and ca.1890 in the literary supplements to the Dianshizhai Pictorial made his writings on the West widely available to Chinese audiences in Shanghai and beyond.14 This pictorial, which Barbara Mittler has shown, was aimed at a broad reading public and an important vehicle for disseminating knowledge about the West in the late Qing (Mittler 2004: 251).

The West as a land of women As one of the earliest Chinese writers to produce extended fictional portraits of a Western female character, and also one of the first to write about Chinese-Western interracial romance (for most of his Western women stories are romances), Wang was in no small part responsible for introducing Chinese audiences to the figure of the Western woman.15 The story which opened this chapter, ‘Beauties beyond the Seas’, narrates the adventures of a young Mr. Lu who sets off from China to circumnavigate the globe in hopes of seeing all the strange sights of the world ‘beyond the seas’ (haiwai), a term that connoted the mysterious realm beyond China (Wang 1988: 510-15). Although the story contains little concrete description of Western women or gender roles, it is significant for its identification of ‘the West’ (Xifang), meaning Europe and America, with the legendary Kingdom of Women. As mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, the mythical Kingdom of Women (nüren guo, or nü’er guo) became a staple of Chinese imaginative geography after its early appearance in the Classic of Mountains and Seas (ca. 6 cent. BCE-1 cent. CE). In my earlier work on Chinese travellers’ depictions of the Taiwan frontier as a ‘Kingdom of Women’, I have shown that Chinese geographies, travel accounts, and even household encyclopedias recorded Kingdoms of Women in various locations, not only to the west of China, but also to the east in the general vicinity of Taiwan, Japan, and the Malay archipelago (Teng 2004). This fantastic land also became a favorite subject of fiction, the most famous 101

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Qing example being the satiric novel Jinghua yuan (Flowers in the Mirror, 1828), which criticized the Chinese practice of footbinding – a work that Wang read and commented on.16 Although the specific depictions of the Kingdom of Women vary greatly among these diverse works, we can identify two general themes associated with this mythical domain: the Kingdom of Women as a site of gender inversion (the reversal of normative gender roles); or the Kingdom of Women as a site of male sexual adventure. As we shall see below, Wang Tao’s representation of Western women played on this dual association. Wang Tao’s Western women stories were not only informed by this imaginative geography, but also relate to the conventions of Chinese ethnographic discourse. Women and gender roles were in fact standard elements of premodern Chinese ethnography (Teng 2004). Female sex roles attracted intense interest from travellers not only because they appeared anomalous in their own right, but also because they functioned to mark the strangeness of the foreign society as a whole. In other words, ‘woman’ served as an important figure of the other in Chinese ethnographic discourse, in much the same manner as in Western Orientalist discourses. Chinese Confucian ideology prescribed strict gender segregation based on the demarcation of separate inner and outer spheres (the inner controlled by women, the outer controlled by men), patrilineal inheritance, and patriarchal authority (Ko 1994). Deviations from these normative gender prescriptions were readily interpreted as signs of barbarism, making the discourse of gender central to notions of ethnicity.

The ‘Western woman’ in Wang Tao’s tales: educated, mobile, and vocal The phrase ‘Western woman’ (Xinü or Xifu), like the broader term ‘the Westerner’ (Xiren), had the effect in late-Qing texts of homogenizing the various nationalities of the so-called West, including Russians, Western Europeans, and Americans. At the same time, such terms also established a sharp distinction between Chinese, on one hand, and all Westerners, on the other. Hence, if E. Said described Orientalism as ‘a style of thought

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based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between “the Orient” and (most of the time) “the Occident”’ (Said 1978: 2), we might describe Qing Occidentalism as: a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between ‘China’ and ‘the West’. Despite the significant cultural differences among the various Western nations (of which Wang was well aware), the frequent deployment of the term ‘Xifu’ in late-Qing sources meant that the construct of the ‘Western woman’ took on a life of its own – primarily as a radically different figure from the ‘traditional Chinese woman’ (see Teng 1996).17 This construct was produced in concert between Western missionaries and Chinese literati like Wang Tao, particularly those who had travelled to the West.18 Wang’s most extensive fictional depiction of a Western woman can be found in his ‘The Story of Mary’, which tells of a remarkable Englishwoman who travels to China and marries a Chinese man.19 The daughter of a London professor, Mary is not only incredibly beautiful, but also highly intelligent, versed in numerous foreign languages, and exceptionally gifted in mathematics, rivalling even professional (male) mathematicians. By endowing Mary with these specific talents, Wang associates her with ‘Western learning’, a new concept that was gaining vogue in China in the 1870s and 1880s, and which included foreign languages, science, technology, and mathematics (see Cohen 1974). Her mathematical talents, in particular, establish Mary’s exotic Westernness by distinguishing her from the traditional heroine of classical Chinese literature, who is typically gifted in poetry and music. The image of the educated woman was common in Qing accounts of the West, even among the earliest of such texts. As Marion Eggert demonstrates in her piece on Lin Qian, for example, Xihai jiyoucao (Travelogue of the Western Oceans, written 1849, published 1867) features various remarks about American women; Lin noted in particular observations about female students and teachers, and he praised the ‘barbarian women’ for their skills in the arts, especially in music (see chapter 4 by M. Eggert in this volume). Similarly, Li Gui, a minor Chinese official sent to report on the American Centennial Exposition in 1876, wrote in his Huanyou diqiu xinlu (A New Account of a Trip around the Globe, 1876):

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These [American] women do not have the manner of girls who are kept at home, but the spirit of men; I greatly respect and like them. Western friends accompanying me said that the Western custom was to treat men and women equally and to give women the same education as men; therefore women are quite capable of voicing opinions on large matters and performing great deeds. (transl. in Arkush and Lee 1989: 42) The educated and talented Western woman appears not only in Wang’s ‘The Story of Mary’, but also in a number of his other stories. In ‘Marvelous Realm beneath the Seas’, the heroine is a Swiss teacher named Lana, who is intelligent and wise, and, like Mary, eager to learn the Chinese language (Wang 1988: 931–36). In ‘Lusty Voyage’, the Chinese hero meets a talented female musician, also named Mary (Wang 1988: 943-48). These figures were based on the numerous educated and talented women Wang met on his travels. Another feature (London) Mary shares with Wang’s other Western heroines is her mobility. Following a disastrous first marriage in England, Mary decides to travel to China to forget her woes. She embarks on her overseas voyage alone, in sharp contrast to Chinese gentry women of the time, who only travelled abroad in the company of male family members, and with servants on hand (see chapter 7 by Hu Ying in this volume). Mary thus displays not only her mobility, but also her independence. Images of Western female mobility were also prominent in the Dianshizhai Pictorial: a female cyclist, women travelling by horse and carriage, circus performers on horseback, and even a female ship’s captain. Wang further depicts Mary as assertive and forthright, qualities of character manifest in numerous instances throughout the narrative. On her way to China, Mary meets a Chinese man and asks him to teach her Chinese. Soon, Mary offers herself in marriage to him. Lana is similarly bold with the Chinese hero of ‘Marvelous Realm’, inviting him to stay as a guest in her home, as does the Scotswoman Josie in ‘Lusty Voyage’. Whether in romance or friendship, Wang’s Western heroines take the lead with Chinese men.

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In his report on the American Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Li Gui similarly noted the surprising assertiveness of American women in demanding a separate pavilion for women’s handicrafts. While admiring educated Western women in his account, and even the vocal assertiveness of Western suffragettes, Li concluded: ‘As for the opinions of English and American women, they are too extreme, as my Western friends emphatically agree’ (transl. in Arkush and Lee 1989: 44). Like many Qing travellers, then, Li expressed some ambivalence about Western women.

Western missionary discourse and imperial feminism By representing the Western woman as educated, mobile, and vocal, Wang Tao and other Chinese writers of his generation essentially replicated Western missionary discourse on the relative positions of Western women and Chinese women. Nineteenth-century Western constructs of the ‘traditional Chinese woman’ (and hence, by implication, the ‘Western woman’) relied on the idea that women’s status could be taken as a measure of a society’s relative degree of civilization (Teng 1996; Hu 2000). Missionary reports of Chinese women’s subordination and victimization were thereby used to validate Western ideas about China’s perceived backwardness and also to confirm the superiority of women’s position in Western civilization. Seeking to institute social reform in China (with the aim of promoting either Christianity, or ‘general enlightenment’) (Hanan 2000), missionaries fixed on women’s status as an important cause – in particular, the twin issues of women’s education and footbinding (Mann 1997: 8). Missionary works frequently relayed information about women or the relations between the sexes in Western society. As revealed in Patrick Hanan’s study of ‘missionary novels’ (novels written in Chinese by Christian missionaries) published in China as early as 1819, many of these works included such information, or expounded the virtues of women’s education and status in the West. William Burns’s Chinese translation of Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, included material the author freely added in order to ‘increase the usefulness of the work to native women by

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showing the principles that should rule in a Christian marriage’ (Hanan 2000: 435). In this missionary discourse (which, of course, was not confined to the missionary novel), the Western woman was sharply contrasted with the ‘traditional Chinese woman’, who was constructed as uneducated, cloistered, footbound, subordinated, and generally backward or downtrodden, while Western gender relations were represented as enlightened, egalitarian, and ‘civilized’, again in contrast to the Chinese. As various feminist scholars – including Valerie Amos and Pratibha Parmar (1984), Gayatri Spivak (1988), and Chandra Mohanty (1991) – have argued, the mutually imbricated construction of Third World women as victims of patriarchal oppression and the self-representation of Western women as ‘secular, liberated, and in control of their own lives’ can be considered a form of ‘imperial feminism’ (Mohanty 1991: 74).20 From the late nineteenth century on, as Dorothy Ko, Hu Ying, and others have demonstrated, in China this discourse would become intertwined with a nationalist discourse that painted the victimized Chinese woman as a symbol of China’s backwardness and identified the improvement of women’s status with the strengthening of the nation, particularly in the iconoclastic May Fourth (1919) movement of the early twentieth century (Ko 1994; Hu 2000). The convergence of imperial feminist and nationalist feminist discourses thus produced a powerful image of the ‘Western woman’ and the ‘traditional Chinese woman’ as diametric opposites. While based on his own experiences, Wang Tao’s characterization of Western women as educated, mobile, and vocal in his fiction and travel writing was no doubt informed not only by Confucian gender ideology (presupposing him, for example, to find gender inversion in the ‘barbarian’ society), but also by missionary discourse. Despite this influence, it is important to bear in mind that Wang was writing his Western women stories well before the emergence of Chinese nationalist feminist discourse, which Mary B. Rankin argues did not decisively come together until after the 1898 Reform Movement, when Chinese reformers explicitly connected the ‘woman question’ with the nation’s future (Rankin 1975). Although Wang Tao had been expanding demands for reform for Chinese women as early as the 1860s, in his Western women

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stories he gives no rhetorical space to the critique of women’s status in China. Instead, Wang’s tales primarily function to create an image of the West as a distant and strange realm, with women a key element of Western exotica. In other words, the Otherness of the Western woman in these stories functions not so much as a foil to Chinese womanhood, but to enhance the exoticism of the West. Indeed, in many respects, Wang’s construction of Western womanhood departed from missionary or reformist discourses, and in some ways bears important similarities to an earlier tradition of Chinese exotica.

The trope of gender inversion As I have argued in my work on Taiwan, the trope of gender inversion was common in premodern Chinese historiographic and literary representations of foreignness, dating back at least to the Six Dynasties (222–589) era. Chinese writers employed gender inversion in order to represent a foreign society as ‘reverse’, or ‘upside-down’. Chinese travellers to the Taiwan frontier (annexed by the Qing dynasty in 1684), for example, almost invariably noted that the natives, whom the Chinese dubbed ‘savages’ (fan), gave precedence to the female sex. Travel writers described Taiwan as a matriarchal society with female tribal heads, uxorilocal-residence marriage, and matrilineal inheritance. In Taiwan, they declared, women farmed while men stayed at home, men were sent like brides to live at their wives’ homes, and the birth of girls was favoured over boys. ‘The savages value woman and undervalue man’ became a commonplace of Chinese ethnographic discourse about the island, reversing the Confucian patriarchal maxim ‘value man and undervalue woman’ (zhongnan qingnü). For Chinese literati, this gender inversion signified the ‘savagery’ of Taiwan’s indigenous people, and by the late-nineteenth century Chinese colonial officials on the island would increasingly suggest that this inversion would have to be righted if the Taiwan indigenes were ever to be civilized (Teng 2004). The depiction of Taiwan as a place where women were valued over men fit into a long tradition of Chinese representations of China’s southern borderlands and Southeast Asia as a domain of matriarchal dominance. A Ming-dynasty account of Thailand, for example, noted: 107

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It is their custom that all affairs are managed by their wives. From the king to the common people, whenever there are matters which require thought and deliberation – punishments light and heavy, trading transactions great and small – they all follow the decisions of their wives, [for] the mental capacity of the wives certainly exceeds that of the men. (Ma 1970: 104) As in the Kingdom of Women, then, in this distant land it is the women who take the lead and the men who follow. Chinese travellers to the West similarly represented the ‘Western barbarians’ in terms of gender inversion. Liu Xihong (fl. 1876), an envoy on the first Chinese diplomatic mission to England in 1876, for example, wrote in his Yingyao siji (Private Diary of the Journey to England): Everything in England is the opposite of China. In politics, the commoners are above the king; in family regulations, the wife lords over the husband. (At home, the wife makes all the decisions and the husband follows her. At the dinner table, the wife takes the seat of honor while the husband sits in a humble position. In all matters of daily life, the husband serves his wife much as the most filial son in China serves his parents. Otherwise, people would laugh at him.) At birth, girls are esteemed but not boys … This is because their country is located under the axis of the earth, so that heaven and earth are in reverse order. (transl. in Hu 2000: 1) In Liu’s account, the anomalous position of women is used to signify the alterity of English society as a whole, the ‘reversal’ of the proper order of things (Confucian ideology placed the king above the commoners, husband over wife). His description of England as a land where wives ruled and girls esteemed over boys much resembles earlier Qing accounts of the Taiwan indigenes. Zhang Deyi (1847–1919), a Chinese interpreter on this mission (who would later rise to the rank of diplomat) similarly portrayed England in terms of inversion in his diary: ‘There is nothing here that is not the opposite of China. In politics, the people discuss and the ruler obeys; in family regulations, the wife proposes and the husband follows’ (transl. in Frodsham 1974: 171–72). Zhang attributes this reversal

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either to the strange ‘nature’ of the foreigners, or, like Liu, to England’s geographic positioning.21 Located on the ‘opposite side’ of the world to China, England was an ‘upside-down’ realm in which everything, from politics to domestic affairs was backwards.22 For both Liu and Zhang, gender is integral to the representation of the Occident as a mirror world. Wang Tao, too, employed the trope of gender inversion in his ‘The Story of Mary’. It is Mary, for example, who purchases a house in Shanghai for the couple’s residence, since her husband, Feng, is too poor. In a later scene in which the couple encounters naval skirmishes on the coast, Mary suggests Feng join the government forces, saying that a real man should make his mark in combat, and further offers to follow him to battle. Feng is simultaneously impressed by Mary’s bravery and emasculated, sighing: ‘I am not even as worthy as a kerchief-wearing woman. In vain I sport this beard and these eyebrows [symbols of masculinity]. I will follow you to battle’ (Wang 1988: 819). During the ensuing confrontation, Mary puts her mathematical skills to use to defeat the pirates, thereby earning the respect of the troops and making the mark that a ‘real man’ should. In this scene, ‘real man’ (dazhangfu) becomes a floating signifier, finally attaching itself to the Western woman, while Feng’s masculinity appears somewhat diminished in contrast. This masculinization of the Western woman was not uncommon in late-Qing writings, as is apparent in Liu’s description of the Englishwoman as ‘lord over her husband’. For cultural conservatives like Liu such inversion signified not only the strangeness of the West, but was also a root of moral disorder among the ‘barbarians’. As Liu wrote in his travelogue, the difference between man and woman is the basic foundation of Confucian society, the basis for affection between father and son, which in turn is the basis for righteousness, ritual propriety, and finally harmony. This is the proper order, he declared, that govern heaven and earth, a fact of which Westerners were ignorant. If Chinese travellers to Taiwan used the trope of gender inversion to convey the islanders’ ‘savagery’, Liu similarly used woman’s place as one measure of the ‘uncivilized’ nature of Western society.

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Marriage customs and gender segregation Qing travellers’ representations of gender relations in the West additionally overlapped with earlier Qing descriptions of indigenous customs in Taiwan on two other issues: marriage customs and the lack of gender segregation. Indeed, one of the central claims Chinese travellers made about Taiwanese indigenous society was that marriages were conducted freely among youths without the use of matchmakers and without parental consent. This practice formed a sharp contrast to the Chinese custom of arranged marriages decided by parents. While many Chinese observers condemned indigenous marriage customs as ‘savage’ or ‘chaotic’, others associated these customs with idyllic primitivism, evidence of the simple and carefree ways of the natives. Chinese travellers to the West similarly remarked time and again on the custom of free, or romantic marriage. Lin Qian declared that this freedom in marriage led to the development of happy families in America (see chapter 4 by M. Eggert in this volume). Such descriptions dovetailed with Western self-representations of ‘free marriage’ in the West as an index of both women’s superior position and the freedom of youth from parental interference. Chinese writers, however, as in Taiwan, interpreted this phenomenon in various ways. In accordance with Confucianism, some writers viewed it as a shameful practice that forced women to immodestly compete for husbands and to flaunt themselves shamelessly on the marriage market.23 Following missionary discourse, others regarded it as a measure of women’s status in Western society. Wang Tao, however, took another course. In ‘The Story of Mary’, he explains in an ethnographic aside that, although romantic marriage was a Western ideal, in reality many Western parents forced their children to marry ‘suitable’ partners of their own class – this was the root cause of Mary’s disastrous first marriage and her unhappiness (Wang 1988: 816). Wang thus simultaneously signifies the difference of Western ideas, and undercuts this otherness by suggesting that Western practice is not really so different from the Chinese after all. Gender segregation was another issue on which Chinese accounts of Taiwan and the West overlapped: in accounts of both societies, Chinese travellers frequently noted the practice of men and women sitting ‘mixed’

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(za, a term that connotes chaos and disorder) together, riding together in carriages, walking together on the streets, drinking or banqueting together. Chinese writers generally took the absence of the segregation of the sexes among the Taiwan indigenes as a clear sign of their ‘savagery’, the lack of proper order in their society. It also hinted at sexual impropriety and promiscuity, since the inevitable result of the sexes ‘mixing’ was physical contact. Indeed, if the Western woman was mobile, she was also a figure who appeared in the public domain. Wang Tao’s travelogue and fiction describe European women who dance at balls, attend church, tour cities, and publicly perform music. He also describes a lower class of European women who appear as shop girls, bar maids, and entertainers – a role that corresponded in his eyes to the Chinese courtesan. Chinese travellers found the public presence of gentry women in the West – whether in schools, libraries, on the streets, at public gatherings, or at banquets – surprising. In the eyes of Chinese observers, the movement of women in the public domain was a pronounced aspect of the difference of Western culture, representing a direct violation of Confucian gender ideology, with its insistence on the sharp demarcation of inner and outer spheres. As Cai Jun, a member of the Chinese mission to Washington, DC in 1881, for example, reported: ‘At Western dinner parties men and women usually attend together [contrary to Chinese custom], but you may not sit next to your own wife’ (transl. in Arkush and Lee 1989: 56). Cai emphasized to future Chinese emissaries the importance of learning Western etiquette in relating to ladies, including the ‘embarrassing’ custom of shaking a lady’s hand, which was proscribed by Confucian etiquette. Moving in this public realm, the Western woman seemed to have crossed over into the male domain. Chinese cultural conservatives equated the lack of gender segregation with Western ‘barbarism’, while reformers portrayed this fact as an index of women’s status. As in Taiwan, the absence of gender segregation and the related taboo against physical contact could also be associated with sexual impropriety and promiscuity. If Cai Jun found the Western practice of shaking a woman’s hand ‘embarrassing’, Chinese travellers were even more shocked by the custom of hugging or kissing.24 As Lin Qian wrote: ‘Aboard the ship upon which I returned [from America], the manager kept hugging the

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wives of the passengers, which was disgusting to see, but nobody seemed to care’ (see chapter 4 by M. Eggert in this volume, page 93 of original journal article). Whereas late-Qing writers often lauded women’s education, they generally took these public gestures of physical contact between the sexes as an indication of the moral shortcomings of Western society. Wang Tao similarly highlighted the intimate physical contact between men and women in a lengthy ethnographic description of the Western practice of ballroom dancing in his travelogue (Wang 1985: 142–44). Occupying several pages, Wang’s explanation of this foreign custom, in which men and women publicly touched their hands and bodies, underscores its strangeness by its sheer length. An abbreviated version of this description of dancing appears in ‘Lusty Voyage’, where Wang compares this exotic custom to the festival dances of the [southern Chinese] Miao tribes or of Japan, thereby associating it with more ‘primitive’ cultures in Chinese eyes (Wang 1988: 946–47). Wang depicts this custom not only as indicative of the strangeness of the foreign West, but as highly erotically charged, with the dancing women compared to lovely fairies descended from heaven. Zhang Deyi’s description of a banquet in America similarly painted the lack of gender segregation in sensual undertones. As he wrote: ‘Men and women sat together with their shoes touching … The ladies left first, trailing long skirts on the ground like the tails of foxes [eroticized supernatural beings in Chinese folklore]. The fragrant aroma of their whole bodies was enticing, and although their ‘lily’ feet are a foot long, they still walk with a graceful gait’ (transl. in Arkush and Lee 1989: 34). Like the trope of gender inversion, such erotic imagery is central to the Occidentalist portrait of the West as a Kingdom of Women.

The West as a realm of sexual adventure The notion of the West as a realm of sexual adventure was introduced in Wang Tao’s ‘Beauties beyond The Seas’, and was further developed in both ‘Lusty Voyage’, and ‘Marvelous Realm’, in which the hero carries on a love affair with a Swiss teacher named Lana, whom he meets first on earth and then in a fantastic aquatic realm. In ‘Lusty Voyage’, the Chinese 112

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hero, Qian Siyan, is transported to a Daoist fairyland by a mysterious Daoist wizard who soon discovers that Qian has yet to overcome his carnal desires and sends him plummeting back to earth. Landing in far-off Scotland, our hero finds an abundance of alluring women, whom he admires along with the great sights of Europe’s famous cities. In what is essentially a reworking of Wang’s travelogue, the adventure begins with a scene of a dreamlike ball and proceeds as the Chinese traveller is taken on a grand tour of Europe in the company of two beautiful European women – Josie, the foremost beauty in Scotland, and Mary, a talented musician. From Edinburgh, they make their way through London, Paris, Switzerland, and Berlin, visiting museums, libraries, palaces, cathedrals, naval exercises, industrial factories, and other marvellous sights. At the Crystal Palace, the traveller sees a bevy of beautiful and shapely young shop girls, who offer him their exotic merchandise for free and make eyes at him expressing their willingness to marry him. ‘Lusty Voyage’ thereby represents the West as both a land of fantastic marvels, industrial modernity, manufactured goods, and architectural splendor, and a land of great feminine beauty and sensuality (Wang 1988: 943–48). Throughout his travelogue, Wang also describes numerous encounters with alluring women, including barmaids in Marseilles and the English countryside, a German singing girl, female attendants at the Crystal Palace, and the reallife Josie and Mary (Wang 1985). Indeed, we might note that every one of Wang’s Western heroines is not only educated and talented, but also outstandingly beautiful.25 Indeed, the sexual allure of Western women played a pronounced role not only in Wang Tao’s work, but also in various other late-Qing representations of the West, including fiction, travel writing, and many of the items printed in the Dianshizhai Pictorial. In travel writing, Wang Tao and others frequently recorded (with a mixture of shock and titillation) the flamboyant and, from a Chinese perspective, immodest dress of Western women, particularly their décolleté. In his travelogue, Wang wrote of a Paris cabaret: The actresses were all beautiful and lovely. When they went onstage, they bared their bosoms and shoulders. Their jade-like flesh and the lamplight reflected off one another like arrows. They wore brightly colored, airy silks, encrusted with jewels, and what with the beauty of 113

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their snowy flesh, their pretty, flower-like faces, and the wondrous sight of rainbow skirts and feather blouses [an allusion to Central Asian dancers] … the dancers seemed like fairies descended from heaven. (Wang 1985: 88) At an official function in England, Liu Xihong similarly noted with surprise: ‘The women all wore elaborate clothes and jewels. They displayed half of their upper body, bosom and back, and rubbed shoulders and feet in the hall with the men, with whom they often shook hands’ (transl. in Frodsham 1974: 127). Such descriptions of the Western woman contained a marked element of voyeurism – also a central feature of Chinese travellers’ frequent attention to the ‘nakedness’ of Taiwan’s indigenous women who bared their breasts, legs, and feet. Like Taiwan, then, this Western Kingdom of Women was a voyeuristic paradise for Chinese male travellers. Such works promoted the image of the ‘Western beauty’ (Xifang meiren) as an object of desire. In many of these accounts, Western women are not only admired from a distance, they appear willingly available to the Chinese man, openly flirtatious and uninhibited. One anecdote from the Dianshizhai Pictorial, for example, Xifu Danglu (Western Women Selling Wine) (1888), reproduced this description of French barmaids purportedly taken from a travelogue:26 On a certain day in a certain month, I traveled abroad with the Emperor’s envoy and we stopped temporarily in France … [Entering a tavern] there were several beautiful girls, about sixteen or seventeen years old, with powdered faces and painted eyebrows, running around serving the customers. If any of the customers looked at them attentively, the girls would sit down and join them. There were many guests there, and the place was permeated with the fragrance of musk and orchid, everyone flirting and bantering, and enjoying the wind and the moon [romance] without inhibitions. Ah! This was indeed an overseas paradise. (Dianshizhai Huabao, mao 3:12) This portrait of an ‘overseas paradise’, which bears a strong resemblance to Wang Tao’s own descriptions of French barmaids, is accompanied by an illustration of Chinese men attended by a bevy of French beauties, one 114

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of whom perches on a customer’s lap (see Figure 1).27 As in European Orientalism, then, such works combined distant travel with male sexual fantasy.

Figure 1. ‘Western Women Selling Wine’, from the Shanghai Dianshizhai Pictorial (1888)

In Wang Tao’s fiction, the Western woman is not only an object of desire, but also a desiring woman. His Western heroines openly express their desire for Chinese men and, in the case of ‘The Story of Mary’, even propose marriage. By depicting the Western woman as passionate and sexually aggressive, Wang and others departed radically from Western missionary discourse, which represented Christian women as chaste and virtuous. In this respect, Wang Tao’s representation of the West again bears some resemblance to Qing representations of Taiwan and other exotic regions, such as Southeast Asia, as realms of female sensuality, availability, and promiscuity, where the male traveller finds ample opportunity for sexual adventure. 115

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‘Woman’ in Orientalism and Occidentalism: parallel but uneven discourses As many scholars have argued, the depiction of exotic-erotic Oriental women by European travel writers, fictionists, artists, academicians, and politicians was central to the construction of the Orient’s ‘difference’: mysterious, sensual, irrational, backward, weak, silent, and subordinate. Against this other, European culture set itself off as rational, continent, modern, dominant, articulate, and powerful. Representations of the ‘Oriental woman’ were thus intimately tied to the broader construct of the Orient as a feminized geographic space, awaiting penetration and dominance by the masculine West (Stoler 1995). The representation of woman was similarly central to Wang Tao’s Occidentalism, in both his fiction and travelogue. In these works, the West appears as other to China, located at a great geographic distance: in his travelogue, this distance is measured in terms of miles and days travelled; in his fiction, the West is placed in some vague location ‘beyond the seas’, and in one story, reached with the aid of a magic carpet. The West is a land of marvels, with splendid palaces, prosperous cities, aweinspiring institutions of collection and display (museums, libraries, trade fairs), and architectural wonders such as the Crystal Palace. It is also a land of science and industrial manufacture, where machines take the place of toiling labourers, and naval exercises are conducted with rigorous precision. In his travelogue, Wang Tao frequently resorts to the phrases ‘indescribable’, or ‘unimaginable’ to describe the strange and new phenomena he encounters. Interwoven with descriptions of these novelties, Wang represents the West as a ‘Kingdom of Women’, as a realm of sexual adventure, where men dance intimately with scantily clad women, where comely young girls approach the traveller without inhibition, and where a grand tour is conducted in the company of two European beauties. Wang also depicts the West as a ‘Kingdom of Women’ in terms of the trope of gender inversion, portraying talented and educated Western women who outshine men in mathematical contests, who propose marriage, buy property, and go bravely into battle. In conjunction with the eroticized descriptions of young girls and the idealized portraits of educated women

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sprinkled throughout Wang’s travelogue, these representations of the Western woman are central to Wang’s construction of the West as a mysterious and wonderful realm. Occidentalism also plays a central role in travelogues such as those by Liu Xihong and Zhang Deyi, in which the West, located on ‘the other side of the world’, appears as a mirror land where everything is reversed. The representation of the Occident as the polar opposite of China partakes of the same binary logic as Orientalism. In this mirror world, the other appears as at once fantastic and incomprehensibly bizarre. Western gender relations – the absence of gender segregation, the lack of distinction between men and women, the reversal of the husband and wife roles, and free marriage – are fundamental aspects of this overall inversion. As I have argued elsewhere, the feminization of the other in Chinese ethnographic discourse concerning Taiwan often served as a form of denigration, just as it has in European Orientalisms, with gender as a metaphor of inequity. For cultural conservatives like Liu, the feminization of the West served the same function, confirming Western barbarism and ignorance of propriety. Wang Tao, however, who did not share Liu’s view of the West, conversely employed the figure of woman to glamorize the West and enhance its allure. Hence, if late-Qing Occidentalism exhibits certain parallels with European Orientalisms in terms of the exotic-erotic image of woman, it also possesses certain fundamental differences. In nineteenth-century Orientalism, the representation of woman as other ties in neatly with gender as a potent analogy for relations of power (Occident: Orient:: male: female) under imperialism. Chinese representations of the West as a ‘Kingdom of Women’, however, especially in the period after the Opium War, coexisted with an emerging discourse that constructed the West as aggressive, militaristic, and in many respects, masculinized. Indeed, in personifying the West as a woman in his fiction, was Wang Tao attempting to put a softer face on the West, even on ‘Western learning’ and mathematics, in order to make the West appear less threatening to Chinese audiences? Moreover, in depicting interracial romance between many of his Western heroines and Chinese men, was Wang Tao attempting to portray China as masculinized and empowered? (It is noteworthy in this respect that all of Wang Tao’s male protagonists in his Western women

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stories are tall and well-built.) This difference in the gendered dynamics of these two discourses speaks to the uneven global power relations within which both Orientalism and Occidentalism were produced and consumed in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries (see Karl 2002). Whereas E. Said (1978) described nineteenth-century Orientalist discourse as an ideological accompaniment of European colonial power, late-Qing Occidentalism was scripted largely in reaction to the mounting threat of Western imperialism. In addition, we might note that Western self-representations played a much greater role in the production of lateQing Occidentalism than Eastern self-representations played in European Orientalisms. Another central difference between Chinese Occidentalism and European Orientalisms arises from the fact that whereas Orientalism typically represented China by the image of an oppressed, cloistered, ignorant Chinese woman, Occidentalism typically represented the West by the image of a spirited, educated, and independent (if sometimes unruly, immodest, and overbearing) woman.28 As such, late-Qing Occidentalism bears a very different relationship to the ‘imperial feminism’ that was emerging in the nineteenth century, as described above. Whereas European Orientalism and ‘imperial feminism’ served hand in hand to reinforce the superior status of Western women, and by extension of Western civilization itself, in China, Occidentalism (at least the reformist variety) combined with missionary discourse to produce self-critique. In other words, reformist representations of the Western woman as educated, mobile, and vocal reinforced not China’s cultural superiority, but rather confirmed Western missionary self-representations of Western society as egalitarian, open, and ‘advanced’. Through the discourse of nationalist feminism, the image of the educated Western woman would emerge in the late 1890s as a powerful tool for the critique of women’s status in China and the entire ‘old order’ (Hu 2000). Nonetheless, we must be cautious not to regard late-Qing representations of Western women or women’s status as uniformly positive. As I have noted, cultural conservatives like Liu Xihong took the position of woman in Western society as confirmation of the superiority of Chinese Confucian civilization as a place where the sexes took their proper places – contrasting the dominance and shameless ‘nakedness’ of

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Western women with the virtue and modesty of Chinese women. In this respect, the perspective of cultural conservatives regarding ‘gender inversion’ in the West was much the same as Qing travellers’ perspectives on the precedence of the female sex among the Taiwan ‘savages’. Such use of the foreign woman to confirm one’s own superiority can be said to parallel ‘imperial feminism’ in its cultural outlook, if not its politics. Moreover, even the representation of Western women as ‘educated’ in late-Qing writings such as Wang Tao’s stories could be highly sexually charged, owing to the eroticization of female readers and writers, including courtesans, in the Chinese literary tradition, and thus cannot be read as a simple sign of women’s ‘progress’ (see Widmer 1992; Ko 1994; Zeitlin 1994). I have thus suggested the need to examine the late-Qing construct of the ‘Western woman’ not only within the context of missionary discourse, but also in relation to an older tradition of Chinese exoticism. Using the example of Taiwan frontier travel literature, I have demonstrated that the conceit of the West as the ‘Kingdom of Women’ utilizes many of the same tropes found in Chinese representations of island ‘savages’. For Wang Tao’s readers, the allusion to the ‘Kingdom of Women’ would have called up a host of associations, including both gender inversion and male sexual adventure, and not necessarily the missionary discourse on women’s status in the West. Although I have indicated certain parallels between Occidentalist images of ‘the West’ and the tradition of exoticist imagery of ‘the South’ as domains of gender inversion and female promiscuity, there are also important distinctions between Wang Tao’s representation of Europe and Qing representations of Taiwan, for example. The primary difference lies in the fact that the power relation between the Qing Empire and the colonized territory of Taiwan, which it ruled between 1683 and 1895, was radically different from that between China and the West. Whereas Chinese travel writers generally depicted the Taiwan ‘savages’ as cultural inferiors in need of ‘civilizing’, Wang Tao portrays the West as a civilization equal to China. Although Liu Xihong and other cultural conservatives did not share this opinion, they were aware nonetheless of the potential cultural threat that the West posed to China.

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In treating Wang Tao’s Western women stories not primarily as a form of reformist discourse (privileging the Self), but rather as a form of Occidentalism discourse (privileging the Other), I have sought to emphasize that late-Qing images of the Western woman were produced not simply in convergence with Western missionary discourse, but also in relation to an older Chinese discourse of exoticism. Hence, instead of focusing only on the binary opposition between the ‘Western woman’ and the ‘traditional Chinese woman’, this chapter has suggested that we might think instead in terms of a symbolic triangulation between the Western Woman/Chinese Woman/Savage Woman. Whether intersecting or diverging, what these various discourses of Western Orientalism, imperial feminism, Qing Occidentalism, and Chinese exoticism share in common is the fundamental adoption of ‘woman’ as a flexible sign of difference, one that could index either the allure or the moral degradation of the other society.

Notes 1. Rey Chow has demonstrated that the figure of ‘woman’ has been central to narratives of China’s modernity; see Chow 1991. 2. At times these women are represented as incomprehensibly bizarre (a woman who photographs her mock suicide to chastise her husband), in some cases admirably accomplished (a female ship captain), sometimes shockingly brazen (kissing openly on streets), and at other times familiarly erotic (Western women with bound feet). 3. In several entries from the Dianshizhai Pictorial, Western women are represented as objects of the Chinese male gaze (depicted internally within the illustration), or for the voyeuristic pleasure of the audience. ‘Western Women Bind Their Feet’ (1890), for example, shows a picture of two Western women dressed in Western clothing wrapping binders around their tiny ‘lotus feet’, bare legs exposed. Although the text actually explains that Western women do not bind their feet, the picture clearly suggests otherwise. The visual image thus conveys the fantasy of seeing the exotic Western woman eroticized in Chinese terms. See Dianshizhai Huabao, shen 10:73. 4. Wang’s stories were later republished in two volumes, Random Notes of a Recluse in Wusong (Songyin manlu, 1887) – also known as the Sequel to Strange Tales from the Liaozhai Studio (Hou Liaozhai zhiyi), after Pu Songling’s famous collection Strange Tales from the Liaozhai Studio (Liaozhai zhiyi, 1679) – and its sequel, Tales of Trivia from the Banks of the Wusong (Songbin suohua, 1887). 5. By combining fiction and travel writing in my analysis, I do not wish to suggest that such fictional accounts represent accurate portrayals of Western women of the time.

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6.

7.

8. 9.

10. 11. 12.

13.

14. 15.

16.

17. 18. 18.

Rather, I wish to suggest that Qing travel accounts of the West, like fiction, were a form of discourse informed by Occidentalism. On modern Chinese Occidentalism, see Chen 1995. As I will demonstrate below, Chinese Occidentalism was not a unified discourse, any more than European Orientalism was, for the other can be either idealized or demonized. I focus here on the case of Taiwan frontier travel writing, since that is what I am most familiar with. For more on the relation to representations of other frontiers, see Teng 2004. For more on Wang Tao, see Cohen 1974; McAleavy 1953; Huntington 2003; Lee 1981; Lu 2003. In 1870, Wang took up residence in Hong Kong where he worked as a journalist, eventually co-founding a Chinese daily on the model of Western newspapers. By 1884, he had returned to Shanghai where he became a regular contributor to the Shen Bao, one of China’s earliest modern newspapers. For a recent study of this newspaper, see Mittler 2004. For more on early Chinese accounts of the West, see Marion Eggert’s chapter in this volume. Many of these early accounts, including Wang Tao’s Random Records of My Wanderings would be anthologized in Wang 1890. In his travelogue, Wang recorded this encounter with a band of traveling German musicians in Aden: ‘Among the female musicians was a pretty and coquettish maiden of 14 or 15, who was exceptionally refined and elegant. She kept looking at me out of the corner of her eye and smiling, without saying a word. The others told her: “This gentleman is a scholar from China. He can compose poetry and sing”. The girl was delighted…. After playing the piano and singing, which she did beautifully, … she drank three glasses [of champagne] herself and then filled her glass again and offered it to me. I drained my glass in one shot … we did not return to the ship until after midnight’ (Wang 1985: vol. 2, 77). ‘Beauties beyond the Seas’ sets the encounter not in Aden, but in Messina. In the Chinese literary tradition, the ‘tale of the strange’ occupied an ambiguous position between the genres of fiction and history. As J. Zeitlin (1993) has argued, Pu Songling deliberately played with the fiction-history distinction in his stories, provoking readers to reconsider the category of ‘the strange’. Both the stories and Wang’s travelogue were illustrated with woodblock prints, eighty illustrations in total for the travelogue. Wang introduced Chinese audiences to the figure of the Western woman well before Lin Shu’s translation of La Dame aux Camelias in 1899, for example. His tales of interracial romance predate Zeng Pu’s far more famous novel Flower in the Sea of Sins (Niehaihua, 1905) by approximately a decade. For a recent study of Jinghua yuan, see Ellen Widmer’s forthcoming The Beauty and the Book: Women and Fiction in Nineteenth-Century China. I am grateful to Widmer for this information on Wang Tao’s commentary. In his stories, Wang Tao vacillates between using specific national labels like ‘English’, ‘Swiss’ or ‘Italian’, and the umbrella term ‘Western’. On missionary representations, see Hanan 2000. On travel writing see Arkush and and Lee 1989. On the periodical press see, Mittler 2004: esp. p. 275, n. 99. Although ‘The Story of Mary’ is fictional, it was perhaps inspired by the marriages 121

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20.

21.

22.

23. 24.

25.

26. 27. 28.

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of two friends who were among the first generation of Chinese to study abroad: Yung Wing (1828–1912), who married an American woman, Mary Kellogg; and Ho Kai (1859–1914), who married an Englishwoman, Alice Walkden. Ho returned to Hong Kong with his new bride in 1882, during the time when Wang was in residence there, and the couple became quite prominent in society. The fictional Mary may also have been based on women Wang met in Europe, including the wife and daughter of William Lockhart, both of whom knew Chinese, and practiced Chinese calligraphy and painting. The imperial nature of this discourse and the crusade of missionaries like American Young J. Allen for ‘equal rights’ for Chinese women is brought into sharp focus when we consider the battles of Western women back home for women’s suffrage during this time. On Allen, see Hu 2000. As Zhang wrote: ‘There is nothing here that is not the opposite of China. In politics, the people discuss and the ruler obeys; in family regulations, the wife proposes and the husband follows; … in books, they begin from the back and move to the front; in eating and drinking, they take soup first and then rice … The reasons for this may be their nature, or it may be on account of their land being situated just on the opposite side of the world to China, so that the customs and systems are just reversed. All of this remains a mystery to us’ (transl. in Frodsham 1974: 171–72). Zhang had similarly written in an earlier account of his visit to the United States in 1868: ‘According to foreign custom, wives forbid their husbands to sleep out even for one night, but wives can walk around the streets all night and their husbands will not dare question this’ (transl. Arkush and Lee 1989: 37). Such representations helped to establish the West, like the South, as a domain of gender inversion, as well as an incomprehensibly strange and morally degenerate society. Hu Shi composed a detailed explication of this view. See Arkush and Lee 1989: 107–19. The Dianshizhai Pictorial devoted a piece to ‘Kissing’ (1885) with an explanation of the strange French custom, which some likened to the sound of fish drinking water. Dianshizhai Huabao, wu 8: 60. We might also note that the lead female characters are all from the gentry class and have some wealth, underscoring the economic inequities Wang perceived between China and the West. The travelogue is entitled The Notes from the Postal Trips (Youcheng Biji). Translated together with Min-Min Liang. Figure 1 is taken from ‘Western Women Selling Wine’ (Xifu Danglu) (1888), Dianshizhai Huabao, mao 3: 12. Thanks to Ruby Watson for this insight. The comment on ‘unruly, immodest, and overbearing’ women is my addition.

Emma Jinhua Teng

References Dianshizhai Huabao (Dianshizhai Pictorial) (1884-1896). Hong Kong: Guangjiaojing chubanshe [Shanghai: rpt. 1983]. Amos, V. and Parmar, P. (1984) ‘Challenging Imperial Feminism’, Feminist Review 17: 3–19. Arkush, R.D. and Lee, L. (eds) (1989) Land without Ghosts: Chinese Impressions of America from the Mid-Nineteenth Century to the Present. Berkeley: University of California Press. Behdad, A. (1994) Belated Travelers: Orientalism in the Age of Colonial Dissolution. Durham: Duke University Press. Chen, X. (1995) Occidentalism: A Theory of Counter-Discourse in Post-Mao China. New York: Oxford University Press. Chow, R. (1991) Woman and Chinese Modernity: The Politics of Reading between West and East. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Cohen, P. (1974) Between Tradition and Modernity: Wang T’ao and Reform in Late Ch’ing China. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Eggert, M. (2004) ‘Discovered Other, Recovered Self: Layers of Representation in an Early Travelogue on the West (Xihai Jiyou Cao, 1849)’, Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing 5, 1: 73–99. Frodsham, J.D. (1974) The First Chinese Embassy to the West: The Journals of Kuo Sung t’ao, Liu Hsi-hung, and Chang Te-yi. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Hanan, P. (2000) ‘The Missionary Novels of Nineteenth-Century China’, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 60, 2: 413–44. Hu, Y. (2000) Tales of Translation: Composing the New Woman in China, 1899-1918. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Huntington, R. (2003) ‘The Weird in the Newspaper’, in Zeitlin, J., Liu, L. and Widmer, E. (eds) Writing and Materiality in China: Essays in Honor of Patrick Hanan, pp. 341–96. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center. Karl, R. (2002) Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. Durham: Duke University Press. Ko, D. (1994) Teachers of the Inner Chambers: Women and Culture in SeventeenthCentury China. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Lee, C. (1981) ‘Wang T’ao and His Literary Writings’, Tamkang Review 9, 3: 267-85. Li, G. (1985) ‘Huanyou Diqiu Xinlu’ (New Records on My Travels Around the World), in Zhong, S. (ed) Zouxiang Shijie Congshu (From East to West: Chinese Travelers Before 1911), vol. 2, 167–362. Changsha: Yuelu shushe. Liu, X. (1890). ‘Yingyao Siji’ (Private Diary of the Journey to England), in Wang, X. (ed) Xiaofanghuzhai Yudi Congchao (Geographic Collectanea of the Little Fanghu Studio), vol. 11, 160–209. Shanghai: Zhuyifang. Lowe, L. (1991) Critical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Lu, S. (2003) ‘Waking to Modernity: The Classical Tale in Late-Qing China’, New Literary History 34, 4: 745–760. Ma H. (1970) Yingya Shenglan (The Overall Survey of the Ocean’s Shores). Trans. J. V. G. Mills. Cambridge: Hakluyt Society. Mann, S. (1997) Precious Records: Women in China’s Long Eighteenth Century. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 123

Women and Occidentalism in Wang Tao’s Tales of Travel McAleavy, H. (1953) Wang T‘ao (1828?–1890) the Life and Writings of a Displaced Person. London: China Society. Mittler, B. (2004) A Newspaper for China?: Power, Identity, and Change in Shanghai’s News Media, 1872–1912. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center. Mohanty, C. (1991) ‘Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses’, in Mohanty, C., Russo, A. and Torre, L. (eds) Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism, pp. 51–80. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Rankin, M. (1975) ‘The Emergence of Women at the End of the Ch’ing: The Case of Ch’iu Chin’, in Wolf, M. and Witke, R. (eds) Women in Chinese Society, pp. 39–66. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Said, E. (1978) Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books. Spivak, G. (1988) ‘French Feminism in an International Frame’, in Spivak, G. (ed) In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics, pp. 134–153. New York: Routledge. Stoler, A. (1995) Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things. Durham: Duke University Press. Teng, E. (1996) ‘The Construction of the ‘Traditional Chinese Woman’ in the Western Academy: A Critical Review’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 22, 1: 115–51. Teng, E. (2004) Taiwan’s Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683-1895. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center. Wang, T. (1887). Songyin Manlu (Random Notes of a Recluse in Wusong). Shanghai: Dianshizhai. Wang, T. (1890) ‘Manyou Suilu’ (Random Records of My Wanderings), Wang, X. (ed) Xiaofanghuzhai Yudi Congchao (Geographic Collectanea of the Little Fanghu Studio), vol. 11, 532–556. Shanghai: Zhuyifang. Wang, T. (1985) ‘Manyou Suilu’ (Random Records of My Wanderings), Zhong, S. (ed) Zouxiang Shijie Congshu, vol. 2, 9–166. Changsha: Yuelu shushe. Wang, T. (1988) Hou Liaozhai Zhiyi Quanyi Xiangzhu. Harbin: Heilongjiang renmin chubanshe. Widmer, E. (1992) ‘Xiaoqing’s Literary Legacy and the Place of the Woman Writer in Late Imperial China’, Late Imperial China 13, 1: 111–55. Zeitlin, J. (1993) Historian of the Strange: Pu Songling and the Chinese Classical Tale. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Zeitlin, J. (1994) ‘Shared Dreams: The Story of the Three Wives’ Commentary on the Peony Pavilion’, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 54, 1 (June): 127–79. Zhang, D. (1981) Ou Mei Huanyouji (Notes on Traveling Around Europe and America). Changsha: Hunan renmiu chubanshe.

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CHAPTER 6 A Wartime Cinematic Recreation of the Journey Linking China and Japan in the Modern Era Joshua A. Fogel Department of History University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

O

ne of the most famous voyages in the modern history of East Asia occurred in 1862 when, for the first time in over three centuries, Japanese were sent on an official mission of investigation and trade to China. There had been limited Sino-Japanese contacts throughout those many years carried out by Chinese trading vessels that made periodic trips to Hirado and later Nagasaki, the only port open to them during most of the Tokugawa era (1600–1868); and a small number of Japanese fishermen had been shipwrecked, picked up by British or American vessels and deposited in Shanghai, though often not repatriated for many years thereafter because of the stringent travel restrictions of their homeland, for Japanese remained strictly forbidden from venturing on the seas. Following Commodore Perry’s opening of Japan, in 1853 with the resultant Treaty of Kanagawa in 1854, a few Japanese port cities gradually opened to Western trade and missionary activity. Nagasaki, the one Japanese port with a long history of merchant vessel activity, was opened to the Western powers in 1859. In short order, Western traders began plying the route between this Japanese port and the largest of China’s ports, Shanghai. By this time, many Westerners had established businesses or branches of larger conglomerates in Shanghai, and the newly built Concessions where they lived had become famous for the magnificence of its buildings and grand style. News of such had been transmitted to Japan ever since the British victory in the Opium War, and

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the Treaty of Nanjing (1842) following it had similarly opened Shanghai, as one of five Chinese ports, to Westerners. Japan’s shogunal government, at the instigation of several high officials, decided in 1862 to send a mission abroad to investigate the conditions surrounding international trade through the microcosm of Shanghai. After all, it was much closer than travelling all the way to the countries of the West and much more condensed than the considerably more expansive continents of Europe and North America. That China and Japan did not have diplomatic relations at the time would not be a problem, for the mission had no intention of visiting the Chinese capital in Beijing which was neither a thriving commercial entrepôt nor, for that matter, even open to foreigners at the time. The Japanese were only interested in trade at this juncture, as they correctly read the writing on the wall. International intercourse and commerce were the future – and Japan could join it or fall victim to it as the Chinese seemed to have done. The mission attracted a wide variety of shogunal officials, interpreters, doctors, cooks and a large number of ‘attendants’, one or two for each of the samurai sent by their domains; in all, 51 Japanese made the trip. It was this last group of attendants, most of them samurai themselves and extremely well educated young men, who have left us the most detailed accounts of their ten weeks in Shanghai in the summer of 1862, and their works have been analyzed with great sophistication by a number of fine Japanese and, more recently, Chinese scholars.1 Because the Japanese had no recent history of open sea travel in 1862, they were faced with several options on how to make such a voyage to China materialize. Their first choice was to hire a foreign vessel and pay the foreign crew to sail them, but this proved to be far too expensive. The option of purchasing a vessel and sailing it themselves was beyond the realm of the possible at the time. The only route left open to them, then, was a kind of compromise, to buy a Western ship and then hire the crew back to navigate the waters. Thus, shogunal officials approached one Captain Henry Richardson of Great Britain who had been travelling back and forth for several years between Nagasaki and Shanghai, transporting Japanese goods to China and vice versa (and becoming wealthy as a result of it), buy his ship, the Armistice, and then hire him and his men back to sail it for them. The ship was renamed the Senzaimaru indicating, as the

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North-China Herald (1862: 1) put it at the time, ‘To last a thousand years’, as her name literally meant. The one problem the new owners of the Senzaimaru would face in the absence of diplomatic relations with China was a legal basis for engaging in trade in Shanghai. There was simply no grounds upon which it might transpire. This difficulty was overcome with alacrity through the good offices of the Dutch trading firm of Theodorus Kroes (1822–89) which had offices both in Nagasaki and in Shanghai. The Dutch had been the sole European power allowed to trade with Japan throughout the previous two centuries and thus had a special relationship with the Japanese. Also, while there were established shogunal interpreters who accordingly knew Dutch in 1862, exceedingly few Japanese at that time knew more than a smattering of English. For a not inconsiderable fee, Kroes facilitated the commercial side of the Senzaimaru’s voyage, made contacts and stored goods for the Japanese and helped on the political side by offering official introductions to the Chinese bureaucracy in Shanghai. The ten weeks the passengers on the Senzaimaru spent in Shanghai, from their arrival on 2 June until their return to Nagasaki in early August, were a period of brutal heat and humidity. Three crew members died, at least one from dysentery contracted as a result of inadvertently imbibing the filthy waters of the Wusong River in which everything they consumed had been washed. Many others suffered from recurrent bouts of dysentery, at a time when even the better hotels in Shanghai – such as the Astor House where they took up residence – lacked plumbing of any sort. The travel narratives penned as a result of this voyage frequently remarked on the widespread filth in the city, especially among the Chinese (e.g. Hibino 1946: 73). Lord Oliphant (1829–88) had described Shanghai three years earlier as ‘the most unhealthy [port] to which our ships are sent, the sickness and mortality being greater here than even on the west coast of Africa’ (Oliphant 1859: 269). Most of the Japanese travel narratives from this voyage were the works of samurai ‘attendants’, none of whom were as yet out of their twenties. Several were slated for great fame in the years that followed, some for even greater posthumous fame. The one who wrote the most extensive account of his experiences and has acquired the status of the most celebrated among the 51 Japanese was Takasugi Shinsaku (1839–67), a

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firebrand opponent of the shogunal government’s allegedly appeasing policy toward foreigners, who hailed from the domain of Cho¯shu¯. Although still a month shy of his twenty-third birthday when the mission set off, Takasugi had already at this young age acquired considerable erudition in East Asian, specifically traditional Chinese Confucian, learning; for example, he was, like his celebrated teacher Yoshida Sho¯in (1830–1859), an accomplished student of the literary Chinese language.2 Soon after boarding the Senzaimaru, however, he realized how underprepared he had been for the trip when he met a deck hand by the name of Godai Saisuke (Tomoatsu, 1835–1885) from Satsuma domain, like Cho¯shu¯ a hotbed of anti-shogunal activity. Satsuma had been unable to get Godai’s name on the passenger list in time, but he had nonetheless resourcefully managed to get himself hired in a menial capacity, despite his samurai status. He stunned Takasugi when he let the younger man in on the secret that he was studying the ship’s navigational techniques and its trading routes to and from Shanghai, as well as commercial conditions in China on behalf of his home domain. Unlike Takasugi who died of illness only a few years after his return to Japan, Godai went on to become a notable figure in the Satsuma navy and, after the Meiji Restoration of 1867–68, the first president of the Osaka Chamber of Commerce.3 One further passenger worthy of note – space prevents a complete prosopography of the Japanese passenger list – was an ‘attendant’ from the domain of Hizen by the name of Nakamuda Kuranosuke (1837–1916), who would subsequently rise the post of vice-admiral in the Japanese navy.4 Nakamuda was a great oddity for his age in that he actually knew a bit of English which enabled him to converse with the small handful of Westerners the Japanese met in Shanghai and to read a bit of the Anglophone press there – we should recall that Japan had no legal press at the time. Although Takasugi has posthumously managed to attract the lion’s share of scholarly attention, Nakamuda may in fact have been the one who guided him through the streets of Shanghai and gained him entrée with the well-known British missionary, William Muirhead (1822–1900), a prolific scholar in Chinese and English and long-term resident of the city who also ran a hospital there. Muirhead was, among other things, a bibliophile, and he lent out to Takasugi and Nakamuda a number of Chinese texts he had collected concerned with current events,

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such as a four-volume work on the Taiping rebels, which Takasugi devoted many hours to copying out by hand (Takasugi 1974: 159–60).5 As fate would have it, two days after the Japanese arrived in Shanghai attacks began on the outskirts of the city by the armed forces of the Taiping leader Li Xiucheng (1823–64). Upon hearing the gunfire, Takasugi wrote in his account that he planned to try (though ultimately unsuccessful) to see something of the fighting: ‘If these reports turn out to be accurate, it would make me so happy to be able to go and witness the fighting at first hand’ (Takasugi 1974: 144–45, 156). There is no question that Takasugi felt an almost instinctive support for the Taipings in their struggle to topple the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), unaffected by knowledge of their devotion to Christianity, and this sympathy for their cause was only heightened when he learned that the British were aiding the Qing dynasty’s efforts to crush the Taipings. His teacher Yoshida Sho¯in had learned of the Taiping Rebellion while in prison three years earlier awaiting execution and, unlike Takasugi, supported their suppression at that time because of his disgust for their devotion to Christianity. Takasugi, by contrast, looked beyond their alien faith to the more important fact in his eyes that they were resisting the foreigners who supported the decrepit Qing (Haga 1984: 106–09). This is in no way to conclude that he came to agree with the Taipings’ core beliefs – for those he had nothing but disdain – but only that ultimately he came to blame the Qing dynasty for allowing missionaries onto their terrain in the first place, causing the spread of their noxious religion and hence the rise of the Taiping movement. As it turned out, the principal Taiping leader Hong Xiuquan (1813–1864) ordered his troops to withdraw from Shanghai just as they were about to lay siege to the city, due to attacks by government forces on his own capital in Nanjing. Takasugi and Nakamuda would try on several occasions to locate them, but the rebels always managed to elude the two Japanese. Takasugi did observe outside the city limits Qing troops who were training to defend the city from future assaults, but he thought them a miserable sight. Just beneath the surface of all of Takasugi’s observations was his fear throughout that the rampant chaos in China might spread to Japan. As he put it, ‘I fear that we in Japan shall also make these grave errors’, and allow the West to invade and control Japan (Takasugi 1974: 191–92).6 129

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After returning home, Takasugi became an even more vigorous and stalwart opponent of accomodation with the West. Although he died on the eve of the Meiji Restoration, he became a heroic figure in death among young, disaffected Japanese as Japan sought to navigate the currents between heavy pressures from the Western powers to open up ports to commercial and missionary activity and from various domains that staunchly opposed such measures. Nowhere was this image of Takasugi truer than in his own domain of Cho¯shu¯, but he remains a household name throughout Japan, his persona reproduced in historical fiction and in historical dramas on Japanese television.7 In later decades well after his death, at times when Western pressures on Japan were felt with particular acuteness, Takasugi was hailed as a pioneer, an important precedent for the case study described below. Recently, there was a startling development in the ongoing interest in Takasugi and the 1862 mission to Shanghai of the Senzaimaru in which he played such a seminal role. In 2001 a movie version of the voyage in which Takasugi’s character enjoys centre stage was discovered in the Gosfilmfond, the archives of the former Soviet state film industry. The movie, entitled Noroshi wa Shanhai ni agaru (Signal Fires over Shanghai), had certainly been known about, largely because its director was none other than Inagaki Hiroshi (1905–80), one of the most famous Japanese directors of the twentieth century, and starred the virtually legendary Bando¯ Tsumasaburo¯ (1901–53, known affectionately as Bantsuma) as Takasugi himself.8 Noroshi wa Shanhai ni agaru was shot on location in Shanghai in 1944 and appeared late that year, a time when the city of Shanghai (along with large tracts of Chinese terrain elsewhere) was under the occupation of Japanese military forces. Although Inagaki is listed as director, the film was ostensibly a joint venture with the Chinese and was in fact coproduced by the Japanese company Dai’ei and the Chinese company Zhonghua dianying gongsi. Given the wartime conditions and the clear message of the film, however, how bilateral the production actually was remains open to serious doubt. Nonetheless, Yue Feng (1909–99), then a still young Chinese director who would subsequently rise to considerable fame in the movie business, is listed as co-director along with Hu Xinling (1914–2000), who had studied in Japan (email comm. Poshek Fu), and the

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film also bore the Chinese title: Chunjiang yihen (Lingering Resentment from Shanghai); the relationship between the Japanese and Chinese titles is vague, though it is just as unclear what the ‘signal fires’ of the former specifically refer to. The film itself came out in November in China and on 28 December 1944 in Japan, less than eight months before the latter’s cataclysmic defeat in World War II, and was subsequently lost. Apparently the last extant print had belonged to the Manchurian Film Company (Man’ei), created in the late 1930s under Japanese auspices on the Mainland, and was sent back to the Soviet Union following the Soviet defeat of the Japanese in Manchuria in August 1945. It thus ended up among a cache of some 55,000 films in the old Gosfilmfond that were discovered in 2001. The first reel of the original is still missing. While Noroshi wa Shanhai ni agaru was certainly made under wartime conditions and reflected the ideology of the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere – in Shanghai cinema, this specifically called for a critique of the overpowering and decadent cultural influence of the United States and Great Britain – it nonetheless was also a lot more than simple propaganda. Zhonghua dianying gongsi (literally, ‘China Film Company’) was in fact created in Shanghai in 1939 at the initiative of the Japanese military as a ‘national policy company’ (kokusaku kaisha), and the principal player in it was the chairman of the famed To¯wa sho¯ji company (forerunner of the present To¯ho¯ to¯wa company), Kawakita Nagamasa (1903–1981). Kawakita was no pawn of the imperialist Japanese state. He had been raised in China, educated in Beijing, and as a result spoke Chinese effortlessly. In addition, he was profoundly drawn to the Chinese people at the time – among his film credits are movies from the 1930s with entirely Chinese casts – and at great risk to his own life, he wanted this new Chinese film company to be something more than a marionette of the Japanese military (Fu 1997: 68, 72–73; Fu 1998; Shimizu 1995; Tsuji 1987: 150–58; Yamane 2001).9 As a result, Kawakita saw to it that Noroshi wa Shanhai ni agaru would have genuine Chinese stars, directors who could hold their own on both sides, and a storyline that did not disparage the Chinese, but would somehow also cleave to the party line. Inagaki was able to secure Yahiro Fuji (b. 1904), with whom he had not worked in a decade to write the

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screenplay. As Yahiro later recalled, the starting point for the movie was the career of Godai Tomoatsu, but in ‘researching Godai’, who had left no account of his trip to Shanghai, ‘I realized that I would have to examine the diaries of his fellow passenger to Shanghai, Takasugi Shinsaku … . I also had to research the biography of Nakamuda Kuranosuke … . In reading Takasugi’s diaries, I discovered that he had inadvertently confronted the Taiping Rebellion’ (Yahiro 1974, quoted in Takase 2000: 234). The first reel of the film allegedly concerned the background of Takasugi’s making his way onto the official passenger list of the Senzaimaru; as the film telescopes this history, namely his plans with fellow disaffected samurai to assassinate Nagai Uta (1819–1863), an important actor in the effort to merge the court and the military as a stopgap measure to prevent toppling the Tokugawa Shogunate. Takasugi was also active in an effort to burn down the British Legation as a protest, and this involvement led his domainal lord to whisk him out of harm’s way. The movie as we now have it begins with the Senzaimaru entering the port of Shanghai and navigating among countless Chinese vessels in an already thoroughly clogged harbour. Gunfire is immediately heard in the distance, and with a beaming smile on his face Takasugi explains to several of his compatriots on deck that there is a war going on. When asked what ‘war’ he is referring to, Takasugi replies that the Taiping Rebellion is battling the Qing dynasty (founded in 1644 by the Manchus). We must assume that Takasugi had acquired more than a modicum of information concerning the Taipings, because his own teacher, Yoshida Sho¯in, had edited and translated from Chinese a recent work on that rebellion which he surely had seen. In addition, he came to know considerably more as a result of the texts provided to him by the British missionary William Muirhead (Masuda 2000: 21–22, 135–39). Soon after they reach Shanghai, there is a scene in which the Japanese taking a walk in the city witness Government troops shoot down an escaping man whose hat tumbles from his head as he falls to the ground dead – attached to the hat is a fake queue, the ‘pigtail’ hairstyle imposed on all Chinese males by the Manchu conquest dynasty and which all Taipings had cut off as a sign of their commitment when they joined the movement. Yahiro, Inagaki and their colleagues were thus taking a bit of artistic licence here, for no such event is reported in any of the travel narratives of the 1862

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voyage, but this does effectively set the appropriate stage for the central linkage of the film – the Taipings and the radical samurai – and the licence taken here pales in comparison to what is to follow. Throughout the film, it is Takasugi who clearly understands that the British and Americans are the real enemies of all Asians. Late one night he rescues and then befriends a fictional Taiping leader by the name of Shen Yizhou (played by the veteran, handsome actor Mei Xi, 1911–83, who was already a star of Chinese cinema at this time). Shen serves under none other than Li Xiucheng, the ‘Loyal King’ of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (played by Yan Jun, 1917–80). Shen has signed a contract with the British for weapons, and he simply does not understand Takasugi’s antipathy for the Westerners. Takasugi asks him (rhetorically) if the British and Americans can be trusted, especially given the humiliating treaties they have imposed on the Chinese after the Opium and Arrow Wars. Shen claims that what is past is past, but Takasugi asks him then if he is aware of conditions in India, something about which there is virtually no way Takasugi himself could have known. Indeed, he continues, the foreign Concessions carved out of Shanghai are the first step on China’s pursual of the same road to depravity. Shen is prepared to blame the alien Qing government for China’s present state, and it is the goal of the Taipings, he announces, to overthrow the Manchus. Takasugi protests that he, as a Japanese, is no simple bystander to all this, because the British and Americans certainly have designs on Japan, too. Shen remains unmoved by his strangely persistent interlocutor; for, after all, both the Westerners and the Taipings are Christians. This last point only raises Takasugi’s hackles, and the meeting breaks off. Shen is actually in the city of Shanghai with a letter from Li Xiucheng to the British Consulate, and there he meets W.H. Medhurst (1822–85) who tells him that the Westerners are not going to like the Taipings’ outright assault on opium dens and their ban on opium in their own liberated areas, but Medhurst thinks it the only humane approach to the deadly drug. The actor who plays Medhurst (whose name is given only as ‘Orlov’ in the credits) looks roughly sixty years of age. There was a senior W.H. Medhurst (1796–1857) who had written extensively on Sinitic topics, including translations of portions of the Bible into Chinese, but he

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was already dead by the time of this visit. Medhurst fils was much less accomplished and only forty years of age at the time. When the evil British later betray the Taipings in the vilest of manners, spewing out (anachronistic) epithets among themselves for the Chinese and Japanese and literally throwing Shen out of the consulate in Shanghai, then finally, at the film’s end, the message becomes resoundingly clear. Asians must stand with Asians, for the Westerners will only betray them. United they can struggle for liberation from imperialism and colonialism; divided against themselves, they will never succeed. The only Westerner painted with the least dimension to his character, Medhurst himself, tries to have his fellow British recognize the agreements they have already concluded with the Taipings, but the other British only laugh at him. He protests that the Taipings are, after all, Christians ‘just like us’, but again he is met with ridicule, because the Taipings, it is stridently noted to him, are not at all ‘like us’ – they do not have ‘white skin’. When he later meets a British ship’s captain who has returned to Shanghai after narrowly escaping an attack on foreign vessels in the Straits of Shimonoseki by samurai from Takasugi’s home domain, the captain explains that the assault was just what the British were waiting for: an excuse to ‘harm the Japs’. The camera fades with Medhurst sadly saying to himself: ‘India, China, and now Japan’. It is a bit difficult to take many of these scenes seriously now inasmuch as every single Anglophone character was portrayed by a Russian, some with accents so thick and intonation so far-fetched that it is clear they were doing little more than pronouncing words whose meanings were unknown to them. In 1944, it would have been extremely difficult to find Caucasian faces in Shanghai who were both genuinely Anglophone and willing to act in such a film; by the same token, there were many unemployed, impoverished Russophones in the city. This severe discordance to the modern (Anglophone) observer of the film would certainly not have been a major shortcoming at the time; there was no alternative, and few (if any) viewers of the time would have even been aware of the issue. The Chinese actor who plays the Taiping leader Shen Yizhou actually speaks a much better English than any of his Western interlocutors. Interestingly, though, accents aside, all of the English-language dialogue is grammatically

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flawless and, aside from a handful of anachronisms, indeed idiomatically genuine by nineteenth-century standards. One of the most interesting topics for a student of Sino-Japanese interactions at this time is how the two peoples, Chinese and Japanese, actually communicated in the absence of a shared spoken language. As we learn from reading their travel narratives, they used the written literary Chinese language as a medium of discourse, thereby carrying on the ancient tradition of bitan (Japanese, hitsudan) or ‘brush talks’. There is only one extended ‘brush talk’ in the film but it proves centrally important. Shen Yizhou’s literatus father, Shen Changling, observes Takasugi asking a dealer in art curios about inkstones; when he realizes that Takasugi, though not a Chinese, still knows enough to seek out such culturally sophisticated artifacts, he approaches and offers to sell him just what Takasugi was looking for. A friendship ensues and they meet again at Shen’s home. Shen describes with ink on paper having witnessed the death of Chen Huacheng (1776–1842), a famous figure who died fighting off the British assault 20 years earlier during the Opium War. Takasugi asks if he was killed by a British soldier and Shen replies that, in fact, it was an Indian fighting in the British army. Shen reflects on how sad this is: ‘One Asian killed another’. Moments later, Takasugi says to his Japanese friend: ‘Ah, Nakamuda, great chat, eh? To meet another man who wants to build a new Asia’. Shen then asks to see the swords worn ceaselessly by the Japanese. Takasugi folds the paper on which their brush talk had transpired, puts it in his mouth (for some unexplained reason), and then unsheaths his long sword. Shen sighs admiringly: ‘Japanese swords are masterpieces’. This high regard for Japanese swords is not simply propaganda, however, with the raised sword representing Japanese willingness to lead the fight of Asians against the West. There is a tradition going back at least to the eleventh century of Chinese writing poems to Japanese swords which found their way via bilateral trade onto Chinese markets (Ishihara 1960). As we have seen elsewhere, this was a virtually seamless folding of the past into the present. Also, there is evidence from the travel narratives of 1862 that a number of Chinese were curious about the ubiquitous Japanese swords.

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As interesting as brush talks may be to scholars, however, they apparently did not make for great cinema. Inagaki, Yue and Yahiro thus introduced a female Chinese character named Wang Ying (played by the stunningly beautiful Li Lihua, b. 1924). Li had been trained in Peking opera and, not surprisingly, an opportunity was found for her to sing a piece from one. She later became a star in Hong Kong and Hollywood after the war. As her character explains, by virtue of a short stint in the Chinese community of Nagasaki, she can speak enough Japanese to guide the Japanese visitors as need be and serve as their interpreter. While it is conceivable that such a person existed in 1862 Shanghai – though much more likely than not it would have been a man – no such person appears in any of the travel narratives written by Japanese aboard the Senzaimaru. Her presence, though, serves a great facilitating role for the film; indeed, it is she who enables the ‘conversation’ between Shen Yizhou and Takasugi discussed above to take place. These shortcomings are in no way sufficient, I would argue, to completely evicerate the historical importance of Noroshi wa Shanhai ni agaru.10 If there is such an element to this movie, it is the relationship between Takasugi and the Taipings, a metonym for all forward-looking Japanese and Chinese, respectively. As portrayed in this film, Takasugi forges a close bond with the Taiping leader Shen Yizhou whom he has warned against trusting the Westerners. At the film’s conclusion, the Taipings are in full retreat from the city, and Shen, fleeing as well for his life, stops off at his home and says to his sister, Xiaohong (played by breathtakingly attractive Wang Danfeng, b. 1925), that he would like to see the Japanese Takasugi one more time. She relays the message and Takasugi and his Chinese guide Wang Ying make their way to farmlands on the outskirts of Shanghai where they meet the forces of the Taiping army marching away from Shanghai after their catastrophic defeat. Somehow Takasugi finds Shen and then each delivers a soliloquy of sorts in his native tongue – which the other cannot have understood a word of – followed by the other replying (in his native tongue): ‘I understand, I understand’. The thrust is clearly just the opposite, as if to say: ‘I don’t understand a word you have just uttered, but I now realize that what is truly important is that Asians band together against the Westerner invader’. One further historical problem with any

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such exchange even being conceivable is that Li Xiucheng and his forces were not in full retreat from Shanghai until several weeks after Takasugi and his colleagues set sail home for Japan in the first week of August (Jen 1973: 448–49, 458–59); it is accurate, though, that promises proffered earlier by French and British officials were reneged upon. The United States played little part in all this, although it comes in for considerable vitriol in the film, obviously due to the exigencies of the times in which the film was made, as opposed to that of the Taiping Rebellion itself. The encounter and exchange between Takasugi and Shen are, of course, pure fantasy. As we have seen, Takasugi never met any Taipings; if he had, they surely would have made more than a cameo appearance in his narrative. Any Taiping officer walking about the streets of Shanghai, as Shen Yizhou does in full, bizarre Taiping regalia, would have been summarily executed. Nonetheless, Takasugi’s own biography and his account of his time in Shanghai fit with eerie precision into the framework of 1944 East Asian power politics. Anachronisms aside – and there are any number of them in the film, such as the Hinomaru, the contemporary Japanese flag, flying alone atop the Senzaimaru as the ‘national’ Japanese flag as it comes into Shanghai harbour – he warned against any accomodation with Westerners, despised their presence in Shanghai and their haughtiness with respect to the Chinese, and worried more than anything else that such a fate as had befallen China might come to Japan. Although he did not use the word ‘colony’ – such a term did not exist per se in the Japanese lexicon of 1862 – he did refer to Shanghai as a ‘dependency of Great Britain’ (‘Dai-Ei zokkoku’), and the colonial implications are eminently clear (Furukawa 1973: 80; Ikeda 1966: 119; Naramoto 1965: 106–15; Takasugi 1974: 178, 185; Tanaka 1991: 244). Thus, there is considerable evidence to see Takasugi as an early antiimperialist icon, and perhaps he would have supported a Japanese-led, pan-Asian movement, had such a confederation ever come together in his lifetime. There is, however, a huge leap from there to Takasugi as (figuratively or, in this instance, literally) supporting the Taipings in their quest to overthrow the Qing dynasty. In his 1983 memoirs, this is how director Inagaki recalled the background and storyline of the film:

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Bantsuma and I made the film Noroshi wa Shanhai ni agaru, a joint Sino-Japanese venture, in Shanghai, and in it Takasugi Shinsaku appears as protagonist. With the Qing (China) defeated in the Opium War and forced to sign humiliating treaties with Great Britain, China had lost its subjectivity. Under these circumstances, revolutionaries known as the ‘Taipings’ rose up with their Christian ideology and attacked the Qing government. Takasugi Shinsaku, Godai Tomoatsu, Nakamuda Kuranosuke, and their associates travel to Shanghai to purchase a Western-style ship, and not indifferent to what appears to be a civil war, they foresee that Japan might as well be invaded by men from Great Britain and the United States. This story was not to be a sabre-rattling swashbuckler starring Bantsuma, nor was I going to shoulder the burdens of the Pacific War … Bantsuma and I made this film over an eight-month period in Shanghai. When it was first released, both Japan and Shanghai were in the midst of air raids, and people had no time to go watch movies. But, at least for those of us who made it, we were calmly watching the rise and conclusion of the Pacific War, just as Takasugi in the drama was objectively observing the Taiping Rebellion in the Qing period. (Inagaki 1983: 281–82)11 There is one scene of comic relief in this film which actually finds the Japanese the butt of a comic mishap. One morning Godai Tomoatsu (portrayed by Tsukigata Ryu¯nosuke, 1902–70) is trying to get two overly helpful Chinese bellboys at the hotel in Shanghai to make tea for himself and Nakamuda Kuranosuke (played by Ishiguro Tatsuya, 1911–65).12 He finds himself unable to convey this simplest of words to the Chinese: ocha in Japanese, cha in Chinese, but with different intonation. Takasugi comes downstairs, intrudes on the confusion and takes over, repeating the word ocha a number of times. When the Chinese start mimicking the Japanese word, he replies several times: ‘Kore da’ (‘That’s it’). Then, the Chinese start repeating the words ‘kore da’, until they finally believe they have discovered what these strange visitors want to drink: gaoliang jiu, a particular potent alcoholic beverage made from sorghum. Somewhat later, Godai is seen taking a sip and spitting it up all over himself. The two Chinese bellboys were played by Han Lan’gen (1909–1982) and Yin Xiucen who had become famous as the ‘Oriental Laurel and Hardy’, respectively, in a number of movies from the 1930s and 1940s (Fang 2001). Whatever one may think of the cinematic qualities of Noroshi wa Shanhai ni agaru, participation in this production cannot have stood the 138

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Chinese actors and staff in good stead after the conclusion of the war and the founding of the People’s Republic of China. As noted, Yue Feng, the Chinese director, went on to a career for some years in Hong Kong where he made a number of movies starring several Chinese actors from the 1944 joint venture under study here. His colleague Hu Xinling worked in the Hong Kong and Taiwan film industry. The married couple Li Lihua and Yan Jun both appeared in Yue Feng’s 1952 film Xin Hongloumeng (The New Dream of the Red Chamber); Yan appeared in at least four other movies directed by Yue in the 1949–50 period alone. Wang Danfeng worked in Hong Kong for several years before returning to China in the early 1950s, and there she was able to enjoy a lengthy career in cinema, though she was the exception that proved the rule.13 Mei Xi’s filmography is difficult to ascertain in full, but with a number of lengthy lacunae, he managed to act for most of his life in mainland China. Han Lan’gen, too, stayed on in the People’s Republic after 1949 and suffered through a number of Communist campaigns, never able to get his derailed career back on track. Of the Russian actors who played all the Anglo-American and French roles, nothing is immediately forthcoming except several of their surnames (Orlov, Moskarenko, Serebanov). It would not be terribly surprising if they all found work in other professions after the war. Their performances in this production are, from a thespian point of view, execrable – to say nothing of their English. The voyage of the Senzaimaru to Shanghai in 1862 marks the dawn of modern Sino-Japanese relations in government, commerce and culture. It would have marked a historical milestone even if it had not had an impact back in Japan, when Takasugi found the embers of his anti-foreign hostility flaring up again. This led, in part, to the further awakening of radicalism in Cho¯shu¯ domain in what eventually brought on the collapse of the Tokugawa regime a mere five years after dispatching this mission and the rise of a unified Meiji government. It is this latter part of the story that had legs, that continued to exercise an impact on angry young Japanese over the decades that followed, and that ironically provided just the right mix for the state-sponsored film of 1944, Noroshi wa Shanhai ni agaru. Indeed, Yahiro, Inagaki and their production colleagues need not have tinkered with the history of the Taiping Rebellion and its links to the Japanese to have told the story they ultimately wished to tell. The truth would have

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sufficed, though it might not have made as good a story on film. Binding these two seminal events – radical anti-shogunal samurai and the Taiping rebels – gave the film an added punch, as described above. Viewing the film now, nearly 60 years after its initial release, one is struck by a certain bizarre quality in its message. Putting aside the absurdities of the Russian actors, the anachronisms in speech and practice, and the datedness of the acting styles of the Chinese and Japanese performers, the message of the need for Chinese and Japanese to come together to ward off Western advances against them both in the middle of the nineteenth century retains considerable poignancy. This in no way is meant to validate Japanese imperialism; that is a given in 1944. Nonetheless, just as Takasugi ‘spoke’ to Inagaki and his collaborators over 80 years after he set sail for Shanghai, so he continues to speak to us nearly 60 more years after the film first appeared.

Notes 1

2

3 4

5 6 7

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The best and most comprehensive recent work in Japanese is Miyanaga (1995), and in Chinese Feng (2001). My own work on the voyage of the Senzaimaru can be found in Fogel (1994) and (1996: 43–65 (‘First Contacts: The Travelers Aboard the ‘Senzaimaru’ and Other Early Accounts’)). Takasugi’s accounts are known under the collective rubric of Yu¯-Shin goroku (Five Accounts of a Voyage to China); they have been published several times, most definitively in an edition edited by Tanaka Akira (1991: 209–86); an earlier edition is Takasugi Shinsaku 1974: 141–216. Godai left no narrative of his experiences in Shanghai (see Miyamoto 1981; Okita 1942; and Tanaka 1921). Nakamuda did leave an account, entitled Shanhai toko¯ kiji (Diary of a Crossing to Shanghai), although it is extremely difficult to find. It was excerpted and used extensively by his biographer, Nakamura Ko¯ya (Nakamura 1919; see also Haruna 1997). On Nakamuda’s relative importance, see Haruna Akira (1997). This point has been commented on by a number of scholars, among them: Eto¯ (1970); Sato¯ (1984); and Fogel (1996: 53–54). Takasugi’s life is the subject of a four-volume novel by the greatest of modern Japanese historical novelists, Shiba Ryo¯taro¯ (1923–1996) (Shiba 1971). Each year Japanese educational television (NHK) shows in 52 one-hour weekly segments a work of historical fiction; in 1977 they serialized another of Shiba’s novels, Kashin (God of Flowers) (Shiba 1972), which had no signficant mention of Takasugi, though in the television drama Takasugi played an important featured role with material drawn from Yo ni sumu hibi.

Joshua A. Fogel 8

9

10

11

12

13

Inagaki is probably most famous, at least in the West, for the Samurai Trilogy (1956), the five-hour, 22-minute marathon ‘biopic’ concerning the figure of Miyamoto Musashi (1584–1645) and starring Mifune Toshiro¯ (1920–1997) in the leading role. Inagaki and Mifune would work together in a number of important films. Bando¯ – born Tamura Denkichi and widely known as Bantsuma – began his own production company in 1925 under the latter name and starred in numerous period pieces. The rediscovery of this film coincided with the centenary of his birth, and there were a number of film series and photographic displays in Japan to honour him in which this film was featured (see Segawa 1977). Poshek Fu (Fu 1997: 68–69) suggests that Kawakita was more self-concerned than the preceding may indicate, that he wanted to produce entertainment and was concerned about alienating the bulk of the Shanghai film world who might flee to the hinterland should the Japanese apply too restrictive a policy on film-makers. He thus pushed for the creation of a single, centralized film industry in Shanghai under his Zhonghua dianying gongsi which would be of, by and for the Chinese people (see also Fu 1994). See Fu (1997) further for details of Kawakita’s relationship to Zhang Shangkun, the man in charge of the day-to-day operations of Zhonghua dianying gongsi. Poshek Fu (1997: 79) is much more critical of the film as a propagandistic effort to rouse anti-Western sentiment. Because the film was only recently rediscovered, Fu was unable actually to view it and was forced to rely on interviews with surviving Chinese actors, such as Lü Yukun, who was still smarting four decades later. Inagaki tried to entice the extraordinarily popular actress Yamagichi Yoshiko (b. 1920) to star in the female Chinese lead in the movie. At the time, she was known by the Chinese name Li Xianglan (J. Ri Ko¯ran) and spoke Chinese fluently; although bearing Japanese citizenship, she actually spoke Japanese with a Chinese accent by virtue of having been born and raised on the mainland – and after the war, many thought she had been a Chinese who had agreed to make pro-Japanese films. She was only too happy at the time to take part in a Sino-Japanese joint venture, but the collaboration never materialized. See Inagaki 1983: 203–04. All three principal Japanese leads – Bando¯, Tsukigata and Ishiguro – were wellknown period-piece actors at the time of filming. Only Ishiguro was remotely close in age to the character portrayed. Bando¯ and Tsukigata were actually twice the age of their characters and it shows, particularly with the former. The information in this paragraph was drawn from a number of Chinese and Japanese websites devoted to film history, such as that of the ‘Hongse jingdian’ (‘Red classics’), which features a biographical portrait of Wang Danfeng that makes no mention whatsoever of Noroshi wa Shanhai ni agaru, (http://202.108.249.200/ specials/hsjd/sanji/wangdanfeng.html) and that of Chinanews.com which discusses Wang’s career (http://www.chinanews.com.cn/zhuanzhu/2001–10–09/ 648.htm), as well a number of Japanese sites marking retrospectives of Bando¯ Tsumasaburo¯’s films (all accessed in early 2004).

References

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A Cinematic Recreation of the Senzaimaru’s Journey Eto¯ Shinkichi (1970) ‘Nihonjin no Chu¯gokukan: Takasugi Shinsaku ra no baai’ (Japanese views of China: The case of Takasugi Shinsaku and others), in Fukushima Masao (ed.) Niida Noboru hakase tsuito¯ ronbunshu¯, daisankan: Nihon ho¯ to Ajia (Essays in memory of Professor Niida Noboru, vol. 3: Japanese law and Asia), pp. 53–71. Tokyo: Keiso¯ shobo¯. Fang Baoluo (2001) ‘Han Langen’, in http://www.gstage.com/cgi-bin/f_article.cgi?article =2721. Feng Tianyu (2001) ‘Qiansuiwan’ Shanghai xing: Ribenren 1862 nian de Zhongguo guancha (The Senzaimaru’s trip to Shanghai: Japanese views of China in 1862). Beijing: Shangwu yinshuguan. Fogel, J.A. (1994) ‘The Voyage of the Senzaimaru to Shanghai: Early Sino-Japanese Contacts in the Modern Era’, in J.A. Fogel, The Cultural Dimension of SinoJapanese Relations: Essays on the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, pp. 79–94. Armonk: M. E. Sharpe. Fogel, J.A. (1996) The Literature of Travel in the Japanese Rediscovery of China, 1862–1945. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Fu, P. (1994) ‘Struggle to Entertain: The Political Ambivalence of the Shanghai Film Industry under Japanese Occupation, 1941–1945’, in Law Kar (ed.) Cinema of Two Cities: Hong Kong-Shanghai, pp. 50–62. Hong Kong: Urban Council. Fu, P. (1997) ‘The Ambiguity of Entertainment: Chinese Cinema in Japanese Occupied Shanghai, 1941 to 45’, Cinema Journal 37, 1 (Fall): 66–84. Fu, P. (1998) ‘Projecting Ambivalence: Chinese Cinema in Semi-Occupied Shanghai, 1937–41’, in Wen-hsin Yeh (ed.) Wartime Shanghai, pp. 86–109. London and New York: Routledge. Furukawa Kaoru (1973) Takasugi Shinsaku. Tokyo: Shin jinbutsu o¯raisha. Haga Noboru (1984) ‘Ahen senso¯, Taihei tengoku, Nihon’ (The Opium War, the Taiping Rebellion, Japan), in Chu¯goku kin-gendai shi no sho mondai: Tanaka Masayoshi sensei taikan kinen ronshu¯ (Problems in modern and contemporary Chinese history, essays commemorating the retirement of Professor Tanaka Masayoshi), pp. 87–123. Tokyo: Kokusho kanko¯kai. Haruna Akira (1997) ‘Nakamuda Kuranosuke no Shanhai taiken: Bunkyu¯ ninen Shanhai ko¯ nikki o chu¯shin ni’ (Nakamuda Kuranosuke’s experiences in Shanghai: On the ‘Diary of a Trip to Shanghai in 1862’), Kokugakuin daigaku kiyo¯ 35 (March): 57–96. Hibino Teruhiro (1946) Zeiyu¯roku (A record of warts and lumps), in Bunkyu¯ ninen Shanhai nikki (Diaries of Shanghai in 1862). Osaka: Zenkoku shobo¯. Ikeda Satoshi (1966) Takasugi Shinsaku to Kusaka Genzui, henkakki no sho¯nenzo¯ (Images of youth in an era of transformation: Takasugi Shinsaku and Kusaka Genzui). Tokyo: Daiwa shobo¯. Inagaki Hiroshi (1983) Nihon eiga no wakaki hibi (The early days of Japanese cinema). Tokyo: Chu¯o¯ ko¯ronsha. Ishihara Michihiro (1960) ‘Nihon to¯ shichishu: Chu¯goku ni okeru Nihonkan no ichimen’ (Seven poems on Japanese swords: One Chinese view of Japan), Ibaraki daigaku bunrigakubu kiyo¯, jinbun kagaku 11 (December): 17–26. Jen Yu-wen (1973) The Taiping Revolutionary Movement. New Haven: Yale University Press. Masuda Wataru (2000) Japan and China: Mutual Representations in the Modern Era, trans. J.A. Fogel. Richmond: Curzon Press.

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Joshua A. Fogel Miyamoto Mataji (1981) Godai Tomoatsu den (Biography of Godai Tomoatsu). Tokyo: Yu¯hikaku. Miyanaga Takashi (1995) Takasugi Shinsaku no Shanhai repotto (Takasugi Shinsaku’s report on Shanghai). Tokyo: Shin jinbutsu o¯raisha. Nakamura Ko¯ ya (1919) Nakamuda Kuranosuke den (Biography of Nakamuda Kuranosuke). Tokyo: Nakamuda Takenobu. Naramoto Tatsuya (1965) Takasugi Shinsaku, ishin zenya no gunzo¯ (Takasugi Shinsaku, a portrait on the eve of the Meiji Restoration). Tokyo: Chu¯o¯ shinsho. The North-China Herald (1862) 619, 7 June. Okita Hajime (1942) ‘Godai Tomoatsu to Shanhai’ (Godai Tomoatsu and Shanghai), Shanhai 1 (January): 16–19. Oliphant, L. (1859) Narrative of the Early of Elgin’s Mission to China and Japan, 1857–1859, vol. 1. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons. Sato¯ Saburo¯ (1984) ‘Bunkyu¯ ninen ni okeru bakufu bo¯ekisen Senzaimaru no Shanhai haken ni tsuite’ (On the sending to Shanghai in 1862 of the shogunal trading vessel, the Senzaimaru), in Sato¯ Saburo¯, Kindai Nit-Chu¯ ko¯sho¯ shi no kenkyu¯ (Studies in the history of modern Sino-Japanese relations), pp. 67–96. Tokyo: Yoshikawa ko¯bunkan. Segawa Ken’ichiro¯ (1977) Bando¯ Tsumasaburo¯. Tokyo: Mainichi shinbunsha. Shiba Ryo¯taro¯ (1971) Yo ni sumu hibi (The world in which we live). Tokyo: Bungei shunju¯. Shiba Ryo¯taro¯ (1972) Kashin (God of flowers). Tokyo: Shincho¯sha. Shimizu Akira (1995) Shanhai sokai eiga watakushi shi (A personal history of films in the Shanghai Concessions). Tokyo: Shincho¯sha. Takase Masahiro (2000) Wagagokoro no Inagaki Hiroshi (Inagaki Hiroshi in our minds). Tokyo: Waizu shuppan. Takasugi Shinsaku (1974) Yu¯-Shin goroku (Five accounts of a voyage to China), in Hori Tetsusaburo¯ (ed.) Takasugi Shinsaku zenshu¯ (Collected works of Takasugi Shinsaku), vol. 2, pp. 141–216. Tokyo: Shin jinbutsu o¯raisha. Tanaka Akira (ed.) (1991) Kaikoku (Opening the country). Tokyo: Iwanami shoten. Tanaka Toyojiro¯ (1921) Kindai no ijin: Ko Godai Tomoatsu den (A great modern man: ¯ saka: Tomoatsukai. Biography of the late Godai Tomoatsu). O Tsuji Hisakazu (1987) Chu¯ka den’ei shiwa, ichi heisotsu no Nit-Chu¯ eiga kaiso¯ki (Tales from the history of Chinese cinema, one soldier’s memoirs of Sino-Japanese films). Tokyo: Gaifu¯sha. Yahiro Fuji (1974) Jidai eiga to goju¯nen (Period movies and fifty years). Tokyo: Gakugei shorin. Yamane Sadao (2001) ‘Yamane Sadao no otanoshimi zeminaaru’ (Yamane Sadao’s marvellous seminar). Liner notes to the video of Noroshi wa Shanhai ni agaru, distrib.: Kinema Club.

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CHAPTER 7 ‘Would That I Were Marco Polo’: The Travel Writing of Shan Shili (1856–1943)

Hu Ying Department of East Asian Languages University of California, Irvine, USA

Twenty years ago, my husband came back from western Europe for the first time and told me about the Venetian Marco Polo, who served in the court of Khubilai Khan of the Yuan dynasty. At once, I was envious of his life. Nineteen years later, when I myself had the opportunity to visit Venice, I searched out his old abode and admired a marble bust of him. Having finished writing a record of my own travel, I now append a brief account of the Polos, father, son, and uncle, describing their journey to China and their activities. (Qian Shan Shili, Guimao lüxingji, Guiqian ji)

T

he turn of the twentieth century witnessed a major sea-change in the Chinese cultural landscape: what was known earlier as xixue (Western learning) was becoming xinxue (new learning), advocated by reformists as a necessity for national survival; in 1905, the civil service examination was abolished and with it disappeared the career ladder of the literati class; soon after the fall of the Qing empire in 1911, the movement to abolish classical Chinese as the literary language would sweep the entire cultural scene. This volatile period was one in which the age-old authority of wen (words, culture) was fast waning; and with it the tradition of women’s learning epitomized by the cainü (talented women) would lose legitimacy as well.1 The next generation of women writers would write in an entirely different mode; many of them would no longer remember the existence of a longstanding women’s culture.

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Around the same time, an unprecedented number of Chinese women gained access to international travel, as wives of diplomats and as overseas students.2 Unlike earlier women travellers in Chinese history, late Qing women travellers are distinguished not so much by their mobility as by their increasing visibility on the national and international scene. For the late Qing invests various, sometimes conflicting, meanings to women’s travel. An earlier discourse on travel, popular circa 1860–90, exhibits a longing for stricter ‘border control’, characterized by preoccupation with issues of (loss of) identity, loyalty to empire/nation, and espionage.3 This sense of the precariousness of travel was more intensified with regard to women travellers, as they were perceived to be the embodiment of the Chinese gender norm of the cult of domesticity. Around 1898 and later, as the nationalist discourse gained momentum, travelling, especially studying abroad, was conceived as a necessary step (or shortcut) toward reforming the citizenry. Conceived as a counterexample of the traditional Chinese woman, who was said to be ‘ignorant, apathetic, sequestered’, the travelling woman was charged with no less than the crucial task of reforming Chinese womanhood for the sake of national salvation.4 In accordance with the increasing interest in travel, the travelogue in the shape of an embassy diary gained unprecedented popularity in the last decades of the Qing. Unlike youji (travel records) of the belles-lettres tradition, these embassy diaries mostly contain observations on government, law and technology of various kinds – the typical topics that the loyal subjects of the Qing were expected to collect as useful information for the country and sovereign. Originally commissioned by the court, the diaries were soon printed by the authors through private means or commercially printed without authorization, sometimes as soon as the diaries were sent back.5 Singular among the hundreds of volumes of these embassy diaries are two slim books of travel writing by a woman named Shan Shili, who travelled with her diplomat husband to Japan in 1899 and later to Russia, Holland and Italy. I first came upon Shan Shili’s travel writing in a massive collection of embassy diaries of the late Qing, which were republished in the early 1980s with an impressive general title: ‘Marching toward the World’. The editor of the volume describes Shan Shili as a

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‘progressive woman who had contact with Western culture earlier than most of her generation, who was baptized in new learning and henceforth dared to bust out of the feudal boundaries and constraints’ (Qian 1981: 7–8). In other words, Shan is presented as the prototype of the New Woman who would burst onto the Chinese cultural stage in the 1920s. Yet in reading more of Shan’s own words, it becomes clear that, as a woman from the elite class, Shan largely identified herself with the cainü tradition throughout her life, most clearly evidenced by her dedicated effort at collecting and annotating gentry women’s poetry. It appears that Shan straddled two worlds – one waning, one emergent – as she travelled and wrote during a period of radical change, a period that witnessed a dramatic crisis in the legitimation of writing and in the role of the literatiintellectuals, a period that saw a radical change in women’s roles in Chinese society. No doubt the editor of ‘Marching toward the World’ is correct in assuming that travelling abroad played an important role in Shan Shili’s life. The question then becomes: How does travel affect Shan’s world view and self-perception, as a woman and as a writer? In an earlier essay on the relationship between the female code of domesticity and women travellers, I discussed Shan Shili’s first travel book Guimao lüxingji (Travels in the year 1903) among a host of works by other writers (Hu 1997). In the next section of this essay, I shall introduce Shan Shili’s works and briefly summarize my findings from the previous paper. The remainder of the present piece will then focus on Guiqian ji (Records collected upon retirement), her second travel book. Here, I am primarily interested in understanding how Shan Shili constituted herself within the tradition of travel writing. Given the crisis of cultural legitimation at the time, which tradition did she look to for sources of authority?

The intrepid traveller Brought up in a Zhejiang literati family known for its generations of scholars and fine book collections, Shan Shili was well versed in history, poetry and the classical tradition of Qing scholarship. She married late but apparently married well. Her husband Qian Xun (1853–1927), also from a prominent literati family in the Zhejiang region and a poet-scholar

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himself, was supportive of Shan’s literary interests. Qian Xun first began his diplomatic career as an attaché on the 1890 diplomatic mission to Europe (England, France, Belgium and Italy) with Ambassador Xue Fucheng (1838–94) and was later himself ambassador to Holland and Italy in the last years of the Qing. Shan Shili did not join her husband on the first trip, as she had young children at the time. She began travelling with her husband when she visited Japan in 1899 and, for the next four years, shuttled back and forth between Japan and China, visiting her husband with her children and later visiting her children (two sons, one son-in-law and one daughter-in-law) who were studying in Japan. In the next decade, Shan went with her husband to Russia (1903) and Italy and Holland (1907–08). Apparently she was a quick study with foreign languages. Her Japanese (both speaking and writing) was good enough that while in Japan she made many women friends and occasionally translated for her husband; she also appears to have had at least a reading knowledge of several European languages (Latin, Italian, French). In her self-conception as a traveller, Shan Shili departs significantly from two conventional portrayals of women on the road: the traditional figure and the contemporary figure. Given all the moral strictures on travelling for women, when they are represented in poetic or dramatic rendering, the woman on the road is often wrought with pathos. Her leaving home is almost always represented as a tragic event, underlined by the unfamiliar living conditions and harsh natural elements that appear to envelop the travelling woman; typically, the further she travels, the more dramatic her suffering, her experience outside the Chinese territory represented as unremitting hardship. The description of the woman under assault from inclement weather, contrasted with her apparently permanently underdressed state, serve as an oblique indication of the vulnerability of the woman outside her assigned domain. The literary conventions of the inner chamber, the harsh outside world and the physical weakness of the woman traveller combine to depict an unwilling, or unwitting, transgressor of the female code of conduct. In contemporary fiction, the upper-class woman is depicted as refusing to travel abroad with her diplomat husband because that would be a transgression of the demarcation of the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’, and therefore an inconceivable breach of her own identity as an elite Chinese

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woman. The conclusion is that only a courtesan/concubine is the appropriate candidate for the position of an ambassador’s wife, the only appropriate female traveller, having already irremediably violated the demarcation between the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’ by her previous position as the public woman. In sharp contrast to these figures, Shan Shili presents herself as an intrepid and enthusiastic traveller. As she describes it in her preface to Guimao lüxingji, she started travelling in 1899 when her husband was stationed in Japan as education commissioner: I followed him to Japan with our two sons. In the next three years, I went often, sometimes several times a year. Given the frequency of my visits and the lengthiness of my sojourns, in time I regarded Japan as home. In 1903, my husband was about to embark on a journey to Russia via the Trans-Siberian Railway. I joined him with great pleasure. (Qian 1981: 22) What is striking here is the ease with which Shan Shili treated a foreign country as though it were ‘home’, for this is a significant departure from the conventional dichotomized configuration of home/abroad. Indeed, in her travel writing at no time does Shan Shili ever cast herself in the pathetic image of one besieged by the natural elements. Not that there was no hardship during her travels, for Shan’s detailed record does not skip the more mundane aspects of travel which cannot but contain some hardship. But in her narrative, these difficulties are not aligned with conventional metaphors of the frail, cloistered female but presented as simply an inevitable part of life on the road. Most times, mishaps along the journey are briefly mentioned without dramatization, such as an instance when she became seasick for several days from Shanghai to Japan. At other times, inclement weather is even portrayed as inadvertent good fortune. For example, on 20 March 1904, Shan recorded in her diary: ‘It rained heavily all day today. My daughters-in-law and I visited the [Osaka] Exposition in the downpour. Because there were not many visitors, we were able to take our time in examining [the exposition] in detail’ (Qian 1981: 31).

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As noted above, from her many journeys abroad, Shan Shili wrote two travel books: Guimao lüxingji and Guiqian ji.6 Guimao lüxingji is a day-today account of her travels in Japan and Russia. It was first published in 1904 by a commercial publishing house in Japan, with a preface by Qian Xun and one by Shan Shili herself. Similar to the embassy diary, her travel record incorporates important or interesting sites encountered on the way, accompanied by personal and political reflections. Shan’s work, however, could not be a proper embassy diary, because she was not a diplomat but a diplomat’s wife. By dint of her gender, her travel diary is necessarily in the private realm. Some of her reflections, such as those concerning women’s education, Japan’s rapid and highly visible modernization, and racism towards the Chinese in Russia, echoed the current discourse of nationalism. On other issues such as class and assessment of Western women (based on hearsay and fairly negative), however, Shan Shili appeared rather conservative (see Widmer, forthcoming). The reason for the publication of Guimao lüxingji, as her husband Qian Xun noted in his preface, was the uniqueness of a Chinese woman travelling 200,000 li; thus ‘in an age when women’s education was burgeoning, and women’s intelligence was beginning to be excavated, there must be readers who would delight in reading it’ (‘Qian Xun tiji’ (Qian Xun’s Preface), in Qian 1981: 21). The connection between travel writing and new learning was exactly the rationale commercial publishers used to legitimate their publications of typical embassy diaries at the time. Shan Shili’s own justification differs somewhat from her husband’s: Over the past ten years, I have kept a diary without break. As I look back upon the entries, they concern quotidian matters and have no value that would justify saving them. The exception is this travelling portion of the diary, spanning 80 days, covering about 200,000 li and four foreign countries. It might benefit readers by widening their scope of knowledge. Thus I copied it out and sent it to the press, entitling it Guimao lüxingji. If women of my country were to chance to read this diary and aspire to travel themselves, then my wish would be satisfied. (Qian 1981: 22) In representing her decision to publish as an afterthought, Shan Shili is, of course, following the conventional practice of women writers before 149

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her, who typically represent the publication of their works as accidental rather than premeditated. In part hitching her work to the larger programme of women’s education and enlightenment, Shan Shili nonetheless emphasizes the desire to travel for its own sake. Guiqian ji, Shan’s second travel book, is a collection of travel-related essays that interweave the author’s firsthand experience with a serious amount of scholarly research. Rather than a day-to-day record following a travel itinerary, these essays cover a wide range of topics, including architecture, art history, Greek mythology, history of Christianity and Judaism, an account of the Jewish ghetto in Rome and a biography of Marco Polo. In discussing a wide range of little-known topics in considerable depth, Guiqian ji is thus a pioneering work. In terms of genre, Guiqian ji is not a typical embassy diary but a cross between two strains of traditional travel writing identified by R. Strassberg: yudi, the more objective, factual historical travel writing; and youji, the highly personal lyrical travel account of the belles-lettres tradition (Introduction to Strassberg 1994).7 It was published in 1910 by the Qian family press.8 Perhaps because Guiqian ji was published by the family press, there is no preface or postscript, and therefore we do not have the author’s own description of her motives in penning and publishing this book. Compared with Guimao lüxingji, there is a distinct absence of political commentary. Thus, it is more difficult to align this collection with the nationalist program of ‘Marching toward the World’. I do not think, however, that her project is purely one of ‘art for art’s sake’; rather, I would hazard that her travel supplied firsthand experience and, once combined with her interest in scholarship, furnished her with the much needed new legitimation for writing. I will attempt to prove my hypothesis by a close reading of two essays among the nine collected in Guiqian ji: ‘On St Peter’s Cathedral’ and ‘On Marco Polo’.

The connoisseur of the unknown: St. Peter’s Cathedral Compared with famous mountains or great rivers in China, written about in countless essays and poems, or scenic sites in Japan that Shan and many of her Chinese compatriots had known reasonably well, Europe at the beginning of the century was largely an unknown territory, without an 150

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accumulated literary tradition – at least, the Europe with interesting architecture and art history that materializes in Shan Shili’s narration.9 If travel in the traditional literati mode is almost always a peregrination through the past, and travel writing a way of writing oneself into the tradition accumulated at a given site, and if the general cultural predilection of East Asian travel writers and artists has been to visit the same ‘known’ spaces as an intellectual-cultural exercise in poetic and discursive filiation, what happens, then, when one visits a place without such textual accumulation? Into what tradition could the travel writer insert herself? The bulk of Guiqian ji consists of essays on art and architecture, of which ‘On St Peter’s Cathedral’ is fairly representative. Although the subject matter belongs to a relatively ‘unknown’ arena, thematically it is the closest to the belletristic tradition of youji. Shan’s writing on art and architecture shares some characteristics with a subgenre of youji, the taige mingsheng (writing on pavilions, towers and other famous sites): like the traditional subgenre, Shan’s writing always includes the history of the construction of the particular site; and like it, hers is composed of firsthand experience as well as researched material. Formally, essays in Guiqian ji are in the expansive tradition of Qing travel writing, running usually to about 15,000 words.10 Its great length gives each essay ample room to contain a good deal of historical and cultural information as well as interjections of her personal reflections on the subject. Her essays thus read more like a combination of travel writing and lectures on history. It is clear that as a traveller, Shan Shili was partial to things concerning art and architecture that she encountered on her journey; as a writer, she was especially keen on recording her experiences and reflections on matters related to art. Thus, she writes in her postscript to the essay on St Peter’s Cathedral: I have stayed in Rome twice and have no doubt visited this Cathedral some twenty or thirty times. After each visit, I wrote down something about my experience. When collected together, there seem to be too many words indeed. Yet, given the vast riches of the art collection at the Cathedral and the Cathedral’s own fine architectural workmanship, my records have not covered even one-tenth. (Qian 1981: 99) 151

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The visits to the Basilica then create occasions for Shan to write, despite her disclaimer of their resulting in ‘too many words’. The customary disclaimer, furthermore, is rhetorically used to enhance the impression that the author is trying to create – namely, the immense riches of the art collection of the Cathedral. Thus, the existence of art objects legitimates expansive writing, while writing in turn becomes a convenient reference point that shows off art objects to great advantage. Even more important, the woman traveller/writer who emerges from this description is clearly in quite a different class from typical tourists, who, just as tourists of today, ‘do’ the Basilica in a flash as they rush off to ‘do’ other famous sites. In contrast, Shan Shili sets herself up as a connoisseur of the architecture of the Cathedral and of the art objects – a connoisseur with good taste, a considerable amount of expertise and above all a serious degree of authority to write and perhaps instruct. Indeed, so many times did she visit the Cathedral that, in time, she had apparently become known to the priest-curator. One day as she passed the gold coffer of Cellini, a storage section of the Cathedral usually not open to tourists, ‘the priest must have thought me a most devout Catholic and inquired if I had seen the objects inside’. Without disabusing the priest of his assumption, Shan accepted his kind invitation. She notes that the ceremonial pallias (archbishops’ cloaks) stored there were of striking fineness and variety: ‘Each cloak is for a special occasion. The fine distinction clearly indicates the richness of the collection’. Among the treasures, her attention was drawn to ‘an embroidered Chinese cloak, with wonderfully fine workmanship and yet the pattern is strictly in accordance with the Church. It was apparently specially commissioned by Catholic priests residing in China’ (Qian 1981: 136). Perhaps Shan Shili relished a brief moment of passing as an insider, even if under the false impression of being a devout Catholic. For this moment furnished her with a rare inside view, not only of the treasures, but also of the unexpected interconnectedness of worlds: that a traveller going deep into the foreign world should be brought face to face with a treasured piece commissioned from home. Like the fine cloak, Shan Shili’s essay on St Peter’s Cathedral is itself a finely textured piece, combining a leisurely paced walk-through that gives a clear sense of the general architectural layout, with frequent

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pauses that introduce the history of the building and discussions of notable art and architectural features. Much of the time, the essay reads like an objective account, and the reader thus appears to experience the art works described. Yet, like any good teacher, the author also judiciously interjects her own voice into the narrative from time to time, so that the reader acquires an intimate sense of the place with the author as a guide. At each stopping point in the walk-through, Shan meticulously notes the Latin inscription above the portal. In addition to translating it into Chinese with a brief historical explanation, Shan also traces it back to ancient Greek and Hebrew and tracks it down to modern Italian and French. Often she cites the Bible in relation to certain features of the Roman Catholic Church; frequently, she refers to European artists and intellectuals (referring to all of them as xiru, Western literati) such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Goethe, Dante and Bacon.11 For example, in her discussion of art history, she introduces various schools of constructing the domes of cathedrals, stressing the difference between the Gothic style and the colonnade style. Religious history is woven into the fabric of the walk-through, including ancient and modern practices of the Mass, the history of the use of the cross before and after Christ, and the historical relationship between the Christian holiday of Easter and the Jewish holiday of Passover. There is a critique of the various popes throughout Vatican history, including stories of their misconduct and discussion of their corruption, with references to judgements of them in contemporary Western history. The passage about the mosaic provides one example of the depth of knowledge in Shan’s essay. At the beginning of her essay, Shan Shili notes a famous mosaic that faces inwards at the very entrance of the Cathedral, made by Giotto in 1298: ‘The mosaic is entitled “The Boat”. Because it is not placed in a well-lit position, tourists typically do not see it. But because of its importance in religious history, it should be noted’ (Qian 1981: 102). Once again, Shan sets herself apart from the typical tourist who would fail to see the work of art, let alone understand its significance. Apparently, this inspirational mosaic was placed in such an unusual spot, Shan goes on to point out, because at the time of the construction of the old St Peter’s around 324, many followers were recent pagan converts who still turned to worship Apollo before entering the

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Cathedral. The mosaic is thus placed in such a way that should worshippers turn their back on the Basilica, they would still be inadvertently paying respect to the Christian God as well. Shan notes with some glee that ‘thus both religious traditions could be accommodated’ (Qian 1981: 103), as is many times the case in Chinese religious history. Having introduced the art form of mosaic through an example, Shan later in the essay devotes a page-long note (Qian 1981: 132) to this art form, giving its history (beginning around 500 BCE), its initial use (as pavement – in Latin, pavimentum), its four schools (Sectile, Tessellatum, Vermiculatum and Scalpturatum) and their respective characteristics. The history of the mosaic then provides a unique angle on the history of the Catholic Church, which first adopted this art form and then facilitated its spread to Jerusalem, Constantinople and elsewhere. Shan Shili notes that this particular art form was able to flourish partly owing to its rare exemption from the eighth-century ecclesiastical rejection of iconography. This note thus gives in-depth knowledge of the mosaic art form and locates its development within its intimate connection to the history of the Catholic Church. In yet another part of the essay, Shan expands this knowledge further by linking it with another art form, the mural, as she remarks that a certain rare mural looks stunningly similar to a mosaic from afar, and that ‘mosaics in the Cathedral are remarkably made to be like oil painting, while oil paintings are made to look like mosaics – a logic commonly seen among Europeans’ (Qian 1981: 116). In addition to providing in-depth knowledge of art and history, Shan’s essay also incorporates the teaching of aesthetic principles. Usually these are also the points when her personal experience is incorporated into the narrative, as she expounds on principles of aesthetic judgement. In introducing a sculpture of Pope Clement XIII by the eighteenth-century artist Canova, for example, Shan notes its superb rendition of the subject, who is at the moment ‘kneeling in his prayer, his piety so vividly rendered that the viewer forgets that it is carved in stone’ (Qian 1981: 127). In commenting on an oil painting of unknown authorship that depicts St Peter’s meeting with Christ, Shan notes that the painting is particularly famous for its depiction of Peter’s eyes, ‘which are drawn in such an amazing way that no matter where the viewer stands, as he gazes up at Peter, Peter’s eyes always appear to be gazing back at him’. She then

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vouches for its verity by stating that ‘[she] tried and it was indeed true’ (Qian 1981: 136). As is appropriate to one with aesthetic judgement, Shan also occasionally shows her discriminating taste by criticizing inferior art. For example, in discussing the sculptures at the tomb of Pope Benedict XIV, Shan notes that one of the sculptures purports to depict religious piety: ‘Now “piety” is admittedly hard to represent in sculpture. This figure holds in her hand a sheet of paper with the word “piety” written on it. This is clearly a sculpture of inferior quality’ (Qian 1981: 128). In discussing a choir chapel on the right-hand side of the Basilica, usually reserved for evening Mass and particularly well known for its fine music, Shan vividly recalls her own fascination: ‘Several times, my grandchildren and I stood outside and listened to the music. Unbeknown to me, my spirit was captured, and the children also naturally took on a solemn and quiet mood’ (Qian 1981: 119). Faced with the difficult (if not impossible) task of conveying the beauty of the music to her readers, Shan chooses to describe the effect of this music on its listeners. From this aesthetic consideration, Shan then proceeds implicitly to discuss the uses of art: The New Church [Protestantism] does not consider Mass important; instead, it specializes in preaching. I believe Mass affects the emotions of both the wise and the dumb, while preaching only moves those who already follow [the doctrines]. Indeed, it is not so easy to fault the Old Church [Catholicism]. (Qian 1981: 119) These aesthetically and politically charged topics played a central role both in the history of European art and in the contemporary debate in China over the best means toward the enlightenment of the masses. In addressing these issues, however obliquely, in her travel writing, Shan Shili is bringing herself into the arena of current public-political debate. From her intimate knowledge and refined taste she thus derives her authority to write her way into the public arena usually reserved for male literati or male reformists.12

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To re-know the known: on Marco Polo ‘On Marco Polo’ presents a detailed biography of the Venetian traveller as the essay traces the genealogical story to Marco’s father and uncle, Niccolo and Maffeo Polo, then to the story of Marco Polo himself until his death in Venice. The narrative progression on the whole covers similar ground as the standard biography of Marco Polo found in the prologue of his Description of the World (c. 1298). Shan Shili’s particular angle of presentation, however, tells us much about why she is interested in this figure. In the preface, Shan introduces Marco Polo by placing him in two overlapping contexts: As a Westerner who served in the court of China [Zhonghua], Marco Polo is much admired by Westerners … . His work detailed events in China at the time and is very useful as a supplementary source. It is the requisite reading for any Westerner who is interested in Chinese affairs, as Marco Polo is considered the first scholar of Eastern studies [dongxue]. (Qian 1981: 223) These are then the reasons for Shan’s own fascination with Marco Polo and, by extension, the rationale why her readers might find the subject matter interesting: for understanding Chinese history, since Marco Polo’s work supplies useful and previously inaccessible material; and for understanding how Westerners perceive the Chinese, since Sinologists at the time were all influenced by Marco Polo. (Incidentally, her terminology in this passage is quite interesting in itself. In using the term Zhonghua rather than Yuan or Mongol dynasty, Shan Shili identifies herself with the subject of Marco Polo’s work, and thus lays claim to insider knowledge. In using the term dongxue, Shan suggests it as counterpart to xixue [Western learning].) Shan Shili’s particular historical angle is most evident in the scholarly apparatus that surrounds the biography, including her method of dating, her notes and her citations. First, the apparently minor detail of historical dating. Each time she indicates dating, which is frequent, Shan first gives the year of a given Chinese emperor’s reign, typical of official history in China, and then follows it with that of the solar calendar. This is

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unremarkable when the subject is Marco Polo’s service in China, but becomes noticeable when the subject matter concerns events in Venice. Thus, the Polo family is said to have moved to Venice in the second year of the Mingdao reign in the Song dynasty and parenthetically in the year 1032. By the same token, it must have been equally jolting to her contemporary Chinese readers to reconceive the first year of Xianzong’s reign of the Mongol dynasty as the year 1251 according to the Western calendar. This double dating system is interesting in that without explicitly arguing the point, history is presented as having different and possibly competing versions. Accordingly, the historian presents her reader with a double perspective: on the one hand, the narrative maintains the convention of traditional Chinese history and gives foreign events their significance in terms of Chinese events (change of reign and implicit events in the Chinese dynastic calendar); on the other hand, the solar calendar provides another reference point for Chinese history as it at least potentially places Chinese events in terms of world history. The issue of adopting the solar calendar was much debated around the turn of the twentieth century. Shan’s own view on this matter is characteristically pragmatic: she believes that it is convenient administratively to adopt the solar calendar, although she felt it was not necessary to abandon the traditional lunar/dynastic calendar (Qian 1981: 49). Thus, her own diary consistently gives dates in both calendars, and her own writing of history practises what she preaches. This practice reflects her cosmopolitan sense of history and her awareness of history as having different versions. Congruent with this sense of multiple versions of history, the biography of Marco Polo is studded with interlinear notes, the majority of which refer to the official Yuan shi (History of the Yuan Dynasty).13 The narrative then maintains a double perspective, focusing on the Polos in the main body of prose, while the notes supply another angle, that of historical scholarship from China. Half a century earlier than scholars who began questioning the existence of Marco Polo and the veracity of his writing on China, and a few years before the appearance of a Chinese translation of his Description of the World in 1913, Shan Shili compared Chinese and Western sources to place some of the Marco Polo legends in question.14 For example, one note describes a British scholar who argues that Marco Polo was the whistle-blower on some corrupt official in 1282

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and thus concludes that Marco Polo was a high-ranking border official in Khubilai Khan’s reign.15 Shan calls into question the issue of confusing names in the official the Yuan shi. Using historical and philological evidence, Shan points out that the same ‘Polo’ was appointed to an official position in 1270 and then in 1275, the earlier date clearly before Marco Polo came to China. Thus, she concludes, since there are many Polos recorded in the Yuan shi, there is little evidence to claim, as this British scholar did, that Marco Polo ever held the high-ranking position in the border region (Qian 1981: 225). More substantial than her skirmishes with Western scholarship is Shan’s engagement with Chinese scholarship. In employing empirical sources (historical, geographical and philological) to verify or controvert official history, Shan places herself in the Qing tradition of evidential research, kaoju.16 For an explicit example of how she locates herself among Chinese historians, we turn to her citation of another Chinese historian who was interested in the Yuan shi. Referring to a Mr Hong from Wuxian, Shan confirms that there had been Catholic priests in China before the time of Khubilai (Qian 1981: 225). This point, though well made, is not as significant as the reference itself. For the historian cited is none other than Hong Jun (Wenqing 1840–1893), ambassador to Europe from 1887 to 1890, particularly known because of his later-to-be infamous concubine Sai Jinhua (1874–1936). Despite the satirical portrait of him as an incompetent diplomat in the popular late Qing novel Niehai hua (Flower in a Sea of Retribution, 1907–25), Hong Jun was a serious historian and squarely in the tradition of other Qing scholars who sought to supplement the official Yuan shi, widely perceived to have been inadequately compiled. According to historian Tu Lien-che’s sources, Hong Jun was ‘conscientious in obtaining information from western sources and took pains to inquire from diplomatic representatives of foreign nations the correct transliteration of names’ (Tu 1943: 360). Hong Jun, it should be added, was the first Chinese historian who attempted to supplement Qing scholarship with Western sources. By citing Hong Jun, Shan designates him her own scholarly predecessor. Thus, this citation may be read as an index of Shan’s own project: her interest in Marco Polo is at least partially motivated by a historian’s desire to supplement an inadequate official history. This would have been a grand project for

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anyone, especially a woman. Never one to highlight her gender as difference, Shan nonetheless ‘transgresses’ into the traditionally male preserve of historical scholarship, once again enabled to do so by her Western knowledge. Her travels are thus intellectual adventures, while her writing transforms her travels into texts brimming with expert knowledge.

Genre and gender Exploiting the flexibility of the genre of travel writing, Shan Shili incorporates a very diverse range of subgenres in her own work. Her travel writing straddles several different subgenres: belletristic travel record (including riji, biji and youji), embassy diary and history (dynastic, religious and art). My contention is that, by exploiting the flexibility of travel writing, Shan Shili was able to bypass the restrictions of other genres, specifically generic restrictions on the gender of the author. That there were generic restrictions on gender becomes clearer if we briefly compare Shan’s works with that of the most noted woman classical scholar Wang Zhaoyuan (1763–1851). In many respects, Wang and Shan are similar: both were women from noted literati backgrounds, both accomplished in poetry and scholarship and both married to companionate husbands who supported their work and collaborated with them. Wang Zhaoyuan was considered by some as ‘the first and only’ female classical scholar, her comments and notes on classical texts revealing her ‘thorough and well-understood reading of the classics’ and her ‘sophisticated linguistic insight’.17 Her fame mostly rests with her annotated version of the Lienü zhuan (Biography of noted women, by Liu Xiang, 77–6 BCE, publ. 1806), although she also collated the Liexian zhuan (Biographies of Daoist adepts, trad. attributed to Liu Xiang with possible later additions) and the Meng shu (Book of dreams, 1813) and co-authored a collection of poetry with her husband. Interestingly, given her vast learning and interest, Wang Zhaoyuan chose to devote most of her life to and is primarily known for her work on the Lienü zhuan, a well-known didactic text typically used as an ethics textbook for girls. I would venture that it is because the Lienü zhuan is such a text that it is considered more

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legitimate for women scholars to discuss, above and beyond its antiquity and classical status. By the same token, her comments and notes on this text, besides being highly erudite and specifically concerned with linguistic accuracy, are nevertheless noted for their focus on the ethical code of female conduct. Indeed, her interest in orthodox ethical values is strong enough to lead one modern historian to consider it ‘intense, bordering almost on the pathological’ (Zurndorfer 1994: 263). Whatever Wang’s own reasons for her ethical interest, it was the combination of her scholarship and ethical concerns (or perhaps her scholarship wrapped in the package of her ethical concerns) that won her fame. Shan Shili, on the other hand, made no major ethical claims for her work, other than the understated preface where her travel is conceived as possibly an inspiration for other potential Chinese women travellers. Nor did Shan work on texts that bear legitimate ethical claims of her attention. Unlike the Lienü zhuan, a text such as the Yuan shi is directly in the public arena of literati-officials, certainly not an arena meant for women. Incidentally, it is also unlike compilations such as the Liexian zhuan or the Meng shu, private works ranked lower on the generic totem pole, usually categorized under ‘miscellaneous writing’ – the only works that Wang Zhaoyuan spent time on besides the Lienü zhuan. It is perhaps natural for a literatus such as Hong Jun, a zhuangyuan (winner of the highest marks in the palace examination, the pinnacle of the civil service examinations) and a high-ranking official, to lay claim to the task of supplementing the official dynastic Yuan shi. For Shan Shili to lay similar claims would be trespassing indeed. But then, of course, Shan Shili laid no such claims – she did her scholarly work on history under the cover of travel writing. Travel writing thus inoculated her scholarship and her invasion of the male public arena, making it possible for her to move deeper into regions associated with male writers and scholarly expertise. Two final questions remain in this preliminary investigation of a unique Chinese traveller: What did travelling abroad do for Shan Shili as a writer? And what can she tell us about how the traveller relates to the space in which she is travelling? In terms of the previously known territories such as Yuan history, travelling provided Shan Shili with rare access to other sources of

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knowledge, which she used to insert herself into the scholarly tradition of male literati. In terms of relatively unknown territories such as Western art and architecture, travelling provided her with the authority of firsthand information, which she augmented with diligent study and research. Without resorting to the traditional moral high ground that women writers like Wang Zhaoyuan used as legitimation, nor signing herself up wholeheartedly to the nationalist discourse, as later generations of women writers often did, Shan Shili thus relied on her passion for the road, her insatiable curiosity, her astonishing facility for languages and her meticulous scholarship. What her travel writing demonstrates is her ‘cultural competence’, to borrow Pierre Bourdieu’s term: her ability to comprehend a complex artifact such as the St Peter’s Cathedral, as well as her ability to supplement dynastic history, that is to say, her ability to decode new knowledge and re-encode old knowledge (see Bourdieu 1984). In Bourdieu’s analysis, the social function of ‘cultural competence’ is primarily one of ‘legitimating social difference’, that is to say, class distinction. My usage of the term here departs somewhat from his original intention, for Shan Shili’s case suggests that a demonstration of ‘cultural competence’ may be deployed to transgress gender boundaries rather than (or while also) re-legitimating class distinctions. In other words, when gender and class intersect as categories of analysis, ‘cultural competence’ need not be employed to cement the status quo as Bourdieu contends. This was a time when the cainü was still a living fact despite attacks from reformists; a time when the New Woman had not yet taken shape despite hyperbolic rhetoric announcing her arrival. At this time of considerable fluidity and uncertainty, Shan Shili developed her own viable definitions of womanhood and her own legitimizing devices for being a woman writer. In terms of how a traveller relates to the space she is travelling through, the analytical paradigm that recent scholarship has provided is primarily the colonial model. Specifically, in the recent surge of interest in nineteenth-century Euro-American women travellers (the so-called ‘female globe-trotters’), some critics have argued that these women travellers’ encounters with non-European cultures are tempered by their gendered perspective, while others have pointed to the inescapable historical connection between feminism and colonialism, noting that in

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their works the ‘oriental woman’ often serves as the Other against which the emerging Western feminist defines herself (see, among others, Choudhuri & Strobel 1992; Mohanty 1991; Mills 1991). There are occasional works on non-European women travellers, mostly Indian women who travelled to England, having ‘incorporated the Western structure of travel’ through ‘the effects of English education’ (Grewal 1996: 137). This line of scholarly inquiry is useful insofar as it underlines the crucial connection between imperialism and a traveller’s relationship to the space she is travelling through. Under the ‘imperial eyes’, to borrow Mary Louise Pratt’s term, the world is mapped as ever enlarging concentric circles (Pratt 1992). One either travels from the centre to the periphery (those from the colonizing countries) or from the periphery to the centre (those from the colonized countries). Travel writing thus almost always records the appropriating gaze the traveller casts towards the places she visits. While Shan Shili does occasionally reflect on the comparative virtues of European and Japanese women in her first travel book, her travel writing does more than returning the gaze, however. I would like to suggest that Shan’s work opens up a different critical space from the critique of colonial travel primarily based on the Indian model.18 While she too was inescapably embroiled in the global politics of Western imperialism, unlike the Indian women travellers who travelled to the colonial centre of England, Shan Shili obviously did not consider herself a ‘colonial subject’. No doubt she recognized Europe as the centre of Western culture, but her travelling was not a pilgrimage, since to her the cultural center lay without question in China. On the other hand, although her ‘centre’ remained the Qing empire and the Chinese tradition, she was no longer in the same position as the imperial mandarins travelling to ‘barbaric lands’. Authorized by her travel and her extensive knowledge of the West, her relationship with the centre of the Chinese empire had been radically transformed. As a woman and as a writer, her role was profoundly, albeit subtly, changed. Living in late nineteenth to early twentieth century China and travelling to a world beyond the Qing empire, Shan Shili could not but face multiple, overlapping powers with competing centres, which she invariably compared, criticized, and appropriated for her own uses. Her

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‘envy’ of Marco Polo suggests a different model of the world – not one empire, but a world with multiple centers; and the traveller in such a world is no longer one with undying loyalty to an emperor, but a savvy cosmopolitan with wide-ranging interest, expertise in many fields, and above all the authority to write in areas previously forbidden.

Notes 1

2

3

4

5

6

Elsewhere, I argue that there was a conscious effort to erase the cainü from historical memory, especially her authority to write and her participation in history-making. For the cainü does not lend herself easily to the monolithic image of ‘the oppressed’ Chinese women. The effort to erase the cainü begins with an epistemological re-definition of cai, or what counts as ‘real’ learning (Hu Ying 2000). As wives (or sometimes as secondary wives) of diplomats, a number of women travelled with their husbands to Europe as soon as the Qing began sending envoys abroad, starting from 1876 to 1878, with the first ambassador Guo Songtao’s secondary wife, née Liang, and followed from 1878 to 1886 by Ambassador Zeng Jize’s wife, née Liu. From about 1901, women joined the swelling ranks of overseas students in Japan (Saneto¯ 1982: 33–35). Officials at court opposed to sending diplomats abroad argued that ‘as subjects to the emperor, one does not serve outsiders’, thus invoking the paramount danger of grand treason. Those supportive of sending diplomats argued that they could be used to gather political/military information for the sovereign (Wang 1972: 20–21; Hsü 1978). For example, the foremost reformist Liang Qichao wrote a biography of a Chinese woman educated in America, and he hitched her story to the nationalist reform agenda with which his name is instantly associated (Liang 1936: 120). Zhang Yide published his own travelogue in 1884. The same year saw the unauthorized publication of Ambassador Zeng Jize’s travel diary in Shanghai, a fact he only came to know later in Paris. Ambassador Guo Songtao’s diary was officially printed while he was still abroad and it so outraged the conservatives in the court that the printing plate had to be destroyed. See Zhong Shuhe, ‘Cong guifang dao guangda de shijie’ (From the inner chambers to the great wide world), in Qian 1981: 39. In addition to these, Shan also authored nine other books in her lifetime, four of which were published: an anthology of poetry by Qing women (Qing guixiu zhengshi zaixüji, 5 volumes), a biographical dictionary of Qing women writers (Qing guixiu yiwen lüe, 5 volumes), a combined collection of poetry by her husband and herself (Shoucishi shichao) and several volumes on family management and child rearing. Other than the two travel books, I have only seen the anthology of women’s poetry. The rest of the bibliography is according to Sun Shiyue (1995: 30–35).

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8

9

10

11

12

13

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Strassberg (1994: 33) points out that it is common practice in the more historical mode to include ‘the compilation and processing of a variety of information including other texts’. All of Shan’s other works were published by the Qian family press, except the 1904 Japan-Russia travelogue. It is evident that her works won the support of her male relatives. Her husband Qian Xun wrote a preface to her first published travelogue, Guimao lüxingji. Her brother Shan Pei (1877–1929) published a portion of Shan Shili’s biographical dictionary of Qing women writers in 1928 in the Zhejiang Library Journal, with which he was then affiliated. Her brother-in-law, the May 4th iconoclast Qian Xuantong (1887–1939), assisted her in collating and proofreading the later entries of the biographical dictionary for a good decade until his own early death. Her eldest son, Qian Daosun (1887–1962 [1968?]), supplied her with a guide to Italy, specially written by him for this very purpose, which gave her the necessary Italian terms for the architectural and historical references in her second travel book Guiqian ji. Europe was not, however, an entirely clean slate for Shan. In the embassy diary of Xue Fucheng, ambassador to Europe between 1890 and 1894, there were brief references to Raphael and the techniques of Western painting. Since Shan’s husband was an attaché in Xue’s diplomatic entourage, and since Xue published his diary in 1892, it is highly likely that Shan had read Xue’s travel diary (Xue 1985). In its earlier form during the Tang dynasty, the youji was usually a lyrical short essay of about 600–800 words, typically written by exiled literati-officials; in late imperial China, several famous travellers recorded their journeys in diary form, with more detailed renditions of itinerary and geographical information; in the high Qing, the youji was affected by the classical revival and tended to incorporate scholastic discussions of historical and geographical changes. The sources for Shan Shili’s writing are not given in her text, except for one reference to her son Qian Daosun’s short article on the history and structure of cathedrals, written expressly as a tour guide for her. After years of schooling in Japan, Qian Daosun went to Italy for higher education, in time graduating from the University of Rome. However, the vocabulary he provides in his essay is far less extensive than what appears in Shan Shili’s work, which leads me to suggest the possibility of Shan having some proficiency in reading European languages, since much of the information Shan gives can be found in guidebooks written in European languages. My own information comes from a modern reissue (Smith & Barnes 1975). Christianity was one the most hotly debated subjects at the time, centring on the purported link between modernity and Protestantism. Shan’s husband Qian Xun also wrote a lengthy memorial on the spread of Christianity in China. For a historical view of the debate, see Fairbank (1974). For a recent reappraisal of the debate on religion and modernity, see Wang (1994: 381–424). Other notes give precise information on geographical locations that the Polos traversed, collating ancient names with modern ones, involving terms in Italian, Russian, Central Asian languages and Chinese. The geographical, historical and philological knowledge necessary for this undertaking is, to say the least, remarkable.

Hu Ying 14 Of course, there have been doubters all along, including turn-of-the-century adventurers who tried to verify Marco Polo’s route and failed to do so. But only in the 1960s was serious inquiry using both Chinese and Western sources first launched by German Mongolists, notably Herbert Franke (Wood 1995). 15 Shan does not mention the name of this British scholar. The earliest usage of the Yuan shi in Western scholarship that I can locate is by the French Mongolist Gaston Pauthier, who in 1865 suggested that one of the Polos mentioned in the Yuan shi is Marco Polo (Wood 1995: 135). 16 For the development and significance of evidential research, see Elman (1984). 17 For a detailed account of Wang Zhaoyuan, see Hu (1985 [1957]: 242–45). For recent scholarship, see Harriet Zurndorfer’s biography of Wang (Ho 1998: 227–30). 18 Thus I hesitate to use the popular term ‘contact zone’, developed first by Pratt and later refined by others such as Grewal, because it specifically denotes ‘the space of colonial encounters’.

References Bourdieu, P. (1984) Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Choudhuri, N. and Strobel, M. (eds) (1992) Western Women and Imperialism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Elman, B. (1984) From Philosophy to Philology: Intellectual and Social Aspects of Change in Late Imperial China. Cambridge: Harvard University Press (Council on East Asian Studies). Fairbank, J.K. (ed.) (1974) The Missionary Enterprise in China and America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Grewal, I. (1996) Home and Harem: Nation, Gender, Empire and the Cultures of Travel. Durham: Duke University Press. Ho, C.W. (ed.) (1998) Biographical Dictionary Chinese Women: The Qing Period (1644–1911). Armonk: M.E. Sharpe. Hsü, I. (1978) ‘Late Ch’ing Foreign Relations, 1866–1905’, in D. Twitchett and J.K. Fairbank (eds) The Cambridge History of China: Late Ch’ing, 1800–1911, Part 2, pp. 70–129. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hu Wenkai (1985 [1957]) Lidai funü zuzuo kao (A survey of women writers through the ages). Shanghai: Guji chubanshe. Hu Ying (1997) ‘Re-configuring Nei/Wai: Writing the Woman Traveller in the Late Qing’, Late Imperial China 18, 1 (June): 72–99. Hu Ying (2000) Tales of Translation: Composing the New Woman in China, 1898–1918. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Liang Qichao (1936) ‘Ji Jiangxi Kang nüshi’ (Ms Kang of Jiangxi), in Liang Qichao, Yinbing shi heji: wenji (Collected writings from the Ice-Drinker’s studio: collected essays). Shanghai: Zhonghua shuju, juan 1. Mills, S. (1991) Discourses of Difference: An Analysis of Women’s Travel Writings and Colonialism. New York: Routledge.

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The Travel Writing of Shan Shili Mohanty, C. (1991) ‘Cartographies of Struggle: Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism’, in Mohanty, C.T., Russo, A., and Torres, L. (eds) Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism, pp. 1–47. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Pratt, M.L. (1992) Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. New York: Routledge. Qian Shan Shili (1981 [1904]) Guimao lüxingji, Guiqian ji. Hunan: Renmin chubanshe. Saneto¯ Keishu¯ (1982) Zhongguoren liuxue Riben (The history of Chinese students in Japan), trans. Tan Ruqian and Lin Qiyan. Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong Press. Smith, J. and Barnes, A.S. (1975) St. Peter in Rome. Rome: Editalia. Strassberg, R. (1994) Inscribed Landscapes: Travel Writing from Imperial China. Berkeley: University of California Press. Sun Shiyue (1995) Zhongguo jindai nüzi liuxueshi (A history of modern Chinese women overseas students). Beijing: Beijing heping chubanshe. Tu Lien-che (1943) ‘Hong Chün’ in Hummel, A. (ed.) Eminent Chinese of the Ch’ing Period, pp. 360–61. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. Wang Hui (1994) ‘Weibo yu Zhongguo xiandaixing wenti’ (Weber and the question of China’s modernity), Xueren 6: 381–424. Wang Zengcai (1972) Qingji waijiaoshi lunji (Selected essays on late Qing diplomatic history). Taibei: Commercial Press. Widmer, E. (forthcoming) ‘Shan Shili and Isabella Bird’, Late Imperial China. Wood, F. (1995) Did Marco Polo Go to China? London: Secker and Warburg. Xue Fucheng (1985) Chushi Ying Fa Yi Bi siguo riji (Embassy diary during sojourns in England, France, Italy and Belgium). Changsha: Yuelu shushe. Zurndorfer, H. (1994) ‘How To Be a Good Wife and a Good Scholar at the Same Time: 18th century prescriptions on Chinese female behavior, a preliminary investigation’, in Vandermeersch, L. (ed.) La Société Civile Face à l’État dans les Traditions Chinoise, Japonaise, Coréanne et Vietnamienne, pp. 249–70. Paris: École Française d’Extrême-Orient.

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CHAPTER 8 A Letter from the Past and the Present: Tokutomi Roka’s ‘Autumn in Ryo¯mo¯’

Susanna Fessler Department of East Asian Studies State University of New York, Albany, USA

I

n 1893, a young writer named Tokutomi Kenjiro¯ (pen name Roka, 1868–1927) set off from Tokyo on a few days’ journey to the Ryo¯mo¯ region in the western mountains of central Japan. This in itself was unremarkable, as countless others had made similar journeys before. What was noteworthy was the travelogue he produced as a result of this trip. A fascinating mix of tradition and modernity, this travelogue shows us how travel writing in Japan metamorphosed during the late nineteenth century into a unique subgenre that incorporated both Japanese and Western sensibilities.1 The Ryo¯mo¯ region encompasses Gunma and Tochigi prefectures in Japan, centrally located on the island of Honshu¯, west of Tokyo. In western Gunma is an area known as Usui, home of a mountain pass 956 metres high. This area figures far back in Japanese history; in the Chronicles of Japan (Nihon shoki, c. 720 CE) and the Ancient Records (Kojiki, c. 712 CE) a myth of events near this pass is recounted. Throughout literary history the pass has been known for its spectacular autumn foliage. In the late nineteenth century the area also became a summer retreat where Tokyoites and expatriate foreigners alike escaped from the oppressive heat of the city. Finally, the area is part of a longer land route, the Nakasendo¯, between Tokyo and the regions to the south and west.2 All of these characteristics combined to make Ryo¯mo¯ an enticing destination for Tokutomi Roka who, like so many others, left the urban landscape of Tokyo to take in the rural landscape and experience this history.

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Tokutomi Roka was born at the beginning of the Meiji period and was the seventh and last child of a prominent samurai family in southern Kyushu. Roka’s eldest four siblings were girls. The girls were followed by three boys, the second of whom died in infancy. Roka’s older brother, Soho¯ (1863–1957) was thus the family heir and presumptive patriarch. This fact left Roka forever in Soho¯’s shadow and made the personality difference between the two more distinct: Soho¯ was, by all accounts, gregarious, strong, energetic and outgoing. Roka was introverted and scholarly. Whereas Soho¯ pursued two successful careers – one in publishing and one in government – Roka survived as a writer largely through his brother’s employment, depending on Soho¯ to provide patronage. Soho¯ was well educated, both in ‘Western learning’ – a controversial tack to take in the early Meiji period (1868–1912) – and in the East Asian classics. Roka, too, received a solid education, but was not pushed to the extent that Soho¯ was. In sum, the family put all its hopes on Soho¯ and left Roka largely to fend for himself. Roka often followed in his brother’s footsteps, although it would seem rather begrudgingly. As Soho¯ left university before graduation, so did Roka. As Soho¯ went into the publishing industry, so did Roka. As Soho¯ converted to Christianity, so did Roka. Yet, at each step, Roka’s incentives differed. For example, Soho¯ left university in political protest; Roka left because of a woman of whom his family disapproved. Roka thus grew up alienated from, yet dependent upon, his brother. In 1890, Soho¯ began publication of a newspaper titled Kokumin shinbun (People’s Newspaper) in Tokyo. Roka was hired as a writer and translator (he was fluent in English), and was put to work producing essays in which he had little or no interest. Among his tasks, he was asked to translate biographies of John Bright (1811–89), Richard Cobden (1804–65) and William Gladstone (1809–98), all prominent political leaders in Britain. The work did not please him – most biographies of Roka indicate that he thought of it as drudgery (Strong 1970: 26–27) – but on occasion he was offered respite, such as the trip he took to Ryo¯mo¯. Roka took his journey in early November, when the autumn leaves would be at their peak. He visited the towns of Karuizawa and Yokokawa, and the Usui Pass before continuing on to the Myo¯gi region. Roka tells us that the purpose of his trip was to accompany his mother to his sister’s house, but this happens in the first few paragraphs and from that point on the journey was a solitary one. 168

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Roka’s focus is largely on the natural landscape, as is traditional in Japanese travel writing. A more complete history of Japanese travel writing and its themes and motifs has been given elsewhere, but suffice it to say here that Japanese travel writers work from a deep, long-held literary tradition (Fessler 1999). Their work is usually a mix of prose and poetry, both of which focus more on the landscape than on the traveller. Prominent travel writers in the premodern periods include the poet-priest Saigyo¯ (1118–90) and the haiku poet Matsuo Basho¯ (1644–94). The latter also travelled through Usui, and wrote of it in his work, Sarashina nikki (Sarashina Diary). Traditional travel writing (kiko¯ bungaku) is dependent on precedent and natural imagery; authors are expected to write of scenery already firmly established by earlier writers or artists, albeit with their own personalized flourish. Urban landscapes rarely figure in traditional travel literature, with the occasional exception of the capital city. When the capital does appear, it is an object of longing and nostalgia, not a destination. How do Roka and his travelogue fit into this tradition? When he set off from Tokyo to see the autumn foliage of Ryo¯mo¯, he was taking a trip that many others had taken before him. Not only had many travelled that road, but many had written about its glories. Roka’s context was new, however, in that he was a product of the modern age. Critics of Roka’s ‘Autumn in Ryo¯mo¯’ note that he included modern elements, most notably in his reference to Wordsworth (see below), and that he incorporated traditional elements in his choice of style. However, I would argue that the modern and the traditional are evident in more ways than just this; Roka copies Western travelogues in his diction and form, and he copies traditional travelogues in his allusions and focus. As the Meiji period was a wonderful pastiche of East and West, so was ‘Autumn in Ryo¯mo¯’.

Diction and form One of the first things readers notice about ‘Autumn in Ryo¯mo¯’ is the language that Roka chose. He writes this essay in the epistolary style (so¯ro¯bun), a grammar based in classical Japanese but with epistolary verbal endings. Although the epistolary style was common in the

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Tokugawa period, by mid-Meiji when the reform movement to unify the literary and vernacular languages (genbun itchi) began in earnest, the epistolary style had fallen out of common usage. Indeed, the personal letters Roka wrote in 1893 were not written in the epistolary style (Tokutomi 1930: 69–72). This leads to the conclusion that the choice of using this style in ‘Autumn in Ryo¯mo¯’ was clearly a literary affectation. By opting for the antiquated epistolary style, Roka was making a statement about where to place this essay: in the classical tradition. Or was he? The caveat was this: although the epistolary style was anchored in tradition, using it in travel literature was not standard. This point is lost on many Japanese commentators who have identified the epistolary style as the classical element of the work. Fukuda Kiyoto writes: The special characteristic of this work is the epistolary style, one that conveys the locale coloured in autumn hues. Despite the old-fashioned epistolary style, that which gives the essay a feeling of freshness and newness is the natural poetic personality of the author, who is familiar with the poetry of Wordsworth and others. (Fukuda 1974: 386)3 However, the fact is that in the canon of classical Japanese travel literature there are no works written in the epistolary style. Such celebrated titles as Tosa Diary (Tosa nikki), Journal of the Sixteenth Night Moon (Izayoi nikki), Record of the Eastern Sea Road (To¯kai kiko¯), Journey in Kanto¯ (To¯kan kiko¯), and Narrow Road to the Deep North (Oku no hosomichi) are all written as memoirs or diaries, not as correspondence. Thus, Roka’s epistolary style is actually more a reflection of Western influence than Japanese influence. Travel essays published in the West in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries often take the form of reportage or correspondence. That is, they are written as reports with personal commentary included, much as a letter would be written. They are aimed at a general audience and provide the audience with a feel for the locale. The travelogues are written in prose. Likewise, ‘Autumn in Ryo¯mo¯’ was a report on Roka’s journey, with personal commentary included. He wrote in prose (in this case, the epistolary style) and aside from two poems or partial poems, did not include verse. If he were to follow traditional travelogue style in Japan, personal commentary would be minimal and

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poetry would have been an integral component to the work. Instead (and counter-intuitively), by choosing this style Roka indirectly flavoured his work with a Western sensibility. Another unusual aspect of Roka’s prose is that he chose many Sinicized and antiquated locutions that could not have been easy for his readers to decipher. The resulting text is dense and flowery, sometimes to a fault. While on the surface this may have the appearance of an ‘oldfashioned’ style, it is not; the complex diction does not ape canonical Japanese travel literature. Traditional travel narratives characteristically have short sentences, the conceit being that they were written quickly, while on the road. One imagines the author jotting down a few lines while sitting by the side of the road for a rest, or at the end of the day before travel fatigue carried him or her off to sleep. Even when the travelogue was edited and polished for years after the fact, this style is maintained.4 Roka’s travelogue contains long sentences, many of which toy with grammar in an elusive way. He is long-winded and often writes what fairly can be called purple prose. What results is much more like what Roka’s Western contemporaries were writing than what his Japanese predecessors were writing. Here is a passage from the text: I, of little travel experience, had only seen the autumn foliage of Kyoto’s Sanbi region, and was surprised at the view in Ryo¯mo¯. From the rocky mountain where I stood, the eastern front of Usui was entirely a brocade. To my left is a mountain valley that is a solid brocade, on the right is another mountain valley that is a solid brocade, the whole mountain is a brocade, the mountain is aflame, aflame in all the colours, one cannot call it a peak or valleys; rather it is a beautiful burning sight – a spectacle – and without thinking I cried out in awe. The yellows, the auburns, the browns, the yellowish-browns, all the other colours; I can conceive of them but cannot find the words; I can see them, but I cannot conceive of them; in this brocade landscape stained in every hue, over there on top of a rock is a solitary yellow maple, like cinnabar; over here at the bottom of the valley is a single branch that is bright red, like fresh blood; over there, next to a pine tree, there are two or three trees that are a deeper, darker red than the red of the setting sun; all the while, when I look at this [scene], which

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wakes up the myriad layers of brocade colours like a torchlight across the whole mountain, I regret that I am not a poet. (Tokutomi 1974: 163) I have attempted here to reproduce the run-on sentence in the original, although in English the grammar and punctuation are more demanding than in Japanese. Roka switches subjects in midstream, and repeats the image of a ‘brocade’ so many times that it loses its impact. He recognizes that verse would be a more appropriate and effective format than prose, but clearly feels that he is not qualified to compose it. In contrast, consider a passage from New Zealander William Gray Dixon’s (1856–1928) Land of the Morning, written in 1877 when he travelled along precisely the same route as Roka would 15 years later: The transcendent beauty of our route … quite baffles description. A winding road, generally from 100 to 150 feet above the pools and rapids of a mountain stream; luxuriantly foliaged hills rising continuously from the river’s bed, tier upon tier, until the far upper heights seemed almost to ‘melt in the silent summer heaven’; the bendings of our route revealing similar meanderings in the course of the river, as it whirled in eddies round some rocky headland, or emerged with a smooth green surface from beneath overhanging boughs, and filling the horizon with more and still more profusely wooded mountains; rills of ice-cold water from the springs in the upper recesses issuing from the dingles by the roadside and leaping over the grey rocks to join the main river and in union with it keep their compact with the distant sea; – all luxuriating in the untrammelled bounties of nature came upon the mind with such overwhelming beauty, that anything like an adequate description is impossible. (Matsuo 1966: 92, as cited in Cortazzi 1987–88: 79)5 Like Roka, Dixon composed run-on sentences and repeated himself in an often infelicitous manner. The main difference between Roka and Dixon is that the latter focused on the immediate landscape, regardless of literary precedence, while the former focused on the autumn foliage (the stock image of the region in history).

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As a second contrasting example, consider Matsuo Basho¯’s Sarashina Diary. Basho¯ travelled through the region in autumn, but barely mentioned the landscape. An arduous journey that took weeks resulted in a terse travelogue in which he wrote: ‘We passed through many a dangerous place, such as Kakehashi, Nezame, Saru-ga-baba, Tachito¯ge, the road always winding and climbing, so that we often felt as if we were groping our way in the clouds’.6 There is no further description of the view or flora and fauna. Other early travellers to the region, such as Fujiwara Tomonari mirror Basho¯’s brevity. Admittedly, both Basho¯ and Tomonari had secondary, religious inspiration for their journeys; their dramatically different styles still show us how much Roka had absorbed from Western works, and how little traditional Japanese literary style figured in his prose.

Allusion Japan in 1893 was rapidly joining the Industrial Revolution of the West. In Usui, the opening of a railway line to the south (in ‘new’ Karuizawa) and the abolition of the alternate attendance system had reduced ‘old’ Karuizawa to a backwater town.7 Yet, this is where Roka chose to travel because he wanted to experience, albeit vicariously, literary history. That is, he wanted to travel the same route as famous authors before him, and he wanted to be in places where famous events had taken place. This was a facet of Roka’s traditional side. Usui certainly played an important role in Japanese history and Roka did an excellent job of incorporating many of the connotations associated with the region. Among the allusions that Roka offered in ‘Autumn in Ryo¯mo¯’ was one to the myth of Yamato Takeru no Mikoto (as recounted in the Ancient Records) looking toward Azuma and grieving for his lost maid: ‘This place, even now, holds in secret the ancient past when Ko usu no mikoto stood on this peak and turned his head to stare at the sky above Azuma, lamenting his lost princess’ (Tokutomi 1974: 162).8 The reference is a conflation of two passages from the Ancient Records: Book Two, Chapters 84 and 85. In Chapter 84 Yamato Takeru laments the loss of his wife, the Princess Tachibana, while crossing Ashigara Pass (in present-

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day Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo). In Chapter 85 he travels west to Shinano (the area in which Tokutomi Roka was travelling) and crosses the mountains there (Philippi 1968: 241–45). The chapters are fairly well known, and Roka could expect his readers to recognize the allusion. Later, Roka noted a monument erected with an inscription: About seventeen or eighteen blocks up above the shrine where Yamato Takeru passed, there is now a large stone where [Yamato Takeru] came and gazed; the stone has ‘Thinking of One’s Wife Stone’ carved into it. Below the pass there is a stele erected with the following poem by Seki no Hashimori: In ages past Reflecting over again Mt Usui, Even now the beloved Sky over the Azuma road.9 (Tokutomi 1974: 162) With these passages, Roka established the theme of lamentation. The theme comes not only from the Ancient Records and the Chronicles of Japan, but also from a source Roka does not mention directly, the Manyo¯shu¯ (Collection of Myriad Leaves). In the Manyo¯shu¯ are the following two poems which were written in Usui: At sunset In sun that crosses The mountains of Usui, My wife’s fluttering sleeves Were clearly visible. (Poem 3402 of the Man’yo¯shu¯) In the faint light The mountainside at Usui – When I crossed it, I could not forget My beloved wife.10 (Poem 4407 of the Man’yo¯shu¯)

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Thus, we see that Usui evoked a sad feeling of loss. What Roka did not mention, or even allude to, was that the poetic association of Usui – that of longing for one’s wife or soul mate – must have been particularly painful for him. Six years earlier he had fallen deeply in love with a student at Do¯shisha Girls’ High School, Yamamoto Hisae. Although the affair was complicated, the end result was that Roka was forced to sever all ties with Hisae because the families disapproved of the match.11 It was a relationship that was difficult for him to forget, even after he married Harada Aiko in 1894. It was natural for Roka to head to Usui, then, to lament his loss of Hisae. At the point when he was travelling in Usui he had returned to live in Tokyo from a sort of self-exile in Kyushu, but his relationship with his brother was still rocky from the incident involving Hisae, and also because Soho¯ was his employer in a job he disliked. The trip to Usui was an escape from that existence, if only temporarily. Germane to this, Roka wrote: If I am not someone in a painting by Wang Wei [701–761] then I must be someone in a poem by Wei Yingwu [737–c. 792]. My whole spirit feels as if it is dripping like water into the quietude. It is like the line from the Meng Jiao poem, ‘Travellers in the mountains are honest all by themselves’.12 The road enters an area where there are many fallen leaves; the sound of the rain grows much louder. (Tokutomi 1974: 163) The Chinese poem that he quotes in part above is a four-couplet poem about the different mindset one has in the mountains, particularly in contrast to the life of a bureaucrat in the city. The implication is that being in the mountains calms the mind and rectifies the self; Roka probably felt that this very much applied to him, as although he was not a bureaucrat, his life in the city was unpleasant and, without the love of his life, one of drudgery. The mountains offered an escape not only from his job, but also from his family’s oppression. Abruptly, after the passage quoted above, Roka claimed that as he walked through the rain he was put in mind of the poems of William Wordsworth (1770–1850), which he carried in his pocket. Thinking of the line, ‘Soft is the music that would charm forever’, I realized that those poets who drunkenly criticized the world were not 175

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immortal; examining the line, ‘Of joy in widest commonality spread’, I realized that unsympathetic poets, those who are not true poets of the common people, can never survive through the ages. (Tokutomi 1974: 163) The lines (quoted in English) come from two separate poems: ‘Not Love, Not War, Nor the Tumultuous Swell’ (1823) and ‘Home at Grasmere’ (Part I, Book I of The Recluse, c. 1806). Roka was making two points. First, that the Daoist poets of China, who characteristically drank copious amounts of alcohol and lived lives of abandon, looked for immortality in the wrong place. Instead of the hedonism of inebriation, they should have focused on the quiet, eternal aspects of the natural world around them. In other words, their philosophy was a human construct and hence fallible. We also later understand that these poets, by nature of their social rank, could not appreciate the commoner’s emotions and thus were inferior. Second, Roka was emphasizing the importance of a common purpose. He recognized Wordsworth as a celebrant of the common man and common language, and went on to compare Basho¯ with Wordsworth (Basho¯, although of samurai stock, deigned to mention commoners in his poems when other poets did not; Basho¯’s poetry was also considered more accessible than the typical waka of earlier eras). What is odd, and difficult to convey in translation, is that Roka used particularly difficult language to praise simple language. When he refered to common language, however, he may have had in mind language that addressed common concerns, irrespective of actual diction. These thoughts of commonality carried Roka toward a political transition: The strife between capital and labour, prosperity and poverty grows greater and greater, and it is certain that aridity and pathos in the world shall increase. The superior should teach empathetic selfcontrol and patience [in helping] the inferior achieve their goals. They should lead there and comfort here; at the very least, it is first the responsibility of religion and second the responsibility of poetic literary studies to distribute spiritual wealth evenly in society. Setting aside a discussion of the decline of religion, I worry now about the

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stagnation of poetry today, such as there has never been before. (Tokutomi 1974: 163) This is the only overtly political passage in the entire work, which otherwise focuses on nature and travel. It reads awkwardly, both for its diction – words like ‘capital’ and ‘labour’ seem out of place among the ‘brocades of foliage’ – and for the lack of context – why mention economics here? To the modern reader, this political statement is out of place, but to the contemporary reader, it was salient to a debate of the time. In April 1890, another of Soho¯’s publications, Kokumin no tomo, had launched a column called ‘Ro¯do¯sha no koe’ (The labourer’s voice), dedicated to the current debate about labour laws (or lack thereof) in Japan. Work conditions for the average blue-collar worker in the 1890s were poor at best, and many periodicals (not just Soho¯’s) published stories on the problem. It was a debate that reached it peak at about the same time that Roka took his trip. It is thus no surprise that it appears here, sandwiched between Tang poetry and autumn foliage. This is a distinctly modern element, though, and one that has no particular tie to the travelogue tradition.

Focus With a few exceptions such as the political commentary mentioned above, Roka’s focus is on the historical and natural significance of the Usui region. He had much to build on – the myths of the Ancient Records and Chronicles of Japan, waka poems from the Manyo¯shu¯, haikai poetry by Basho¯, plus many miscellaneous references. Roka began on the right foot by choosing the proper season: autumn. It was a quiet time in the area, as all summer holiday-makers would have decamped for the city. It was the perfect time to see Usui, because the colours of the foliage would have been at their peak. Although Roka does not explicitly tell his readers this, it is implicit that this is truly the right moment to visit. The remnants of the summer take the form of signs in English advertising a Christian meeting group; in other words, foreigners go to Usui at the wrong time and cannot possibly enjoy it for its true beauty. But no matter – by the

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time the trees have changed colour, the foreigners will all have left for the season, and Roka (representative of the Japanese) will have free reign of the place. Autumnal colours dominate almost all of his landscapes: they are brilliant, profound and luminous. It is also important to note that when he was not in the presence of the ‘right’ flora, he refused to substitute the ‘wrong’ ones. Unless one was familiar with codified seasonal referents, though, this careful focus would not be evident. Let us examine a contemporary travelogue of Usui by a Westerner (who was unaware of the seasonal referents) to see how Roka’s writing differs. Mary Crawford Fraser (1851–1922), the wife of Hugh Fraser, the British Ambassador to Japan from 1889 to 1894, lived in Tokyo but holidayed in Usui. The Frasers built a summer retreat in Karuizawa (just west of the Usui pass) in 1890 and Mary spent the oppressively hot summers there. They dubbed it their ‘Palace of Peace’. Her experiences are well documented in the letters she wrote during that time, and they provide a meaningful contrast to Roka’s travelogue (see Fraser 1982). Indeed, Roka mentions visiting the Frasers’ summer house, although it was empty because the Frasers had repaired to Tokyo at the end of the season. First, Roka’s passage: There are many country houses here of both domestic and foreign dignitaries. There is, up the mountains from the station, the summer house of the British Ambassador. When I took a look up the road, I saw that a natural hedge created a hedge line, and a natural spring created a pool. Pine trees were left to grow untamed in the garden, and in the centre there was the house, which is an eclectic blending of Western and Japanese [aesthetics]. It is an elegant abode, and one that makes me think of the summertime as a pure, clean time. The area of the estate is 2,000 tsubo. The master was gone for the season, and the door was locked. There was no housekeeper around. The Western flowers were desolate and gave a nod to the autumn season; a babbling brook made the only sound. (Tokutomi 1974: 161–62) Here Roka was in a poetic bind, as the flowers were ‘wrong’ and he was surrounded by pines instead of colourful deciduous trees. His response was to play down the flora and instead focus on other characteristics of the property. 178

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Mary Fraser was more verbose in her letters than Roka was in his essay, but the following short excerpt about the grounds around the summer house is representative of her tone and focus: Over my head the pine branches meet in arches of kindly green; the pillars of my hall are warm brown trunks, roughened in mystic runes by the sun and the wind, and full of sweet gums that catch and cling to my hand if I lay it against the bark; underfoot a hundred layers of pine needles have been weaving a carpet so elastic that the weariest foot must press it lightly; and, lest I should want for music, a stream, deep-running between hedges of wild clematis and white hydrangea and crowding wisteria tangle, sings a cool tune near by, while the hum of happy insects in the air sounds the high note of noon, the hot Eastern noon, when every bird is still. (Fraser 1982: 200–01) Mary Fraser responded to the place in an immediate sense, and because she could not read the Manyo¯shu¯ or Basho¯’s poetry, there was no way for her to know what she was ‘supposed’ to appreciate about Usui. To her credit, she mentioned many plants by name – the hydrangea and the wisteria, in particular, make frequent appearances in Japanese literature – but they are not the ‘right’ ones. That is, wisteria is a seasonal referent to spring, and hydrangea is a seasonal referent to summer. It does not matter, from a Japanese standpoint, that she did indeed see these flowers blooming in Usui. What matters is that Usui was not known for these flowers, so they should be beneath notice in a travelogue. Roka, on the other hand, mentioned relatively neutral flora: the pines (which can be associated with the end of the year, but were not necessarily) and the hedge (which can be associated with both summer and winter, depending on its condition). By doing this, Roka took the literary safe road instead of using distinct seasonal referents in an odd manner. The rule of thumb when writing travelogues, then, was to ignore or play down the seasonally incorrect referents, even if they occupied a prominent part of the landscape; and, regardless of awkwardness, mention the correct seasonal referents wherever possible. One of Roka’s secondary foci was the rain. It took on a life of its own in the sounds it made falling on the trees and grasses. The name Usui,

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also, is a derivative of a term meaning ‘weak sunlight’, and the poetic focus in classical poems is often rain or mist. The rain was decidedly not gloomy or unpleasant, however. It was a friendly presence, to be welcomed by the solitary traveller. As Roka put it: The mountain is enveloped in light showers, and is as if it were speaking. The sky and the mountain do not have voices, but the sound as the rain falls on the dry eulalia, and the sound when the rain falls on the dried leaves on the tree branches mix with the sound of the Usui River that flows invisibly through the valley among the pines, and these sounds fill the mountains. (Tokutomi 1974: 163) The term Roka uses for ‘light showers’ was a seasonal referent for late autumn, shigure. Even if he had been in a downpour, though, one suspects that he would have chosen to describe the rain using this term because of its propriety. When Mary Fraser wrote of the weather, it was sunny and glorious; Usui was a cool, green paradise, until a typhoon came and brought a deluge of rain. One finds it hard to criticize her for this, as surely the typhoon was a memorable event on her journey and it was, after all, typhoon season. However, a full-blown typhoon is not a seasonal referent.13 If a contemporary Japanese were to read Mary’s letter, he would undoubtedly have been bemused by her choice of topic. A rough equivalent would be to write a travelogue about Washington, DC, in the winter, focusing on a landscape denuded of all cherry blossoms. Let us look at one more example to show how traditional Roka’s focus was. A prominent feature of the terrain near Usui is Mount Asama, which lies to the north-west of the Usui Pass. Asama is an active volcano over 2,500 metres high and its terrain is foreboding as it towers over the Usui region. When Matsuo Basho¯ passed by Asama in 1688 at the end of his journey to Sarashina, he wrote: Blowing the gravel off the ground on Mount Asama, an autumn gale. (trans. Ueda 1992: 212)

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When Roka passed through the same region in 1893, he wrote: ‘Arrived at Karuizawa station past nine o’clock. When I got off the train the wind from the foot of Mount Asama blew coldly and suddenly on my face, piercing my skin’ (Tokutomi 1974: 161). This stark image of Asama was stock. Basho¯’s poem appeared in more than one collection, and it is likely that Roka had it – or perhaps an earlier poem – in mind when he wrote his own terse sentences. By contrast, Mary Fraser wrote: From the top of the pass we descended quickly and easily for a little way, and then stood for a few minutes to gaze at Asama Yama, the great active volcano which dominates all this side of the hills, and has more than once filled the upland plain of Karuizawa with ashy desolation. It rises very grandly from beyond the green foothills, looking far nearer than it really is. Heavy clouds of smoke pour from the crater, which looks from Karuizawa towards the southwest, and takes the form of a horizontal tunnel into the mountain, as I am told. From that point on the pass there is a wonderful evening effect, as the sun sinks almost behind the peak and rims its heavy clouds of smoke with crimson and gold. We lost it as we plunged into the deep-cut paths below; and when at last we reached our own boundaries, the grey twilight calm was hushing the hills to rest. (Fraser 1982: 200) In the end, Mary Fraser’s view of Asama is colourful and lush, very different from her Japanese counterparts’. It is possible – indeed, likely – that Roka saw the same landscape as Mrs Fraser, but he knew that Asama should be described as barren and harsh, not verdant or appealing. One could cite many more comparative passages, but the final result does not change. Roka evoked the traditional scenes and imagery of the landscape. Here he was being traditional and not modern at all. Critics seem to have missed this point entirely, perhaps because they, too, have so internalized the poetic associations that they took them for granted.

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Conclusion ‘Autumn in Ryo¯mo¯’ is a conglomerate of new and old. But the antiquity is in much more than the epistolary style. Aware of it or not, Roka was influenced by a poetic aesthetic that profoundly informed the focus and allusions of his travelogue. In the end the epistolary style shows more of an innovative, modern bent than Roka probably intended. It seems likely that he chose the form to add a flavour of antiquity and legitimacy, but because it was not the traditional form for the genre, it served only to imbue the text with an odd anachronistic air. This is not to say that the work is a failure; the tendrils of allusion weave expertly through the text in a way that merits close attention if not annotation, and the seasonal referents are well evoked. Unbeknownst to him, however, Roka was writing one of the last travelogues to depend so heavily on the proper referents. With the progression into modernism came the jettisoning of these stock images in preference for more Western-style travelogues.

Notes 1

2

3 4

5

6 7 8 9

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The work was entitled ‘Ryo¯mo¯ no aki’ (Autumn in Ryo¯mo¯) and was published in the newspaper Kokumin shinbun. The section examined here is the first part of that work, ‘Usui’, which appeared serially from 7 November to 12 November 1893. The Nakasendo¯ was heavily travelled during the Tokugawa Period (1600–1867), largely by provincial lords (daimyo¯) who were required by the shogunal alternate attendance system to spend at least half of each year in the capital of Edo (presentday Tokyo) and the remaining time in their respective provinces. Of course, there was also commercial traffic along the Nakasendo¯, which increased over time with the commodification of the economy. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own. A good example of this is the work of Matsuo Basho¯ (1644–94), whose major travelogues were all published posthumously. Basho¯ revised the manuscripts carefully and changed them significantly from the real events of his journey. Yet, the short-sentence style remained intact. The full title of the work is The Land of the Morning: An Account of Japan and Its People, Based on Four Years’ Residence in that Country, Including Travels to the Remotest Part of the Interior. Translation by Nobuyuki Yuasa. The Abt railway system had been completed only months before Roka’s journey, and by all accounts dramatically changed the nature of travel in the region. ‘Ko usu no mikoto’ is another name for Yamato Takeru. Seki no Hashimori (d. 1883) was a National Learning scholar.

Susanna Fessler 10 The first line, ‘In the faint light’ (hinakumori), is a poetic reference (uta makura) to Usui. 11 For more details on this affair, see Kenneth Strong’s introduction (Strong 1970: 19). 12 The line of Meng Jiao’s poetry is from poem 11, fascicle 375 of Quan Tang shi. The full poem reads: South Mountain stuffs all heaven and earth, Sun and moon grow up from its stones, The high peak at night holds back the sun, The deep vales are never bright by day. Natural for mountain people to grow straight, Where paths are steep the mind levels. A long wind drives the pines and cypresses With a sound that sweeps the thousand hollows clean. Who comes here regrets that he ever studied. Morning after morning, to be close to floating fame. Translation by A.C. Graham (1965: 65). 13 There is a summer referent, aoarashi (green storm), that refers to a strong wind that comes during the season in which green leaves are fully developed.

References Cortazzi, H. (1987–88) ‘The Nakasendo¯ as Seen by Victorian Travellers’, Proceedings of the Japan Society 108: 71–87. Dixon, W.G. (1882) The Land of the Morning: An Account of Japan and Its People, Based on Four Years’ Residence in that Country, Including Travels to the Remotest Part of the Interior. Edinburgh: Gemmell. Fessler, S. (1999) ‘Early Overseas Travel and Travel Writing in Japanese’, The Journal of Intercultural Studies 26: 20–44. Fraser, M.C. (1982) A Diplomat’s Wife in Japan. New York: Weatherhill. Fukuda, K. (1974) ‘Kaidai’ (Explanatory introduction), in Fukuda Kiyoto (ed.) Meiji kiko¯ bungaku shu¯ (Collection of Meiji travel writing), vol. 94 of Meiji bungaku zenshu¯ (Collected writings on Meiji culture), pp. 379–91. Tokyo: Chikuma shobo¯. Graham, A.C. (1965) Poems of the Late T’ang. New York: Penguin. Man’yo¯shu¯ (Collection of myriad leaves) (1973), vols. 4–5 of Nihon koten bungaku zenshu¯ (Collected writings of classical Japanese literature). Tokyo: Sho¯gakkan. Matsuo Basho¯ (1966) The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches. London: Penguin Books. Philippi, D.L. (trans.) (1968) Kojiki. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. Strong, K. (1970) ‘Introduction’, in Tokutomi Kenjiro¯, Footprints in the Snow: A Novel of Meiji Japan. London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd. Tokutomi Roka (1930) Shokanshu¯ (Collection of letters) in Roka zenshu¯ (Collected writings of [Tokutomi] Roka), vol. 20. Tokyo: Shincho¯sha. Tokutomi Roka (1974) ‘Ryo¯mo¯ no Aki’, in Fukuda Kiyoto (ed.) Meiji kiko¯ bungaku shu¯ (Collection of Meiji travel writing), vol. 94 of Meiji bungaku zenshu¯ (Collected writings on Meiji culture), pp. 160–70. Tokyo: Chikuma shobo¯. Ueda, M. (1992) Basho¯ and His Interpreters: Selected Hokku with Commentary. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 183

Index A Abatsu (Nun) 26 Abbot Kexian 8 Account of Mount Lu (Lushan ji) [Chen Lingju] 11 Account of the Stabilizing the State Temple in Huangzhou (Huangzhou Anguo si ji) [Su Shi] 4, 5 Aden 100, 121n Akashi in Harima 59, 60 Akibayama 64 Ama no Hashidate 60 Ambassador Xue Fucheng 147 American Centennial Exposition (1876) 103, 105 Amos, Valerie 106 Analects (Lunyu), commentary on [Su Shi] 3, 6 Arakida Hisaoi 54 Arakida Reijo 50, 54–7, 65 Arakida Taketomo 54 Ariwara Narihira 35, 50, 51–4, 64, 65, 66n6, 66n9 Arrow Wars 133 Ashigara Pass 173–4 Astor House Hotel, Shanghai 127 Asukai, poetic house of 26 Autumn in Ryo¯mo¯ (Tokutomi Roka) 167–82 Azumaji no nikki (Anon.) 48 B Bacon, Francis, Viscount St Albans 153 Bai Juyi 8 Ban Kokei 40 Bando¯ Tsumasaburo¯ (Bantsuma) 130, 138 Beijing 131 Belgium 147 Berlin 113 Bible, translation into Chinese 133–4 Bochum University 70 Bodhisattva Guanyin (‘goddess of mercy’) 8

184

Bourdiuu, Pierre 161 Bright, John 168 British Isles 100 Buddhism 4–10, 14, 17n8, 24 bunjin (literati) 45, 54, 56, 65, 66n11 Burns, William 105 C Cai Jun 111 Canliao (Canliaozi) 7 Canova 154 Carter, Steven D. 20 Chance, Linda H. 44 Chaozhou 73, 74, 91–2 Chen Huacheng 135 Chen Shunyu 11 Chen Zao 7 China 1–16, 70–93, 97–120 cinematic linking with Japan in modern era 125–40 People’s Republic, foundation of 139 travel writing of Shan Shili 144–63 Chinese Reform Movement 106–7 Cho¯shu¯ 128, 130, 139 Christianity 71, 93n2, 105, 106, 115, 129, 133, 134, 138, 150, 153, 154, 164n12, 168, 177 Chunjiang yihen (Lingering Resentment from Shanghai) [Inagaki Hiroshi, Director] 131 Cobden, Richard 168 Collected Verses of Su Shi (Su Shi shiji) 13 Confucianism Confucian ideology 102, 111 Confucian learning 128 Confucian ‘Way’ 4–5 Crystal Palace, London 113, 116 Cuckoos in the Fourth Month (Tamemura) 36 Cultured Travellers and Consumer Tourists in Edo-Period Sagami (Nenzi, L.) 58

D Dai’ei Company 130 Dante Alighieri 153 Daoqian see Canliao Description of the World (Marco Polo) 156, 157 Dewa 59 Dianshizhai Pictorial 27, 98–9, 101, 104, 113, 114, 115, 120n3, 122n24 Dixon, William Gray 172 Dongpo zhilin [Su Shi] 3 Do¯shisha Girls’ High School 175 Dragon Boat Festival 8 Drake, Fred 80 E East Lake (Donghu) 7 Eastern Jin period 8, 11 Edinburgh 113 Edo (and Edo period) 30–2, 35, 36, 39, 41, 42, 43, 45–8, 50, 52–4, 58–62, 64, 66–8, 182n2 Eggert, Marion 70, 103 Emperor Godaigo 51 Emperor Kangxi 71 Emperor Sakuramachi 31 Emperor Shenzong 6–7 Emperor Xianzong 157 England 108–9, 113–14, 147 F Fan Shouyi 71 Fengxiang 7 Fessler, Susanna 167 Five Dynasties 11 Florida International University 44 Fo¯boku wakashu¯ (Japan Collection) 27 Fogel, Joshua A. 125 France 147 Fraser, Mary Crawford 178–81 Fujian Province 72 Fujiwara no Teika 26, 65 Fujiwara Tomonari 173 Fukuda Kiyoto 170 Futaminoura 64

G gender gender inversion, trope (irony) of 107–9 and genre, Shan Shili and 159–63 segregation 110–12 and women’s travelogues 52–65 Genji (Shining Prince) 50–1, 53, 55, 57, 65, 66n6 Genpei Wars 21, 51, 52 Gladstone, William 168 Godai Saisuke 128 Godai Tomoatsu 132, 138 Goethe 153 Goshu¯ishu¯ (Later collection of gleanings) 23 Great Britain 137 cultural influence of 131 Guimao lüxingji (Travels in the year 1903) [Shan Shili] 144, 146, 148, 149, 150, 164n8 Gunma prefecture 167 Guo Songtao 71 H Haidi qijing (A Marvellous Realm beneath the Seas) [Wang Tao] 99, 104, 112 Haiguo tuzhi (Illustrated Gazetteer of the Maritime Nations) [Wei Yuan] 79 Hailu (Report on Overseas) [Fan Shouyi] 71, 93n3 Hainan Island 1 Haiwai meiren (Beauties beyond the Seas) [Wang Tao] 99, 112 Haiwai zhuangyou (A Lusty Voyage Overseas) [Wang Tao] 99, 104, 112–13 Hakone 32 Hamada 32 Hamamatsu 32 Han Lan’gen 138, 139 Hara Kosho 49 Hara Saihin 49 Harada Aiko 175 Hargett, James 1 Harumichi no Tsuraki 56 Hatch, George 3, 6

185

Index Hayashi Razan 44 Heian literature 55–60 Heian period 46–65 Hishiya Heishichi 46 Hizen 128 Holland 147 Hong Jun 158, 160 Hong Kong 139 Hong Xiuquan 129 Honshu¯ 167 Ho¯raiji 64 Hu Xinling 130, 139 Hu Ying 104, 106, 144 Huangzhou exile 1, 2–5, 6 Huanyou diqui xinlu (A New Account of a Trip around the Globe) [Li Gui] 103–4, 105 Huiyuan (founder of Pure Land Buddhism) 7 Huizhou 1 Huntington, Rania 100–1 Hyakunin isshu 59 I Ichinotani 51 Ikaho 61, 63, 64 Ikaho no michiyukiburi (Yuha Shizuko) 61 Ikegawa Shunsui 46 Imadegawa Avenue, Kyoto 28, 29 imperial feminism 99, 105–7, 119 Inagaki Hiroshi 11, 130, 136, 140, 141n8 Industrial Revolution in the West 173 inequality, languages and 45–52 Inoue Tsu¯jo 49 Irumagawa 61 Ise, Great Shrine of 47 Ise monogatari (Tales of Ise) 20, 50, 53, 57, 62, 64, 66n7 Ise Yamada 54, 66 Ishiguro Tatsuya 138 Italy 147 Itsukushima 60, 64 Izayoi nikki (Journal of the sixteenthnight moon) [Reizei travel record] 26, 170

186

J Japan 20–42, 44–65, 101, 112, 167–82 cinematic linking with China in modern era 125–40 Shan Shili’s travels in 148–9 Jinghua yuan (Flowers in the Mirror) 102 Jippensha Ikku 46 Journal of the American Oriental Society 44 Judaism 150 K Kagoshima 61 Kaido¯ shukuji hyakushu (One Hundred Poems on the Inns of the Coastal Road) [Tamesuke] 26–7 Kaixian Monastery 12–13 Kajiwara Kagesue 51 Kakehashi 173 Kakinomoto no Hitomaro 60, 65 Kamakura 24, 26 Kamo no Mabuchi 61 Kamo River 59 Kanagawa Prefecture 174 Kanazawa 58 Kanbun (Sino-Japanese) 49 Kanto¯ geko¯ no tochu¯ ei (Poems written on a journey to the Kanto¯) [Karasamaru Mitsuhide] 30–1, 32, 33, 34, 36 Karasumaru, poetic house of 26 Karasumaru Mitsuhide 30, 37–9 Karuizawa 168, 173, 178, 181 Karyo¯ 58–9, 66n14 Kawakita Nagamasa 131 Kawanakajima 51 Kensai 39 Khubilai Khan 144, 158 Kindly Love Lake (Cihu) 7 Kino Tsurayuki 20–1, 27 Kinsei kagaku shu¯sei (Compiled works of poetic scholarship of the Edo period) 29 Kiso 51, 55 Kiyokawa Hachiro¯ 46, 50–1 Ko, Dorothy 106 Kojiki (Ancient Records) 167, 173, 174, 177

Kokinshu¯ (Collection of ancient and modern times) 21, 22, 53, 59–60, 62 Kokumin no tomo 177 Kondo, Dorinne 48 Konpira 64 Ko¯zuke Province 64 Kroes, Theodorus 127 Kumagaya Naozane 51 Kusatsu 32 Kusunoki Masashige 51 Kyo¯ho¯ era 33 Kyoto 20, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 36, 64 Kyushu 46 L Land of the Morning (Dixon, W.G.) 172 languages and inequality 45–52 Legge, James 99–100 Li Bo 8, 11 Li Gui 103–4, 105 Li Lihua 136, 139 Li Xiucheng 37, 129, 133 Lienü zhuan (Biography of noted women) [Liu Xiang] 159, 160 Liexian zhuan (Biographies of Daoist adepts) [Liu Xiang] 159, 160 Lin Qian 71–6, 78–80, 83–4, 94n10, 94n16, 100, 110 Lin Shu 70, 121n15 Lin Zexu 79 Liu Xiang 159, 160 Liu Xihong 108–9, 114, 117, 118 London 113 M Malay archipelago 101 Manchu Dynasty 132, 133 Manchurian Film Company (Man’ei) 131 The Man’yo¯shu¯ (Collection of Myriad Leaves) 50, 55–6, 62, 174, 177, 179 Manyou suilu (Random Records of My Wanderings) [Wang Tao] 99 Marco Polo 144, 150, 156–9, 163 Mariko 32, 33, 38 marriage customs 110–12 Marseilles 113 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 97

Matsuo Basho¯ 26, 30, 50, 169, 173, 176, 179, 180 May Fourth (1919) movement 106 Medhurst, W.H. 133–4 Meditation and Wisdom Buddhist Temple (Dinghui yuan) 4 Mei Xi 133, 139 Meiji period 139, 168, 169 Meiji Restoration 128, 130 Meili xiaozhuan (The Story of Mary) [Wang Tao] 99, 103, 104, 109, 110, 115 Meng shu (Book of Dreams) [Wang Zhaoyuan] 159 Miao tribes 112 Michelangelo 153 Miho 32 Minamoto Yorimasa 51 Ming Dynasty 107–8 missionary discourse 105–7 Mittler, Barbara 101 Miyazaki Bunko 54 Mogami River 59 Mohanty, Chandra 106 Motoori Norinaga 54 Mount Asama 180, 181 Mount Fuji 25, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 46, 59 Mount Haruna 61 Mount Ikoma 57 Mount Ko¯ya 64 Mount Lu 2, 3, 4, 6–16, 17n14, 18n26 like Buddha and his teachings 14 literary legacy of Su Shi’s visit to 8–16 pleasure trip by Su Shi to 2–8 scenic retreat 7 Mount Myo¯gi 61 Mount Wuchang (Wuchang shan) 7 Mount Yoshino 59 Muirhead, William 128, 132 Mukai Chine 47 Mukai Kyo¯rai 47 Muro Kyu¯so¯ 49 Musashi Plain 62 My First Visit to Mount Lu: Three Poems [Su Shi] 9–11

187

Index N Nagai Uta 132 Nagasaki 46, 125–6, 136 Nagoya 46 Nakagawa Hisamori, Lord of Oka Domain 53 Nakamuda Kuranosuke 128, 129, 132, 138 Nakamura Ito 57–8 Nakanoin, poetic house of 26 Nakaswendo¯ route 167 Nanbokucho¯ period 51 Naniwa 22–3, 24 Nanjing 129 Nankang Command 11 Nara 51, 55, 64 Nenzi, Laura 44 New York, State University of 1, 167 Nezame 173 Niehai hua (Flower in a Sea of Retribution) 158 Nihon shoki (Chronicles of Japan) 167, 174, 177 Nijo¯, poetic house of 26 nikki (diary format) 46 No¯in 23, 24, 40 No¯in utamakura (No¯in’s poetic gazetteer) 24 Noroshi wa Shanhai ni agaru (Signal Fires over Shanghai) [Inagaki Hiroshi, Director] 130, 131, 136, 138, 139, 140, 141n13 North-China Herald 127 Numazu 35 O occidentalism, women in discourses of 116–20 Oiso 32 Okabe 32 Okayama 64 Oku no hosomichi (Narrow Road to the Deep North) 170 Omi 47 Onna daigaku 59 Onna imagawa 59 Onna kyo¯ko¯ 59 Onna sen’yo¯ wakoku ori 59 Onna teikin 59 188

Onna yu¯soku hyo¯bunko 59 Ono 56 Opium Wars 100, 117, 125–6, 133, 135, 138 orientalism, women in discourses of 116–20 Osaka 55, 64 Chamber of Commerce at 128 Exposition at 148 ¯ tsu 38 O Owari Province 27, 51 Ozawa Roan 41 P Pan Lei 76 Paris 113–14 Parmar, Pratibha 106 Peach Blossom Spring 82, 90, 95n22 Perry, Commodore Matthew G. 125 Personal Report on My Mount Lu Poems (Zi ji Lushan shi) [Su Shi] 8–11 Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan) 105 Plutschow, Herbert 49 Poems Written on the East Country Road (Tamemura) 31–2, 32–3, 36–8 Pratt, Mary Louise 162 Preface to the Poems on Roving to Stone Gate by the Various Buddhist Laymen of Mount Lu (Lushan zhu Daoren you Shimen shi xu) [Huiyuan] 7–8 Pure Land Buddhism 7 Q Qian Xun 12, 146, 147, 149, 164n8 Qing Dynasty 71, 97–8, 107, 129, 132, 133, 137–8 Qing Empire 119, 144–5 R Rankin, Mary B. 106 Raphael 153 Record of Mount Lu (Lushan ji) [Huiyuan] 7 Reizei house (school) 26, 28, 29, 31, 41 Rhapsody on Resentment (Hen fu) [Jiang Yan] 4 Ricci, Matteo 88

Richardson, Captain Henry 126 Rising Jade Pavilion, Kaixian Monastery 12–13 Rokujo¯ eiso¯ (Poems in six books) [Ozawa Roan] 41 Rome, National Library in 71 Ruichang township 7 Russia 147, 148, 149 Ruzhou 7, 8 Ryo¯mo¯ 167–82 S Sai Jinhua 158 Saigyo¯ 22–5, 32, 40, 169 St Peter’s Cathedral 150–5 Saiyu¯ki (Travels in the Western Provinces) [So¯gi] 40 Sakai Hanjiro¯ 45–6 Sakajiriya Hachiro¯emon 58 Sano no Funabashi 61, 64 Sarashina nikki (Sarashina Diary) [Matsuo Basho¯] 169, 173 Saru-ga-baba 173 Sasaki Takatsuna 51 Satsuma 128 Sayanonakayama 32 Sayo no Nakayama 64 Scotland 100, 113 Sei Sho¯nagon 44, 63 Seki 32 Senzaimaru 126–7, 128, 130, 132, 136, 137, 139, 140n1 sexual adventure in the West 112–15 Shan Shili art and architecture, interest in 151–2 biographical dictionary of Qing women writers 164n8 cultural competence of 161 departure from convention 147 genre and gender 159–63 Guimao lüxingji (Travels in the year 1903) 144, 146, 148, 149, 150, 164n8 Guiqian ji (Records collected upon retirement) 144, 146, 149, 150, 151, 164n8 inspiration for other women travellers 160

intrepid traveller 146–50 on Marco Polo 156–9 progressive woman 145–6 at Saint Peter’s Cathedral 150–5 sources for writing of 164n11 subgenres in work of 159 travels in Japan 148–9 Shanghai 98, 125–8, 130–2, 134, 136–40 Shanhai jing (Classic of the Mountains and Seas) 71, 97, 101 Shen Changling 135 Shen Yizhou 133–5 Shenjian lu (Report on Things Personally Observed) [Fan Shouyi] 71, 93n2 Shiba Ko¯kan 46, 64 Shiga 32 Shiga Pass 56 Shikoku Island 20 Shimonoseki, Straits of 134 Shin kokinshu¯ (New Kokinshu¯) 23, 25, 50, 53, 62 Shinagawa 39 Shinano Province 51, 174 Shinpen kokka taikan 23, 25, 27, 34 Shinpen nihon koten bungaku taikei 40 Shiokama beach in Rikuoku 59 Shitamachi 48 Shogun Ieshige 30 Shogun Kamakura 57 Shujing (Book of History), commentary on [Su Shi] 3, 6 Six Dynasties, era of the 107 Sizhou zhi (On the Four Continents) [Lin Zexu] 79 So¯gi 26, 40 Songs of Chu (Chuci) 5 Soviet film archive (Gosfilmfond) 130, 131 Spivak, Gayatri 106 Stanford University 20 State University of New York 1, 167 status and women’s travelogues 52–65 Su Che 2–3, 8 Su Shi (Su Dongpo) Account of the Stabilizing the State Temple in Huangzhou (Huangzhou Anguo si ji) 4, 5 189

Index Analects (Lunyu), commentary on 3, 6 To Be Inscribed in the Wall of the West Forest Monastery 15–16 Book of Changes (Yijing), commentary on 6 Book of History (Shujing), commentary on 3, 6 Buddhism, interest in 5–6 Collected Verses of Su Shi (Su Shi shiji) 13 Confucian ‘Way,’ dedication to 4–5 Dongpo zhilin 3 fame of 9 Hainan Island exile 1 Huangzhou exile 1, 2–5, 6 Huizhou exile 1 imprisonment of 2 literary legacy of visit to Mount Lu 8–16 in the Meditation and Wisdom Buddhist Temple (Dinghui yuan) 4 Mount Lu, pleasure trip to 2–16 My First Visit to Mount Lu: Three Poems 9–11 perception of images 15–16 Personal Report on My Mount Lu Poems (Zi ji Lushan shi) 8–11 political activities of 1–2 prosecution of 2–3, 17n5 restoration of 6–7 travel writings of 2 West Forest Buddhist Monastery, visit to 13–14 Su Xun 8 Suieiji 63 Suma 50, 55 Sumida River 35 Sumiyoshi beach in Settsu 59 Suragababa 51 Suruga 59, 64 Switzerland 113

190

T Tachibana Nankei 40 Tachito¯ge 173 Tadano Makuzu 49 Tago no Ura 32, 60 Taiping Rebellion 129, 132–4, 137–8, 140 Taira no Atsumori 51 Taiwan 101, 107, 108, 109, 111, 115, 119, 139 indigenous women of 114 Takasugi Shinsaku 7, 127–30, 132–40, 140n2 Takeda Shingen 51 Takizawa Bakin 49 Tamehisa 31 Tamemura (Reizei) comparison with writings of Mitsuhide 37–40 Cuckoos in the Fourth Month 36 lineage of 26, 28 offering slender 20 Poems Written on the East Country Road 31–2, 32–3, 36–8 training of 28 travel records of 30, 31–7 vigourous engagement of 29 Tamesuke (Reizei) 26, 27, 36, 42n4 Tang Dynasty 11 Tao Qian (Tao Yuanming) 8 Teng, Emma Jinhua 97 Thailand 107–8 Three Gorges Bridge 12–13 To Be Inscribed in the Wall of the West Forest Monastery [Su Shi] 15–16 Tochigi Prefecture 167 To¯kai kiko¯ (Record of the Eastern Sea Road) 170 To¯kai Road 26–7 To¯kaido¯chu¯ hizakurige (Shank’s Mare) [Ikku, J.] 46 To¯kan kiko¯ (Journey in Kanto¯) 170 Tokugawa government 21, 28, 30, 40, 44, 125, 132, 139, 170, 182n2 Tokutomi Kenjiro (‘Roka’) allusion 173–7 Autumn in Ryo¯mo¯ 167–82 diction and form 169–73 early family life and education 168

epistolary style 170 focus 169, 177–82 lamentation theme 174–5 locutions, sinicized and antiquated 171 political transition 176–7 run-on sentences 172 traditional focus of 180–2 Tokutomi Soho¯ 168, 175 Tosa nikki (Tosa Diary) [Kino Tsurayuki] 20–1, 49, 170 To¯wa Sho¯ji Company 131 To¯yu¯ nikki, To¯yu¯ manso¯ (Hara Kosho) 49 Trans-Siberian Railway 148 Travel Prayer (Karasumaru Mitsuhide) 30 travel writing as autobiographical narrative 48 courtly practice in modern Japanese writers 41–2 development in Japan 20–5 gendered travel narratives 44–65 Japanese tendency towards poetic places 24 languages and inequality 45–52 literary legacy of Su Shi’s visit to Mount Lu 8–16 occidentalism in Chinese writing 97–120 popular culture and 57, 60–1 records of Tamemura 30, 31–7 of Shan Shili 144–63 of Su Shi (Su Dongpo) 2 Tokutomi Roka’s Autumn in Ryo¯mo¯ 167–82 tradition in 169, 180–2 Wang Tao’s tales of travel 97–120 women’s travelogues, gender and status in 52–65 see also Xihai jiyou cao Treaty of Kanagawa 125 Treaty of Nanjing 126 Tsu Province 23 Tsuchiya Ayako 51 Tsukigata Ryu¯nosuke 138 Tu Lien-che 158 Turner, Victor 58

U Uchide no hama (Uchide Strand) [Mitsuhide, K.] 37–9 Uesugi Kenshin 51 Uisi 167–9, 171, 173–5, 177–80, 182n1, 183n10 Uji Yamada 51, 54, 64 United States 70–93, 137 cultural influence of 131 Universally Penetrating Chan Monastery (Yuantong chanyuan) 8 University of California at Irvine 144 University of California at Santa Barbara 125 Utagawa Kunisada 60 Utsunoyama 33, 52 V Vatical City 150–5 W waka (traditional Japanese poems) 48 Wakanoura in Kii 59 Wan Peng 76 Wang Anshi 1, 5 Wang Danfeng 136, 139 Wang Daozheng 76 Wang Guangye 76 Wang Tao 16, 17, 97–120, 121n11 gender segregation 110–12 imperial feminism 105–7, 119 marriage customs 110–12 occidentalism and orientalism, women in discourses of 116–20 reformer, littérateur and geographer 99–101 sexual adventure in the West 112–15 trope (irony) of gender inversion 107–9 Western missionary discourse 105–7 on Western women 97–9, 101–5 women in orientalism and occidentalism 116–20 Wang Wei 175 Wang Zhaoyuan 159–60, 161, 165n17 Washington, DC. 111 Wataridori (Migratory Bird) [Karyo¯] 58–9

191

Index Wei Yingwu 175 Wei Yuan 79 West Forest Buddhist Monastery 13–14 West Lake in Hangzhou 15–16 Western missionary discourse 105–7 Western technology 100 women of bushi class 52, 54 French barmaids 114–15 legendary Kingdom of Women 101–2, 108, 116–17, 119 in orientalism and occidentalism 116–20 travelogues of, gender and status in 52–65 Wang Tao on Western 97–9, 101–5 Wordsworth, William 170, 175–6 World War II 131 Wusong River 127 Wuxian 158 X Xiamen (Amoy) 72, 92 Xifu Danglu (Western Women Selling Wine) 114–15 Xihai jiyou cao (Sketchy Account of a Journey to Western Seas) [Lin Qian] 70–4, 76–80, 83–4, 93n5, 103 adventure and ‘heroism’ 77–8 conclusion 83–4 filial piety 75–7 inception and reception of the text 72–3 literariness 78 meaning of the structure 75–8 narrative of ‘Author’s Preface’ 77, 80–3 public significance 75 responsibility for the text 78–80 structure of the text 73–5 translation of ‘Author’s Preface’ 84–93 Xin Honggloumeng (The New Dream of the Red Chamber) [Yue Feng, Director] 139 Xingguo Command 7 Xu Hongzu 76 Xu Jiyu 72–3, 80 Xu Ning 11–12 192

Y Yahiro Fuji 131–2, 136 Yamabe Akahito 34 Yamamoto Hisae 175 Yamanashi Shigako 64–5 Yamashiro 59 Yamato 55, 59 Yamato Takeru no Mikoto 173–4 Yan Fu 70 Yan Jun 139 Yangtze River 7 Yangwu (Westernizer) faction 73 Yijing (Book of Changes), commentary on [Su Shi] 6 Yin Xiucen 139 Ying Gui 73, 76 Yinghuan zhilüe (A Brief Survey of the Maritime Circuits) [Xu Jiyu] 72, 80 Yingyao siji (Private Diary of the Journey to England) [Liu Xihong] 108 Yokokawa 168 Yoshida Sho¯in 128, 129 Yoshino 64 Yuan Dynasty 144 Yuan shi (History of the Yuan Dynasty) 157, 158, 160, 165n15 Yue Feng 130, 136, 139 Yunzhou 8 Yuya Shizuko 61–4 Z Zhang Deyi 108–9, 112, 117 Zhao Ji 7 Zhao Pin 7 Zhejiang literati family 146 Zhi-gang 71 Zhong Shuhe 80, 93n5 Zhou Kuiyuan 76 Zonghua dianying gongsi (China Film Company) 130 Zonglao 13–14 Zuo Zongtang 73