38 China Review International: Vol. 25, No. 1, 2018 photo and the woodblock print as merely two-dimensional surfaces, thus failing to anchor each in its layered context as a historian could. Despite this slippage, and a few other sweeping generalizations on Chinese practice, this book stands out as a major contribution to the ﬁeld. The tangible words and sights that Esselstrom deftly and systematically presents here show, in repeating a pattern that had occurred in medieval and early modern Japan, the intense interactions between the Chinese and Japanese continued even when state-to-state relations were nonexistent. Upper-level undergraduate students knowledgeable of the histories of China and Japan will ﬁnd its prose accessible, enjoyable, and meaningful. Instructors teaching both Japanese history and Chinese history will also ﬁnd it highly useful to complement textbooks, which too often ignore the substantial interactions across the ocean that are vital for the development of both societies. Lu Yan Lu Yan specializes in modern Sino-Japanese relations and transnational, cross- cultural history of modern China. NOTE 1. On height-based practice as losing “Asian values” (p. 140); on women’s life in post-1949 China (p. 174); and on the ofﬁcial line of unequivocal demonization of Japan’s past (p. 177).
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 6, 2020
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