Important Buddhist Scripture Now in Paperback


The Suramgamasamadhisutra / The Concentration of Heroic Progress is an early Mahayana Buddhist scripture. Within a narrative framework provided by a dialogue between the Buddha and the bodhisattva Drdhamati, it airs central issues of Mahayana Buddhism by means of philosophical discussion, edifying anecdote, marvelous feat, and drama. At its core is a description of the seeming conversion of Mara, the embodiment of all malign tendencies that obstruct advancement, and the prediction that he too will become a Buddha.

The present volume comprises the first full English translation of Kumarajiva’s Chinese translation of the Suramgamasamdhisutra, with an extensive explanatory introduction and annotations. Etienne Lamotte’s French version appeared in 1965 and now Sara Boin-Webb’s English rendering of this work gives the English-speaking world access both to an important Buddhist scripture and a classic work of Buddhist studies scholarship.

“This English rendering has been done by Ms. Boin-Webb with the same deftness, accuracy, and attention to detail seen in her translations of Lamotte’s L’Enseignement de Vimalakirti and his Histoire du bouddhisme indien, des origines à l’ére Saka. . . . In French this book was a gem of thoroughgoing and wholly admirable scholarship. It is no less so in its English setting.” —Journal of the American Oriental Society

Published in association with The Buddhist Society, London (TBSLL)
November 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3353-4 / $25.00 (PAPER)

The Role of Contact in the Origins of Japanese and Korean


Despite decades of research on the reconstruction of proto-Korean-Japanese (pKJ), some scholars still reject a genetic relationship. The Role of Contact in the Origins of the Japanese and Korean Languages, by J. Marshall Unger, addresses their doubts in a new way, interpreting comparative linguistic data within a context of material and cultural evidence, much of which has come to light only in recent years.

The weaknesses of the reconstruction, according to Unger, are due to the early date at which pKJ split apart and to lexical material that the pre-Korean and pre-Japanese branches later borrowed from different languages to their north and south, respectively. Unger shows that certain Old Japanese words must have been borrowed from Korean from the fourth century C.E., only a few centuries after the completion of the Yayoi migrations, which brought wet-field rice cultivation to Kyushu from southern Korea. That leaves too short an interval for the growth of two distinct languages by the time they resumed active contact. Hence, concludes Unger, the original separation occurred on the peninsula much earlier, prior to reliance on paddy rice and the rise of metallurgy. Non-Korean elements in ancient peninsular place names were vestiges of pre-Yayoi Japanese language, according to Unger, who questions the assumption that Korean developed exclusively from the language of Silla. He argues instead that the rulers of Koguryo, Paekche, and Silla all spoke varieties of Old Korean, which became the common language of the peninsula as their kingdoms overwhelmed its older culture and vied for dominance.

November 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3279-7 / $46.00 (CLOTH)

Hawaii’s Home Away from Home

Why do Hawai‘i people love to go to Las Vegas?

Sam Boyd knew the answer and built a home away from home for them in the gambling Mecca of the world. How he accomplished this together with the people who helped him is the story behind California Hotel and Casino: Hawai‘i’s Home Away from Home, published by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i (JCCH) and distributed by University of Hawai‘i Press. Written by Dennis M. Ogawa and John M. Blink, the book relates a story worth telling and important lessons in business leadership.
November 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3329-9 / $20.00 (PAPER)

Celebrate the publication of California Hotel and Casino at these events and book signings in and around Honolulu:
▪ Thursday, November 13, 10:30 a.m. – Reception and free public admission to the JCCH Community Gallery, which will feature an exhibit of photographs, historical objects, and video to honor Sam Boyd as well as highlight the lasting relationship between between the California Hotel and the people of Hawai‘i. The exhibit ends January 23, 2009.
▪ Saturday, November 15, noon-1:00 pm – Borders, Windward Mall
▪ Saturday, November 15, 4:00-5:00 pm – Borders, Ward Centre
▪ Sunday, November 16, 10:30-noon – Don Quijote, Pearl City
▪ Sunday, November 16, 1:00-2:00 pm – Borders, Pearlridge Center
▪ Sunday, November 16, 3:00-4:00 pm – Don Quijote, Waipahu
▪ Monday, November 17, 10:00-11:30 am – Don Quijote, Kaheka Street (John Blink only)
▪ Monday, November 17, 1:00-2:30 pm – Don Quijote, Kailua (John Blink only)
▪ Tuesday, November 18, 10:00-noon – Marukai Wholesale Mart
▪ Tuesday, November 18, 12:30-1:30 pm – Bestsellers, Bishop Street

UH Press Publishes Award-winning Chinese Novel


University of Hawai‘i Press is pleased to announce the publication of Banished!, winner of the prestigious Chinese Novel Prize in 2003. Written by Han Dong, one of the country’s most important avant-garde poets, the book is set in 1969, while China is in the throes of the Cultural Revolution. The Tao family is banished to the countryside, forced to leave comfortable lives in Nanjing to be reeducated in the true nature of the revolution by the peasants of Sanyu village.

“This is a poet’s novel, written in a spare and elegant style, gracefully rendered in English. Han Dong finds irony and humor in his tale of one family caught up in the injustices and absurdities of Cultural Revolution China, and through his chronicle of the vicissitudes faced by the Taos he tells the story of millions whose lives were disrupted in that turbulent decade.” —Richard King, University of Victoria

November 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3340-4 / $26.00 (PAPER)

Negotiating Urban Space in Malaysia


Arguably Southeast Asia’s most spectacular city, Kuala Lumpur—widely known as KL—has just celebrated fifty years as the national capital of Malaysia. But KL now has a very different twin in Putrajaya, the country’s new administrative capital. Where KL is a diverse, cosmopolitan, multiracial metropolis, Putrajaya fulfills an elitest vision of a Malay-Muslim utopia. KL’s multicultural richness is reflected in the brilliance and diversity of its architecture and urban spaces; Putrajaya, by contrast, is an architectural homage to an imagined Middle East. The “purity” of Putrajaya throws the cosmopolitan diversity of Kuala Lumpur into sharp relief, and the tension between the two places reflects the rifts that run through Malaysian society. In Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya: Negotiating Urban Space in Malaysia, Ross King considers what form of metropolis the Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya region might foreshadow, arguing that signs of this future city are to be sought in the collision points between the utopian dreams of imagined futures and the reality of purposely forgotten pasts.

ASAA Southeast Asia Publications Series
November 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3318-3 / $36.00 (PAPER)

A Philosophical Translation of the Xiaojing


Few if any philosophical schools have championed family values as persistently as the early Confucians, and a great deal can be learned by attending to what they had to say on the subject. In the Confucian tradition, human morality and the personal realization it inspires are grounded in the cultivation of family feeling. One may even go so far as to say that, for China, family reverence was a necessary condition for developing any of the other human qualities of excellence. On the basis of the present translation of the Xiaojing (Classic of Family Reverence) and supplemental passages found in other early philosophical writings, Henry Rosemont, Jr., and Roger T. Ames articulate a specifically Confucian conception of “role ethics” that, in its emphasis on a relational conception of the person, is markedly different from most early and contemporary dominant Western moral theories. This Confucian role ethics takes as its inspiration the perceived necessity of family feeling as the entry point in the development of moral competence and as a guide to the religious life as well.

November 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3348-0 / $22.00 (PAPER)