Human Agency and the Self in Thought and Politics

Individualism in Early China
Conventional wisdom has it that the concept of individualism was absent in early China. In Individualism in Early China: Human Agency and the Self in Thought and Politics, an uncommon study of the self and human agency in ancient China, Erica Fox Brindley provides an important corrective to this view and persuasively argues that an idea of individualism can be applied to the study of early Chinese thought and politics with intriguing results. She introduces the development of ideological and religious beliefs that link universal, cosmic authority to the individual in ways that may be referred to as individualistic and illustrates how these evolved alongside and potentially helped contribute to larger sociopolitical changes of the time, such as the centralization of political authority and the growth in the social mobility of the educated elite class.

“Contrary to common claims about the absence of individualism in early China and its supposed reification in ‘the West,’ both the Western and Chinese traditions have historically been characterized by diverse and constantly evolving attitudes toward the individual. This book serves as an important corrective to monolithic or essentializing accounts of early Chinese thought, and the narrative concerning the evolution of the concept of the individual in early China is an interesting and novel one. It will appeal widely to people working on early Chinese thought and comparative religion more broadly.” —Edward Slingerland, University of British Columbia

June 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3386-2 / $52.00 (CLOTH)

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

In the last week Hawai‘i has seen two of its dailies, long-time rivals the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser, “merge” into the new Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Now’s your chance to read all about the history of Hawai‘i’s newspapers and SAVE BIG!

Presstime in ParadisePurchase George Chaplin’s Presstime in Paradise: The Life and Times of The Honolulu Advertiser, 1856–1995, for $9.99 (hardcover; regular price $41.99) or $5.99 (paperback; regular price $21.99). The Hawaiian Journal of History calls Presstime in Paradise “a solid and highly readable contribution. . . . A primary source for future historians. . . . . Irreplaceable.”

Shaping HistoryOr purchase the award-winning Shaping History: The Role of Newspapers in Hawai‘i, by Helen Geracimos Chapin, for $4.99 (paperback; regular price $31.99). Winner of a Ka Palapala Po‘okela Award for Excellence in Reference Books, Shaping History “[brings] to light the obscure but important history of Hawai‘i’s alternative press [. . .] another of Chapin’s contributions is to illustrate the coziness of Hawai‘i’s mainstream press with the powers that be” (Honolulu Magazine).

Tahitians, Europeans, and Ecological Exchange

Trading NatureWhen Captain Samuel Wallis became the first European to land at Tahiti in June 1767, he left not only a British flag on shore but also three guinea hens, a pair of turkeys, a pregnant cat, and a garden planted with peas for the chiefess Purea. Thereafter, a succession of European captains, missionaries, and others planted seeds and introduced livestock from around the world. In turn, the islanders traded away great quantities of important island resources, including valuable and spiritually significant plants and animals. What did these exchanges mean? What was their impact? The answers are often unexpected. They also reveal the ways islanders retained control over their societies and landscapes in an era of increasing European intervention. Jennifer Newell’s Trading Nature: Tahitians, Europeans, and Ecological Exchange explores—from both the European and Tahitian perspective—the effects of “ecological exchange” on one island from the mid-eighteenth century to the present day.

May 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3281-0 / $45.00 (CLOTH)

Racializing Okinawan Diaspora in Bolivia and Japan

Embodying BelongingEmbodying Belonging: Racializing Okinawan Diaspora in Bolivia and Japan, by Taku Suzuki, is the first full-length study of a Okinawan diasporic community in South America and Japan. Under extraordinary conditions throughout the twentieth century (Imperial Japanese rule, the brutal Battle of Okinawa at the end of World War II, U.S. military occupation), Okinawans left their homeland and created various diasporic communities around the world. Colonia Okinawa, a farming settlement in the tropical plains of eastern Bolivia, is one such community that was established in the 1950s under the guidance of the U.S. military administration. Although they have flourished as farm owners in Bolivia, thanks to generous support from the Japanese government since Okinawa’s reversion to Japan in 1972, hundreds of Bolivian-born ethnic Okinawans have left the Colonia in the last two decades and moved to Japanese cities, such as Yokohama, to become manual laborers in construction and manufacturing industries.

Based on the author’s multisited field research on the work, education, and community lives of Okinawans in the Colonia and Yokohama, this ethnography challenges the unidirectional model of assimilation and acculturation commonly found in immigration studies. In its vivid depiction of the transnational experiences of Okinawan-Bolivians, it argues that transnational Okinawan-Bolivians underwent the various racialization processes—in which they were portrayed by non-Okinawan Bolivians living in the Colonia and native-born Japanese mainlanders in Yokohama and self-represented by Okinawan-Bolivians themselves—as the physical embodiment of a generalized and naturalized “culture” of Japan, Okinawa, or Bolivia.

May 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3344-2 / $47.00 (CLOTH)