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The University of Virginia
east asia center
newsletter
Volume 7, Number 2 Winter 1997

What's Inside

The following two articles have been provided by three students who participated in the University of Virginia Summer Program in Bejing last year. Dennis Bracale, a Master of Landscape Architecture student in the University's School of Architecture, writes about his interest and observance of Chinese gardens. Lisa Crounse and Katie Towson also are graduate students in the University's Landscape Architecture program. After the summer program in Beijing, they traveled together throughout China. Here they share their experience on the Yangtze River. An exhibit of the participants' experiences during the UVa Summer Program in Beijing is on display for the next two weeks in the main hall of the Architecture School. For information on the summer program, contact Professor Yunsheng Huang of the Architecture School (924-3840 or yh6d@virginia.edu) or Professor Ronald Dimberg of the International Studies Office (982-3013 or rgd@virginia.edu).

Chinese Imperial Gardens
by Dennis Bracale

For many years I have been interested in Chinese culture and garden history. My undergraduate B.A. degree is in Human Ecology, the study of humans' relationship to the natural world. My study involved environmental design, ecology, and garden history. Following graduation in 1988, I was awarded a Thomas J. Watson fellowship for my proposal, "In search of the garden, beliefs about nature." This journey took me to eighteen countries over 1 1/2 years documenting gardens and landscapes, including three months in China. As a designer, I am interested in a garden's spatial complexity and in how a philosophical stance towards nature is manifested in the form of the garden. In this, there is no more interesting study than the Chinese garden.

Since experiencing gardens first hand is essential to truly understanding them, I was excited to return to China this past summer with the Architecture School's Summer Program in Beijing, made possible by a Ellen Bayard Weedon travel grant. I spent two months in China, including eighteen days in Beijing with the program visiting the following sites:

Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Coal Hill, Bei Hai Park, The New and Old Summer Palaces, Zhongshan Park, Taoranting Park, Purple Bamboo Park, The Lama and Confucian Temples, Prince Gong Garden, Soong Ching Ling Garden, Qinghua University, The Ming Tombs and The Great Wall.

In the Western Hills: IM Pei's Fragrant Hill Hotel, Beijing Botanical garden, Temples of the Sleeping Buddha, Brilliance, and Azure Clouds

The focus of my research in China was Imperial gardens. China has the oldest continuous tradition of garden design in the world. The first recorded garden in literature is that of King Zhou Wen Wong in the eleventh century B.C.E., but we know that the tradition goes back further. In the ancient dictionary, Shuo Wen, the character for a garden was defined as: a natural forest to conserve birds and beasts and to be used as a hunting grounds by a king. Over time the concept of a garden has been refined through many stages, with Imperial gardens developing from two early ideals.

The first ideal was that the garden is not just a landscape of embellished nature but a microcosm symbolizing all the riches and varieties of the Universe. This was manifested in a density of splendor encompassing incredibly large garden areas, the largest recorded anywhere in the world, and showed the Emperor's place as supreme sovereign.

The second early idea follows from the legends of the Immortals. In myth these immortals lived on islands in the eastern sea. Expeditions were sent to discover their location, and when this failed, great gardens were constructed to entice these Immortals to come and live in them. The manifestation of this search for Immortality can still be seen in the shape and size of the lakes and islands as well as in many literary and decorative embellishments in the gardens.

While in Beijing one of the gardens I researched was Jingxinhai, "Studio of Peaceful Heart." Originally built in the Ming dynasty, Jingxinhai was enlarged in 1759, and the garden we see today generally follows from the pattern created at that time. It is a small enclosed garden within a garden, built within the oldest remaining Imperial garden, Bei Hai, "the northern sea." Bei Hai dates from the twelfth century and was the central Imperial garden for the five dynasties that made Beijing their capital: the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing. Today Bei Hai is a well-used public park, and Jingxinhai is also open to the public for a separate admission fee.

The idea of a garden within a garden became dominant in the Qing dynasty. Emperor Kangxi and his grandson, Qian Long, the builder of this garden, made several tours to the south and became enamored with the "southern style" scholar gardens. Highly refined, these urban gardens consisted of many small courtyards connected by winding covered walkways which together gave the impression of a labyrinth of nature. These southern gardens were considered the high point of Chinese culture at the time, and after viewing these spaces the Emperors decided to construct similar gardens within their Imperial gardens. Emperor Qian Long is considered a master garden designer, and he constructed most of the existing Imperial gardens and brought Chinese culture to its last flowering. Not content to just copy the southern gardens, he blended the two styles, northern and southern, and of all the remaining smaller gardens, this is the masterpiece.

The buildings which surround the water and give spatial form to the garden are in the northern style. Heavier and much less refined or delicate, they have a weight and solidity that is very different than anything seen in the south. They are also boldly painted in the common vermilion red of the north which again contrasts with the natural wood or brown of the southern buildings. Still, the overall intent of the garden reflects the southern ideal, that of a garden as a retreat and a study, a place to perfect oneself in relation to nature.

The main buildings are on a north-south axis and are symmetrically arranged. This symmetry reflects the ordering of society inherent in Confucian thought and can be seen in the symmetrical layout of Chinese cities. Beyond this axis, asymmetry prevails. This reflects the Daoist influences and the search for the natural rhythms of nature. Apparent in the pattern of this garden is the dragon, a Daoist symbol of potent energy. Its form can be traced: the head in the height to the west topped by an eight-sided pavilion, then following the stones to the two storied pavilion in the north-west, then along the northern covered gallery and falling to the marble bridge. This U-shaped arrangement of rocks conceals an open pavilion at the center of the garden, at the location called the "dragon's lair." This is considered the perfect location for human habitation, the spot where all the energies of the breath force, incorporating rocks, representing mountains, and the pools of water opening to the south, are channeled. It is also the spot where symmetry and asymmetry, culture and nature come together.

This garden was used as a temporary residence within Bei Hai by the crown princes of the Qing dynasty. It was also used as their study, wherein the cultural lessons they were learning were mirrored in the spatial configuration which surrounded them. Like all Chinese gardens, the Jingxinhai is and are an ideal representation of the relationship between humans and Nature.


A Tour of the Yangtze River
by Lisa Crounse and Katie Towson

The Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world; its 3,940 miles of water course deep into the recesses of China. For centuries the Yangtze has supplied the heart of this country with rice, vegetables, and fish; in addition, it provides a major transportation vector and, more recently, a cash cow for the tourist industry. We had the opportunity last July to sail from Chongqing to Yichang, an area that some predict as early as 1998 will be flooded in order to create a massive dam 610 feet high. Touted by China's Premier Li Peng, the dam seeks to end constant floods, as well as to generate enough hydroelectric power to service one-fifth of the country. To critics, the project appears disastrous, displacing 1.9 million villagers and creating a stagnant lake in waters which every year swallow 265 billion gallons of raw sewage and effluents.

Our river journey began in the city of Chengdu, in the province of Sichuan. There we purchased our boat tickets and made arrangements for ground transportation to Chongqing. That was easy enough. The next morning we boarded one of China's numerous mini-buses for a "quick" ride to Chongqing. Eight hours later we arrived, only to discover that we would need to board another mini-bus for the trip across town. We were now thirty minutes away from our departure time and tensions began to rise. Upon arrival at the port, we were confronted with approximately thirty docks, none of which were numbered (or at least identified in a manner which we could discern). After mad dashes down steep slopes and up endless stairways, we sought help. Once again, the police came to our rescue, offering (after many desperate pleas) a personal escort to our craft. We arrived with thirty seconds to spare, just enough time to purchase our rations for the trip-packages of ramen noodles and a variety of fruit. (Fellow travelers warned that the food on the boat may not sit well in our unaccustomed stomaches.)

The first morning we awoke to a shiphand throwing the contents of our waste basket out the window "routine cleaning;" he told us). This was our introduction to one of the many ecological issues facing China today. The Yangtze's muddy water suffers from massive siltation problems, but also from an environmental ethic that somehow has never developed, at least in practice. During the next three days we witnessed the result-a river dotted with thousands of empty sytrofoam containers, such as those used on our boat and throughout China to serve portable meals. While the trip was filled with grim reminders of what we are all doing to the planet, it was also filled with much magnificence.

On our second day we arrived at a small port, the departure point for a five hour boat ride up one of the smaller gorges. After ascertaining that the ship would indeed not leave port until we were safely back on board, we boarded a small craft, holding about thirty people. We then began our journey upstream. Though the boat was at full throttle, there were times when it appeared motionless against the strength of the current. We passed massive stone cliffs, hundreds of feet high, suspended over a river which was never more than one hundred feet wide, and at some places as narrow as thirty feet wide. Every so often there was a respite from the intensity of the gorges, as we passed verdant terraces and agricultural fields. Filled with scenes of natural beauty, the trip offered us a view of ancient and contemporary Chinese culture.

During stops to save our overwrought engine, we were encouraged to peruse the goods offered by local farmers and merchants, including film, jade jewelry, and steamed corn-on-the-cob. Due to its impending destruction, the Yangtze has become a massive tourist attraction, and it appears that everyone who can is figuring out a way to monopolize on the fact. One of the more clever schemes occured at the third stop on the day trip, where for ten yuan we could peer through a telescope at an ancient coffin lodged in a crevice hundreds of feet above the river on an enormous cliff. An ancient tribal civilization once occupied the gorges. Today, one can see a number of coffins, as well as a series of large borings in the stone cliffs where there was once a system of elevated sidewalks.

Though we were not sure what we were in for when we first boarded the day cruise, it turned out to be the most rewarding part of the trip. Incredible to us, it was only noon when we returned, affording the remainder of the day on board the ship to experience not only the three major gorges-Qutang, Wu, and Xiling-but also the river locks and the construction site of the dam. After having spent three weeks in Beijing studying Landscape Architecture, the contrast between the arid north and the verdant south became more apparent, adding to our list of memorable experiences in China.
 


EAST ASIA CENTER
Speaker Events for Spring 1997

Thursday, January 16 Senior Researchers from Taiwan's Institute of International Relations, a panel on "China and Taiwan: A Multidimensional Relationship" 3:30 pm in 125 Minor Hall.

Late January Jin Bolin, a renown landscape architect from Beijing University, will be speaking. Date, time, and location to be announced later.

Tuesday, February 4 Charles Kao, Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1987 to 1996, will speak on the relations between the United States and Hong Kong after 1997. 3:30 pm in 125 Minor Hall. A reception in the Colonnade Club in the West Lawn will follow the lecture.

Thursday, February 6 Al Reyes, Asiaweek Correspondent, will speak on "The Press in Asia: Reporting in Hong Kong and Singapore." 3:30 pm in 225 Minor Hall.

Saturday, March 22 Conference on Hong Kong, sponsored by the Student Council. The topics of the conference include the history, economy, and politics of Hong Kong, and the future of greater China.

March 25-27 James Scott, President of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), will give a series of three talks on "The State and the People Who Move." 4:00 pm in 125 Minor Hall.
 


THE ELLEN BAYARD WEEDON EAST ASIA TRAVEL GRANTS

Each year, the Grants Committee of the East Asia Center allocates money to be used to defray the cost of travel to East Asia by University faculty members and students. These funds may be used to cover all or part of a round trip airfare between Charlottesville and East Asia. Travel within an East Asian country will not be covered by an Ellen Bayard Weedon travel grant.

ELIGIBILITY

The Ellen Bayard Weedon travel grant is available to any University of Virginia faculty member or student who:

In addition, student applicants must intend to enroll in structured programs offered by accredited academic institutions in East Asia, or plan to pursue a specific research project.

TRAVEL GRANT AWARDS

Applicants intending to spend two to eight weeks in East Asia under the conditions outlined herein may apply for a travel grant to cover partial (25% or more) round trip air fare between Charlottesville and East Asia.

Applicants intending to spend eight weeks or more in East Asia under the conditions outlined herein may apply for a travel grant to cover up to full round trip air fare between Charlottesville and East Asia

Under special circumstances students and faculty members may apply for up to full round trip air fare regardless of length of stay in East Asia, provided the trip has a sound and genuine professional or academic purpose, i.e., to attend a professional conference, to conduct research that can only be conducted in East Asia, etc.

A trip designed to enable a student or a faculty member simply to 'visit' East Asia will not be funded.

SELECTION CRITERIA

Travel grant applications shall be judged according to the selection committee's assessment of the quality of the applicant, the intellectual and academic cohesiveness of the applicant's project, and financial need. Preference shall be given to the applicants who have not recently been to East Asia and, in the following order, to:

1. research, language and cultural study;

2. participation in study tours;

3. participation in conferences.

No single travel grant shall exceed one-third of available funds, and normally no more than half of the available funds shall be allocated to faculty members.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Application forms are available during office hours in the East Asia Center. Completed applications are due by
February 28, 1997 and should be returned to the East Asia Center, located in 224 Minor Hall, tel: 924-7836.

OTHER NEWS

English Literature Position at Soochow University, Taiwan

Soochow University's English Department invites applications for a full-time position, opening August 1997, for an assistant or associate professor in English literature. The department is seeking a candidate with a strong background in early English literature and literary theory. The faculty is in the process of setting up a Comparative Literature Graduate School and is seeking a committed individual who will contribute to its formation. Previous teaching experience is desired; PhD must be in hand. Send application, curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference, along with a fax number and e-mail address, by February 10, 1997, to:

Chien-chun Ma, Chair
English Department
Soochow University
Wai Shuang Hsi, Shih Lin
Taipei, Taiwan
ROC

Tel: (02) 881-9471, ext. 6482
Fax: (02) 883-5158
E-mail: csf70@mbm1.scu.edu.tw

New CIEE Teach in China Program

Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) is pleased to announce the Teach in China program, an exciting opportunity to teach entry-level English language to college students in China for an academic year, starting in August 1997. Currently there are 450 million Chinese studying English, and consequently there is a great demand for native speakers. Council participants can expect to teach from 10-20 hours a week, and to perform other cultural "ambassadorial" roles, such as running an English language club. There will be a training course in the U.S. lasting several days which will provide essential TESL instruction and cultural orientation. Council's Beijing office will host a further 2-day orientation session in China before participants travel on to their pre-assigned host school. Teachers will receive a salary which is in the upper bracket of Chinese professional income, and free housing. Though Council anticipates a great deal of interest from students and teachers of English as a foreign language and Asian Studies, the program is open to those holding at least a Bachelor's degree in any subject by August 1997.

Brochures are available in 216 Minor Hall, or by contacting Council's Information Center (e-mail: info@ciee.org, tel: 1-888-COUNCIL).

Fellowship

Harvard's Program on US-Japan Relations has nine-month post-doctoral Advanced Research Fellowships available. The Program awards several Advanced Research Fellowships for the duration of one academic year to applicants with excellent research credentials. Awards are made annually on a competitive basis from a large number of applications. Successful applicants normally hold a PhD or its equivalent and must demonstrate significant scholarly achievement or potential. Award amounts are limited, and applicants tend to be in early stages of their careers. The application deadline is March 1, 1997, and awards are announced in April. Applications and more information are available from the Program by contacting Frank Schwartz at:

mail:

Program on US-Japan Relations
1737 Cambridge Street, Rm.502
Cambridge, MA 02138-3099

phone: 617/495-1890

e-mail: us_japan@cfia.harvard.edu

www: http://hdc-www.harvard.edu/cfia/us-japan

New Capability to Read Asian Languages on the Web in Alderman Library

Alderman library has just installed Win95 on all terminals in Memorial Hall (as you come in to the library). With the new Win95, one can use Internet Explorer to browse the World Wide Web. Internet Explorer has the built-in capability to read Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language web sites. This means one need not install any CJK software in order to read CJK languages sites from the Web.

In order to "activate" the CJK function:

1. click on the Internet Explorer icon

2. click the "View" on the manual bar (on top of the

screen with "file, edit, view..." showing)

3. go to the bottom of the drop-down window where it says "options" and click on it.

4. when a dialogue box pops up, choose "fonts" (at the lower right)

5. a new window comes up and then choose the desired language in both boxes.

T'ai-Chi and Martial Arts Classes Offered by UVa

The University's Department of Intramural-Recreational Sports is offering an introductory classes in T'ai-Chi Chuan, Aikido, Judo, and Northern Chinese Long Fist this semester. Registration for these programs begins at "Sign-up Night" on Tuesday, January 21 from 5-7 PM at Memorial Gym. For more information about these classes, their meeting dates, and costs, contact the Intramural-Recreational Sports administrative office at the Aquatic and Fitness Center (924-3791).

New Web Site for Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

The Division of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures has developed its own Home Page recently. The site provides information on the Division's faculty, language instruction, minor requirements, and courses offered, as well as Asian Studies at UVa, UVa's Middle Eastern Studies Program, and the UVa-Yarmouk University Summer Program in Jordan. Any comments or suggestions are welcome and should be sent to the AMELC e-mail address located at the web site. The World Wide Web address for the Division of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages is:

http://minerva.acc.virginia.edu/~amelc

Filmmaker To Be at Vinegar Hill Theater

Richard Gordon, director of Gate of Heavenly Peace, a documentary about the protests at Tiananmen in 1989 and the resulting Tiananmen Massacre of June 4, will show and discuss this work at theVinegar Hill Theater on Monday, January 20 at 7:00 PM. Admission is $5.

New Office Hours for East Asia Center

Monday 3-5 pm
Tuesday 11-1 pm
Wednesday 11-5 pm
Thursday 11-1 pm
Friday 1-4 pm

East Asia Center assistants are Paige Johnson, Sarah Mayo, and Jon Jones. The Center is located in 224 Minor Hall. tel: 924-7836; e-mail: eastasia@virginia.edu.

Newsletter addresses:

Any comments or suggestions regarding the East Asia Center Newsletter should be directed to: e-mail: John Israel--ji@virginia.edu or Jon Jones-- jej3z@virginia.edu

mail:

Newsletter
East Asia Center
224 Minor Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville,VA 22903
 


EAST ASIAN STUDIES COURSE OFFERINGS
SPRING 1997

Anthropology

ANTH 320/720 Marriage, Gender, Political Economy
John Shepherd
MW 2:00-3:15 Schedule #: 41223/41257

ANTH 366/766 China: Empires and Nationalities
John Shepherd
TR 2:00-3:15 Schedule #: 42353/42408

Architecture

ARH 582 Architecture of East Asia
Yunsheng Huang
TR 9:30-10:45 Schedule #: 44263

ARH 588 Modern Japanese Architecture
Yunsheng Huang
R 3:30-6:15 Schedule #: 44308

Chinese Language and Literature

CHIN 102 Elementary Chinese
Gilbert Roy
TR 6:30-8:00 + Drill sections Schedule #: 40684

CHIN 170 Chinese Calligraphy
Gilbert Roy
W 3:00-5:00 Schedule #: 43961

CHIN 202 Advanced Chinese
Gilbert Roy
TR 5:00-6:20 + Drill sections Schedule #: 43047

CHIN 302/502 Readings in Modern Chinese
Anne Kinney
TR 9:30-10:45 Schedule #: 41687/42911

CHIN 584 Classical Chinese Poetry
Anne Kinney
TR 11:00-12:15 Schedule #: 43302

CHTR 322 Chinese Literature: Gender and Family in Chinese Fiction
Anne Kinney
TR 12:30-1:45 Schedule #: 43383
 

Government and Foreign Affairs

GFCG 415 Comparative Public Policy
Leonard Schoppa
T 2:00-4:30 Schedule #: 43010

GFCG 851 Chinese Political Economy in Comparative Perspectives
Brantly Womack
M 7:00-9:30 Schedule #: 41377

GFIR 424B Southeast Asia in World Affairs
Paige Johnson
TR 2:00-3:15 Schedule #: 42270

GFIR 571 China and the World
Brantly Womack
W 7:00-9:30 Schedule #: 41447

GFIR 572 Japan in World Affairs
Leonard Schoppa
TR 11:00-12:15 Schedule #: 40469

East Asian History

HIEA 100 Peasants and Peasant Rebellion in Late Imperial and Modern China
Bradly Reed
M 1:00-3:30 Schedule #: 40046

HIEA 312/702 Imperial China: 1000 to 1900
Bradly Reed
MWF 10:00-10:50 Schedule #: 41339/44502

HIEA 314 Political and Social Thought in Modern China
John Israel
MW 2:00-2:50 + Discussion sections Schedule #: 43889

HIEA 322 Japan's Political History
Gary Allinson
MWF 9:00-9:50 Schedule #: 41572

HIEA 402, SCT. A Meaning, Memory, and Materialism in Postwar Japan
Gary Allinson
W 1:00-3:30 Schedule #: 43799

HIEA 706 Seminar on Modern China
John Israel
M 7:00-9:30 Schedule #: 41941
 

Japanese Language and Literature

JAPN 102 Elementary Japanese
Tomoko Marshall
TR 2:00-3:15 + Drill sections Schedule #: 41153

JAPN 202 Intermediate Japanese
Tomoko Marshall
TR 12:30-1:45 + Drill sections Schedule #: 41544

JAPN 302/502 Advanced Reading and Conversation
Mako Koyama
R 2:00-3:15 + Drill sections Schedule #: 40189/43407

JAPN 584 Advanced Reading and Conversation II
Yumi Soeshima
MW 3:30-4:45 Schedule #: 42057

JAPN 594 Advanced Readings on Society and Culture II
Michiko Wilson
W 3:00-5:30 Schedule #: 41936

JPTR 322/522 Modern Japanese Fiction
Yumi Soeshima
MW 2:00-3:15 Schedule #: 40997/41404

Religion

RELG 104 Introduction to Eastern Religions
Toni Huber
MW 1:00-1:50 + Discussion sections Schedule #: 40352

RELB 245 Zen
Paul Groner
TR 11:00-12:15 + Discussion sections Schedule #: 42264

RELB 317 Buddhist Meditation
Jeffrey Hopkins
TR 12:30-1:45 Schedule #: 41679

RELB 534 Issues in Taoism
Paul Groner
TBA Schedule #: 43882

RELB 701 Readings in Chinese Buddhist Texts
Paul Groner
TBA Schedule #: 43879
 
 


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