East Asia CenterNewsletter On-line

The University of Virgina
east asia center
September 2000

Professor Shao-Chuan Leng


          Shao-chuan Leng , a pioneer in the development of East Asian Studies at UVa, died  on Labor Day. He was 79 years old.
          Tony, as he was known to his friends, was Compton Professor of Government Emeritus. In 1950 he began his 42-year career in Charlottesville, the first Virginia professor to devote his entire teaching time to China and Japan. Working quietly but effectively, he devoted himself to putting the university on the map in the study of China. The addition of Professor Chen Jian to the history department and the Miller Center is but the most recent fruit of Leng’s efforts.
          Professor Leng wrote or edited ten books and many articles, but colleagues recall him as much for his human as for his intellectual qualities. Brantly Womack, former East Asian Center director and Leng’s successor in the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs, remembers Tony not only as "an outstanding intellect and expert on China" but as "a person of such character, warmth, and dedication to his many communities that his intellectual accomplishments completed his presence."
          Leng, notes Womack, was "a member of a Chinese generation formed in its early years by the chaos and humiliation of China's weakness and then torn by the contention of China's civil war and its aftermath." Following graduation from National Central University in Chongqing in 1943, he served in the Chinese Airforce, then earned an M.A. in International Law from Yale (1948) and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania (1950). 
        Though the son of a Chinese Nationalist general and son-in-law of the Vice-president and Premier of the Republic of China on Taiwan, Professor Leng viewed his native land with equanimity. Throughout China’s trials and tribulations of recent decades, he never abandoned hope in the future. Maintaining close ties with people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, he remained, in Womack’s words, "emotionally engaged in the weal and woe of ‘greater China’ " without losing "analytic objectivity". The "intense challenge of being a Chinese social scientist writing about China," observes Womack, "gave his thinking authenticity and depth."
        Professor Leng was predeceased by his first wife Alice, who began the teaching of Chinese at UVa. He is survived by his wife, Nora; his son, David; daughter-in-law, Rose; and granddaughter, Catherine.
 


New Student Enters MBA/MA Program



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

          Matthew P. Rosefsky graduated from Cornell University in 1995 with a MA in Mechanical Engineering. He has worked for both Caterpillar and Lockheed Martin during which he traveled to Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand. Mr. Rosefsky believes UVA's joint MBA/MA East Asian Studies program "is the perfect blend of business and multidisciplinary East Asian education" and hopes "comparative study of sociology and ethnology will help explain why such apparently stark behavioral differences exist between East Asian countries, and will assist [him] in interacting with East Asian individuals and corporations in socially correct form."


 



 
 

East Asia Center and Related Events
Fall 2000

    Friday, September 22                                    Jian Chen, Department of History, UVA. "The China Challenge in the 21st Century:
                                                                                Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy" (Minor Hall 225, 3:00 p.m.)
 

    Friday, September 29                                    Robert Murowchick, Boston University. "The Future of China's Past: New
                                                                                Directions in Collaborative Archaeology" Co-sponsored by the McIntire Department of Art and the
                                                                                Interdisciplinary Program in Anthropology. (Campbell 160, 3:00 p.m.)
 

    Friday, October 6                                          Shuen-Fu Lin, University of Michigan. "Creating a Larger Artistic Totality: The Integration
                                                                                of Poetry and Painting in the Chinese Tradition" (Minor Hall 225, 3:00 p.m.)
 

    Friday, October 27                                        William Speidel, China Peace Corps Director, 1994-1999. "Six Years in Sichuan: A
                                                                                View of China from the Interior" (Minor Hall 225, 3:00 p.m.)
 

    Friday, November 3                                      Hiroko Hirakawa, Guilford College. "Mass Media and the Emergence of Sexual
                                                                                Harassment Talk in Japan" Co-sponsored by the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society and the
                                                                                Women's Center. (Jefferson Hall Hotel C, 8:00 p.m.)

    Friday, November 10                                    Yanfang Tang, College of William & Mary. "Chinese Classical Poetry: Bai Juyi's
                                                                                Chang Hen Ge (Song of Unending Sorrow)" (Minor Hall 225, 3:00 pm)
 

    Friday, December 1                                       Susan Bush, Fairbank Center for East Asian Studies, Harvard University.
                                                                                "The Murals of Kaihuasi and Yanshansai: Chinese Buddhist Narratives of the
                                                                                11th and 12th Centuries" (Campbell 160, 3:00 pm)
 
 
 


Japanese Conversation Hours

        New this Fall, weekly meetings will be held for students of Japanese interested in practicing their Japanese in a relaxed environment with native speakers, students in upper-levels, and instructors. The meetings will be held after East Asia Center lectures. They will take place in Minor Hall 225 on 9/22, 10/27, 11/3, and 11/17 and in Cabell Hall on 10/6 and 11/10.



 
 

My Experience in Japan
By Rebecca Schoff

        There is only one word that can begin to describe my study abroad experience in Tokyo, Japan: unbelievable. I departed from the United States on March 28 of this year and spent the spring semester studying at Kanda Gaigo Daigaku (Kanda University of International studies). Along with 15 other students from the United States, I started in Tokyo with a 3-week language-intensive orientation. Because classes were only in the mornings, I had the afternoons to bond with my host family and explore the city. Once these three weeks were over, however, daily life became much busier. Besides Japanese language instruction in the mornings, I also attended afternoon classes on the History of Japanese International Relations and Japanese Popular Culture. On Fridays, all students spent the day in an assigned office as a "mini-intern."

        My field placement was one of the highlights of my study abroad experience. Once we were accepted into the IES program (International Education of Students), we were asked what our preferences were so that, if possible, the IES Tokyo staff could find a placement in which we were interested. As a Foreign Affairs major, I stated that I preferred to be placed in a political/government office, and fortunately, they were able to oblige. I was placed with a newly-elected Diet member, and I had the unique opportunity to witness many major political events such as the replacement of Prime Minister Obuchi when he fell into a coma, the Lower House Diet elections, and the creation of a television campaign advertisement. The generosity of my field placement supervisor, Yuichirou Hata, and the political clout of his father, a former prime minister, Tsutomu Hata, provided me with many opportunities to see, hear, and feel Japanese politics from the inside -- a rare opportunity for a foreigner living in a culture sometimes regarded as xenophobic. I had the ideal environment for building upon and applying the knowledge I had been given about Japanese society and politics in my 5 previous semesters at UVA.

        The IES program was unique in that it concentrated more on a well-rounded and integrated experience rather than a purely academic one. Classes, although demanding, were held to a minimum so that we could spend maximum time exploring and imbuing ourselves with Japanese culture and life. My daily life activities including cooking, family celebrations and gatherings, child-rearing, and weekend trips. I was even able to participate in a local kimono fashion show and a pre-school Bon Dance festival. The list of "things I did while in Japan" would most certainly run off this page, and probably onto several others, but I do want to take this opportunity not only to give a short testimony of the value this semester has added to my entire curriculum at UVA, but once again to thank those who helped me have this opportunity. It was truly an unbelievable experience. I would be more than happy to provide further details about my trip and to volunteer my time or services to helping other students have an equally wonderful experience or to serving the East Asia Center in any way that would be helpful.
 



 


Fellowship Deadlines of Special Interest to Students of East Asia


September 22                        Fulbright US Student Program due in UVA Graduate Arts & Sciences Office.
                                               (Start this application immediately since this is a particularly tedious application!)

October 1                              Japan Studies Dissertation Workshop (sponsored by the Japan Foundation and the SSRC)

October 4                              Association of Teachers of Japanese Bridging Project

October 15                            Academy for International and Area Studies Scholar Program

October 27                            Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship (US Dept. of Educ.)

November 1                          Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellowship

November 15                       US Institute of Peace- Peace Scholar Fellowship

November 18                        SSRC International Dissertation Field Research Fellowship Program

December 1                           Vietnam Dissertation Field Research Fellowship

December 6                           Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

mid-December                       Brookings Institution Fellowship
                                               (This is the deadline for departmental nomination; actual application is due in mid-February.)

December 15                         National Science Foundation Political Science Program (other social science grants are available,
                                               though their dates vary)

January 1                               Middlebury Summer Language Schools (students who do not require financial aid may apply as late as March 15)

January 15                             National Security Education Program (for area studies)

January 15                             Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation
                                               (Note that this grant must be applied for jointly by the student and his/her faculty advisor.)

February 14                           Institute for the Study of World Politics Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

February 15                           Ellen Bayard Weedon Travel Grant (UVA East Asian Center)

March 1                                 Korean Foundation Fellowship for Korean Studies

March 15                               Hopkins-Nanjing Program Scholarship

April 15                                  Program for Southeast Asian Studies at Arizona State Foreign Language Area Studies

May 1                                    School of Oriental and African Studies Scholarship

May 31                                  Korea Foundation Fellowship for Korean Language Training
 
 



Japan Under the Knife of Globalization:
Why Katte Wa Ikenai and Freddie the Leaf are Best Sellers


        Leo Buscalia’s Freddy the Leaf has joined the consumer guide Katte Wa Ikenai on Japan’s best-seller list, according to University of Chicago Professor Norma Field in an April 28 lecture at the East Asian Center. Freddy, the story of an individual’s encounter with death and dying with dignity, has been popular among middle-aged men because of its resonance with their anxieties in the context of the current Japanese recession. Katte Wa Ikenai—which translates loosely as "Don’t Buy It"—lists common Japanese products and their negative effects on the environment and users’ health. This work was largely a hit with women. Field argues that these two works provide an unusual way of thinking about the discourse and reality of globalization in Japan.
        Freddie the Leaf represents a philosophical and passive approach to the current economic difficulties facing the Japanese, whereas Katte Wa Ikenai is emblematic of a more active, feisty reaction. Yet, according to Field, Japanese response to the current situation has been far from aggressive. Protest following the nuclear accident last autumn was short-lived, noted Field, in spite of the well-informed the Japanese media. She arguesd that this subdued reaction highlighted people’s unwillingness to confront anxiety because of Japan’s peculiar economic and geographic situation. The consumer movement highlighted by Katte Wa Ikenai and widespread immersion in the likes of Freddy the Leaf fill the need for protest created by these events, but keeps the intensity low enough to prevent disruption of
the Japanese system.
        Field concluded her discussion with a brief look at recent actions taking by the nationalist governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, to tax banks with headquarters in Tokyo. The tax should generate one billion dollars per year for Tokyo and the action of taxing banks that (because they pay little to no interest on consumer deposits) do not benefit the people, made Ishihara into a populist of sorts, according to Field. She worries that this and similar tactics when paired with other actions that pander to nationalist feelings will open new uncontrollable ways for people to act out their sense that things are not right.
 
 

Dorothy Wong recounts her summer exploits at an EAC panel earlier this month