The Ming-Qing transition as turning point
MIZOGUCHI Yūzō (Translated by Jason MORGAN)
ABSTRACT Many histories of China attempt to impose outside interpretive methods upon the Chinese past. In this essay, Mizoguchi works from within the Chinese tradition to understand how changing ideas of economics – and in particular the conflict between private land ownership by the ruler and by the common people– , literature, philosophy, religion, and politics all combined to make the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginning of the subsequent Qing Dynasty a time of great change in the ways in which Chinese thinkers understood their history and present.
Keywords: Ming Dynasty, Qing Dynasty, Huang Zongxi, royal land and private land, feudalism, Zhu Xi, Wang Yangming, Li Zhuowu, village spaces, philanthropic associations, Donglin Faction
Note on the author
Mizoguchi Yūzō (1932–2010). Born in Nagoya.After studying Chinese literature in the Faculty of Letters at the University of Tokyo, Mizguchi went on to attend graduate school at Nagoya University, where he became a student of Iriya Yoshitaka. He specialized in Chinese intellectual history and taught at Saitama University, Hitotsubashi University, and The Univerity of Tokyo. He is the author of many books and articles. His representative works include方法としての中国 [China as method. 1989], 中国の衝撃 [China’s impact. 2004], and 中国思想史 [Intellectual history of China. 2007], among others.
Note on the translator
Jason Morgan received a PhD in Japanese history from the University of Wisconsin (USA) in 2016. He is currently a research associate at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies. Morgan wishes to thank the anonymous reviewer of this translation, whose keen eye for accuracy and ability to see the Mizoguchi original in multiple dimensions – historical, linguistic, literary, and cross-cultural – greatly improved the initial Englishing of the essay.