What could Asia mean?
SUN Ge (Trans. by LAU Kinchi and Yueh-Tsen CHUNG)
Abstract: This essay attempts to reopen a series of unquestioned assumptions surrounding the notion of Asia. Mediating through intellectual history, it critically reflects on the accepted and habitual modes of thinking, and the conclusion, about Asia, so that new breakthrough to approach the concept of Asia might be effected. In discussing Asianism in modern history of Japan, it poses the following basic questions: 1. Within the discussion of Asianism, what were the historical conditions which produced Asia as ideality and Asia as concrete entity (regionality), and how did the two levels of 'Asia' interact to influence each other? 2. In different historical moments, what were the basic questions confronting Japan in the process of constructing Asianism? 3.At the present moment, in facing and analyzing Asia, what are the limits and possibilities, given the fact that this involves complex differences of the East and West as well as of the diverse disciplines? In borrowing materials on the problematic of Asianism from modern history of Japan, the author wishes to sort out common question for intellectuals in Asia; for instance, when we think of the Asia question, are we only responding to the question raised by the intellectuals in the West? What does Asia really mean for ourselves?
Author's biography: Sun Ge was born in 1955 and received her B.A. in Chinese from Jilin University. She is currently an assistant researcher for the Institute of Literature in Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. She has written several works in Chinese including Seeking of Errors (Sanlian Book), Position of Literature (in Review of Academic Thoughts 3, 4)…etc.