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I am particularly thankful to Li Haiyan for her superb help as a research assistant on this project. I am also thankful to the participants of the conference on "Becoming Chinese" who commented on the paper I presented, which became this chapter. Thanks are also due Susan Mann, Thomas Pixely, Joan Scott, Mayfair Yang, and others who gave me valuable comments. Some of the materials in this paper have also appeared in Prasenjit Duara, "The Regime of Authenticity: Timelessness, Gender, and National History in Modern China," History and Theory 37 (October 1998), 287–308; and in Duara, "Transnationalism and the Predicament of Sovereignty: China, 1900–1945," American Historical Review (October 1997): 1030–51.

1. On the intellectual history, see Charlotte Furth, The Limits of Change: Essays on Conservative Alternatives in Republican China (Cambridge, Mass., 1976). [BACK]

2. Kai-wing Chow, The Rise of Confucian Ritualism in Late Imperial China: Ethics, Classics, and Lineage Discourse (Stanford, Calif., 1994), 21–25. [BACK]

3. Takayoshi Suemitsu, Shina no mimi kaisha to jishan kaisha (China's secret societies and charitable societies) (Dalian, 1932), 354. [BACK]

4. Wanguo Daodehui Manzhouguo zonghui bianjike, ed., Manzhouguo Daodehui nianjian (Yearbook of the Manzhouguo Morality Society), vol. 4 (Xinjing: Wanguo Daodehui Manzhouguo zonghui bianjike, 1934), 1. Hereafter known as MDNJ. See also Takizawa Toshihiro, Shūkyōchōsa shiryo (Materials from the survey of religions), vol. 3: Minkan shinyō chōsa hokokusho (Report on the survey of popular beliefs) (Xinjing, 1937), 67. [BACK]

5. Chen Lifu, Xin shenghuo yu minsheng shiguan (New Life and the Minsheng conception of history), Geming wenxian, vol. 68: Xin shenghuo yundong shiliao (Taipei, 1976), 128. [BACK]

6. Ibid., 133. [BACK]

7. Otani Komme, Shyūkyō chōsa shiryo (Materials from the survey of religions), vol. 2: Kirin, Kento, Binko, kakosho shūkyō chōsa hōkoku (Report on religious surveys of the various provinces of Jilin, Jiandao, and Binjiang) (Xinjing, 1937), 69, 123; Suemitsu, Shina no mimi kaisha, 251, 255. [BACK]

8. Prasenjit Duara, Rescuing History from the Nation: Questioning Narratives of Modern China (Chicago, 1995), chap. 3. [BACK]

9. Suemitsu, Shina no mimi kaisha, 302. [BACK]

10. See Chow, Rise, 22–24, for late imperial syncretism. [BACK]

11. Suemitsu, Shina no mimi kaisha, 292–305. [BACK]

12. Ibid., 262–63. [BACK]

13. Ibid., 266, 326–28;Takizawa, Shūkyō chōsa shiryo, 76–78;Wing-tsit Chan, Religious Trends in Modern China (New York, 1953), 164–67. [BACK]

14. Louis Althusser, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation)," in Lenin and Philosophy (New York, 1971). [BACK]

15. The anxiety associated with the linear representation of phenomenological time— time as a succession of instants, of nows—seeks resolution through structures of continuity.

This is the role of the unchanging in evolution or what Derrida has called the "intemporal kernel of time." In Derrida, this intemporal kernel is the elusive "now," which is related to other categories of presence such as being, essence, and substance. Yet like them, the now can never truly escape time, that is, cannot escape being-past or being-future, rather than being-present (Jacques Derrida, "Ousia and Gramme: Note on a Note from Being and Time," in Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass [Chicago, 1982], 40). Linear history, which recapitulates the aporia of linear time, has to develop an artifice that allows it to narrate over the succession of "nows," to negotiate or conceal the gap between the deadness of the past and the need for it (Paul Ricoeur, Time and Narrative [Chicago, 1984, 1988], 1 [1984]: 1–30; 3 [1988]: 138–41). For linear histories this artifice is the subject of history—the nation, race, or class. At the same time that the subject enables history as the living essence of the past, it also enables a freedom from the past: that which evolves is that which remains even as it changes. For a more detailed examination of the relationship between authenticity and time, see Duara, "Regime." [BACK]

16. Similarly, by "tradition" I refer not to some abiding essence or primordial inheritance, a view found both in nationalist and modernization paradigms of our times. I see it rather as a discursive production, an inheritance that is resignified in the inheriting process—a representation (See Duara, Rescuing History, chap. 3). It is precisely because the past is reproduced or coproduced by the present that there is so much diversity and contestation over tradition, and that characterizations of this tradition are so changeable over time. [BACK]

17. Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (Princeton, 1993), chap. 6. [BACK]

18. Ibid., chaps. 6–7. [BACK]

19. Norma Diamond, "Women under Kuomintang Rule: Variations on the Feminine Mystique" Modern China 1, no. 1 (1975): 6–7. [BACK]

20. Mao Dun, "Mud," in Furrows: Peasants, Intellectuals, and the State: Stories and Histories from Modern China, comp. and ed. Helen F. Siu (Stanford, 1990), 33–39. [BACK]

21. Lu Xun, "Wozhi jielieguan" (My views on chastity), in Fen, in Lu Xun Quanji, vol. 1 (1918;reprint, Taipei, 1989), 101–13. [BACK]

22. Lu Xun, "Feizao" (Soap), in Panghuang, in Lu Xun Quanji, vol. 2 (1924;reprint, n.p., Lu Xun Quanji chubanshe, 1927), 189–207. For a fuller interpretation of Lu Xun's writings on this subject, see Prasenjit Duara, "Regime." [BACK]

23. Kazuko Ono, Chinese Women in a Century of Revolution, 1850–1950, trans. and ed. Joshua Fogel (Stanford, 1989), 27. [BACK]

24. Wang Jingwei, "Duiyu nüjiede ganxiang" (Reflections on women's world), Funü zazhi 10, no. 1 (1924): 106–7. [BACK]

25. Ibid., 108. [BACK]

26. MDNJ, 1:1. [BACK]

27. Hailing from Chaoyang county in Rehe, Wang Fengyi (1864–1937) was a self-educated, rural intellectual who synthesized the theory of the five conducts (based on the five elements) and yinyang cosmology with the teachings of the three religions into a single doctrine. The careers of Wang and intellectuals like him (and the adoption and promotion of Wang and others by metropolitan elites) need to be studied much more fully (see Lin Anwu, "Yin dao yi li jiao—yi Wang Fengyi ‘shierzi xinchuan’ wei gaixin zhankai" [Establishing the "way" as religion—explorations of Wang Fengyi's "twelve character teachings"], in Zhonghua minzu zongjiao xueshu huiyi lunwen fabiao [Publication of the conference on

the study of Chinese religion] [Taipei, 1989], 11–19). See also Manzhouguo Daodehui bianjike (Manzhouguo Morality Society editorial department), ed., Disanjie Manzhouguo Daodehui daode jiangxi yulu (Oral records of morality seminars of the third Manzhouguo Morality Society), pt. 3 (Xinjing, 1936), 1. Hereafter known as DMDY. [BACK]

28. The membership figure for the Fellowship of Goodness comes from Suemitsu, Shina no mimi kaisha, 252. The figure for the Red Swastika Society comes from Takizawa, Shūkyō chōsa shiryo, 67. [BACK]

29. Chan, Religious Trends, 164. However Wing-tsit Chan does note that the Fellowship of Goodness claimed more than a thousand branches in all parts of China proper and Manchuria in 1923 (165). Suemitsu believes that the Red Swastika had a following of 3 million in 1932 (Suemitsu, Shina no mimi kaisha, 302). [BACK]

30. Chan, Religious Trends, 167. [BACK]

31. To be sure, many of these societies—especially the religious societies—were also militarily opposed to Japanese rule. See especially Takizawa, Shūkyō chōsa shiryo, on the Zaijiali. [BACK]

32. Warren H. Smith Jr., Confucianism in Modern Japan: A Study of Conservatism in Japan's Intellectual History (Tokyo, 1959), 123–26. [BACK]

33. Ibid., 154–66. To be sure, this was a synthetic rhetoric that not only sought to combine Eastern spirituality with Western civilization but also Confucianism with native Japanese traditions. Japan was depicted, especially after the Chinese Republican revolution, as the true leader and champion of Confucianism and Eastern morality—a depiction used to justify intervention in China (145). [BACK]

34. Takizawa, Shūkyō chōsa shiryo, 82–86, 100–102. [BACK]

35. Carol Gluck, Japan's Modern Myths: Ideology in the Late Meiji Period (Princeton, 1985), 103; and Sheldon Garon, "Women's Groups and the Japanese State: Contending Approaches to Political Integration, 1890–1945," Journal of Japanese Studies 19, no. 1 (1993): 5–41. [BACK]

36. The story of the tensions between the Society and the Manzhouguo government over religious worship, account-keeping, school curricula, and ties with secret societies, as well as ideological clashes with progressive groups within Manzhouguo, is a very revealing one and belongs to another history (MDNJ, 2:14–16, 25–35, 42–45). [BACK]

37. Ibid., 4:2. [BACK]

38. Ibid., 2:36–42; 4:117, 118; 8:22–23. [BACK]

39. Ibid., 1:21. [BACK]

40. DMDY, 1:10–58. [BACK]

41. Lu, "Feizao"; Kang Baiqing, "Du Wang jun Zhuomin daxue buyi nannü tongxiao lun shangdui" (A response to Mr. Wang Zhuomin's essay on the inappropriateness of coeducation in our universities), Funü zazhi 4 (1918): 11;Wang Zhuomin, "Lun wuguo daxue shang buyi nannü tongxiao" (On the inappropriateness of coeducation in our universities), Funu zazhi 4 (1918): 5;Yan Shi, "Nannü tongxue yu lian'ai shang de zhidao" (Coeducation and guidance on amorous relationships), Funu zazhi 9 (1923): 10. [BACK]

42. DMDY, 4:142. [BACK]

43. Mark Elvin, "Female Virtue and the State in China," Past and Present 104 (1984); Charlotte Furth, "The Patriarch's Legacy: Household Instructions and the Transmission of Orthodox Values," in Orthodoxy in Late Imperial China, ed. Kwang-ching Liu (Berkeley, Calif., 1984); Dorothy Ko, Teachers of the Inner Chambers: Women and Culture in Seventeenth Century China (Stanford, 1994). See also Chow, Rise. [BACK]


44. MDNJ, 1:1; 4:1–2. Although we do not think of Manzhouguo as a nation-state, it did, in fact, possess a highly developed rhetoric of a new type of nation unifying the different races of the area (xiehe guojia). However, since its rhetoric had to balance the assertion of national independence with its political dependence upon Japan, the nation was only one of the "ultimate" communities that it emphasized; the other was East Asia. [BACK]

45. Hanyu da cidian quotes passages from the representative texts in which these categories occur: zhiming can be found in the text Yijing, zhixing and jinxin in Mengzi, zhizhi in Liji, lishen in Xiaojing, lizhi in Hou Hanshu, and liye in Hanji. [BACK]

46. See Homi Bhabha on enunciation: "The reason a cultural text or system of meaning cannot be sufficient unto itself is that the act of cultural enunciation—the place of utterance—is crossed by the difference of writing…. It is this difference in the process of language that is crucial to the production of meaning and ensures, at the same time, that meaning is never simply mimetic or transparent." See Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London, 1994), 36. [BACK]

47. DMDY, 3:4–5, 38. [BACK]

48. Three of these relationships—between father and son, older and younger brothers, husband and wife—concern stabilizing family ties; the fourth relationship between friends connects horizontally across families; and the fifth between subject and monarch links the family to the state. [BACK]

49. MDNJ, 11:29. [BACK]

50. DMDY, 4:221–23. [BACK]

51. Ibid., 4:97. [BACK]

52. It is interesting to explore the extent to which this discourse on family and the nation-state in Manzhouguo, especially before 1941, paralleled or was influenced by other midcentury nationalist and fascist discourses in Europe and Asia. [BACK]

53. DMDY, 4:134. [BACK]

54. MDNJ, 10:6; 12:24. [BACK]

55. DMDY, 4:151. [BACK]

56. MDNJ, 2:41; 4:27. Thus, the weekly curriculum of the virtuous girls' schools was standardized to devote 2 hours for self-cultivation; 3 for the study of the classics; 5 for art, needlework, and music; 8 for Chinese; 2 for Japanese; 2 for history; 2 for geography; 6 for math; and 2 for nature study (MDNJ, 2:1–3). [BACK]

57. DMDY, 4:207. Note, however, that Wang's household was probably very patriarchal. When his daughter-in-law was brought in marriage into their home, she fell into a depression and returned to her uncle's home. Wang claims that after he spoke to her, she happily returned to their home (4:157). [BACK]

58. Ibid., 4:90, 94, 138. [BACK]

59. See Furth, "Patriarch's Legacy"; Chow, Rise; Elvin, "Female Virtue"; and Susan Mann, Precious Records: Women in China's Long Eighteenth Century (Stanford, 1997). [BACK]

60. Furth, "Patriarch's Legacy." [BACK]

61. MDNJ, 11:30. To be sure, the recent work of Susan Mann and others has shown that the high moralism confining women to the home was a consequence of the Confucian "classical revival" of the eighteenth century and should not be viewed as an eternal feature of imperial Chinese society (Mann, Precious Records, 22–31). These writers have also shown that despite all the rhetoric and measures designed to confine women to the home, there was still a great deal of physical mobility among women in late imperial society. [BACK]


62. DMDY, 4:53. [BACK]

63. Takizawa, Shūkyō chōsa shiryo, 94–95. [BACK]

64. In some ways, the realm of the social functioned like the nation as a legitimating force in providing alternative roles for women. As the sphere of collective activity it was certainly a most important component or building block of nationalist discourse. [BACK]

65. DMDY, 4:185. [BACK]

66. Ibid., 4:134–35. [BACK]

67. Song Ruohua, Nü Lunyu (The analects of women) (Shanghai, [780?]), 3–5. [BACK]

68. DMDY, 4:181. [BACK]

69. Ibid., 4:137. [BACK]

70. Ibid., 4:140. [BACK]

71. Ibid., 4:139. A Mrs. Zhu recalled being so driven by anxiety when her stepmother arrived after her mother died, that she wore out fifteen pairs of shoes. Later she realized that her stepmother was not unkind and she herself had been unfilial. So, in order to make up for it, she set up a business for the two of them, and her selfish feelings dissolved (4:130). [BACK]

72. Ibid., 4:132, 188, 231. [BACK]

73. Ibid., 4:181–82. [BACK]

74. Ibid., 4:227–28. [BACK]

75. Ibid., 4:219, 220, 236. [BACK]

76. In many ways, we may consider the simultaneously alternative and ambient discourses on women in Buddhism and Daoism in the late imperial period to have played a similar role in relation to the Confucian orthodoxy. Thus, despite the heavy rhetoric of "familial moralism" that redefined the position of the wife and marginalized the courtesan in the eighteenth century, women continued to find in Buddhism and Daoism an alternative sphere and the means to escape confinement to the home and patriarchy (Mann, Precious Records, 224–25). [BACK]

77. James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven, 1990). [BACK]

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