President : Richard Phillips
Dept of History
Univ. of Auckland

Secretary : Mike Roberts
Dept of East Asian Studies
Univ. of Waikato

Treasurer : Duncan Campbell
Dept of East Asian Languages
Victoria University

Publicity Officer: Henry Johnson
Dept of Music
Univ. of Otago


Newsletter No. 6 (December 2000)


Published by the New Zealand Asian Studies Society


1. News and Reports

1.1 Report from Massey
1.2 Report from Aki
1.3 Review Books, New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies

2. People in NZASIA

2.1 Obituary: Professor Makitaro Hotta

3. New books by NZASIA Members
4. Conference Announcements

4.1 14th NZASIA International Conference 2001
4.2 The Crisis in Asia

5. Reminder: NZASIA Membership Subscriptions


1. News and Reports

1.1 Report from Massey

Under the leadership of Associate Professor Alex Chu and Professor Anton Meister, a team of "experts" presently and formerly associated with Massey - P Gregg, J Hodgson, F I Matthews, S Morris, B Nowak, J Reid, A Shadrake - joined with five colleagues in China - Du Yuexin, Guo Peiyu, Li Ou, Cai Kui and Xie Jishi - to run a training workshop on participatory methods in grasslands development and livestock management. With support from an ADAF grant and the PRC and Sichuan Governments we trained 46 grasslands and livestock managers and extension workers on using PRA (participatory rural appraisal). Working in the hills and plains around Chengdu we spoke with provincial and county officials, and with smallholder and specialised farmers on issues regarding how to better the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Consideration was particularly paid to the gender environmental issues of smallholder farm(er)s. We then had the opportunity to go up into Aba, the Tibetan Autonomous Region, to learn first hand a bit about the grasslands improvement projects assisting Yak herders. Our team will return to the PRC in 7 months to evaluate the success of the PRA training workshop and to extend the trainees' understanding of PRA. (Rosemary Haddon, University of Massey)


1.2 Report from Aki

On previous visits to the thatched home of Miura Baien (1723-89) a matron caretaker would serve tea in his old study amid some of his artefacts and papers. Other manuscripts were locked away in an outhouse. There was already talk of building a museum for them on my first visit in late 1979. This year I was invited to speak at the opening of that museum.

Academic appraisal of Baien's work was slight until the 1970s. His considerable influence had been obscured for many reasons: one is the difficulty of his main philosophical work Gengo, for which he invented a technical language. Another was his decision to remain in an isolated country village.

Aki is still rural, in the Kunisaki peninsula of north-west Kyushu. Where once one could barely take a car, now there is a spanking new sealed road. I was speechless in both languages as we wound our way past it up through the forest of cedars, with tall wild cosmos in bloom. At intervals beyond the house are first the museum and a modern playground for children, next seven log cabins for tourists, named after stars of the Tanabata, then a large tourist lodge with a Baien Memorial Hall, appointed with superior technical aids, and lastly an observatory, with the largest telescope in Oita prefecture. Everything is "Baien", including posters "Baien Cup 1999", Baien Cup 00". I asked what it was: "It's like the Americas Cup," they said. It is a windsurfing race on Oita harbour.

The first room of the museum is dominated by a celestial sphere, a giant blue and gold model of the one Baien made in his youth. A segment has been removed, the inside surfaces lined with mirrors, and a video screen on the back one. First legs walking, then a crab crawling etc, while a script from Baien "Man walks with his legs . . ." rolls through to tinkly but bewitching music. The ambience is set for the superb exhibition in the rooms beyond.

The celebrations were two and a half days long, the participants ranging from local villagers and Miura family descendants to professors, including astronomers, from other universities. After the red ribbon was cut by a row of VIPs with pairs of gold scissors, there was an impressive ceremony of prayers and oblations. Back up in the hall, between the main speech and mine, Aki Primary School performed an operetta about Baien's life, combining music, dance and narrative with electronic aids. To express his 23 revisions of the difficult Gengo, two boys entered from each side and did perfect cartwheels across the floor. The whole performance had been thoroughly rehearsed. The following days there were 30 minute talks, a panel, and a session of eight children reading their essays on Baien Sensei.

Prefectural authorities and local businesses have financed this phenomenon, another example of Japan's discreet marriage of business and scholarship. You Kiwi philosophers and scholars, eat your hearts out! (Rosemary Mercer, Victoria University of Wellington)


1.3 Review Books, New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies

The following books are available for review for the New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies. Reviews must appear in the first issue in 2001, so only those who are able to submit completed reviews before April 2001 should request books. Those interested should contact Brian Moloughney at

H W Arndt and Hal Hill, eds. Southeast Asia's Economic Crisis: Origins, Lessons, and the Way Forward. ISEAS, 2000.

Helen J Baroni. Obaku Zen: The Emergence of the Third Sect of Zen in Tokugawa Japan. Hawaii, 2000.

Chua Beng-huat, ed. Consumption in Asia: Lifestyles and Identities. Routledge, 2000.

Lowell Dittmer, Haruhiro Fukui and Peter Lee, eds. Informal Politics in East Asia. Cambridge, 2000.

Peter Drysdale. Reform and Recovery in East Asia: The Role of the State and Economic Enterprise. Routledge, 2000.

Grant Evans, ed. Laos: Culture and Society. ISEAS, 2000.

Grant Evans, Christopher Hutton, and Kuah Khun Eng, eds. Where China Meets Southeast Asia: Social and Cultural Change in the Border Regions. ISEAS, 2000.

Hans Gooszen. A Demographic History of the Indonesian Archipelago, 1880-1942. ISEAS, 2000.

Yarong Jiang and David Ashley. Mao's Children in the New China: Voices From the Red Guard Generation. Routledge, 2000.

Chris Manning and Peter van Diermen, eds. Indonesia in Transition: Social Aspects of Reformasi and Crisis. ISEAS, 2000.

Seiichi Masuyama, Donna Vandenbrink, and Chia Siow Yue, eds. Restoring East Asia's Dynamism. ISEAS, 2000.

Wai-ming Ng. The I Ching in Tokugawa Thought and Culture. Hawaii, 2000.

Gregory Noble and John Ravenhill, eds. The Asian Financial Crisis and the Architecture of Global Finance. Cambridge, 2000.

Sorpong Peou. Intervention and Change in Cambodia: Towards Democracy?. ISEAS, 2000.

Elizabeth Perry and Mark Selden, eds. Chinese Society. Routledge, 2000.

Anthony Reid. Charting the Shape of Early Modern Indonesia. ISEAS, 2000.

David Shambaugh, ed. The Modern Chinese State. Cambridge, 2000.

Michael R J Vatikiotis. Political Change in Southeast Asia: Trimming the Banyan Tree. Routledge, 2000.

O W Walters. History, Culture and Region in Southeast Asian Perspectives. Revised edition. ISEAS, 2000.

Kui Hua Wang. Chinese Commercial Law. Oxford, 2000.


2. People in NZASIA

Bill Willmott visited China for a week in November to look at the rural women's cooperative movement in Baoding Prefecture, Hebei Province. With money donated by the NZ China Friendship Society and subsidised by VASS, the International Committee for the Promotion of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (better known as Gung Ho) has helped the local Women's Federation to establish several production cooperatives in Baoding City and Mancheng County as well as a credit cooperative to provide establishment loans to cooperatives in Mancheng. The grant also provides for training courses to educate rural women into the principles and organisation of small-scale cooperatives, which have taken place in Wangdu County as well as Baoding and Mancheng.

Many rural women are in danger of being left behind by the reform policies currently being promoted, so cooperatives can play an important role in allowing them to advance their living standards and personal power. Most promising are a women's knitting cooperative in Chunlai Village and a transport cooperative in Baoding that takes children to and from school. Agricultural co-ops are also being developed, but a bold experimental cooperative to breed scorpions in private homes (scorpion venom is useful in Chinese medicine) failed because the necessary technology was more complicated than at first supposed. Interested members can receive a report on this project from Bill Willmott at

Srikanta Chatterjee visited the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Research Centre of the University of California, Berkeley, and the School of International Relations of Stanford University in April - May 2000. He presented seminars at both places on topics related to APEC and Australia-New Zealand.

Srikanta Chatterjee, Allan Rae and Shamim Shakur will be attending, presenting papers and acting as discussants of other papers at the 7th Annual Conference of the East Asian Economic Association (EAEA) to be held in Singapore in mid November 2000. Their joint paper examines the impact of trade liberalisation on trade patterns and economic welfare of a number of Asian economies.


2.1 Obituary: Professor Makitaro Hotta

Professor Makitaro Hotta of Ritsumeikan University has just died. He was very much involved in legal studies in Japan, especially human rights issues. However, from our point of view he is probably best known for his contribution to developing academic links between Japan, and specifically his university, and New Zealand. He was instrumental in the agreement in the early 1990s between Ritsumeikan University and the New Zealand-Japan Foundation, under Rod Miller, for a biennial fellowship/visiting professor appointment at Ritsumeikan. This was subsequently taken over and administered by the Asia 2000 Foundation. I was the inaugural holder of this award so I have special reason to be grateful to Professor Hotta.


He was a person of boundless energy and enthusiasm and, given his internationalist outlook, it was appropriate that he was involved with the setting up of Ritsumeikan's Asia Pacific University in Beppu, Kyushu. Apparently Professor Hotta had been sick since early summer and when cancer was found, it was not treatable. He was only 53. (Tim Beal, Victoria University of Wellington)



3. New Books by NZASIA Members 

Bob Catley and D Mosler. 2000. Global America: Imposing Liberalism on a Recalcitrant World. New York: Praeger. [Includes an extensive discussion of recent geopolitical developments in Asia.]

Xiaoming Huang. 2000. The Political and Economic Transition in East Asia Strong Market, Weakening State. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press (ISBN: 0-87840-818-5) and London: Curzon Press (ISBN 0700712216). [This book explores the complex transitions under way in China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, as the leaderships shift their economic and political relationships in order to survive in the global economy. Written by a team of international scholars in political science, economics, international relations, and Asian studies, this book examines the political and economic developments in East Asia since the end of the Cold War in an attempt to identify a broad pattern of transition, particularly in terms of the reshaping of the state's relations with forces and institutions in economy, politics and domestic-international interactions.]



4. Conferences Announcements

4.1 14th NZASIA International Conference 2001

Theme: Asian Futures, Asian Traditions

Dates: Wednesday 28 November 2001 - Saturday 1 December 2001

Venue: The University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Papers are invited in fields pertaining to Asian Studies. Please visit our web site for further information. It will be updated frequently over the following months.

We look forward to your participation again.

Dr Edwina Palmer
NZASIA 14th International Conference
C/- Department of Asian Languages
University of Canterbury
Private Bag
New Zealand


4.2 The Crisis in Asia

The Asian Studies Emerging Research Theme at the University of Otago is co-sponsoring with the University of Adelaide, the Japan Foundation, and the Australian Institute of International Affairs, a conference on The Crisis in Asia. This will be held at the University of Adelaide, 16-17 February 2001. Speakers will include Professor Jain and Professor Hugo, University of Adelaide; Gareth Evans, formerly Australian Foreign Minister and now Head of the International Crisis Group in Brussels; Professor Moon, Yonsei University, Korea, Dr Anggoro, CSIS, Jakarta; Professor Harris, ANU, formerly Sec, Australian DFAT; Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor, The Australian; Dr Fukushima, NIRA, Tokyo; Professor Chellany, CPR, New Delhi; Dr Petrikeeff, Australian Institute of International Affairs; Dr Ganesan, NU Singapore; Wu Yalin, Deloitte Ltd, Beijing; Professor J Illo, Institute of Philippine Culture, Manila; and Professor Catley, Political Studies, University of Otago.



5. Reminder: NZASIA Membership Subscriptions

Have you paid your 2000 subscription?

We remind you that the $40 annual membership fee now includes a subscription to The New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies (published twice yearly).

The subscription period runs from January 1 to December 31. Subscriptions should be sent to:

Mike Roberts
Secretary, NZASIA
Department of East Asian Studies
University of Waikato
Private Bag 3105
New Zealand

Tel: +64-7-838-4116
Fax: +64-7-838-4638


If your details in the NZASIA Directory are unchanged, a cheque for the subscription amount ($40.00), with a note of your name, institution and mailing address will be sufficient. If you are new member and are not listed in the directory, or if your details have changed significantly, please let us know using the form found on our web site. The Directory can be found on the Society's web site:


____________ ____________ ____________


NZASIA Newsletter No.6
Published by the New Zealand Asian Studies Society

Editor: Henry Johnson

Address for Newsletter submissions: (Please include information in the text of an email message . Do not include attachments.)
Tel +64 (3) 479 8884 or +64 (3) 479 8885
Fax +64 (3) 479 8885
Postal address: Department of Music, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand

NZASIA Newsletter web site:

The views expressed in the Newsletter are those of the contributors rather than the official position of NZASIA.

The next NZASIA Newsletter will be published in March 2001. Submissions must be received by 28 February 2001.