M.A. - History

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    Seeds deferred : Japanese agrarian development, rōnō and the transformation under industrialism
    ([Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2011], 2011-08) Witten, Adam Phillip Joseph
    The rōnō came into being around the Tokugawa era because it was the Tokugawa period when agricultural technology finally fused with commercial development to provide a strong base for an agrarian order. As before the shōen system agrarian technology had been too fragile to support continuous cultivation, the changes in production that occurred from the shōen period through the early decades of the Tokugawa allowed technological development, commercial integration and political order to harmonize. The social and economic issues attached to these developments then encouraged farmers to invest more labor and capital in increasing the products of their lands. Regardless of the size of their holdings, the rōnō aimed to facilitate continued technological development. In this context, the Rōnō can be thought of as Japanese farmers who refined and advocated specific sets of practices within their regional mode of agricultural production. These practices, among them composting, transplantation, multi-cropping, crop rotation, and dry-island fields, were elements of an agrarian technological order that had been emerging for quite some time within East Asia, but bore unique characteristics within Japan. These developments were conducted and reinforced by the everyday behaviors and applications of Japanese farmers, as a whole. It was these farmers who solidified a rice-based agrarian order through the gradual expansion and modification of relevant techniques, while also highlighting the regional variations that made universal applications of pre-industrial methods rather difficult. Because it was farmers who performed these actions, rōnō must be a subset of farmers, not the best agriculturalists but the more active and vocal contributors to agricultural development. From this perspective Rōnō can be viewed as participants and inheritors of long-term technological changes within an agrarian plurality, one active group among many others. The remainder of this thesis is an examination of the contents of the Japanese agrarian order, with particular attention to the transformations that occurred socially and economically under the Meiji state. It was the Meiji era when the rōnō became employees of a national government, involved in the creation of homogenized agricultural practices and facilitated the formation and solidification of institutional agriculture. In these roles, Meiji era rōnō may have taken on 'new', bureaucratic and technical roles; but they were still practitioners of Tokugawa era agriculture. But to be clear, these periods were not an ideal past. Rather, I will argue that the agricultural complex of that time, as a set of practices and techniques as well as an approach or mentality concerning humanity's place in the natural world, is worthy of replication, at least in part. To substantiate these claims this thesis proposes that the study of Japanese agrarian history, especially over the long term, accentuates the underlying conflict between central and local authorities, which was not resolved until the creation of a national, bureaucratic state. This tension, as the principal cause of agrarian unrest, intensified in the Meiji period when farmer interests and political and national aims were not immediately compatible. Although rural unrest and disorder were one outcome, the loss of local autonomy, both over politics and agriculture, was another. But while weakened local self-determination did not necessitate that the interconnections between agricultural practices, agricultural products and human health would attenuate, the shift towards industrial agriculture's paradigms did.
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    Tourists in their own time : German experiences of modernity at the international exhibitions, 1851-1904
    ([Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2011], 2011-12) Wilton, LeJenna N.
    This thesis looks specifically at the experience of modernity for German and Austrian populations because of the influence which these empires had on the development of the rest of Europe. As historian John Davis explained in his study of German influences on Victorian Britain, "…beginning shortly after the turn of the nineteenth century, curiosity grew in British intellectual circles regarding German philosophy, literature and theology…by the 1840s this developed into a more widespread interest in German culture among the educated classes, and the widely held belief there that Germany led Europe intellectually. German publications became crucial reading for humanities scholars generally. Meanwhile, in science, German research and publications began to set the pace." The influence of Germany and Austria on the development of nationalism, industrialization and modernity merits further study. The exhibitions provide us with opportunities to study how the German and Austrian empires understood and represented the modern world to their own populations and to other European nations.
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    The socio-political impact on Chinese medical thought during the Song-Jin-Yuan transition (c.1100-1300 AD)
    ([Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2011], 2011-08) Welden, John Seth
    The literary works of several ruyi 儒醫(Chinese scholar-physicians) of the Song-Jin-Yuan Transition (c.1100-1300 AD) are examined both for their contribution to medical development as well as their engagement in political discourse which generated a new genre of medical literature. The essential elements of this genre are: 1) reliance upon the classical medical canon for their authority but diverging to expound upon distinct medical doctrines; 2) emphasizing the status of the ruyi as members of elite society through references to the Confucian canon or with veiled commentaries on the socio-political crisis; and 3) they are meant to serve as part of a complete yet concise system of medicine with unique approaches to etiology, diagnosis, and treatment.
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    The discourse of hierarchy : a study of British writings on Siam, c. 1820-1918
    ([Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2011], 2011-05) Sophonpanich, Ithi
    This thesis examines the relationship between Britain and Siam (modern-day Thailand) during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries through three events: the East India Company trade mission in 1821-1822, the Burma-Siam-China railway scheme in the 1890s, and the development of Siamese railways from the 1890s to the 1910s. The aim of this thesis is to ―relocate‖ the British in Siam in various ways, and in various spaces, texts, and discourses. The focus in particular is on the rhetorical strategies that British authors used to describe Siam and where they thought Siam was located in the hierarchy of civilizations. The sources used include travel writings, their reviews, fiction, and British Foreign Office documents. These writings are contextualized within the geographical, political, economic, and cultural situations of their times.
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    The Soviet Union and "new man" formation in Soviet children from 1962-1972
    ([Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2011], 2011-12) Koble, Justine Alexandria
    My research contributes to the growing trend of looking at the individual in Soviet society. Instead of the more traditional view of looking at Soviet Union from a military, diplomatic, or even Soviet Marxist lens, I examine the images a Soviet child would be exposed to on a daily basis. My approach builds on the more traditional Cold War scholarship that has made lasting contributions to the field of Soviet historiography.13 Not only do I look at traditional mediums such as school policies and posters but also at emerging popular media in television to show how the regime may have adapted its methods to inculcate the nation's children. My research shows how, in a selection of media, the Soviet government may have portrayed values and behaviors that may have affected children's identity formation.