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The Theory and Empirics of Financial Development in the East Asian Bond Markets

Abstract

The Asian financial crisis marked a turning point in financial development in East Asia that brought the development of bond markets within the focus of policy-makers. This paper tracks the benefits of an advanced bond market, the current state of the East Asian corporate and government bond markets and their rapid evolution since the Asian crisis. Subsequently, a multivariate model is used to determine the endogenous economic and institutional factors that drove growth in the region’s bond markets. The following findings may be noted: (1) growth in the government bond market was driven by the monetary sterilisation efforts of East Asian central banks in order to cope with excessive liquidity, (2) the government bond market may crowd out the corporate bond market, and (3) the corporate bond market grew particularly strongly during the global financial crisis.

Open access
Why is the Geisha Hitting the Westerner? The Japanese Woodblock Print Genre of awate-e

Abstract

This paper attempts to bring to light a little-known genre of ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock prints), the awate-e (hysteria pictures). This genre of polychrome ukiyo-e (nishiki-e) belongs among caricatures because it treats current events in a satirical way. The Namamugi incident (September 14, 1862), when samurai of the Satsuma domain killed one British merchant and injured two, led to the emergence of the awate-e. The British Crown demanded reparations for those killed. While the shogunate postponed payment, British warships gathered in the Bay of Edo to exert pressure. The danger of war was real and the cities of Yokohama and Edo were considered the main targets of a British attack. Many people moved to rural areas or at least sent their families and belongings away. This led to an increased demand for transport, houses, and land in the countryside. Hardly anybody remaining in the cities spent time in the pleasure quarters or bought luxury goods. The results were dramatic for people in those trades. This situation is satirised in the awate-e. Starting with the question ‘Why is the Geisha hitting the Westerner?’, this paper explores the genre of awate-e and its relevance for historical and ukiyo-e research by studying 21 awate-e as primary sources. It reveals a negative appraisal of Westerners, of people leaving the danger zone, and of professions in high demand. The producers of awate-e are biased towards people staying in areas become dangerous, professions suddenly grown poor, and the foreigners-out policy of the Emperor.

Open access
Chinese Migration and Settlement in Austria

Abstract

Chinese migration to Austria displays some characteristics of the new Chinese migration order facilitated by, among other factors, globalisation and the open-door policies of the People’s Republic of China. This paper offers a historical account of Chinese migration to Austria against a broader background of Chinese migration to Europe, illustrating both the active and the passive roles of Austria in various historical periods. Moreover, through delineating and analysing the distribution by subgroups and the characteristics of the Chinese community in Austria since the 1980s, it elaborates how Austria has shifted from being a temporary transit point to becoming home for the new non-qiáoxiāng Chinese migrants.

Open access
Comparative Psychological Research in East Asia: An Opportunity for East Asian Studies Scholars

Abstract

East Asian cultures are often labelled as ‘collectivistic’, ‘dialectical’ or ‘Confucian’ in comparative psychological research. This tendency is used to justify the generalisation of results found in one East Asian culture to all East Asian cultures and leads to an absence of psychological research comparing different East Asian cultures. In this paper I first show two examples of illdefined psychological constructs-Geert Hofstede’s individualism and collectivism, and Richard E. Nisbett’s and Peng Kaiping’s dialectical thinking. Then I review the content of two main psychological journals with a focus on how often results from one East Asian culture are generalised to all East Asian cultures. Finally I offer a solution to the problem of neglected research comparing psychological differences among East Asian cultures. I state that lack of diversity in research teams and the under-representation of scholars from other than English-speaking countries in teams undertaking psychological research about East Asia contribute to this process. I suggest that East Asian scholars from non-English speaking countries should persuade psychologists from their universities to engage with East Asia.

Open access
The Facilitation of Child Development in a Japanese Nursery School

Abstract

This paper aims to explore the topic of facilitating children’s development in a Japanese day-care centre (hoikuen). The research is based on a case study with participant observation in the daycare facility Minami Ōsawa Nursery School in Tōkyō. After a short overview on preschool education in Japan and an introduction to Minami Ōsawa Nursery School, the three main topics of child development around the age of five years-cognitive, social-emotional and motor development- will be further explored. These three areas will be defined more precisely in the context of the selfproclaimed aims and daily routine of the hoikuen team. Furthermore the importance of a child’s autonomy is addressed.

Open access
The Japanese School Sports Day. The Socio-Cultural Role of a Ritualistic School Event in Contemporary Japan

Abstract

This paper provides a thorough socio-cultural analysis of Sports Day in Japanese education. Basing myself on contemporary ritual research and Gerard Genette’s notion of intertextuality, I describe the ritual ‘Sports Day’ as a ‘cultural palimpsest’, a form of practice where new meanings are constantly inscribed or rewritten without the former meanings being completely lost. This allows me to provide a detailed analysis of this school event by incorporating its ever-changing cultural dimensions. Since the introduction of the event into Japanese education in the early Meiji period, the most prominent discourses inscribed in Sports Day are elemental questions such as the relationship between the central national authorities and local practices or the problem of individualism and competitiveness in Japanese education. In an ethnographic account of a junior high school Sports Day which is based on my own fieldwork, I show how these discourses provide the framework in which Sports Day is still operated and experienced today.

Open access
‘The Millenarian Dream Continued’: Foundation Day, Vision 2020 and the Post-Mun Unification Movement

Abstract

Drawing on a variety of primary sources and numerous interviews and personal conversations with adherents from East Asia, Europe and the United States, this paper sheds light on the latest historical and doctrinal developments in the South Korean Unification Movement, following the passing of its founder and self-proclaimed Saviour, Mun Sŏn-myŏng, in September 2012. Recent personnel changes resulting in the uncontested leadership of Mun’s wife, Han Hak-cha, as well as the two key events of 2012 and 2013-Mun’s funeral and Foundation Day-will be briefly outlined. Concomitant doctrinal alterations in the interpretation of the movement’s integral millenarian vision, fleshing out as ‘Cheon Il Guk 2.0’ and entailing a revised notion of Foundation Day and the newly launched Vision 2020 scheme, will also be discussed. Ultimately, this paper shows how the Unification Movement has rendered its executive and theological base apt to preserve its systemically constitutive millenarian agenda for a post-Mun and post-Foundation Day era.

Open access
On the Way to a Sustainable Energy Policy in Japan and South Korea

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to examine the sustainability of Japan’s and South Korea’s energy policies. For the analysis, categories framed by Holgar Rogall for identifying a sustainable energy policy were used. Using official data from the UN and government authorities of both countries as well as secondary literature, a comparison of international goals and legal norms and an analysis of developments in energy policy since 1990 were conducted. Their results show that Japan and South Korea pursue quite different energy policies. In more than half of the criteria, Japan can be seen as having a sustainable energy policy. The country still has to improve its use of energy sources, as it is too dependent on fossil fuels and thus needs to accelerate the development of renewable energies. South Korea’s energy policy, however, cannot yet be classified as sustainable. The government still rejects international commitments regarding climate change, a conclusion that is reflected in development since 1990: greenhouse gases rising at a high speed, coupled with low energy efficiency and dependence on fossil fuels. Despite sharing the same basic conditions, the energy policies of Japan and South Korea differ fundamentally.

Open access
Privatisation in East Asia: Comparison of Causes, Processes and Results

Abstract

Causes of privatisation examined in this paper include the level of economic development, business cycles, fiscal constraints, national debt and external influences. Privatisation can be centralised, decentralised, rapid or gradual or it can be conducted through a privatisation programme or in an improvised, ad hoc manner. The most common privatisation methods include share issue privatisation, direct sale, leasing and privatisation from below. The outcomes of privatisation are viewed in the light of privatisation proceeds and profitability.

Open access
Between Mainland and Island: Causes for Migration and the Way of Life of Chinese Mainland Migrant Workers in Bó’áo

Abstract

This article presents the results of a case study conducted in Bó’áo, a small town on Hǎinán Island currently undergoing rapid transformation. Triggered by the founding of the Boao Forum for Asia, an unknown fishing village has turned into an important location for conferences and tourism. On the basis of Grounded Theory this case study focuses on migrant workers from mainland China, using qualitative semi-structured interviews in order to explore the causes behind this migration influx to Bó’áo. In addition, this paper investigates the way these migrants organise their lives in this small town by raising the question of social integration within the local society—a topic largely neglected in the general academic discourse in and on China. The results of this study show that the level of education determines both reasons for migration as well as the way the migrant workers organise their everyday lives and the way in which they interact with locals. This paper also scrutinises common concepts of integration, e.g. the need to acquire the language spoken by the majority.

Open access