Kyoto Journal Issue 74
In the West, the Silk Road has since Roman times conjured an exotic, mysterious Orient…In the East, the Road itself is the more powerful metaphor. Every path of personal development, in martial or aesthetic arts, is a Way.
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The catalyst for this special themed issue was Leanne Ogasawara’s blog, www.tangdynastytimes.com In posts reading as dispatches from outposts on a journey of exploration deep into the history of East-West relations, Leanne reflects on aspects of what a truly global culture might encompass, presenting Tang multiculturalism and Silk Road cosmopolitanism (and much, much more) as reference points for our present times…
Metaphorically, silk speaks of brilliant threads weaving complex interfaces, intricate interplay of elaborate craft processes, subtle aesthetics and the erotic charge of luxury and wealth. In the West, it has since Roman times conjured an exotic, mysterious Orient. Ever pragmatic, China traded silk for the ‘heavenly horses’ of Central Asia, up to forty bolts of silk for each fleet mount, buying its military equal footing with the nomadic foes that harassed its borders. In the East, the Road itself is the more powerful metaphor. Every path of personal development, in martial or aesthetic arts, is a Way. In the even bigger picture, the Dao — written with the same character as ‘road’ — signifies the true nature of the universe.
Of Bonds, ‘the Word’ and Trade –The Road to Oxiana – The Great Kashgar Bus Convoy – Along the Silk Road Today – The Kashgar Case – Observations from the Field: Space and Its Discontents in Kashgar – Over Samarkand – Digital Bezeklik – On the Trail of Texts – Alexander Csoma de Kõrösi, The Grandfather of Modern Day Tibetan Translation – Civilizations Never Clash, Ignorance Does – Tibet and Xinjiang: the New Bamboo Curtain – Beauty and Power on the Silk Road – The Treasures of Dunhuang (1) 2000 Buddhas – Gandhara – The Hollow Staff: Western Music and the Silk Road – Silk Road Synchronicity – Collaboration in Harmony: An Interview with Miki Minoru – Reflections on the Hagoromo Legend – Pig’s Heaven Inn – Journeys to the Western Realm – Kuchean Dancers and the Sogdian Whirl – Behind Glass: Japan’s Silk Roads Memorabilia – Japan’s Birthplace Commemorates its Silk Roads Heritage – Marco Polo’s India – Rawak Stupa – Bright Road – All the Peonies of Chang’an –
Shadow of the Silk Road, by Colin Thubron— James Dalglish (plus a short interview with the author, July 2008 – the full version is available here) [link http://farflungperipatic.blogspot.com/2010/08/colin-thubron-interview-london-june.html]
Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present, by Christopher I. Beckwith — Stephen Dodson
Did Marco Polo Go to China?, by Frances Wood; Marco Polo and the Discovery of the World, by John Larner; Invisible Cities, by Italo Calvino — Ken Rodgers
Religions of the Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Exchange from Antiquity to the Fifteenth Century, by Richard C. Foltz — Preston L. Houser
The Silk Road: Art and History, by Jonathon Tucker — Winnie Shiraishi
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, by Paul Theroux — Rasoul Sorkhabi
Cover Image by Oleg Novikov
published June 25, 2010
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