Book Reviews

Rogier Busser, Barbara Watson Andaya, P. Keppy, Chris Manning, Anke Niehof, Krishna Sen, Peter Post, H.J.M. Claessen, Nico Kaptein, Mona Abaza, Jan-Paul Dirkse, Arne Aleksej Perminow (+16 others)
1995 Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde  
Over the last twenty-five years we have witnessed some major changes in the approaches and methodologies used by Asian, Japanese historians in particular, when dealing with Asian history. Running parallel to the ideas of scholars like Braudel, Asian historians have developed methodologies to study the history of Asian nations from a broader regional perspective, thereby rejecting the 'Eurocentric Standard of reference'.' This methodology shifts the emphasis to cross-cultural influences that
more » ... taken place in Asia, besides claiming more attention for indigenous Asian factors. The background to this approach is based on the assumption that Western approaches fall short because they ipso facto lack the ability to recognize the importance of Asian factors. In the case of Japanese history, for example, it is reasoned that modernization theories, namely that Japan to some degree at least followed a Western model, do not sufficiently acknowledge the continuity between modern and pre-modern Japan. In the study of pre-war Japanese economie expansion in Asia, the focus has shifted somewhat away from the analysis of Western colonizing systems and there has been a concentration of focus on the persistence of continuity between Asian economie systems. This approach in itself can, at least partly, be regarded as an attempt by Japanese scholars to use conceptualizations of Japanese history for discussing the history of other Asian countries. Consequently, Japanese economie historians are pointing more and more to the unique roles of Chinese traders, indigenous trading networks, and Japanese involvement in the region as vital factors for analysing economie development in pre-war Southeast Asia. In some recent Japanese publications we are now witnessing a second change in the approach to Asian history. Here we find a bias towards emphasizing Asian factors over Western influences to the extent that these are exhibiting revisionist ten-
doi:10.1163/22134379-90003043 fatcat:lbqpfzhgtrem5iz4us2niqjt3q