We are delighted to share the news that two recent titles in the Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute book series, Li Chen’s Chinese Law in Imperial Eyes: Sovereignty, Justice, and Transcultural Politics and Yoshikuni Igarashi’s Homecomings: The Belated Return of Japan’s Lost Soldiers, have been recognized for their outstanding scholarship by the Association for Asian Studies (AAS).
Li Chen’s Chinese Law in Imperial Eyes received the AAS’s 2018 Joseph Levenson Pre-1900 Book Prize (China). Published by Columbia University Press, the book uses a wide array of sources to examine the power dynamics of Sino-Western relations during the formative century before the First Opium War (1839-1842). Chinese Law in Imperial Eyes highlights the centrality of law to modern imperial ideology and politics and brings new insight to the origins of comparative Chinese law in the West, the First Opium War, and foreign extraterritoriality in China. Li Chen, who earned his PhD from Columbia University, is Associate Professor of History, Global Asia Studies, and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto and is founding president of the International Society for Chinese Law and History.
Yoshikuni Igarashi’s Homecomings received Honorable Mention for the AAS’s 2018 John Whitney Hall Book Prize (Japan). The book, also published by Columbia University Press, tells the story of late-returning Japanese soldiers and POWs from World War II and their struggle to adapt to a newly peaceful and prosperous society. Homecomings explores what Japanese society accepted and rejected, complicating the definition of a postwar consensus and prolonging the experience of war for both Japanese soldiers and the nation. Yoshikuni Igarashi, who earned his PhD from the University of Chicago, is Professor of History at Vanderbilt University.
Last year, two Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute also received AAS recognition: Christopher Rea’s The Age of Irreverence: A New History of Laughter in China (University of California Press 2015) received the 2017 Joseph Levenson Post-1900 Book Prize (China), and Federico Marcon’s The Knowledge of Nature and the Nature of Knowledge in Early Modern Japan (University of Chicago Press, 2015) received Honorable Mention for the 2017 John Whitney Hall Book Prize (Japan).