China: society and culture

History of China in different periods, history of Russian-Chinese relations, traditional and modern culture of China, spiritual, religious and everyday traditions, art and architecture, anthropology, ethnology and folklore of China, traditional and modern society in China, population, demographic policy, education and healthcare in China, cinematography, literature, philology, commented translations and studies of classical texts.

Current Issue

Vol 1, No 2 (2022)

Original Study Articles

The worldview of Chinese dynasties: cultural continuity and rupture in the reign names of emperors
Deopik D.V., Ganshin B.K.

This paper continues the research of the symbolic aspect of Chinese history through study of the reign names (nianhao) of the monarchs. The current part of the research is focused mainly on the question of the cultural continuity of the worldview in different epochs of Chinese state development. This also implicates questioning the consistency of Chinese history and its self-perception over the course of two millennia. The proposed solution of the problem in question consists in classifying reign names into a small set of groups and analyzing the historical change in proportions of these groups. The research shows that, despite the fact, that different regional models of the reign names’ systems arose through the history of China, still the tradition itself retained consistency even in the eras of nomadic conquest. It is also shown, that the discontinuity of the said tradition was caused by no external force, but arose through its own evolution in the deep layers of Chinese culture.

China: society and culture. 2022;1(2):7-16
pages 7-16 views
Functions of religious organizations in the Red turbans rebellion
Karaseva K.M.

The article is devoted to the problem of the character of the Red turban rebellion (1351-1368): the views of Western and Russian sinologists on this rebellion in are examined and criticised using the material of the historical sources. The rebellion was significant in the history of medieval China, because during it the Mongol Yuan Empire (1279-1368) fell, and at the end of it the new Chinese Ming Empire (1368-1644) was formed.The study is based on the following sources: “Yuan shi”, “Ming shilu” and “Ming shi”. Historiographers referred to them when they drew conclusions about the notions of this rebellion. Using the quantitative method, the author concludes that this rebellion was neither peasant nor religious. In fact, it was a war of political actors for sovereignty and for the creation of a new empire. The author identified the function of religious organisations, which were the “cross-cutting institutions” of East Asia. They laid the foundations for the formation of the state. As a result, the Redturban rebellion is more of a politogenesis process, which took place in the same territory where the Southern Song (1235–1279) previously existed.

China: society and culture. 2022;1(2):17-37
pages 17-37 views
Some linguistic criteria for the relative dating of the primary sources within the complex text of the «Basic Annals of the first emperor of Qin» in the Sima Qian’s «Records of the Grand Historian»
Pyrkova A.I.

This paper examines the division of the complex heterogeneous source text, namely the 6th chapter of the Basic Annals in the Sima Qian’s “Records of the Grand Historian”, into parts according to linguistic criteria. Also the paper analyzes the problem of distinguishing boundaries and differences between the primary sources included in the text of the examined source. We employed the identification of the grammatical characters in the text as a way of linguistic analysis based on the A.M. Karapetiants’ method, compiling the frequency dictionaries of grammatical characters and selecting the fixed set of the most frequent ones. Comparison of the figures obtained for the “Records of the Grand Historian” 6th chapter with the similar figures obtained for some epigraphic texts from Shuihudi (that is, the grammatical characters percentage within the whole text and the set of the most frequent ones) allows us to propose a hypothesis that explains the differences between the data due to the fact that authors of the texts come from different cultural fields. Thus, the results of the study allow us to distinguish the differences in the cultural fields producing the historical sources from chronological differences indicating dissimilar (or similar) times of texts creation.

China: society and culture. 2022;1(2):39-48
pages 39-48 views
Mentions of omens in the description of the reign of empress Wu Ze-tian (624–705) in the Old Book [of] Tang and the New Book [of] Tang
Skrypnik E.S.

Empress Wu Zhao 武曌 (624–705), better known as Wu Ze-tian 武則天, was the first and only woman in Chinese history to receive the title of emperor (huang-di皇帝) and found a new state — the Great Zhou (Da Zhou 大周, 690–705). One of the important problems in studying her reign is its reflection in the main sources on this period — the Old Book [of] Tang and the New Book [of] Tang. Mention of various omens (mostly unfavorable) deserves special attention, as their presence characterize the activity of the empress as causing deviations from the correct order of things. This article deals with omens mentioned in chapters of the “Basic Annals” (Ben ji本紀) dedicated to Wu Ze-tian, and is intended to compare and analyze data on omens and significant events of this period, identify critical stages of her reign as it was presented by Confucian historiographers.

China: society and culture. 2022;1(2):49-66
pages 49-66 views
The “common” school for the training of official in the Chunqiu Period (771-453 BC): Part 1. The history of emerging in the context of the biography of Kung Tzu (552-479 BC)
Ulyanov M.Y.

The article centres upon the emergence in the second half of the VI century BC in the kingdom of Lu a new school, which was intended for the training of officials and was of a mass character. It replaced the “temple” and “palace” schools. Confucius (552–479) is considered its founder.

The emergence of such a school is a manifestation of a cultural process. Since it was intended for the training of “men of service” (“servitors”), its appearance was caused by a social process — the formation of this new social group. In turn, this process was caused by the growth of contradictions in the struggle for supreme power between the monarchs and their relatives in the male line, the clans of the descendants of the monarchs of previous generations. These contradictions are a manifestation of the political process. Since the new school was not elite, but was available to people from various social groups and natives of other kingdoms, it can be called “mass school”. The most important and most complete source of information about this is his biography, which is contained in chapter 47 of Sima Qian’s Shiji.

China: society and culture. 2022;1(2):67-84
pages 67-84 views

Book reviews

Hans Bielenstein on the civil war in Ancient China in 23-36 AD. A review of Hans Bielenstein’s book “The restoration of the Han Dynasty, with prolegomena on the historiography of the Hou Han Shu; Volume II”
Korobitsyna A.K.

Subject of this review is the second volume of fundamental work of american sinologist H. Bielenstein on war for restoration of Han empire (Bielenstein H. The Restoration of the Han Dynasty: The Civil War: II // Bulletin of the Musum of Far Eastern Antiquities,. 1959. Vol. 31 P. 1–287). Author’s research purpose was reconstruction of the military actions of the civil war in the first century AD in Ancient China. Highlighting the period of civil war in early history of Eastern Han empire became a big step forward in study of history of this empire. This book and other books of H. Bielenstein become classical for the foreign scientists, but it is little known in our country. This review also seeks to determine the nature of the sources (the types of the texts contained within “Hou han shu”) he used for his research and it is clear, that the majority of these sources are plot-driving narratives, rather than annals.

China: society and culture. 2022;1(2):85-90
pages 85-90 views


Dega V. Deopik 90th Birthday Interview
Bashkeev V.V., Deopik D.V.

Dega (Dmitriy) Vitalyevich Deopik (born in 1932) is a Soviet and Russian archaeologist, historian and orientalist. Born in Moscow, in the family of a Russian painter and graphics artists Vitaliy Nikolaevich Goriaev (1910-1982) and his wife Valentina Pavlovna Deopik (1907-1990) who herself was an outstanding Soviet painter and artist. Graduated from the MSU Faculty of History in 1956. In 1996 – obtained Doctor of Sciences degree. In 2000 was one of the founders of Faculty of History of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University. For many years was head of or participated in archaeological expeditions in the regions adjacent to Caucasus and in Black Sea Region. His areas of academic interest include: quantitative methods in historical studies, Biblical archaeology, archaeology of Southern Russia, traditional history of Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, Indonesia, China, problems of East Asia archaeology and ancient East Asia writing systems.

He created Russian school of quantitative and precise methods in sinology.

China: society and culture. 2022;1(2):91-110
pages 91-110 views

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