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date: 29 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Familiarity with canonical Chinese texts and competence in the composition of Literary Sinitic poetry and prose had long provided intellectuals from the Chinese mainland, the Korean peninsula, and the Japanese archipelago with a means to communicate and even engage in literary exchanges with one another in the absence of a shared spoken language. These forms of interaction continued to thrive well into the modern period, even as relations between China, Japan, and Korea came to be structured by new forms of diplomacy premised upon the nation-state. This chapter examines poetic exchanges between East Asian intellectuals in the late nineteenth century, looking in particular at the experience of several late Qing poets, scholars, and statesmen in Japan. Even as Sinitic textuality played an important role as a shared point of reference in public discourse across the region, such commonality existed alongside distinctive performance traditions and other local frames of reference.

Keywords: Sinitic poetry, Sino-Japanese literary exchange, Chinese literature in East Asia, written language, orality, gloss-reading

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