Learning Asia: celebration of the 10th IACS anniversary
The Inter-Asia Cultural Studies project reaches its tenth anniversary. As I look at the content of these journal issues, I cannot help but be amazed at the many affairs, episodes and questions that have been documented here, in unique analyses from almost every country in Asia. I must begin by confessing that I do not know much about all of Asia—like most other scholars, I am familiar with my own context and I have curiosity about the many others that make Asia. In fact, when I look back at the late 90’s of the 20th Century, I can remember a time when even the possibility of such a journal would have sounded ludicrous. It is not difficult to remember times when Asia had not yet opened up to its own possibilities. We hadn’t yet woken up to the similar interests, questions and intellectual scholarship of people outside our own countries. We knew about the existence of other countries, but not of our similarities and often startling disparities in geographies and times. I still remember—probably always will—the first day when Chen Kuan-Hsing told me of his plans for publishing a journal that covered the Asian region in the late nineties. At that time, excited as I was, I couldn’t gauge the possibilities of such a plan and I had no conception of what kind of arguments and knowledge frameworks would emerge from this idea. The only thing that I thought of was internal problems; I was confined to one nation.
Yoshihiko Ikegami is currently the chief editor of Gendai-Shiso.