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Books on Asia in General

We also have rare and out-of-print books on Southeast-Asia, Central Asia,
Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Religion.




: Authoritarianism, Islamism & Washington's Security Agend

by Akbarzadek, Shahram

US$ 21.00
Book order code : I 9110


(London, 20050) ISBN 1-84277-423-9
180 pp., 140 x 215 mm, pbk .




Where China Meets Southeast Asia
: Social & Cultural Change in the Border Regions

by Evans, Grant, Christopher M. Hutton & Kuah Khun Eng (Eds.)

US$ 22.50
Book order code : I 8389



While the so-called "Asian economic miracle" was somewhat tarnished by the economic crash of 1996-97, there is no doubt that profound and irreversible changes are taking place in societies across Asia. Driven primarily by economic rather than political reform, these changes are creating new social and political alignments, impacting in complex ways both on societal mainstreams and on marginal and minority groups in hitherto "remote" areas. Focusing on the border between China and mainland Southeast Asia, this book looks beyond the abstract rhetoric of development and globalization to examine social and cultural change from a cross-disciplinary perspective, offering the reader a balanced and informed assessment of the region which combines insights from anthropology, sociology, linguistics, history, and ethno-botany.

(Singapore/Bangkok 2000) ISBN 981-230-071-6
356 pp., 150 x 230 mm, pbk.





by Choden, Kunzang

US$ 14.50
Book order code : E 21 947




A collection of twenty-two stories set in four different regions of Bhutan. Belief in the yeti is ubiquitous in the Kingdoms of the Himalayas, where beliefs and attitudes related to it go beyond scientific judgment and analysis. The Bhutanese consider the yeti, or the migoi, to be an essential part of the backdrop of their existence. Believed to possess supernatural powers enabling it to become invisible at will, the yeti often manifests itself in a tangible form and then suddenly vanishes, leaving behind nothing but an unexpected void. Folklore about the abominable snowman has existed for centuries: however, with the far-reaching impact of the media, the perpetuation of this oral tradition is threatened. This collection of stories is an attempt to document a vital tradition before it is wiped out entirely.

(Bangkok 1997) ISBN 974-8496-87-2
165 pp., 23 pp. illus., 150 x 210 mm, pbk





by Choden, Kunzang

US$ 15.50
Book order code : E 21 668




This first attempt of a Bhutanese to record in English the oral tradition of this kingdom comprises a collection of 38 folktales and legends. The rugged and awesome terrain of Bhutan, which cherished a self-imposed isolation for centuries, and the people's closeness to nature, together with their philosophy of karmic life cycles, an unquestioning belief in unseen co-inhabitants of the earth-like spirits, ghosts and demons, and the creative genius of the storytellers culminated in a remarkable repository of tales and legends which were passed on and developed through generations.

(Bangkok 1994) ISBN 974-8495-96-5
197 pp., illus., 148 x 210 mm





by FitzGerald, C. P.

US$ 35.00
Book order code : E 21 628




Since the beginning of reliable historical evidence, Chinese influence, culture, and power have always moved southward. In the first part of this book, FitzGerald details how Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma had all, to varying degrees, come under the influence of and acknowledged the power of China. Malaya, Java, Sumatra, and Borneo, which never actually owed allegiance to China, nonetheless also experienced China's influence and power. China's political influence in Southeast Asia declined when southward territorial expansion ended with the rise of the Manchu Dynasty in 1664. Later, a massive migration of individual Chinese resulted in the large minorities of Chinese that can still be found in many Southeast Asian countries today. In the second part of his book, the author examines the cultural, economic, and political effects of this migration on the countries concerned and their implications for the future. Many of FitzGerald's comments are prescient and pertinent today, and the book presents vital historical facts which need to be taken into account in any assessment of the probable future of the area.

(Bangkok 1993, repr. from 1972)ISBN 974-8495-81-7
250 pp., 150 x 210 mm




: People and Art

by Fuhrmann, Ernst

US$ 20.00
Book order code : E 22 106



This work is the first English translation of a German introductory text published by well-known publisher Folkwang Verlag in Hagen in 1922. The book is based on photographs of objects in art collections in the major museums of Europe and has a special section on the ornamental designs of New Guinea. Sculpture and "body art," before the term was reinvented recently, are documented in detail. Other forms of art such as masks, furniture and house structures are also included. An introductory text places the art in its everyday context and discusses beliefs related to uses of the artifacts. Much of what is shown here has only been preserved in the museum collections on which the book was based.

(Bangkok 1999, First English translation of 1922) ISBN 974-7534-04-5
168 pp., 130 pp. illus., 210 x 290 mm, pbk.





by Heinze, Ruth-Inge

US$ 39.50
Book order code : E 21 161




The study looks at the role of faith in Southeast Asian healing rituals and investigates the needs which created the underlying belief systems, Shamans, mediums, and healers monitoring trances and mediating between different states of consciousness for the purpose of healing. In 21 case studies, the reader will observe a Meo shaman riding into the spirit world, the God Rama descending into the body of an Indian worker, and a Malay bomoh balancing the "wind" of a client during a main puteri. A Thai-Malay bomoh is transformed into a tiger and Singapore-Malays behave like horses. The book documents how Thai, Hindu, Malay, as well as Chinese mediums, with the help of Hindu, Taoist and Buddhist deities, deified heros, and nature spirits cure, exorcize, and advise their clients. The phenomena of automatic writing and glossolalia are also discussed. The book addresses, e.g., the following questions: Is the demand for spiritual guidance and help increasing or declining? Is the syncretism we find in modern belief systems strictly a theoretical issue which is of no importance to the participants in a ritual? And is shamanism an "elementary form of the religious life?" The book provides, furthermore, evidence for the needs which lead to the emergence of need-fulfillers wherever and whenever specific physiological, psychological, mental, social, and spiritual needs arise. Thus, when modern physicians, psychiatrists, and sometimes even priests, do not seem to have an answer, folk practitioners continue to fulfil basic human needs in modern multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies.

(Bangkok 1997; rev. ed.) ISBN 974-8496-72-4
366 pp., 48 pp. color illus., 150 x 210 mm, pbk.




: Nuclear Ambitions and the American Response

by Howard Roger

US$ 21.00
Book order code : I 9106


(London, 2004) ISBN 1-84277-475-1
232 pp., 135 x 215 mm,pbk .




Of Burma, Siam, Cambodia, Yunnan, Champa, and Vietnam

by Hurlimann, Martin

US$ 30.00
Book order code : E 22 224


A book of photographs of the 1920s in Indochina, presenting 240 magnificent period photographs of architecture, landscapes, and people in their daily activities. For each country included there is a brief introduction in English. The photographs also include monuments of Champa, the disappeared kingdom on the coast of Vietnam. Various ethnic minorities of Southeast Asia are shown in their traditional costumes.

(Bangkok 2001; First English translation of 1929) ISBN 974-7534-64-9
276 pp., 240 pp. illus., 210 x 290 mm, pbk.





: A Study of Cat's-Cradle in Many Lands

by Jayne, Caroline Furness

US$ 19.50
Book order code : E 22441




This tome is a reprint of an exhaustive study on a cultural heritage that can be found in many different cultures across Asia. America and Europe. There seem to be two main groups . In the European and Asiatic type two strings pass around the back of each hand and the crossing loops are taken up by the middle finger. In the Oceanic and American type there are no strings at the back of the hand and the crossing loops are taken up by the index fingers. The first type requires two players while one person suffices for the usual figures of the second type.

Examples of the Asiatic type can be found in Korea, Japan, East Indian Archipelago, Philippines and other places. In Europe this type is found in Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, England. The Oceanic type was found in Australia, New Guinea, Melanesia, Polynesia, and various parts of America, from Alaska to all parts of native American Indian societies.

Two facts seem significant: 1. the widely spread accompaniment of words or chants and 2. the frequent representation of persons, incidents or objects connected with religion or mythology.

These facts may suggest that they represent some symbolism that has in the course of time become obscured. One could also speculate that the string figures are remnants of a lost art of communication of ancient peoples. Detailed drawings illustrate the text.

(Bangkok, 2006) Bar Code 978-974-4800-76-3
446 pp.,illus., 150 x 210 mm, pbk.




: Adventures in Ethnology and Natural History

by Kloss, Boden C.

US$ 21.50
Book order code : E 21 797



This book contains notes on the history of the islands, their fauna, flora, geology and ethnology, and the anthropomorphy, customs and languages of the various tribes that inhabit them.

(Bangkok 1995; repr. from 1903)ISBN 974-8496-37-6
441 pp., 47 pp. illus., 3 maps, 155 x 215 mm, pbk.




: Gender, Class and Power in Japan

by Liddle, Joanna & Sachiko Nakajima

US$ 18.00
Book order code : I 8413



Western interest in Japan has grown consistently since the war, but surprisingly little is known about Japanese women. This book explores the themes of gender and class by tracing the changing position of women through significant moments of history and into the contemporary period. Their story repudiates the commonly held view of the submissive Japanese woman, and shows how women have been active agents in constructing new identities both in family and public life. The energy of the women's liberation movement of the late twentieth century resonates with echoes of struggle and resistance from earlier times. Using a new conceptual framework, the authors demonstrate how gender relations are crucially related to the construction of class, and show how woman and gender relations are used as a resource in the struggle for power between nations. The contemporary material is based on detailed interviews, conducted over two decades, with women who have challenged the stereotypes normally attached to Japanese women and attained positions of influence in professional life. This book offers an original approach to the contemporary issues of gender, class, and global politics, and will appeal to both specialist and general readers.

(London/Bangkok) ISBN 1 85649-879-4
351 pp., 135 x 215 mm, pbk.




: The Overall Survey of the Ocean's Shores (1433)

by Ma Huan

US$ 25.00
Book order code : E 21 870



Ma Huan's descriptions are based on personal observation, of twenty countries from Champa (Central Vietnam) in the East to Mecca in the West. Ma Huan was the Muslim interpreter of the famous Cheng Ho, commander of the Chinese Fleet. Of the sources for the history of southern Asia during the 15th century, the Chinese authorities are the most rewarding, and of these the most informative and interesting is Ma Huan. The 15th century was the heroic age of Chinese naval expansion; four Chinese fleets traversed the Indian Ocean simultaneously, and flotillas explored "the four seas" from southern Africa to Timor. The imperial court was thronged with royal visitors or envoys from 70 foreign countries from Japan to Hormuz, and Chinese manufactures were sought after in the markets of Asia from Majapahit to Baghdad. This new translation is based on the definitive text established by the eminent Chinese scholar Feng Ch'eng-Chun and first published in 1935. Mr. Mills's Introduction contains accounts of Cheng Ho's expeditions and Ma Huan's book. Eight appendices treat peripheral topics, mainly geographical and nautical; a gazetteer records the names of some 700 places known to the Chinese when their golden age of exploration ended in 1433; with the aid of printed and manuscript sailing directions, an attempt is made to explain about 600 names and legends in the remarkable maritime cartogram ("Mao K'un Map") published in the Wu Pei Chih, and to trace the stages of voyages made, inter alia, through the Singapore Strait, from Sumatra to Ceylon (Pieh-lo-li, Beruwala), and from Malacca to China. This text obtains new significance for what is not in it: this classic Chinese text shows no historical evidence to support Chinese claims to the Spratlys.

(Bangkok 1996; repr. from 1970) ISBN 974-8496-78-3
413 pp., 1 folded map, 150 x 210 mm, pbk.




: Indigenous Peoples, Environment and International Law

by Magallanes, Iorns, Catherine J. & Malcolm Holick (Eds)

US$ 25.00
Book order code : E 22 030



This book deals with the competing pressures being placed on land and resources worldwide as the world's population grows. Within states, these pressures are increasingly leading to conflicts over land and associated resources and these conflicts are increasingly becoming internationalized. This situation is nowhere better illustrated than in Southeast Asia. This book brings together a wide range of both academic and practical expertise. It examines and analyzes a range of conflicts over land and resources in Southeast Asia and makes recommendations for their resolution. The case studies discuss situations in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. They address development due to industrialization, mining, logging and tourism. The book then focuses on the international legal and political framework which applies to the various conflicts described. Finally, the editors make helpful suggestions for the prevention and resolution of such conflicts at both the national and international level.

(Bangkok 1998) ISBN 974-8434-52-4
398 pp., 150 x 210 mm, pbk.




House of Glass
: Culture, Modernity, and the State in Southeast Asia

by Yao Souchou (Ed.)

US$ 21.50
Book order code : I 8535


Drawing on critical theory and post-modernism, this book argues for a new strategy for writing about the social and cultural experiences of living in modern Southeast Asian states. The contributors-many of whom work in universities in the region-question the processes of cultural transformation under conditions of globalization and rapid economics and political change. By paying attention to the specificity of what is taking place in the particular state, the book questions the conventional narratives of developmentalism and state-sponsored national peace as they are understood in Southeast Asia, and shows how such understanding can be made and unmade.

(Singapore/Bangkok 2001) ISBN 981-230-074-0
353 pp., 150 x 230 pp., pbk.



We also have rare and out-of-print books on Southeast-Asia, Central Asia, Thailand,
Laos, Cambodia, and Religion.