At the Crossroads: Challenges and Solutions in Cross Cultural East Asia

Conference: AAS-in-Asia2020 (AAS-in-Asia2020)
Title: At the Crossroads: Challenges and Solutions in Cross Cultural East Asia
Stream: History
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Bianca Yin-ki Cheung, Lingnan University, Hong Kong (organizer, presenter, chair)
Di Mao, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China (presenter)
Kaori Abe, The University of Hull, United Kingdom (presenter)
Raymond Rohne, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong (discussant, presenter)
Longlong Zhang, Waseda University, Japan (presenter)


Every person plays a role in a string of cultural and social encounters. From the grassroot to national leaders, in modern and contemporary East Asian history, such role is all about facing challenges and finding solutions. In this respect, families, medical practitioners, politicians, are all the same – every individual is a problem-solver. This panel weaves together five diverse themes in social and cultural issues that are related to challenges and solutions.

The panel begins with Bianca Cheung’s “woman problem” during wartime Guangzhou (1940-1945). How did educated women respond to the singular notion of "ideal womanhood?" Mao Di’s paper centers on one challenge in health issues: the problem of death management in wartime Macau (1941-1945). Mao shows us how the government and local elites work together and overcome the "burial crisis". Similarly, Kaori Abe examines health crisis in the South China Sea during 1880s-1910s. How did the common people manage the confusions when health, religion and medicine intertwine? The panel then move forward to the more contemporary scene. Zhang Longlong’s paper focuses on second generation Japanese war orphan who immigrated to Japan in the 1990s. How did they adapt to the Japanese society which was foreign to them? Finally Raymond Rohne discusses the challenges of global integration through the eyes of Chinese and American contemporary art collectors.

This panel hopes to generate discussions on questions of modernity, including the idea of identity and diversity, when individuals and societies have been facing various challenges in the age of globalization.