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Ambassadors from the Island of Immortals: China-Japan Relations in the Han-Tang Period (Asian Interactions and Comparisons) Hardcover – July 1, 2005


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From the Back Cover

"This splendid work, with its well-selected illustrations and copious and stylish translations, covers in detail the relations between China and Japan during the long period from late Han until the end of the Tang. It presents a new and convincing interpretation of the "Chinese Tribute System," which the author sees not as a system of submission to the Chinese ruler, but as a relationship voluntarily accepted and based on mutual self-interest. It lets us see medieval diplomacy between the two countries, and the individuals involved, in vivid detail and with a new clarity."—Denis Twitchett, professor emeritus, Princeton University, co-editor of The Cambridge History of China

"Ambassadors from the Islands of the Immortals provides, in wonderful detail, the inside story of a series of important embassies sent from the Japanese islands to Sui and Tang China. These missions shaped the future course of Japanese history. Through them Japan learned the details of Chinese imperial rule, government institutions, tax systems, Buddhist and Confucian ideas, art, and architecture. Zhenping Wang, who is equally fluent in the Japanese and Chinese documentary sources, weaves from a wide range of texts the clearest analysis yet of these missions. Challenging the standard approach, which emphasizes the Chinese rulers insistence on tributary relations, Professor Wang stresses the importance of reciprocity and mutual self-interest in the international relations of the period."—Martin Collcutt, Princeton University

About the Author

Wang Zhenping is associate professor at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
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