Student working on a research project.

Professor Sato Fumitoshi's Understanding Of The Current Status Of The Puzzle Of Li Yan, Seventeenth-Century Chinese Scholar-Rebel-Advisor

This project is designed to discover the most recent intervention of the Japanese Professor Emeritus and Ming specialist Sato Fumitoshi (佐騰文俊)in the three-and-one-half-century-long debate over the historicity and significance of the Chinese scholar-rebel-advisor Li Yan (李岩)who assisted the Chinese rebel Li Zicheng (李自成) in overthrowing the Ming polity in 1644. The method will be a systematic reading and selective translation from Japanese into English of Professor Sato's recent book, 李公子の謎 (the puzzle of Master Li). The translation, focusing on Sato's review of scholarship in Chinese, Japanese, and English published since the discovery of a 1716 genealogy of the Li family of Tang village, in Henei county, Huaiqing prefecture, Henan province and estimated to be about twenty pages in length, ​requires advanced proficiency in Japanese and Chinese. They will take account of previous studies of the Li Yan question in Chinese, Japanese, and English supplied by Roger Des Forges, Professor Emeritus of Chinese History, who has only limited knowledge of Japanese. The translation will be evaluated ​ ​ by a committee of current faculty including: Professors Walter Hakala, a South Asian and linguistics specialist in the English Department; Mark Nathan, a Korean specialist in the History Department and Asian Studies Program; and Yan Liu, a China specialist in the History Department and Asian Studies Program. The translation may also serve as a basis for a paper to be presented ​at a conference and/or, potentially, for an article in a relevant journal such as Ming Studies or Late Imperial China.

Research Project Information

Student Skill-Set Needed: Reading knowledge of Chinese or Japanese; ability to carry out research independently
Compensation: Academic Credit, Salary / Stipend, Volunteer, Work Study
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer


For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:

Faculty Member: Yan Liu
Title: Assistant Professor
Department: History
Office: Park 580