Tag Archives: Asian Pacific History

Term of Art: Harappan Script

“Harappan Script: That of the Harappan civilization, flourishing in the Indus valley in the 3rd-2nd millennia BC. Undeciphered and not demonstrably connected to later Indian scripts.”

Excerpted from: Matthews, P.H., ed. The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Urdu

“Urdu: An Indo-Aryan language of the Indian subcontinent, associated with the Moghul Empire, in which Persian was the court language. It is used especially Muslims and written in a variant of the Perso-Arabic script. Closely related to Hindi, Urdu has a similar pronunciation and grammar but a more heavily Persianized and Arabicized vocabulary. It is the national language of Pakistan and is its co-official language with English. In India, it is the state language of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and associate state language of the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is spoken as a first language by c.30m and as a second language by c.100m people in India and Pakistan, and some thousands of people of Indo-Pakistani origin in Fiji, Guyana, South Africa, the UK, and the US.”

Excerpted from: McArthur, Tom. The Oxford Concise Companion to the English Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Kubla Khan

“”Kubla Khan: A famously unfinished, opium-induced poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), who had claimed to have written down as much as he could of what he had just been dreaming before being interrupted by the arrival of ‘a person on business from Porlock.’ Composed while Coleridge was living in Somerset in 1797-8, the poem was first published in Christabel and Other Poems (1816). It bears little relation to the historical Kublai Khan (1215-94), the grandson of Genghis Khan. Kublai led the Mongol conquest of China and made himself the first emperor of the Yuan dynasty in 1279. He was made famous in Europe by Marco Polo, who spent 20 years at Kublai’s court.”

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

Matsuo Basho II

“Refinement’s origin:

The remote north country’s

Rice-planting song.”

Matsuo Basho

Poem (translation by Bernard Lionel Einbond)

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

The Weekly Text, April 24, 2020

This week’s Text, in the continuing–but premature–observation of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2020–returns to the subject with which I began the month, to wit, this reading on the internment camps in which American citizens of Asian Pacific descent were held during World War II along with its vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. We Americans think ourselves exceptional, but nationalism, tyranny, and bigotry are anything but exceptional–they are the tedious crap to which we as a species have subscribed for centuries.

That’s something worth remembering as our idiot president uses locutions like “Chinese virus and violence against Americans of Asian descent is on the rise.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Ukiyo-e

“Ukiyo-e: (Jap., pictures of the floating world) Woodblock prints, both monochrome and colored, made as popular ephemera in Japan from the mid-17th century onward. The genres of subjects include theater stars, courtesans, caricatures, and eventually, Hokusai’s great Fuji landscape series (1823).”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

English Usage: Islam and Muslim

OK, before I head out to the grocery store, which is now the highlight of my social life, here is an English usage worksheet on differentiating the nouns Islam and Muslim. Don’t forget that May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2020 (and that I began posting materials for it a month early because, like–increasingly–the days of the week, I lost track of the month).

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Japonaiserie

Japonaiserie (Fr., article of Japanese craft) In a specific sense, those items of Japanese creation that began to be imported into Europe in the 1850s and 1860s: woodblock prints, textiles, porcelain, fans, furniture, and metalwork. The influence on the painting of the Impressionists is called japonisme.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

The Weekly Text, April 17, 2020

First of all, let me reiterate, as I mentioned in the post currently pinned to the top of this blog, April is not Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2020, May is, just as every year in the month of May we observe this themed history month celebrating our neighbors of Asian Pacific descent. I offer in extenuation only the weakest excuse for this lapse at Mark’s Text Terminal: the coronavirus pandemic threw me off, and the attendant social isolation only exacerbated my confusion.

Now, that said, I have been trying to publish at least ten posts a day for the benefit of homebound parents and students. For a few moments this morning, while enjoying the ambience at the laundromat, I considered taking down all the posts I’ve already published on observation of Asian Pacific Heritage Month. The fact is, I need to take a break from the pace I’ve been setting for myself; so, this year, Mark’s Text Terminal celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of Asian Pacific Americans a month early.

For which I apologize. The good news is this: from the home page, you can look at the word cloud in the upper-right-hand margin and click on “Asian Pacific History,” which will take you to several years worth of posts on this subject.

For today, however, Mark’s Text Terminal offers this reading on the influential Japanese artist known simply as Hokusai along with a vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet to accompany it.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Matsuo Basho I

“An old pond—

A frog tumbles in—

The sound of water.”

Poem (translation by Bernard Lionel Einbond)

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.