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The Transnational Archive of the Sinosphere: The Early Modern East Asian Information Order

The Transnational Archive of the Sinosphere: The Early Modern East Asian Information Order

Chapter:
(p.285) 12 The Transnational Archive of the Sinosphere: The Early Modern East Asian Information Order
Source:
Archives and Information in the Early Modern World
Author(s):
Kiri Paramore
Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266250.003.0012

This chapter argues for the existence of an intellectually Confucian-centred, Classical Chinese language delivered archive of knowledge across early modern East Asia. I argue that this broad, transferable, and often commercially delivered Sinosphere archive supported the creation of state-led information orders in early modern East Asia. This argument resonates with recent work in South Asian and Global History demonstrating the role of regional early modern information orders in facilitating global flows of knowledge. I focus particularly on the transregional nature of the literary, pedagogical, and book culture that underlay the information order of early modern East Asia, and the state’s prime role in its development in early modern Japan. The article thus employs the concept of archivality to analyse early modern information systems, demonstrating patterns of trans-regional knowledge development in East Asia which resonate with other early modern global examples.

Keywords:   early modern East Asia, global history, information systems, transregionalism, transnationalism, Confucianism, Tokugawa Shogunate

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