Notes

Chapter 1

1 I use the word ‘peasant’ very reluctantly since the word is not an accurate term to refer to Chinese residents with rural registration. The term peasant, which came from the West, was applied to the rural population in China at the beginning of the twentieth century. In fact, the Chinese word nongmin, like many contemporary Chinese words and phrases (such as zhengzhi (politics), jingji (economy) and mingzhu (democracy), came from Japan (see Myron. L. Cohen, ‘Cultural and Political Inventions in Modern China: The Case of the Chinese “Peasant”’, Daedalus, Vol. 122, No. 2, 1993, p. 167). After the Meiji Restoration, Japan adopted many concepts and practices from the West. However, owing to the fact that many of the western concepts ...

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