revival in china

anonymous asked:

okay so I saw your tags about the hair of Chinese men being political and was just wondering if you could elaborate??? I'm really interested sorry!!

Haha I see well it’s a very interesting topic actually! 

1. Basically, for most of Chinese history both men and women kept long hair (so that’s 4000ish+ years). In ancient China, there was a lot of expansionism and conquest. The name ‘Middle Kingdom’ itself is a reflection of the view that China is the centre and nexus of civilisation. In that climate, the non-Han Chinese people getting conquered were regarded as uncivilised barbarians. Like, think something similar to Manifest Destiny? A lot of the cultural exceptionalism going around. For Chinese men, long, properly bound up hair was the way to go- it was associated with being civilised, cultured and other positive traits- short hair was associated with savagery and barbarism. 

(Btw women’s clothing in Mulan looks to be inspired by multiple dynasties. The hairstyle here in any case, is quite accurate)

2. In the 1600s, the Ming Dynasty was conquered by the Manchu, a non-Han people, who founded the successive Qing dynasty. They enforced the Manchu queue hair style on Han Chinese men, which consists of the half shaven head (tonsured) and a long braid like you see in this Qing-era Chinese drama. It was basically supposed to be a mark of Manchu domination and victory- Han Chinese men with the queue had therefore submitted to Manchu rule. Failure to adopt this hairstyle was considered treasonous and one could even be executed. So now, short hair or any other style deviating from the queue = a sign of dissent. Han Chinese rebels the would therefore cut off their queues as a message about their politics. 

(China has a lottttt of dramas from the imperial era, because there’s a lot of interesting material (plenty of murders, political intrigues and whatnot) and well it’s considered ideologically safe to make stuff about that era, compared to more recent…and controversial events.)

3. By the late 1800s, the defeat of the Qing dynasty in the Opium Wars and First Sino-Japanese war resulted in many humiliating concessions to other countries and China losing prestige as a regional power. Now people also saw things associated with the Qing era as antiquated and backwards. There were some attempts by more progressive members of the Qing court to reform, but the conservatives won the power struggle. When the Qing dynasty was finally overthrown in the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, most Chinese men cut off their queues- and adopted short hair. They didn’t go back to the pre-Manchu hair- now short hair was symbolic of severing ties with the Manchu and I guess a symbol of modernity, as many revolutionary leaders had spent time in Western countries.‘Western’ was associated with progress, new ideas were seen as necessary to revive China from the seeming backwardness of the Qing dynasty. So Western dress and hairstyles were adopted. And here we are today, where many Chinese men keep short hair.

(This is a photo of several members of the Revive China Society, which was meant to coordinate anti-Qing revolutionary activities.)

So yep, this was what I meant about the hairstyles of Chinese men being very political.

Le renard magique des trois pays (Sangoku y ôko zue, 三国妖狐圖會 - The Magic Fox of the Three Countries)  1849-1850, par

Utagawa Kuniyoshi  歌川 国芳 (1797-1861).

1 - Country : China (Morokoshi, 中華)
Scene : The revived Dakki [of China] appears by magic in the hall of the post station.

Selon la légende japonaise, les renards sont des créatures maléfiques avec de longues vies. Leurs pouvoirs magiques augmentent à mesure qu'ils vieillissent. À l'âge de 1 000 ans, ils deviennent blanc ou doré et ont neuf queues. 

Relating to the Japanese kimono issue, a surprisingly thorny topic is Chinese traditional dress from Qing dynasty (1644-1912).

This is the most recent “old China” costume available, and is seen in many iconic movies and TV dramas. But occasionally people object to it being worn in public, eg. for ceremonial purposes, due to all the awkward associations it has.

Firstly, the Qing dynasty was Manchu, not Han. This really should not matter, as in theory China includes dozens of distinct ethnic groups, and anyway Manchu is practically indistinguishable from Han at this point. But still, Qing is a foreign dynasty, much like Yuan (Mongols), and insufficiently Chinese.

Secondly, the later Qing dynasty was an era of humiliation for China, when the weakened empire was carved up by European empires and Japan, losing a lot of wars and signing a lot of unequal treaties under duress. So it’s a historical period that does not appeal to many nationalists.

Thirdly, the Qing dynasty is “old China”, feudalism, the bad old days, everything that new China got away from. There can’t be anything good about it, otherwise what would that say about new China. The younger generation might not feel this message as strongly, but it’s instructive to look at the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics, which featured a historical retrospective which jumped from the Ming Dynasty to the 1990s, consigning the Qing, Nationalists, and Mao all to the memory hole.

So what is a nationalist cosplayer to do? Revive Hanfu, of course!

Against the ‘Umbrella’ protests in Hong Kong

By redguard

The so-called Umbrella revolution in Hong Kong, a rightful part of the People’s Republic of China regained from British imperialism in 1997, is a bourgeois-led and imperialist-inspired color revolution based in the middle class, like EuroMaidan and Tiananmen Square.

Many articles have been published exposing the ties of Umbrella leaders to U.S. imperialism, so here I will focus on more general questions.

As with Maidan and the counter-revolutionary rebellions in Libya and Syria, these protests rally under the flag of colonial oppression, against the legacy of national liberation (as well as, in China’s case, socialist revolution).

When Western imperialist media crow about a protest movement aimed against one of their demonized enemies, it should be a clear signal of where they stand – and that nothing good is likely to come of it for the workers, in Hong Kong, mainland China or here.

The current crisis in Hong Kong is also a result of the setbacks inflicted on the genuine pro-communist, left forces that want to strengthen the Chinese Revolution by returning to the road of socialist development and revive the communist spirit of the Maoist era, of whom ousted Communist Party leader Bo Xilai was a popular and outspoken proponent.

Contrast the glowing coverage of the “democratic” protests in Hong Kong with the way the corporate media joined in and egged on the denunciation of Bo Xilai and others fighting for a real left turn in China.

It is important to repeat: China is a workers’ state. There has been no counter-revolution in China. But that is what imperialism, especially U.S. imperialism, hopes to achieve through the Umbrella movement and others like it.

There is no basis in Marxist theory or historical experience to declare that there has been a capitalist counter-revolution in China. Those who take this line are part of one of two erroneous trends: those that never believed China had a “real” socialist revolution (many Trotskyist groups fall into this category, whether they admit it or not), and those who dogmatically hold to the line of some Maoist groups who said the Thermidorian change in political leadership after Mao’s death somehow, magically, changed the class character of the Chinese state.

Stand with the Chinese workers’ state and the People’s Liberation Army against pro-imperialist, pro-capitalist, and fundamentally anti-democratic counter-revolution.

For the revival of revolutionary communism in China in the spirit of Lenin and Mao Zedong!