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Products of this store will be shipped directly from China to your country. In the PRC, the city of Chengdu is quite famous for the prevalence of Weiqi players in parks and teahouses. In Beijing, where I conducted my research, it is less common to see people playing Weiqi at parks, although those who do so display a remarkable devotion to the game.

China is a game-playing nation. Walking down the streets of Beijing one can see people playing Chinese chess or cards on street corners and in parks.

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It is not unusual to see people playing cards at restaurants as they enjoy their meals. In public areas such as parks and roadsides Weiqi does not have the ubiquitous presence of Chinese chess and cards, but some parks are known to have groups of retired working-class people playing the game. They are there in stifling hot summer days and on the snow-covered sidewalk in the winters.

Chinese people's love of board games is in part born of a culture that places no stigma on intelligence. There are few of the cultural stereotypes of nerdiness that one might associate with these activities in the United States. Board games admittedly lack the cool factor of rock music or club culture, but in China one rarely sees depictions, so pervasive in the West, of mad genius game players rushing to their doom.

Chinese people's appreciation of board games extends to games in general. Outings that include alcohol will inevitably feature drinking games in one form or another.

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It is a social activity that relieves the strain of witty banter and becomes a way for the entire group to participate. This might include competitive drinking a game in and of itself or those on the sidelines cheering them on. Though more sedate, Weiqi in parks evinces a similar sociality. A handful of people play and groups of twenty to thirty bystanders spend the day watching, kibitzing, and perhaps rotating in to play if the mood strikes them.

Weiqi is central to China's dreams of self and other, past and present. Given that China has the largest population in the world, it is surprising that there has yet to be an anthropological study of this topic.

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Television programs, several journals, and an array of instructional books are devoted to instructing players in Weiqi. These texts include issues such as general strategies as well as "life-and-death" problems. The increasingly transnational character of the game includes Internet servers that allow online competition between players from countries as diverse as Brazil, China, and Estonia.

Online reviews of games, as well as sites devoted to teaching Weiqi, have created a contemporary environment that can arguably be considered to be Weiqi's golden age.

Though embedded in traditionalist discourses that draw on images of Imperial China's cultured gentlemen, Weiqi has also become part of a far more modern world. With the advent of international competitions, as well as Japanese manga and anime revolving around the game, Weiqi has transformed into an intensely modern transnational experience. This ability to simultaneously represent both the ancient and the futuristic is a vibrant example of how, far from being antagonistic forces, traditionalism and modernity revolve around each other in symbiosis.

In Beijing, most people who play Weiqi online use the Internet server "Tom. The vast majority of Weiqi players on KGS use English as a lingua franca, though one also sees an array of other languages being used as well. As an anthropologist I find KGS to be the most interesting server because of the online community that it has fostered. As with other Weiqi servers, KGS has unicode capability that allows users to communicate in any language by typing comments in a dialogue box to the right of the game. These servers also include the ability to save and edit games. This means that people can review games together or they can entreat, or employ, a stronger player to review their games and point out areas for improvement.

When beginning a game on KGS, it is typical for opponents to exchange casual greetings. This usually takes place in English, with a set of stock phrases such as "Hello," "Enjoy," or "Have fun.

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When they have finished, many players review their games with their opponents. One can also watch other people's games, and strong players frequently attract fifty to one hundred spectators.

On occasion, two to three hundred people will gather to watch if a game takes place when people are not working and the players are ranked highly enough to draw attention. Spectators often comment in the dialogue box while a game is taking place, though the people playing the game cannot see the comments until they have finished. At its best, the stronger players watching the game point out particularly good and bad moves. Distinctive categories of West and East, local and global, thereby reveal themselves to be conceptual categories rather than tangible entities as even overt symbols of the West such as coffee were ushered in through the Japanese lens of Western imaginary.

The tensions between individual desires and the needs of the family exist in any society. Yet in Taiwan there is a greater rhetorical emphasis on self sacrifice for the needs of family than in many Western nations. In the following pages In the following pages I will draw on several interviews and closely examine five in depth interviews of domestic abuse in Taiwan in order to explore just how far individual sacrifices can be demanded in the name of familial responsibility. These are by no means common cases in Taiwan but they highlight tensions between individual needs and group obligations in starker clarity than average familial relations.

Confucianism is so male oriented that its effects on women are understudied. The following pages will demonstrate the tremendous moral and psychological force that Confucianism has also had on women. The extent to which the women in these accounts have suffered for their families is shocking, yet their stories also highlight the fact that even in the most extreme cases of familial abuse, individuals still maneuver to fulfill their own wants and needs to the degree that it is possible. This demonstrates what I have called Quiet Individualism, as opposed to the more overt Western Enlightenment form of Individualism, in that individuals attempt to protect their own interests while maintaining an ideological commitment to Confucian precepts that familial concerns outweigh individual interests.

In merging temporal and regional sights and sounds in this manner, these videos playfully remap history and the contemporary moment. At first glance the commentary posted to these videos seems like little more than unreflexive praise or unrelated venting. Yet comparing the conversations that take place on YouTube and Tudou reveals a good deal about the cultural and historical understandings of the people making the comments.

In the following pages I will analyse these mash-ups and their posted commentary on YouTube and Tudou. In combination they create a dialogue that frequently aligns with regionally bound understandings of culture, politics, and history, even as they undermine that sense of local unity with their dissent.

The Chinese-language videos and posted commentary also work to undermine commonly held assumptions that YouTube is a Western domain, forcing us to question our views of cultural centres and peripheries, both globally and in Chinese-speaking Asia. This may be of special interest to those who have read my book, "The Haunting Fetus" more. This article examines the rise and fall of a Daoist master in southern Taiwan.

It is divided into three sections: 1 an account of a day and a night spent with the Daoist Master, 2 follow-up interviews with one of his patrons in which It is divided into three sections: 1 an account of a day and a night spent with the Daoist Master, 2 follow-up interviews with one of his patrons in which she becomes disillusioned with the master, and 3 an analysis of ritual as moral fantasy and individual agency. In the third section I address the factors that made the religious master successful and the events that eventually led to his downfall.

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I also argue that the performative nature of religious ritual adds to the worshipper's sense of individual agency, thus placing her or him in a moral fantasy in which that person becomes the hero of a created drama. This, I suggest, emphasizes some of the more individualistic elements of Chinese religious belief and practice that have not fully been explored. Contemporary commercialised Mandopop is generally recognised as beginning around , drawing on musical traditions from the early Contemporary commercialised Mandopop is generally recognised as beginning around , drawing on musical traditions from the early twentieth century.

I examine the cultural contexts of these critiques in order to come to a better understanding of the most popular Chinese language music in the world. This article explores the ubiquitous themes of loneliness, isolation, and anomie in Mandopop Mandarin Chinese language pop music. This is not to imply that people in the PRC or Taiwan are lonelier than people from other countries but, This is not to imply that people in the PRC or Taiwan are lonelier than people from other countries but, rather, that being human they experience these emotions.

What is distinctive here is that Mandopop becomes a primary conduit to express feelings that are sanctioned in daily speech. On occasion, two to three-hundred people will gather to watch if a game takes place when people are not working and the players are ranked highly enough to draw attention. Spectators often comment in the dialogue box while a game is taking place, though the people playing the game cannot see the comments until they have finished.

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At its best, the stronger players watching the game point out particularly good and bad moves. Often, the spectators will use the dialogue box to engage in casual banter. Figure 1 is a KGS game with spectators. As sometimes happens, those commenting on the game seem to have forgotten about the game altogether, preferring instead to focus on a conversation that they are having about unrelated matters. In this particular case the spectators primarily use English but they also interject French and Spanish as well.

In other instances, there might be several distinct conversations going on at once. In a dialogue box that primarily consists of English, for example, one might also see several people writing Russian while a third group of spectators communicates in Chinese. As in any online setting, one is occasionally confronted with antisocial behavior, including rude comments.

For many, the most frustrating behavior is something called "escaping. On IGS, someone who does this automatically forfeits his game. Many people complain, however, that this unduly punishes people with bad internet connections who try to return after being disconnected only to find an abandoned game. On KGS nothing will happen if someone leaves one game. If he escapes ten games in a certain period of time, however, his unfinished games will all automatically be forfeited.

Unfortunately, there are players who use this system to inflate their ratings and play stronger opponents. Their ratings will plummet when they are penalized for previous escapes, at which point they can simply start a new account. The only real deterrent is that many people will not play someone without a rating and it takes some time and effort to regain one's rank. Escapers are a constant frustration for most. Yet, given that there are no real repercussions for bad behavior, combined with the ability to hide one's true identity, the relative lack of impolite behavior is in many ways more remarkable than its presence.

Several of the people whom I interviewed were concerned that the internet was transforming the game in negative ways. Points of criticism included the idea that people seem to take the game less seriously on the internet. These comments usually took the form of pointing out that games tend to be quicker when playing online. One person I interviewed also confessed that when he played on his lunch break he frequently resigned in the middle of a game simply because he had to go back to work.

Others complained that in playing online one does not get the tactile experience of holding the Weiqi stones in one's hand, and that one misses the opportunity to develop strong friendships by having a live partner in the room. Yet if the internet does not have the same visceral feel as a live game, or the level of intimacy and friendship that face-to-face interaction might offer, it also has many benefits. Friendships develop on KGS that can arguably be seen as a community, albeit one that is largely made up of people who have never met face to face.

Many people I interviewed in China voiced appreciation for the fact that the internet allowed them to play for free. They also lauded the idea that they could play at four in the morning if they chose to do so. Many advanced Weiqi players review their games from memory. For those of us without such remarkable skills, online servers allow us to review an accurate record of our games.

It is also possible to try out alternative moves, and then find one's place at a different point in the game, without ever becoming confused at the order that was actually played. If someone has completed a particularly interesting match, or received especially good advice while reviewing it, he can save the game and its commentary on the server. He can also download it to his computer if he so chooses. More than half a billion people in China have access to the internet. Many people who use internet servers also play their opponents in person.

Someone might play an online Weiqi game with a stranger and then play the next game with his oldest friend. Beijing is a large and sprawling city with extreme weather and a dense population. Rather than taking an hour's ride on an uncomfortably hot and thickly packed subway to play Weiqi with a friend, one might arrange to meet on an online server. In China, where traveling abroad still represents a significant expense for even the middle class, the internet also offers Weiqi players the rare opportunity to play and chat with people from beyond their national borders.

There are three categories in the Weiqi ranking system. In China the lowest rank is 25 ji. From there, the smaller the numeral the higher the rank. In other words, 2 ji is stronger than 3 ji , which in turn is a stronger rank than 4 ji. The best ji rating is 1 ji.