Definitive program and conference poster

A3 Poster A State of Non-Legitimacy It took some doing, performing magic tricks with lecture halls, conjuring up discussants, contacting every media outlet in and outside Europe, and fighting off some dodgy characters with pronounced Hwanghae-do accents (no, not really), but the program for the conference has been finalized. It seems as if there’ll be lots of people, which is why we made sure to get the biggest lecture hall of Leiden University. And trust me, it is big. Big enough to accommodate the speakers, discussants, audience and the media. Haven’t heard from Pyongyang yet,

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A random quote from an awesome book

Memorial for Yelü Yanning in Khitan large script. Dated 986.

Memorial for Yelü Yanning in Khitan large script. Dated 986.

From From President To Prison from Ferdinand Ossendowski an idiosyncratic retelling of 10th- to 12th-century Northeast Asian history (the guy is just like a proper historian!):

In the course of my business, I made the acquaintance of the richest merchant of the town and heard from him some interesting law regarding these Kara-Khorch’ins. He told me that this tribe had often swept down toward the Great Wall,

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The South Manchurian Railway and academia

As a Dutch nationalmansyu-s11 who braved the vagaries of Dutch public transportation daily (not anymore! Now I just cycle to the institute. Life is good, to quote what was once called Lucky Goldstar, yes, Lucky Goldstar – I wonder how many marketing millions went into trying the erase the memory of Lucky Goldstar, btw, but that is an entirely different matter), I probably have a tendency to underestimate (and severely so)

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Man And Mystery in Asia – Ferdinand Ossendowski  

I was lucky this weekend to get a chance to read a book which has been lying on my desk for a few months now (next to

Man And Mystery In Asia

Man And Mystery In Asia

the ever-growing pile of the latest research in my field…): Man And Mystery in Asia by Ferdinand Ossendowski, the Polish noble/ chemist/ biologist/ geologist/ explorer/ fugitive from the Cheka and the Bolsheviks/ bestseller author/ hunter/ storyteller extraordinaire. I’m sure I’m leaving a number of defining qualifications out of this description, but the fact that he saw the inside of a prison both under the Tsar and under the Bolsheviks on account of ideological crimes tells you something about the man. That he was a fundamentally decent and courageous person. Or incredibly stupid and unfortunate to fall foul of two such formidable enemies,

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Classified materials obtained in dark and sinister ways

I wasUntitled just sent classified materials. 291 pages of classified, top secret data filled with numbers, analyses, tables, indexes. How do I know they  are classified, you ask? Well, this here to the left  is a dead give-away, the Chinese character equivalent of this immediately recognizable warning below:
UKUSA_top_secret


That is what it would have said had this been a 70s spy movie.

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Postcards from Manchukuo

20140527_114618I recently bought these two Japanese postcards, one depicting the most important weapon any army has employed in the quest for the ultimate whooping of the other guys’ ass: corporals (here portrayed as sentinels, but to me it seems they do

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Go East, Young Man or: Manchuria, Land Of Opportunities (1922)

20140518_230946If I had been a young man in the 1920s and had gotten hold of Manchuria, Land Of Opportunities (1922), I just might have bought myself a one-way ticket on a slow boat to Manchuria. In terms of opportunities, in particular investment opportunities, it doesn’t come much better than as described in painstaking detail in this book. Did you know for example that in 1920 1,955,464 gallons of lubricating oil were imported into Manchuria? Don’t ask me why. No, don’t. And that in the same year 52,508,400 pounds of perilla leaves were exported from Manchuria?

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The Last Fist Of Fury (1977)

 

dragon-lee

No, this is not Bruce Lee. It just isn’t. Really.

lastfistHere is a treat. An authentic Dragon Lee movie! Starring Dragon Lee 巨龍 거룡, whose Bruce Lee impersonation is so perfect it borders on the surreal. Bruceploitation at its best, it is hard to tell that this was originally a Korean movie. The original version is lost,

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