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"Texts and Bodies": Refashioning the Disturbing Past of Tran Vietnam (1225-1400)

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image of Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

Vietnam is often seen to have undergone a fundamental shift in the Tran period (1225-1400) from an unfamiliar, highly Buddhist country to a highly Confucian one. Using a key source for Tran history, the Dai Viêt su ky toan thu, this essay challenges this common view. First, it focuses not on post-Tran Confucian representations of the past but on Tran bodily practices. Second, it argues that modern Vietnamese historians in particular, utilizing texts, ideologies, and structural transformations, have slighted the history of bodies and practices and Confucianized the Vietnamese past.


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