This purpose of this paper is to present a summary of the research in Japan on the history of the Jiangnan region, especially focusing on the studies of the history of the Jiangnan region since the 1980s. In Japan, historical studies, especially historical studies after World War II, focused mainly on socio-economic history. The research on Chinese history was not an exception, which were primarily based on the specific historical perspectives represented by keywords such as ″class struggle″ and ″development stage theory.″ Such research started from a ready conclusion, which would naturally lead to a dead end. It was roughly around the 1980s that researchers having expertise in studying each period of history ranging from the Pre-Qin period to Ming and Qing Dynasties began to overcome these constrains. It was also in the 1980s that research focused on the history of regional societies, including research on the history of the Jiangnan regional society, began to prevail. Based on this trend, this study focuses on research especially relevant to the history of the Jiangnan regional society and introduces the studies mainly by era and period. At the same time, in order to elucidate the logic relation between the research around and before the 1980s, this study also involve s the mainstream arguments regarding each era and period of Chinese history. From the abovementioned perspectives, the study of the research trends in each era and the study of the history of the Jiangnan region were introduced , and the following two characteristics can be cited as specific to the history of research on the Jiangnan region in Japan. First, as far as dynastic history of each period is concerned, because of the lack of documentation, Scholars avoided taking the history of Jiangnan region as the specific research subject. For Japanese researchers, Chinese history is the history of a foreign country. In this sense, with few historical records related to the Jiangnan region, it is difficult to draw scientific conclusions by verifying the history of a region in another country through inferences based on fragmental documents. That is why the specific research of Jiangnan region is rare. Second, the number of the studies focusing on the history of the Jiangnan regional society decreased. This does not imply that research on the history of the Jiangnan region is being neglected. Rather, by setting a larger framework, such as a coastal region as the research target, the Jiangnan region itself is being relativized. These research trends reflect the changes of the problem awareness in studies on Chinese history in Japan. In other words, one can say that the changes originate in the positioning of the structure of the study as the central focus of the research problem rather than in starting the research from the perspective of how the country or region developed.
[日]清水浩一郎. 日本江南史研究管窥——以20世纪80年代以后的研究为中心[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2016, 2(2): 67-.
Koichiro Shimizu. An Overview of Research in Japan on the History of the Jiangnan Region: Focusing on Studies since the 1980s. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 2016, 2(2): 67-.