Craig A. Smith
In the early twentieth century, East Asian intellectuals encountered new knowledge from the West, which they often adapted to fit existing vocabularies and systems of thought. As science gained a new and privileged position in China and Japan, these intellectuals opened the door to an array of ideas through translation. This paper examines Chinese works on nudism in the 1910s, which are translations from English and Japanese. It offers insight into early twentieth-century intellectuals’ use of science and the growing belief in polarized civilizations. It also shows the ways in which translation could be employed in larger political debates.