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For all, who are interested in the Orient

Восточная коллекция № 4, 2002 (11) The issue follows the tradition of presenting one of the centers of Oriental scholarship in Russia. This time it is Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan; here the first Oriental language faculty in Russia was opened early in the 19th century. Tradition of Oriental studies in Kazan, which have always been substantially represented by Turkology, became the main topic of the interview of our editor-in-chief with Professor Mirkasym Usmanov, Head of the Chair of the Tatar People History of the Kazan University.

The article by Fayaz Khuzin and Ayrat Sitdikov tells the reader about the long way of archeological research, which was crowned with discovery of solid evidence of Kazan’s 1000-year history. An article by Azat Akhunov is devoted to intensive cultural contacts of the Volga Bulgar state and the countries of Islamic Orient, telling us about the Tatar version of the famous story of Yusuf. Rustem Shamsutov presents unique Tatar shamails (religious pictures containing art and text). The "Kazan Album" is concluded with an article by Ramil Valeev which recreates biography of Osip Kovalevsky, a prominent scholar, founder of Mongol studies in the Kazan University. We publish one of Osip Kovalevsky’s works, "On Acquaintance of the Europeans with Asia".
The other publications of this issue present a broad panorama of the history and culture of the Orient.

The "Land of Orient" section opens with an essay by Natalia Ulanova who tells the reader about the inner world of Nikolai Dudko, world-famed Russian painter who devoted himself to creation of Buddhist icons, tanka. Tatiana Simbirtseva presents an account of previously unknown visit of Russian writer Ivan Goncharov to Korea in the middle of the 19th century. Nikolai Listopadov tells of his travels to various locations related to life and deeds of Buddha. In a small essay Konstantin Bannikov shares his impressions of Aomori, on the island of Honshu. An article by Olga Bibikova is devoted to historical and religious aspects of circumcision, a ritual required for every true believer in Islam. Ekaterina Valova, an expert in fine arts who is familiar with Oriental collections both in Russia and Great Britain, believes that collectors in both countries have different goals, which makes their collections so unlike each other.

The "Writings" section contains Vladimir Alpatov’s essay on the fate of Evgeny Polivanov, a prominent Russian specialist in Japan. Dmitry Voskresensky reveals the "secrets" of a Chinese magician whom he met in Singapore, and tells about his book of divination. Nikita Sokolov presents Jainism, one of the ancient religious systems of India.

The issue is concluded with an essay by Olga Naumova about a young Pakistani designer, and with traditional columns: "Orientnet" and "Reader".

The «Orientnet» heading is not just a kind of guide-book on Internet resources about the Orient but also an opportunity to exchange information. Please mail (email) your wishes, suggestions and comments to the following address: orientnet@rsl.ru

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