When I was drafted for the Vietnam War, we stopped first in the Philippines. After we got off the plane, I was taking a local bus, and I saw people working with oxen in the rice paddy fields. I had never seen that before, and it was fascinating to me. That was the start of my interest in East Asian culture—China, in particular.”
William Rowe, John and Diane Cooke Professor of Chinese History
Some of the objects Rowe has gathered during his many trips to China include (clockwise from upper right): A poem written exclusively for Rowe by Chinese scholar and history professor Yuxin Peng (among the first group of scholars allowed out of China after the Cultural Revolution, and Rowe met him on a trip to China in 1981); a Chinese opera mask, which traditionally represents a performer’s personality and mood; a Chairman Mao badge, which were particularly ubiquitous during the Cultural Revolution; and a statue of the military general Guan Yu, symbolizing bravery and ferocity.