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A socio-cultural history of sites in Ming Hangzhou Cheung, Desmond H. H. 2011

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A SOCIO-CULTURAL HISTORY OF SITES IN MING HANGZHOU by DESMOND H. H. CHEUNG B.A., University of Cambridge, 1999 M.A., SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London, 2002  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (History) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) August 2011 © Desmond H. H. Cheung, 2011  ABSTRACT This dissertation takes a fresh approach to the study of place for parsing Ming society. Through a close analysis of the construction and representation of five famous places in the former imperial capital of Hangzhou – a pair of official shrines, a Buddhist monastery, the city god temple, and West Lake – I develop the dual idea of the “site” as a physical place that people made and maintained, and also as an imagined place that had important meanings in the cultural landscape. I argue that no individual group – not even the Ming state – was able to maintain a site on its own, nor was it able to control the meanings ascribed to it. Rather, members of different social groups participated in the construction of a site and the production of its historical meanings, and drew on particular meanings to advance their own concerns. This place-based history was an open resource that was constructed, used, and contested by multiple parties. While it could prompt people to contribute towards the restoration or maintenance of a site, in some cases it also provoked violent engagement with it. This included the intended destruction of statues of villains who engineered the death of a loyal hero, and also the unintended (and mistaken) smashing of religious carvings to punish a nefarious monk. This place-based analysis presents new possibilities for understanding the dynamics of Ming society by focussing on the interactions between its constituent groups. Each site had a particular place within the political order of the state, and also its own relevance to wider society. The interplay of cultural imagination and physical engagement that underlay the making of historical sites reveals the multiple voices involved in the production of meaning in Ming society, and the cooperation, negotiation, and contestation among the groups to whom those voices belonged.  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract.................................................................................................................................. ii Table of Contents..................................................................................................................iii List of Figures........................................................................................................................ v List of Chinese Characters ................................................................................................... vi Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................ xiv Dedication........................................................................................................................... xvi Introduction: Imagining Hangzhou in the Ming .............................................................. 1 A New History of Sites ............................................................................................... 7 Situating the Study ..................................................................................................... 16 Dissertation Overview................................................................................................ 22 Chapter 1 Placing Hangzhou, its History and Sources ................................................. 26 1.1 Hangzhou through the Ming ............................................................................... 27 1.2 An Expanding World of Print.............................................................................. 41 1.2.1 Gazetteers ............................................................................................... 45 1.2.2 Encyclopaedias ....................................................................................... 49 1.2.3 The Place of Illustrations ........................................................................ 52 1.2.4 Travel Texts............................................................................................. 56 1.3 The Expansion of Travel in Ming Times............................................................. 59 1.3.1 Famous Sights and Touring Routes ....................................................... 63 Chapter 2 Official Sites: the Hangzhou Shrines to Yue Fei and Yu Qian.................... 68 2.1 Two Loyal Ministers ........................................................................................... 68 2.2 The Politico-Ritual Order of the Ming............................................................... 71 2.3 Changing Meanings of Loyalty........................................................................... 78 2.4 The Making and Remaking of Shrines to Loyal Ministers ................................. 88 2.4.1 The Shrine and Tomb of Yue Fei in Hangzhou....................................... 88 2.4.2 The Shrine and Tomb of Yu Qian in Hangzhou.................................... 100 2.5 Conclusion: The Expanding History of Official Sites........................................111 Chapter 3 A Buddhist Site: The Un(making) & Remaking of Lingyin Feilaifeng.... 113 3.1 The Fame and Attractions of Lingyin Feilaifeng .............................................. 115 3.2 A History of Violence at Feilaifeng................................................................... 122 3.3 Lingyin Monastery as a Buddhist Institution .................................................... 130 3.3.1 State Regulation of Buddhism .............................................................. 131 3.3.2 Leadership at Lingyin Monastery ......................................................... 135 3.3.3 Patronage at Lingyin Monstery ............................................................ 139 3.4 Conclusion: The Divergent Histories of a Buddhist Site .................................. 146  iii  Chapter 4 Popular Urban Sites: The City God Temple at Wushan........................... 149 4.1 Wushan: a Literati Destination.......................................................................... 150 4.2 Origins and Evolution of the City God Cult ..................................................... 156 4.3 The Wushan City God Temple .......................................................................... 167 4.3.1 Institutional Organization of the City God Temple .............................. 168 4.3.2 Building History of the City God Temple ............................................ 170 4.4 Zhou Xin – Hangzhou’s City God .................................................................... 176 4.4.1 Zhou Xin becomes Hangzhou’s City God............................................ 179 4.4.2 Zhou Xin in the Popular Imagination ................................................... 181 4.5 Conclusion: Configuring the Urban and the Popular ........................................ 191 Chapter 5 Hangzhou’s Premier Site: West Lake ......................................................... 194 5.1 West Lake in the Cultural Imagination.............................................................. 197 5.2 West Lake in Verse ............................................................................................ 203 5.3 The Worthies of West Lake ............................................................................... 209 5.4 West Lake as a Site of Hydrology ..................................................................... 214 5.4.1 The Hydrological Order of the Ming.................................................... 215 5.5 Yang Mengying’s Restoration of West Lake..................................................... 223 5.5.1 The Problem.......................................................................................... 226 5.5.2 Yang Mengying’s Solution ................................................................... 228 Official Channels...................................................................... 229 Restoring the Past..................................................................... 233 Benefitting the People .............................................................. 235 Protecting the State................................................................... 237 Compensation and Punishment ................................................ 238 5.5.3 The Opposition of Li Min..................................................................... 240 5.5.4 The Result ............................................................................................. 243 5.5.5 The Aftermath ....................................................................................... 246 5.6 Conclusion: The Politics of Hangzhou’s Premier Site...................................... 248 Conclusion Imagining Hangzhou, Picturing the Ming................................................ 250 Bibliography ...................................................................................................................... 256  iv  LIST OF FIGURES  Figure 1 “Xuntien alias Quinzay” (Hangzhou) ..................................................................... 2 Figure 2 “Hu shan yi lan tu” (Illustration of Lake and Hills in One Glance)........................ 4 Figure 3 “Hangzhou fu Renhe Qiantang er xian zhi tu” (Map of Hangzhou Prefecture and the two counties of Renhe and Qiantang) ..................................................................... 29 Figure 4 “Xihu tu” (Illustration of West Lake).................................................................... 65 Figure 5 “Yue Pengju xiang” (Portrait of Yue Fei)............................................................. 69 Figure 6 “Yu Zhongsu gong xiang” (Portrait of Lord Yu Qian) ......................................... 85 Figure 7 “Yue Wumu wang mu tu” (Illustration of the Tomb of Prince Yue Wumu)......... 90 Figure 8 Statues of Qin Gui and his wife Ms. Wang at Yue Fei’s Shrine in Hangzhou today .................................................................................................................................... 94 Figure 9 Yu Qian’s Tomb in Hangzhou today .................................................................. 106 Figure 10 “Lingyin Tianzhu tu” (Image of Lingyin and Tianzhu monasteries) ................ 118 Figure 11 “Master Huili’s Bed” in Feilaifeng Cave ......................................................... 121 Figure 12 Carving of Yang Lianzhenjia at Feilaifeng ...................................................... 128 Figure 13 The Great Hall at Lingyin Monastery today .................................................... 144 Figure 14 “Wushan zhu miao” (The Temples of Wushan) ................................................ 151 Figure 15 The Wushan City God Temple today ................................................................ 169 Figure 16 Statue of Zhou Xin at the Wushan City God Temple today.............................. 178 Figure 17 “Xihu tu” (Illustration of West Lake)................................................................ 199 Figure 18 “Su ti chun xiao” (Spring Dawn at Su’s Embankment) .................................... 202 Figure 19 “Bai Letian xiang” (Portrait of Bai Juyi) .......................................................... 206 Figure 20 Sunset at West Lake .......................................................................................... 209 Figure 21 “Su Zizhan xiang” (Portrait of Su Shi) ............................................................. 213 Figure 22 “Xihu tong jing zhu he guan tian tu” (Illustration of West Lake connected with the wells, pouring into the rivers and canals, to irrigate the fields)........................... 237 Figure 23 “Xihu junfu quan jing tu” (Illustration of the whole scene of West Lake dredged and restored) ........................................................................................................ 244  v  LIST OF CHINESE CHARACTERS ancha si (surveillance commission) Bai Juyi baishi (prayer stone) Bao Zheng Beijing biji (miscellaneous jottings) bo (earl) buzheng si (provincial administration commission) Chang Yuchun Changhua Chen Jiru cheng shi shi ye (sincere poetry is history) Chengde chenghuang (walls and moats, city god) chenghuang miao (city god temple) chengshi yishi (urban consciousness) chongxing (restoration) Chu cimiao (shrines and temples) congshu (collectanea) Dadu dao (the Way) daoxue (Studies of the Way) daxiong baodian (Great Hall) deng gao lan sheng (climb up high to survey the sights) di (earth) difang (place) difang zhi (local gazetteer) dili (principles of the earth, geography) ding (adult male) dongxun (eastern tours) Ding Bing Dizang (Ksitigarbha) 蔵 Dong Zhongshu du zhihui (regional military commissioner) dufu (governor general) Ezhou Fan Chengda fang (house)  vi  fangsheng chi (life-releasing pool) fei (abandoned) fenshi gui (corpse-splitting cypress) Feng Mengzhen Feilaifeng Fu Weilin Fuchai Fuyang Gao Jiang Gao Panlong Gao Yingke gewu zhizhi (investigating things and extending knowledge) gong (duke) gong (merit) gongbu shangshu (minister of works) gongchen miao (temple to meritorious officials) gongde si (merit chapel) gonglun (public opinion) gong shi (tribute scholar) guan hu (government lake) Guandi Guanyin Gucheng guji (ancient remains) guoji (plan of the state) guojia (state) guozijian (directorate of education) Haining Han Yu Hangzhou Hankou Hanlin Hanshan Deqing He Liangjun hedao (waterways circuit) Helü hou (marquis) Hou Ji hu (household) Hu Yinglin Hu Zongxian  vii  hua (picture, painting) huaben (storyteller’s chapbook) huaigu (meditations on the past, reminiscences, nostalgia) Huanduzhai Huangshan Huating Huili Huzhou ji (collected writings, belles lettres) ji (grain spirit) ji (site, trace, vestige) Ji Gang jianchen (nefarious minister) Jianghuai Jiangnan Jianyang Jiaxing jin bei (prohibition stele) jin zhong bao guo (requiting the state to the extremes of loyalty) Jinhua jing (prospect) Jingci si jingshi (statecraft) jinshi (presented scholar) jinyi wei (embroidered guard) juan (fasicle) Jude jun (commandery) junwang (noble prince) juren (elevated person) Kaifeng Kuaiji Lang Ying leishu (encyclopedias) leng mian han tie (cold-faced and cool as iron) li (benefit, profit) li (rites, ritual propriety) li (Chinese measure of distance) li (ward) Li Bai Li Mi  viii  Li Min Li Shizhen Li Yangbing liang (tael) lianzhong (cherish loyalty) Lin Bu Lin’an ling (efficacy) lingchi (death by slicing) Lingyin si litan (altar to restless spirits) Liu Bang Liu Jin lixue (study of principle, Neo-Confucianism) lucheng yilan (route book) Mai Xiu min (the people) minsheng (the people’s livelihood) mingsheng (famous sites) mofa (decline of the Dharma) Moqi Xie 卨 mou fan (plotting rebellion) mou da ni (plotting sedition) mou pan (plotting treason) mu (Chinese measure of area) Murong Yan Nanjing Ouyang Xiu Ouyi Zhixu Pan Jixun Penglai pi (obsession) Pishamen (Vaisravana) Putuoshan qian (copper cash) Qian Chu Qian Liu Qiantang Qin Gui (/Qin Hui) qing (Chinese unit of area) qingming (spring tomb-sweeping festival)  ix  Qiu Jun quanhao (powerful local people) ren (human) ren (benevolence, humaneness) Renhe riyong leishu (encyclopedia for everyday use) San Mao guan Santai shan senglu si (central Buddhist registry) sengguan (monk officials) shanchuan (mountains and rivers) shang you tiantang, xia you Su Hang (above are the halls of heaven, below are Suzhou and Hangzhou) Shangdi (Lord-on-High) Shanghai shanze (mountains and marshes) she (soil god) sheji (altars to the soil and grain, the state) sheji chen (a minister who acts entirely in service of the state) sheji gong (an act that benefits the state without regard for the individual) shen (spirit) Shen Li shenyou (spirit travel) shi (literati) shi (official history) shi e (ten abominations) Shi Quan shiji (events and traces) shuibu (bureau of waterways) shuili (hydrology) shuiyong (water barrier) sidian (sacrificial statutes) Song Lian Songjiang su (popular customs, vulgar) su min (solemn and grieved) Su Shi Sun Long Sun Wukong Suzhou Taihe  x  taimiao (great temple to imperial ancestors) Tang Sanzang Tao Zongyi tian (heaven) Tian Rucheng Tian Yiheng tianxia (All Under Heaven, the realm) Tianzhu tongpan (assistant prefect) tu (map, image, illustration) Tu Long tudi (earth god) Tumu tuntien (military farm) wang (prince) Wang Anshi Wang Ao Wang Hua Wang Qi Wang Shixing Wang Shizhen Wang Shouren Wang Siyi Wang Xizhi Wei Shun wen (cultured) Wen Tianxiang Wen Zhengming wenji (collected writings, belles lettres) wenzong (provincial education commissioner) woyou (travel while reclining, armchair traveller) wu (things) Wu Zhijing Wu Zixu Wu Zun Wulin Wushan wushan (five mountains) Wuyue Wuzhou (Jinhua) ( ) Xi Shi  xi  Xia Jinghe xian (county) xian (worthy) xiang (icon, image) Xiao He Xici (appended writings to the Yijing) Xie Qian Xihu Xijiang Lu sou (Old Man Lu of the West River) Xinchang xingzai (temporary capital) Xu Da Xu Hongzu xun’an yushi (regional inspector) xunfu (grand coordinator) ya (elegant, refinement) yamen Yang Erzeng Yang Lianzhenjia Yang Mengying Yang Shen Yangzhou yao (individual hexagram lines) Ye Sheng Ye Xianggao yi (profit, increase) yi chuandao (postal service circuit) yinci (illicit shrine) Yinping yitong (unification, unity) youdao (way of travelling) youguan (touring and sightseeing) youji (travel record) youlan (sightseeing) yousi (resident officials) Yu (the Great) ( ) Yu Mian Yu Qian Yuan Hongdao Yue Yue Fei  xii  Yue Ke Yue Yun Yuhang Yunqi Zhuhong zha (locks, sluice-gates) Zhan Ruoshui zhang (Chinese measure of length) Zhang Dai Zhang Han Zhang Jun Zhang Shicheng Zhao Mengfu Zhejiang zhen (market town) Zhenhai lou zhenshou (grand defender) zhi (resolve) zhong (loyal) zhongcheng (vice censor-in-chief) Zhongyuan (Central Plains) Zhou Xin zhu (master, lord) Zhu Di Zhu Guozhen Zhu Jizuo Zhu Xi Zhu Yuanzhang zhuchi (presiding cleric, abbot) Zhuge Liang Zibo Zhenke Ziyang zong (origin) zongdu (supreme commander)  xiii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS As I submit my dissertation and complete the long course of doctoral studies, I would like first to express my thanks to two Tims, who were there from start to finish. Tim Brook is a model scholar and mentor. His scholarship, intellectual dynamism, and literary flair are inspiring. Despite so many demands on his time, Tim can always be counted on for advice and support. I only hope that any attempt to reach his high standards won’t seem quixotic. To Tim Sedo my heartfelt thanks for his delightful company along this journey. His friendship, intelligence, and shoes have carried me a long way. I am thankful for a supportive supervisory committee. All along, Tim Brook urged me to pursue my own interests, while pushing me to see the larger significance of my work. He always gave detailed and incisive feedback on my chapters with amazingly quick turnaround. Christopher Friedrichs provided expert guidance in the history of Reformation Europe. His advice and encouragement regarding scholarship, teaching, jobhunting and much else have been tremendous. Leo Shin’s constant nudge towards grappling with the big questions has been instructive and he has shared many tips for navigating academia. Alexander Woodside graciously took time from retirement to offer sage advice and encouragement. I also appreciate the comments of my dissertation examiners. Catherine Swatek helped me relate my work to debates on Ming literature and culture. Neil Safier made me think about the project in additional ways. Cynthia Brokaw wrote detailed comments that have helped me strengthen my argument. Others also made time to read parts of my dissertation. Abhishek Kaicker’s generous remarks were a big boost. David Luesink and Tim Sedo commented on chapters at a crucial stage. Dave improved the text in numerous places and pushed me to clarify the bigger picture. Tim made many helpful comments with his signature acuity and sparkle. That I was able to finish when I did was in no small part thanks to them. I am also grateful for the breadth of scholarship and the collegiality of the China and Asian studies community at UBC. Diana Lary and Glen Peterson were sound guides in modern Chinese history. Alison Bailey has been supportive in numerous ways. I have appreciated Tim Cheek’s cheery presence and assuring counsel. Abidin Kusno offered helpful ideas and references at an early stage of writing. The China Studies Group and Wang She provided venues for fruitful discussion. The graduate student members of Wang She have been an invaluable part of my years in Vancouver, especially its cofounders David Luesink and Dai Lianbin, as well as Anna Belogurova, Noa Grass, Leslie Hsieh, Huang Ching-hua, Huang Xin, Heidi Kong, Yoel Kornreich, Li Hua, Alex Ong, Tim Sedo, Nick Simon, Craig Smith, Malcolm Thompson, Robban Toleno, Sophia Woodman, Tom Woodsworth, Karl Wu, and Zhang Dewei. Among other friends in the Department of History, I have appreciated Chelsea Horton’s support and Kelly Cairns’ cheerfulness. Frederik Vermote lightened my teaching responsibilities at a hectic time, as did Adam Bohnet. I have valued Adam’s erudition and good humour since our days at the University of Toronto, where I also benefitted from the collegiality and friendship of Darryl Sterk, Luo Hui, and Steve Trott. And it has been a pleasure to conduct research using UBC’s rich collections, especially at the Asian Library whose staff – Eleanor Yuen, Jing Liu, Shaun Wang, Phoebe Chow, and Isabelle Zhang – have always been prompt and cheerful in ordering and locating books. I am grateful for the award of substantial grants at key points of my program: the UBC St. John’s College Charles C. C. Wong Memorial Fellowship; the Fukien Chinese xiv  Association Award; the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation Doctoral Fellowship; and research travel and dissertation writing awards from the Department of History, UBC. The department’s graduate secretary, Gloria Lees, and a succession of graduate chairs helped ease the whole process of working against the clock. My research owes much to many scholars far from Vancouver. My intellectual debt to the authors whose work I have read and incorporated into my own is obvious. In person, Roger Des Forges has been most generous with his time and support throughout and beyond the Chinese Walls project that stimulated some of the ideas behind the present work. I thank Tobie Meyer-Fong for a conversation about my dissertation project at an early stage of its formation and for directing me to important sources. Since then, her scholarship has stimulated many ideas in my own research. Stephen McDowall kindly sent me his translation of Yuan Hongdao’s West Lake records from New Zealand. Going farther back, I continue to learn from a number of inspiring teachers. Mark Edward Lewis is a model of intellectual rigour. For a solid grounding in the study of China I thank him and my other teachers at Cambridge: David McMullen, Susan Daruvala, Yuan Boping , Joseph McDermott, Andreas Janousch, Robert Neather, and Hans van de Ven. I thank also my teachers in Qingdao, especially Luo Yirong who continues to cheer me on. I remain indebted to Tang Jiuchong laoshi in Taiwan– I have never met anybody else who can explain the world with a seamless combination of classical Chinese philosophy and Hollywood blockbusters. At SOAS I learnt so much in just one year, thanks to Tim Barrett, Gary Tiedemann, and Michel Hockx. At the University of Toronto Vincent Shen, Richard John Lynn, and Richard Guisso helped me to grow as a scholar and teacher. I have been blessed with kind friends. David Luesink and Amber Wang Fan have been wonderful neighbours over the past few years. I thank them for their company, food, and concern – all were vital for keeping me sane during the final months of intense work. Martin Swift has been an inspiring and steadfast friend. I thank him for our walks and talks about Hangzhou, for his photographs I’ve used in the chapters, and for so much else that continues to challenge and uplift me. Morgan Jacquat has offered regular encouragement for years, and generously provided a comfortable home away from home during stints of research in Paris and Shanghai. To numerous other friends in England, Canada and elsewhere (I trust they know who they are) I owe my gratitude for their caring support – especially during the very difficult year when I set aside my dissertation to be with my family in England. They helped me to see what matters most. I owe so much to my family. My sister Monita and her husband Tse-Lin housed and fed me for the year that I was at SOAS, and have continued to do so during my visits to London. Their children Penny and Alex arrived in the last few years and have brightened up my stays with them ever since. My brother Terrence and his wife Vicky have taken care of me on trips to Hong Kong for over a decade. The birth of their daughter Sofia on the day I dispatched my dissertation for examination brought a double joy. Both my grandmothers were a major presence as I grew up; I think of them often. Finally, I would like to offer my deepest gratitude and loving appreciation to my parents. Neither of them completed secondary school, but they never questioned what I was doing. They have always guided and supported me in all the ways they knew how. My only regret is that my father and grandmothers all passed away during the course of my Ph.D. program and did not live to see me don the doctor’s bonnet. xv  DEDICATION  To my parents Yuk Kam Liu Cheung  (1952-) and Kee Wai Cheung  (1947-2007),  who have supported my studies in so many ways since, as a child, I managed to persuade them that Sundays were not meant for Chinese school;  my paternal grandmother Tai Liu  (1908-2008),  who encouraged me to pursue my goals even when they took me far from home;  &  my maternal grandmother Tam Tai Cheuk  (1923-2003),  whose hardened joy and cooking I dearly miss.  xvi  Introduction Imagining Hangzhou in the Ming Beyond dispute the finest and the noblest [city] in the world ... so great that it hath an hundred miles of compass. And there are in it twelve thousand bridges of stone, for the most part so lofty that a great fleet could pass beneath them.1  With such extravagant words did the Venetian traveller Marco Polo (1254-1324/5) describe the famous city of Hangzhou, which he visited during the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1279-1368). Although some historians have doubted the veracity of Polo’s travels in China, his writings certainly played a central role in conjuring up for Europeans an image of the country as the most prosperous kingdom on earth.2 Within this European imagination Hangzhou was the grandest city in China – and therefore in the whole world – where innumerable “guilds … palaces and mansions … abbeys and churches” rose up from the shores of the celebrated West Lake. In pursuit of China’s fabled wealth Christopher Columbus (c.1451-1506) himself wrote in his ship’s log just days after arriving in the New World in October 1492 that he would soon proceed to Japan and thence on to China, where he hoped to present his royal patrons’ letters to the Great Khan in Hangzhou.3 This image of Hangzhou as a city of unrivalled wealth was reinforced by illustrations that circulated in the works of great cartographers of the age. One notable example (Figure 1) appears in the world atlases of Pierre d’Avity (1573-1635) and the Theatrum Urbium Celebriorum (Theatre of More Famous Cities) by Jan Jansson (15881664).4  1  Polo, The Travels of Marco Polo, vol. 2, pp. 185-6.  2  The question of whether Marco Polo actually went to China has caused some controversy since the appearance of Frances Wood’s book Did Marco Polo Go to China? in 1995. Numerous scholars have clamoured back in the affirmative, including most recently Stephen Haw with his Marco Polo’s China. Questions about the man notwithstanding, the work attributed to him was extremely influential in shaping early European views of China. See Larner, Marco Polo and the Discovery of the World. 3  Robert H. Fuson trans., The log of Christopher Columbus (Camden, MN: International Marine Publishing Company, 1987), p. 90, cited in Atwell, “Ming China and the Emerging World Economy”, p. 377. 4  This image of Hangzhou is the sole depiction of China in Jansson’s work. Min-min Chang, China in  1  Figure 1 "Xuntien alias Quinzay" (Hangzhou) in Pierre d’Avity, Newe Archontologia cosmica, 1646. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. The illustration exhibits an embellished style, widely used by European cartographers of the period, that celebrates the civic order of the ideal city.5 It is thus not a realistic rendering of the Chinese city, but an idealization of Hangzhou as a great city in the European mould with countless bridges, churches, public squares and monuments. Its pavilions and palaces echo Polo’s praise of the city’s majestic edifices, and the depiction  European Maps, pp. 133 (Plate 52), 187. 5  The pioneering model for early modern urban mapping projects was the multi-volume work, Civitates orbis terrarum (Cities of the world), published in Cologne in 1572-1617. The goal of its editors, Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg, was to produce accurate illustrations of every major city in the world according to a standard, printed cartographic format. Its perspective was, like in Jansson’s map, from an elevated point far above the city, from which one could see the orderly plan of its streets, squares, and principal buildings and monuments. Cosgrove, Geography and Vision, p. 176. See also Swift, Mapping the World.  2  of its ships, harbours, and waterways represents the commercial activity on which the city’s legendary wealth was based. Of course, any charge of historical inaccuracy would miss the point. Europeans of the time had limited information about China; what they did know was often confused or out of date – a fact evident in the different names by which Hangzhou was known.6 What is significant is that Hangzhou came to represent the epitome of China’s wealth in the early modern European imagination, at a time when a growing number of printed works depicting cities all over Europe and throughout the world were helping people to imagine places they might one day visit. As for Chinese themselves, Hangzhou also had a prominent place in the popular imagination, neatly captured by the saying: “Above are the halls of heaven, below are Suzhou and Hangzhou” (Shang you tiantang, xia you Su Hang). This well-known phrase, which evokes the legendary beauty of Hangzhou and Suzhou for countless visitors today, originated in the Tang period, during which the celebrated poets Li Bai (701-762) and Bai Juyi (772-846) compared the two cities with the Penglai Islands and other paradises of the immortals. After Hangzhou became capital of the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279) subsequent writers continued to praise its ethereal allure. The saying in its present form was set by the Yuan era and often repeated thereafter.7 In the Ming period (1368-1644), even though no longer the foremost city of the realm, Hangzhou remained firmly fixed in the popular imagination. Moreover, while most Europeans could only fantasize about faraway Chinese cities and few Chinese of earlier eras ever had the opportunity to travel, the later part of  6  Polo called Hangzhou “Kinsay” (Columbus spelled it Quinsay), which is probably an approximation of the Chinese term xingzai meaning “temporary residence”. This was one name by which Hangzhou was known when it served as capital of the Southern Song Dynasty. See Kuhn, The Age of Confucian Rule, p. 205. The “Xuntien” of Janson’s image title “Xuntien alias Quinzay” is a rendering of Shuntian, meaning “In Accord with Heaven”. This was the Ming name of the prefecture in which Beijing, known as Khanbaliq or Dadu during the Mongol Yuan dynasty, was situated. The names of these cities were often confused or conflated by Europeans. 7  Zhou Feng, Sui Tang mingjun Hangzhou, pp. 38-41. The Song scholar Fan Chengda (1126-1193) recorded the expression as “Tian shang tiantang, di shang Su Hang” (In heaven the halls of heaven; on earth Suzhou and Hangzhou), Lin Zhengqiu, Nan Song gudu Hangzhou, p. 72. Commenting on the saying, the Ming Hangzhou native Lang Ying (1487 - c.1566) noted that Suzhou flourished as early as the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BCE) but Hangzhou did not gain prominence until the Southern Song. Lang Ying, Qi xiu lei gao, juan 22, p. 331.  3  the Ming saw more and more people heading off to destinations throughout the realm – especially to places like Hangzhou. For Hangzhou offered its visitors scenic views and historical sites aplenty, as is evident in an illustration of the city’s celebrated West Lake (Figure 2), taken from the 1609 touring guide Hainei qi guan (Marvellous Sights within the Seas) of Hangzhou publisher Yang Erzeng. Whereas the European imagination focussed on the city’s buildings, waterways, and commercial traffic, in Yang’s image West Lake takes centre stage8, skirted by the city wall and hills, and surrounded by over one hundred historical and scenic spots. Rising up from Hangzhou’s cultural landscape, all these places were inscribed with storied pasts that animated people’s imagination of and visits to the sites.  Figure 2 "Hu shan yi lan tu" (Illustration of Lake and Hills in One Glance), in Yang Erzeng, Hainei qi guan, juan 3; pp. 210-211.  8  The Avity-Jansson illustration might represent Hangzhou as sitting in the middle of the lake, but that is more reminiscent of Polo’s native Venice than the reality of Hangzhou.  4  For centuries these representations of Hangzhou have strongly influenced how Chinese and Europeans imagine the city. Yet behind its European image as a city of unparalleled prosperity and its Chinese reputation as a paradise adorned with famous sights, Hangzhou was of course a real place – it was home to many thousands and a major administrative and economic centre of the Ming. And its celebrated spots, so well established on the traveller’s circuit, were not merely sights for tourists. They were concrete places that occupied prominent positions in the city’s landscape. They were historical sites grounded in Hangzhou society, with significance for local people as well as the greater Ming order that went far beyond their status as travellers’ destinations. This dissertation explores Ming society through an analysis of five historical sites in Hangzhou: a pair of official shrines, a Buddhist monastery and its rock formations, the city god temple, and West Lake. All of these sites were important for people of the Ming, who built and rebuilt them over time. But what was their significance? What meanings did people attach to them and did those meanings vary among different groups? Who funded the building and rebuilding of the sites? Who opposed them? What role did the sites have in the institutions of the state? Who ultimately controlled and defined the sites? This study seeks to answer these questions and thereby uncover the dynamics of interactions between different social groups as they played out at important sites in Ming Hangzhou. The purpose is also to forge a fresh methodology for the history of place by combining social and cultural history approaches. Central is the dual idea of the site as both a physical site that people made and maintained, and also as an imagined place imbued with meaning on the cultural landscape. These two facets of sites are distinct, but also interdependent. The meanings of sites lay in their histories, which were recreated and remembered through the erection of buildings, the installation of statues, and the carving of texts on stelae put up in situ for all to see. These actions provided ways for people to create and recreate a site and its history. And beyond its physical location, a historical site occupied a place on the wider cultural landscape. This cultural landscape consisted of the history and lore of notable places throughout the realm (and the people and events associated with them) that circulated both orally and via the written word. The accelerated rise of the printed text in the Ming era produced a wide array of texts that  5  provided rich information on the history of places like Hangzhou. The great age of travel of the late Ming further consolidated this awareness of historical sites and enriched their places in the popular imagination. People might read about and imagine the shrine to Yue Fei and the history of that celebrated Song general before visiting it, and then after arriving be spurred to spit on the statue of the minister held responsible for Yue’s death, thereby joining in the punishment of that reviled figure (chapter 2). In such ways people could both imagine and participate in a site’s history. Significantly historical sites could take on multiple meanings, which might compete with or contradict one another, for different people or at different times. Multiple meanings of a given site might derive from its physical features or from specific aspects of its history. The dominant message at the shrines to Yue Fei and Yu Qian was loyalty, but the extent to which the actions of Yue or Yu were loyal or expedient was interpreted differently over time and according to political viewpoint (chapter 2). Lingyin Feilaifeng engendered multiple meanings through its different physical components. It was a major Chan monastery whose legendary founder lived on in Ming memory. Its bizarre rocks and caves made it a site of Daoist practice and literati wonder. And its association with a notorious Yuan monk made it a reminder of the Mongol conquest (chapter 3). There were also different views of Hangzhou’s city god, Zhou Xin – including his very identity. But even though the state may not have been able to control those meanings, together they served to reinforce the importance of the god for local people (chapter 4). As for West Lake, it was celebrated first and foremost for its great beauty, immortalized in centuries of poetry. But its significance as a source of water for Hangzhou was also acknowledged, not least by the literati officials who praised it in verse. Contestation arose at the site when its economic value was monopolized by local power-holders at the expense of the wider community. It was then that the lake’s different meanings were harnessed in support of competing interests (chapter 5). Beyond yet encompassing their physical and cultural dimensions, historical sites were therefore social sites where the interests of different groups intersected. Each site analyzed here represents a different configuration of social groups that participated in the making and remaking of the site and asserted their preferred interpretations of the site’s history to advance their particular concerns. They include agents of the court, regional  6  and local officials, intellectual elites, local power holders, and the people at large. No single group – not even the Ming state, which claimed authority over the sites by incorporating them into its institutions – was able to create a site on its own, nor was it able to control the meanings inscribed on it. In some cases the interests of different groups might converge at a site and lead to their complementary efforts to promote it. In other cases opposing claims might lead to competition and contestation at a site. But even though there may not always have been a consensus over the meaning of sites, all could agree on their importance: such sites were important for both local society and the greater Ming order. This dissertation demonstrates that groups from across Ming society helped to create and maintain these historical sites, by providing funds, bricks, and labour and by assuring that the sites’ histories would continue to be told. These sites were thus crucial components of the Ming order and also arenas in which different groups interacted to negotiate and construct that order. This place-based history focussing on social interactions and cultural intersections therefore offers new possibilities to construe Ming society and to consider the roles of the different groups within it. The following paragraphs elaborate on key concepts underlying this study and its connexions with and contributions to existing scholarship. An overview of the chapters completes this introduction. A New History of Sites My analysis of the making and representation of historical sites is informed by concepts in the Chinese tradition as well as by perspectives from social theory, geography, and other fields of scholarship. To an extent my approach might be seen against the backdrop of the “spatial turn” that became apparent across diverse disciplines by the late 1990s.9 Overall that work sought to reveal the ways in which “space is a social construction relevant to the understanding of the different histories of human subjects and to the production of cultural phenomena”.10 I agree with the general assertion of the importance  9  For a recent review of the effects of this development across disciplines, see Warf and Arias, The Spatial Turn. A foundational text that drove this new emphasis on space is Edward Soja’s Postmodern Geographies: the Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory. London, Verso: 1989. 10  Warf and Arias, “Introduction”, p. 1.  7  of geography, but my purpose is less to determine any spatialization of social power than to analyze the locations of group interests and interactions in Ming society. Or to put it simply, I am more concerned with places than spaces. Nonetheless, my thinking about socio-cultural sites has been stimulated by works treating both space and place in a variety of ways. Philosopher Henri Lefebvre’s parsing of space into the physical and the nonphysical has been useful for my study of Hangzhou’s sites. Lefebvre discerns three different levels of space: the physical, the mental, and the social.11 According to this triple scheme, the physical dimension of space refers to the material and natural site itself. The mental level deals with ideology and the perception and representation of a space, including the symbols and meanings written onto and projected from it. The social dimension is concerned with how social and political forces engender and seek to control a space and its uses and meanings. My analysis of Hangzhou’s sites at the physical level will mainly be concerned with how they were built and maintained. I follow Lefebvre in seeing the mental and social levels as closely related to the physical space, for different groups sought to impose and reproduce their own meanings in a space in their own interest. To the extent that the sources permit, I explore all three levels in analyzing the making and remaking of the five Hangzhou sites. Also instructive is the work of political geographer John Agnew, who has identified three aspects of place: locale, location, and sense of place. Locale refers to the structured, material settings for everyday social interaction within a place. Location refers not only to a place’s geographical position, but also to its relationship with other places, and how that relationship affects ideas and practices in the place itself. Sense of place refers to the subjective orientation that can be engendered by living in a place.12 While I am not – and cannot be, due to the nature of the sources – concerned with the sense of place, the ideas of locale and location are helpful.13 The idea of locale emphasizes the  11  Lefebvre, The Production of Space, pp. 11-14, 26-27; also discussed in Robson, Power of Place, pp. 7-8.  12  Agnew, Place and Politics, pp. 5-6; also discussed in Cresswell, Place, p. 7.  13  A sense of place has been important in anthropological and phenomenological analyses which are not possible for a historical project like this one. In any case, the sites studied here, with the exception in part of Lingyin monastery, were not places of abode.  8  material setting of the sites in which interactions between different social groups that maintained the physical site and gave it meaning took place. A broader sense of location is also helpful because the sites studied are not just significant in the locality, but also had political and cultural importance in the greater Ming order of which they were a part. There are terms in the Ming lexicon that qualify the idea of a site and elucidate its cultural dimension. The term guji (ancient site) was well established by the Ming and often used as a category in gazetteers. In Hangzhou’s prefectural gazetteer of the Wanli era for instance guji have their own juan. The ancient sites there date mainly to the Wuyue and Song periods and include buildings such as temples and palaces as well as objects including ancient trees, tripods and Buddhist carvings.14 They are all ‘traces of the past’ (another possible translation of the term), although many of them no longer have any material presence – they are fei (abandoned or no longer extant). The sites studied here are similar to guji in that the past remains in them, but they are much more substantial than many guji in terms of their materiality and what they represented. These sites consisted of physical structures that required constant attention, and they also embodied a history that was preserved and reinforced through the site itself. So our sites are not so much guji, as simply ji (site, trace, vestige). They have a definite presence on the landscape, but they are more than landmarks. To borrow from Eugene Wang’s analysis, a site is a ji and a ji is a topos because it both marks a locus and serves as a topic. The topic lies in the history behind the site and that history is highly textualized: it is written about in gazetteers, poems, travel records and other works.15 For centuries literati constructed Hangzhou in the cultural imagination through their writings. Bai Juyi (722-846) and Su Shi (1037-1101) are only the two most famous poets whose versifications were inscribed onto the sites of Hangzhou; many others wrote about the place. As Stephen Owen has elegantly demonstrated in the case of Nanjing, that city was richly layered in the poetic imagination of its places and events. Poets wrote as much in reference to the portrayals of their predecessors as from their own experiences of  14  Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 50. The sites discussed below are not, however, found within the guji section of the gazetteer (despite the antiquity of some of them), but come under other categories such as cimiao (shrines and temples) and shanchuan (mountains and rivers). 15  Eugene Wang, “Tope and Topos”, pp. 488-9.  9  the places, interweaving literary and historical memories as meditations on the past (huaigu). Indeed the poetic city, once firmly entrenched in the cultural imagination, could last far longer than the stones and bricks of the city itself. Poets who had never visited the place could join in its cultural representation and build on it. 16 Sites thereby become foci of history and remembrance. In this connexion, Pierre Nora’s notion of lieux de mémoire, or sites of memory, is suggestive. When French people visit sites like Reims, Versailles, or Verdun, they inevitably engage with images of the past, for these places are “the ultimate embodiments of a commemorative consciousness”.17 Similarly, when Chinese visited or imagined established sites in places like Hangzhou, they were reminded of the pasts interwoven in and narrated through those sites. But there are significant differences between our Hangzhou sites and the French sites studied by Nora and his colleagues. First, Nora’s concept is much broader. Lieux de mémoire include not only places, but also street names, Proust, the Tricolore flag, Joan of Arc, and French gastronomy. Moreover, these broad symbols – all manifestations of quintessential “Frenchness” – are traced to the conscious creation of collective memories for the national community that began in the nineteenth century.18 In Ming Hangzhou memory was not replaced by history as in nineteenth-century France; both memories and histories were important for the making of the sites. Indeed, sites were so laden with memories and histories that even where there were official efforts to shape their meanings (albeit less coordinated a construction of some collective consciousness than in the case of the modernizing state), they still appealed to different groups within society who may or may not have been attached to the official meaning. In analyzing the varied meanings of sites and the relationships between them, I have benefitted from studies of religious cults in late imperial China. In a classic essay on 16  Owen examines the ways in which writers had to engage with episodes of Nanjing’s past that became established as thematic topoi. Owen, “Place: Meditation on the Past at Chin-ling”, pp. 417-457. 17  Nora, Realms of Memory, Vol. 1, p. 6. The sites are discussed in Nora, Realms of Memory, Vol. 3.  18  Nora, Realms of Memory. Moreover, Nora’s project is informed by the idea of a break between memory and history (whereby the end of the former in the modern era necessitated its study through the practice of the latter) that is not apposite for this study. For a summary of these ideas, see Nora, “Between Memory and History”.  10  the subject, James Watson argued that the Qing government “standardized the gods” by imposing a structure of unifying symbols over local cults.19 Taking the official promotion of the cult of Tianhou, the Empress of Heaven, in South China as his example, Watson suggested that different groups were able to retain their particular readings of the goddess (which varied according to one’s social position)20 within the sanctioned structure. Thus the state managed to effect a cultural integration of the religious realm. Watson’s thesis has been qualified by other scholars, notably Prasenjit Duara and Michael Szonyi, who caution against any general application of Watson’s model for understanding the complexity of religious cults in late imperial China.21 Nevertheless, while the degree of standardization or control may have differed according to the cult in question, the overall point that different groups read different meanings into a particular deity remains valid. In a similar fashion, the appeal of the sites examined here rested to a large degree on their associated figures, whose colourful lives and varied meanings – some of which were at odds with any official meaning – captured the popular imagination.22 At the shrines to Yue Fei and Yu Qian each figure came to represent the virtue of loyalty, though the interpretation of loyalty varied over time and between different groups (chapter 2). Lingyin Feilaifeng attracted visitors because of its legendary Buddhist founder but also due to the crimes of a Yuan monk (chapter 3). As for Hangzhou’s city god, while he was an official and presumed enforcer of the divine bureaucracy, he was also a popular deity  19  Watson, “Standardizing the Gods”.  20  For instance, boat people worshipped the deity because she afforded mastery of the seas and protection from storms; for the landed elite she symbolized territorial control and social stability; while the Qing state promoted the cult because of its “civilizing” effects. Ibid, p. 293. 21  From his examination of the Guandi cult, Duara concludes that myths were “simultaneously continuous and discontinuous” and that symbols were superscribed with different and coexistent meanings. Duara “Superscribing Symbols”, pp. 778-780. In the case of the cult of the Five Emperors in the Fuzhou area, Szonyi asserts that beneath an apparent cultural unity of state-sanctioned deities, there persisted not only a local distinctiveness but also a confused conflation of different cults, some of which were less than orthodox. Szonyi, “The Illusion of Standardizing the Gods.” The analyses of all three scholars have their merits, but it should be pointed out that the three cults were distinct for being national (Guandi), regional (Tianhou), and local (Five Emperors) phenomena. 22  Indeed, many a historical site was not famous because of any inherent physical qualities, but because of the people associated with it. For example, Mount Xian was famous not due to its size – Ouyang Xiu called it a “little mountain” – but “because of its people” (yi qi ren). Owen, Remembrances, p. 26. Similarly, the reputations of cultural figures associated with Ming gardens were far more important than the gardens’ intrinsic physical features. Clunas, Fruitful Sites, pp. 30-38.  11  of hazy origins who was held to champion justice for the masses (chapter 4). In the case of West Lake, the most celebrated figures were the poet-officials Bai Juyi and Su Shi. In their literary guise they evoked images of the cultured refinement afforded by the lake. But their authority as officials who had carried out important hydrological projects was invoked by a Ming prefect who sought justification for his own restoration of the lake (chapter 5). Thus the sites bore no singular standardized meanings, but were significant to different groups in a variety of ways. Finally we should briefly unpack the idea of “cultural landscape”, which appears throughout the dissertation. The term took hold among geographers as early as the 1920s,23 and entered the parlance of botanists, biologists, and ecologists soon afterwards.24 At the heart of “cultural landscape” is the idea that human societies leave enduring traces on their physical surroundings; therefore close scrutiny permits the student of the landscape to detect evidence of the structures and forces at work within societies past and present. In the past few decades the term has gained currency in a growing number of disciplines including political science, anthropology, archaeology, conservation studies, and environmental ethics.25 As for history, environmental historians have (unsurprisingly) wrestled with the implications of the cultural landscape in their analyses of past societies’ interactions with their natural environments.26 But the study of landscapes has occupied other historians too.27 Cultural landscapes have been examined as social constructions that reflect attitudes and ideologies as much as actions. Studies have suggested that the ways in which people envision, experience, and interact with landscapes depend on a host of  23  For a brief “genealogy” of the term from the 1920s onward, see Schein, “The Place of Landscape”, pp. 660-664. 24  Scientists working in these disciplines are concerned overall with the impact of human interactions with the environment. Birks et al eds., The Cultural Landscape – Past, Present and Future, pp. 1-2. 25  For examples of how scholars working in these diverse disciplines have made use of the term, see respectively: Bender, ed. Landscape: Politics and Perspectives; Stewart and Strathern, eds. Landscape, Memory and History: Anthropological Perspectives; Christie ed., Landscapes of Change: Rural Evolutions in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages; Longstreth, ed. Cultural Landscapes: Balancing Nature and Heritage in Preservation Practice; and Plumwood, “The Concept of a Cultural Landscape.” 26  Whyte, Landscape and History since 1500, p. 13; Hughes, What is Environmental History?, p. 3.  27  For some reflections on the historical study of landscapes in (mostly) Western societies, see Whyte, Landscape and History since 1500.  12  variable factors including their age, gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity, and race. Thus the meanings that people have imagined landscapes to hold for them have been subject to scrutiny. And for many historians, it is not just a matter of individuals reading landscapes from their personal situations. Imprinted on landscapes are deeper structures of societies such as feudal or capitalist modes of production. Shaped by dominant groups, landscapes may even become instruments of cultural power that assert the ideology and interests of nationalists, capitalists, or imperialists.28 Some of these approaches have been applied to late imperial China. In his examination of the cultural landscape of Taihe County, Jiangxi over the course of the Ming period, John Dardess explains its three distinct zones (horticultural, agricultural, and nemoral) in terms of settlement patterns and economic use. He also shows that landscape appreciation in Taihe was a social and cultural activity that fostered local people’s identification with the county and also with one another. Moreover, the landscape was inlaid with Confucian aesthetics and moral values as well as promises of Daoist transcendence.29 Historians have also interpreted China’s cultural landscapes as projections of authority and power. Fei Si-yen has argued that the Ming founder, Zhu Yuanzhang, reshaped Nanjing to be the capital of his new dynasty and a symbol of his achievements. He reordered Nanjing’s urban structure and built a new wall to emphasize the greatness of his imperial capital in comparison with other historical cities. The Hongwu emperor also produced a richly illustrated atlas to reinforce his vision so that even those who did not visit might imagine its grandeur.30 Textual representation continued to be important after the city ceased to be the primary capital in the Yongle reign (1403-1425). In the early seventeenth century a group of prominent Nanjing families produced a set of texts  28  Ibid, pp. 7-21; cf. Cosgrove and Daniels, “Introduction: Iconography and Landscape.” A good example of how an exploration of the cultural landscape can bring together cultural, environmental and colonial history is Cynthia Radding’s comparative study of two frontiers of the Spanish empire in Latin America. Radding, Landscapes of Power and Identity. 29  Dardess, A Ming Society, pp. 33-44. By the late Ming, however, landscape appreciation attenuated and became supplanted by a preference for artificial gardens, a change that Dardess links to increasing social pressures. 30  Fei Si-yen, Negotiating Urban Space, pp. 131-135. The classic account of the transformation of Nanjing into the Ming capital during the late fourteenth century is Mote, “The Transformation of Nanking”, especially pp. 126-153.  13  (an urban guidebook illustrating scenic spots, an historical atlas, and a collection of poems) that sought to describe and define the city. This elite vision of the city was also intended to impose particular meanings on the landscape and to shape how people saw the city through “imaginary eyes”.31 For the Qing, the most striking study is Philippe Forêt’s Mapping Chengde: The Qing Landscape Enterprise. Forêt’s book is a significant contribution to the (now firmly established) “New Qing History”, one of the basic premises of which is that the Qing was a multiethnic empire and should be studied as such.32 From this perspective the city of Chengde on the edge of the steppe just beyond the Great Wall was not just the location of the Qing summer court, but an Inner Asian capital where the Manchu emperors engaged with the diverse peoples of the Qing empire, including Tibetan clerics, Mongolian chieftains, and Turkic rulers.33 Forêt’s particular argument is that the Kangxi (r. 16611722) and Qianlong (r. 1736-95) emperors (and especially the latter) deliberately and carefully constructed a cultural landscape (Forêt’s usage) at Chengde that was laden with the symbolism of Tibetan Buddhism as well as textured with Chinese aesthetics and ritual concerns. Moreover, the Qing emperors created their multiethnic imperial vision not only through building temples and palaces and physically shaping Chengde’s landscape, but also through producing architectural and cartographical representations of Chengde and its sites.34 While Chengde may have been the most elaborate case of cultural landscaping, the same venerated duo of Qing rulers imprinted their imperial authority all over the Chinese landscape, especially through the practice of imperial touring and the erection of stelae – usually inscribed with calligraphy from the imperial brush – that commemorated their visits. Both the Kangxi and Qianlong emperors visited and left their mark at Hangzhou on several occasions.35  31  Fei Si-yen, Negotiating Urban Space, pp. 124-125.  32  For a good review of this growing scholarship, see Waley-Cohen, “The New Qing History.”  33  See the various contributions in Millward et al ed., New Qing Imperial History: the Making of Inner Asian Empire at Qing Chengde. 34  Forêt, Mapping Chengde, pp. 1-3.  35  The Kangxi emperor made six “Southern Tours” (nanxun) to Jiangnan to visit holy mountains and religious shrines, and to “soothe” his Han and non-Han subjects. These extended excursions were also means to ascertain local conditions, to check on local government, and to promote loyalty to the dynasty.  14  My own reading of Hangzhou’s cultural landscape benefits from the various approaches just outlined, but it does not follow any of them fully. My main contention is that the people of the Ming imagined a cultural landscape stretching across the realm and coming to the fore in places like Hangzhou. An intricate projection of histories and memories onto space, the cultural landscape was anchored in the many historical sites located on the physical landscape, and reinforced through countless texts that described and celebrated those sites. Through visiting and reading about such sites, Ming people recalled and imagined their histories, drawing out the meanings that were most significant for them. Rather than focussing on the concerted imprinting of authority onto the landscape or the control of its meanings, I try to show that the cultural landscape was more multivalent than the projections of rulers and elites. To be sure, many texts were aimed at fixing particular meanings onto the landscape. Yet if we read a broader set of texts about significant sites, it is possible to discern a wider range of voices that represent different segments within Ming society. People visited, built, and rebuilt historical sites because of their social, political, and cultural importance. Places embodied numerous meanings that were not concerned with the production and maintenance of imperial visions. Hangzhou’s cultural landscape offered a rich array of historical sites that were not located in a centre of imperial power. Its past did include strong currents from earlier dynastic narratives, but even those could be turned against contemporary political interests. The concerns of diverse groups converged and sometimes collided at Hangzhou’s sites of history. Even when sites intersected with the political order of the state – and all of those studied here did – they were ultimately local spheres of social interaction that people could negotiate and (at least try to) fashion on their own terms. An analysis of the making and remaking of these sites will reveal the social and political processes underlying their existence and the workings of the greater Ming order.  Matching his filial devotion towards his grandfather with his trademark extravagance, the Qianlong emperor made six much larger-scale tours of Jiangnan, five visits each to Qufu in Shandong and Mount Wutai in Shanxi, four excursions to Mount Song and Kaifeng in central Henan, and four “Eastern Tours” (dongxun) to the secondary capital of Shengjing (Mukden) in the Manchu homeland. Symons, “Qianlong on the road”, pp. 55-61. Michael Chang’s A Court on Horseback is a detailed study of Qing imperial touring that focuses on Jiangnan.  15  Situating the Study Taking Ming Hangzhou as its setting, this study might naturally be placed under the broad umbrella of Chinese urban history. Yet the present approach does not fit so neatly within the established scholarship, partly due to the continued hold of a problematic derived from European history and the resultant limitations on research and lack of overall coherence.36 While it is helpful to situate the study in the broader field, it makes a more direct contribution to more recent research on social and cultural questions. Three figures have dominated the study of Chinese cities in English-language academia:37 the sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920), the historian Frederick W. Mote (1922-2005), and the anthropologist G. William Skinner (1925-2008). Weber’s analysis of cities contributed to his macrohistorical explanation of the unique rise of capitalism in Europe.38 Focussing on pre-modern political and cultural structures, Weber asserted that the European city, specifically the “urban community”, was foundational to the formation of capitalism. For Weber only the autonomous cities of Europe with their free citizens who were equal before the law and their corporate self-rule dedicated to the public interest, combined with an intellectual environment conducive to the rationalization of legal procedure and economic calculation, could give rise to the modernity with which the “genuine” city was associated.39 As for China, Weber discovered modes of administrative rationality in its bureaucratic system but not an economic rationality that could lead to capitalism. He argued that Chinese cities were encumbered by the weight of the imperial state, which prevented the autonomy of the aristocratic and merchant classes while allowing a degree of social mobility and accumulation of wealth.40 Furthermore  36  This is not to suggest that European urban history is a uniform field. Hohenberg and Lees have long pointed out that there is no agreed definition for the term ‘urbanization’, and that its historical study has led scholars to examine varied problems including the origins of cities; models of ideal types of urban places; the sociological effects of urban settings; and cities as nodes within networks of production and exchange. Hohenberg and Lees, The Making of Urban Europe, pp. 2-4. 37  I focus this brief discussion to scholarship on the Ming and Qing era before the modernization of cities on Western models began in the nineteenth century. For a state of the field essay on the development of scholarship in the United States and in China on late imperial Chinese cities through to the twentieth century, see Liu and Stapleton, “Chinese Urban History.” 38  Jack Goody offers a useful overview of this debate in his Capitalism and Modernity.  39  Rowe, Hankow: Commerce and Society in a Chinese City, p. 3.  40  Brook, “Capitalism and the Writing of Modern History in China”, pp. 140-141.  16  Chinese were so tied down by family interests and their attachment to their native villages that there was no room for broader social organization in the city. Accordingly there was no urban class or identity, there were no burghers or citizens.41 Weber concluded that genuine cities appeared only in the West, and that “the cities of Asia were not urban communities at all even though they all had markets and were fortresses.”42 Of course, Weber’s assessment was based on an ideal type of city that manifested the singularity of Europe’s historical trajectory. Weber’s definition of the “urban community” was so narrow that it may scarcely have existed in Europe, let alone elsewhere. But the questions that Weber set out continued to have an influence on historians even after the narrative of European uniqueness had been rejected. Mote and Skinner led the way in responding to Weber’s critique of Chinese cities and the greater structure of which they were a part. In a set of essays taking the cities Nanjing and Suzhou as his case studies, Mote explored the nature and notion of the city in Chinese history.43 To counter Weber’s twin charge that Chinese cities were dominated by the central bureaucracy and restricted by ties to the countryside, which together prevented the formation of an urban merchant class, Mote argued that there was in fact no single great urban centre that was “both the acme and microcosm of Chinese civilization”, and that Chinese society was marked by a rural-urban continuum that distinguished China from urban traditions elsewhere.44 Basing his assessment on the administration and physical form of cities, styles of architecture and dress, evidence about elite and popular attitudes towards the urban and the rural, as well as a range of cultural and economic activities, Mote contended that there was no sharp division between the urban and the rural as in Europe. For Mote the Chinese city was thus more open than its European counterpart, though he did concede that it was the rural component of Chinese civilization, which he saw as more or less uniform, that defined the Chinese way of life. Mote’s sweeping view of Chinese urbanism since the Tang-Song  41  Rowe, Hankow: Commerce and Society in a Chinese City, pp. 1, 4-6.  42  Weber, The City, pp. 80-81.  43  See Mote’s “The Transformation of Nanking, 1350-1400”, and “A Millennium of Chinese Urban History.” 44  Mote, “The Transformation of Nanking, 1350-1400”, pp. 105, 114-119.  17  urban revolution was also reliant on a universalized type of city, though one quite different from Weber’s. But as an historian of China, Mote’s work was founded on a wealth of evidence and his interpretation has continued to influence scholars of urban society and culture.45 Like Mote, Skinner also took a sweeping approach to the study of Chinese cities, but with a focus on economic cycles and structures and the function of cities within them. Skinner attributed the two main cycles of urban growth in the medieval and late imperial eras to periods of demographic and commercial expansion together with administrative consolidation.46 Central to Skinner’s analysis was his argument that the cycles of urbanization were regional rather than empirewide phenomena. Thus the medieval cycle of urban growth was centred on Kaifeng, which was later succeeded by Beijing. This observation contributed towards his greater argument about the “structure of Chinese history”: not only urbanization per se, but all cycles of economic growth are regional phenomena.47 The crucial concept that underlies Skinner’s structural approach to Chinese history is the macroregion.48 Skinner divided late imperial China into ten essentially autonomous macroregions: distinct physiographic areas defined in terms of drainage basins. Each macroregion had its own economy, characterized by a hierarchy of cities and towns that formed internested central places and peripheries oriented around a macroregional core. The exchange of goods and services within each macroregion was more significant than exchanges with neighbouring regions, and the resources of each region – including human resources, goods, and capital investments – ultimately moved  45  A significant renewal of Mote’s urban-rural continuum thesis from the perspective of popular religion and culture may be found in David Faure and Taotao Liu eds., Town and Country in China: Identity and Perception. They contend that urban-rural distinctions did not become a significant part of an individual’s identity in China until the twentieth century when political reforms separated cities and towns as agents of social change, and villages were seen as the source of backwardness. Town and Country, pp. 1-3. See also Zhao Shiyu’s Kuanghuan yu richang on how temple fairs linked towns with surrounding areas. 46  Skinner also pointed to the increased monetization of tax and trade, growth in the numbers, wealth, and power of merchants, and a softening of social and official constraints on the merchant class in the TangSong era. Skinner, “Introduction: Urban Development in Imperial China”. 47  Skinner, “The Structure of Chinese History”. In the same article Skinner discusses the two cycles of trade and economic growth along the Southeast Coast from the eleventh to eighteenth centuries. 48  See Skinner’s essays in his edited volume, The City in Late Imperial China, and Skinner, “The Structure of Chinese History.”  18  towards and became concentrated in the macroregional core.49 With this emphasis on economic structures and functions Skinner managed to counter Weber and reclaim a place for cities in Chinese historical development. All three scholars (Weber, Mote, and Skinner) had an enduring influence on Chinese urban history. William Rowe was the most explicit in his efforts to refute Weber, while also taking up Mote’s problem of urban and rural cultures and Skinner’s concern with the economic life of cities. In his two-volume study of Hankou Rowe examined in depth the city’s commercial life and the formation of urban communities in the later Qing period.50 He concluded that Hankou merchants were more than adept at rational capital accounting. Moreover, over the course of the nineteenth century merchants assumed, especially through the work of the guilds, increasing responsibilities in public affairs that amounted to the emergence of an autonomous urban community that transcended kinship and native-place ties.51 Although subsequent historians may not have so overtly tackled the arguments of the earlier scholars, their legacy can be seen in numerous studies that deal with the essential features of Chinese cities, market networks, urban administration and institutions and especially the roles of merchants and commercialization in Chinese urban history.52 For the Ming-early Qing period, good examples are the work of Antonia Finnane and Michael Marmé. Finnane’s study of Yangzhou reveals how the official salt monopoly shaped the city’s growth and its relations with its hinterland. While Finnane does discuss various images of the city, Yangzhou’s salt merchants, who were increasingly dominating  49  Skinner, “The Structure of Chinese History”, p. 280. For a thorough review of Skinner’s paradigm, see Cartier, “Origins and Evolution of a Geographical Idea: The Macroregion in China.” For a critique of Skinner’s ideas and an alternative proposal for the geographical analysis of the Ming, see Heijdra, “A Preliminary Note on Cultural Geography”, pp. 30-38. 50  See Rowe’s Hankow: Commerce and Society in a Chinese City and Hankow: Conflict and Community in a Chinese City. 51  Rowe went so far as to suggest that, if left to itself, China might ultimately have developed into an industrial capitalist society comparable to that of the West. Rowe, Hankow: Commerce and Society in a Chinese City, p. 345. 52  The contributions in Skinner’s landmark volume include pioneering articles examining the cosmology and morphology of cities, urban administration, and institutions including academies, guilds, and temples. Skinner, ed., The City in Late Imperial China.  19  the city’s leading classes of gentry and merchants, are at the heart of her book.53 Merchants also play a leading role in Marmé’s study of Ming Suzhou, which narrates the development of that city and its hinterland into an important centre of regional and national commerce, peaking in the fifteenth century. For Marmé, in spite of – even partly because of – the state’s fiscal demands on it, Suzhou came to stimulate the commercialization of the lower Yangzi region.54 Indeed this region, also commonly referred to as Jiangnan55 (in which Hangzhou is also situated) has dominated our view of the Ming as its leading commercial and cultural region.56 Perhaps the most outstanding exception in this regard is Susan Naquin’s Peking: Temples and City Life, 1400-1900. That monumental study of the Ming-Qing northern capital is a rich and multifaceted view of the city that focuses on temples.57 Naquin demonstrates that because of their multiple religious and social functions temples were central to the fabric of urban society. And in her in-depth discussion of temples as venues for a variety of community and associational activities, echoes of Weber may still be detected. The present study contributes to a dynamic subfield of urban history that explores the intersections of the social, cultural, and political dimensions of cities. While the questions that have long dominated studies of Chinese cities just outlined have pushed us to understand China’s urban history against the European experience and from a macrohistorical perspective, the newer scholarship provides insights into the social and cultural life of cities as experienced by the countless people that visited and inhabited them. Cultural interpretations of the city are integral to Fei Si-yen’s study of the urbanization of the Jiangnan city Nanjing, which served briefly as the primary dynastic capital in the early Ming.58 Fei analyzes the dynamic processes underlying the 53  Finnane, Speaking of Yangzhou.  54  Marmé, Suzhou: where the goods of all the provinces converge.  55  Literally meaning “south of the river” Jiangnan denotes the region lying south of the lower reaches of the Yangzi river and includes parts of today’s Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, and Jiangxi provinces. Dominated by Shanghai today, in the Ming other major cities included Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Nanjing. 56  For example, see also Elvin, “Market Towns and Waterways: The County of Shanghai from 1480 to 1910”, and Johnson, Cities of Jiangnan in Late Imperial China. 57  Naquin uses temples as a generic term for a variety of establishments, including guildhalls and nativeplace lodges, that differed greatly in terms of size and their religious affiliations and ritual practices. 58  Fei Si-yen, Negotiating Urban Space: Urbanization and Late Ming Nanjing.  20  institutional and conceptual constitutions of urban space in which both state and society engaged. Significantly for Fei – and for my study of Hangzhou sites – “urban space was not only a geographic location but also a point of social contention, open to political negotiation and cultural creation”.59 Fei’s discussion of how elites produced texts to promote their own version of an “imagined Nanjing” over the vision projected by the state in a kind of political competition is also very relevant to my work. Two other studies of urban sites are pertinent here. First is Peter Carroll’s book on Suzhou in the late-Qing to Republican era.60 Although Carroll is concerned with a different set of questions – namely the impact of modernization and urban construction on the people of Suzhou – his approach of scrutinizing urban sites (a new road, the prefectural Confucian Temple, and historic monuments), their changing meanings and functions, and the competition between groups for control of them, has much to offer my study of Hangzhou. But it is with Tobie Meyer-Fong’s Building Culture in Early Qing Yangzhou that the present study has the closest affinities. Meyer-Fong also studies city sites, though in a different period and place: Yangzhou in the late-seventeenth and earlyeighteenth century. Time and place are not the most significant differences, however. More importantly, Meyer-Fong’s study concerns the conscious and concerted efforts of Yangzhou’s elites to rebuild sites of elite culture in order to present new narratives for the city following a violent dynastic transition. When the Manchus conquered China they destroyed Yangzhou and massacred tens of thousands of its residents. Meyer-Fong argues that Yangzhou’s elite groups – including literati, officials, and various ‘loyalists’ – deliberately forged connections between sites in the city and famous historical and cultural figures as well as the new Manchu rulers in order to mask the bloody recent past with representations of cultural refinement.61 By doing so, the city was able to leave behind the spectre of its violent history and prosper once more.  59  Fei Si-yen, Negotiating Urban Space, p. 2.  60  Peter Carroll, Between Heaven and Modernity: Reconstructing Suzhou, 1895-1937.  61  Among the sites analyzed by Meyer-Fong are Red Bridge, which was associated with the famous early Qing scholar Wang Shizhen (1634-1711) and Pingshan Hall, which was closely connected with the renowned Song official Ouyang Xiu (1007-1072). See Meyer-Fong, Building Culture in Early Qing Yangzhou, chapters 2 and 4 respectively.  21  The aims and arguments of this dissertation are quite different. My concern is not with any conscious construction of Hangzhou’s cultural landscape by elites. Instead I argue that while sites were constructed and imbued with meaning in the cultural imagination, the narratives written onto them were multiple and dissonant and represented the concerns and interests of different groups. Despite the fact that all surviving sources come from literati, voices from members of other groups may be discerned in them. Hangzhou’s residents and visitors helped to construct the sites, and contributed towards the histories and meanings of those significant places. While some narratives may have been dominant, there was no monopoly over the sites, no literati networks around figures like Wang Shizhen, as in Meyer-Fong’s Yangzhou. Studying the history of Hangzhou’s sites in this way offers a new way to analyze Ming society and the interactions between different groups that constituted it. Dissertation Overview Chapter 1 provides an outline of the history of Hangzhou down to the Ming era, highlighting the most prominent periods in its past. It also discusses the reasons for locating this study in Hangzhou. The latter two sections of the chapter describe how the emergence of a flourishing print industry and the rise of travel in the Ming promoted a heightened awareness of places and their histories. Scholarship on both of these phenomena, especially on the rise of print, is also discussed. The four core chapters that follow take five different Hangzhou sites as their subjects. I examine the sites’ cultural construction as well as the social, institutional, and political contexts in which each was built and rebuilt over time. Of each site I ask a number of questions: What were its origins and how did it change over time? Was it an official project of the state? What were the economic and institutional arrangements for maintaining it? What meanings did people attach to it? Did its significance change over time or vary among different people? Who built and rebuilt it over time? Through answering these questions I seek to reveal and explain the ways in which different groups interacted and created meaning at the sites. The five sites vary in nature and position within the Ming order, and represent broad sections of Ming society. First, the nature and purpose of the sites differ  22  considerably and include official shrines to loyal statesmen, a Buddhist monastery and its rock formations, the local city god temple, and West Lake. Second, each site intersected with the political order of the state to a different degree. The shrines and city god temple were both part of the politico-ritual order, but their origins and place in the state ritual system varied greatly and reflected different groups interests. The Buddhist monastery was not part of the official politico-ritual order, but was nevertheless subject to state control. While West Lake was part of the state’s hydrological order, conflict over it remained a largely local affair. Third, each site represents a different configuration of social groups involved in making and remaking it. Although all the sites intersected with the political order of the state, they were separately also the concern of competing constituencies within officialdom and local society. Overall, the chapters accrete interactions between different social groups and progress to reveal a broadening scope of interests (at least in the initial establishment of the sites) from individual families, to a Buddhist institution, to the Hangzhou people at large. However, all the sites came to encompass the interests of the larger community. By focussing on interactions between groups and the dissonance in meanings they inscribed onto the sites, these different social configurations present a new way of understanding the constitution and dynamics of Ming society. In Chapter 2 I demonstrate that official sites dedicated to paragons of loyalty – the ultimate political virtue – required the support of wider society for their continued existence and enduring appeal. The Hangzhou shrines and tombs of the Southern Song general Yue Fei (1103-1141) and the Ming statesman Yu Qian (1398-1457) were initiated by family members to commemorate their unjustly executed forbears. In both cases official rehabilitation and recognition were necessary to safeguard the establishment of the shrines. Yet having been incorporated into the state’s politico-ritual order and inscribed with the narrative of loyalty, the shrines required the regular involvement of officials, members of the court, local elites, and the wider populace to maintain their physical existence and to survive as meaningful sites. It was not a straightforward narrative of loyalty, however, because both men had been condemned and executed for being the very opposite – disloyal. The problematic legacies of Yue and Yu meant that the meanings of their histories were open to conflicting interpretations. In fact this openness  23  enabled commentators to debate differing meanings of loyalty depending on contemporary political demands. At the same time, the figures of (especially) Yue Fei and Yu Qian grew in the popular imagination. Physical additions to their Hangzhou sites – including a tree and bronze statues representing those held responsible for Yue Fei’s death – enabled visitors to engage directly with the histories of the pair and to act out their own assessment of their loyalty, and thereby participate in the continued construction of the histories and meanings of the two figures. Chapter 3 analyzes a Buddhist site of Hangzhou: Lingyin Monastery and the adjoining karst rocks and caves of Feilaifeng (Fly Hither Peak). Buddhism was a rich stream in Hangzhou’s history that stretched back to the early phase of the religion’s spread in China. It was in the third century that Lingyin Monastery had been founded by the Indian monk Huili. As a Buddhist site, unlike the other places examined in this study, Lingyin Feilaifeng was not part of the central political order. Moreover, more than any of the other sites it was an institution with its own personnel and existence outside regular society – within the Buddhist Sangha, particularly under the Chan lineage. Nonetheless, its institutional existence apart, Lingyin Feilaifeng remained both subject to political control and dependent on the support of patrons, including members of the court, government officials, and local society. As a consequence of the site’s position at the intersection of political and social interests, its history and meanings were also open to divergent interpretations. While stories about Lingyin Feilaifeng’s legendary founder Huili were well known, the site’s reputation within the cultural imagination rested on much that had little to do with its Buddhist history. Many visitors went to explore its caves and scenic spots rather than out of any inherent interest in Buddhism. Worse, Lingyin Feilaifeng was forever associated with a Yuan monk whose desecration of the Song imperial tombs caused later visitors to seek out statues of him at the site in order to smash them as punishment. This violent engagement with the site neatly demonstrates the multivalent nature of its history. In Chapter 4 I focus on the only site examined here that was situated within the walls of Hangzhou: the city god temple at Wushan. This was an urban site partly due to its location, but also as a result of its close association with the city of Hangzhou and its people. Like the shrines to Yue Fei and Yu Qian the city god temple became an official  24  cult and part of the politico-ritual order. But unlike the two shrines, the cult had ancient and unorthodox origins that the Ming state was not able fully to bring under its ritual yoke. Accordingly the figure of an early Ming local official could be projected into the role of the city god because of his broad appeal. By examining legends about the god that circulated in fiction set in Hangzhou and other popular writings, this chapter shows that the city god’s reputation as an upright official, who was particularly dedicated to administering justice for the people, made his temple a popular site – arguably the most important for the local populace. The temple’s constituency was in theory the entire community of Hangzhou, but the god had special appeal to those who suffered injustice at the hands of officialdom. Because of this the city god temple may also be construed as a site of silent opposition to the political order. Chapter 5 explores the dual representations of the most famous site of Hangzhou: West Lake. While the lake had long been celebrated for its scenic beauty and its rich literary evocations, it was just as important – arguably more so – as an embodiment of orderly administration and as a site within the state’s hydrological order, whose maintenance was crucial to the wellbeing of the people of Hangzhou. The most famous officials in Hangzhou’s history, Bai Juyi and Su Shi, had carried out major hydrological work at the lake, on the water of which residents were dependent, and the maintenance of the lake was often a struggle for valuable land and water resources that brought officials into conflict with local power holders. This chapter focuses on the efforts of the midMing prefect Yang Mengying who fought hard to dredge and restore the lake, which had been reduced by chronic encroachment. Yang drew on a range of discourses to bolster his case. He argued for the benefit of all Hangzhou’s people against the private interests of the minority. He appealed to the precedents of Bai and Su, drawing on West Lake’s history to advance his own project. Yang won the support of regional and local officials to carry out his work, but he also came into conflict with local power holders whose interests he threatened. Despite the professed benefits of his project, the controversy over Yang’s restoration of West Lake ultimately contributed to his downfall.  25  Chapter 1 Placing Hangzhou, its History and Sources  While Hangzhou appeared wondrously in the European imagination as the greatest city in the world, Chinese declared it a heaven on earth. These images of the city, though fantastic, were not unfounded fabrications. For over the course of centuries, as China’s economic and cultural centres gravitated irrevocably southward, Hangzhou became a leading city in the lower Yangzi region, even assuming the role of dynastic capital during the Southern Song period. The city’s sometime political centrality was tied closely with its economic and cultural importance. Rising steadily from the Tang era onwards the city emerged as a leading centre for a number of industries, including tea and textiles, which produced goods that were traded all over China as well as overseas. The resulting prosperity also contributed towards the emergence of Hangzhou as a major cultural centre known for its great monasteries and temples as well as its literati culture. It was the city’s prominence in all these spheres (political, economic, and cultural) that gave it such a richly textured history. And it was its thriving publishing industry – itself a product of its political significance, prosperity and concentration of literati activities – that produced the abundant archive recording that history. This chapter provides an overview of Hangzhou’s history to show how the city grew from a regional city to become a major political, economic, and cultural centre. This background account also provides the greater historical context in which the stories of the sites explored in the four ensuing chapters unfolded. The second part of the chapter discusses the growth of Hangzhou’s publishing industry and the three types of text that provide the main sources for this study. Finally the chapter deals with the expansion of travel through Ming times that arose from wider economic and cultural developments, and also helped to reinforce the place of the city’s sites in the cultural imagination of the realm.  26  1.1 Hangzhou through the Ming Hangzhou is located at approximately 30º N in China’s Yangzi River delta. It sits on the banks of the Qiantang River just inland from Hangzhou Bay, and is 180 km southwest of Shanghai today. The mean annual temperature is around 16ºC and the mean annual rainfall is between 1,114 and 1,260mm. There is a monsoon pattern of wind and rain, with a period of intense precipitation from mid-June to mid-July known as the “plum rains” (mei yu).62 In an historical analysis of water control in the Hangzhou Bay area Shiba Yoshinobu subdivides the region into six zones in terms of its ecological differences. In order of elevation, these are 1) hills, 2) fan/slope complexes, 3) elevated plains, 4) lowlying plains, 5) sandy elevations, and 6) lowlands. To the south of Ming Hangzhou ran the Qiantang River, while to the west stretched a range of hills along a mostly north-south axis. To the north and east the city was surrounded by sandy elevation and, beyond that, low-lying plains and lowlands.63 Amid a changing landscape of alluvial plains, tidal flats and shallow sea, the hills were the only constant feature. And from the heights of the hills people could survey the waterways and paddies for which the area was known.64 Indeed, because of the large-scale production of rice by later imperial times, it is the lowlands that stand out. And it is the gradual conversion of lowlands into paddies in the tenth through fourteenth centuries that tells the greater story of human migration, a growing population, and the transformation of the area’s physical landscape.65 In the long run the formation of the landscape of the lower Yangzi delta was the result of human and natural processes. This is very evident at the coastline, where the long-term build-up of sediment carried by the Yangzi, Qiantang, and even the Yellow rivers gradually produced sandy plains.66 And, beginning in the eighth century, the  62  Elvin and Su, “Action at a Distance”, p. 348.  63  Shiba, “Environment Versus Water Control”, pp. 139-140.  64  Elvin and Su, “Man Against the Sea”, p. 11.  65  Shiba, “Environment Versus Water Control”, p. 140.  66  The Yellow River had the greatest effect on the Yangzi delta in the period from 1194 to 1855, during which it followed a southern course and debouched south of the Shandong Peninsula, and especially the years after 1579 when the hydrological engineering work of Pan Jixun directly caused the river to carry greater deposits into the sea. This sediment then moved southward along the Jiangsu and Zhejiang coasts.  27  building of long earthen seawalls along the eastern shorelines enabled the increasing reclamation of the delta area. These processes ultimately moved the coastline ten kilometres farther out from where they had been in prehistorical times.67 The technologies of land reclamation and water control developed in the littoral area were also applied inland as a growing population exerted greater demands on land use. By the Ming period increasing competition for control over natural resources often erupted into social conflict (see chapter 5). It is worth bearing this greater environmental story in mind as we turn to the political history of Hangzhou. The walled city of Ming Hangzhou was the administrative seat of Hangzhou Prefecture and the two counties of Renhe and Qiantang. A further seven counties (Haining, Fuyang, Yuhang, Lin’an, Xincheng, Yuqian, and Changhua) fell under the prefecture’s jurisdiction. The new system of provincial administration established at the beginning of the dynasty, also made Hangzhou the administrative centre for Zhejiang, which consisted of a total of eleven prefectures.68 Thus Ming Hangzhou housed the three main tiers of regional and local government, some of whose buildings may be discerned in the administrative map that appears in the 1579 edition of the prefectural gazetteer entitled “Hangzhou fu Renhe Qiantang er xian zhi tu” (Map of Hangzhou Prefecture and the two counties of Renhe and Qiantang) (Figure 3).69 Other prominent features illustrated in the map include the city wall and its gates and water gates70, through which flow canals that crisscross the city71, running alongside the streets. In the southwest  See Elvin and Su, “Action at a Distance”. 67  Shiba, “Environment Versus Water Control”, pp. 135-138. For instance before the Neolithic Age Lake Tai in the centre of the present-day delta was a bay that opened directly to the sea. On the infilling of the inner part of the estuary, see also Elvin and Su, “Man Against the Sea”. 68  Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 1, p. 173; Guo and Jin, Zhongguo xingzheng quhua tongshi, pp. 151-153. The other ten Zhejiang prefectures were: Yanzhou, Jiaxing, Huzhou, Shaoxing, Ningbo, Taizhou, Jinhua, Quzhou, Chuzhou, and Wenzhou. 69  The map’s orientation is somewhat unusual. North is at the top of the page instead of the more usual south, which in traditional official maps represents the emperor’s south-facing gaze. 70  The crenellated walls are shown to be more square than was actually the case, probably due both to the dimensions of the page and also to the general geometric idealization of city walls. But they are fairly realistic in that the eastern wall was in fact straighter than the western wall, which followed the contours of West Lake. 71  The canals that ran through the city were used for consumption, irrigation, keeping fish, and transportation. See Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 20-33.  28  corner of the walled city Wushan and the City God Temple (chenghuang miao) are clearly identified. Beyond the city walls West Lake to the west and the Qiantang River to the east also figure prominently. These features relate to Hangzhou’s political status, its hydrology and transportation, and its long history. Hangzhou had undergone many changes in its political status over the centuries. As successive and contending polities incorporated the area into their rule, there were frequent shifts in Hangzhou’s administrative status alongside the ebb and flow in the fortunes of the city and its people. Its political significance peaked when it served as the capital city first of the Wuyue kingdom (907-978) and later of the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279), but its history reached back much earlier into the pre-imperial period. According to tradition Hangzhou, or rather Yuhang (an older name, from which Hangzhou was derived, that became the name of one of Hangzhou’s constituent counties), was named after Yu the Great, the celebrated tamer of floods and founder of the Xia dynasty (trad. 21st C. to 17th C. BCE). Yu supposedly visited the area and the  Figure 3 “Hangzhou fu Renhe Qiantang er xian zhi tu” (Map of Hangzhou Prefecture and the two counties of Renhe and Qiantang), in Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, Vol. 1, pp. 120-121.  29  name Yuhang (meaning “remaining boat”) was given to the place where Yu left his boat and went ashore.72 Later on during the Western Zhou period (11th C. – 771 BCE) a fifth generation grandson of King Wu was enfeoffed in the area of Hangzhou, which eventually became the Wu State. Then in the late Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BCE) and the Warring States era (475-221 BCE), Hangzhou was variously part of the state of Wu and the neighbouring rival state of Yue, which frequently fought each other. Afterwards it was absorbed into the kingdom of Chu.73 When the First Qin Emperor unified China in 221 BCE and established a centralized system of administration that comprised thirty-six commanderies (jun), Hangzhou took the form of four counties (Qiantang, Yuhang, Fuchun, and Haiyan) out of a total of twenty-four counties under Kuaiji Commandery.74 In the early Han period, Hangzhou was included in the fiefs of a succession of princes, before the centralized administration system was imposed again. Partly as a result of the ongoing transformation of marshes into coastal flatlands as well as increasing migration into the area, administrative boundaries were redrawn several times in the early imperial period leaving Hangzhou as a collection of counties under Qiantang Commandery. This political position did not alter significantly during the ensuing eras of the Three Kingdoms (220265 CE) and Northern and Southern Dynasties (265-589).75 This age of disunity was, however, marked by cultural vitality, especially with the introduction and spread of Buddhism. With the Sui (581-618) reunification and its restructuring of the administrative system, Qiantang Commandery was abolished in 589 and replaced by Yuhang Prefecture with six subordinate counties (Yuhang, Yuqian, Yanguan, Qiantang, Fuyang, Wukang). In the following year, the administrative centre was moved to Qiantang County, in the  72  An alternative etymology holds that Yuhang was originally written meaning “Yu’s boat”, but that the first character was later erroneously changed to Yu (“remaining, surplus”). In both explanations, Hang is understood as variant of the character meaning “boat”. Hangzhou scholar Zhong Yulong favoured the first etymology. Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 1, p. 165; Zhong Yulong, Shuo Hangzhou, p. 10. 73  Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 1, p. 166.  74  Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 1, p. 167.  75  Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 1, pp. 167-168; Zhou Feng, Sui Tang mingjun Hangzhou, p. 66.  30  southern part of what became the walled city of later imperial times. Although further administrative changes followed, the origins of Ming Hangzhou can be more firmly located in the Sui city.76 Emperor Sui Yangdi’s (r. 605-618) Grand Canal project brought commercial and demographic growth for Hangzhou, which had a registered population of 15,380 households in the Kaihuang era (581-600). But the city was also caught up in the fierce struggle between the central government and regional great families, and the rebellions that beset the short-lived dynasty.77 Hangzhou suffered extensive destruction in the Sui-Tang transition and it was only beginning in the reign of Tang Taizong (r. 627-649) that the city enjoyed a centurylong period of growth and prosperity. Hangzhou’s population rose from 35,071 households and 153,729 individuals in the Zhenguan era (627-649) to 86,258 households and 585,963 individuals in the Kaiyuan era (713-741). Bai Juyi (722-846), who served as Hangzhou prefect in the 820s, declared it the largest city in the southeast.78 Thanks to continued commercial growth and a prosperous foreign trade, by the reign of Emperor Xianzong (r. 806-820) Hangzhou had a population of 100,000 households and produced 500,000 strings of cash in tax revenue – roughly one twenty-fourth of the empire’s total.79 Hydrological projects also helped to sustain the growing Tang city. In particular prefect Li Mi’s (722-789) Six Wells secured the water supplies for the city and Bai Juyi’s restoration of West Lake provided for the area’s irrigation (chapter 5).80 Unlike the preceding Sui-Tang transition, the fragmentation of the empire at the end of Tang did not bring turmoil to Hangzhou. On the contrary, as the capital of the Wuyue kingdom (907-978) during the era of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907960), Hangzhou enjoyed a period of peace and prosperity continuing the expansion of the Tang.81 King Qian Liu (r. 907-932) and his successors made important contributions to  76  Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 1, p. 169; Zhou Feng, Sui Tang mingjun Hangzhou, pp. 1-2, 66.  77  Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 28, p. 1991; Zhou Feng, Sui Tang mingjun Hangzhou, p. 2.  78  Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 28, pp. 1991-1992; Zhou Feng, Sui Tang mingjun Hangzhou, pp. 3-4. Administrative changes in the early Tang made Hangzhou part of Zhedong Circuit (dao). Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 1, p. 170. 79  Zhou Feng, Sui Tang mingjun Hangzhou, p. 4.  80  Zhou Feng, Sui Tang mingjun Hangzhou, pp. 5, 66-67.  81  Qian Liu was enfeoffed as King of Wuyue at the beginning of the Liang (907-911). Chen Shan, Wanli  31  the city’s growth. Building on his own work as governor of the area before the fall of the Tang, Qian erected the Qiantang coastal dikes that ran over 100 li and helped to protect the area. In other hydrological work Qian installed two locks (zha) on the Qiantang river to guard against incoming tides, which reduced the salinity of the soil to aid irrigation and improved river transportation. He also dredged and restored West Lake, which had partly succumbed to marshland and encroachment in the century since Bai Juyi’s work. In addition, Qian dug more channels to supply water for the city’s residents. After Hangzhou became the Wuyue capital, Qian Liu began a major project of rebuilding the city walls extending their existing length of 70 li. As a result of urban growth, the city was divided into two counties: Qiantang and Qianjiang. The latter was renamed Renhe in the subsequent Song era, setting the names for the two prefectural counties for the rest of the later imperial period.82 Hangzhou was fortunate to pass through another peaceful dynastic transition when Qian Chu (r. 947-978), the last of the Wuyue kings, submitted to the Song (9601279) in 978 and thereby saved his land and people from war and destruction. Under the new Song system Hangzhou was demoted to become Lin’an County.83 Despite this lowering of its political status, the city continued to prosper as the population steadily grew and commerce expanded. When the Japanese monk Jōjin (1011-1081) visited the city in 1072 – drawn by its reputation as a major centre of Buddhism, of which the Wuyue kings were devoted patrons – he described a bustling night market where all kinds of goods were for sale and countless entertainers amused visitors. If Jōjin’s description is reliable, the marketplace he witnessed stretched a length of over thirty streets – or more than three and a half kilometres – east to west and north to south.84 However it was the relocation of the Song court to Hangzhou after the collapse of the Northern Song in 1127 that launched a period of soaring growth and prosperity that lasted through the remainder of the dynasty. There were two main reasons for moving the Song court to Hangzhou. First, Hangzhou was a safe distance from the front line facing the Jin enemy, unlike Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 1, p. 171. 82  Zhou Feng, Sui Tang mingjun Hangzhou, pp. 67-69.  83  Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 1, p. 171.  84  Heng, Cities of Aristocrats and Bureaucrats, pp. 106-107.  32  Jiankang (Nanjing), which was another possible choice. Moreover, the watery topography of the Yangzi region around Hangzhou made it easier to defend against Jurchen cavalry. Second, the fact that Hangzhou had become a major urban centre in the southeast with a large population, thriving economy, extensive transportation network, and famous scenery made it an attractive choice.85 Accordingly, despite the difficulties in squeezing the Song court and administration into an already jam-packed commercial city, Lin’an County was promoted to a prefecture in 1129 and the court settled there for the rest of the dynasty.86 The steady southward migration accelerated after the Jurchen occupied north China and the Song court moved south. Hangzhou’s own population rose sharply. In the mid-11th century during the Northern Song Hangzhou’s population did not exceed 100,000 households. When Su Shi served as Hangzhou prefect in the Yuanyou era (10861093) he estimated that the population was between 400,000 and 500,000 individuals. Estimations of the population of Southern Song Lin’an vary greatly – among contemporary observers and modern historians – between one and five million individuals. If we take Hangzhou’s population to be the combined total for the two counties of Qiantang and Renhe, then gazetteer figures show a huge increase from 261,692 households and 552,507 individuals in the Qiandao era (1165-1173) to 391,259 households and 1,240,760 individuals in the Xianchun era (1265-1274). Certainly, Hangzhou’s population was well in excess of one million, making it the most populated city in the world at the time.87  85  Zhou Feng, Nan Song jingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 10-12.  86  Lin’an Prefecture had nine subordinate counties: Renhe, Qiantang, Yanguan, Fuyang, Yuhang, Lin’an, Xincheng, Yuqian, and Changhua. Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 1, p. 171. Hangzhou’s long and irregular layout was totally incongruous with the canonical demands of a geometrically perfect capital, Kuhn, The Age of Confucian Rule, pp. 206-207. In 1148 the city walls were rebuilt and enlarged to a height of over ten metres and depth of three to four metres. Zhou Feng, Nan Song jingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 46-57. The imperial palace and halls were eventually built at the southern end of the city and around Phoenix Hill, see Zhou Feng, Nan Song jingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 14-31. This meant that the emperor, who according to theories of imperial cosmological was meant to sit ‘facing south’, had to turn his back on the city. Furthermore, the area was so cramped that a number of buildings were given multiple functions and had to have their name plaques changed to match their use at any given time. Heng, Cities of Aristocrats and Bureaucrats, pp. 141-142. 87  See Zhou Feng, Nan Song jingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 76-90; Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 28, pp. 1992-1993; Heng, Cities of Aristocrats and Bureaucrats, p. 141.  33  Just as Hangzhou’s population rose through the Southern Song, so did its commerce and industries prosper. Some of Hangzhou’s prosperity was spurred by the demands of the court. For instance, dedicated government kilns produced fine ceramics for the court’s use.88 Overall official and private production thrived in tandem. Building on strong foundations, the textile industry flourished. Government and private operations produced a wide range of luxury and everyday weaves and fabrics for the consumption of the court, elites and the common people.89 Hangzhou’s publishing industry also blossomed as official and private presses produced books for the use of the court and its academies and also for sale to the growing number of literati and the wider educated population.90 Handicraft industries and food producers provided an unsurpassed range of goods for sale at the city’s bustling markets and commercial districts. Long-distance trading networks connected Hangzhou to places throughout the realm and overseas as far as Korea, Japan, and India in this great age of commercial and urban growth.91 Song writers observed that Hangzhou was completely dominated by trade.92 Indeed, the period saw the rise of merchants in Song society to shape urban and cultural life in Hangzhou as they had in Kaifeng. Merchant families improved their social status through marriage with scholar-official families – affluent merchants even became the envy of scholarofficials.93 Hangzhou experienced some turmoil in the Mongol invasion, but its fall was relatively bloodless (unlike that of the former capitals of Chang’an and Kaifeng and nearby Changzhou).94 Demoted from dynastic capital, it became the administrative centre of the Jianghuai circuit, renamed Zhejiang in 1291.95 Although Hangzhou ceased to be 88  Zhou Feng, Nan Song jingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 114-119.  89  Zhou Feng, Nan Song jingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 101-113.  90  Zhou Feng, Nan Song jingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 124-127.  91  Zhou Feng, Nan Song jingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 85-100, 120-123. For a colourful portrait of Hangzhou and its people’s customs and social life during the Southern Song, see Jacques Gernet’s Daily Life in China on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250-1276. 92  Kuhn, The Age of Confucian Rule, p. 208.  93  Kuhn, The Age of Confucian Rule, pp. 207-211.  94  Mote, Imperial China, 900-1800, p. 464.  95  Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 1, p. 172; Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 1-2.  34  “the hub of the universe”, it was still a major urban centre and one of the three great cities of the Yuan along with Helin (Karakorum) and Dadu (Beijing).96 Foreign trade continued to flourish, especially when maritime routes became more important owing to the split of the Mongol empire impeding land routes.97 One of the four Yuan maritime superintendancies, set up in 1277, was located in Hangzhou.98 The city’s ten major markets continued to thrive with tens of thousands trading on market days. As handicrafts industries flourished thousands of workshops belonging to twelve large guilds were kept busy, as Marco Polo reported.99 Hangzhou brought in the highest tax revenues of the realm and its population in 1290 was registered as 360,850 households and 1,834,710 individuals, surpassing even that of the Song.100 Whereas Yuan Hangzhou was able to succeed Song Lin’an as a leading urban centre, the city went through a marked decline over the course of the longer Ming dynasty. In part this was due to Hangzhou’s reduced political status and a gradual loss of economic importance to other cities in the region – especially to Suzhou. But a series of political and social upheavals also knocked the city’s former dynamism. During the troubled last years of the Yuan, Hangzhou became part of the Wu regime of Zhu Yuanzhang’s archrival, Zhang Shicheng (1321-1367), and was caught up in their struggle for dominance.101 Soon after founding the dynasty, Ming Taizu imposed heavy taxes on the Jiangnan area that had been Zhang Shicheng’s power base.102 In 1370 Ming Taizu ordered some 4,000 households from the lower Yangzi districts of Hangzhou, Suzhou, Songjiang, Huzhou, and Jiaxing to move into the area of his native Fengyang, Anhui, whose population had sharply declined due to a series of epidemics and the violence of the Yuan-Ming transition.103 The Jiajing emperor’s (r. 1522-1566) ban on maritime trade 96  Zhou Feng, Sui Tang mingjun Hangzhou, p. 71; Kuhn, The Age of Confucian Rule, p. 212. Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 116-119. 97  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, p. 5.  98  The other three were in Shanghai, Ningbo, and Quanzhou. Brook, The Troubled Empire, p. 219.  99  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 5-6, 99 ff.  100  Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 28, p. 1993.  101  Dreyer, “Military origins of Ming China”, pp. 92-94.  102  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, p. 102.  103  Langlois, “The Hung-wu Reign, 1368-1398”, pp. 123-124.  35  brought a wave of devastating pirate attacks. During the 1550s large-scale pirate raids ravaged Zhejiang and other coastal provinces. Groups of pirates established fortified bases along the coast and by 1556 the entire region from Nanjing south to Hangzhou was out of control. Hangzhou itself was attacked early in 1555 resulting in the massacre of thousands in the surrounding countryside. Zhejiang was not relieved of the pirate scourge until 1560.104 The late Ming era also witnessed widespread unrest in Jiangnan’s cities. This came in the form of protests against the predations of eunuch tax collectors during the Wanli era (1573-1620), and also as uprisings against the injustices of the urban taxation and labour levy systems whose burdens fell largely on the lower classes of city dwellers.105 In Hangzhou movements to reform these systems met with gentry opposition and resulted in a popular uprising in 1582. The uprising was put down and reforms were carried out, but not without considerable destruction and loss of life. The events exposed the gulf and animosity between the privileged members of the landowning gentry, and the workers and petty merchants who lived off their daily labours.106 To a degree these instances of unrest and dislocation are reflected in Hangzhou’s changing population figures – albeit only with a weighty caveat. The preceding paragraphs give population figures for Hangzhou from the Sui period onwards that are taken from historical records and frequently cited by modern historians as indicators of Hangzhou’s growth and prosperity. One may understandably be tempted to indulge in such an approach and to continue it through the late imperial era, not least because gazetteer records provide fairly regular entries for the registered population that have the appearance of real figures – i.e. not round numbers given as symbols of magnitude. Yet as Ho Ping-ti and scholars after him have shown, there are numerous thorny problems in using such historical data. For instance, the Ming state began in the Hongwu reign by attempting to register the entire population, but later shifted to covering only its tax-  104  Geiss, “The Chia-ching Reign, 1522-1566”, pp. 496-498.  105  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, p. 3.  106  Historians of the uprising have detected a nascent political consciousness and opposition to the rule of the gentry among the city’s lower classes. Fuma, “Late Ming Urban Reform”; Von Glahn, “Municipal Reform and Urban Social Conflict”. For the 1609 popular movement in Nanjing for a new urban property tax to replace the huojia labour levy, see Fei, Negotiating Urban Space, chapter 1.  36  paying portions – all while under-reporting and evasion of registration became increasingly rampant.107 But even without fumbling for accurate statistics or clean correlations, the overall contours of Hangzhou’s demographic change, at least for the first half to two thirds of the Ming period, are telling. (Beginning in the Wanli era [1573-1620], however, the consolidation of the “Single Whip” fiscal reforms, which profoundly changed registration practices to focus on the unit of the ding [meaning “adult male” but actually a complicated unit used for apportioning fiscal responsibilities related to land holdings and household sizes]108 rather than on households and individuals, means that one can calibrate continuous demographic change with even less confidence.) Overall, there was a decline from 193,485 households and 720,567 individuals registered at the beginning of the founding Hongwu reign (1368-1398), to 193,218 households and 674,786 individuals in the Tianshun reign (1457-1464), and 226,492 households and 508,001 individuals at the end of the Longqing reign (1567-1572).109 The sheer magnitude of the initial drop in population from the Yuan figure of over 1.8 million to slightly above one half million in the early Ming might make it difficult to accept, but we might tentatively propose a general trend of a decreasing population – punctuated with occasional rises – as the declining former metropolis endured a series of upheavals. Despite its fluctuating fortunes, Ming Hangzhou remained a significant centre of commerce and industry. It was less central than it had been during the Song or Yuan, but it continued to have a place among Jiangnan’s major cities, which also included Suzhou, Nanjing, Yangzhou, Shanghai, Jiaxing, and Huzhou. Hangzhou was able to continue or revive former strengths in such industries as tea production, papermaking, printing, boatbuilding, and especially the manufacture and trade of handicrafts and textiles.110 In addition to furnishing the busy local markets, merchants sold Hangzhou goods  107  Ho Ping-ti, Studies on the Population of China, 1368-1953, chapter 1.  108  For an incisive analysis of the meaning of ding in late imperial fiscal data, see Ho Ping-ti, Studies on the Population of China, 1368-1953, chapter 2. Ho notes that after 1578 figures for households (hu) and individuals (kou) were in most cases “compiled arbitrarily”, ibid, p. 20. 109  The figures given here are taken from Chen Shan, Wanli Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 28, pp. 1993-1997; and from Gong Jiajun and Li Ke, Hangzhou fu zhi, juan 57, pp. 1194-1195. 110  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 155-157.  37  throughout the realm and overseas as far as Japan and Southeast Asia, despite the ban on maritime trade. They were able to do this by taking advantage of Hangzhou’s position as a major node in an extensive transportation system – Hangzhou became the southern terminus of the Grand Canal in the Yongle reign (1403-1424) – that spread across the empire and beyond.111 The mainstay of Hangzhou’s continued prosperity was its textile industry. Having flourished during the Song, and only suffering minor disruptions from the Mongol conquest, Hangzhou’s textile industry continued to grow through the late imperial era and kept its lead in the national production of silk. Despite losing its political prominence, Hangzhou remained the centre of state silk production. Of the twenty-nine government silk production facilities in the Ming, ten were in Zhejiang and the most important ones in Hangzhou.112 But the private production of a wide range of textiles for commercial sale dominated. As the Wanli era Minister of Personnel Zhang Han (1511-1593), a Renhe native whose family had made its fortune in textiles, pointed out in his famous essay “Shanggu ji” (On merchants): Mulberry and hemp abound in the fields. This is where silk skeins, silk floss, and ramie are produced, and people from all over the empire procure what they need here. Even the big merchants from Shaanxi, Shanxi, Shandong, and Henan don’t consider several thousand li too long a journey, for those who seek gauze, Han damask, and silk fabrics must come to the eastern region of Zhejiang.113  By the late sixteenth century, there were an estimated 20,000 private silk weaving looms in Hangzhou, about one quarter of Jiangnan’s total and thirty times that of government production facilities. Official agents would even hire private textile producers when they could not meet their quotas. It became quite normal for ordinary households to have a weaving loom.114 The growing number of textile workers brought an increasing specialization of skills. This resulted in a large pool of textile workers hiring out their labour, a development that was connected with the fiscal changes that replaced labour 111  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 154-155.  112  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 139-140.  113  Zhang Han, “Shanggu Ji”, in Songchuang mengyu, pp. 83-84, translated in Brook, “The Merchant Network in 16th Century China”, p. 199. 114  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 142-143.  38  levies with payments in silver. More specialized skilled workers also led to numerous innovations and improvements in different kinds of weave.115 Hangzhou textiles and especially silk became highly prized far and wide. Merchants from Anhui, Shanxi, and Fujian were all very active in trading Hangzhou silk on national and international markets. We do not know precise figures for the numbers of merchants active in Hangzhou, but the Renhe county gazetteer of the Kangxi era (1662-1722) claimed that more than half of the population of Hangzhou were merchants and traders. This is obviously an exaggeration even allowing that it takes into account many people who engaged in temporary trade during festival periods or during the slack seasons in the agricultural cycle. Nonetheless the statement underscores the importance of trade – especially the textile trade – in late imperial Hangzhou.116 For these reasons Hangzhou in the Ming remained an important urban centre and regional hub despite no longer being the political capital of the realm. It was a city of historical, cultural, and economic importance and, as such, possesses three broad attributes that make the study of its sites a promising window for exploring the dynamics of Ming society. First, Hangzhou had a long and rich history. The fact that Hangzhou’s history reached back to the pre-imperial period and that it was subsequently of dynastic and regional importance meant that Hangzhou’s landscape was laden with history. Layers of stories had accumulated at countless sites in and around Hangzhou and it was at these places that particular episodes of the past resonated through to the present. The past was of course asymmetrical; certain periods weighed more heavily on the landscape than others. Most prominent among these were periods during which Hangzhou was a regional or dynastic political centre: the Wu state of the later Zhou period; the kingdom of Wuyue, and the Southern Song. But Hangzhou’s narratives did not all concern the rise and fall of polities. Hangzhou was an important place in the history of Buddhism and Daoism, both of which flourished during the Northern and Southern dynasties and left many traces at  115  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 144-148, 153.  116  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 135-136.  39  sites in the area (chapters 3 and 4). Thus there were multiple pasts imprinted on Hangzhou’s cultural landscape that Ming people remembered and referred to. Episodes of the past that people most readily cited involved salient figures and particular events that may have had special meaning for the present. Thus many referred to Yue Fei when discussing Yu Qian in a way that both compared the two loyal statesmen, and also drew parallels between the reduced Southern Song and the restorationist Ming, which continued to be threatened by northern invaders (chapter 2). Common people prayed to the city god for his assistance because he was known as an upright official (chapter 4). And Hangzhou prefect Yang Mengying could evoke the precedents of the famous scholar-officials Bai Juyi and Su Shi in support of his own West Lake project (chapter 5). In these various ways Hangzhou’s multiple pasts – and the multiple interpretations of former figures that were possible – provided a rich resource for Ming people to make claims about the present. Second, Hangzhou’s status as a major centre of Buddhism and literati culture contributed to the richness of its history. Its prominent place on the cultural landscape drew countless visitors to its celebrated sights. In addition, Hangzhou long enjoyed a thriving publishing industry. This was due in part to it being the dynastic capital in the Southern Song period, during which the government sustained the industry and produced many publications for its use. But more important for cultural production were the longestablished literati activities in the region. Thus was generated a large archive on Hangzhou’s history in the form of official and private historical writings, fiction, travel writings, guidebooks, poetry collections and other texts. These countless works circulated widely thanks to the thriving publishing industry. Many texts could also be found inscribed at the sites with which they were associated, alongside statues and other historical artefacts that helped to bring Hangzhou’s rich pasts to life for those able to visit in person. Third, as a major regional centre of historical, cultural, and continued economic importance that also housed the three main levels of regional and local government, Hangzhou may be seen to represent large sections of the Ming state and society. Hangzhou was a place where members of many different social groups interacted. At the sites discussed in the chapters that follow, regional and local officials work together to  40  build and maintain sites, eunuchs intervene to rescue sites, local elites including literati and landowners help to commemorate the histories of sites or obstruct their restoration, while common people visit sites as pilgrims and devotees or engage in constructing sites in situ. But to purport that Hangzhou may be broadly representative of Ming society is not to suggest that it was a typical city of late imperial China. As already explained it continued to be a major urban centre after it lost its political pre-eminence. Hangzhou remained a leading city of Jiangnan, the most prosperous and populated region of the realm that has dominated the history of Ming China. Yet neither was Hangzhou unique. The present approach of reconstructing the history of urban sites could in theory be applied to other major cities with sufficient historical resources. In fact, however, relatively few places could match Hangzhou for its rich history and its vibrant publishing industry that helped to produce and sustain that history. 1.2 An Expanding World of Print There had been a flourishing book trade in the Song and early Yuan periods but it had declined in the later fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It was not until the Jiajing era (1522-1566) that there was a new publishing boom that was to last through the nineteenth century. Indeed, the sixteenth century saw the imprint overtake the manuscript in the Jiangnan region (although, as Joseph McDermott notes, manuscripts remained important long after this “ascendance of the imprint”).117 But the lack of clear statistical evidence makes the number of books published during the Ming and how that compares with earlier periods uncertain. There is substantial evidence, however, that beginning in the early sixteenth century, there was a significant increase over the preceding two centuries both in terms of the quantities and varieties of titles published, and in the geographical and social reach of their distribution. Government, literati, and commercial publications blossomed to include not only works such as the Confucian classics, dynastic histories, and other educational texts and primers that were promoted by the state, but also local histories, medical and pharmaceutical handbooks, popular encyclopaedias, travel guides,  117  McDermott, A Social History, pp. 48-49. Long after the sixteenth century many texts were still difficult to find.  41  etiquette manuals, almanacs, and fiction.118 Among this proliferation of texts, gazetteers, encyclopaedias, and travel texts were most concerned with particular historical sites and provide the most important sources for the present study. Before examining these sources in turn, the following paragraphs will provide an overview of the publishing industry in Hangzhou through to Ming times. The mid-sixteenth century marked a turning point in the history of printing in terms of the quality of publications and the development of techniques. Colour printing was a Ming innovation and it was during the Jiajing period that it reached a peak, together with accomplishments in illustration by woodcut, the application of copper movable type, and the production of woodcut facsimiles of earlier editions.119 It was these accomplishments that allowed the publication of fine editions that appeared in the late Ming and were probably targeted towards relatively affluent readers. But not all books were of high quality. In the case of novels and short story collections, alongside the fine editions there also appeared cruder, smaller-format imprints that rose in number through the Qing period, suggesting a broadening of the reading public across the social spectrum in late imperial China.120 The increased publication of works from the vernacular and oral traditions and new audiences being addressed in the prefaces and commentaries of books also indicate that there was a diversifying reading public that went beyond learned elites.121 Beginning in the Song period China’s publishing industry came to be dominated by Jiangnan, Sichuan, and Fujian. Among the leading centres was Hangzhou, where numerous publications had appeared by the end of the Tang period (618-907).122 Continuing through the stable Wuyue era (907-978), Hangzhou’s publishing industry flourished during the Northern Song (960-1127), when it produced half of the editions  118  Brokaw, “On the History of the Book”, pp. 23-25.  119  Wu, “Ming Printing and Printers”.  120  Hegel, “Niche Marketing”, pp. 235-7.  121  McLaren, “Constructing New Reading Publics”, p. 152.  122  The “Collected Writings of Bai Juyi” was one noted work that was published in Hangzhou during the Tang. Zhou Feng, Nan Song jingcheng Hangzhou, p. 124.  42  used by the Imperial Academy in Kaifeng.123 It was during the Southern Song (11271279), however, after Hangzhou became both the capital and the commercial centre of the empire that its publishing industry peaked. Not only did Hangzhou’s presses produce editions for the government and its academies, private commercial publishing also flourished with at least twenty publishing houses producing fine editions across a wide range of genres.124 Political changes in the Yuan and early Ming eras had an adverse effect on Hangzhou’s publishing industry. When Beijing became the Yuan capital, it also took over as the education centre. Accordingly a proportion of the publishing industry moved with it. But publishing carried on in Hangzhou where scholars continued to play major roles in the production of works of history and the classics for the state. Private publishing houses, academies, and monasteries also continued to publish works.125 Similarly at the beginning of the Ming the dynastic founder Zhu Yuanzhang had the woodblocks of the Southern Song’s imperial university (Guozijian), which had been housed at Hangzhou’s West Lake Academy, moved to his new capital at Nanjing.126 This was a loss for Hangzhou’s government printing projects. Nevertheless, numerous titles continued to appear from the private publishing houses, academies and monasteries of Hangzhou and the city’s industry seems to have enjoyed a recovery by the mid-sixteenth century. Hu Yinglin (1551-1602), an avid book collector from southern Zhejiang, noted that by the late sixteenth century Nanjing and Suzhou published the finest editions while the presses of Jianyang in northern Fujian produced in largest volume. Hangzhou was second in both respects and so continued to be a major centre of publication.127 In terms of the number of  123  Zhou Feng, Nan Song jingcheng Hangzhou, p. 124, citing Qing scholar Wang Guowei’s (1877-1927) Liang Zhe gu keben kao. 124  The Song writer Ye Mengde (1077-1148) remarked that “As for printing today, Hangzhou ranks first place, Sichuan is next, and finally Fujian”. Zhou Feng, Nan Song jingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 125-127. 125  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 261-263. For example in 1324 the West Lake Academy published Ma Duanlin’s (1254-1323) famous study of Song history and institutions, the Wenxian tongkao. 126  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, p. 265.  127  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 265-267. For an overview of Hu Yinglin’s book collection, see Gu Zhixing, Zhejiang cangshu jia cangshu lou, pp. 118-120. Jianyang had as many print establishments as Nanjing, and many more than Suzhou, Hangzhou and Beijing. Having been established in the late Northern Song and declined through the Yuan period, Jianyang printing saw a resurgence in the late  43  print shops, Hangzhou ranked fourth after Nanjing, Jianyang, and Suzhou.128 Significant publishing houses continued to operate in Hangzhou, including the family-run Huanduzhai.129 Hangzhou was still one of the four major cities for the distribution of books, the others being Beijing, Nanjing, and Suzhou. In the second half of the sixteenth century Hangzhou remained “a hub of the southeast” for the book trade. It had about thirty bookstores that were concentrated at four major intersections in the city and catered to the seasonal demands of tourists, provincial examination students, and temple visitors.130 Furthermore, the presence of prominent book collectors and private book collections in Hangzhou helped to sustain Hangzhou as a major centre of book culture.131 Lucille Chia, who has carefully studied the Jianyang publishing industry and its imprints, emphasizes that by the late Ming a “unified market” had developed in central and south China with many characteristics shared by works from all the main publishing centers including Suzhou, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Jianyang.132 It was the growing and increasingly diverse number of printed works circulating in this region that enlarged the textual world and permitted the rise of a rich history of significant places. This dissertation draws upon a wide array of sources including official and unofficial histories, biji ‘miscellaneous jottings’, fiction, and works on ritual. Above all this research makes use of three kinds of place-making text that were especially widespread during the Ming era: gazetteers, encyclopaedia, and travel writings and guides to famous sights. All these grew out of Hangzhou’s vibrant urban culture that was underpinned by literati activities including the compilation and publishing of texts and the promotion and touring of historical sites. All these texts contributed to a growing knowledge about places throughout the realm – especially great historical centres like Hangzhou. The following paragraphs will introduce each of these kinds of text in turn.  fifteenth century after which it flourished as a major producer of a wide array of texts. See Chia, Printing for Profit. 128  Brokaw, “On the History of the Book”, p. 27.  129  Widmer, “The Huanduzhai of Hangzhou and Suzhou.”  130  McDermott, A Social History, pp. 101-2.  131  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, p. 268. For a study of Zhejiang book collectors from the Song through Qing eras, see Gu Zhixing’s Zhejiang cangshu jia cangshu lou. 132  Chia, Printing for Profit, pp. 149-150.  44  1.2.1 Gazetteers Gazetteers (difang zhi) constitute a formal kind of historical writing in the Chinese tradition that focuses on and is primarily arranged according to place.133 Gazetteers were first produced for geographical areas, usually administrative units, followed by institutional and topographical works later in the evolution of the genre. Antecedents appeared as early as the Eastern Han period for the Hangzhou area, with significant developments through the Song, but it was in the mid-Ming that the gazetteer began to flourish in large numbers. The survival of thousands of gazetteers makes them important sources for the study of later imperial China. The gazetteer, difang zhi, was basically a compilation of information about a locality – beginning with the county (xian), which was at the lowest level of the hierarchy of state administration. The county was the difang and, as often stated in prefaces to Ming gazetteers, a difang zhi was to a county as an official history (shi) was to the state. Gazetteers were also published for larger administrative units including prefectures, provinces, and ultimately for the whole state. Outside the framework of government, institutional (e.g. for monasteries and temples) and topographical (e.g. for mountains and lakes) gazetteers were also compiled. It is helpful to think of any gazetteer as having a threefold purpose: to provide information about a place; to promote the interests of the place and its people; and to exert authority over the place. Which of these factors was preponderant in a given case depended on the particular circumstances of the gazetteer and its subject place, including its position on the political, religious, or literary-cultural hierarchy of which it was a part. The local gazetteer was a chorographic text that provided information on a place, including details of its administrative history, population figures, local customs, famous native sons, and topography.134 A gazetteer was therefore a very useful reference work for  133  “Treatise on a place” might be a more accurate translation for difang zhi, but I will use the handier term “gazetteer”, which has become the convention in English-language scholarship. Dennis, “Writing, Publishing, and Reading Local Histories in Ming China”, p. v. 134  A fuller list of gazetteer topic-headings would include: Administrative History (jianzhi yange); Historical Name of Prefecture (junming); Topology (xingsheng); Customs (Fengsu); Mountains and Rivers (shan chuan); Local Products (tuchan); Enfeoffed Domains (fanfeng) Official Buildings (gongshu); Schools (xuexiao); Academies (shu yuan); Palaces, Residences, Buildings (Gongshe); Passes and Bridges (guanliang); Buddhist and Daoist Monasteries (siguan); Shrines and Temples (cimiao); Tombs (lingmu);  45  outsiders, from officials appointed to administer it to travellers or merchants passing through it. The usefulness of county gazetteers to state administration was clear to the Ming court, which mandated the compilation of gazetteers for every prefecture and county early during the founding Hongwu reign (1368-1398) and subsequently also in 1412, 1454, 1498, and 1522.135 However, this repeated official call for the compilation of local gazetteers might suggest that not all counties responded readily to the state’s demands. In fact it was not until the Jiajing period (1522-1566) that many counties produced their first gazetteer. A gazetteer was foremost a product of the locality and required local people to produce it. If a county did not have local scholars with the required ability or the necessary funds, then it might go without its own history, despite the state’s requirement that it produce one. Thus both social and cultural resources were necessary for gazetteer production, and the appearance of a gazetteer often signalled that a place and its people had attained a certain standing. Moreover a gazetteer could be turned to the advantage of its compilers. As Joseph Dennis has shown, in some cases local gazetteers in the Ming were nominally official texts in that their chief editorship was usually attributed to the incumbent magistrate, but actually their production might be fully in the control of local power holders. Under such circumstances the compilers could use the text strategically. For example in the production of the 1579 edition of the Xinchang (Zhejiang) county gazetteer, members of four prominent lineages took charge of compilation and turned the gazetteer into a “public genealogy” to enhance the position of their extended family in local society.136 Similar strategies were also adopted during the Southern Song period when, as Peter Bol suggests, there was a “localist turn” in literati culture. In a case study of Wuzhou (Jinhua Prefecture), Bol shows that families established their presence in the locality in order to Ancient Sites (guji); Famous Officials (minghuan); Sojourners (liuyu); Personalities (renwu); Exemplary Women (lienü); Daoists and Buddhists (Xianshi); water management (shuili); canals (hefang); Disasters (zaiyi); Inscriptions (jinshi); Literary Writings (Yiwen). Gazetteer formats became more standardized by the Qing, see Wilkinson, Chinese History, p. 155. 135  Schneewind, Community Schools, pp. 139-140.  136  Dennis, “Between Lineage and State”; Dennis, “Writing, Publishing, and Reading Local Histories in Ming China”, chapter 1. In the Xinchang case Dennis finds it especially revealing to read the gazetteer alongside the lineages’ genealogies.  46  shore up their position and influences there, as well as to establish a foothold to step back up onto the ladder of national significance. Their attention to local educational activities and their involvement in the production of three kinds of text, all with a demonstrably localist bent – the local gazetteer, the cultural geography, and the anthology of local biography and literature – added to their prestigious status of being literati (shi) and was part of this reorienting enterprise.137 In the case of Hangzhou Christine Moll-Murata has discerned a similar strategic use of gazetteers. Covering a longer period from the Song through Qing dynasties, she traces a shift in the function of Hangzhou prefectural gazetteers from serving as handbooks for regional administration to being instruments of self-representation for regional elites. She finds that individuals and groups are represented more prominently over time with an increase in the number of biographies relative to the other sections.138 A gazetteer could thus be used to promote certain historical narratives and the interests of particular groups as well as provide information about a place. This use of a text was also found in institutional and topographical gazetteers. As will be seen in the chapters that follow, what information was included or excluded in gazetteer histories reflect the interests of specific groups and tensions in the historical record. Of course, all local gazetteers were broadly concerned with a promotion of place. Historically and culturally significant cities such as Hangzhou had long seen the production of histories of the prefecture and its constituent counties as well as many of its sites such as temples, monasteries, and mountains. From the Southern Song period (11271279) when the city served as the dynastic capital, and rising through the Ming and especially the Qing eras, the promotion of the place culminated in the voluminous lateQing compendium of texts about Hangzhou and its history, Ding Bing’s Wulin zhanggu congbian (Collected Works on Hangzhou’s History) of 1883. Many of the sources of this  137  Bol, “The Rise of Local History”, pp. 37-76.  138  Like Bol, Moll-Murata sees this change as closely related to a reorientation of the elite away from the central government to the region. Moll-Murata, Die chinesische Regionalbeschreibung, English summary on pp. 405-8.  47  study, including the gazetteers of shrines, monasteries, and temples and writings about West Lake, have been preserved in this important collection.139 This function of promoting a place was manifest at all levels of gazetteer writing. At the highest level, the Da Ming yitong zhi (Unification Gazetteer of the Great Ming) of 1461 was a grand court-directed project involving almost sixty officials. National gazetteers emerged later than local gazetteers and the Da Ming yitong zhi was in fact only the second such work of this kind, the first being the Da Yuan yitong zhi (Unificatiom Gazetteer of the Great Yuan), which first appeared in 1291. The key term of the title, yitong (meaning ‘unification’ or ‘unity’), expressed the political purpose of these national gazetteers – they were to celebrate the dynastic achievement of unifying the realm.140 Indeed, the greatest achievement of the first Ming emperor was to reunify the realm under Chinese rule for the first time in centuries. The Da Ming yitong zhi was thus designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the realm and to celebrate Ming accomplishments. The founding emperor himself initiated the project, but it was not finished until the (second) reign of his great great-grandson Emperor Yingzong (r. 1436-1449, 1457-1464) who regarded it to be the completion of the work of his forbears emperors Taizu and Taizong. The work was to be read not only by the imperial descendants so that they would remember the achievements of their ancestors, but also for the education of scholars throughout the realm so that they might examine the past and thereby gain insights to assist them in their work in the present.141 The latter goal seems to have been realized to a degree for the work was one of the select titles produced and distributed by the court and made readily available in school libraries from the mid-fifteenth century onwards.142 Furthermore, at least three commercial publishers in the late Ming regarded it to be significantly valuable to print.143  139  Hong Huanchun notes 128 Hangzhou gazetteers compiled from the Song through the Republican periods. See Hong Huanchun, Zhejiang fangzhi kao, pp. 37-95; cf. Brook, Geographical Sources, pp. 150171. 140  Brook, The Troubled Empire, pp. 27-28. The term yitong came to be used in numerous expressions praising the Ming achievement. 141  Da Ming yitong zhi, Vol. 1, pp. 1-6.  142  Brook, The Chinese State, pp. 102-109.  143  Two of these publishers were in Jianyang, northern Fujian. Chia, “Text and Tu”, p. 254.  48  In a sense, the gazetteer was a textual embodiment of a place, from the county up to the whole country and beyond. The Da Ming yitong zhi was literally the gazetteer that manifested the unified empire. The structure of its ninety fascicles reflected both the administrative divisions of the realm, and also the broad vision of the Ming polity. Heading the work is the northern metropolitan region around Shuntian Prefecture (Beijing), followed by the southern metropolitan region centred at Yingtian Prefecture (Nanjing) and the Central Capital at Fengyang. Thereafter come the thirteen Provincial Administration Commissions (buzheng si), the Ming provinces, ordered according to their distance from the political centre. The prefectures and counties within each province are arranged according to a similar hierarchy. Together these constitute tianxia (All Under Heaven).144 This official projection of the realm in the national gazetteer was also emulated in privately produced works of history and geography, such as the Guangyu ji (Records of the Broad Realm) of 1600 compiled by Lu Yingyang, a private scholar from Huating in Jiangsu. Based on earlier geographical works, in some ways it supplements the Da Ming yitong zhi, but in twenty-four fascicles (juan) rather than a bulky ninety, it is much more concise. Like its official model though, reading it was “like seeing the mountains and rivers of a myriad li within one’s palm.”145 A gazetteer was both a representation of how a place was, and a vision of how it was meant to be. It provided information that was useful for administering a place, as well as narrated histories that were important to particular groups. Through an examination of how gazetteers and other texts presented the histories of specific sites in Hangzhou, this dissertation will determine how these meaningful places reveal the interactions and interests of their creators and audiences within Ming society. 1.2.2 Encyclopaedias Encyclopedias (leishu) are a second kind of text that flourished during the late Ming and anchored the cultural imagination of places in the realm. The rise and spread of 144  The contents are listed in Da Ming yitong zhi, Vol. 1, pp. 23-51. The last two juan of the work contain all ‘foreign peoples’ (wai yi) occupying 57 countries and territories. The hierarchy of provinces seems not to have been absolutely standardized throughout the Ming, however. See Farmer, “The hierarchy of Ming city walls”, p. 465. 145  Lu Yingyang, Guangyu ji , Preface.  49  encyclopaedias was a product of two trends: the expansion of the education system, which produced larger numbers of lettered men and literate masses, and the growth of woodblock publishing catering to the demands of an expanding market. The narrowing opportunities for employment in a bureaucracy that hardly grew, despite the population explosion, prompted many educated men to turn to other intellectual activities, including the writing of fiction and the production of books such as encyclopaedias that were not directly related to the affairs of government.146 Such works appealed to a growing number of readers who might consult them as sources of information and also as manuals for a wide range of matters (including family rituals, the drawing-up of contracts, arithmetic, and geomancy) pertinent to daily life.147 The texts that scholars usually discuss under the rubric “encyclopaedia” vary greatly in form and content. There are certain common characteristics, however, to justify use of the term. First, an encyclopaedia was a compilation that brought together information on given subjects, often excerpting from existing texts.148 Second, an encyclopaedia was a compilation of useful information. This ranged from “popular encyclopaedias” or “encyclopaedias for every day use” (riyong leishu) to specialist works in encyclopaedic form. Popular encyclopaedias, which were printed mainly in Fujian, appealed to a broad audience and included a wide range of knowledge deemed useful to daily life, including: guides to home rituals, clothing and implements; agriculture and cultivation; macrobiotic exercises; astrology; geomancy; calligraphy; plants, birds and beasts; and all kinds of historical, geographical, and folkloric matters. These diverse contents of popular encyclopaedia addressed the concerns of the wider society and made formerly restricted knowledge more accessible, at least for those who could afford the new publications.149 Other encyclopaedic works were concerned with particular branches of specialist knowledge and were compiled in an epistemological mode that drew upon  146  Bretelle-Establet et Chemla, “Qu’était-ce qu’écrire une encyclopédie en Chine?”, pp. 12-13.  147  Rawski, “Economic and Social Foundations”, pp. 22-23.  148  Bretelle-Establet et Chemla. “Introduction”, p. 9.  149  Shang Wei, “The Making of the Everyday World”, pp. 66-74; Elman, On Their Own Terms, pp. 28-29; Elman, “Collecting and Classifying”, pp. 134-142. Craig Clunas sees encyclopaedia as having a role in the ‘commoditization of knowledge’ in the late Ming. Clunas, Pictures and Visuality, p. 43.  50  the ideal of “investigating things and extending knowledge” (gewu zhizhi) that reached back to Zhu Xi (1130-1200).150 A famous late Ming example is the Bencao gangmu (Systematic materia medica) of Li Shizhen (1518-1593).151 Third, both popular and specialist encyclopaedias were arranged according to broad categories of knowledge and specialist classification schemes that imposed an overarching order on their contents and facilitated their use as reference works.152 The well-known early-seventeenth century work Sancai tu hui (Illustrated Compendium of the Three Powers) by Wang Qi (js 1565) and his son Wang Siyi is one of the encyclopaedias used in this project. A substantial work of 106 juan, it draws upon many earlier texts and images to present a wealth of information arranged according to three overarching categories: tian (matters pertaining to heaven); di (matters pertaining to earth); ren (matters pertaining to the human realm). This tripartite division was a common way of categorizing knowledge in Song period encyclopaedia and continued to be used through the Qing period.153 Within the categories of the Sancai tu hui information about places in China (and beyond) appear under the overall heading of di. The categorization of information into different sections of di reflect the position of ‘place’ within the compilers’ schematization and the different kinds of place-related knowledge they deemed it important to know. In the case of Hangzhou, information about the city appears in three separate juan. The second juan of the dili (geography) section outlines Hangzhou’s basic structure in terms of administrative geography, listing its constituent prefectures and counties and the main mountain and water features.154 The importance of West Lake as a water source and part  150  Elman, “Collecting and Classifying”, pp. 131-3.  151  Elman, On Their Own Terms, pp. 29-34. Carla Nappi places Li Shizhen’s monumental work at the intersection of natural history and medicine and identifies transformation as one of its central ideas. See her The Monkey and the Inkpot. 152  Elman also notes that this marked a significant difference between encyclopaedias and congshu (collectanea), which were collections of works on a common subject, but did not follow a unifying classification scheme. Elman, “Collecting and Classifying”, pp. 131-2, 153 n.2. Cf. Clunas, Empire of Great Brightness, pp. 112-136. 153  Bretelle-Establet et Chemla. “Introduction”, p. 13. A fourth category of wu (things) was often found too. For instance, Chen Yaowen’s Wanli era encyclopaedia, Tianzhong ji (Record from Tianzhong [Mountain]), was arranged according to the four categories of tian, di, ren, and wu. See Chen Yaowen, Tianzhong ji. 154  Sancai tu hui, p. 121.  51  of a transportation network is evident in the fifth juan of the dili section, which concerns statecraft matters (jingshi).155 However, the dominant image of Hangzhou in the Sancai tu hui is that of the traveller’s destination. Illustrations of many historical and scenic sights leap out from the pages of the work, among which there is a panoramic view of the city’s most celebrated sight of all: West Lake (Figure 17). 1.2.3 The Place of Illustrations Many of the works that appeared amid the expanding world of text in the late Ming contained illustrations.156 Few volumes were as richly illustrated as the Sancai tuhui, but images were increasingly commonplace in a wide variety of texts, including encyclopaedia, fiction, gazetteers, and works of specialist knowledge such as materia medica.157 The ubiquity of images in the Ming world of print has prompted scholars to ponder the relationship between images and the texts they illustrated as well as their inherent meanings – how to read them and how to understand their purpose in context. Lucille Chia, for instance, has analyzed the relationship between text and illustration in an array of works to gauge the level of education of the intended reader in each case. She suggests that some illustrations could stand independently while others were more integrated into the texts that they accompanied.158 The purpose of an image clearly had a lot to do with the nature of the image itself and the context in which it was situated. A recent volume by Francesca Bray and other scholars has gone furthest to analyze images that appear in a wide range of epistemic systems, including: ritual, cosmology, mathematics, history, agriculture, and medicine.159 Collectively they are concerned with technical images that were not merely decorative, but played an essential part in these different branches of learning. In taking this focussed view of tu (image, 155  Sancai tu hui, pp. 203-206.  156  Clunas, Pictures and Visuality, pp. 33-39.  157  Drège, “Des ouvrages classés par categories”, p. 32. Another richly illustrated encyclopaedia of the late Ming is the Tushu bian, while the Tianzhong ji has few images. 158  Chia, “Text and Tu”, pp. 246-252. In trying to understand the relationship between text and image, one should note that many illustrated texts did not have their images commissioned for the work, but often drew upon existing works. Drège, “Des ouvrages classés par categories”, p. 32. 159  Francesca Bray, Vera Dorofeeva-Lichtmann, Georges Métailié eds., Graphics and Text in the Production of Technical Knowledge in China: The Warp and the Weft.  52  illustration) as instructive images conveying specialist knowledge, they distinguish them from hua (picture or painting) and xiang (icon or image), that accompany the text and depict the subject, but are not necessarily essential to conveying knowledge. Moreover, they discern two broad principles of representation used in these kinds of technical image: (i) diagrammatic or schematic tu guide the viewer along a specific trajectory through the symbolic space depicted, e.g. an image in a cosmological or ritual work; and (ii) representational tu present a direct image of an object in a manner close to a modern technical illustration, e.g. images of plants in a materia medica.160 Such perspectives offer significant insights for understanding the illustrations that appear in gazetteers, encyclopaedia, and travel texts examined in this study. While none of the images is strictly technical, neither are they merely decorative. Many of them have schematic qualities that were intended to convey particular ideas about the sites and figures they depict, and to shape how their viewers experienced them. My reading of these illustrations has also been informed by recent scholarship on the history of cartography generally and the study of Chinese maps in particular.161 Chinese maps – also called tu – have long been measured against the yardstick of mathematical precision. While scholars have identified a tradition of mathematical achievement in the history of Chinese cartography162, Cordell Yee has argued that “a quantitative interpretation of traditional Chinese cartography is inadequate for understanding what constitutes a map in  160  Bray, “The Powers of Tu”, pp. 1-4. One might be tempted to place the illustrations of Song Yingxing’s famous 1637 work on technological processes, Tiangong kaiwu (The exploitation of the works of nature) in this latter category, but for the most part its images are visual descriptions of people at work rather than technical guides. 161  See especially Cordell Yee’s essays on Chinese maps in J. B. Harley and David Woodward, eds., The History of Cartography, Volume Two, Book Two: Cartography in the Traditional East and Southeast Asian Societies. For the history of cartography in other regions of the world, see the other volumes in this monumental series edited by Harley and Woodward. Noted works in this growing area of scholarship include: Dennis Cosgrove and Stephen Daniels eds., The iconography of landscape; J.B. Harley The New Nature of Maps: Essays in the History of Cartography; and James R. Akerman and Robert W. Karrow Jr. eds., Maps: Finding our Place in the World. 162  In this regard, Luo Hongxian’s (1504-1564) Guangyu tu, building on Zhu Siben’s (1273-1333) Yudi tu, is usually praised as a milestone in the history of Chinese cartography. Its noted features include the employment of a grid (with each square purporting to represent 100 li, roughly 33 miles) that was much more accurate than in earlier maps and the use of a legend featuring twenty-four symbols of landmarks. See Zhang Zhejia, “Mingdai fangzhi de ditu”, pp. 184-187; Smith, Chinese Maps, pp. 29-33; Yee, “Reinterpreting Traditional Chinese Geographical Maps”, pp. 50-51.  53  Chinese culture”.163 Instead, it is necessary to understand maps, their uses and purposes in their own historical context, free of preconceived ideas about accuracy or technical and technological capacities.164 For instance, Ming gazetteer maps were highly schematic images laden with political meaning. Their representation of administrative centres and city walls exhibit a geometry and regularity that were often far removed from the physical reality.165 In doing so they helped to idealize the political order that was also evident in the images of yamen compounds, Confucian schools, and other government structures that frequently appear in Ming gazetteers in highly stylized form.166 These kinds of schematic map generally complemented the political message of the texts they accompanied, which could be gazetteers or other political documents such as Hangzhou Prefect Yang Mengying’s compilation concerning his restoration of West Lake (chapter 5). Other kinds of maps and illustrations found in gazetteers, guidebooks, and encyclopaedias may display a higher level of craftsmanship or greater artistic merit, but should not be considered merely decorative because of it. Illustrations of famous places like Yue Fei’s shrine and tomb (chapter 2) depict noted features of the site that not only told a particular history, but also suggested what visitors to the site should do there to participate in that history. Such illustrations were thus replete with political messages and cultural values. Furthermore, illustrations printed in books were not isolated images, but often had much in common with depictions in other media. Cartography had its place in a unified conception of the arts and was closely related to calligraphy and painting, with which it shared a technology of production. Indeed, as Yee puts it, “both maps and paintings present informational content in the form of visual representations”.167  163  Yee, “Reinterpreting Traditional Chinese Geographical Maps”, p. 65.  164  As Zhang Zhejia points out, Ming map-makers produced crudely drawn, simple maps that were far below their technical and technological abilities. Zhang Zhejia, “Mingdai fangzhi de ditu”, p. 179. 165  Smith, Chinese Maps, p. 5; Farmer, “The hierarchy of Ming city walls”; Zhang Zhejia, “Mingdai fangzhi de ditu”, pp. 198-199. 166  Zhang Zhejia, “Mingdai fangzhi de ditu”, pp. 193-195. Such structures were usually depicted from an official perspective positioned within the yamen depicted on the map itself – not the view of an external photographic eye, ibid, pp. 201-202. 167  See Yee, “Chinese Cartography among the Arts: Objectivity, Subjectivity, Representation”. The quotation is from p. 139.  54  Therefore it is often not possible, pace Bray and her colleagues, to make firm distinctions between tu on the one hand and hua (picture or painting) and xiang (icon or image) on the other. These different kinds of image all contributed towards a broader cultural imagination of the realm, noted sites within it, and the values and meanings attached to those sites. In a study of images (tu) of major Jiangnan cities such as Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Nanjing (including imitations of Song artist Zhang Zeduan’s famous Qingming shanghe tu [Going up the river during the Qingming festival]), Wang Zhenghua suggests that there was a growing “urban consciousness” (chengshi yishi) in the late Ming period. Through the production and consumption of increasingly typified images, people came to recognize particular cities through depictions of their notable features.168 Nanjing was portrayed in a rather different way from Hangzhou and Suzhou. Multiple facets of the secondary capital appeared in representations of the city: its bustling commercial life, its festivals, as well as its city walls, palaces, government buildings, and celebrated sites. By contrast, Hangzhou and Suzhou were mainly depicted as cities dominated by historical and scenic sights. In the geography sections of the Sancai tu hui, for instance, famous sights situated outside the city walls spoke as cultural synecdoche for the entire cities of Hangzhou and Suzhou; they were not portrayed as multifaceted urban centres.169 These urban visions in print were connected to painted images of cities. The famous sites and views of Suzhou became major themes of artists, especially members of the Wu School that arose in the sixteenth century led by regional luminaries such as Wen Zhengming (1470-1559).170 Indeed, landscape paintings of famous places were closely connected with the culture of travel and could provide inspiration for travelers or even, in the view of the collector He Liangjun (1506-1573), serve as a substitute for real travel.171 In the case of Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), James Cahill has found that some paintings of that famous mountain range in southern Anhui Province served as records of travel, or  168  Wang Zhenghua, “Guo yan fanhua”.  169  Wang Zhenghua, “Guo yan fanhua”, pp. 14-17. Cf. Fei, Negotiating Urban Space, pp. 172-176.  170  Wang Zhenghua, “Guo yan fanhua”, pp. 36-39. Similarly late-Ming guidebook illustrations of Nanjing were influenced by contemporary cityscape paintings. Fei, Negotiating Urban Space, pp. 176-179. 171  Wu Jen-shu, Pinwei shehua, p. 181.  55  guides to travel, particularly for pilgrims.172 In this context, Cahill suggests that we should consider Chinese topographical pictures to follow schemata more than appearances; we should not be too concerned over whether it is a true depiction of a place. These topographical representations are more map-like than properly pictorial. One Ming picture-map discussed by Cahill “takes the viewer on a complete tour of the shores of West Lake at Hangzhou, enumerating in simple images the temples, villas, walls, boats, and the like that crowded the shores”.173 This schematic quality of topographical pictures is also apparent in illustrations of places in gazetteers and guidebooks, which both contributed towards and were products of the cultural imagination of famous sights. Similar to the schematic depictions examined by Bray and her colleagues, these topographical images guided travellers and viewers through sites and scenes, pointing out what they should observe and even what they should do there. Which features of a site were included in its depiction – as well as what was omitted – reveal a particular history that was anchored in the site. With an expanding world of print and the rise of travel in the Ming, more people than ever before were able to experience noted sights of the realm through viewing illustrations of them or by visiting them in person. Through imagining the sights on the page or wandering around them in situ, people were able to recall the histories that were located in such places and to participate in those histories as part of an experience shared by countless others. 1.2.4 Travel Texts In addition to gazetteers and encyclopaedia, topographical images also appeared in travel texts of the late Ming, which proliferated during an age of increased travel. There were two main kinds of travel text: guides to famous sights and travel records. Books of sights depicted famous places, usually without reference to actual trips to the locations, while travel records were accounts of travellers’ experiences composed during or after the  172  Cahill, “Huang Shan Paintings”, pp. 246-292.  173  The picture-map is in the collection of the Freer Gallery of Art, reg. no. 11.209. Cahill, “Huang Shan Paintings”, pp. 254-5.  56  travel itself and subsequently published. Both kinds of travel text are important sources for constructing ideas about places in the Ming. Yang Erzeng’s Hainei qiguan (Marvellous sights within the seas) of 1609 was a new kind of travel book designed to capture a reader’s attention with its views of sights, landscapes, and scenes of social life.174 It was not a practical guide to travelling, but a richly illustrated book of famous places throughout the realm arranged according to ritual significance and geography. These include: the five sacred peaks; Confucius’ family estate at Qufu; and celebrated sights throughout the realm beginning with the metropolitan regions of Beijing and Nanjing. Jiangnan features prominently in this work and Hangzhou and Suzhou were among the top destinations of tourists. As Hangzhou was also an established centre of the publishing industry (discussed above), it was perhaps no coincidence that the Hainei qiguan was published there. The work’s author, Yang Erzeng, was a native of Qiantang County (Hangzhou) where he ran two publishing houses. He was a scholar and a publisher, fully embedded in Jiangnan’s literati society.175 Works like the Hainei qiguan were very much part of elite culture, offering a broad range of literary references and geographical and historical information, often drawing from gazetteers and literary collections.176 Most guides to famous sights were in fact compiled from other texts. The Fujian scholar Cao Xuequan (1574-1646), for instance, spent ten years collecting and comparing texts throughout Jiangnan to compile his Da Ming yitong mingsheng zhi (Gazetteer of Famous Sights of the Unified Great Ming), completed in 1630 in 208 juan. That work, which consisted mainly of text unlike the richly illustrated Hainei qiguan, drew upon many historical and literary sources to describe well-known places throughout China.177 Such late Ming works were not therefore guidebooks in the current sense of the word, but rather sourcebooks of 174  Mote and Chu, Calligraphy and the East Asian Book, p. 142. Other examples of generously illustrated guides to famous sights include the c.1620-1640 Hushan shenglan (Conspectus of Sights of the lakes and hills) and the Mingshan shenggai of 1628-40. 175  Yang had quite catholic tastes. In addition to Hainei qiguan, he is known for publishing various literati writings, Daoist works and Chan poetry. Yang, Clart tr., The Story of Han Xiangzi, pp. xxiii-xxv. 176  Meyer-Fong, “Seeing the Sights”, pp. 216-217.  177  Cao Xuequan, Da Ming yitong mingsheng zhi, author’s preface, pp. 2-12. Susan Naquin suggests that it was probably Cao Xuequan’s work that brought the term mingsheng (famous sites) into common parlance. Naquin, Peking, p. 254.  57  destinations that were suitable for literati visitors, who might wish to become more informed about such places.178 Just as they were compiled by scholars working with texts in their study, so were their users likely to enjoy them from the comfort of their home. The Hainei qiguan was really a book for the armchair traveler and it is fitting that Yang Erzeng’s sobriquet was Woyou Daoren (Master of the Way who tours while reclining).179 The geography sections of the Sancai tuhui encyclopaedia were aimed at a similar readership. Its compilers explicitly state that the work’s information on famous mountains and major rivers is for the enjoyment of the “reclining tourist” (woyou).180 The other main kind of late Ming text related to travel was the travel record (youji). Unlike guides to famous sights, which were almost entirely compiled from existing texts, travel records included the personal experiences of their authors when they visited the places described. Of course, in keeping with modes of writing and cultural reference of the time, travel records also drew on existing texts, as suited the occasion and the writer’s individual interests. These included poems about the place visited that were composed by earlier writers, pieces expressing a sentiment similar to that experienced by the writer on his visit, and geographical or historical works about the location or figures associated with it. As Richard Strassberg points out, within the traditional Chinese classification of literature travel records were categorized either under the geography (dili) subsection of the history (shi) category, or under the belles lettres (ji) category in the case of shorter, more personal pieces.181 Such categorizations reveal that travel records were seen as both sources of geographical-historical information, as well as literary records of personal experience and reflection. Travel writing became an increasingly important body of knowledge about how people saw and responded to places in the wider world. With the expanding world of print in the Ming and the rising number of gazetteers compiled, many scholars were able to access these sources of historical and geographical  178  Meyer-Fong, “Seeing the Sights”, p. 218.  179  Yang, Clart tr., The Story of Han Xiangzi, p. xxiv.  180  Yang, Hainei qiguan, preface, p. 342; Wang, Sancai tuhui, Fanli, 1a, p. 11.  181  Strassberg, Inscribed Landscapes, pp. 4-5. The subject of a youji could be a day trip or extended travels lasting months, see Hargett, “Travel Literature.”  58  knowledge about the places of the realm for their own study or in preparation for travel. The famous traveller Xu Hongzu (1587-1641) carried the Da Ming yitong zhi with him on his travels and checked what he read in the gazetteer about places he visited against what he actually experienced on his extensive journeys. In his efforts to ascertain and to verify information about places, Xu thereby embodied an interaction between the gazetteer and the travel text. According to Zhou Zhenhe, Xu Hongzu and Wang Shixing (1546-1598) were the pioneers in this new kind of geographical travel writing that was built on, but also differed greatly from, the existing tradition of travel writing that concerned the appreciation of scenic views and aesthetic responses to them. The new geographical travel writing involved the investigation of mountain ranges and river courses, and the detailed and realistic observation of local people and places.182 That is not to say that the new geographical mode of travel writing supplanted the earlier form; travel writers continued to write in a broad range of styles for varying purposes. The travel writings that inform this study exhibit both of these modes and enable us to see how Ming literati learnt about specific sites, and responded to the representations of those sites which held prominent places within the broader cultural imagination. Certainly, there was an outpouring of travel writings in the late Ming. A survey of collected writings (wen ji) by Ming authors, which constitute an estimated third of such works extant from the period, finds a total of 450 travel records that were mostly from the Longqing (15671572) and Wanli (1573-1620) periods.183 This rise in travel writing reflected the growing numbers of people taking to the road in late Ming times. 1.3 The Expansion of Travel in Ming Times Chinese literati had long engaged in official travel, either as students travelling to take civil service examinations in administrative centres or, after entering the bureaucracy, being posted to some distant office that necessitated travelling across the empire. Travel for pleasure, however, did not become widespread until the late sixteenth century. Part of  182  Zhou sees the work of Xu Hongzu and Wang Shixing as part of a broader scientific spirit of the age. Zhou Zhenhe, “Wan Ming wenren”, pp. 169-171. 183  The writings are found in the Siku quanshu, Siku cunmu congshu, and the Siku jinhui congkan. Zhou Zhenhe, “Wan Ming wenren”, pp. 185-203.  59  the reason was that non-official travel was not deemed an acceptable activity (zhengjing). Even in the mid-Ming period many regarded it to be a distraction from the proper course of study and state service, or other more elevated activities. The noted lixue (study of principle) scholar Zhan Ruoshui (1466-1560), for instance, was critical of gentry going on scenic travel, which he deemed far less worthwhile than staying at home and engaging in spirit travel (shen you), or heavenly travel (tian you) with the Way.184 But as part of an emergent zeitgeist gentry attitudes towards touring began to change after the mid-Ming. By the late sixteenth century travel for pleasure had become a popular gentry activity, even if it may have been seen as the gentry’s “one great weakness” – to borrow an expression from the poet Yuan Hongdao (1568-1610).185 Nevertheless the late Ming was an age of travel more than any previous age, and probably also more so than the subsequent Qing period. Moreover, travel was not the prerogative of gentry and officials; the Ming also saw the spread of mass travel. In conjunction with urban and commercial growth, celebrated sights and scenic areas in the environs of cities drew local visitors of all social classes, especially at the time of festivals. In addition, the numerous temple fairs devoted to specific deities and pilgrimage circuits to famous mountains and monasteries also provided the common folk opportunities to visit celebrated spots. For instance, Glen Dudbridge’s study of pilgrimage to Taishan as depicted in seventeenth-century fiction presents a vivid portrait of the mass nature of a social and religious practice that was dominated by women.186 In late-Ming Hangzhou large crowds of male and female, young and old visitors, gathered at the bustling fairs of the three Tianzhu monasteries, Yue Fei’s Shrine, Wushan, Lingyin Monastery and Feilaifeng, and especially Zhaoqing temple just outside the city’s Qiantang gate.187  184  Cited in Zhou Zhenhe, “Wan Ming wenren”, p. 177.  185  Yuan’s younger brother, Yuan Zhongdao (1570-1624), similarly described his own fondness of mountains and rivers as an “obsession” (pi). Brook, Confusions of Pleasure, pp. 180-2; Zhou Zhenhe, “Wan Ming wenren”, p. 172; Wu Jen-shu, Pinwei shehua, p. 179. 186  See Dudbridge’s “A Pilgrimage in Seventeenth-Century Fiction” and “Women Pilgrims to T’ai Shan”.  187  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 440-442, citing the descriptions in Zhang Dai’s Tao’an mengyi.  60  Many literati travellers, however, preferred not to rub shoulders with the masses, whom they regarded to be their social and cultural inferiors and held responsible for vulgarizing the beauty of the scenic spots. In his essay “Xihu qi yue ban” (West Lake on the Fifteenth Night of the Seventh Month), the disdain that the late Ming scholar Zhang Dai felt towards less cultured parties out at West Lake watching the moon is quite evident. Zhang commented that for all the showiness of their moon-gazing parties accompanied by wine and song, most Hangzhou people “came out of the city … merely for the purpose of having something to brag about” and had no idea how to appreciate the beauty of a moonlit night – if indeed they actually looked up at all.188 On a separate trip to Putuoshan, Zhang Dai described his hellish experiences alongside the “unwashed, halitotic, defecating, urinating” crowd of pilgrims.189 To avoid the crowds, many gentry chose to visit less frequented spots or to visit the more popular sights at quieter times outside festival periods and busier times of the day. To distinguish their elegance and refinement (ya) from the vulgarity (su) of hoi polloi, literati also developed a distinctive practice of travel: youdao (Way of travelling). They paid much attention to the implements and modes of travel, which included: clothing and other accoutrements, food and containers, writing equipment, and means of transportation.190 There were illustrated guidebooks for this Way of Travelling. Tu Long’s (1542-1605) Youju jian (Annotated Tools for Touring) showed gentry what they should use on their travels and Yang Erzeng’s Hainei qiguan suggested the places they should visit.191 This Way of Travelling fit within the broader cultural practices including connoisseurship that, as Craig Clunas and other scholars have shown, served to mark distinctions between social groups.192  188  Zhang Dai distinguished five different groups of moon gazers, all of whom were too wrapped up in their own appearances and pleasures to appreciate the moon itself. Translation taken from Ye, Vignettes of the Late Ming, pp. 93-95. Cf. Kafalas, In Limpid Dream, pp. 88-93; Strassberg, Inscribed Landscapes, pp. 342345. 189  Pei-yi Wu, “The Ambivalent Pilgrim”, p. 83.  190  Wu Jen-shu, Pinwei shehua, pp. 177-213.  191  The Hainei qiguan includes “close-up” illustrations accompanying poems about the most famous destinations in which literati travellers can be seen with the picnic baskets and portable stoves similar to those described and illustrated in Tu Long’s catalogue. Meyer-Fong, “Seeing the Sights”, pp. 221-4 192  Clunas, Superfluous Things.  61  Literati also emphasized engagement with sites through cultural practices that sprang from the literary traditions in which they had been immersed. For instance, they might compose a poem that echoed one written by an earlier writer who had visited the site before him. Both the initial work and the later verses written in response might be inscribed onto the site. In relation, the collection of engraved texts through making rubbings of them was a scholarly practice that not only preserved and transmitted famous calligraphy, but itself became a pursuit of the connoisseur.193 While the masses engaged with sites in different ways, such demonstrations of literary accomplishment by scholars were probably what distinguished them most.194 Even if lowlier social groups lacked this refinement, late Ming economic and commercial development and the rise of consumerism nonetheless allowed the broader populace to travel. They may not have had the leisure or the means to travel such great distances or for longer periods of time, but they also contributed towards the growth of travel. By the late Ming, something like a travel industry had emerged, with agents (yajia) offering travellers all manner of services including accommodation, transportation, and food. Around 1628, Zhang Dai took part on a trip to Taishan that was evidently run by an organised pilgrimage-tourism business equipped with guides, inns, and teams of horses. They also catered a range of meals, from simple dinners to sumptuous banquets, to suit every pocket.195 To inspire and aid the planning of their journeys, travellers could refer to the many new travel-related texts. As noted already Xu Hongzu took a copy of the Da Ming yitong zhi on his travels, but few probably saw it practical or necessary to carry such a voluminous work. More portable for the traveller was the route book (lucheng yilan), which provided basic information on how to get from one place to another and the transportation services available on various routes. From such texts and the travel accounts of Xu Hongzu and others, we also know that a wide  193  Wu Hung, “On Rubbings: Their Materiality and Historicity”.  194  However, loftier literati such as the late Ming cultural arbiter Qian Qianyi even complained that there was too much substandard poetry written about Hangzhou. Fei, Negotiating Urban Space, p. 153. 195  Pei-yi Wu, “The Ambivalent Pilgrim”, pp. 73-75.  62  range of service personnel was available for help in making travel arrangements or to be hired as porters or assistants on the road.196 1.3.1 Famous Sights and Touring Routes Ming travellers most commonly headed towards the many famous sights established all over the country as attractive destinations for travellers. These sights were notable for a number of reasons, including their association with historical figures or events, their ritual or religious importance, and their scenic beauty. Various terms were used for these sights, including mingsheng (famous sights), and jing (prospects).197 Whereas mingsheng seems to have been a broader category for famous sights, jing referred to places that were vaunted as prime vantage points for viewing idealized (and often conventional) landscapes. Famous sights featured prominently in gazetteers, encyclopaedia, and touring guides, and scholars recorded their experiences visiting them in their travel accounts. During the late imperial period, these sights grew in number to include an ever larger area. Moreover they became increasingly regularized and many were grouped together so that travellers could visit them following established routes.198 By the late Ming, there were many famous sights around Hangzhou, many of which have been rebuilt over the centuries through to the present age of popular tourism.199 Of the various groupings of Hangzhou sights, the most famous was the Ten Prospects of West Lake (Xihu shi jing).200 The Ten Prospects of Qiantang (Qiantang shi 196  But there was no guarantee for the reliability of such hired hands. Xu Hongzu bemoaned the extortionate prices and dishonest porters he experienced during his travels in Guizhou and Yunnan in the late 1630s. Brook, Confusions of Pleasure, pp. 174-6, 180. Brook, “Guides for Vexed Travelers”, pp. 32-76. 197  Brook, Confusions of Pleasure, p. 182.  198  Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 228-229.  199  During the Republican period (1911-1949) Hangzhou was promoted as a leisurely place of literati culture to Shanghai residents. Wang Liping, Paradise for Sale, p. 253ff. Today, there are thousands of scenic spots that are officially recognised by the state and standardized and reproduced in guidebooks and brochures. Nyiri, Scenic Spots, pp. 6-9. 200  The ten prospects are (following the order given in Hainei qi guan): “Spring Dawn at Su’s Embankment’” (Su ti chun xiao); “Watching Fish at Flower Harbour” (Hua gang guan yu); “Listening to Orioles by Willow and Wave” (Liu lang wen ying); “Lotus Breeze at Qu Winery” (qu yuan feng he); “Sunset at Leifeng Pagoda” (Leifeng xi zhao); “Autumn Moon over the Still Lake” (ping hu qiu yue); “Moon Reflected at the Three Stupas” (san tan yin yue); “Remnants of Snow at Broken Bridge” (duan qiao can xue); “Evening Bell at Nanping” (Nanping wan zhong); “Twin Peaks Piercing the Clouds” (liang feng chu hun). Cf. Wang, Sancai tu hui, juan 2, 3b; p. 121.  63  jing) was another noted set, particularly among local people, but the Ten Prospects of West Lake was most prominent nationally.201 These famous views of West Lake had been established by the mid-thirteenth century during the Southern Song and appeared in various writings and representations thereafter (though not necessarily in the same order).202 They are listed in the Sancai tu hui, but feature more prominently in the Hainei qiguan.203 In this book of famous sights, the third juan is dedicated to showcasing Hangzhou’s West Lake. It includes illustrations of all Ten Prospects accompanied by poems in a variety of styles of calligraphy (Figure 18). The illustrations show cultured gentlemen taking in the famous views, which are to be enjoyed throughout the four seasons around West Lake. West Lake itself was indisputably the most famous sight of Hangzhou and stands out due to its size and centrality. It was itself a sight, a collection of sights, and also a central focus by which other sights were oriented. The illustration of West Lake in the guidebook Hainei qi guan (Figure 2) names one hundred twenty sights arrayed around an almost circular lake. In fact the shape of West Lake was far from regular, but its depiction as a circle draws attention to its centrality and may also reflect Hangzhou’s reputation as a heaven on earth, for in one tradition of Chinese cosmology heaven is round, the earth square.204 This depiction also serves to focus the viewer’s attention on the lake itself, as well as having the practical function of fitting all the sights neatly on the page. The emphasis on West Lake as the centre of Hangzhou’s circuits of sights (which had been established by the late Ming) is even more evident if we compare the Hainei qi guan  201  The Ten Prospects of Qiantang were also included in Hainei qi guan, probably because the work’s publisher, Yang Erzeng, was from Qiantang. Yang, Hainei qiguan, juan 4, pp. 414-418 (6.2a-15b). Another local writer, Lang Ying, also wrote of ten Qiantang prospects, although only seven of the items matched those given in Hainei qi guan. See Lang Ying, Qi xiu lei gao juan 31, pp. 479-481. Elsewhere Lang enumerated yet another local grouping: Eight Prospects of Jiacheng (Jiacheng ba jing). These eight prospects were grouped by a native son, who rose to be an official during the Yongle reign, and had greater appeal to the local common folk (shijing). Lang Ying, Qi xiu lei gao, juan 39, p. 570. 202  The first source for the Ten Prospects of West Lake is Zhu Mu’s Fangyu sheng lan (Survey of sights of the imperial realm) of 1240, which lists the Ten Prospects in the following order: Su ti chun xiao, Qu yuan he feng, Ping hu qiu yue, Duanqiao can xue, Liulang wen ying, Hua gang guan yu, Lei feng luo zhao, Liang feng cha yun, Nanping wan zhong, Xihu san ta. See Lin Zhengqiu, Nan Song gudu Hangzhou, pp. 75-79. Cf. Zhou Feng, Nan Song jingcheng Hangzhou, pp. 145-147. 203  Wang, Sancai tu hui, p. 121; Yang, Hainei qi guan, juan 3, 27a-36b.  204  My thanks to Tim Brook for suggesting this possible explanation.  64  image with the illustration of West Lake in Hangzhou’s Chenghua gazetteer of 1475 (Figure 4). A product of the scroll tradition of Chinese art, the Chenghua image presents West Lake as a famous sight within a beautiful landscape.205 It is viewed from a point within the city, whose walls run along the lower edge. Noted features of the lake are illustrated, including Gushan and Su’s Causeway, but no sights are named and there is no evidence of touring circuits. In contrast the Wanli era Hainei qi guan image is accompanied by a text that introduces West Lake, then guides the reader along nine routes around the lake. Most of these routes begin at one of the city gates – the assumed starting points of the travellers. The routes take the user to many of the famous sights of Hangzhou and the text provides historical and geographical information as well as pointing out numerous vantage points for scenic views for the enjoyment of the  Figure 4 "Xihu tu" (Illustration of West Lake), in Chen Rang and Xia Shizheng, 1475, Chenghua Hangzhou fu zhi (Chenghua era gazetteer of Hangzhou Prefecture), p. 13.  205  The image of West Lake was one of only four illustrations in the gazetteer, showing the importance attached to it in the Chenghua era. The others three were: the prefectural city, Hangzhou’s nine counties, and the Zhe River.  65  traveller.206 Even if the Hainei qi guan may have targeted armchair travellers, it was nonetheless useful to tourists who actually visited Hangzhou. The writings of two famous Ming literati suggest that travellers did follow routes when visiting the sights of Hangzhou, or at least that such routes were firmly established, if mainly as a point of reference. Tian Rucheng’s 1547 Xihu youlan zhi (Record of touring and sightseeing at West Lake) and Zhang Dai’s Xihu meng xun (Searching for Dreams at West Lake) are the two most substantial travel texts about the sights of Hangzhou. Tian Rucheng (1503-1557), a Qiantang native who served in a variety of official posts before retiring to his native city, wrote a rich record of Hangzhou combining his personal experiences with hearsay, anecdote and history.207 Zhang Dai (1597-1684?) was an essayist and historian from Shaoxing who spent many years living in Hangzhou.208 Zhang’s Xihu meng xun is a collection of reminiscences of Hangzhou sights as he experienced them in the final years of the Ming. They were his ‘dreams’ in the sense that when he wrote his work in the early Qing, many of the sights had already been destroyed in the turmoil of the dynastic transition.209 Both writers were greatly influenced by earlier writings about Hangzhou and often appended poems and other pieces by their predecessors into their own works. More significantly here, both Tian and Zhang organized the sights of Hangzhou into five different routes or sections. The two writers’ routes were not identical, but were variously organized in relation to West Lake, the surrounding ranges of hills, and the city itself. Zhang appears to have been influenced by Tian’s schema, although his work is narrower in scope and consists of fewer and shorter entries about sights. While Tian’s work is more comprehensive like a gazetteer, Zhang presents a selection of quintessential literati gathering spots.210 Their differences aside, the works of both Tian and Zhang are rich  206  Yang Erzeng, Hainei qiguan, juan 3, 9b-26b.  207  Song and Yuan eds,. Hangzhou lidai mingren pp. 344-345; Zhou Feng, Yuan Ming Qing mingcheng Hangzhou, p. 561. Tian professed to write a record about Hangzhou because the city had some of the most beautiful sites in the realm, but it did not have its own gazetteer. Tian Rucheng, Xihu youlan zhi, preface. 208  For an evocative account of Zhang’s life and works, see Jonathan Spence’s Return to Dragon Mountain.  209  Zhang completed his work by 1671 when he was 75 years of age. Zhang Dai, Xihu meng xun, p. 1.  210  As the editors of the Siku quanshu pointed out, Zhang’s literary selections in Xihu meng xun are mostly drawn from representatives of the Gong’an and Jingling Schools of the late Ming, as well as two figures  66  sources for the study of Hangzhou in the Ming period. They reveal what people knew about the sights of Hangzhou at that time. To be sure, Tian and Zhang spoke as local writers, intimately familiar with the places they described. Few others could have matched their knowledge of Hangzhou’s sights. But even if visitors to Hangzhou may not have had the opportunity to visit all the sights that Tian and Zhang described, they engaged with them in similar ways. Together the writings of both local writers and outside visitors show which sights were significant, and why they were significant. Above all, they reveal why specific sights held an important place not only in Hangzhou’s landscape, but even in the broader cultural imagination of the realm.  who were important influences on those writers: Su Shi of the Song and Xu Wei of the Ming. Kafalas, In Limpid Dream, pp. 189-190.  67  Chapter 2 Official Sites: the Hangzhou Shrines to Yue Fei and Yu Qian  2.1 Two Loyal Ministers Facing each other across Hangzhou’s West Lake are the shrines and tombs of two famous figures with close ties to the city: the Southern Song general Yue Fei (1103-1141) and the Ming statesman Yu Qian (1398-1457). Many writers since Ming times have discussed the pair together because of the parallel meanings that their lives came to embody – both were famous officials that were initially executed for disloyalty, yet were ultimately remembered for loyally defending their country against the threats of northern invaders.211 The lessons of their firm resolve at a time of dynastic crisis reverberated through history and came to be reproduced in the landscape of Hangzhou. Their shrines and tombs became celebrated places that countless Ming travellers visited. In Yang Erzeng’s guidebook Hainei qi guan Yue Fei’s shrine and tomb are among a select number of famous sights around West Lake that have their own illustration (see Figure 7).212 Yu Qian’s site was less prominent213, but it was closely associated with Yue Fei’s shrine and the two sites and their histories came to complement and reinforce each other in the cultural landscape of Hangzhou. The legend of Yue Fei (zi Pengju, 1103-1141) as the defender of the reduced Southern Song state from the incursions of the Jurchen has been spun into countless tales over the centuries. Yue came to represent the main hope for the recovery of North China,  211  For instance, former Hangzhou prefect Sun Changyi noted that whenever there was a discussion of former worthies, Yue Fei and Yu Qian would inevitably be mentioned as a pair. Sun Changyi, “Yu gong wen ji xu”, Ding Bing, Yu Zhongsu gong cimu lu, 7182-7183; 11a-13b. 212  Yang Erzeng, Hainei qi guan, juan 3, 4b-5a; 216-217. At the beginning of the West Lake section there is a set of eight images. The first is an illustration of West Lake that names over one hundred sights around it. Seven additional images depict: the Zhaoqing and Great Buddha monasteries; Gushan and the Six Bridges; the Tomb of Prince Yue Wumu; the Lingyin and Tianzhu monasteries; the Yanxia and Longjing monasteries; the Jingci and Hupao monasteries; and the Qiantang River. 213  Yu Qian’s site does not have its own illustration, but it does appear in the image of Gushan and the Six Bridges. Yang Erzeng, Hainei qi guan, juan 3, 3b-4a; 214-215.  68  Figure 5 "Yue Pengju xiang" (Portrait of Yue Fei), in Wang Qi, Sancai tu hui, p. 671. a goal in which he failed only because the court of emperor Song Gaozong (r. 1127-1162, d. 1187) was dominated by a peace faction headed by Chief Councillor Qin Gui, who engineered Yue Fei’s execution.214 Yu Qian (zi Tingyi, 1398-1457), one of Hangzhou’s most famous native sons of the Ming, rose up through officialdom to become Minister of War. In 1449, the young emperor Yingzong (1427-1465) personally led a military expedition north against the Mongols, which ended in disaster when the Ming forces were routed and the emperor captured. Yu Qian played a crucial role in defending the capital and arranging the installation of the captive ruler’s younger brother as the Jingtai emperor (r. 1450-1457) to stabilize the state. Ultimately the Mongol threat was averted,  214  The Jintuo cui bian of Yue Ke (1183-1240), Yue Fei’s grandson, formed the basis of Yue Fei’s official biography in the Song History. Modern biographies include: Deng Guangming’s Yue Fei zhuan, Wang Zengyu’s Yue Fei xin zhuan, and Gong Yanming’s Yue fei ping zhuan. The series Yue Fei yanjiu examine diverse aspects of Yue Fei’s life. My thanks to Leo Shin for these references. For short accounts of Yue Fei in English, see Robert Foster’s “Yue Fei, 1103-1141” and John E. Wills Mountain of Fame, pp. 168-180. Tao Jing-shen’s “The Move to the South” provides an overview of the political history of Gaozong’s reign.  69  but after the captive monarch returned, further intrigues led to the return of Yingzong to the throne and the execution of Yu Qian in 1457.215 Both Yue Fei and Yu Qian were rehabilitated posthumously and came to be commemorated as loyal statesmen in shrines such as the two at Hangzhou discussed here. These were official sites, not only because they commemorated officials for their loyal service, but because their very existence was mandated by the state after they became part of the politico-ritual order of the realm. That did not mean, however, that the physical sites were maintained and controlled by the state alone, nor that the meanings ascribed to them – centred on ideas of loyalty – were a government monopoly. As we shall see, members of different groups in Ming society were involved in the building and rebuilding of the site, and people interpreted the meaning of the sites and the figures whose memory they preserved in multiple ways. In fact, the Ming state was not able to maintain its official shrines on its own. Regular contributions from officials belonging to different levels of the bureaucratic hierarchy and also from local people were necessary to maintain the physical site – to ensure the upkeep of its buildings and to protect the land on which they stood. Moreover, the histories of Yue Fei and Yu Qian were expanded over the course of the Ming as further structures and monuments were added to their sites. This enabled their histories to remain vibrant and meaningful to elites and local people who interpreted those histories in ways that best suited them. Thus while there came to be a consensus in Ming society on the elevation of the figures of Yue Fei and Yu Qian within the politico-ritual system and wide support for the continued existence of their official sites, and although both came to be exemplars of loyalty in the broader cultural imagination, there was no consensus on what precisely that loyalty meant. This openness of the two sites and their histories contributed to their continued existence and enduring appeal. Before examining how the two sites were established and expanded and how Yue Fei and Yu Qian were honoured and commemorated at them, this chapter first considers  215  For authoritative accounts of Yu Qian’s life, see Yu Jixian, “Xian Zhongsu gong nianpu” (Chronology of Our Ancestor Lord Zhongsu), Ding Bing, Yu Zhongsu gong cimu lu, 7147-7157 (22a-43b); and Ming shi, juan 170. For an account of the Tumu disaster see Mote, “The T’umu Incident”. De Heer’s The Care-Taker Emperor provides a history of the Jingtai reign, focusing on the politics around the Tumu Incident and its aftermath and the institution of the emperor.  70  how the Ming politico-ritual order evolved and the place of figures like Yue and Yu within it. Following that a discussion of the historical meanings of loyalty will help to situate the interpretations that Ming commentators applied to both figures. 2.2 The Politico-Ritual Order of the Ming The dynastic founder Zhu Yuanzhang (1328-1398, r. 1368-1398) established the Ming Sidian, or “Sacrifical Statutes”216, at the core of his programme for implementing a politico-ritual order rooted in the orthodox classical and historical texts. This was a key component of his grand project to expel Mongol influence, to restore Chinese cultural traditions, and to effect the moral regeneration of the realm.217 The Sidian were a body of ritual prescriptions that accumulated over the course of the Ming era and were written down in official texts, culminating in the revised Da Ming hui dian (Collected Statutes of the Great Ming), which was completed and given the imperial imprimatur in 1587. An integral part of the political order, the Sidian set out the rites that the emperor conducted on behalf of the whole realm, and also the rituals that officials performed in their own jurisdictions throughout the empire to a host of celestial, terrestrial, and human spirits. The Sidian came to include numerous historical figures who were elevated for the virtues they manifest, such as Yue Fei and Yu Qian, whose shrines were accordingly maintained as part of the politico-ritual order. From the outset, Zhu Yuanzhang attended to the ceremony of empire, setting up ritual and music bureaux and seeking out experts in such matters. In the first year of his reign, he ordered the Chancellory, Hanlin Academy, and Office of Imperial Sacrifices (taichang si) to draft the Sacrificial Statutes. Ritual officials and Confucian scholars compiled ritual texts basing the Ming models on those of the Han and Tang dynasties, in a conscious effort to repair the perceived cultural damage inflicted by a century of neglect  216  This is Romeyn Taylor’s translation of the term, see his “Official Religion in the Ming”.  217  For the basic texts and dimensions in Zhu’s forging of the Ming Chinese order, see Farmer, Zhu Yuanzhang and Early Ming Legislation. For an analysis of the role of southern Confucian scholars in Zhu’s restorationist project, see Dardess, Confucianism and Autocracy. Despite the anti-Mongol rhetoric, a growing body of scholarship reveals that Ming Taizu and his successors adopted numerous Mongol institutions and practices and even claimed the mantle of the Mongol khaghan. For recent scholarship in this vein, see David Robinson’s “The Ming Court and the Legacy of the Yuan Mongols”, and Dora Ching‘s “Tibetan Buddhism and the Creation of the Ming Imperial Image”.  71  of ritual by the Mongol Yuan. In the following year the Da Ming ji li (Collected Rituals of the Great Ming) was completed setting the model for the major state rites.218 So important was orthodox precedence that of the eight universally mandated official cults established from the Hongwu period to the end of the dynasty, only one – that to the walls and moats (chenghuang) – did not have a Confucian origin in the classics and history.219 The Sacrificial Statutes operated at the dynastic capital and at local government offices lower down the administrative hierarchy throughout the realm. At the capital the most important state rituals were to be presided over by the son of heaven himself, who was the pivotal figure maintaining the cosmological balance between heaven and earth. It was there that the state altars to Heaven, Earth, grain and various nature spirits were located.220 Also centred at the capital was the ancestral cult of the imperial family, which had a dual role: the imperial ancestors were honoured as the dynastic progenitors at the Great Temple (Tai Miao), and also received private filial devotion from the imperial family at temples within the palace complex.221 From the capitals, a network of official ritual sites spread out across the breadth of the empire. Major state altars were replicated on a smaller scale at the local level including altars to the soil and grain (she ji), nature spirits, military banners, and abandoned ghosts. Any administrator who had a sacred peak, ocean or great river, or the tomb of a former sovereign within his area of jurisdiction was also required to maintain the shrine to its spirit and to oversee the prescribed official sacrifices on behalf of the emperor.222  218  Long Wenbin, Ming hui yao, juan 6, 76-77.  219  Taylor, “Official Altars”, p. 101. For a discussion of the city god cult, see Chapter 4 below. However, many non-Confucian cults were so firmly established that they continued to flourish outside the mechanisms of the Sacrificial Statutes – some even enjoyed imperial favour. At the Hongzhi court in 1488 rites officials debated the propriety of many cults including those to Buddha, Laozi, the Ziwei star, the Thunder god, Zhang Daoling, Zitong, Xuanwu, Dongyue Taishan, and the Capital God of Walls and Moats. Officials recommended that those not strictly in accordance with the Sacrificial Statutes should be discarded. As a result, the emperor decreed that the Dongyue, Zhenwu, Chenghuang miao, and Lingji gong rituals would be kept as before, while others were to be modified or discarded. Ming shi, pp. 1307-1310. 220  Da Ming hui dian, juan 83-85; Long Wenbin, Ming hui yao, juan 8, pp. 103-127.  221  Da Ming hui dian, juan 86-90. The imperial ancestral temple was actually established before the formal founding of the Ming. Long Wenbin, Ming hui yao, juan 9-10, pp. 128-162. 222  Da Ming hui dian, juan 93; 30, pp.16-26. Taylor, “Official Religion in the Ming”, pp. 879-880; Yu Ruji, Libu zhi gao, juan 30. 14.  72  The Sidian included ritual offerings for a substantial number of individual figures who were identified as having made major contributions to Chinese civilization broadly, including the Three Emperors and other culture heroes of antiquity, Confucius and subsequent sagely teachers including Mencius and Dong Zhongshu, and select rulers of former dynasties.223 Also included were historical figures who had performed remarkable service to particular dynasties, including “loyal officials, brave soldiers, persons able to withstand natural disasters or ward off calamities, who toiled in the founding of the state or died in its service, or other persons in cases in which a petition elicited an imperial patent.”224 It was among these latter categories that Yue Fei and Yu Qian were included and commemorated in the politico-ritual order. During the Ming, the dynastic founder set the pattern for ritual offerings and shrines to individuals. At the very beginning of his reign, the Hongwu emperor sent officials from the Chancellory to the prefectures and counties to seek out the spirits that should receive offerings. The spirits of all figures that had merit (gong) to the state (guojia) and were favoured and beloved among the people, were to be included in the Sacrificial Statutes. The emperor ordered officials in the relevant jurisdiction to make seasonal offerings to them. The Hongwu emperor paid particular attention to the tombs of former emperors, probably as part of his efforts to establish his own authority and the legitimacy of the Ming. In the third year, he ordered officials to visit the tombs and temples of former emperors and to make images of them for his inspection. The following year he sent envoys to make offerings at those tombs, but only those which lay within the Central Plains (Zhongyuan) – the cultural heartland of China.225 Zhu Yuanzhang also honoured those who helped him in his great enterprise by including them in the state ritual system. The dynasty’s Temple to Meritorious Officials (gongchen miao) was first established in the second year of the Hongwu reign at Jiming Monastery in Nanjing. It was explicitly to honour the generals and comrades-in-arms of 223  Yu Ruji, Libu zhi gao, 30.15; Da Ming hui dian, juan 91-92; Long Wenbin, Ming hui yao, juan 11, pp. 170-179. For a discussion of Zhu Yuanzhang’s unprecedented elevation of the cult of Confucius, see Zhu Honglin, Zhongguo jinshi ruxue, pp. 70-119. 224  Taylor, “Official Religion in the Ming”, p. 880, translating Libu zhi gao, 30, 13a-b.  225  A few years later, he again sent officials to those tombs, numbering thirty-six in total. Ming shi, juan 50, pp. 1306-1311; Yu Ruji, Libu zhi gao, 30.15-16.  73  Zhu Yuanzhang who had helped to establish the dynasty. Initially twenty-one figures were included at the temple, headed by Xu Da, Chang Yuchun, and Li Wenzhong. Close to four hundred additional individuals were added to the list in the first reign, including living people.226 The Hongwu emperor also sought a broader recognition of worthy individuals. In the second year of the reign, he decreed that the shrines to the spirits of all meritorious figures that had been virtuous and brought benefit to the people were to be protected and included in the Sacrificial Statutes. In the third year, the titles of all recognized spirits were fixed and no further titular embellishments were permitted. The most concrete manifestation of inclusion in the Sacrificial Statutes was for a figure to have a shrine established in his name. This might be accompanied by a tomb, as was the case for both Yue Fei and Yu Qian, and constituted the locus for ritual offerings and commemoration of the deceased. Yet despite status as an officially mandated site in the politico-ritual order, the maintenance of the physical site was a perennial problem. According to official guidelines, shrines were the responsibility of the local officials in whose jurisdiction they were located.227 This was no easy task. A Zhengtong decree of 1443 reveals the procedure for maintaining official buildings including shrines. Upon discovery of damage, all relevant officials were to supervise the task of repair, pooling together their resources and paying from the official purse. They might also depute wealthy households to contribute and hire craftsmen for the repairs. It was emphasized that they must not waste the people’s money (min cai). If larger scale building work were necessary, as in the case of destruction by fire, then higher officials would also be involved. The Surveillance Commissioner (ancha shi) and Provincial Administration Commissioner (buzheng shi) should discuss the project with local prefectural officials and submit a plan for reconstruction to the throne. Upon completion of any building project, reliable men were to be selected to watch over the building and the local officials should conduct regular checks for damage so repairs could be carried out in a timely fashion.228  226  Ming shi, juan 50, pp. 1304-1305; Long Wenbin, Ming hui yao, juan 10, pp. 166-167.  227  Da Ming hui dian, 9b-10a.  228  Da Ming hui dian, 10a-10b.  74  This meticulous concern with procedure and caution against wastefulness suggests that such projects were open to abuse or maladministration. While local officials were responsible for state mandated ritual sites, they were not usually allocated money to pay for the project from the throne. The problem of cost was an issue from the beginning of the dynasty. Early in the founding Hongwu reign the costs for establishing tombs to meritorious officials were to be covered by officials. But in 1393 the emperor changed the policy decreeing that upon the death of meritorious officials, their burial and tomb expenses were all to be borne by family members. The martial dynastic founder would only provide for those who died in battle fighting for the Ming.229 In the cases of the shrines to Yue Fei and Yu Qian we shall see that family members played crucial roles in their initial establishment and subsequent maintenance. But many others were involved in the upkeep and expansion of these official sites, including government officials, court eunuchs, and local people. Each group had their own reasons for contributing to the building and rebuilding of these sites, which were decidedly official, but whose meanings contributors could interpret for their own purposes. In addition to the shrines themselves, other forms of ritual recognition were central to the construction of the site and its place in the cultural imagination. The emperor might bestow other honours on worthy individuals. For instance, worthies might receive a funeral text from the imperial brush. The industrious founding emperor personally composed texts for numerous deceased favourites, and the Chenghua and Jiajing emperors were also known to pen texts for senior ministers, including Yu Qian in the Chenghua reign. But for most of the dynasty such dedicatory texts were composed by Hanlin scholars and other court literati and offered in accordance with a standard prescription. Regardless of whether such a text had been authored by the emperor  229  Da Ming hui dian, juan 203, 11a-b. For the most distinguished individuals the Hongwu emperor appointed ‘guardian households’ (shou hu) to tend to tomb sites. The number of designated households ranged from 93 to 210. Such cases were rare, however, and the arrangement could not be sustained. By 1479 fourteen tombs outside Nanjing belonging to such luminaries as Chang Yuchun and Li Wenzhong had fallen into disrepair. Li Wenzhong’s great grandson Li E had to petition the throne for repairs. The emperor granted the request and assigned one guardian household for the tomb of everyone that did not have any descendants to care for it. Ming shi, juan 60, pp. 1487-1488.  75  himself, it was still granted by the throne and brought great honour for the recipient. As a result, such texts were usually inscribed onto stelae which were erected at the tomb.230 It was the granting of posthumous titles, however, that brought the greatest honour for the dead and also much prestige for their families. The emperor bestowed posthumous titles on imperial princes and noble princes (jun wang), senior ministers, and officials of lower rank that had given exceptional service to the state – and may even have died doing so. In the most elevated cases, not only might an outstanding individual be granted a posthumous title, but the emperor might even favour the deceased’s ancestors. At the beginning of the dynasty, Chang Yuchun received a rare honour: not only Chang himself, but also his father, grandfather, and even his great-grandfather received posthumous titles.231 The establishment of official shrines and the bestowal of commemorative texts and honorary titles elevated worthy individuals in the politico-ritual order of the realm, but such acts were not necessarily final verdicts on the deceased. The initial inclusion of an individual in the Sacrificial Statutes was subject to a process of discussion and verification of his merits, and even after these had been determined, they could be reevaluated subsequently. Posthumous titles could be – and were – also subject to revision. The inclusion of individual figures in the Sidian during the Ming was influenced by the founding emperor’s concern for ritual orthodoxy. Officials were responsible for making offerings on designated days to all figures that were included in the Sidian; conversely they were forbidden from involvement at shrines that were not included and deemed illicit (yin ci).232 In order to ensure the orthodoxy of the official cult, the Hongwu emperor stipulated in 1394 that only historical figures with demonstrable merit be included. Officials proposing the inclusion of a past figure in the Sidian had to verify his merit by checking his life and deeds in the historical record before making the request to the Ministry of Rites for consideration. Ming figures could be also be included, provided  230  Ming shi, juan 60, p. 1483. The size and shape of such stelae were prescribed in ritual texts, according to the rank of the deceased. Those with higher rank might have stelae borne by a stone tortoise or topped by a lizard. 231  Long Wenbin, Ming hui yao, juan 20, p. 331.  232  Ming shi, juan 50, pp. 1306-1311; Yu Ruji, Libu zhi gao, 30.15-16.  76  that their feats were detailed in local records, or carved onto stelae, and that there was more than one corroborating source. Thus many famous statesmen and philosophers were included in the Sidian as former worthies, such as Zhuge Liang, Di Renjie, Wen Tianxiang, Yue Fei and Zhu Xi. Among Ming figures included was Yu Qian.233 There was a similar process for the bestowal of posthumous titles. Beginning in the early Hongwu reign, proposals were put forward and debated by Ministry of Rites and Hanlin Academy officials. By 1502 the system was set. Senior court or regional officials – though not family members – could petition for someone to be granted a posthumous title. The case would be channelled through either the ministry of war, or of personnel, depending on whether the deceased had been a military or civil official. Hanlin officials would then suggest possible titles before rites officials debated the case according to the merits of the deceased. Finally all cases required imperial approval.234 This process of official recommendation and debate was designed to assure ritual propriety in the elevation of the deceased. However, there were times when the system was abused, followed by efforts to correct and reform it. During the Wanli reign Minister of Rites Shen Li (js 1565), who expended much energy in ritual reforms, ran into conflict with numerous officials when he challenged the attempts of senior ministers and relatives of an imperial concubine to have their ancestors receive posthumous titles.235 According to Shen’s high standards, any recipient of a posthumous title must be a paragon of Confucian virtues. He held that there had been a bestowal of undeserved favour during the Zhengde and Jiajing reigns that continued through to Shen’s own Wanli era.236 Shen bemoaned a situation where the sons and grandsons of officials ranking grade three and above could successfully petition for an ancestor to be granted a posthumous title – even if the deceased had been quite unremarkable or even seriously flawed. For Shen, posthumous titles had lost their true meaning and purpose. Pointing to historical  233  Ming shi, juan 50, pp. 1310-1311.  234  Ming shi, juan 60, pp. 1488-1490; Long Wenbin, Ming hui yao, juan 20, p. 332ff.  235  Ming shi, juan 217, p. 5734. Shen’s ritual reforms extended to correcting the ritual status of constitutionally controversial events early in the dynasty. He sought the official reestablishment of the Jianwen period and the recognition of Zhu Qiyu as the Jingdi emperor. He also worked to reform popular family rites as well as at ritual practice at schools. 236  The Jiajing emperor granted titles to favoured magicians (fangshi). Ming shi, juan 60, p. 1490.  77  precedents, he noted the inappropriate granting of the title ‘cultured’ (wen) in posthumous titles of his day, arguing that only scholars of the stature of Han Yu (768-824) and Zhu Xi (1130-1200) deserved it. Accordingly, Shen urged the emperor to return to a stricter ritual practice.237 Concern for ritual orthodoxy continued through the remainder of the dynasty. In 1603 a vice minister of rites started a debate over stricter procedures for granting posthumous honours that lasted through the Tianqi reign (1621-1627). These cases show that, despite concern for ritual orthodoxy and the process of verifying the merits of the deceased, the Sidian system could be subject to abuse or at least controversy. Or it might be more useful to see ritual elevation as an inherently political process whereby the qualities of the deceased were open to interpretation and recognition of them was subject to negotiation. What was established at one time could be reassessed at another. This was the case with both Yue Fei and Yu Qian, both of whose posthumous titles were later changed.238 Central to the debates over Yue Fei and Yu Qian were their status as exemplary loyal officials; it was on account of their loyalty that they were included in the state ritual system and remembered by posterity at their Hangzhou shrines and other sites and in the cultural imagination more broadly. 2.3 Changing Meanings of Loyalty Yue Fei came to be elevated as the symbol of loyalty par excellence in a long process that began in the Song and gathered pace during the Ming. Not only did he hold an honoured place in the Ming state pantheon, he was even worshipped as a Daoist deity and his popular cult was enforced by many plays and novels of the period.239 The figure of Yu Qian did not grow to such proportions, although he was still widely celebrated as a model  237  Yu Ruji, Libu zhi gao, 50.3-6.  238  According to Shen Defu (1578-1642), there were eight cases of posthumous titles being changed during the Ming, but he does not include Yu Qian’s case. Long Wenbin, Ming hui yao, juan 20, p. 337. In the case of Yue Fei and his rival, the peacemaking Chancellor Qin Gui, posthumous ritual status was overtly tied to politics at the Southern Song court. As the early Qing scholar-official Wang Shizhen (1634-1711) noted, general Han Tuozhou (1152-1207) supported the elevation of Yue Fei and the posthumous removal of Qin Gui’s title because he sought to re-conquer northern China in the footsteps of Yue Fei. But when Han failed and was executed to appease the enemy, Qin Gui’s noble titles were restored. Wang Shizhen, Chibei ou tan, p. 196. 239  Liu, “Yueh Fei”, pp. 294-6. In the twentieth century Yue Fei was invoked as a symbol of resistance against foreign invasion during the Anti-Japanese War of Resistance.  78  loyal official.240 Yet both Yue Fei and Yu Qian, though later upheld as paragons of loyalty, were condemned to death for being disloyal. James Liu places them among the “loyal men condemned as disloyal” in China’s long history of ironical tragedies.241 Yue Fei was admired for leading Song efforts to fight back the Jin forces, but was executed for disobedience and suspected disloyalty. Yu Qian was praised for safeguarding the capital and the dynasty, yet was put to death for not saving the captured emperor after the latter’s return to power. Certainly there were many political factors behind their condemnation, but there were also some basic tensions in the demands of loyalty which each faced that affected how each was later represented and remembered. Loyalty (zhong) was not a uniform, unchanging virtue; its expectations depended on the political and cultural contingencies of the day. At the most fundamental level, loyalty concerned the relationship between a minister (or potential minister) on one side and his ruler and the state on the other. This was at times a reciprocal relationship, based on a contract of respectful employment and dutiful service. Such an allegiance could be switched by either party should one side not live up to expectations. At other times, the tie could be more rigidly hierarchical: the loyal minister should give unquestioning service to the ruler regardless of the latter’s conduct. Yet while a ruler might claim the unwavering loyalty of his minister, a minister might sometimes profess his loyalty to the state above the person of the ruler. In such a situation the ruler was not equated with the state, which was usually formulated as the sheji “state altars” or the guojia, and so loyalty was still maintained to the ruling dynasty. Or removing himself from political allegiances altogether, a minister might abandon both a ruler and his state and declare loyalty to a higher power such as the Way (dao), and draw upon moral arguments to trump political demands. The meaning and demands of loyalty changed over time along with the fluctuating relationship between minister and ruler and the Chinese political order itself.  240  In a short essay “Zhong lian ji” (On the Loyal and Honest) late Ming high official Zhang Han (15101593) suggested that his fellow Hangzhou natives Yu Qian and Hu Duanmin were rare exemplars of loyalty and honesty. Zhang highlights Yu Qian’s incorruptible honesty by relating how Yu lived a most plain lifestyle with his wife in a simple house despite his high office and offers from the throne to award him with a mansion. Zhang Han, Song chuang meng yu, pp. 129-130. 241  Liu, “Yueh Fei”, p. 291.  79  And later writers could draw on historical precedents to reinterpret loyalty and offer models to follow in their own times. The idea of loyalty (zhong) first emerged during the later Western Zhou (c.1050771 BCE) era when the rigid relationships of earlier times had been thrown into chaos.242 As the Zhou system of interstate overlords unravelled, the position of ministers strengthened at the expense of their rulers, on whom they were increasingly less dependent. By the late Springs and Autumns period (770-476 BCE), it was widely held idea that a minister’s duty was first and foremost to the state altars, the sheji, and only second to the ruler. The minister was to act in the interests of the state even if it led to his death, but if his ruler were ineffective, the minister could defy and even remove him with the justification of serving the state altars and the people.243 Ministers rarely had such power later in Chinese history, but the idea that the minister’s first duty was to the sheji and not to the ruler continued to be a potent political ethic – it was the very argument made by Yu Qian in the fifteenth century. Ultimately, however, as was also the case with Yu Qian, realpolitik often decided the fate of both ruler and minister. Numerous political theorists and sometime ministers wrote about the relationship between minister and ruler in response to the political situation of their day. Confucius (551-479 BCE) was the first to tip the balance in favour of the ruler, stating that the minister owed his utmost loyalty to his lord. Yet it was conditional on the benevolence (ren) of the ruler, who was expected to treat his minister with ritual propriety (li). Should he fail to do so, the minister was free to transfer his service to another ruler, as Confucius himself did.244 Mencius (372-289 BCE) reformulated the relationship to put lord and vassal on more even terms. He explicitly justified the overthrow of a ruler who was neither benevolent nor righteous.245 Han Fei (280-233 BCE) on the other hand, who  242  It started off as a bond of trust between people, not solely to denote the relationship between ruler and minister, and was associated with other political and moral virtues such as reverence (jing), filial piety (xiao), and trustworthiness (xin). Ning and Jiang, “Zhongguo lishi shang de huangquan”, pp. 79-80; Wang Zijin, “Zhong” guannian yanjiu, pp. 35-36. 243  This could mean the expulsion of the ruler from the state, and in reality included his death. Pines, Foundations of Confucian Thought, pp. 136-163. 244  Ning and Jiang, “Zhongguo lishi shang de huangquan”, p. 80.  245  Ning and Jiang, “Zhongguo lishi shang de huangquan”, pp. 81-82.  80  among pre-Qin philosophers most frequently used the term zhong, held that loyalty was the highest political virtue and demanded unquestioning obedience: under no circumstances should a minister disobey his ruler. Loyalty was no grounds for disobedience.246 The establishment of the unified empire of the Qin and Han brought an elevation of the ruler. Dong Zhongshu (c. 169-104 BCE) led the reformulation of the political order that affirmed the authority of the emperor as sole ruler, to whom there were no alternatives for ministers to direct their loyalty. While any contender could advance a Mencian argument and claim the Mandate of Heaven, only military success and not political argument based on a reinterpretation of loyalty could bring justification.247 In subsequent centuries, however, while the idea of empire endured, lengthy periods of political fragmentation brought the possibility of contested loyalties. From the third to sixth centuries none of the competing polities enjoyed exclusive claims to loyalty. The Tang rulers restored the unified empire and reinstituted loyalty as a political virtue for which ministers would be canonized in the ritual system.248 When the empire was again fragmented in the early tenth century and no single ruler could claim the Tang mantle unchallenged, ministers became free to declare their loyalty to their choice of ruler. Many Chinese even chose to cross the Song-Liao border and profess their loyalty to the Liao ruler while maintaining their Han cultural identity – a position that was for the most part unproblematic.249 By the eleventh century this was no longer the case. The Liao and Song states had both strengthened their regimes and were in open conflict. Song histories portrayed the Liao as the enemy and any Han who served them as disloyal traitors. Scholars elevated the position of the Song ruler and demanded life-long loyalty towards the culture, polity, and territory of China as represented by the Song and its emperor alone. This hardened rhetoric of loyalty was especially clear-cut  246  Han also made distinctions between grades of loyalty based on utility. Small loyalties of self-sacrifice with no long-term benefit for the ruler or state were of no value. Great loyalty required much greater political acuity and judgment. Wang Zijin, “Zhong” guannian yanjiu, pp. 91-100. 247  Ning and Jiang, “Zhongguo lishi shang de huangquan”, 84-89; Standen, Unbounded Loyalty, pp. 48-51.  248  Loyalty in the Tang included a broader range of meaning. Standen, Unbounded Loyalty, pp. 52-55.  249  Standen, Unbounded Loyalty, pp. 57-58.  81  when the state to which ministers owed loyalty was destroyed. When the Song fell, its ministers had three choices: to decide whether actively to resist and fulfill a political loyalty; to withdraw from political life and fulfill a cultural loyalty; or to serve the new rulers and meet a livelihood imperative, but be branded as disloyal collaborators.250 In reality Song loyalism was not so straightforward. There were different expressions of loyalty and the majority of Song officials actually surrendered and went on to serve the Yuan.251 Yet the idea of the absolute loyalty of former Song subjects provided a powerful precedent, especially for Ming loyalists, but even for Yuan loyalists.252 For Yue Fei and Yu Qian the dilemma lay not in deciding whether or not to serve a new power, but in determining whether one’s loyalty should translate into absolute personal commitment to the ruler, or should the welfare of the state have overriding importance. James Liu sees the case of Yue Fei as illustrating a basic contradiction embedded in the Confucian concept of political loyalty, manifest when these two options failed to coincide. The tension was aggravated when the ruler was less than perfect or unlikely to fulfill his role of securing the state.253 In popular versions of the history told since the Song dynasty, Yue Fei’s loyalty is juxtaposed with the treachery of Chancellor Qin Gui, who headed the peace faction, and the irresolution of emperor Gaozong. Cast as the “infamous villain versus the sainted martyr”,254 Qin Gui is usually held responsible for Yue’s fall and execution. Ironically, Qin Gui’s own destruction of the official historical record created a documentary void that enabled the subsequent creation of historical myth vilifying Qin himself, and so it is  250  Standen, Unbounded Loyalty, pp. 41-42.  251  Jennifer Jay discerns three broad categories of loyalist in the thirteenth century: the zhongyi loyalists who died at the fall of the dynasty or shortly after; yimin who survived the dynasty and refused to serve the Mongol Yuan; and yimin recluses. In fact, many of those who initially refused to serve the conquerors, later changed their position and went into service, or allowed their kin and close associates to do so. Jay, A Change in Dynasties, pp. 5-6. 252  Jay, A Change in Dynasties, pp. 243, 259-60. Similar to the reality of the Song-Yuan transition, far more Ming subjects surrendered than perished in the name of loyalism during the Manchu conquest. The famous case of the Jiangyin loyalists, whose exceptionally steadfast resistance brought their bloody annihilation as well as their mythic reputation as loyalists, only reinforces this fact. Wakeman, “Localism and Loyalism”. 253  Liu, “Yueh Fei”, p. 294.  254  Hartman, “The Making of a Villain” p. 60.  82  not possible to construct an account of the “real” Qin Gui from the sources.255 What is certain is that reality was not so clear cut, as evidenced by the fact that there were positive evaluations of Qin at the time (some of which have survived until the present), despite the writings of Zhu Xi and his daoxue followers, which culminated in the condemnatory official biography of Qin as a “nefarious minister” (jianchen) in the Song History.256 Writers also commented on the responsibilities of emperor Gaozong. In a poem about Yue Fei, Song imperial scion and celebrated painter Zhao Mengfu (1254-1322) suggested that it was a grave failure and weakness on the part of the Song emperors to lose northern China. This is particularly remarkable because Zhao was thereby reproaching his own ancestors.257 During the Ming, the fifteenth-century statesman and statecraft thinker Qiu Jun (1421-1495) noted in his Shishi zhenggang (The Correct Bonds in Universal History) that while everybody blames Qin Gui for Yue Fei’s death, emperor Gaozong must at least have been complicit. He was no “weak and deluded” emperor, so Qin Gui would not have dared to execute a senior general without his consent.258 Similarly, in an essay on the rebuilding of Yue Fei’s Hangzhou shrine, the high minister Wang Ao (1450-1524) presents Song Gaozong as lacking resolve (zhi) to recover the north and avenge his forbears. According to Wang, Gaozong and Qin Gui were content meekly to hold onto their reduced kingdom despite the opportunities created by Yue Fei. As Wang put it, “the great loyalty of Yue Fei was taken to be disloyalty, and the disloyalty of Qin Gui to be loyalty”.259  255  Hartman, “The Making of a Villain” pp. 61-63.  256  Hartman, “The Making of a Villain” pp. 105-117. Zhu Xi attributed the failure of the Song to recover the north to Qin Gui’s moral failure, ibid, p. 128. 257  This sense of loss was compounded by his depiction of the peoples of the Central Plains eagerly awaiting news of Yue Fei’s victory in the north. Feng Pei, Yue miao zhi lüe, p. 381; 5a. 258  Qiu Jun, Shishi zhenggang, juan 27, 16b-18a; 555-556. Qiu’s strongly moralistic opposition of China and barbarian peoples coloured his historical judgment. Inspired by Zhu Xi’s Zizhi tongjian gangmu (Outline and Details of the Comprehensive Mirror), Qiu’s history was a highly moralizing work intended to stir the conscience of contemporaries. In the work Qiu sought to reveal the meanings of past events in terms of the preservation of the three universally correct bonds: to draw a clear boundary between the Chinese and the barbarians; to explain and to establish the relationship between a ruler and his ministers; and to uphold the relationship between father and son. Ng and Wang, Mirroring the Past, p. 205. 259  Wang Ao, “Hangzhou chong xiu Yue wumu miao bei”, Zhenze ji.  83  While commentators criticized Qin Gui and Song Gaozong, there was no consensus that Yue Fei could actually have retaken the north. Wang Ao put forth a widely held view – inscribed onto a stele at the Hangzhou shrine – that Yue would have gone on to vanquish the Jurchen had he not been recalled.260 Qiu Jun, on the other hand, doubted whether Yue Fei could have recovered the north, despite the impressive victories of his forces and those of his fellow generals.261 Again, the realities behind the popular image of Yue Fei as a loyal hero were less straightforward and, as historian Tao Jing-shen points out, it is necessary to examine in full the political and military complexities of the period to assess Yue Fei, Qin Gui, and Song Gaozong. For instance, Yue Fei’s story was also one of the Southern Song court’s efforts to control the military, wherein Gaozong was at times more worried about his powerful generals staying loyal than the advance of the Jin.262 While urging care in judging the main figures in this history, Tao does point out that it was clear that Gaozong and Qin Gui did not want the return of captive emperor Qinzong as it would have been inconvenient for both of them.263 This fact alone was enough to draw reproach on moral grounds even though it was politically expedient. For Gaozong, the return of his elder brother from captivity would have threatened his own position. For Qin Gui and other ministers, the return of the former emperor would have demanded a choice of loyalty to the former ruler or to his replacement. Yet despite the fact that Qinzhong’s return would certainly have rocked the political situation of the Song court, it was also incumbent on Gaozong and his ministers to secure Qinzong’s safe return if possible. On top of this dilemma between moral duty and political expediency was the question of safeguarding the state against a threatening enemy. In the parallel Ming case three centuries later, the need to protect the state above all else – including the captured emperor – was the very argument advanced by Yu Qian. In that history the return of the  260  Wang Ao, “Hangzhou chong xiu Yue wumu miao bei”, Zhenze ji.  261  Qiu notes that this was in some ways due to a lack of political resolve and leadership at the court, but he also questions whether Yue et al had an overall coordinated plan that could have led to victory. Qiu Jun, Shishi zhenggang, juan 27, 16b-17a, 17b-18a, and especially 26b-29a. 262  Tao Jing-shen, “The Move to the South”, pp. 667-671.  263  Tao Jing-shen, “The Move to the South”, pp. 686-689.  84  captured Ming emperor Yingzong brought a division of loyalties that eventually saw the restoration of the former captive. This brought the downfall of those who had failed to effect Yingzong’s release, but instead had worked to secure the position of his younger brother who replaced him as the Jingtai emperor. Herein lies a difference in the loyalties of Yue Fei and of Yu Qian. In a sense, Yue was trapped by his own loyalty as he obeyed the order recalling him from campaign that led to his execution on false charges.264 Yu Qian, on the other hand, disregarded his captured ruler, the Yingzong emperor, and chose instead to secure the state and serve the captive’s younger brother. These circumstances complicated any assessment of Yu Qian’s role in history, and the grounds on which he could be considered to be loyal.  Figure 6 "Yu Zhongsu gong xiang" (Portrait of Lord Yu Qian), Wang, Sancai tu hui, p. 717.  264  Wang Ao, “Hangzhou chong xiu Yue wumu miao bei”, Zhenze ji. Jay suggests that it was the tradition of absolute loyalty in the Southern Song that may explain Yue Fei’s obedience to the Gaozong emperor even though it led to his own death. Jay, A Change in Dynasties, pp. 94-5.  85  In terms of the legal code, there were three categories of capital crime that included any act that was harmful to the state, that intended harm against the person of the emperor or the imperial house, or that went against the safety and welfare of society as a whole. Heading the list of most heinous capital crimes called the Ten Abominations (shi e) were: plotting rebellion (mou fan), plotting great sedition (mou da ni), and plotting treason (mou pan).265 Yu Qian’s actions, particularly his neglect of the Yingzong emperor, could be interpreted as disloyalty and punishable under the provisions of these crimes. Yet under the exceptional circumstances around Yingzong’s capture and replacement by Jingtai, loyalty as a bond between minister, ruler, and state was split, since Yu’s actions could simultaneously be seen as disloyalty to the ruler and loyalty to the state. The late Ming grand secretary Ye Xianggao (1559-1627) wrote that Yu Qian should be praised for his assertive action at a time of national crisis when so many others at court were proposing a flight to the south, as the Song had done centuries earlier. Ye’s assessment was founded upon the effectiveness of Yu’s action in averting the Mongol threat. He was less concerned with ritual propriety, constitutional, and moral questions.266 But Yu Qian was also accused of not doing more to preserve the ritual propriety of the dynastic house even after the Mongol threat had been averted. In particular, when the Jingtai emperor chose to replace the crown prince, Yingzong’s son and heir, with his own son, some critics charged that Yu Qian should have used his influence to deter Jingtai. In Yu Qian’s defence, Ye stated that not even the great Zhuge Liang with all his powers of persuasion could have restrained his ruler under such circumstances, and so Yu was not to be blamed for it. Other commentators did not prioritize political expediency, but asked whether Yu Qian’s individual actions were justifiable. Judgments could be based on propriety and  265  All were punishable by the most severe form of execution – “death by slicing” (lingchi), Jiang, The Great Ming Code, pp. 18-19, 154-155. Commenting on the Qing Code, which was largely based on its Ming forerunner (both were ultimately derived from the Tang Code), Paul Ch’en notes that these crimes come close to the notion of treason in European legal traditions. Ch’en, “Disloyalty to the State”, pp. 161166. 266  Ye Xianggao, “Yu gong zou yi xu” 3b-6a. Wei Jirui (1620-1677) similarly argued that the Jingtai emperor’s refusal to give up the throne to his elder brother on the latter’s return and also his replacing the heir apparent were matters beyond Yu Qian’s power. Making an analogy with the Southern Song Wei asserted that because Song Qinzhong lost the north, it was only to be expected that the Gaozong emperor would keep the throne. Ding Bing, Yu Zhongsu gong cimu lu, pp. 7161-7162.  86  whether Yu had fulfilled his duties as a minister, both to the ruler, and to the altars of state – the sheji. An act that violated the legal code but which secured the sheji could be defended, as was the case when the famous philosopher and statesman Wang Shouren was accused of crossing the border out of the Ming realm during his campaign to pacify Guangxi in 1527.267 Late Ming scholar Hou Fangyu (1618-1655) applied the notion of sheji to his assessment of Yu Qian in two ways: the sheji chen denotes a minister who does everything within his power in service of the state, and always in accordance with propriety; while an act that benefits the state without regard for the individual may be called sheji gong. The latter term was not found solely in intellectual discourse, for it also appears in Yang Erzeng’s guidebook to Hangzhou where it was used to describe Yu Qian’s actions of saving the state from the Mongol threat, for which Yu was popularly remembered.268 But for Hou, the sheji chen should not be measured by his deeds alone. A devoted minister should always act in accord with the Way and serve his lord faithfully. Hou, like Ye Xianggao, also allows that the exceptional circumstances of the time meant that it was not possible for Yu Qian to persuade the Jingtai Emperor to give up the throne to his elder brother upon the latter’s return. But unlike Ye, Hou faults Yu Qian for his failure to prevent the Jingtai emperor from replacing his nephew with his own son as the heir apparent. Given Yu’s influence over the emperor and the court, Hou believes that he could at least have done so much – as a sheji chen should have done. There was at most risk to his own person, though no risk to the state, so it was his duty to speak out and to ensure that the emperor acted in accordance with propriety.269 This separation of the act from the agent could bring compromise as well as complicate historical judgment. As noted already, loyalty constituted a bond between minister, ruler, and state. It was a political relationship that bore moral obligations. While the conduct of the ruler and the wider political order were important factors, judgment over loyalty was on the  267  The alleged act was deemed subversive and subject to severe punishment, but the minister of Rites Huo Tao (1487-1540) defended Wang as acting for the peace and security (an) of the state (guojia) and for the benefits of the sheji. Brook, “What Happens When Wang Yangming Crosses the Border?” 268  Yang Erzeng, Hainei qi guan, juan 3, 19b-20a; 246-247.  269  Ding Bing, Yu Zhongsu gong cimu lu, pp. 7158-7159.  87  minister alone. In life, Yue Fei and Yu Qian were judged disloyal and executed. After death they were rehabilitated as model loyal officials and different interpretations of their deeds came to be attached to their histories. Many of these views, both official and popular, were inscribed onto the physical sites that commemorated them and influenced how they were imagined and represented in the broader cultural imagination. 2.4 The Making and Remaking of Shrines to Loyal Ministers The Hangzhou shrines and tombs of Yue Fei and Yu Qian came to be included in the Sacrificial Statutes of the Ming as sites for the commemoration and honouring of the two statesmen, both of whom became paragons of loyalty to the state. Their establishment in the politico-ritual order was not a straightforward process, however. Multiple groups – including their families, local and provincial officials, the local people and the court – were involved in the initial creation and subsequent maintenance, restoration, and expansion of each site. Although they were official sites, there was a broad and popular involvement in their physical and cultural construction, on the ground in Hangzhou and in the texts that represented the places and shaped how others imagined and experienced them. The histories of both sites grew through the Ming and drew visitors to participate in the commemoration in situ of the two figures and what they represented. The following sections will examine this process for the two sites, which largely paralleled each other, from the initial rehabilitation of their subjects, through successive remakings during the Ming era. 2.4.1 The Shrine and Tomb of Yue Fei in Hangzhou The site of Yue Fei’s shrine and tomb in Hangzhou was only one of several sites in the realm that officially commemorated him. Hangzhou writer Lang Ying (c.1487-1566) counted five sites to Yue Fei included in the Sidian. All of the sites were places with which Yue had been personally associated and included: his native Tangyin County in Henan; Ezhou in Hubei, where Yue first rose to prominence; Gan in Jiangxi, where Yue had served with great merit; and the town of Zhuxian whence he had been recalled,  88  despite being poised to regain the north.270 But it was the shrine in Hangzhou, which had been the Southern Song capital of Lin’an in Yue’s lifetime and where he died and was buried, that was the most prominent.271 The Song period establishment of Yue Fei’s tomb and temple was not without obstacles. In 1141 Yue Fei died in prison in Hangzhou after taking poison. Because he was suspected of disloyalty he did not receive an official burial. As late Ming writer Zhang Dai recounted the legend, Yue’s corpse was buried secretly at a spot north of the city by a prison guard by the name of Wei Shun. When Wei died he passed his secret on to his son. Eventually in 1162 Yue Fei and his family were rehabilitated, at which point Wei’s son revealed the secret and Yue’s remains – some accounts claimed that his body had the appearance of a living person – were officially transferred and buried, according to the ritual appropriate for an official of the first rank, south of Qixia Ridge by West Lake.272 In this initial stage, Yue Fei’s grandsons Yue Fu and Yue Ke led family efforts to establish a temple to him. Despite the court granting permission for a merit chapel (gongde si), Yue’s family had trouble establishing it. The first choice was a certain Xianming si (Temple of Manifest Brightness) nearby. This, however, met with opposition from an official whose family used the temple for their ancestral offerings and so he feared that its dedication to Yue would prevent their own use. In memorials to the throne the official argued for the protection of ancestral plots against encroachment. He challenged the Yues’ plan on the grounds of geomantic disruption too. Thus the Yues were forced to look elsewhere. It was not until 1221 that the Zhiguo Guanyin si (Guanyin  270  Lang Ying, Qi xiu lei gao, juan 36, p. 538. Wuchang, Jiaxing, and other towns also saw the establishment of shrines to Yue Fei, especially after the 1449 Tumu crisis when he became a symbol of resistance against the renewed Mongol menace. In addition to the main site by West Lake, there was another shrine associated with Yue Fei in Hangzhou. His former home was established as the Zhongyou Shrine (Loyalty Protecting Shrine) and it became well known for the legend that his only daughter committed suicide by jumping into it, clutching a silver vase. Feng Pei, Yue miao zhi lüe, 43, 1.3a. 271  As Feng Pei (js 1771), the Qing compiler of the gazetteer of the Hangzhou shrine and tomb noted (with some bias, to be sure): “The prince’s temples in Tangyin, Zhuxian, Wuchang, and Jiaxing are not the same. This temple on the edge of West Lake below Qijia Ridge has his tomb. Today’s temple has its origins in the Gongde Temple granted during the Song ... He has been publicly honoured here as a great exemplar up until the present. So how could the other temples compare with it?” Feng Pei, Yue miao zhi lüe, 39-40. 272  Zhang Dai emphasizes Wei Shun’s merit for saving Yue Fei’s body. Zhang Dai, Xihu meng xun, p. 52. Cf. Ding Yazheng, “Hangzhou Yue Fei mu miao”, p. 362.  89  of Knowledge of Karma Monastery) on the northern hill was designated as the new merit chapel for Yue Fei. This time the Yue family was successful and an imperial plaque was granted bearing the words of the chapel’s new name “Bao zhong yan fu chan si” (Great Loyalty and Abundant Blessings Chan Monastery). Following the Song collapse, the temple was abandoned. Subsequently a sixth generation descendant by the name of Yue Shidi rebuilt the temple but soon after it again fell into dereliction. During the Yuan Zhiyuan Period (1271-1294) Hangzhou Registrar (jing li) Li Quanchu rebuilt the shrine, enlarging it and installing statues, and in the Zhizheng Period (1341-1368) a plaque was added reading “Baoyi” (Protecting Virtue). This, too, did not last.273  Figure 7 "Yue Wumu wang mu tu" (Illustration of the Tomb of Prince Yue Wumu), in Yang Erzeng, Hainei qi guan, juan 3, 4b-5a;