Ming China: Courts and Contacts 1400–1450 [Paperback]

Craig Clunas (Author); Luk Yu-Ping (Author); Jessica Harrison-Hall (Author)

ISBN: 9780861592050 | Published by: British Museum Press | Series: Research Publication | Volume: 205 | Year of Publication: 2016 | Language: English 272p, H297 x W210 (mm) 300 (250 colour; 50 b&w)

Ming China


Winner of the IBP 2017 Specialist Publication Accolade awarded by the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS)

This ground-breaking, beautifully illustrated publication is the outcome of the conference ‘Ming: Courts and Contacts 1400–1450’ that accompanied the British Museum’s major exhibition Ming: 50 years that changed China (September 2014–January 2015). The scope of the exhibition and conference focused on Ming dynasty China in the years 1400 to 1450, a time when China was the largest (and one of the most prosperous) states in the world, ruled by a single family through a network of imperial and regional courts. During this period, many cultural, social and political themes that were to dominate China’s history from this point onwards were either created or consolidated. These include the definitive decision to place the political capital in the north, while the south-central region evolved as an economically dominant entity, a dichotomy that still remains today. This is also a period when contacts of unprecedented scale took place between the Ming empire and the wider world, particularly between courts, through embassies, an aggressive military forward policy and court-sponsored maritime expeditions. The early Ming also remains a period that defines contemporary Chinese conceptions of their own history, and that history’s relations to the rest of the world.

Where previous scholarship may have focused on specific aspects of the period or dealt with a range of issues covering the whole of the Ming dynasty, this volume presents the first detailed examination of the crucial years from the Yongle to the Zhengtong era through a diverse range of approaches and materials. It integrates more fully material culture perspectives with the work of social, political, economic, intellectual and cultural historians and situates early Ming court culture within a wider global context.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Craig Clunas
1. Justifying Ming Rulership on a Eurasian Stage - David M. Robinson
2. Domination in Four Keys: Ming China and its Southern Neighbours 1400-1450 - Geoffrey Wade
3. Diplomacy, Trade, and the Quest for the Buddha's Tooth: The Yongle Emperor and Ming China’s South Asian Frontier - Tansen Sen
4. Causes & Consequences of the Ming Intervention in Vietnam in the Early 15th Century - Kenneth Swope
5. Green Beijing: Ecologies of Movement in the New Capital c. 1450 - Jonathan Hay
6. Painting of the Imperial Palace and Zhu Bang -Yu Hui
7. The Empress’ Dragon Crown: Establishing Symbols of Imperial Authority in the early Ming - Luk Yu-ping
8. Early Ming Ceramics – rethinking the status of blue-and-white - Jessica Harrison-Hall
9. Zhu Quan, A Prince who Changed Ming Musical History - Joseph S.C.  Lam
10. Fashioning the Imperial Legacy: Yang Shiqi and the Record of Imperial Pronouncements - Peter Ditmanson
11. Politics or entertainment? Examining Jiangxi scholar officials and Zhejiang painters through the lens of Elegant Gathering in the Apricot Garden -Yin Ji’nan
12. The Gradual Termination of the Early Ming Voyages to the Western Oceans and Its Causes - Zhao Zhongnan
13. The New Idea of Ritual Vessels in the Early Ming Dynasty: A Third System - Shin Ching-fei
14. Gifts of Good Fortune and Praise-Songs for Peace: Images of Auspicious Portents and Panegyrics from the Yongle Period - Lina Lin
15. Enshrining the Dark Troops:The Printing of Daoist Books in the Early Ming Dynasty - Maggie Chui Ki Wan
16. Faces of Transnational Buddhism at the Early Ming Court - Marsha Haufler
17. The Early Ming Imperial Atelier on the Tibetan Frontier - Karl Debreczeny
18. Religious Consciousness and Beliefs in the Ming Tombs of Princes and Royal Family Members in Hubei Province - Yuan Wenqing
19. Paper Money of the Ming dynasty – examining the material evidence - Helen Wang, Caroline Cartwright
20. The Porcelain Pagoda; a persisting Enigma -Clarence Eng
21. Architecture of the Early Ming Court: A Preliminary Look - Aurelia Campbell
22. Investigating Zheng He's Ships: What is Known and Knowable? - Sally Church
23. Trees and stones are only what they are: Translating Ming Empire in the Fifteenth Century - Carla Nappi
24. Building Cultural Authority in Early Joseon Korea (1400-1450) - Lee Soomi
25. The Book of the Five Relationships: Thoughts on Mid-Fifteenth-Century Court Confucianism -Sarah Schneewind
26. Looking East, Looking West: the Artistic Connections of Ming of China and Timurid Iran - Priscilla Soucek
27. Precious Stones and Ming Culture, 1400-1450 - Craig Clunas
28. Ming Ceramics Discovered in Kenya and Some Related Issues - Qin Dashu
29. Traces of the Zheng He Voyages in Late-Ming Navigational Materials -Timothy Brook
Authors’ biographies

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