Monthly Archives: March 2022

[Review] 张佳《图像、观念与仪俗:元明时代的族群文化变迁》(Zhang Jia: Images, Concepts, and Rituality. The Transformation of Ethnic Culture in the Yuan-Ming Period)

Zhang Jia 张佳, Tuxiang, guannian yu yisu: Yuan Ming shidai de zuqun wenhua bianqian 图像、观念与仪俗:元明时代的族群文化变迁 (Images, Concepts, and Rituality: The Transformation of Ethnic Culture in the Yuan-Ming Period), Beijing: Shangwu Yinshuguan 商务印书馆, 2021. ISBN: 978-7-100-19549-2, 302 pages, 88 RMB.

Reviewed by Lin Hang 林航 (Hangzhou Normal University 杭州师范大学)

The second half of the fourteenth century witnessed the transition from the Mongol Yuan (1271–1368) to the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) in China and marked a significant turning point in the history of East Asia and the world. In China, the shift of rulership from Mongolian to Han-Chinese brought about great changes in politics, ideology, and culture. Such changes were profound and extensive in north China, a region ruled consecutively by the Khitan, Jurchen and Mongol for over two centuries. One might intuit the considerable turbulence during the Yuan-Ming transition, but what changes took place exactly? How did these changes influence China regarding ethnicity, culture and identity? In Tuxiang, guannian yu yisu, Zhang Jia weaves together historical documents and visual materials to depict the prominence and transformation of the “Sino-Barbarian” dichotomy (the notion of Yi-Xia 夷夏 opposing the sophisticated culture of the Chinese to their supposedly uncultured neighbours) as reflected in painting and art aesthetics, culturalization of Nestorian families, the change of costumes, the exchanges of diplomatic envoys between Korea and Japan, as well as changes in the tomb rituals.

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