Confucian Rituals and Chinese Villagers

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Transcript of Confucian Rituals and Chinese Villagers

Religion in Chinese Societies
Kenneth Dean, McGill University Richard Madsen, University of California, San Diego
David Palmer, University of Hong Kong
VOLUME 6
The titles published in this series are listed at brill.com/rics
Ritual Change and Social Transformation in a Southeastern Chinese Community, 1368–1949
By
Cover illustration: Justus Doolittle, Social Life of the Chinese (London: Sampson Low, Son, and Marston, 1868), 196.
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ISSN 1877-6264 ISBN 978-90-04-25724-5 (hardback) ISBN 978-90-04-25725-2 (e-book)
Copyright 2013 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Global Oriental, Hotei Publishing, IDC Publishers and Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
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List of Tables, Figures, Illustrations, and Maps ..................................... ix Terms for Measures and Money ................................................................. xi Acknowledgements ........................................................................................ xiii
PART ONE
INTRODUCTION
1 Confucian Rituals in Late Imperial Chinese State and Society ... 3 Commoners, Confucian Rituals, and Neo-Confucianism ....... 4 The Appropriation of Confucian Rituals ..................................... 8 A Social History of Rituals in Sibao ............................................... 13 Principal Themes ................................................................................ 17 Sources ................................................................................................... 20
2 History at the Periphery: Tingzhou and Sibao ................................ 23 Tingzhou: Banditry, Ethnicity, and the State ............................. 23 Sibao: Making a Center out of a Periphery ................................. 32
PART TWO
LiSHEnG AS CULTURAL MEDIATORS
3 Who Are Lisheng? .................................................................................... 47 Lisheng: An Overview ........................................................................ 48 Lisheng in the Imperial State ..................................................... 48 Lisheng in Late Imperial and Modern Chinese Society ..... 52 Lisheng and Sibao Society ................................................................ 62 A Summary of Rituals in Sibao .................................................. 62 Who Are Lisheng? .......................................................................... 65
4 Lisheng and Their Rituals ...................................................................... 71 Lisheng and Sibao Rituals ................................................................. 71 Ritual Formats ................................................................................. 71 Lisheng in Action ........................................................................... 77
vi contents
Manuals of Sacrificial Texts ............................................................. 86 A Summary of Manuals of Sacrificial Texts ........................... 86 Who Wrote the Texts? .................................................................. 89
PART THREE
LINEAGE, RITUAL, AND CORPORATE ESTATES
5 The Creation of a Lineage Society ...................................................... 107 Lineage Building .................................................................................. 109 The Mas of Mawu .......................................................................... 109 The Zous of Wuge .......................................................................... 120 The Yans of Yanwu ........................................................................ 129 Ancestors, Genealogy, and Lineage Building ............................. 132
6 Rites, Land, and Lineages ...................................................................... 143 Ancestral Rites ..................................................................................... 143 Land, Lineage, and Local Elite ........................................................ 147 The Limits of Lineage Building ....................................................... 157
PART FOUR
A STRANGE COMMUNITY COMPACT?
7 Community Compacts, Village Rituals, and Local Society .......... 167 Community Compacts in Late Imperial Sibao .......................... 171 Villages and Descent Groups around Shangbao ....................... 179 The Making of a Community Compact ....................................... 182 Shangbao Compact and Local Society ......................................... 193
PART FIVE
THE WORSHIP OF GODS
8 Gods, Ancestors, and Demons ............................................................. 205 Zougong: A God Becoming an Ancestor ...................................... 209 Gods and Temples in Pre-Ming Sibao ..................................... 209 When a God Became an Ancestor ............................................ 211
contents vii
The Transformation of She and Li .................................................... 220 Shegong in Pre-Ming Tingzhou .................................................... 220 Lishe Altars and Xiangli Altars since the Ming ........................ 222 Legends of Shegong and Ritual Masters .................................... 228
9 Temples, Markets, and Village Identity .......................................... 239 Temple Building and Village Identity ......................................... 239 Guandi and Village Identity ..................................................... 242 Temples and Commerce ................................................................. 246 Construction of the Tianhou Temple at the Laijiaxu
Market ...................................................................................... 246 Opening a Market in the Eighteenth Century .................... 249 The Tianhou Temple of Shangbao ......................................... 256
10 Locating Rituals in Time and Space ................................................ 263 The Genealogy of a Grand Narrative .......................................... 263 Cultural Hybridization as a Historical Process ........................ 268
APPENDICES
1 Jinshi (Metropolitan Graduates) in Late Imperial Tingzhou .... 275 2 Lisheng and the Rituals Performed by Them in Tingzhou ....... 276 3 Fifty Sibao Jiwenben (I): Basic Facts ................................................. 279 4 Fifty Sibao Jiwenben (II): Breakdown of Contents ....................... 283 5 Five Prohibitions of the Shangbao Compact ................................ 285 6 Villages and Surnames in Sibao ........................................................ 289 7 Temples and Gods in the Sibao Basin ............................................. 291 8 Gods and Texts Dedicated to Them in Three Sibao
Jiwenben .................................................................................................... 298
Tables
2.1 Degree and title holders among the Lower Shrine Branch of the Zous of Wuge ............................................................................ 43
4.1 A comparison of the ritual structure between the Sibao ritual format, the Confucian Temple rites, and the Altar of the Gods of the Soil and Grains rites ................................................................ 76
5.1 Managers of the compilation of the Zou Family Genealogy of Wuge in 1764 .................................................................................... 129
5.2 Number of degree and title holders and officials of the Mas and the Zous in Sibao ......................................................................... 142
6.1 Ownership of arable land in the fifth districts of Qingliu County on the eve of land reform (1952) ..................................... 149
8.1 Lishe and Xiangli altars in Tingzhou during the Ming Dynasty .................................................................................................... 222
9.1 The social background of the members of the Soaring Dragon Society ...................................................................................... 254
Figures
4.1 Layout of the rituals performed by four lisheng ......................... 71 5.1 Simplified genealogy of the Mas of Mawu ................................... 111 5.2 Simplified genealogy of the Zous of Wuge ................................... 122 5.3 The lineage estates of the Yans of Yanwu .................................... 131
Illustrations
2.1 Woodblocks of Sibao ........................................................................... 38 2.2 A manual of rituals printed in Sibao .............................................. 41 3.1 Professor of ceremony ........................................................................ 57 4.1 Sacrifice to dragon lanterns .............................................................. 78 4.2 Baitang ceremony, Xikeng ................................................................. 83 4.3 A manual of sacrificial texts .............................................................. 87 5.1 The Guangyu Hall, Wuge ................................................................... 123
x list of tables, figures, illustrations, and maps
7.1 The office of community compact, Changxiao ........................... 175 8.1 The statue of Zougong, Shangbao ................................................... 212 8.2 Altars of the Soil and Grain, Mawu ................................................ 224 8.3 Altar of Orphan Souls, Jiantou ......................................................... 226 9.1 Guandi, the god of war, Wuge .......................................................... 243
Maps
2.1 Tingzhou in the Qing Dynasty ......................................................... 24 2.2 Sibao in the late Qing ......................................................................... 33 2.3 Wuge in the Republican Period ....................................................... 37
TERMS FOR MEASURES AND MONEY
Area 1 mu = 0.077 hectare 1 tiao = 1/3 mu = 0.0257 hectare
Capacity 1 shi/dan = 67 liters or 99 quarts
Weight 1 shi/dan = 133 lbs 1 shi/dan = 100 jin = 50 kg 1 hu = 30 kg
Length 1 li = 1/3 mile
Money 1 tael (liang) = 37.8 grams of silver 1 tael (liang) = 10 mace (qian) = 10 candareen ( fen) 1 silver dollar ( yuan) = 10 jiao
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
My first major debt of gratitude is to the people of Sibao. Their hospitality to me and their generosity in sharing their knowledge with an outsider are what made it possible for me to give a detailed account of their history and experience. I must thank Zou Risheng and Li Shengbao for providing some key texts to me and for introducing me to many of their friends. I am grateful to the late Zou Hengchen, himself a master of rites, for both his willingness to share with me his erudite knowledge in rituals and local history and for his patience with my endless questions. I am also most appreciative of the help provided by Wu Dexiang. Ten years after, my mind is still fresh with the experience of our exhausting but fruitful journey to the distant mountainous village, Huangshikeng. My thanks are also owed to my host and hostess during my stay in Sibao: Zou Junfu and Tong Jiurong. The lodging and tasty food they provided made my field- work in Sibao a pleasant experience. I am grateful to Zou Jiangrui, him- self an excellent informant, for arranging my interview in Shuangquan. Bao Fasheng, Jiang Huanyou, Li Huoxian, Li Jinbin, Ma Chuanggang, Ma Jiashu, Ma Junliang, Wu Changhua, Wu Derong, Yan Yanghua, Zhou Rongfa, Zou Dingbin, Zou Hengyan, Zou Hongkang, Zou Jinteng, and many others helped me one way or another. I am grateful to them all. I am also indebted to the China Sibao Woodblock Printing Exhibition Center for allowing me to make photocopies of some of its precious exhibitions.
I owe my intellectual debt to a lot of people. I am deeply indebted to my teachers at Xiamen University, Yang Guozhen, Chen Zhiping, and Zheng Zhenman, for introducing me to the fascinating world of the Ming and Qing history. Zheng Zhenman, in particular, generously gave his pre- cious time to help me draw the framework of this book, both in Montreal and in Xiamen, and shares with me his deep understanding of the late imperial Chinese society and culture. I am also grateful to my teachers at McGill, Ken Dean, Robin D. S. Yates, Thomas Looser, Tom Lamarre, and Grace Fong, for their inspiring lectures, their challenging comments to the chapters of my PhD dissertation on which this book is based, and their patience towards a new hand in the academic world. Ken Dean provided unfailing intellectual support from the conducting of fieldwork through- out the publishing of this book. He made extensive comments on differ- ent versions of the books. I greatly benefited from his erudition in the
xiv acknowledgements
fields, among others, of Chinese religions and local history. Tom Looser introduced me into anthropological methods and theories. David Ownby read my dissertation and made some interesting comments. I thank each of them for their diligent assistance.
I would like gratefully to acknowledge the contribution that Cynthia J. Brokaw made to this study. If my fieldwork in Sibao was at all successful, it was, above all, because of Cynthia’s introducing me into this commu- nity. Cynthia also generously provided to me some important ritual texts she collected in Sibao and allow me to use a photograph. Her useful and extensive comments to the chapters of this book contributed greatly.
I am grateful to Chen Chunsheng, Liu Zhiwei, David Faure, and Zhao Shiyu for their willingness to share their rich knowledge and deep under- standing of Ming and Qing social and institutional history. Michael Szonyi read two earlier versions of the book and made extensive, insightful, and challenging comments. Dialogue with him is always a stimulating experi- ence. I am also indebted to Wang Mingming. The sinological anthropol- ogy he advocates and is practicing, with a strong emphasis on historical process, inspires me to investigate Chinese society and culture from anthropological perspectives. Thanks are also due to Wang Chiu-kuei, Choi Chi-cheung, Chang Jianhua, John Lagerwey, Liang Hongsheng, and Qian Hang for having discussed ideas with me and shown interest in my project.
I want to thank the friends and colleagues who helped me over the past two decades in one way or another. During the many years for preparing this book, I benefited from dialogues with a number of colleagues, includ- ing especially Bian Li, Feng Xiaocai, Huang Guoxin, Huang Xiangchun, Li Ren-yuan, Liang Yongjia, Lin Feng, Lo Shih-chieh, Lu Xiqi, Puk Wing Kin, Rao Weixin, Sheng Jia, Donald Sutton, Tam Wai Lun, Wang Jianchuan, Wang Zhenzhong, Wei Deyu, Wen Chunlai, Wu Tao, Wu Hsin-chao, Xie Hongwei, Xie Shi, Ye Tao, Zhang Kan, Zhang Yahui, Zhang Yingqiang, Zhao Bingxiang, and Zheng Li. Chao Xiaohong helped me by making available an important text, a local gazeetter, for this study. Debate with Chen Jin- guo helped shape several key ideas presented in this book.
A workshop organized in Sibao in the summer of 2002 was made possi- ble partly by financial support from Ken Dean and Sun Yat-sen University. Chen Chunsheng, Liu Zhiwei, and Ching May Bo of Sun Yat-sen Univer- sity, Choi Chi-cheung of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (now at Chinese University of Hong Kong), Fan Jinmin of Nanjing Univer- sity, Liang Hongsheng of Jiangxi Normal Univesity, Huang Zhifan of Nan- chang University, and my colleagues at Xiamen University participated in
acknowledgements xv
the workshop. I am grateful to their comments. Some findings of the book were presented at the historical anthropology workshop organized by Sun Yat-sen University in the summer of 2002. I thank all the participants from their comments.
Part of the revision of this book was done while I was a visiting scholar at Harvard-Yenching Institute (2010–2011). I am grateful to the gener- ous support from the institute. A grant from the Research Foundation for Humanities and Social Science by the State Education Commission of PRC (grant number: 08JC770022), made it possible to revisit Sibao in the past five years. The book has also been supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (grant number: 2013221001).
I would also like to thank the Archive Museums of Changting, Liancheng, and Qingliu for allowing me to use local archives, especially those related to land reform. I need to acknowledge Zhou Xingdong for introducing to me Liancheng County’s land reform certificate archives. I also gratefully acknowledge the Sibao township government for their help during my stay in Sibao.
Thanks also due to Debra Soled for her expertise in copyediting and extensive comments. Qin Higley, Thomas Begley, and Michael Mozina provided helpful assistance in preparing the text for publication. Macabe Keliher improved my English and made some interesting comments. Kathy and Cora Dean took pains to polish the first chapter of the book. Lin Fan helped me resolve some technical problems with illustrations. Liu Jiacheng made the three genealogical figures in Chapter 5. Huo Renlong, Huang Xuechao, and Dong Qiankun helped me to make the two maps in Chapter 2. I am grateful to them. I would also like to this opportunity to thank the two anonymous reviewers of this book for their insightful comments.
Last but not the least, I am deeply indebted to my wife, Lai Haiyan, who provided invaluable support to this study from the very beginning. I also want to use this opportunity to thank my son, Jiajia, for all the happiness he brings to me.
Part one
confucIan rItuals In late ImPerIal chInese state and socIety
It was three o’clock on a cold winter morning in 2001. the Zougong temple of shangbao , a village in sibao township of liancheng county in the southeastern chinese province of fujian, was still filled with noise. Inside the temple, half a dozen musicians entertained the gods of the temple with string and wind instruments amid the suffo- cating smoke of burning incense. under the guidance of two lisheng (masters of rites), several elders from nearby villages entered the temple and, before the image of the main deity, performed serene rites. they offered incense, read sacrificial texts, presented sacrificial offerings, and, finally, sent the god on his journey back to heaven. after the performance ended, the temple was filled with the deafening sound of firecrackers.
for those with experience in chinese village life, the scene is not unfa- miliar. similar scenes of local elites performing rituals under the guidance of lisheng can be found in almost every region of china, and historical evidence of these practices abounds in local documents such as genealo- gies and ritual handbooks and in local gazetteers and collections of official statutes. yet the rites and the ritual specialists conducting those rites are still understudied. Who are these lisheng? Where are they from? Which rituals did they perform? What was their role in chinese village life? What is the historical context that made them and their texts possible? What do the introduction of lisheng and the transmission of their ritual traditions in the countryside tell us about larger social and cultural process of late imperial china?
this book examines the encounter between confucian rituals and chi- nese villagers, focusing on the sibao region from the ming dynasty (1368– 1644) through the communist revolution in 1949. By taking lisheng and rituals that they performed as the point of departure, the book recon- structs several key sociocultural processes in which confucian rituals were introduced to the sibao region and discusses how local society promoted and appropriated them. By examining the historical evolution of lisheng, as well as their liturgical manuscripts and ritual practices, this study explores the historical traces of their role in mediating the relationship
4 chapter one
between different institutions of local culture. these arenas of cultural activity, which changed over time, include lineage halls, offices of com- munity compacts, and temples to popular gods. this book demonstrates that the lisheng or, more precisely, gentry-cum-lisheng1 played a funda- mental role in shaping chinese culture at the local level and that they were the product of consistent efforts by the late imperial court and the gentry to promote and transform li (confucian rituals) in the chinese countryside.
more important, the study shows the nature and impact of the chinese villagers’ encounter with confucian rituals and the major mechanisms that facilitated this cultural encounter. the promotion of confucian ritu- als in the countryside greatly transformed rural social structures and local popular culture. It not only helped to create lineage and territorial organi- zations but also modified local temple systems and added a new layer of ritual tradition upon the previous ritual corpus. however, this was not a totally top-down process because local cultural elites showed remarkable agency in selecting and using confucian rituals as the symbol of court and gentry culture. their typical attitude toward ritual was syncretic rather than fundamentalist. finally, this cultural encounter was mediated by a group of masters of rites who had a strong interest not only in promoting court and gentry culture but in preserving local ritual traditions as well. their mediation facilitated the incorporation of confucian rituals and local ritual traditions and set in motion the process that I call “cultural hybridization.”
commoners, confucian rituals, and neo-confucianism
this book analyzes the encounter between confucian rituals and chinese villagers in the late imperial period—one of the most important episodes in the social and cultural history of the period. It not only involved dif- ferent social strata—from the imperial court to gentry and extending to the peasantry—and different levels of cultural hierarchy—imperial ortho- doxy, gentry culture, and local culture but also had tremendous effects on late imperial society and culture as a whole. the process had its origin in
1 “Gentry” is used here in its broadest sense to include all officials, degree holders, and title holders. “local elite,” as used in this study, refers to all members of gentry and other non-gentry elite who played dominant roles in local economic, social, and political life.
confucian rituals in late imperial chinese state and society 5
the evolution of ideas in the late imperial period. It is, therefore, necessary to present an overall review of the related intellectual developments.
“ceremonial rules do not extend to the common people” (li bu xia shuren ), says the Book of Rites.2 confucian rituals, the system of orthodox rituals as prescribed and promoted by confucians, had long been regarded as “second nature” to social classes above that of the shuren (commoners). the commoners were not expected to practice con- fucian rituals, not only because they did not have the necessary cultural background and ritual implements with which to perform these rituals but also because knowledge and performance of these rites were used to differentiate early chinese aristocrats and shidafu (scholar- officials) from commoners.
this situation gradually changed, most noticeably in the twelfth cen- tury, though earlier efforts had taken place to create ritual procedures for commoners. for instance, the voluminous official ritual compendium Kaiyuan li (rituals…