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A study on analyzing the relationship between the theatrical performances at the chamber of commerce and the merchants of the Ming-Qing dynasty

  • The Journal of Chinese Cultural Studies
  • 2009, (15), pp.433-445
  • DOI : 10.18212/cccs.2009..15.024
  • Publisher : The Society For Chinese Cultural Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature > Chinese Literature > Chinese Culture

Mikyung Cha 1

1숙명여자대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

The period of Ming-Qing dynasty in the Chinese history is well represented as the time of economic development in terms of quantity and quality of trades. The small and medium cities known as the shizhen(市镇) had been densely clustered near the cannel zone to be portrayed as acinus of grapes. These cities had been networked through road system and closely interacted through trades. The boundary of trades had been expanded even to the remote regions beyond city limits and the magnitude of merchants' traffic had been dramatically increased. The merchants had even developed the distributional networks of their own. Since the merchants had to travel remote regions far from home provinces to trade, they had been motivated to form a social associations based on the spirit of cooperation and goodwill to overcome the difficulties laid upon them. The merchants who share same home state, province, and prefecture or who engage in same type of business had organized their own chamber of commerces in big cities like Beijing(北京)or Suzhou(苏州). Typically, the chamber of commerce had the spaces for business, dwelling, shrine, and theatrical stage with audience stand. It is quite natural to wonder why the chamber of commerce, regarded as the home town by the merchants in foreign cities, had a space for the theatrical stage with audience stand. More specifically, what did the theatrical performances inside the chambers have to do with the merchants of the Ming-Qing dynasty? With historical perspective in mind, I have made an attempt to analyze the implication and influence of the chamber performances in the Ming-Qing dynasty to the development process of the Chinese theatrical performances.

Citation status

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