Local Patrons of Buddhist Canon Printing in Southeast China during the Song-Yuan Period

Thursday, January 5, 2017: 1:50 PM
Room 502 (Colorado Convention Center)
Kaiqi Hua, University of California, Merced
This paper is based on donors’ lists attached to sutras from the Puning and Qisha Canons, dated from the 1200s to 1300s. Preliminary research shows that these donors were laypeople who did not follow one particular religious sect such as the White Cloud or White Lotus. They were local landowners, gentry, and artisans. They were not from big regional cities, but concentrated in market towns of the agricultural hinterland in the Hang(zhou)-Jia(xing)-Hu(zhou) Plain, a subregion of China’s prosperous Jiangnan region. These market towns emerged and expanded in the Song-Yuan transitional period, along with the development of local canal networks. The Song and Yuan states had limited influence over these socially autonomous market towns. This paper uses data analysis to depict the social structure down to the village level, which shows the patterns of resource distribution through regional networks.