Bei­jing’s Ban­ner­men and Old Xuanwu Dis­trict

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Wang Hui­hui Edited by Mark Zuiderveld

In re­cent years, Bei­jing Pub­lish­ing Group has pub­lished a se­ries of books on Bei­jing’s his­tory, pre­sent­ing dif­fer­ent as­pects of the cap­i­tal to readers in the oral tra­di­tion.

Since Bei­jing be­came China's cap­i­tal, a mul­ti­tude of aca­demic ar­ti­cles, publi­ca­tions, lit­er­ary works and folk­lore has been spo­ken and writ­ten. In re­cent years, Bei­jing Pub­lish­ing Group has pub­lished a se­ries of books on Bei­jing's his­tory. These books have tried to doc­u­ment how Bei­jingers come to live in the city, how they feel and their re­flec­tions on their an­ces­tors. By un­cov­er­ing in- depth ob­ser­va­tions of the city, schol­ars have come to pro­vide a more com­pre­hen­sive un­der­stand­ing of its his­tory through Bei­jing's res­i­dents.

To leave Bei­jing with as many records as pos­si­ble, schol­ars have searched ev­ery cor­ner of the city, found rare ma­te­ri­als, valu­able files, car­ried out field in­ves­ti­ga­tions, and made full use of his­tor­i­cal ma­te­ri­als and oral records and folk lit­er­a­ture to con­duct fur­ther re­search. Zhaoxun jingjiao qiren she­hui (“to find the com­mu­nity of ban­ner­men in sub­ur­ban Bei­jing,” ban­ner­men re­fer to men who be­longed to the Eight Ban­ners of the Qing Dy­nasty) fo­cuses on the manors and prop­erty of the royal fam­ily and no­bil­ity, and zhuang­tou (coun­try es­tate man­agers) re­spon­si­ble for su­per­vi­sion and pro­duc­tion for the Eight Ban­ners of the Qing Dy­nasty (1644– 1911). Xuan­wuqu xi­aoshi zhiqian (“be­fore the dis­ap­pear­ance of Xuanwu Dis­trict”) re­views the his­tor­i­cal changes of Xuanwu Dis­trict (now in­te­grated with Xicheng Dis­trict), Bei­jing since 1949. Xueyuanlu shang (“on Xueyuan Road”) nar­rates the devel­op­ment and changes of Bei­hang Uni­ver­sity (BUAA) dur­ing the past 60 years and more since its estab­lish­ment. No doubt these books are a de­light for readers fond of Bei­jing's his­tory.

Zhaoxun Jingjiao Qiren She­hui

Zhaoxun jingjiao qiren she­hui is a book on the re­search of the marginal pop­u­la­tion in sub­ur­ban Bei­jing from the dual per­spec­tives of nar­ra­tion and lit­er­a­ture, writ­ten by Qiu Yuanyuan. Qiu is an as­so­ci­ate re­searcher at the In­sti­tute of His­tory of the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences. She stud­ies Qing Dy­nasty and Manchu his­tory, and has writ­ten Qing qianqi gongt­ing liyue yan­jiu ( The Court Rites and Mu­sic dur­ing the Early Qing). She turns to Bei­jing's sub­ur­ban vil­lages, and fo­cuses on the marginal pop­u­la­tion hid­ing there al­most for­got­ten by many—the ban­ner­men.

An­ces­tors of the ban­ner­men were zhuang­tou of the Eight Ban­ners of the Qing Dy­nasty. Zhuang­tou was dif­fer­ent from the Han land­lord, or inner city ban­ner­man, or sol­dier of the Eight Ban­ners. They op­er­ated the manors and lands, pressed for pay­ment of rental and su­per­vised pro­duc­tion for the royal fam­ily and no­bil­ity, be­com­ing an es­sen­tial

part of the Eight Ban­ners sys­tem. They might be ex­tremely rich but worked as ser­vants for gen­er­a­tions. Nowa­days, their his­tory is grad­u­ally fad­ing from mem­ory.

In the book, Qiu in­ves­ti­gates the com­mu­nity of ban­ner­men and the liv­ing con­di­tions of their de­scen­dants in sub­ur­ban Bei­jing through in­ter­views, field in­ves­ti­ga­tions and lit­er­ary re­search. The book il­lus­trates zhuang­tou to show off de­tails and un­lock the mem­o­ries of pre­vi­ous de­scen­dants. It also combs through records of zhuang­tou who re­ceived salaries from the feu­dal gov­ern­ment, rep­re­sents the his­tory of en­clo­sure and con­struc­tion of manors dur­ing the early Qing Dy­nasty, and al­lows readers to learn more about the scope and scale of royal manors dur­ing the late Qing Dy­nasty. In the mean­time, tak­ing the Shang fam­ily in Xi­apo­tun Vil­lage, Shunyi Dis­trict and the Yu fam­ily as ex­am­ples, both whose an­ces­tors were zhuang­tou, the book in­tro­duces their fam­ily sources, fam­ily lin­eage, and life of zhuang­tou’s de­scen­dants.

Qiu has in-depth re­flec­tion on ban­ner­men and civil­ians in the book. Ar­ti­cles in the book, such as “Ex­tremely Rich as a Ser­vant: The Dual Iden­ti­ties of Zhuang­tou as Ban­ner­men,” “Liv­ing Apart with­out Di­vid­ing up Fam­ily Prop­erty: The Par­tic­u­lar­ity of the Prop­erty in Land of Zhuang­tou” and “Ig­no­rance and Obliv­ion: The His­tor­i­cal Mem­ory of Ban­ner­men,” guide readers to learn more about the ban­ner­men in sub­ur­ban Bei­jing.

Xuan­wuqu Xi­aoshi Zhiqian

Xuan­wuqu xi­aoshi zhiqian records the in­ter­view with Huang Zong­han, and re­views the his­tor­i­cal changes of Bei­jing's orig­i­nal Xuanwu Dis­trict since 1949. It combs through Huang's per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence as an of­fi­cial of Xuanwu, his con­tri­bu­tions to the dis­trict's in­dus­try and cul­ture, and the nar­ra­tions of sev­eral other of­fi­cials on rel­e­vant events and fig­ures. On this ba­sis, the book sketches Xuanwu's his­tor­i­cal events from the per­spec­tive of wit­nesses, such as tak­ing over the place and trans­form­ing the hand­i­craft in­dus­try in 1949, large-scale steel-mak­ing in 1958, as well as building the Grand View Gar­den, and study­ing south­ern Xuanwu cul­ture af­ter the new re­forms and open­ing-up poli­cies in 1978.

The book also has bib­li­og­ra­phy sup­ple­ments, the ad­min­is­tra­tive di­vi­sion and evo­lu­tion of Bei­jing's outer city, work­ing in­sti­tu­tions of the Bei­jing Xuanwu Dis­trict Com­mit­tee of the CPC (1950–1967) and other ma­te­ri­als. Ar­ti­cles in the book, in­clud­ing “On the Civil­ian Cul­ture of Tian­qiao, Bei­jing” and “Ten­ta­tive Ideas on Restor­ing and Util­is­ing Xicheng's Guild Halls and Land­marks,” have be­come a proper end­ing to the book.

The book seem­ingly brings old Xuanwu Dis­trict back to life again for readers, thanks to its three au­thors. Among them, Ding Yizhuang is a his­tory doc­tor­ate who has re­searched Bei­jing's his­tory and Manchu stud­ies. In re­cent years, she has been com­mit­ted to the prac­tice and re­search of oral his­tory. With a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence on oral his­tory, Ding has pub­lished sev­eral mono­graphs, such as Shili­um­ing qiren funü de koushu lishi (“oral his­tory by sixteen ban­ner­women”), Lao bei­jin­gren de koushushi (“oral his­tory by Bei­jing lo­cals”) and Koushushi duben ( Read­ings in His­tory: Oral His­tory, co­com­piled with Wang Run). Ruan Dan­qing and Yang Yuan, co-au­thors of the book Xuan­wuqu xi­aoshi zhiqian, have also un­cov­ered a lot in their re­search find­ings.

Xueyuanlu Shang

BUAA is one of the eight ma­jor uni­ver­si­ties af­ter the found­ing of the Peo­ple's Repub­lic of China in 1949. Its devel­op­ment re­flects the cap­i­tal's devel­op­ment dur­ing the more than past 60 years from the per­spec­tive of a sci­ence and en­gi­neer­ing uni­ver­sity. Af­ter more than 60 years of devel­op­ment, BUAA suc­ceeds in stand­ing out from the eight uni­ver­si­ties on Xueyuan Road. Just as a hu­man's sur­vival de­pends on psy­chol­ogy and phys­i­ol­ogy, a uni­ver­sity also needs the co­or­di­na­tion and co­op­er­a­tion of var­i­ous dis­ci­plines, ma­jors and tal­ent of all lev­els, to main­tain sound devel­op­ment, with hu­man fac­tors as crit­i­cal ele­ments.

The au­thor of this book is Hu Maoren, pro­fes­sor of the School of Marx­ism of BUAA.

Hu is com­mit­ted to Marx­ist stud­ies, Mao Ze­dong Thought and so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics. To un­cover deep-rooted rea­sons, Hu in­ter­viewed over ten fac­ulty and staff mem­bers of BUAA, in­clud­ing both aca­demics of the Chi­nese Academy of Sciences and younger teach­ers. They spoke about the his­tory, man­age­ment the­ory, value ori­en­ta­tion, spir­i­tual pur­suit and work style of BUAA with sim­ple word­ing based on their own ex­pe­ri­ence. These in­ter­views show­cased BUAA'S devel­op­ment and change over the past more than 60 years, guid­ing lead­ers to in-depth thought and in­spi­ra­tion.

Zhaoxun jingjiao qiren she­hui (“to find the com­mu­nity of ban­ner­men in sub­ur­ban Bei­jing”)

Xuan­wuqu xi­aoshi zhiqian (“be­fore the dis­ap­pear­ance of Xuanwu Dis­trict”)

Xueyuanlu Shang (“on Xueyuan Road”)

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