Chinese Landscapes: The Village As Place

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Ronald G. Knapp
University of Hawaii Press, 1992 - Political Science - 313 pages
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"The studies collected in this volume were written by anthropologists, architects, geographers, historians, a sociologist, and a veterinary ecologist. Taken together they form an exceptionally coherent survey of Chinese villages, ranging from the dry north to the humid southeast and southwest of this vast country. Going beyond books on Chinese vernacular architecture that focus on individual dwellings, this work examines the village ensemble itself, the various settings for the habitation, work, and leisure of China's large rural population." "Discussions of design, spatial layout, physical setting, settlement patterns, geomantic principles (fengshui), and evolutionary patterns set the stage for eighteen village case studies. Many villages still preserve characteristics that evoke a respect for and understanding of "old China," while others expose the drastic metamorphosis of recent decades. Villages are examined as places, emphasizing that which is visible; each village has its own order and complex of natural and human elements. Chinese Landscapes, though it focuses on the physical appearance of individual villages as they are situated within the constellation that comprises the Chinese landscape, suggests much about more general social, economic, and political patterns."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
 

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Chinese landscapes: the village as place

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China lives in its villages, but there is no prototypical village. The variety of village designs, settlement patterns, housing forms, cultural practices, and economic activities is as variegated as ... Read full review

Contents

Chinas Rural Settlement Patterns
13
Village FengshuiPrinciples
35
Tradition
63
Compact with Ecological Planning
95
A Place of Rivers and Lakes
119
A Historic Market Town
139
Subterranean Villages
151
Unique Habitats
163
A Transformed Village
211
Harmony between Humans Environment and the Supernatural
221
A Corporate Community
233
Migration and Village Renewal
245
Habitat in the Red Basin
259
Cash Crops and New Houses
269
From Farm to Factory
279
References
295

A Relict with a Future?
173
Introductory Perspectives
189
Contributors
307
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Page 1 - Hue says very truly that it is easy to form perfectly opposite ideas of the population of China, according to the route by which you traverse it. If, for example, in the central provinces you travel along the roads, you would be led to believe the country much less populous than it really is. The villages are few and far between, and the waste lands so considerable, that you might at times fancy yourself in the deserts of Tartary.
Page 1 - ... less populous than it really is. The villages are few and far between, and the waste lands so considerable, that you might at times fancy yourself in the deserts of Tartary. But traverse the same province by the canals or rivers, and the aspect of the country is entirely changed. Often you pass huge cities, containing not less than two or three millions of inhabitants, whilst smaller towns and great villages follow each other in almost uninterrupted succession. The valley through which the Yang-tse...

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