Soulstealers: The Chinese Sorcery Scare of 1768

 
SOULSTEALERS
 
SOULSTEALERS
The Chinese Sorcery Scare of 1 768

Philip A. Kuhn

For Mary

 
Acknowledgments

Chinese colleagues have contributed to this book from beginning to
end. Wei Qingyuan of Chinese People's University and Ju Deyuan
of the First Historical Archives initiated me into many documentary
mysteries while they were in Cambridge as guests of the HarvardYenching Institute, and again later while I was pursuing this research
in Peking. Their friendship and courage have inspired me
throughout my work. Tai Yi, Wang Sizhi, and others at the Ch'ing
History Institute, Chinese People's University, offered warm hospitality and intellectual guidance. I owe a special debt to the directors
and staff of the Chinese archives, particularly Yan Yunsheng and Xu
Yipu (Peking), and Ch'ang P'i-te and Chuang Chi-fa (Taipei). That
China has opened her great repositories of Ch'ing documents to
researchers from all nations must rank as one of the great events in
the history of modern scholarship. We are only beginning to realize
its significance for our understanding of the human condition.

The National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China provided financial
support for my work at the archives during 1984. My colleagues at
Harvard's Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, along with the
staff of the Harvard-Yenching Library, were always encouraging. My
assistant, Elaine Mossman, was particularly helpful and resourceful.
I cannot adequately thank the generous friends who read the manuscript carefully and extensively: Prasenjit Duara, Lillian M. Li, Lin
Man-houng, Susan Naquin, Evelyn S. Rawski, Nathan Sivin, and James L. Watson. During her two years at the Fairbank Center,
Beatrice S. Bartlett shared with me her profound knowledge of the
Ch'ing communication system. Many others helped me solve particular problems: Daniel Bell, Peter Goldman, R. Kent Guy, Arthur
Kleinman, Patrick Tai (who ingeniously programmed my database),
Pei-yi Wu, and Judith Zeitlin. The project could never have been
completed without the able assistance of Chiang Yung-chen, Han
Ming, Kam Tak Sing (who worked out the transcriptions of Manchu
names), Luo Lida, Beata Tikor, Diana Wang, and Yang Jeou-yi. I am
grateful to Pat McDowell for preparing the maps and to Olive Holmes
for preparing the index. The editorial work of Elizabeth Gretz, of
Harvard University Press, was consistently insightful and sympathetic. Although all these friends saved me from many errors, those
remaining are entirely my own fault. My wife, Mary L. Smith, by
critical reading and staunch encouragement, has earned the dedication of this book many times over.

P.A.K.

Ipswich, Massachusetts

January iggo

 
Contents

1. Tales of the China Clipper r

2. The Prosperous Age
30

3. Threats Seen and Unseen
49

4. The Crime Defined
73

5. The Roots of Sorcery Fear
94

6. The Campaign in the Provinces rrg

7. On the Trail of the Master-Sorcerers
149

8. The End of the "frail
163

9. Political Crime and Bureaucratic Monarchy
187

10. Theme and Variations
223

Notes
235

Bibliography
269

Glossary 2
79

Index
289

 
MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS

Map of provincial administration in 1768, central and eastern China. xii

Map of lower Yangtze region, showing soulstealing incidents, spring
1768. xiii

Loading (lock at a silk plantation in Hu-thou, Chekiang Province. From
Thomas Alloni, China: Scenery, Architecture, Social Habits, &c., Illustrated, 2
vols. (London: London Printing and Publishing Company, [18-?]), I, facing
p. 137. 2

The walled city of Te-ch'ing. From Hu-thou fu-chih, 1673 ed. 4

Constable leading a prisoner. From Thomas Allom, China: Scenery, Architecture, Social Habits, &c., Illustrated, 2 vols. (London: London Printing and
Publishing Company, II, facing p. 81. 6

Entrance to a county yamen. From Tien-shih-chai hua-pao 28/yi.4 (Shanghai,
1884-1889; reprint, Hong Kong: Kuang-chiao ching, 1983). 8

A wandering Buddhist monk. From Nakagawa Chuei, Shinzoku kibun, 1799,
13.13. 10

The queue and the shaved forehead: a barber's stall. From Thomas Allom,
China: Scenery, Architecture, Social Habits, &c., Illustrated, 2 vols. (London:
London Printing and Publishing Company, [18-?]), I, facing p. 127. 13

Courtroom scene, showing the leg crusher. From Tien-shih-chai hua-pao
47/ting.b (Shanghai, 1884-1889; reprint, Hong Kong: Kuang-chiao ching,
1983). 14

The ankle-press. From Thomas Allom, China: Scenery, Architecture, Social
Habits, &c., Illustrated, 2 vols. (London: London Printing and Publishing
Company, [18-;,]), II, facing p. 85. 16

Various authorized torture ("punishment") implements. From Wang Ch'i,
San-ts'ai t'u-hui (1607; reprint, Taipei: Ch'eng-wen ch'u-pan-she, 1970). 17

Court in session at a provincial yamen. From Tien-shih-chai hua-pao
14/chia.3 (Shanghai, 1884-1889; reprint, Hong Kong: Kuang-chiao thing,
1983). i8

Hungli in middle age. From Ch'ing-tai ti-hou hsiang, series 2 (Peiping:
National Palace Museum, 1935). 50

Hungli in the saddle. From Ch'ing-tai ti-hou hsiang, series 2 (Peiping:
National Palace Museum, 1935). 52

Imperial hunt near Ch'eng-te, the summer capital. From Ch'eng-te ku chienchu (Peking: Chung-kuo chien-chu kung-yeh ch'u-pan-she, 1982), 8. 74

The Chin-shan temple complex at Ch'eng-te. From Ch'eng-te ku chien-chu
(Peking: Chung-kuo chien-chu kung-yeh ch'u-pan-she, 1982), 124• 75

The Tibetan-style potala at Ch'eng-te. From Ch'eng-le ku chien-chu (Peking:
Chung-kuo chien-chu kung-yeh ch'u-pan-she, 1982), 293. 75

A soul-calling ritual. From Henry Dore [Henri Dore], Researches into Chinese
Superstitions (Shanghai: 1"usewei Printing Press, 1918), V, facing p.
473. 100

Two builders' curses and an antidote. From Wu Jung and Chang Yen,
comps., and Chou Yen, ed., Lu-pan-ching chiang-chia-ching (Shanghai: Saoyeh Shan-fang, 1909), chap. 4. io6

A beggar makes a scene in front of an official's palanquin. From Tien-shihchai hua-pao 73/chia.9 (Shanghai, 1884-i 889; reprint, Hong Kong: Kuangchiao thing, 1983). 116

Governor Funihan's memorial of November 13, 1768 (detail), on the prosecution of soulstealing suspects, with Hungli's rescript at left. From Chu-p'i
tsou-the 86o.12, Ch'ien-lung 33.10.5, First Historical Archives of China,
Peking. Reproduced by kind permission of the First Historical Archives,
People's Republic of China. 18o

LOWER YANGTZE REGION

Showing Soulstealing Incidents, Spring, 1768

Other books

Maximum Ride Forever by James Patterson
Nurse Lang by Jean S. Macleod
Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
The Other Tudors by Philippa Jones
Taming Her Gypsy Lover by Christine Merrill
More Than Him by Jay McLean
(#15) The Haunted Bridge by Carolyn Keene
One Star-Spangled Night by Rogenna Brewer


readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2022