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Envisioning Chinese Society in the Late Nineteenth Century:
Words and Images from the Dianshizhai Pictorial


Introduction: The Dianshizhai Pictorial and Print Culture in Shanghai

Click on each item to read the news story and learn more (hint: roll over the illustration.)

A Love of Cricket Fighting
A refined gentleman indulges in a popular late imperial pastime: gambling on cricket fights.  The setting opens a window onto Yangzhou society and culture; Chinese leisure, gaming and etiquette; and changes in urban life and the commercial economy in the late nineteenth century.
temple bell The Temple Bell that Wouldn't Ring
Wealthy pilgrims of both sexes flock around a charismatic Buddhist monk, but his pet project exhibits a fatal flaw.  Does the story and the depiction of his temple reveal more about him, however, or about prevalent literati attitudes towards religion and gender?
Muddleheaded Magistrate
Deciding that a little playful self-mockery is the best way to show his love for the people, an official creates a stir at a local festival.  The detailed depiction of the result shows off urban street culture, ritual, architecture, clothing and more.
eating Eating All There Is, One After Another
A practice that apparently supersedes the boundaries of time and place – skipping out on the bill – offers an opportunity to examine restaurant and food culture in several different aspects
hongxian Hongxian Lives on
A thief is surprised in a most unusual way, inspiring the Dianshizhai writers and artists to exceed themselves in presenting an exciting tale to their readers.  The result opens a door to the world of martial-arts fiction, its antecedents and permutations.







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China in Boston Culture and History China at BC Travel and Study Abroad
China in Boston Culture and History China at BC Travel and Study Abroad