2012 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226


Some Questions about Chinese Pawn History

Qiugen Liu

Center for the Study of the Sung Dynasty, Hebei University

Since mortgage trade reappeared in China in 1987, attention has been paid again to its study. But there are shortcomings in the several works that  appeared. This paper purports to comment on four of such books, including mainly The Manual of the Chinese Pawn (1998)a text on the origins and development of the Chinese pawn. My discussion concerns the following topics: first, the origin of the Chinese pawn; second, the history of the pawn of temple; third, the different kinds of pawn in Chinese history; fourth, the business and system of the Chinese pawn; fifth, an analysis of the specific aspects of Chinese pawn, such as pawn deposit, state-owned  pawn, pawn person, obsolete mortgage goods, etc. This paper points out the shortcomings of these works and explains their causes. They are caused mainly by the lack of historical materials and by the rashness of  historians to jump to conclusion. The Manual, however, is still an important work that will offer references for pawn management in China today.


Keywords: pawn, pawnstore, temple, ChangSheng storehouse,  mortgage on estate, usurer’s capital, deposit