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

The Construction of a “Wu Tradition” in the Yuan Dynasty

Wen-yi Chen

Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica

This article examines one specific form of local identity: the construction of a local tradition as part of a person’s identity, through a case study of Wu Prefecture (today’s Jinhua, Zhejiang Province) in the Yuan dynasty (1279-1367). It explores the cultural ideas behind this “tradition” and discusses the complex relationship between the local and the national in this ostensibly “localist” phenomenon. As a mode of expression in writing, the “local tradition” discourse was not specifically designed to foster local identity within a locality, but to present a person in the communications among trans-local literati. The prevalence of the “local tradition” discourse shows that “the local” had become an important conceptual framework for Yuan literati to conceive of and to organize their world.


Keywords: Wu Prefecture, tradition, local