2018 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226


Family and Community in Pucheng at the Turn of Tang and Song Dynasties

Xiu-an Wu

Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica

The rise of southern China was one of the most important historical shifts of the Tang and Song periods, in which the evolution of Fujian from a dangerous and distant place to a prosperous region has received the most academic attention. However, regional differences between the coastal and inland areas in the development of Fujian should be noted. During the Tang Dynasty, Jianzhou, located in the inland area, developed more slowly in social and cultural aspects than Fuzhou and Quanzhou, located in the coastal areas. But during the Northern Song Dynasty this trend was reversed. Especially in Pucheng, several outstanding scholars and families appeared in the early Song Dynasty. Therefore, study of the social changes of Pucheng at the turn of Tang and Song dynasties helps to understand the rise of Fujian. This article first examines the countryside organization of Pucheng in the Tang and Song dynasties to establish the geographical basis for the analysis of its local communities. Then, the background, distribution and evolution of the local families at the turn of the dynasties are examined. At the end of the Tang Dynasty, due to local turmoil, a number of local tyrants with their own military forces emerged in Pucheng. Some of these were aboriginals, and some were immigrants, who were not from northern China but from Zhejiang and Jiangxi. Their base areas were outside the county, and their local despotic forces were based on farming. They were successively absorbed by the Fuzhou and Jinling regime during the Min and Southern Tang periods. Most were granted status as central or local military officers. But there were a number of family members who abandoned their swords for the brush, the Yang family being an early case. There were also close marriage relationships among these families in the Tang and Song Dynasties. By the Northern Song Dynasty the local tyrants of Pucheng had been transformed into scholarly families except for the Fan family.


Keywords: the turn of Tang and Song dynasties, Pucheng, family transformation, local community