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Book Cover
Author Johnson, Linda Cooke.

Title Women of the conquest dynasties : gender and identity in Liao and Jin China / Linda Cooke Johnson
Published Honolulu, T.H. : University of Hawai'i Press, 2011


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 MELB  305.40951 Joh/Wot  AVAILABLE
Description xxxiii, 254 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents Womanly ideals in the Liao and Jin periods -- Liao women's daily lives -- Jin women's daily lives -- Sexuality and marriage -- Widowhood and chastity -- Warrior women -- Private affairs
Summary China's Historical Women warriors hailed from the northeast (Machuria) during the Liao (907-1125) and Jin (1115-1234) dynasties. Celebrated in the Liao History, their independence and martial spirit were "unprecedented." They rode horseback astride, were good at hunting and shooting, and were took part in military battles. Several empresses-and one famous bandit chief-led armies against the enemy Song state. This book represented a groundbreaking effort to survey the customs and lives of these women from the Kitan and Jurchen tribes, who maintained their native traditions of horsemanship, militancy, and sexual independence while excelling in writing poetry and prose and earning praise for their Buddhist piety and Confucian ethics. Although mush work has been devoted in the last few years to Chinese women of various periods, this is the first volume to incorporate recent archaeological discoveries and information drawn from Liao and Jin paintings as well as literary sources and standard historical accounts.Conquest women combined agency and assertiveness drawn from steppe traditions with selected aspects of Chinese culture such as ethics and literacy. Empress Chengtian led Liao armies to victory against the Song, successfully ran the state for thirty years during her son's reign, and enjoyed a lengthy and public liaison with her prime minister. Empress Yingtian, the wife of the Liao founder and his assistant in military affairs, famously refused to comply with, the steppe custom of following one's husband in death; in stead she cut off her right hand and placed it in the late emperor's coffin as a promise to join him later. These confident and talented women were rarely submissive in matters of sexuality and spouse selection, but they were subject to the restrictions of marriage and the levirate if widowed.The women of the northeast stand in vivid contrast to their counterparts in the south, where female identity was molded by a millennia of Confucian ethics and women were increasingly sequestered in the home and constrained by concepts of virtue. This book provides new insights into the history of steppe patterns of feminine behavior and reveals new areas of comparative study
Notes Formerly CIP. Uk
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Women -- China -- Manchuria -- History.
Manchuria (China) -- History -- To 1500.
LC no. 2011006613
ISBN 0824834046 (hbk.)
9780824834043 (hbk.)