Supernatural in Chinese Religions


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I finished the proposal and the bibliography. And I receive the feedback from my professor, please make an adjustment about my essay. I choose the topic: gender role, that's what I am familiar with. Please following the instructions. Also, you can add more secondary sources.

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EALC 2740: The Supernatural in East Asian Cultures Final Essay Topics The final essay will constitute 40% of your grade for the course, split between two assignments. • November 25, 2019—Proposal and Annotated Bibliography—15% • December 13, 2019—Final Essay—25% Your proposal should be one and a half to two pages, double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font, one-inch margins. The proposal should summarize the direction and content of your argument. You may hold back your final conclusions, but you should have carefully considered the directions your argument might take based on a careful consideration of the evidence you have gathered. Be sure that your proposal does not simply repeat or introduce the topic. Delineate what examples you intend to use, and where. Try also to show the progression of your argument. The annotated bibliography should be a list of references that includes an explanation of how each source figures into your essay. Your argument should be based on internal evidence from within the primary sources you choose to interpret (the films, stories and plays). Contextualizing your argument within the historical background with secondary sources gives it weight, but be sure to use secondary sources in support of your own argument, not in lieu of your own argument. The topics below are meant to guide your initial inquiry. You will need to develop an argument within the topic. I suggest that you begin by choosing the texts you would like to analyze, and then choosing what sorts of questions you would like to ask of those texts. I advise against using less than two, or more than four primary texts. Make sure that your argument is focused enough to be provable within the space allotted. 1. Self-regulation: Analyze the ethic of self-discipline as prescribed in depictions of encounters between humans and supernatural beings. How does the story, through its structure and/or content, advise audiences against indulgence? How does the story simultaneously allow audiences to indulge in transgression through identification with primary characters? How does the structure of the story exemplify the discipline being prescribed in the story’s content? How is the prescription for self-regulation different across gender, age and social status? 2. Gender roles: Discuss representations of masculinity and femininity in one or more of the stories. You may choose to compare an original pre-modern text with a film adaptation, or to compare characters across a couple of stories. Whichever texts you choose, consider the intersection of supernatural beings and gender representation. For instance, what does the trope of the spirit enchantress say about gender relations? If you are considering a film adaptation— how does the modern version depict pre-modern gender roles? 3. Adaptation: Choose one of the literary text and film pairs. Consider one or more of the following questions in constructing your argument. How does the film version depict the past? Is the past meant to be an unfamiliar place where ordinary rules do not apply? Is the past depicted as being backward socially or culturally? How are gender relations depicted between the original and film adaptation? How does the medium of representation affect the story’s messages? If you are taking audience reception into account when analyzing the film, include information on ticket sales and distribution. Do not present a comparison of a story and film pair. Instead, focus in on a specific theme or character as the point of departure for your comparison. 4. Cross-Cultural Comparison: Use caution when considering this topic. It can easily lead into the pitfall of sweeping generalizations about national cultures that lack in-depth analysis and textual support. Remember that without doing extensive research, you cannot draw any conclusions about the cultures that produced the literature we have read. Instead, you may compare the representations of supernatural beings (fox spirits, snake spirits) within our course readings to analyze what similarities and differences in their portrayal and interactions with humans says about their intended audiences. STRANGE STORIES FROM A CHINESE STUDIO by Pu Sungling Translated by Herbert Giles 3rd edition, 1916 Scanned by Todd Compton The Demons of Blackwater River Carry Away the Master Art from E.T. C. Werner, Myths and Legends of China Preface by Todd Compton Introduction by Hebert Giles Section 1: Stories 1-25 Section 2: Stories 26-57 Section 3: Stories 58-103 Section 4: Stories 104-164 and Appendices The Flying Umbrellas Scanner’s Preface Following is a web-publication of the 3rd edition of Herbert Giles’ translation of P’u Sung-ling’s Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio, published in 1916. I read ghost stories in the Halloween season every year, and last year decided I would read P’u Sung-ling’s Strange Stories, and then, since it wasn’t available on the web (as far as I could see), thought I would scan it as I read it, and put it on my website. I include Giles’ notes, introduction and appendices. The notes for each story are found after the story. No scan is ever perfect, so if readers catch typos, please contact me at toddmagos [at] yahoo [dot] com. I have tried to follow Giles’ text exactly, including diacritical marks. In proper names, the apostrophe sometimes is ‘ and sometimes ’. Since accent marks in Giles’ transliteration system always refer to the letter before, it actually makes no difference whether the apostrophe is “forward” or “backward”-looking. (In Giles’ text, the apostrophe is always ‘.) My editing is minimal. However, Giles uses very big paragraphs, and I thought the book would be more readable if these were broken up into smaller paragraphs. Very occasionally, I add a footnote, for which I use capital letters (e.g., [A], [B]), to distinguish it from Giles’ footnotes. Giles was a great sinologist, but published the first edition of Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio in 1880, during the Victorian era.1[1] Thus, he left out many stories that were erotic or which were viewed as offensive, and he excised erotic or offensive passages from the stories he did translate. Two fine modern translations of P’u SungLing will give the reader a much more “complete” view of P’u: Denis C. & Victor H. Mair’s Strange Tales from Make-do Studio (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1989) and John Minford’s Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio (Penguin Classics 2006).2[2] For examples of passages excised from stories, see “The Painted Wall” and “The Painted Skin” below, in which I have included some of the excised passages, as translated by the Mairs and Minford, in footnotes. Nevertheless, Giles, for all his Victorian reserve, is a great translator, and his notes are superb, offering us an erudite, sometimes practical (as Giles lived for many years in China), and always fascinating introduction to Chinese culture, literature, philosophy, folklore and history. Of course, the translator’s notes are secondary to the Strange Stories themselves. These stories are almost all fantastic, but nevertheless offer a panoramic and almost realistic view of Chinese culture, from government hierarchy to the examination 1[1] Incidentally, this early edition is available at 2[2] See also Pu Sung-ling, Strange Tales from the Liaozhai Studio, 3 vols. (Beijing: People’s China Publishing House, 1997), which includes 194 tales. system to religion and ceremonial actions to favorite methods of relaxation (drinking bouts through the night, often with supernatural visitants, are common) to typical patterns of family life. For example, P’u offers considerable insight into the marriage customs of China. As readers of my website will know, I have written about nineteenth-century Mormon polygamy. Polygamy was widespread in China, and P’u Sung-ling’s Strange Stories often give penetrating insight into what this marriage system was like. In story LXI., “The Husband Punished,” a man named Ching has a liaison with a mysterious beautiful young woman, A-hsia. At one point, she demands marriage, and Ching is agreeable to the idea, but thinks that his first wife will be a problem: Then Ching began to reflect that if he married her [A-hsia] she would have to take her place in the family, and that would make his first wife jealous; so he determined to get rid of the latter, and when she came in he began to abuse her right and left. His wife bore it as long as she could, but at length cried out it were better she should die; upon which Ching advised her not to bring trouble on them all like that, but to go back to her own home. He then drove her away, his wife asking all the time what she had done to be sent away like this after ten years of blameless life with him. Ching, however, paid no heed to her entreaties, and when he had got rid of her he set to work at once to get the house whitewashed and made generally clean, himself being on the tip-toe of expectation for the arrival of Miss A-hsia. Ching expects problems, serious tensions between the wives, in polygamy, so gets rid of the first wife. Concubines were an established part of the Chinese marriage system. In a note to story LVI, “Dr. Tsêng’s Dream,” Giles writes, “It is not considered quite correct to take a concubine unless the wife is childless, in which case it is held that the proposition to do so, and thus secure the much-desired posterity, should emanate from the wife herself.” However, the concubine lacked the status and legal safeguards of a full wife. In “Dr. Tsêng’s Dream,” the male protagonist has been reborn as a female (and the narrator continues to call him “he” even though he had become a “she”!): At fourteen years of age he was sold to a gentleman as concubine; and then, though food and clothes were not wanting, he had to put up with the scoldings and floggings of the wife, who one day burnt him with a hot iron. Later, the wife falsely accuses him/her of murder, and he/she is tortured to death. Story XLI., “Ta-Nan In Search Of His Father,” begins with these sentences: HSI CH‘ANG-LIEH was a Ch‘êng-tu man. He had a wife and a concubine, the latter named Ho Chao-jung. His wife dying, he took a second by name Shên, who bullied the concubine dreadfully, and by her constant wrangling made his life perfectly unbearable, so that one day in a fit of anger he ran away and left them. Shortly afterwards Ho gave birth to a son, and called him Ta-nan; but as Hsi did not return, the wife Shên turned them out of the house, making them a daily allowance of food. Clearly, in medieval China, the concubine was often treated badly by the full wife or wives. There is a happy polygamous family in story LXVI, “The Tipsy Turtle.” Fêng, the hero, is thrown in jail by a Prince Su and is released because one of Su’s daughters has fallen in love with him. In a western fairy tale, he might now marry the Princess, end of story; but in this Chinese fairy tale, there is a complication: he is already married, and he refuses to become a polygamist out of consideration for the first wife: Fêng was accordingly liberated, and was also informed of the determination of the Princess, which, however, he declined to fall in with, saying that he was not going thus to sacrifice the wife of his days of poverty, and would rather die than carry out such an order. He added that if His Highness would consent, he would purchase his liberty at the price of everything he had. So Fêng must be arrested once again, and one of the palace concubines prepares to murder the first wife: The Prince was exceedingly angry at this, and seized Fêng again; and meanwhile one of the concubines got Fêng’s wife into the palace, intending to poison her. Fêng’s wife, however, brought her a beautiful present of a coral stand for a lookingglass, and was so agreeable in her conversation, that the concubine took a great fancy to her, and presented her to the Princess, who was equally pleased, and forthwith determined that they would both be Fêng’s wives. Giles notes that this kind of happy resolution often occurs in Chinese fiction, but rarely in real life. For another perspective on Chinese polygamy, see Zhang Yimou’s 1991 film Raise the Red Lantern, which is based on the novel Wives and Concubines (1990) by Su Tong. This provides a profoundly bleak view of relations between wives in plural marriage. But the Strange Stories are above all a wild phantasmagoria of ghosts, were-foxes, were-tigers (even one were-turtle), demons, sorcerors (often, in P’u, Taoist priests), psychic transmigrations, and journeys into the underworld and other levels of reality (as in the famous “Painted Wall”). These kinds of stories were very popular in China, and had been so for centuries, perhaps millennia.3[3] The literary tradition goes back to the early A.D. centuries, but the popular tradition probably goes back much earlier. 3[3] See Anthony C. Yu, “‘Rest, Rest, Perturbed Spirit!’ Ghosts in Traditional Chinese Prose Fiction,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 47, No. 2 (Dec. 1987): 397-434; Michael Loewe, Chinese Ideas of Life and Death: Faith, Myth and Reason P’u Sung-ling’s tales are the culmination of this tradition of supernatural and strange tales. P’u’s “strange stories from a leisure studio” are told beautifully, with great concision and elegance. The heroes and heroines spring to life in just a few paragraphs. The Western reader will be continually surprised both by fantastic turns of plot and by unexpected elements of Chinese culture that often serve as the basis for the development of the fantastic situation. The heroes of the Western tradition of fantasy are often kings or warriors (or adventurous peasants or hobbits). But many of the heroes of P’u Sung-ling’s tales are scholars down on their luck, who have not risen to prestige through the examination system, often because the system is corrupt. (For example, see story XCII. “Smelling Essays.”) It is refreshing to see scholars who can cap a verse in a drinking bout or write a brilliant essay at the drop of a hat as dashing protagonists. As something of a scholar down on my luck myself (entirely due to the failings of our present academic system, of course), I am very fond of these scholars who are driven to tutoring or fortune-telling to survive financially. The reader of Western ghost stories will find many ghosts and (were)foxes and malevolent supernatural beings in these tales; but he or she will undoubtedly be surprised at how often P’u combined the ghost story with romance (an ancient Chinese theme). Our scholar heroes often marry the beautiful revenants who visit them as they are trying to study (Chinese ghosts are usually quite corporeal, not seethrough wraiths at all). And these ghost-brides often make good wives, who work hard and are dutiful daughters-in-law to their husbands’ mothers. They also bear fine children. Hopefully, this scan of the Strange Tales will help introduce readers to the endlessly entertaining and enlightening world of P’u Sung-ling.4[4] in the Han Period (202 B.C.-A.D. 220) (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1982); Karl S.Y. Kao, ed. Classical Chinese Tales of the Supernatural and the Fantastic: Selections form the Third to the Tenth Century (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985); Y.W. Ma and Joseph S. M. Lau, Traditional Chinese Stores: Themes and Variations (Boston: Cheng & Tsui Co., 1986); Alvin P. Cohen, Tales of Vengeful Souls: A Sixth Century Collection of Chinese Avenging Ghost Stories (Taipei-ParisHongkong: Institut Ricci, 1982); and Kenneth J. DeWoskin and J.I. Crump, Jr., In Search of the Supernatural: The Written Record (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996), a translation of a book written by Kan Pao in approximately 335-345 A.D. 4[4] For further on P’u Sung-ling, see Chun-shu Chang and Shelley Hsueh-lun Chang, Redefining History: Ghosts, Spirits, and Human Society in P’u Sung-ling’s World, 1640-1715 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998); Judith T. Zeitlin, Historian of the Strange: Pu Songling and the Chinese Classical Tale (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1997); H. C. Chang, tr., Tales of the Supernatural, 3rd volume in the series Chinese Literature (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984), which has a valuable introduction. INTRODUCTION by Herbert Giles [p. xi] THE barest skeleton of a biography is all that can be formed front the very scanty materials which remain to mark the career of a writer whose work has been for the best part of two centuries as familiar throughout the length and breadth of China as are the tales of the “Arabian Nights” in all English-speaking communities. The author of “Strange Stories” was a native of Tzŭ-ch’uan, in the province of Shantung. His family name was P’u; his particular name was Sung-ling, and the designation or literary epithet by which, in accordance with Chinese usage, he was commonly known among his friends, was Liu-hsien, or “Last of the Immortals.” A further fancy name, given to him probably by some enthusiastic admirer, was Liu-ch’üan, or “Willow Spring”, but he is now familiarly spoken of simply as P’u Sung-ling. We are unacquainted with the years of his birth or death; however, by the aid of a meagre entry in the History of Tzŭ-ch’uan it is possiblee to make a pretty good guess at the date of the former event. For we are there told that Pu Sung-ling successfully competed for the lowest or bachelor’s degree before he had reached the age of twenty; and that in 1651 he was in the position of a graduate of ten years’ standing, having failed in the interim to take the second, or master’s, degree. To this [p. xii] failure, due, as we are informed in the history above quoted, to his neglect of the beaten track of academic study, we owe the existence of his great work; not, indeed, his only production, though the one; by which, as Confucius said of his own “Spring and Autumn,”1 men will know him. All else that we have on record of P’u Sung-ling, besides the fact that he lived in close companionship with several eminent scholars of the day, is gathered from his own words, written when, in 1679, he laid down his pen upon the completion of a task which was to raise him within a short period to a foremost rank in the Chinese world of letters. Of that record I here append a close translation, accompanied by such notes as are absolutely necessary to make it intelligible to non-students of Chinese. AUTHOR’S OWN RECORD “Clad in wistaria, girdled with ivy”;2 thus sang Ch’ü-P’ing[3] in his Falling into Trouble.4 Of ox-headed devils and serpent Gods,5 he of the long-nails[6] never wearied to tell. Each interprets in his own way the music of heaven[7] and whether it be discord or not, depends upon, antecedent 1 Annals of the Lu State. 2 Said of the bogies of the hills, in allusion to their clothes. Here quoted with reference to the official classes, in ridicule of the title under which they hold posts which, from a literary point of view, they are totally unfit to occupy. 3 A celebrated statesman (B.C. 332-295) who, having lost his master’s favour by the intrigues of a rival; finally drowned himself in despair. The annual Dragon Festival is said by some to be a “Search” for his body. The term San Lü used here was the name of an office held by Ch’ü-P’ing. 4 A-poem addressed by Ch’ü-P’ing to his Prince, after his disgrace. Its non-success was the immediate cause of his death. 5 That is, of the supernatural generally. 6 A poet of the Tang dynasty whose eyebrows met, whose nails were very long, and who could write very fast. 7 “You know the music of earth,” said Chuang Tzŭ; “but you hav ...
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Gender Roles in Chinese Society- Outline
Thesis statement: To comprehensively understand the contemporary gender roles in china, it is
important to take some steps back in history and look into how the beliefs and traditions have
helped in shaping the contemporary China. It is also important to consider gender inequality, the
gap between men and women as well as the one child policy in the contemporary china.
I. Men gender roles
A. Dominate
B. Working hard
C. Being assertive
II. Women gender roles
A. Give birth to only sons
B. Caregivers
C. Mothers
D. Contemporary they study, work and even rule
III. Chinese view on gayism
A. Example of the Fujian during Ming and Qing dynasty
IV. Gender gap between men and women in china

A. More men than women
V. One Child Policy
A. Forced abortion and sterilizations
B. Forced to give birth to only sons
C. Led to gender imbalance
VI. Gender equality
A. Several laws led to gender equality in China
B. Females becoming more better than men


Gender Roles in Chinese Society




Gender Roles in Chinese Society
Over the past few decades, the traditional Chinese views on gender roles have been much
challenged, and there is a need for equality. Traditionally women were considered weak, soft and
pervasive, so they acted the caregivers, mothers and were to be obedient towards men (Cheung,
1996). Men, on the other hand, were expected to be assertive responsible and dominant. Today
on China, women are respected (Hu & Scott, 2016). They are the majority of university students,
comprise a significant percentage of doctors, and police officers. To comprehensively understand
the contemporary gender roles in China, it is essential to take some steps back in history and look
into how the beliefs and traditions have helped in shaping contemporary China. It is also
important to consider gender inequality, the gap between men and women, as well as the onechild policy in modern china.
Men Gender Roles in Chinese Society
In China, being a man comes with a lot of weight. One of the first important things about
being male in China is that they are supposed to be the head of the house. This means that they
have control over every aspect of their families' lives, and in most cases, they are the sole
providers (Chen, 2018). They are also expected to continue their families' bloodline. Being male,
they have to be dominant, responsible and assertive for taking care of the wife and children. As a
result of the one-child policy, a lot of men in china are doing their best to ensure they have a boy.
This led to gender imbalance, the reason why there are more men in China than women.
For many reasons, this up to this day, many Chinese families preferred sons over
daughters. One of the reasons is because the son would carry the family surname to future
generations while the daughter could not (Cheng, 1996). As a result, infanticide and later on,



abortions, of females were widespread. Also, men of higher status back in the day had multiple
wives, each on a scale of preference. Whichever wife bore him a son would be more highly
preferred while the wife of the lowest choice would pretty much be equivalent to a prostitute.
Nowadays, men and women in China are a lot more equal (Chen, 2018). The marriages are
traditional in the Western sense of one man to one woman, and the nuclear family is prevalent. In
the rural areas, boys may still be preferred over girls, but in the urban areas, it doesn't matter
Women Gender Roles in Chinese Society

It is well known that the continuation of the family is essential in traditional Chinese
value. Therefore; women are still considered as "resources" to a certain degree, given the role
they play in human reproduction. However, the economic explosion in the last 30 years has
opened many jobs for women in China, and the stronger independent women can create and run
their businesses (Tang & Chua, 2010). However, at home, Confucian rules apply. The woman's
primary role is to provide a son and do the cooking and cleaning. Failure to not give a son in
many cases is viewed as a justification for divorce.

Culturally, Chinese women are expected to work just like men (unlike many American
women who just stay at home). Historically, Chinese women have also been able to wield high
power over the country, either by direct rule (e.g. Empress Wu Zetian) or by controlling the heir
as a puppet (e.g. Empress Cixi) (Cheung, 1996). Furthermore, women are perceived as wife,
mother, as in the nurturer, or caregiver. At least some of them are doing a fantastic job of being
someone's wife, and someone's mother in the framework of family. They are also nurturers by a
broader sense; they teach, write, work, cure, plan, draw, and whatnot. However, this is certainly



not the whole picture, especially in such an ever-changing society. Hence, there are also a fair
proportion of women who are not content with being a nurturer any more. Instead, they are more
interested in being a leader, creator, and fighter, which means they have to put 200% efforts or
more to maintain a balance between career and family (China, 2000). As a woman, you would be
seen as a loser if you failed either of the two.
Chinese View of Gayism
Chinese people previously consider gays somewhat acceptable. There had been some
kind of marriage between two men in Fujian during Ming and Qing dynasty. At that time men
had more rights than women, so one can marry a woman to get kids as well as marry his male
lover while some lesbians refused to go into marriage and lived with their female lovers, called
Zishu Women (Hu & Scott, 2016). However, the Qing dynasty collapsed, and the old Western
Christianity thoughts that labelled gay as sin flowed in. It still casts long shadows in modern
China. Cultural Revolution did not significantly change it.
Several writers noted that the status of women was reduced in some ways. There were no
more women in the top leadership after the fall of the Gang of Four. There was also a return of
women dressing and acting in a more typically female way, mostly with imitations of Western
fashions (China, 2000). Relative equality under Mao had also meant a rather masculinized unisex
look. One which was a heritage of the Communist rise to power and their rejection of both
traditions and imitations of the West). There was also a gradual relaxation in attitudes to sex
outside marriage and to...

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