Wang_Ming Princes and Daoist Ritual

February 3, 2018 | Author: Shum Shyam Howard | Category: Confucianism, Emperor Of China, Prince, Nobility, International Politics
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Daoist Rituals and Princes in the Ming Dynasty (Chinese Religions)...



T’oung Pao 95 (2009) 51-119

Ming Princes and Daoist Ritual Richard G. Wang* (University of Florida)

Abstract This essay explores the relationship between the patronage of Ming princes and local Daoism, focusing on ritual. While the role of Ming princes in local religion is an under-appreciated subject, this essay demonstrates that their support is crucial to our understanding of Daoism during that period. The efforts of princes made local Daoist ritual visible. In fact, they occupied an important role in propagating Daoism as an element of cultural and religious identity. Moreover, by different approaches to Daoist ritual, the Ming princes represented the various religious and social needs of lay patrons in the local community.

Résumé Cet article explore la relation entre le patronage des princes Ming et le taoïsme local, en s’attachant plus particulièrement au rituel. Alors qu’on tend à sous-estimer le rôle des princes Ming dans le domaine des religions locales, l’article montre que prendre en compte leur soutien est décisif pour notre compréhension du taoïsme pendant cette période. Les efforts des princes ont rendu visible les rituels taoïstes au niveau local. Ils ont en fait joué un rôle important dans la propagation du taoïsme comme élément d’identité culturelle et religieuse. En outre, par leurs approches différentes du rituel taoïste les princes Ming étaient représentatifs de la variété des demandes religieuses et sociales des laïques au sein de la communauté locale.

Keywords Ming princes, Daoist ritual, Divine Music Abbey, patron, ordination

* I wish to express my gratitude to Vincent Goossaert and Ken Dean for their invaluable suggestions. I also thank John Lagerwey for having provided me with generous comments. Finalizing this article was supported by a grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange. © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009

DOI: 10.1163/008254309X12586659061488


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Introduction Besides studying the thought of some Daoist thinkers and being interested in Daoist sects, scholars of Ming Daoism have paid particular attention to the interaction between the court and certain Daoist priests and to the political results of such interaction. That is to say, the focus has been on either emperors or Daoist masters. Yet in the Ming era a special group of people patronized Daoism and Daoist establishments: they were the members of the imperial clan who were enfeoffed as “princes” (wang 䌳). Edward Farmer rightly observes that, together with the military nobility, the status of the Ming princes “was hereditary, and they outranked the civil officials in ceremonial and social standing.”1 This group was so large that the princely estates (wangzhuang 䌳匲) granted to them, or established by them, were economically quite significant.2 Ming princes played an important cultural role as well by promoting the development of local religions.3 The relationship between their group and religions, in particular local religions, has received very little academic attention. This essay explores the interaction between Ming princes as religious patrons and local Daoism, focusing on ritual institutions and practice. I will first examine the Ming princely patronage of Daoism focusing on princely ritual institutions, including the “Divine Music” institution. Then I will discuss three groups of Ming princes: those who joined the Daoist order by receiving ordination or were initiated into the neidan lineages; the activist patrons; and ordinary patrons. Although I will be only dealing with ritual, it should be noted that the Ming princely patronage of Daoism included many other aspects, such as writing books on and practicing Daoist selfcultivation; princely printing, collecting, handcopying or reading of Daoist canonical books; patronage of temples; participation in religious associations; friendship with Daoists; literary patronage; and the 1)

Farmer, Early Ming Government, p. 58. See also Hucker, “Ming Government,” p. 29. For a general discussion of Ming princely estates, see Shimizu, Mindai tochi seidoshi, pp. 15-36, 44-90, 157-204; Wan Guoding, “Mingdai zhuangtian,” pp. 295-310; Zheng Kesheng, Mingdai zhengzheng, pp. 87-184, 205-221; Wang Yuquan, “Mingdai de wangfu zhuangtian,” pp. 110-242; Li Longqian, “Mingdai zhuangtian de fazhan,” pp. 346-430; Huang Miantang, Mingshi guanjian, pp. 159-233. 3) For a discussion of the cultural impact of Ming princes, see Du Yue, “Mingdai zongshi de wenhua chengjiu,” pp. 88-93; Su Derong, “Mingdai zongshi wenhua,” pp. 21-24. 2)

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adoption of Daoist sobriquets. I should also point out that many Ming princes patronized Buddhism as well, simultaneously with Daoism.4 This essay argues that, while the promotion of Daoism was a national policy of the Ming court, in particular during the Jiajing reign (1522-66), the activities and maintenance of local Daoist institutions were the result of royal support from princely establishments. Ming princes were barred from any serious political or military engagement, but they were ex officio managers of state rituals at the local level, with Daoist priests as key performers, and for this reason they became very closely involved in Daoist clerical and liturgical life. While the role of Ming princes in local religion is an under-appreciated subject, this article shows that the princedom served to mediate between official religious policy and the commoners’ interests. In the Ming tradition, all the sons of an emperor, with the exception of the crown prince, were invested as Imperial Princes (qinwang 奒䌳). The eldest son by the principal wife of an imperial prince became his Designated Heir (shizi ᶾ⫸); other sons were entitled to the lesser title of Commandery Prince (junwang 悉䌳). In turn, the eldest son by the principal wife of a commandery prince became Designated Heir of the Commandery Prince (junwang shizi 悉䌳ᶾ⫸); other sons were entitled to the even lesser title of General (jiangjun ⮯幵), or Commandantin-ordinary (zhongwei ᷕ⮱). In this essay, “princes,” and “princely establishments” refer to imperial princes and their establishments, or commandery princes and their establishments, as well as princely members with lesser titles.5 Ming Princes: An Overview Zhu Yuanzhang 㛙⃫䐳, or Ming Taizu ⣒䣾 (the Hongwu 㳒㬎 emperor, r. 1368-98), established a feudatory institution that gave his 4)

For the Prince of Hui’s patronage of the Buddhist Yuquan Monastery in Dangyang county (Hubei), see Brook, Praying for Power, p. 291. 5) The justification for using the term “prince” to refer to these lesser-titled royal relatives lies in that in the Ming (and reflected in the Qing), these princely members were sometimes referred to by their proper titles, sometimes by the term “zongshi” ⬿⭌ (members of the imperial clan), and sometimes were simply called “wang” 䌳 (princes) of certain establishments.


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sons the title of “imperial princes” and enfeoffed them as a protective screen for the imperial court. During the Hongwu period the princes’ political power was gradually weakened, but their military power grew stronger. Taizu relied on the princes to supervise and check the border generals and military nobles who had command positions at the provincial level. They extended the emperor’s representation across the empire’s territory and served as a military presence. They were the highest stratum of the military nobility.6 This situation continued during the early Yongle period (1403-24).7 In effect, the princes during these periods replaced the early Ming dukes, marquises, and earls of merit as military nobles. Thus they can be treated along with the military nobility as components of a military elite.8 After the late Yongle period the Ming government gradually reduced the princes’ military authority, however; likewise, after the Xuande period (1426-35) the Ming court further restricted their power and rights. These restrictions barred holding military commands, participation in politics, holding government office, and engaging in the professions of scholar, peasant, artisan or merchant. The princes were barred as well from entering the court, engaging in friendship with officials, or getting together with princes from different locales. In other words, their freedoms were rigorously restrained and they could live only on the official stipend granted by the court.9 As a consequence of such “restrictions towards princes” (fanjin 喑䤩) they often became mere idlers. We can therefore divide the activities of the Ming princes into two periods, early and late. In the earlier period, from the Hongwu reign 6)

Farmer, Zhu Yuanzhang and Early Ming Legislation, p. 88; Farmer, Early Ming Government, pp. 73, 85; Dreyer, Early Ming China, pp. 85, 149; Wu Jihua, Mingdai zhidushi, pp. 35-43, 268, 273-281; Zhang Dexin, “Mingdai zhuwang fenfeng zhidu,” pp. 77-81, 90; Hok-lam Chan, “Ming Taizu’s Problem,” pp. 49-50; Gu Cheng, “Mingdai de zongshi,” pp. 90-93. 7) Xiao Lijun, “Ming Chengzu de qinwang shoubian,” pp. 59-63; Tang Gang and Nan Bingwen, Mingshi, pp. 135-36; Satō, Mindai ōfu, p. 255; Zhang Yishan, “Duoguo hou de Ming Chengzu,” p. 52. 8) Farmer, Early Ming Government, p. 58; Dreyer, Early Ming China, pp. 68, 150-51. 9) Wu Jihua, Mingdai zhidushi, pp. 43-47, 283-290; Zhang Dexin, “Mingdai zhuwang fenfeng zhidu,” pp. 81-82, 91; Zhang Xianqing, “Mingdai qinfan,” pp. 172-73; Bao Hongchang, “Mingdai fanjin,” pp. 53-56; Gu Cheng, “Mingdai de zongshi,” pp. 94-95; Nunome, “Mincho no shoō seisaku,” pp. 429-42; Satō, Mindai ōfu, pp. 77, 199.

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to the early Yongle reign, the princes were equivalent to military nobles with regard to social standing and importance. In the latter period, starting at the end of the Yongle reign, they gradually lost their military power and became decadent and parasitic to such an extent that they could be described as “discarded useless beings” by an early-Qing writer.10 In short, the princes in this later period were different from the military nobility, and we shall deal with them separately. In terms of their family education the early princes were fundamentally different from those Chinese who received a Confucian education aimed toward the civil service examinations or Confucian scholarship. As Romeyn Taylor observes, “There is, indeed, evidence that Chu [Yüan-chang] was hostile towards the scholars and contemptuous of them.” As emperor, Ming Taizu was often in deep conflict with the civil officials in his service, and he was little influenced by them in his policies.11 Taizu set up offices in princedoms staffed with such officials as Administrators (wangxiang 䌳䚠, later named Chief Secretary, or zhangshi 攟⎚), Princely Mentors (wangfu 䌳‭), and so on. He appointed experienced and upright Confucian scholars to teach the princes “loyalty, obedience, and statist values.”12 Taizu also expected the princes to have a sound understanding of military strategy, as they were responsible for defending the imperial court.13 He apparently paid extremely close attention to their military exercises and bravery drills.14 As for the Yongle emperor, although he was said to be relatively good at literature and diligent in scholarship, he still regarded the sword as superior to the pen, being particularly fond of granting highsounding titles of nobility and military posts.15 In short, “both [the Hongwu and Yongle] emperors were profoundly hostile to the Confucian ideal of the monarch in their style of rule and their policy goals.”16 10)

Gu Yanwu (1613-1682), Rizhi lu jishi, 9.22b. Taylor, “Social Origins,” pp. 45-46, 58, 60-61. 12) Langlois, “The Hung-wu Reign,” p. 132. See also Hok-lam Chan, “Ming Taizu’s Problem,” pp. 51-52. 13) Zhu Hong, Ming Chengzu yu Yongle zhengzhi, p. 23. 14) For a discussion of Ming Taizu’s training of the princes’ military capabilities, see Zhang Yishan, “Duoguo hou de Ming Chengzu,” pp. 7, 12-15, 37, 67; Wu Jihua, Mingdai zhidushi, pp. 38-42, 277-281; Langlois, “The Hung-wu Reign,” p. 139; Dreyer, Early Ming China, p. 148. 15) Zhu Hong, Ming Chengzu yu Yongle zhengzhi, pp. 89, 245. 16) Dreyer, Early Ming China, p. 139. 11)


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In Edward Dreyer’s words, Yongle was an “emperor on horseback” whose “previous experience had been as a soldier, and this was the life he preferred.”17 Given this family and educational background, it would seem likely that the princes show a deeper interest in such intellectual or religious traditions, not completely manipulated by Confucian literati, as Buddhism and Daoism, and take refuge in them more often than scholars.18 Zhu Di 㛙㢋, the prince of Yan 䅽䌳 (1360-1424, the later Yongle emperor), Zhu Quan 㛙㪲 (1378-1448), the prince of Ning ⮏䌳, Zhu Bo 㛙㝷 (1371-99), the prince of Xiang 㸀䌳, and Zhu Ying 㛙㤏ġ(1376-1420), the prince of Su 倭䌳, were all commanders, and famous for their military exploits.19 At the same time, they all took great interest, and even took refuge, in Daoism. This can be seen as a kind of natural result of their education.20 As aforementioned, the later princes were barred from holding government office or engaging in scholarly careers. As Timothy Brook pointed out in his study of the Ming gentry’s accommodation to Buddhism, “Finding the traditional career ladder choked with competitors, many within the expanding gentry became less devoted to the Confucian curriculum…. Not able to enter public office, they may have felt less compelled to embody the Neo-Confucian world view in their personal lives.”21 If such was the case for Confucian 17)

Ibid., p. 173. Of course, even scholars who believed in Confucianism could be influenced by Buddhism and Daoism. But the nature of the Buddho-Daoist impact on Ming Confucian scholars is different from that of the Ming princes’ belief and refuge in Buddhism and Daoism, which is a reason for treating them separately. On Daoist influence on Ming Confucian scholars, see Liu Ts’un-yan, “The Penetration of Taoism,” pp. 76-148; “Taoist Self-Cultivation,” pp. 291-330; Mabuchi, “Mindai kōki,” pp. 275-96; Furth, A Flourishing Yin, pp. 190-206, 216-18. 19) For information on these four princes, see Zha Jizuo (1601-76), Zui wei lu, “Biography” ⁛, 4.21b, 47a; Satō, Mindai ōfu, pp. 49-50, 143, 156, 160, 164-65, 167-169, 252-254; Zhang Tingyu (1672-1755) et al., Mingshi, 117.3581; Zheng Xiao (1499-1566), Wu xue bian, 12.1b; He Qiaoyuan (1558-1632), Mingshan cang, 36.1b; Wu Jihua, Mingdai zhidushi, pp. 40-41, 278-279. 20) Zhu Hui 㛙㨆 (1379-1428), prince of Gu 察䌳, was established in Xuanfu ⭋⹄ during the Hongwu period. He successfully took charge of military affairs on the frontier. Yet at the same time he piously believed in Buddhism. This can be seen as a case of a prince who, influenced by his military background and education, took refuge in a religious tradition other than Confucianism. See Zhang Tingyu, Mingshi, 118.3603-4. 21) Brook, Praying for Power, p. 55. 18)

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scholars or gentry, it should be even truer of the Ming princes. I am not suggesting here that most Ming princes deviated from Confucian moral principles: this would have been impossible as Confucianism as the governing ideology influenced everyone, including the members of the ruling house. What I am arguing is that the Ming princes’ Confucian moral training was disconnected from the two main careers opened to Ming literati—going through the civil service examinations, and spreading Confucian teachings by taking disciples or lecturing in academies. Irrelevant to the Confucian curriculum aimed at public office or teaching positions, the princes showed flexibility in embodying non-orthodox worldviews in their personal lives, even though Confucianism was still guiding them in areas related to their social lives. More importantly, the later princes were not allowed to foster their military capabilities or develop their military ambitions. The fanjin institution resulted in princes who “could not manifest themselves even though they were capable and virtuous,” and who “had nowhere to put their abilities into practice even though they were intelligent and brave” (岊ㇵᶵ⃳冒夳炻䞍≯䃉㇨姕㕥).22 They were in want of mental satisfaction, particularly, as sons unable to perform their filial duties and as brothers unable to show their brotherly love as a result of the fanjin system. As a prince, a son would not be able to visit his sick father, as one prince lamented: “Whenever I think of my parents’ mercy I cannot help feeling heartbroken.”23 The princes were not allowed to leave their fief-cities to sacrifice at their ancestral mausoleums, nor were they permitted to hasten home for the funeral of their parents or siblings: it was as if they “were in custody though innocent.”24 Brothers were enfeoffed to separate places, so that when they departed they cried, “we won’t be able to see each other this life any more!”25 In a Chinese society which emphasized blood relationships and family,


Zhang Tingyu, Mingshi, 120.3659. Prince of Ansai ⬱⠆䌳 (Zhu Zhijiong 㛙䦑䀭, 1427-73), memorial to Emperor Yingzong (r. 1436-49 and 1457-64), in Chen Wen (1405-68) et al., eds., Ming Yingzong shilu, 256.5a. 24) Gu Yanwu, “Zhu Zidou shixu” 㛙⫸㔿娑⸷, in idem, Tinglin wenji, 2.11b. 25) Zhao Yi (1727-1814), Nianer shi zhaji, 32.747; Bao Hongchang, “Mingdai fanjin,” pp. 54-55. 23)


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such measures no doubt brought great mental suffering and a sense of guilt to at least some of the princes.26 The fanjin system also reduced the princes’ social status to some extent. Initially, regional governors were required to call on the princes. However, given that the rents on aristocratic estates were collected by civil officials rather than the princes themselves, their income was “effectively reduc[ed]… to a mere stipend.”27 Even the official stipends the princes lived on were directly supplied by the local administrations. Later on, as a result, The proprieties more and more deteriorated, to the extent that some regional governors no longer paid their respects to the imperial princes; some princes made friends with all kinds of lesser functionaries with visiting cards as equals; some princes were summoned out of their households by local administrators; some commandery princes even dismounted their chariots shunning the officials; and some magistrates of subordinate counties and towns no longer had an audience with the imperial princes.28

In other words, local officials no longer paid respect to the princes, and the princes had to shun them. The ones that the princes could befriend were lesser functionaries whom they would even treat as their equals. After the Xuande period, local officials were able to stand up to the princes as equals, sometimes even curbing their activities and refusing to execute tasks requested by their establishments.29 It was not uncommon, from the mid-Ming on, for officials to extort money and wealth from the princes.30 A few famous scholars even thought it beneath their dignity to associate with them.31 Mental suffering, a sense of nothingness, and social isolation caused many Ming princes to become abnormal in terms of social psychology


Wu Jihua, Mingdai zhidushi, p. 288. Ray Huang, Taxation and Governmental Finance, p. 310. 28) Yu Shenxing (1545-1608), Gushan bizhu, 3.25. 29) On this issue, see Zhang Xianqing, “Mingdai qinfan,” p. 173; Bao Hongchang, “Mingdai fanjin,” p. 56. 30) Zhu Qinmei (fl. 1615), Wangguo dianli, 4.89b-92b; Lei Bingyan, “Guanyu Mingdai zhongqi zongshi,” p. 233. 31) Su Derong, “Mingdai zongshi wenhua,” p. 24. 27)

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and standards of personality.32 A number of them committed suicide.33 What was needed, of course, was some sense of spiritual consolation. Religions then, including Daoism, became the princes’ natural choice. Ming Princely Patronage of Daoism Ming Taizu had a family tradition of Daoist belief, and both he and the Yongle emperor maintained a close relationship with Daoism and Daoist priests.34 This family tradition probably had an impact on the princes’ and imperial descendants’ religious orientation. More importantly, as the huge numbers of people attached to the Ming princely establishments might present a threat to the central government, after Taizu’s reign the Ming court silently acknowledged or even deliberately carried out a policy of encouraging the princes’ religious activities, while at the same time continuing to pay lip service to the prohibition against their establishing temples themselves.35 Many of the members of princely establishments had bad reputations, or were considered unworthy according to Confucian moral standards. Yet those among them who believed in Buddhism or Daoism, or were practicing painting, calligraphy or music, would be praised by the court as “the worthy” who “stood out above their fellows.”36 In short, the above-mentioned educational background of the military nobility and spiritual suffering and nihilism caused by the fanjin system, along with the religious tradition of the early emperors 32)

For a discussion of the abnormal social psychology and personality of some members of the Ming princely establishments, see Bao Hongchang, “Mingdai fanjin,” p. 57; Zhao Zhongnan, “Ming Xuanzong de xiaofan,” p. 106. 33) Examples are the prince of Tan 㼕䌳 (Zhu Zi 㛙㠻, 1369-90), the prince of Xiang (Zhu Bo), the prince of Gu (Zhu Hui), the prince of Guishan 㬠┬䌳 (Zhu Danghu 㛙 䔞㰵, titled 1488-1514), Prince Kang of Zhao 嵁⹟䌳 (Zhu Houyu 㛙⍂䄄, titled 1521-60), and the prince of Hui⽥䌳 (Zhu Zailun 㛙庱➐, titled 1551-56?). 34) Yang Qiqiao, “Mingdai zhudi,” pp. 5-14, 22-25, 27-30; Hok-lam Chan, “Xie Jin as Imperial Propaganist,” pp. 92-94; Langlois, “The Hung-wu Reign,” p. 120; Taylor, “Official Religion,” p. 851; Mao Peiqi and Li Zhuorang, Ming Chengzu shilun, pp. 350-54; Zhu Hong, Ming Chengzu yu Yongle zhengzhi, pp. 204, 206-7, 209. 35) Ming Shizong shilu, 82.11a. Ming Taizu, however, was severely critical of his sons’ involvement in religions. See Ming Taizu, Yuzhi jifei lu, pp. 108, 115, 117-18, 133. 36) Zhang Yi (1604-91), Xiaowen xubi, 3.6b.


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and the religious policy of the court toward the princes, contributed to stimulate them to patronize Daoism and Buddhism as a common practice. In 1429, the officials of the Ministry of Rites submitted to the Xuande emperor (r. 1426-35) a memorial requesting that Buddhist monks and nuns, Daoist priests and priestesses, and shamans be prohibited from entering princely households and that the princedoms be forbidden to build Buddhist and Daoist monasteries.37 Obviously, the patronage of Buddhism and Daoism had become a widespread practice among the princes. Indeed, some modern scholars have pointed out that under the fanjin institution a number of princely members “were involved in Buddhism and Daoism and abandoned themselves to nature, living a life that freed them from the mundane realm.”38 To be sure, the Ming court did prohibit Buddhist nuns and Daoist priestesses from entering the princely palaces; but the prime concern here was not religion, it was illicit relations between princes and nuns, for the offspring of such relations would be illlegitimate princely descendants who might cost the court a lot of money to support and, worse, pollute the purity of the imperial blood line.39 On the same occasion, the court forbade princes to erect new Buddhist and Daoist monasteries.40 This should not be seen as a direct ban on princely patronage of Daoism, however. Rather, it was part of the early Ming state’s intervention and attempt at reform in the realm of religious affairs. According to Taizu’s amalgamation order promulgated in 1391 and incorporated six years later into the Ming Code, the private founding of monasteries was banned after that date.41 But as Timothy Brook pointed out, “it was not presented in documents of the period as a suppression of Buddhism [and Daoism], but as a means of achieving


Huang Yunmei, Mingshi kaozheng, p. 1000. For a modern evaluation of the Ming princes’ involvement in Buddho-Daoist religions, see Su Derong, “Mingdai zongshi wenhua,” pp. 21-22. 39) Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 7.52a. The terms here are sengni nüguan ₏⯤⤛ⅈ. Seng can, of course, be rendered as Buddhist monk. But since no male Daoist priest (dao) is mentioned, I tend to interpret sengni as Buddhist nuns instead of Buddhist monks and nuns. This interpretation is in accordance with the context of the Ming court’s regulations on princes in which any princely sexual liaison with illegitimate concubines (lanqie 㾓⥦) or female entertainers (nüyue ⤛㦪) was prohibited. 40) Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 7.52a-b. 41) Brook, “At the Margin of Public Authority,” p. 145. 38)

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a more efficient use of resources.”42 As mentioned, the 1429 Ministry of Rites’ memorial to the Xuande emperor testifies to the widespread princely patronage of Buddhism and Daoism. There is no evidence that the ban on the princely founding of monasteries, whether in the 1391 edict, in the same law in the Ming Code, or in the 1429 memorial, was ever enforced. No Ming prince was ever punished solely for building a Daoist temple. It was only in cases where a prince had committed a severe crime that his founding of a Buddhist or Daoist monastery might be mentioned as an unlawful side violation, together with other minor wrongdoings. Book publishing by princely households contributed greatly to the print culture of the Ming. Unlike commercial publications designed to appeal to the book market, the princely printing projects usually reflected the personal interests of their sponsors. In his summary of the features of the Ming princes’ printing endeavors, Chang Bide 㖴 ⼤⼿ points out that, first of all, they “strove for the arts of nurturing life and self-cultivation, and therefore composed and printed Daoist works on nourishing inner nature and protecting life.”43 Indeed, the conduct of the Ming princes was summarized by Zhang Yi ⻝⿉ (1604-91), a late Ming official and later a Ming loyalist, as “believing in and serving Daoism and Buddhism.”44 Before scrutinizing the Ming princes’ involvement in Daoism, an academic myth concerning their relationship with Daoism should be clarified. According to this myth, many Heavenly Masters married into the imperial family.45 In one example cited by certain scholars, it is claimed that the forty-seventh Heavenly Master, Zhang Xuanqing ⻝ 42)

Ibid. Chang Bide, “Mingfan keshu kao,” p. 39. 44) Zhang Yi, Xiaowen xubi, 3.6b. There is a description of Zhang Yi (alternative name Wei 唯, zi Yaoxing 䐌㗇) in the Taohua shan 㟫剙㇯ (The Peach Blossom Fan), an early Qing play by Kong Shangren ⫼⯂ả (1648-1718). As a Ming loyalist, “Zhang Yaoxing is a character who ‘sums up the rise and fall [of the Ming]’ in Kong Shangren’s The Peach Blossom Fan. Thus, his view of the members of Ming princely establishments has a conclusive significance.” See Wang Xianming, “Liaozhai zhiyi,” p. 94. 45) Little, annotation to “Ordination Scroll of Empress Zhang” (Cat. no. 57), in idem et al., Taoism and the Arts of China, p. 224, n. 14; de Bruyn, “Daoism in the Ming,” p. 611; Zeng Zhaonan, “Mingdai qian-zhongqi,” pp. 99, 102. Little bases his claim on PierreHenry de Bruyn’s chapter in the Daoism Handbook (p. 611). De Bruyn claims that he drew this conclusion from Chuang Hung-i’s Mingdai daojiao zhengyi pai. However I could not find such a statement in Chuang’s book. 43)


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䌬ㄞ (fl. 1470s-1509), married a daughter of Zhu Yi 㛙₨ (1427-96), the Duke of Chengguo ㆸ⚳℔, who has been identified as a member of the imperial family.46 I have gone through all the extant biographies of Zhu Yi’s family members, including his ancestors and descendants, but have not found any mention of them as relatives of the imperial family.47 In fact, this family produced powerful hereditary military nobles from the Yongle reign down to the very end of the Ming, and it was not subject to the fanjin system. Obviously, the Ming imperial family did not acknowledge Zhu Yi’s family members as relatives, nor did Zhu Yi’s family boast of its kinship to the imperial clan. It is unlikely, then, that they were related to the imperial house. Actually, the marriage between Zhang Xuanqing and Zhu Yi’s daughter was in keeping with a marriage pattern between the Heavenly Masters and Ming military nobles that was sanctioned by the emperor.48 In my research I have found only two cases of Heavenly Master “imperial” matrimonial alliances. The first is that of the fiftieth Heavenly Master, Zhang Guoxiang ⻝⚳䤍 (fl. 1577-1611), who married Xie Zhao’s 嫅姼 (1512-67) daughter.49 Xie Zhao had married Imperial Princess Yongchun 㯠㶛℔ᷣ, a daughter of the Hongzhi emperor (r. 1487-1505), in 1527.50 Zhu Youyuan 㛙䣸㜔 (Prince Xian of Xing 冰䌣䌳, 1476-1519), the Jiajing emperor’s father, was a half brother 46)

Little, op. cit., p. 213; Zeng Zhaonan, “Mingdai qian-zhongqi,” p. 99; Qing Xitai, ed., Zhongguo daojiao shi, 3: 400. 47) Regarding the original family background, even the most detailed biographies of members of the family such as Zhu Neng 㛙傥 (1370-1406), Zhu Yi’s grandfather, do not reveal such a link. What these biographies tell us is that Zhu Liang 㛙Ṗ (d. 1394), Zhu Neng’s father, was a native of Huaiyuan ㆟怈 county, Fengyang 沛春 prefecture (Anhui), and an early follower of Zhu Yuanzhang, and that he was later promoted to Battalion Vice Commander of the Central Escort Guard of the Yan Principality 䅽Ⱉᷕ 嬟堃∗⋫㇞. See Zhang Fu (1375-1449) et al., eds., Ming Taizong shilu, 60.6a-7a; Xu Qianxue (1631-94), Mingshi liezhuan, 21.9a; Xu Hong (jinshi 1490), Huang Ming mingchen, 14.5a. 48) On this marriage pattern, see Zhang Guoxiang (fl. 1577-1611), Huang Ming enming shilu, 5.11b, 7.25a, 8.2b, 11a-12b, 9.16b. For a brief discussion of it, see Wong Shiu-hon, “Mingdai de Zhang tianshi,” pp. 18-19. 49) Huang Ming enming shilu, 9.23a. 50) Zhang Tingyu, Mingshi, 121.3674; Chang Bide et al., ed., Mingren zhuanji ziliao suoyin, p. 886. But according to Li Chunfang’s (1510-84) biography of Xie Zhao, Princess Yongchun was a younger sister of the Jiajing emperor. See Li Chunfang, “Zeng Shaobao jian Taizi taibao Fuma duwei Guyong Xie Gong muzhiming” 岰⮹ᾅℤ⣒⫸⣒ᾅ榁楔悥 ⮱⎌⹠嫅℔⠻娴所, in idem, Li Wending Gong Yian tang ji, 7.45b.

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of the Hongzhi emperor. Thus Princess Yongchun was a not-so-close cousin of the Jiajing emperor when she was married. In other words, Xie Zhao and Princess Yongchun’s daughter were distant relatives of the same emperor. Xie Zhao was commander of 1,500 Great Han Generals of the Imperial Bodyguards and was in charge of protecting the imperial palace. All five sons of Xie Zhao and Princess Yongchun became military officers.51 The second case is that of Zhu Zhencai 㛙㋗⼑, the wife of the fifty-second Heavenly Master, Zhang Yingjing ⻝ㅱṔ (fl. 1636-1651), who was a Commandery Princess 悉ᷣ of the Yi Principality 䙲喑 (enfeoffed in Jianchang ⺢㖴 prefecture, Jiangxi).52 This commandery princess was a daughter of Prince Ding of Yi 䙲⭂䌳 (Zhu Youmu 㛙 䓙㛐, 1588-1634). While the imperial court might nod at the timing of marriage for a commandery princess and grant imperial presents and titles, the choice of her “ceremonial companion” (yibin ₨屻), i.e. husband, did not require imperial approval.53 The geographical closeness between Mount Longhu 漵嗶Ⱉ and Nancheng ⋿❶ (the seat of Jianchang prefecture) as well as the Zhang family’s status as nobility played an important role in cementing this marriage. These two cases are fundamentally different, in fact, and they do not form a consistent pattern. In the former, Xie Zhao’s daughter was a distant imperial relative. Xie Zhao, however, was an important military noble favored by the Jiajing emperor. The marriage of his daughter to Zhang Guoxiang followed the marriage pattern established between Heavenly Masters and daughters of military nobility.54 While I do not deny the possibility that this pattern was a form of political control by the court,55 I believe that the issue is much more complicated, as it was related to the political alliance that existed between the


For information on Xie Zhao’s life, see Li Chunfang, “Zeng Shaobao,” 7.44b-48b; Chang Bide, Mingren zhuanji ziliao suoyin, p. 886. 52) Lou Jinyuan (1689-1776), Longhu shanzhi, 6.40a. 53) Fan Zhiqing, “Mingchao huangshi de jiasu,” p. 109; Satō, Mindai ōfu, pp. 206-7, 209, 214-15. 54) Li Chunfang’s biography of Xie Zhao mentions that all of his daughters “married into official noble families” (huanzu ⭎㕷). See Li Chunfang, “Zeng Shaobao,” 7.47b. For a discussion of Ming princesses’ marriage into noble and elite families, see Chen Jiang, “Ming fanwang hunpei zhidu,” pp. 90-92. 55) Wong Shiu-hon, “Mingdai de Zhang tianshi,” pp. 18-19.


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emperor, the military nobility, the religious clergy, and the eunuch bureaucracy, as a counterweight to what Frederick Mote has called the “oppressive and restrictive domination” of the Neo-Confucian ideology and scholar-officials.56 This marriage pattern represents an important issue regarding the marriages that were arranged or sanctioned by the emperor, and where Ming military nobles, including Zhu Yi and Xie Zhao, played a role with respect to Ming Daoism. In the latter case, given the completely different status of an imperial princess and a commandery princess, Commandery Princess Zhu Zhencai was even more distant from the emperor’s family. The fact that the Heavenly Master’s family was obviously an outstanding noble family certainly carried weight in this marriage, in addition to the close geographical distance between the two families. It had nothing to do with imperial policies or court politics. Therefore, we should dismiss the notion of a so-called “Heavenly Master imperial marriage” pattern. Many Ming princes were involved in Daoist affairs. Throughout the dynasty there existed 367 effective imperial and commandery princely establishments. 263 princes (162 imperial princes and 101 commandery princes), hailing from all the 43 effective imperial princedoms and from 89 commandery princely establishments,57 are recorded to have had Daoist activities. Unlike imperial princes, commandery princes are less well covered by historians, and the figure of 89 here does not give us a real picture of their Daoist involvement. In addition, I have come across 164 princely members with lesser noble titles who were 56)

Mote, “The Ch’eng-hua and Hung-chih reigns,” p. 363. For an excellent account of the distrust and conflict between the Ming emperor and his court scholar-officials, see ibid., pp. 358, 362-63, 366-70, 403-5, 412. 57) Throughout the Ming there were 43 effective imperial princely establishments and 324 effective commandery princely establishments, that is, 367 in total. Strictly speaking, there were 50 fief-states to which the imperial princes physically went. In my statistics, however, I exclude the following groups of princes: 1) the first-generation princes who were deprived of their princely titles and whose fief-states were eliminated, except when they left any rich information; 2) the first-generation princes who died young—or occasionally died old as a matter of fact—without leaving any heir and whose establishments were thus eliminated; 3) the young princes who later became Heir Apparent (taizi ⣒⫸); 4) the commandery princes who later became imperial princes; and 5) the princes either entitled too late at the end of the Ming or ennobled during the Southern Ming after 1644. The rationale for these exclusions lies in the available information on a prince and in my intention to avoid double counting.

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likewise involved in Daoist affairs. Some of these members are not identified with any particular lineages. Given that they must have come from certain commandery princely households, the identifying the latter would certainly have increased the figure of commandery princely establishments involved in Daoism. Unfortunately, compared with commandery princes, lesser-titled princely members are even less recorded and harder to identify. In short, the number of princes involved in Daoism must have been much higher than the above figures if we consider the missing records and include the lesser-titled princely members’ activities. In what follows I will briefly classify princely activities according to various categories of patronage. I only examine the ritual aspect of Ming princely patronage of Daoism. I will first sketch the princely ritual and, in particular, the Divine Music institutions. Then I will proceed to the domain of princely ritual practice per se, investigating princely ordination or initiation rites, princely ritual performance, and princely participation in observances, before presenting conclusions on the importance of the princely presence in Daoist ritual in the Ming. While I provide various scattered examples to support my thesis, I am more interested in the institutional edifice of such patronage, and will therefore address this overall pattern. Princely Rituals and the Divine Music Institutions Each imperial princely establishment had ritual places and temples, such as the clan temple (zongmiao ⬿⺇), family shrine (jiamiao ⭞⺇), also known as the mortuary palace (xiangtang ṓ➪ or yanglao gong 梲 侩⭖), the Altar to Soil and Grain (Sheji tan 䣦䧟⡯), the Altar of Wind, Cloud, Thunder, Rain and Mountains and Rivers (Fengyun leiyu shanchuan tan 桐暚暟暐Ⱉⶅ⡯), and the Temple of Flags and Banners (Qidao miao 㕿乃⺇). Among these, the clan temple and the family shrine (mortuary palace) were dedicated to the ancestors, the former to the imperial Zhu clan and the latter to the particular princely clan. The family shrine was located at the central rear part of the inner princely city. The clan temple was located at the southeast corner outside the inner princely city but within the outer princely city. They occupied an important place in the princely establishments. Routine


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sacrifices were made there. The Altar to Soil and Grain was located at the southwest corner outside the inner princely city but within the outer princely city. The Altar to Wind, Cloud, Thunder, Rain and Mountains and Rivers was situated at the same location, west of the Altar to Soil and Grain.58 And finally, the Temple of Flags and Banners was located west of the Altar to Wind, Cloud, Thunder, Rain and Mountains and Rivers, at the southwest corner of the outer city. Rituals were also frequently performed there.59 In addition, Taizu decreed in 1373 that the sacrifices to the Five Deities—the inner door (hu ㇞), the hearth (zao 䩰), the impluvium (zhongliu ᷕ曌), the outer door (men 攨), and the well ( jing ḽ)—must be performed in their respective places in each princely household.60 There were also ritual places such as the family shrine (jiamiao) in the establishments of commandery princes, though they might not have the Altar to Soil and Grain, the Altar to Mountains and Rivers, and the Temple of Flags and Banners.61 Even lesser princely households had family shrines.62 Moreover, a prince was required to perform the sacrifices at the Altar for The First Farmer (Xiannong tan ⃰彚⡯), which was located southeast outside the princely city, as well as participate in the rite in the princely estate to “rescue”


It should be noted that these princely shrines and temples were located differently from those in the county cities where no princely establishment was enfeoffed. In the latter case, the Altars to Soil and Grain, and Altars of Wind, Cloud, Thunder and Rain and Mountains and Rivers were situated outside the city gates. For the locations, orientations and layouts of some of these shrines and temples in non-princely county seats, see Taylor, “Official Altars, Temples and Shrines,” p. 98. 59) Ming Taizu, Huang Ming zuxun, pp. 394-95; Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 2.73b, 77b-78a, 4.7a-25a; Guo Zhengyu (1554-1612), Huang Ming dianli zhi, 19.6b; Wu Hongqi and Dang Anrong, “Guanyu Mingdai Xi’an Qinwang fucheng,” p. 159; Jing Huichuan and Lu Xiaoming, “Ming Qinwangfu,” pp. 45-47; Chang Maolai (1788-1873), ed., Ru meng lu, pp. 7, 9-10, 13-14; Li Xieping, Mingdai Beijing ducheng, pp. 172-73, 277; Qi Zhaojin, “Ming Jingjiangwang de jueji,” pp. 81-82; Yang Shiqi (1365-1444) et al., ed., Ming Xuanzong shilu, 13.13a, 15.2b; Zhang Juzheng (1525-82) et al., ed., Ming Shizong shilu, 112.14a, 220.3a-b; Gu Bingqian (b. 1550) et al., ed., Ming Shenzong shilu, 86.5a; and many local gazetteers of the regions where Ming princes were enfeoffed. 60) Ming Taizu, Huang Ming zuxun, p. 395; Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 4.7b, 14b-15b; Shen Shixing (1535-1614), Zhao Yongxian (1535-96), et al., Da Ming huidian, 56.27b. The sacrifices offered to the Five Deities were ancient rites traced back to pre-Han times. 61) Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 4.20b; Shi Hongshuai and Wu Hongqi, “Mingdai Xi’an chengnei,” p. 75; Ming Xuanzong shilu, 58.2b; Jiangzhou zhi (1521), 6.9a. 62) Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 4.20b.

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the Sun and Moon during a solar or lunar eclipse.63 All these rituals played an extremely important role in the lives of the princes and of their courts.64 Timely and liturgically correct performances were crucial to them: improper rites and ritual conduct by a prince could entail remonstrance, draconian punishment, or even the deprivation of his own and his whole clan’s noble title. The institution of the enfeoffed princedom consisted of several official agencies located at the princely court. Among these offices, the Foods Office (Dianshan suo ℠兛㇨) was in charge of meals for the prince, the consort and their guests in sacrificial rites. The Sacrificial Office (Fengci suo ⣱䤈㇨), for its part, was in charge of religious rites and ritual music and dance. Finally, the Ceremonies Office (Dianyi suo ℠₨㇨) was in charge of ceremonies.65 A commandery princely establishment enfeoffed in a city separated from its main imperial princedom also had a Sacrificial Office (Dianci shu ℠䤈会), a Ceremonies Office (Dianli shu ℠䥖会), and a Foods Office (Dianzhuan shu ℠棴会), which provided the same ritual services as their counterparts in an imperial princely establishment.66 Most commandery princely establishments were installed within the same cities as their respective imperial princedoms, without their own jurisdictions. The rituals at their commandery princely courts were therefore provided by the agencies in the imperial princedoms. But even in these commandery princely establishments the Foods Office (Dianshan suo), or sometimes a Foods Official (dianshan ℠兛), was responsible for meals for the prince, his consort and their guests in sacrificial rites.67 In sum, many rituals and sacrifices were practiced in the princely establishments.68 63)

Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 4.16a-b; Guo Zhengyu, Huang Ming dianli zhi, 20.36a. For the location, orientation and layout of the Altar for The First Farmer in non-princely county seats, see Taylor, “Official Altars, Temples and Shrines,” p. 98. 64) Wu Hongqi and Dang Anrong, “Guanyu Mingdai Xi’an Qinwang fucheng,” p. 159; Shi Hongshuai and Wu Hongqi, “Mingdai Xi’an chengnei,” p. 75; Fan Peiwei, “Zhouwang yu Mingdai Kaifeng,” p. 113; Satō, Mindai ōfu, p. 91; Chen Wannai, Zhu Zaiyu yanjiu, p. 5. 65) Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 8.1b, 3a-b, 5b-6b, 23a-24a, 25b, 41b; Da Ming huidian, 4.10b-11a, 7.45b-46a. 66) Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 8.7a-8a. 67) Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 2.79b, 8.9a, 25a, 26b, 43b; Chang Maolai, ed., Ru meng lu, p. 18; Shandong tongzhi (1533), 9.33b. 68) Satō, Mindai ōfu, pp. 91, 325; Chen Wannai, Zhu Zaiyu yanjiu, p. 5.


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In order to ensure the rituals and ceremonies in fief-states, members of the miscellaneous corvée households (zayi hu 暄⼡㇞) who had special training in dance, music and rituals were required to provide ritual performances as corvée service. Beginning with the Hongwu reign, five performers of music and dance, who were Zhengyi (Orthodox Unity) Daoist priests from the Daoist Abbey of Divine Music (Shenyue guan 䤆㦪奨) in Nanjing, or later Beijing, were sent to each princedom to train musicians and dancers in the princely court.69 Moreover, the Manager of Music (dianyue ℠㦪), a senior official in charge of music in each princely establishment, was selected from among the candidates for Daoist musician-dancer of the Divine Music Abbey.70 These candidates were trained as prospective Daoist musician-dancers. According to rules enacted by the state at the beginning of the Ming, ritual services at the princely court were usually performed by thirtysix musicians (yuesheng 㦪䓇), seventy-two dancers (wusheng 准䓇), twenty-seven musicians from hereditary low-caste music households (yuehu 㦪㇞),71 as well as many incense-burning ritual acolytes (shaoxiang daoshi 䅺楁忻⢓),72 ceremonial apprentices (zhailang 滳恶), masters of ceremonial (lisheng 䥖䓇), shop-keepers on corvée duty, livestock raisers, and butchers. This kind of service obligation for the princely establishments was without compensation and, as a result, entailed for many people the “exhaustion of their wealth and loss of family fortunes.”73 Therefore, in 1429 the Ming government decreed that all the performers of music and dance (yuewusheng 㦪准䓇) required for the rituals and ceremonies at princely establishments be replaced by Daoist priests (daoshi 忻⢓) and Daoist novices (daotong 忻䪍) from the fief-states, that is, from the prefecture where a prince was enfeoffed, 69) Taylor, “Official Religion,” p. 878; Yao Guangxiao (1335-1418) et al., eds., Ming Taizu shilu, 165.2b; Ming Xuanzong shilu, 54.4a; Jiao Fang (1436-1517) et al., ed., Ming Xiaozong shilu, 103.8b. 70) Taichang xukao, 7.16b-17a. 71) For a discussion of the importance of yuehu for ritual performance in the local society, see Johnson, “‘Confucian’ Elements,” pp. 130-31, 150-51, 159; Johnson, “Temple Festivals,” pp. 643, 648, 654, 661, 668, 673, 685-88, 690-91, 695-701, 713-15. 72) I do not translate shaoxiang daoshi as “Daoists” because the term refers here to a job filled with lower-ranking ritual acolytes who were not necessarily Daoists and whose responsibility was incense-burning. 73) Ming Xiaozong shilu, 103.8b.

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while all the positions of incense-burning ritual acolytes (shaoxiang daoshi) would be filled by those elite Daoists from the large temples (gongguan daoshi ⭖奨忻⢓) who had certificates.74 This policy was carried out for example in 1457 at the Min principality ⱟ喑, to be discussed later.75 The regulations also allowed such lower-ranking princedom official positions as Foods Official, Manager of Music, and Houseman Receptionist (Yinli sheren ⺽䥖况Ṣ) to be purchased by the physicians, ritual musician-dancers and cooks at the princely court.76 The ritual musician-dancers as Daoist priests now were able to purchase these official titles and become princely officials. In addition to the Manager of Music and the ritual musician-dancers at the princely court, some other princely official positions were now also filled by Daoist priests. In addition, some princedoms hired more Daoist ritual musicians and dancers (yuewusheng) at will.77 This kind of regulation on Daoist ritual specialists at the princely courts went hand-in-hand with changes in the constituencies of ritual specialists at central government level. Lisheng had a long tradition in Chinese history, probably traceable to the Zhou Li ␐䥖 (Rituals of Zhou), or at least definitely to the Eastern Han dynasty. Lisheng were ritual specialists who received Confucian training to perform state rituals at both the central and local government levels. They were functionally and institutionally different from Buddhists and Daoists. From Tang to Yuan times, they were trained and hired at the national level to serve government ritual agencies. At the local level they played an important role in the elite’s daily and ritual practices. The Ming regime inherited the Yuan institution of lisheng, but the Ming court made a significant change: now it was Daoists instead of Confucian ritual specialists that fulfilled the role of lisheng. Ming emperors used Daoist musician-dancers from the Abbey of Divine Music as lisheng


Satō, Mindai ōfu, pp. 95-96, 325-326; Ming Xuanzong shilu, 54.4a; Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 5.46a-b. 75) Ming Yingzong shilu, 281.4a-b. 76) Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 8.26b, 39a-b. 77) For instance, in the Lu Principality 欗喑 (enfeoffed in Yanzhou ⃿ⶆ, Shandong), Prince Jing of Lu 欗曾䌳 (Zhu Zhaohui 㛙倯䃯, titled 1403-66) increased yuewusheng to 120 with state stipends, beyond the official quota of 108. But this act was later cited as a violation. See Lufu zhao, p. 7a.


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in the Court of Imperial Sacrifices (Taichang si ⣒ⷠ⮢) and other agencies.78 Lisheng were also installed at the princely courts. Institutionally, princely court lisheng were different from ritual musician-dancers. At first, the Ming government regulated that, unlike their counterparts in the central government ritual agencies, lisheng at princely courts must be drawn from Confucian students or corvée commoners instead of Daoists.79 The 1429 decree of the Ming government paved the way to change this situation at the level of princedoms. Then in 1457 the government granted a request from the prince of Min ⱟ䌳 to use elite Daoists from the large temples (gongguan daoshi) and Daoist novices (daotong) from the fief-state as performers of music and dance.80 In other words, the rituals at princely establishments, which were originally undertaken by the miscellaneous corvée laborers, including lisheng, were now carried out by Daoist priests, at least at some princely courts.81 Due to the importance of these rituals and ceremonies, the Daoist priests who performed them held an indispensable role in the princely establishments and in the princes’ life. A more interesting development in the institutional Daoist involvement at princely establishments was the Abbey of Divine Music (Shenyue guan). As is well known, the Abbey of Divine Music was originally located in the capital at Nanjing. A new Abbey was built in Beijing when the capital was moved. The original Nanjing Abbey was preserved, however. It housed and trained musicians and dancers (yuewusheng) identified as registered monastic Zhengyi Daoist clerics


For a succinct survey of the history of lisheng and its transformation in the Ming, see Liu Yonghua, “Ming-Qing shiqi de lisheng,” pp. 2-6; Liu Yonghua, “Yi li yi su,” pp. 56-59; Liu Yonghua, “Ming-Qing shiqi de Shenyue guan,” pp. 6, 12-14; Lee Fong-mao, “Lisheng yu daoshi,” pp. 341-50. See also Johnson, “‘Confucian’ Elements,” pp. 130, 135, 141-42, 150-51, 159; Johnson, “Temple Festivals,” pp. 705-6, 711-15. I am grateful to Liu Yonghua for sending me his unpublished research works. 79) Liu Yonghua, “Ming-Qing shiqi de lisheng,” p. 6. 80) Ming Yingzong shilu, 281.4a-b. 81) The Lu principality increased lisheng to twenty in the first half of the fifteenth century, although this addition was unlawful. Xu Hongzu ⼸⻀䣾 (1586-1641) in his Xu Xiake youji ⼸曆⭊忲姀 also mentions his meeting with a lisheng from the Gui Principality 㟪喑 in 1637. Thus, some Ming princely establishments might have kept some lisheng for conducting certain rituals different from those performed by Daoists. See Lufu zhao, p. 7a; Liu Yonghua, “Ming-Qing shiqi de lisheng,” p. 6.

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who were placed in charge of music and dance during state rituals.82 However, it is not well known that some Ming princedoms had their own local Abbeys of Divine Music. Since each fief-state had its ritual musicians and dancers for princely rituals and ceremonies, and since after 1429 these yuewusheng were certified Daoist priests, while the Manager of Music (dianyue) at the princely court was selected from the candidates for Daoist musiciandancer of the Divine Music Abbey, the local ritual institution at the princely courts obviously copied the Divine Music system at least from the personnel perspective. I have also mentioned that five Daoist performers of the central government Divine Music Abbey were routinely sent to each princely court to train the local musicians and dancers. This systematic training pattern from central government to princedoms can serve as the link between the Divine Music Abbey in the capital and the local fief-states. Now, where were these local ritual musician-dancers housed? Like their teachers in the capital, they were installed in Daoist temples which were responsible for ritual music and dance at the princely courts, although under slightly different names. This was not known to scholars until I discovered an entry about the Abbey of Exalted Perfection (Gaozhen guan 檀䛇奨) of Nanyang ⋿春 (Henan), where the Tang Principality Ⓒ喑 was located, in both the 1554 and 1577 editions of the Gazetteer of Nanyang Prefecture (Nanyang fuzhi ⋿春⹄⽿). The entry in both gazetteers reads: “The Abbey of Exalted Perfection is located outside the Yuyang Gate 㶗春攨 in the south of the city. Shi Xuantai 㕥䌬㲘, Manager of Music, rebuilt it. The divine music (shenyue 䤆㦪) of the Tang Principality Ⓒ⹄ is housed in it.”83 Zhang Jiamou ⻝▱媨 (1874-1941), the famous modern local historian of Nanyang who annotated the 1554 Nanyang prefectural gazetteer, further elaborates: “The Tang Principality used the Abbey of Exalted Perfection


For studies of the Abbey of Divine Music, see Shiga, “Minsho no Shingakukan,” pp. 32-45; Shiga, “Mindai Shingakukan kō,” pp. 15-25; Liu Yonghua, “Ming-Qing shiqi de Shenyue guan”; Taylor, “Official Religion,” pp. 841, 878-79; Lam, State Sacrifices and Music, pp. 50-51, 103-4, 115-16; Standaert, “Ritual Dances,” pp. 78-82. See also Jinling xuanguan zhi, 13.1a-11a; Taichang xukao, 7.7a-9a; de Bruyn, “Daoism in the Ming,” p. 596; Li Yangzheng, Xinbian Beijing Baiyun guanzhi, pp. 506-8. 83) Ming Jiajing Nanyang fuzhi (1554), 11.53b; Nanyang fuzhi (1577), 13.75b.


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in the south of the city as its Abbey of Divine Music (Shenyue guan).”84 As I have argued above, the Manager of Music in charge of ritual music and dance in a princely establishment had been trained as a prospective Daoist musician-dancer. In the case of the Tang Principality Abbey of Exalted Perfection, the Manager of Music was Shi Xuantai, who renovated this temple of divine music. Given the importance of a divine music abbey to a princely establishment, it is no surprise that the Tang principality renovated that same temple several times, during the Hongzhi reign (1488-1505) and again in 1515.85 In addition to the Abbey of Exalted Perfection of the Tang principality, which was its Abbey of Divine Music, other princely establishments had similar temples of divine music. Thus, there was an Abbey of Performing Music (Yanyue guan 㺼㦪奨) in the Qing Principality ㄞ喑 enfeoffed in Ningxia Guard ⮏⢷堃 (present-day Yinchuan 戨 ⶅ, Ningxia). From Ming Taizu onward, the Divine Music Abbey in the capital was considered one of the central governmental agencies, under the Court of Imperial Sacrifices, different from other Daoist temples.86 Likewise, the Abbey of Performing Music in Ningxia is listed under “Governmental Agencies” (gongshu ℔会) and completely distinguished from the other Daoist temples, which are listed under “Temples” (siguan ⮢奨).87 This temple, then, was most likely a princely temple of divine music. Another interesting development in the Divine Music institution and its princely branches was the reverse influence exerted by the latter. During the Xuande reign, as Liu Yonghua ∱㯠厗 has discovered, while the central Abbey of Divine Music still sent Daoist musician-dancers to princely courts as tutors, the quality of the performances at the Beijing Abbey of Divine Music had declined to such an extent that some of the Daoist musician-dancers at princely courts were summoned to the central Divine Music Abbey to train ritual musician-dancers in the capital!88 In terms of Daoist ritual music and dance, these local 84)

Ming Jiajing Nanyang fuzhi (1554), 11.54a. Ming Jiajing Nanyang fuzhi (1554), 11.53b-54a; Nanyang fuzhi (1577), 13.75b. 86) On this issue, see Shiga, “Minsho no Shingakukan,” pp. 38-41; Hucker, “Ming Government,” p. 84; Taylor, “Official Religion,” p. 841. 87) Ningxia xinzhi (1501), 1.26a-b, 35a-b. 88) Ming Yingzong shilu, 25.1a; Liu Yonghua, “Ming-Qing shiqi de Shenyue guan,” p. 15. 85)

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ritual specialists apparently had more knowledge. One can suppose that some of their patrons, that is, the princes, also shared this knowledge. Liu Yonghua has also established that all the state rites, including the most important jiao rites (恲䣨, i.e. the Suburban Imperial sacrifices) at the round and square altar (Yuanqiu tan ⛄᷀⡯), the imperial ancestor worship, the sacrifices to the deities of the sacred mountains and rivers nationwide as ordered by the imperial court, and even the state sacrifice to Confucius, were performed entirely by Daoist musiciandancers from the Abbey of Divine Music.89 As a result, some Daoist gods and rites were incorporated into the state ritual system.90 The situation was similar in the case of princedoms. For instance, the ceremonies of conferment of princely title, capping, engagement, and wedding for a young prince were regulated to be performed in the capital before he went to his fief-state. The performers of these rites and ceremonies were mostly comprised of the Daoist musician-dancers (yuewusheng) from the Abbey of Divine Music, and also included such ritual officials from the Court of Imperial Sacrifices (Taichang si) as Chief Musicians (xielü lang ⋼⼳恶), Ceremonial Assistants (zanli lang 岲䥖恶), and Music Directors (siyue ⎠㦪).91 These Taichang ritual officials, although no longer belonging to the Divine Music Abbey, had been promoted to their official positions from among the certified Daoist musician-dancers originally from the Divine Music Abbey.92 On the arrival of the imperial prince at his fief-state, the welcoming ceremony was performed by a hundred and twenty ritual musiciandancers, forty ceremonial apprentices, ten lisheng, twenty-seven 89) Of course, the sacrifices to Confucius at Queli 敽慴, the Confucian temple in Qufu, at the Confucian shrine in the imperial academies, at Confucian temples in the provinces or counties, and at the shrine to Confucius in the local schools, were different from the Ming state sacrifices as far as musician-dancers as ritual performers are concerned. See Standaert, “Ritual Dances,” pp. 85-87, 90. 90) On this issue, see Liu Yonghua, “Ming-Qing shiqi de Shenyue guan,” pp. 12-16; Ding Huang, “Guoli zhongyang tushuguan cang Ming Xuande banian kanben,” pp. 5-6; Seidel, “A Taoist Immortal,” p. 491. See also Standaert, “Ritual Dances,” p. 79. 91) Da Ming huidian, 48.1a-3a, 65.5a-10b, 69.2a-3a, 15b-16a, 29b-32a; Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 1.49a-57a, 2.1a-b, 9b-39b; Guo Zhengyu, Huang Ming dianli zhi, 8.9b11a, 9.11b-29a; Taichang xukao, 7.1b. The regulations are not clear about the young princes who had been born in their princedoms. 92) Liu Yonghua, “Ming-Qing shiqi de Shenyue guan,” p. 6; Da Ming huidian, 5.7a.


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musicians from yuehu households, and four incense-burning ritual acolytes.93 Here, the Daoist musician-dancers were dominant. When princes came to the capital to have an audience with the emperor and then left the capital to go back to their princedoms, or when they made offerings at Taizu’s mausoleum in Nanjing, the attendant ceremonies were also provided by the ritual officials and performers from the Court of Imperial Sacrifices,94 most of whom had a Daoist background. In their own fief-states, during the sacrifices to the Altar of Soil and Grain, to the Altar of Wind, Cloud, Thunder, Rain and Mountains and Rivers, and to the Temple of Flags and Banners, the Daoist ritual musiciandancers actively performed the rites while the Manager of Music was the conductor.95 In the case of the sacrifice to the clan temple, again, the Manager of Music conducted and 144 yuewusheng, including thirtysix yuesheng, seventy-two martial wusheng and thirty-six civil wusheng, performed the ritual.96 It is clear from these samples that most, if not all, regular ceremonies related to a prince’s life were performed by Daoist musician-dancers, and that as a result the princely courtly rites were characterized by a Daoist flavor. The foregoing discussion demonstrates that, institutionally, a solid foundation was in place that allowed the members of the princely establishments to become familiar with and value Daoism. In the rest of this essay I will examine the Ming princes’ involvement in Daoist ritual, dividing them into three groups. The first group includes the princes who joined the Daoist order by receiving ordination or were initiated into the neidan lineages; they were considered to be Daoists in the Daoist community. Opposite this group were the princes who commissioned or participated in Daoist ritual, but did not show a strong identity with Daoism and seem to have been lay patrons; they assumed this role either for their personal needs or for the lay community, just like any local leader. A third group of princes occupied an intermediary position. Those belonging to this middle group were not ordained priests, but they clearly identified themselves with Daoism and were able to perform some Daoist rites themselves. This division 93) 94) 95) 96)

Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 4.29a; Da Ming huidian, 56.3b, 215.7b-8a. Taichang xukao, 7.12b-13a; Da Ming huidian, 56.4a-b, 215.7b-8a. Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 4.9b-13b; Da Ming huidian, 56.28b-29b. Zhu Qinmei, Wangguo dianli, 4.16b-19a, 5.45a-b; Da Ming huidian, 56.32b.

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into three groups roughly corresponds to that of the Buddhist patrons designated as monks/nuns, activist donors, and ordinary donors, respectively, on the occasion of the two Song-Yuan Buddhist canon reprint projects as described by B. J. ter Haar in his study of their merit dedications97—even though in the present case it was the first group of princes who functioned as monks. By classifying the Ming princes into these three groups we can see the diversity of the princely patronage of Daoism in local society. Ming princes participated from different perspectives in communion with Daoist ritual, representing different social constituencies in the lay community. Princely Ordination and Initiation I have not found any record on the process of Daoist ordination ritual for Ming princes. On the other hand we do have, among the few Ming liturgical registers (lu 䰁) conferred on the ordinands that exist, the ordination certificate of Empress Zhang, a color handscroll held in the San Diego Museum of Art. Empress Zhang (1470-1541), the wife of the Hongzhi emperor (r. 1488-1505), was ordained as a Daoist priestess in 1493 by Zhang Xuanqing, the forty-seventh Heavenly Master. This certificate is a painted scroll bearing an inscription that “outlines a ritual or series of rituals in which an important group of scriptures, talismans, and registers (lists of gods’ names) were transmitted to the empress.”98 The painting depicts fifty-two gods and immortals, and the inscription lists sixty-two documents, including scriptures, talismans, registers, and other accompanying covenants and objects. The ordination consisted of a series of complicated rituals performed in the imperial palace. Empress Zhang’s status explains the quality of the painting that depicted them on the certificate.99 In contrast, liturgical documents for most ordinands were no more than ordinary woodblock printed forms. 97)

Ter Haar, “Buddhist-Inspired Options,” pp. 138-47. Little, annotation to “Ordination Scroll of Empress Zhang” (Cat. no. 57), in Little et al., Taoism and the Arts of China, p. 208. 99) “Ordination Scroll of Empress Zhang” (Cat. no. 57), pp. 209-12; Little, annotation to “Ordination Scroll of Empress Zhang,” p. 208. For details of this ordination process, see Little, ibid., pp. 208-9. 98)


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Ōfuchi Ninji ⣏㶝⽵䇦 provides a description of the lu conferred in 1754 on Yunmi ⃩䦀 (1716-73), a Manchu imperial prince of the Qing dynasty, by the fifty-sixth Heavenly Master, Zhang Yulong ⻝忯 昮 (fl. 1742-1766). It is preserved in the Tenri Library in Japan. Fifteen registers remain of the original set of lu. They were blockprinted.100 Given the continuity of political institutions, and of the Heavenly Master institution as well, from the Ming to the early Qing, it seems legitimate to infer the Daoist ordination for a Ming prince from that for a Qing prince. If this is correct, then the set of ordination lu conferred on a Ming prince, also by a Heavenly Master or other highranking Daoist official in the Zhengyi hierarchy, must have been similar to Yunmi’s set, with the same originally prepared blockprinted registers and other documents. The Yangzhou ㎂ⶆ local gazetteers give an account of a set of Daoist ordination documents conferred on Tian Hongyu 䓘⻀忯 (d. 1644?) and his wife née Wu ⏛㮷, dated 1637. Tian Hongyu held the title of Right Commissioner-in-chief of the Front Chief Military Commission (qianjun dudufu you dudu ⇵幵悥䜋⹄⎛悥䜋, rank 1a), and Mme Wu was First Ranking Dame-consort (yipin furen ᶨ⑩⣓Ṣ).101 Tian’s social status was lower than that of an imperial prince, but as he was the father of Precious Consort Tian 䓘屜⤫ (d. 1642), the favorite imperial concubine of the Chongzhen emperor (r. 1628-44), in actuality he must have been comparable to a prince in terms of social standing. Tian Hongyu and his wife’s ordination documents consisted of 146 registers with painted images of gods and immortals.102 If Tian was comparable to a Ming prince, as I suggest, then the size of a prince’s ordination registers must have been similar. Completing the ordination ritual was a lengthy process.103 In the case of Empress Zhang it took seven months.104 Peng Shujie ⼕㵹㻼, 100)

Ōfuchi, Chūgoku jin no shūkyō girei, Plate 93, pp. 453-59; Ding Huang, “Zhengyi dahuang yuxiu yanshou jinglu (1),” p. 388. For a discussion of the fragmentary nature of the fifteen ordination registers conferred on Yunmi, see Ding Huang, ibid., p. 384. 101) Ding Huang, “Zhengyi dahuang yuxiu yanshou jinglu (1),” pp. 381-84. 102) Ibid. 103) According to Vincent Goossaert, the Zhengyi novitiate lasted longer than the three years commonly required in Quanzhen before the ordination ritual. See Goossaert, The Taoists of Peking, pp. 102-4. 104) “Ordination Scroll of Empress Zhang,” pp. 209-12; Little, annotation to “Ordination Scroll of Empress Zhang,” p. 208.

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the wife of Sheng Yi 䚃₨ (jinshi 1505) and a lady of literati background, spent more than forty days to receive a single ordination register, the “Passport from the Shangqing Ancestral Altar to a Road in the Darkness” (Shangqing zongtan mingtu luyin ᶲ㶭⬿⡯⅍徼嶗⺽).105 Even a commoner ordinand in modern days had to undergo many different rites over a long period of time to receive full ordination.106 Once ordained, the ordinand was granted an ordination name (faming 㱽 ⎵). Even though we lack any direct documentation about Ming princes’ ordination rituals, some princes did receive their faming, and thus ordinations with the ritual protection of certain Daoist gods, from their Daoist masters. In this sense, granting faming in ordination entailed a ritual process. As close imperial relatives, Ming princes were obliged to represent the emperor in the regions assigned to them, but at the same time they represented a certain threat to the imperial court as legitimate challengers. Thus, generally speaking, most princes, who were under the control of the fanjin system, were not free to join the Daoist order even if they wanted to. Still, some of them became real Daoist priests and received ordination. The first in this category is of course Prince Xian of Ning ⮏䌣䌳 (enfeoffed in Nanchang ⋿㖴, Jiangxi), Zhu Quan, who committed himself to Daoism and was said to “have an immortal fate.” He possessed such Daoist hao as Quxian 円ẁ, Hanxuzi 㵝嘃⫸, and Xuanzhou daoren 䌬㳚忻Ṣ. He also claimed a divine identity with Nanji chongxu miaodao zhenjun ⋿㤝㰾嘃⥁忻䛇⏃. When he went to Nanchang to stay in his fief-state, he is alleged to have told the Yongle emperor that he was looking for Xu Xun


Ding Huang, “Zhengyi dahuang yuxiu yanshou jinglu (3),” pp. 347-49. Ding Huang, “Zhengyi dahuang yuxiu yanshou jinglu (1),” pp. 376, 425, 349; (3), p. 349. For a description of the investiture rite for Princess Gold-Immortal and Princess Jade-Perfected of the Tang dynasty, which lasted ten days, see Zhang Wanfu (fl. 713), Chuanshou sandong jingjie falu lüeshuo, 2.18a-20b; trans. in Benn, The Carven-Mystery Transmission, pp. 115-20. As Charles Benn points out, this account only refers to a single rite among the various stages and phases of initiation and investiture the two princesses underwent. They had completed one or more stages of investiture by 710, and would continue receiving ordinations at higher levels after that year. For example, Princess GoldImmortal was ordained into priesthood in 706, and both princesses were transmitted the Shangqing canon and attained the highest level in the Daoist hierarchy in 712. See Benn, ibid., pp. 9, 12-13. 106)


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姙怄, the legendary founder and god of Pure Illumination Daoism (Jingming dao 㶐㖶忻). He also visited the Iron-Pillar Palace (Tiezhu gong 揝㞙⭖), the main Jingming monastery in Nanchang.107 He once moved to the Cave of Heavenly Treasure (Tianbao dong ⣑⮞㳆), which was the thirteenth Daoist grotto-heaven, on West Mountain (Xishan 大Ⱉ), where he practiced Daoist arts and was fully instructed in the teachings of Jingming Daoism.108 He subsequently visited West Mountain several more times.109 He also once lodged in a stone chamber at Mengshan ⣊Ⱉ, part of West Mountain, for self-cultivation.110 He compiled or wrote at least eighteen Daoist works and three zaju plays with Daoist dimensions. Among these works were the extremely important Tianhuang zhidao taiqing yuce ⣑䘯军忻⣒㶭䌱Ⅎ (Most pure and precious books on the Supreme Dao of August Heaven; CT 1483), in eight juan, and Gengxin yuce ⹂彃䌱Ⅎ (Precious books on the Realm of Metals and Minerals), also in eight juan. The former is an encyclopedic work on the Daoist faith and liturgy claiming that Daoism is the true faith of China. The latter is the last major work on laboratory alchemy (waidan ⢾ᷡ) in Chinese history.111 107)

Zha Jizuo, Zui wei lu, “Biography,” 4. 47a, 48a. “Hanxu Zhu zhenren zhuan,” 㵝嘃㛙䛇Ṣ⁛, in Zhu Daolang (1612 or 1614-89), ed., Taishang jingming zongjiao lu, 6.98-99; Jin Duixin (fl. 1878) and Qi Fengyuan, Xiaoyao shan Wanshou gong tongzhi, 5.44a-45a. 109) Zhu Tongji 㛙䴙 (late Ming), Ning Xianwang shishi ⮏䌣䌳ḳ⮎, in Xuyi Zhushi bazhi zongpu, 1.16a. 110) Xuyi Zhushi bazhi zongpu, juan 1, “Beiji” 䠹姀, 1a-3a. 111) Yao Pinwen, Ningwang Zhu Quan, pp. 364-66, lists thirteen Daoist works by Zhu Quan. Among his works not classified as Daoist by Yao Pinwen, the Jiuming suo 㓹␥䳊 is listed as a Daoist work in both Gao Ru’s (fl. 1540) Baichuan shuzhi and Zhu Mujie’s (1517-86) Wanjuan tang shumu; the Shenyin 䤆晙 is listed as a Daoist work in both Zhao Yongxian’s Zhao Dingyu shumu and Zhao Qimei’s (1563-1624) Maiwang guan shumu; the Yunhua xuanshu 忳⊾䌬㧆 is listed as a Daoist work in Zhao Qimei’s Maiwang guan shumu; the Huangting jing zhujie 湫⹕䴻㲐妋 is by any criterion a Daoist work, and the Xialing dongtian zhi 忸漉㳆⣑娴 was listed by Zhu Quan himself as a canonical Daoist work in his Tianhuang zhidao taiqing yuce. See Gao Ru, Baichuan shuzhi, 11.164, under the works on “Immortality” (Shenxian 䤆ẁ) in the “Philosophers” (zi ⫸) branch; Zhu Mujie, Wanjuan tang shumu, 3.7a, under the “Daoist Works” (Daojia 忻⭞) in the “Philosophers Branch” (zibu ⫸悐); Zhao Yongxian, Zhao Dingyu shumu, p. 57, under the “Daoist Works” (Daojia shu 忻⭞㚠); Zhao Qimei, Maiwang guan shumu, pp. 36b, 40a, under the works on “Immortality” (Xianjia ẁ⭞) in the “Philosophers” Branch; Zhu Quan, Tianhuang zhidao taiqing yuce, 2.4b. For a discussion of Zhu Quan’s Tianhuang zhidao taiqing yuce, see Schipper and Yuan, “Tianhuang zhidao taiqing yuce,” pp. 947-48; de Bruyn, “Daoism in the Ming,” p. 606; Boltz, A Survey of Taoist Literature, pp. 237-41. 108)

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Zhu Quan became a master of Jingming Daoism. He was invested as Perfected Hanxu (Hanxu zhenren 㵝嘃䛇Ṣ) by the emperor, and revered as Perfected Zhu (Zhu zhenren 㛙䛇Ṣ) in the Daoist community.112 He built a Daoist temple named Southern Pole Palace of Longevity (Nanji changsheng gong ⋿㤝攟䓇⭖) in front of his future mausoleum.113 The temple had many halls and shrines dedicated to Daoist gods, and it was planned that Daoist priests would be housed there while preparing for ascending to heaven as immortals.114 On all sides of the monuments erected at his tomb were carved Daoist talismans. Inside the tomb, a Daoist crown (daoguan 忻ⅈ) was placed on his head, and two more daoguan on his breast; his body wore a Daoist robe (daopao 忻堵). Obviously his clothes were in Daoist fashion when he was buried.115 Concerning the ritual function of these Daoist crowns and robe, in addition to Zhu Quan’s personal identity with Daoism when alive there is the fact, pointed out by Vincent Goossaert, that “after death, a Taoist wearing a robe obtained through the guanjin ritual would be protected from punishments.”116 Zhu Quan may have been ordained into Daoism and have gone through the ordination ritual. The problem for us, however, is that we only know his hao or sobriquet, but not his faming, and it is a fact that a hao in Daoist style (daohao) and a faming are different. Most Ming princes had Daoist sobriquets but no faming. (I will deal with this issue in another study.)

For a discussion of Zhu Quan’s Gengxin yuce, see Ho Peng Yoke and Chiu Ling Yeong, Prince Zhu Quan, pp. 11-24; Needham, Ho Ping-yü (Ho Peng Yoke) and Lu Gwei-djen, Science and Civilisation in China, 5.3: 210-11. Jonker and Ho Peng Yoke think that the Gengxin yuce no longer exists. See Jonker, “Chu Ch’üan,” pp. 305-7; Ho Peng Yoke, Prince Zhu Quan, p. 1. Yao Pinwen, however, mentions a copy of it in the National Library of China (Beijing). See Yao Pinwen, Ningwang Zhu Quan, p. 364. 112) Jin Duixin and Qi Fengyuan, Xiaoyao shan Wanshou gong tongzhi, 5.44a-45a. On Zhu Quan’s relationship with Jingming Daoism, see Akizuki, Chūgoku kinsei Dōkyō, pp. 161-63; Yao Pinwen, Ningwang Zhu Quan, pp. 117-20; Zeng Zhaonan, “Shilun Ming Ningxianwang Zhu Quan,” pp. 11-14; Qing Xitai, ed., Zhongguo Daojiao shi, 3: 514-16. 113) Jiangxi tongzhi (1525), 7.127a; Nanchang juncheng (1663), 9.20a; Jiangxi tongzhi (1683), 25.44b. 114) Wei Zuoguo, “Zhu Quan chongdao chuyi,” pp. 96-97. 115) Chen Wenhua, “Jiangxi Xinjian Ming Zhu Quan,” pp. 202-4; Xu Zhifan, “Jiangxi Mingdai fanwang mu,” pp. 16-17; Jin Laien and Tian Juan, “Mingchao Gandi fanwang,” p. 69; Xu Zhifan, “Fanwang tan caishi,” p. 88; Su Derong, “Mingdai zongshi chutu wenwu,” p. 56. 116) Goossaert, The Taoists of Peking, p. 102.


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Here, I give the example of Zhu Quan partly because of his important role in the Daoist community, and partly because of his strong identification with Daoism. In the commandery princely establishment of Shicheng 䞛❶䌳⹄ (enfeoffed in Nanchang), a collateral branch of the Ning principality, Zhu Daolang 㛙忻㚿 (1622-88), probably a Supporter-commandant of the State (fengguo zhongwei ⣱⚳ᷕ⮱), followed the tradition of Zhu Quan and became a Jingming Daoist priest before the collapse of the Ming. He was the founding patriarch of the Green Cloud Monastery (Qingyun pu daoyuan 曺暚嬄忻昊) and took many disciples. He also claimed to be the fifth-generation patriarch after Liu Yu ∱䌱 (1257-1308), the first patriarch of the Jingming school.117 Zhu Daoming 㛙忻㖶 (1625-72), Zhu Daolang’s younger brother, was also a Jingming priest, serving as the associate founding patriarch of the Green Cloud Monastery.118 The two brothers had their faming and obviously were ordained. Since Zhu Daolang, and probably Zhu Daoming, took many disciples, they also conferred ordination and granted faming over other Daoists. Zhu Baoxu 㛙㉙⡇, the son of Zhu 117)

Huang Hanqiao and Xu Zhongqing (b. 1885), Jiangxi Qingyun puzhi, pp. 11b-12a, 14b-15a, 17b-20a, 21a-26a, 27b-28a, 33b-36a, 37a-b, 42a, 47a, 50a-52a, 61b, 70a-74a, 97b; Jin Duixin and Qi Fengyuan, Xiaoyao shan Wanshou gong tongzhi, 13.10a, 16.5b-6a; Akizuki, “Jōmyōdō kenkyū,” pp. 527, 531, 533-34; Akizuki, “Jōmyōin myōsai shinpō,” p. 5; Zhou Tiguan (fl. 1645-1676), “Dingshan qiao Meixian daoyuan ji,” 17.19a-b; the tablet inscribed with Zhu Daolang’s name and portrait in the memorial hall (gongde tang ≇⽟➪) of the Green Cloud Monastery, quoted in Li Dan, “Bada shanren congkao,” pp. 107-08; Zhu Jie 㛙‹, “Quxian Zhouhou jing xu” 円ẁ偀⼴䴻⸷, in Zhu Quan, Shiji zhouhou jing, 4a-b; Zhu Daolang, postscript, in ibid., 1a-2b; Xiao Hongming, Daojiao Jingming pai Qingyun pu, pts. 4-5, 7, 12. In 1920, when Xu Zhongqing, the abbot of of the Green Cloud Monastery, reprinted the Jiangxi Qingyun puzhi, he confused Zhu Daolang with Bada Shanren ℓ⣏ⰙṢ (1626?-1705?), another descendent of the Ning principality. In 1960 the modern scholar Li Dan proposed the same identification, based on the Jiangxi Qingyun puzhi. His theory, accepted at the time by a number of scholars, has been subsequently challenged by Yeye 叱叱, Wang Fangyu and Wang Shiqing 㰒ᶾ㶭. Yeye and Wang Shiqing provide conclusive evidence that Bada Shanren and Zhu Daolang were two different people. See Li Dan, “Bada shanren congkao,” pp. 95-97, 99-100, 106; Yeye, “Lun ‘Hu Yitang shibian,’” pp. 20-26; Yeye, “Du Zhu Daolang ba Quxian ‘Shiji zhoughou jing’ hou,” pp. 497-508; Wang Fangyu, “Bada shanren he Zhu Daolang,” pp. 414-17; Wang Shiqing, “Bada shanren bushi Zhu Daolang,” pp. 519-24. 118) Jingming zhongxiao zongpu 㶐㖶⾈⬅⬿嬄, quoted in Li Dan, “Bada shanren congkao,” p. 107; the tablet inscribed with Zhu Daoming’s name and portrait in the memorial hall of the Green Cloud Monastery, and Zhu Daoming’s tomb, quoted Li Dan, ibid., pp. 107-08.

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Daolang, was also a Jingming Daoist and was in charge of the Green Cloud Monastery after Zhu Daolang and Zhu Daoming.119 Zhu Deqin 㛙⽟㰩 (original name Tongtao 䴙䠂㠰ġ), Zhu Deshi 㛙⽟㗪 and Zhu Hongxuan 㛙⻀怠, three other members of the same commandery princely establishment, also became ordained Jingming priests.120 In the Ji Principality ⎱喑 (enfeoffed in Changsha 攟㱁, Hunan), Zhu Changchun 㛙ⷠ㶛 (faming Taihe ⣒␴, ca. 1557-1632), the Designated Heir to the Imperial Prince, was regarded as the ninthgeneration disciple of a certain Longmen lineage of the Quanzhen (Complete Perfection) order. Wu Shouyang ẵ⬰春 (1574-1643), the patriarch of this particular Longmen lineage, stayed in the Prince of Ji’s house from 1613 onward. Zhu Changchun honored Wu Shouyang as his master.121 In fact, Zhu Changchun seems to have been Wu’s earliest and most important disciple, for most of Wu’s works are responses to Zhu Changchun’s questions.122 Wu responded to Zhu’s questions as early as 1613. In 1615, for the first time, he formally transmitted to Zhu Changchun the cultivation secrets known as the “Secrets of refining essence within a hundred days” (bairi lianjing koujue 䘦㖍䃱䱦⎋始). In 1622 he conducted the second transmission to Zhu Changchun with the oral secrets known as the “Secrets of culling great medicine” (cai dayao koujue ㍉⣏喍⎋始). In 1628, for the third time, he transmitted to Zhu Changchun the secret method of the “Five Dragons bearing aloft the Saint” (wulong pengsheng koujue Ḽ漵㌏俾 ⎋始), also known as the secret of the “Great Medicine passing through the Pass” (dayao guoguan koujue ⣏喍忶斄⎋始). In 1632, finally, he transmitted to Zhu his work Xianfo hezong yulu ẁἃ⎰⬿婆抬ġ


Jiangxi Qingyun puzhi, pp. 74a-b. Jiangxi Qingyun puzhi, pp. 91a, 103a, 109b; Xiao Hongming, Daojiao Jingming pai Qingyun pu, pt. 4. Their names, together with those of Zhu Daolang and Zhu Daoming, matched the generation characters of the Jingming lineage poetic line: “忻⽟⬷(⻀)㶭 朄.” 121) Wu Shouyang, Tianxian lunyu xianfo hezong, 1.1a-b, 4.44b; Esposito, “The Longmen School,” p. 655. Judith Boltz and Mori Yuria have erroneously identified this Prince Ji, whose faming was Taihe, with Zhu Youlian 㛙䓙㤅 (titled 1621-36) and Zhu Cikui 㛙ヰ 䃫 (titled 1639-?), respectively. Zhu Youlian and Zhu Cikui were actually the son and grandson of Zhu Changchun. See Boltz, A Survey of Taoist Literature, p. 200; Mori, “Zenshinkyō ryūmonha,” p. 191. 122) Qing Xitai, ed., Zhongguo Daojiao shi, 4: 40-41. 120)


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(Recordedġsayings on the merged tradition of Daoism and Buddhism), together with the Longmen lineage.123 For the purpose of Daoist learning and cultivation, Zhu Changchun did not want to succeed to the principality. In 1618, when it was time for him to assume the princely title after his father had died the year before, he faked his death, thus winning the false posthumous princely title Prince Xian of Ji ⎱ㅚ䌳, and arranged to have his son succeed him in 1621.124 If we believe the accounts in the Bojian xu 戊揹临 (Sequel to the Examination of the bowl) and in a biography of Wu Shouyang by Xie Taiyi 嫅⣒㖻 (hao Ningsuzi ↅ䳈⫸), Wu’s disciple, Wu fled to the Tiantai mountains from the house of the prince of Ji for fear of the consequences of the trouble he had caused.125 What kind of trouble could he have caused after 1617, while he was safe before? I propose as a plausible explanation that the imperial court may have discovered that Zhu Changchun had faked his death and taken refuge in Daoism. Wu Shouyang, as the cause of Zhu Changchun’s ordination and of his subsequent faked death, would have been 123) Wu Shouyang, Tianxian lunyu xianfo hezong, 1.1a-26b, 4.42a-46b; Wu Shouyang, Xianfo hezong yulu, “Bi ji” 1 of the original Daozang jiyao ed., pp.1a-41a; Wu Shouyang, Tianxian zhengli zhilun zengzhu, “Bi ji” 4 of the original Daozang jiyao ed., pp. 21a-b, 33b-34a, 58b-59a; Wu Shouyang, Tianxian zhengli qianshuo, “Bi ji” 5 of the original Daozang jiyao ed., pp. 1b-2b, 14a-19a, 20b-21b; Wu Shouyang, Wu Zhenren dandao jiupian, “Bi ji” 6 of the original Daozang jiyao ed., pp. 20a, 22a-37a; Min Yide (1758-1836), Jin’gai xindeng, 2.1b; Fu Jinquan (fl. 1813-fl. 1844), Tianxian zhengli dufa dianjing, p. 21a; Qing Xitai, ed., Zhongguo daojiao shi, 4: 40-41; Mori, “Zenshinkyō ryūmonha,” p. 208, n. 59. The edition of the Xianfo hezong yulu contained inġ the Daozang jiyao 忻啷廗天, and thus in the Zangwai daoshu 啷⢾忻㚠, which reprinted the text from the Daozang jiyao, is entitled Wu zhenren dandao jiupianġ (Nine chapters on the elixir path by the Perfected Wu). The work entitled Xianfo hezong yulu in the Daozang jiyao and Zangwai daoshu is in fact a different text recording Wu Shouyang’s conversations with his disciples. 124) For information on Zhu Changchun, see Wu Shouxu ẵ⬰嘃, commentary, in Wu Shouyang, Tianxian lunyu xianfo hezong, 1.1a-b; Changsha fuzhi (1748), 10.11a; Changsha xianzhi (1817), 15.9a-b; Zhang Tingyu, Mingshi, 104.2922. It was a common, though illegal, practice that many princely establishments did not faithfully report to the imperial court the death of their princes in order to continue receiving stipends for them. See Fan Yu, “Mingdai zongshi de huji guanli,” p. 8. In the case of Zhu Changchun, he did the opposite: reporting his “death” though he was still alive. 125) Bojian xu and a biography of Wu Shouyang by Xie Taiyi, paraphrased in Min Yide, Jin’gai xindeng, 2.1b-2a. Monica Esposito holds that the Bojian 戊揹 is a possibly fictitious work attributed to Wang Changyue 䌳ⷠ㚰 (?-1680). If this is true, then the Bojian xu could be of the same nature. See Esposito, “The Longmen School,” p. 622.

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endangered because of this. Of course this explanation depends upon the reliability of the Bojian xu and of Xie Taiyi’s biography of Wu Shouyang. Zhu Changchun formally received oral transmissions of Daoist teachings as well as his faming Taihe from Wu Shouyang, who recognized him as a legitimate disciple of this particular Longmen lineage. He must have gone through ritual practice along with the ordination conferred on him, but the details are lost. Fortunately, one edition of the Xianfo hezong yulu preserves some remnants of an initiation rite, albeit not an ordination. It records that in receiving Wu Shouyang’s final transmission of this text in 1632, Zhu Changchun “adjusts cap and dress, bowing the knee to [Wu Shouyang]”; then, “standing on the west,” he gives Wu Shouyang his fourth set of neidan questions. In another occasion, Zhu Changchun “salutes [Wu Shouyang], and then bends the knee, asking” the fifth set of questions. When proceeding to the sixth set of questions, “smearing his mouth with the blood of a sacrificial victim, [Zhu Changchun] makes a covenant with Heaven (shaxue mengtian 㫫埨䚇⣑)”; then he “salutes and bows to [Wu Shouyang] four times. Prostrating on the ground, he asks….”126 These three brief episodes are too fragmentary to be used for reconstructing the whole initiation rite, but it is clear by now that Zhu Changchun performed these sets of ritual not just as a courtesy: they were parts of his formal investiture, wherein he received the transmission of the Daoist teachings and secrets. The relatively detailed indications of the care for his dress, the direction of his standing, and the way and number of his bows and prostrations demonstrate a seriousness and solemnity that one would not find in an ordinary relationship between a Confucian teacher and his student. No prince or prince’s heir was required to respect his Confucian tutor that way. Moreover, “smearing one’s mouth with the blood of a sacrificial victim” (shaxue 㫫埨) signifies a sacrifice, which can be traced to pre-historical times, and Zhu Changchun faced heavenly gods when he made the covenant (mengtian 䚇⣑). It is interesting to note that a similar liturgy, described by Wu Shouyang 126)


Wu Shouyang, Xianfo hezong, pp. 6a, 7a, 12a. The character sha 㫫 is mistaken as cha


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as “pricking oneself and taking blood” (shaxue tongmeng 㫫埨⎴䚇) was performed by Wu himself when he was initiated into this Daoist lineage by his master, Cao Changhua 㚡ⷠ⊾ (1562-1622). When one of his disciples inquired of him about the meaning of shaxue tongmeng, Wu Shouyang elaborated: “From ancient times on, when an immortalperfected transmits [to someone] the true Dao, they must perform purification rites and make offerings as the regulations stipulate, supplied with a pledge and presents. Pricking themselves and taking blood, they make a covenant with Heaven (shaxue mengshi yu tian 㫫 埨䚇娻Ḷ⣑ ). Only after they have memorialized the Supreme Sovereign, [the starry gods of ] the Three Terraces, the Northern Dipper, the Southern Star, the Three Officials, the Four Sages, the Five Emperors, and the Ruler of Fates, asking for their approvals, can the immortalperfected transmit [the teachings].”127 For Wu Shouyang, this initiation rite is a solemn business. Wu Shouyang’s phrase, shaxue mengshi yu tian, is almost the same as the one, shaxue mengtian 㫫埨䚇⣑, used by Zhu Changchun. Zhu Changchun’s liturgical actions thus seem to have come from Wu Shouyang. Certainly they were part of the solemn ceremony of Daoist transmission and investiture (note that several of Wu’s transmissions to Zhu consist of oral secrets, or koujue ⎋始).128 If the above accounts of the princes’ ordinations or initiations are certain, the ones that follow are not. In the Tang Principality, Zhu Yuying 㛙⬯㿈 (fl. 1599), Defender-general of the State (zhenguo jiangjun 捖⚳⮯幵 ), had the “ambition of cloud and mist,” wholeheartedly partaking of herbal medicines. He visited many Daoist masters, forming extensive Daoist ties. He also “read Daoist scriptures within the Daoist canon and without.” Moreover, he asked to be taken as a disciple by Immortal Lata 怳怊ẁ (1521-1628), a Quanzhen master from the Grotto-heaven Shrine of the Peach-blossom Spring (Taoyuan dongtian ci 㟫㸸㳆⣑䤈), a full-fledged monastery on Mount Qiyun 127) Wu Shouyang, Xianfo hezong yulu, “Bi ji” 2 of the original Daozang jiyao ed., pp. 13a-b. Wu Shouyang’s elaboration is quoted in Wu Shouxu’s commentary on Wu Shouyang’s expression, “shaxue tongmeng 㫫埨⎴䚇.” In both occurrences the character sha 㫫 cited here is written as ci ⇢, though later on the use of sha is correct. 128) For the details of the transmission ritual elaborated by Wu Shouyang and Wu Shouxu, who was Wu Shouyang’s cousin and also honored Cao Changhua as his master, see ibid., pp. 13b-14a; “Bi ji” 3 of the original Daozang jiyao ed., pp. 53a-b.

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滲暚Ⱉ (Anhui).129 We do not know whether Immortal Lata accepted Zhu Yuying as a disciple, and thus conferred ordination on him; but another princely member’s case is interesting. In his princedom, Wang Taiyuan 䌳⣒⍇, allegedly the son of the last prince of Tang,130 is said to have been raised by Huang Shouzhong 湫⬰ᷕ (Yedaposhe 慶⿃⧮ 敵, ?-1792), better known as the Jizu daozhe 暆嵛忻侭 (Daoist of Chicken Foot Mountain), and to have become the latter’s disciple at Jizu shan 暆嵛Ⱉ (Chicken Foot Mountain) in Yunnan. Huang Shouzhong, disputably a direct disciple of the famous Quanzhen master Wang Changyue 䌳ⷠ㚰 (?-1680), belonged to the eighth generation of the so-called “Longmen orthodox lineage” (Longmen zhengzong 漵 攨㬋⬿) in the early Qing, and was credited with establishing the Xizhu xinzong 大䪢⽫⬿ (Heart School of West India), a Longmen branch in Yunnan. Changing his royal family name of Zhu to Wang to signify his original status as a prince (wang 䌳), Wang Taiyuan became the ninth-generation disciple of the Xizhu xinzong branch as well as the Longmen lineage, with Taiyuan as his Daoist faming. He was also known locally as Dajiao xian ⣏儛ẁ.131 Given that all the details about Wang Taiyuan come from Min Yide’s 攼ᶨ⼿ (1758-1836) Jin’gai xindeng 慹味⽫䅰 (Transmission of the mind-lamp from Mount


Zhu [Yu]ying 㛙[⬯]㿈, “Shang Lata xian shu” ᶲ怳怊ẁ䔷, in Lu Dian (fl. 1599-fl. 1637), Qiyun shan Taoyuan dongtian zhi, pp. 9b-10b. For information on Immortal Lata, see ibid., pp. 5b-7a, 10a-b, 12a-b; Qiyun shanzhi bianzuan bangongshi, comp., Qiyun shanzhi, pp. 193-94. 130) At the end of the Ming there were three last princes of Tang. Zhu Yujian 㛙倧挝 (1602-1646) was entitled Prince of Tang in 1632, but was deprived of the title and put in jail in 1636. His younger brother Zhu Yumo 㛙倧捴 (after 1602-1641) succeeded him and became Prince of Tang that year. Zhu Yumo died in 1641 when rebels captured Nanyang, where the Tang princely establishment was located. In the Southern Ming, Zhu Yujian ascended the imperial throne in Fuzhou (Fujian), establishing the reign title Longwu 昮㬎, and confirmed another brother, Zhu Yuao 㛙倧揕 (after 1602-1647), as successor to the title of Prince of Tang in 1645. After the defeat of the Longwu emperor, who died in 1646, Zhu Yuao assumed the imperial throne in Guangzhou (Guangdong) with the reign title Shaowu 䳡㬎, but he was defeated and killed in 1647. Wang Taiyuan’s mother escaped to Jizu shan 暆嵛Ⱉ (Yunnan) after her husband’s death; she gave birth to Wang Taiyuan there. Given the geographical distance between Nanyang and Yunnan, it is likely that Wang Taiyuan’s father was either Zhu Yujian or Zhu Yuao, who were in Fuzhou or Guangzhou during the Southern Ming. 131) Min Yide, Jin’gai xindeng, 6A.5b.


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Jin’gai), which is not very reliable, we do not know how much in his case is legendary and how much historical.132 Prince Duanyi of Jingjiang 曾㰇䪗ㆧ䌳 (Zhu Yueqi 㛙䲬渺, titled 1490-1516 and enfeoffed in Guilin, Guangxi) called himself Perfected Zhu 㛙䛇Ṣ, and would often wear a Daoist turban (daoshijin 忻⢓ ⶦ).133 His brother, or cousin, Zhu Yueji 㛙䲬἞ (fl. 1551-58) wrote a collection of his Daoist works, the Guanhua ji 奨⊾普, which focuses on neidan, as well as other writings on Daoist immortals and masters.134 Zhu Yueji honored Master Guguang ⎌⃱⃰䓇 as his Daoist master, and he took Xie Yingkui 嫅ㅱ⣶ as his disciple in neidan teachings.135 Presumably he was initiated into a neidan lineage—at least there was a formal transmission process similar to that of Daoism between Master Guguang, Zhu Yueji, and Xie Yingkui. Likewise, in the Zheng Principality 惕喑 (enfeoffed in Huaiqing ㆟ㄞ prefecture, Henan), the oldest son of a certain prince of Zheng took Yang Budai 㣲ⶫ堳, a Daoist priest, as his master.136 We are not certain about the last two princes’ standing in Daoism, however. The aforementioned examples from the Ning, Ji, Tang, and probably Jingjiang and Zheng principalities provide us with comparatively detailed information about the place the princes in question occupied in Daoist lineages, leading to the conclusion that they were ordained, or at least initiated, with attendant rites. The next cases are not as concrete, but they derive from accounts issuing from the Daoist community. Thus, a Daoist robe (daopao) was discovered by archaeologists in the tomb of Prince Xuan of Yi 䙲⭋䌳 (Zhu Yiyin 㛙佲憷, 1537-1603Īĭġ whose Daoist hao was Huangnan daoren 㼊⋿ 132)

On the unreliability of the Jin’gai xindeng, see Esposito, “The Longmen School,” pp. 622, 628, 640, 654, 657, 660, 671-74. 133) Su Derong, “Mingdai zongshi wenhua,” p. 24; Guangxi tongzhi (1599), 6.4a-b. 134) The Guanhua ji is included in the “Daoist Works Listed by Title” (Daojia lei cunmu 忻⭞栆⬀䚖), in the “Branch of Philosophers” (zibu), in the Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao ⚃⹓ℐ㚠䷥䚖㍸天, and is extant. See Zhu Yueji, Guanhua ji; Ji Yun (1724-1805) et al., comp., Qinding siku quanshu zongmu, 147.1967; Lingui xianzhi (1802), 3.10b, 20.10b11a. 135) Zhu Yueji, Guanhua ji; Yuan Fuzheng 堩䤷⽝ (fl. 1544-1551), “Guanhua ji xu” 奨 ⊾普⸷, in Guanhua ji, prefaces, p. 3b; Luo Hongxian 伭㳒⃰ (1504-64), “Guanhua ji xu” 㔀, ibid., pp. 1b-2a; Shen Yingkui 㰰ㅱ櫩 (fl. 1556-1557), “Guanhua ji xu,” ibid., p. 17b; Lingui xianzhi, 3.10b, 20.10b-11a. 136) Ruyang xianzhi (1690), 9B.67b; Chongxiu Runan xianzhi (1938), 22.44a-b.

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忻Ṣ, in the Yi 䙲 Principality. Likewise, a Daoist cloth robe with a decorative pattern of white clouds was found in the tomb, excavated in Nancheng (Jiangxi), of a certain Commandery Prince of Luochuan 伭ⶅ䌳 (enfeoffed in Jianchang), who was a collateral member of the Yi Principality.137 Although we can see the apparent identification with Daoism of the princes concerned, we do not know whether they were actually ordained. More important, a member of the Yi principality with the daohao Xiaoxian ⮷ẁ was a Jingming Daoist master. Xiaoxian honored Xie Ling 嫅漉 as his master, and transmitted the Jingming teachings. In Jingming Daoism there was a prognostication myth known as the “Prognostication of the Pine Tree and Sandy Islet” (songsha chenyu 㜦㱁嬾婆) or the “Prognostication of the Dragon Sandy Islet” (longsha 漵㱁 chenyu). According to this, Xu Xun, the legendary Jingming founder and god, had prognosticated that 1,240 years after his ascendance to heaven in 374 eight hundred Earth Immortals would appear in the Yuzhang 尓䪈 region—that is, the area centering around Nanchang in Jiangxi—who would promote Jingming teachings. A pine tree and a sandy islet called Dragon Sandy Islet at Nanchang would be proof of the event.138 Thus the time for the appearance of these


Liu Lin, Yu Jiadong and Xu Zhifan, “Jiangxi Nancheng Ming Yi Xuanwang Zhu Yiyin,” pp. 17, 21, 26; Xu Zhifan, “Jiangxi Mingdai fanwang mu,” pp. 20-21ļġXue Yao, “Jiangxi Nancheng Mingmu,” pp. 319-20. This Commandery Prince of Luochuan was either the Commandery Prince Yi [?] of Luochuan 伭ⶅㆧˎ䌳 (i.e. Zhu Changqing 㛙 ⷠ㷹), or the last commandery prince of Luochuan (i.e. Zhu Youxuan 㛙䓙ᵘ⦴). 138) “Songsha ji” 㜦㱁姀, in Xu Xun (attrib.), Lingjian zi, pp. 14a-b, 20b-21a; Chen Daling 昛忼曰 (fl. 1174), “Wuzhen pian zhu xu” ぇ䛇䭯姣⸷, in Ziyang zheren wuzhen pian zhushu, preface, 4b; Bo Yuchan (1194-1229), Jingyang Xu zhenjun zhuan, 33.8b; Zhao Daoyi (fl. 1294), Xu taishi, 26.8a-b. See also Akizuki, Chūgoku kinsei Dōkyō, p. 162. The last three sentences at the end of the passage regarding the 1,240-year prophecy in the citation from the Lingjian zi in the 1926 Hanfen lou 㵝剔㦻 edition of the Daoist Canon (Daozang) and its reprints (such as the most commonly used 1977 Xinwenfeng edition) have been corrupted, due to the misplacement of a whole folio. At this point, I use the better edition published by Wenwu chubanshe, Shanghai shudian and Tianjin guji chubanshe in 1988, known as the “Sanjia ben” ᶱ⭞㛔, which reflects the original condition of the Ming Daozang. Catherine Despeux dates the Lingjian zi to the eleventh or twelfth century (before 1145), while Zhu Yueli dates it from the Northern Song period (960-1127). See Despeux, “Lingjian zi,” p. 788; Zhu Yueli, “Lingjian zi de niandai,” pp. 132-35. In the early version represented by the “Songsha ji,” the “Prognostication of the Pine Tree and Sandy Islet” has nothing to do with the figure of 1,240 years after Xu Xun’s ascent, which belongs to a separate myth. Some time in the early Southern Song (1127-80) the two myths were conflated into one that had both the pine tree-sandy islet


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Jingming earth immortals was predicted to be 1614, in the late Ming.139 Now Jianchang was located within the Yuzhang region and Xiaoxian, the above-mentioned member of the Yi principality, was regarded as one of the eight hundred immortals in the Jingming community.140 Presumably he received the Daoist ordination. Similarly, thirteen members of the commandery princely establishment of Qingjiang 㶭㰇䌳⹄ (enfeoffed in Raozhou 棺ⶆ prefecture, Jiangxi), which was under the Imperial Huai Principality 㶖喑, seem to have been ordained as Jingming Daoists, and were regarded in the Jingming community as counting among the eight hundred disciples turned Earth Immortals who carried on Xu Xun’s teachings.141 Princely Performance of Ritual This section will examine the Ming princes’ ritual practices other than ordination or initiation. The princes discussed here are different from those in the preceding section in that they are not known to have been ordained; yet they identified themselves with Daoism. This classification is of course based on the available sources: evidence revealed in the future may lead us to reclassify some of them into the preceding group. In any event, these princes were enthusiastic about Daoist ritual and participated in person in it, playing certain roles. So far as Daoist liturgical performance is concerned, they were activist patrons. The first case is the prince of Xiang (Zhu Bo, 1371-99). Zhu Bo, whose fief-state was in Jingzhou 勲ⶆ (Hubei), was a pious believer in Daoism. He used Zixuzi 䳓嘃⫸ as his Daoist-style sobriquet (hao),142 and the 1,240 years elements: see Chen Daling’s preface, Bo Yuchan’s Jingyang Xu zhenjun zhuan, and Zhao Daoyi’s Xu taishi (all cited above). 139) Some early biographies of Xu Xun give earlier dates for his ascent. For example, the date is 281 in Xu zhenjun, 14.100; 292 in Xiaodao Wu Xu er zhenjun zhuan, p. 13a; and 301 in Wang Songnian’s (tenth century), Xianyuan bianzhu, 3.12b. Since Bo Yuchan’s Jingyang Xu zhenjun zhuan (33.14b) the date was given as 374 in all subsequent biographies of Xu Xun. In fact the earlier dates are all anachronistic because they place the event in the mid-Western Jin (265-316), when Xu Xun, according to his biographies, was active in the mundane realm, before his transcendence, during the Eastern Jin (317-419). 140) Yingzhou xianji (1662-1825), 2.4b. 141) Ibid., 2.7b. 142) Zhang Tingyu, Mingshi, 117.3581.

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and identified himself as “Zhu Bo, Prince of Xiang, disciple of the Three Luminaries of the Great Arcane at the Shangqing Mysterious Capital” (Shangqing dadong xuandu sanjing dizi Xiangwang Zhu Bo ᶲ㶭⣏㳆䌬悥ᶱ㘗⻇⫸㸀䌳㛙㝷).143 In 1390, five years after he had proceeded to his fief-state, he visited the Daoist center located on Mount Wudang 㬎䔞Ⱉ, the most holy Daoist mountain during the Ming, to worship the Perfect Warrior (Zhenwu).144 In 1393 he enlarged the small Zhenwu temple (Zhenwu miao 䛇㬎⺇) at Jiangling 㰇昝 county, the seat of Jingzhou prefecture, and made it into a large monastery with the new name Abbey of Great Radiance (Taihui guan ⣒㘱奨), as a travel-temple for the god Zhenwu. He then invited Li Zhongmin 㛶ẚ㓷, a Daoist priest, to be the abbot of the new temple.145 Archaeologists have found a gold dragon (jinlong 慹漵, 1.15 cm), a jade tablet (yujian 䌱䯉, 0.15 × 2.9 cm) bearing an inscription on one side and a talisman (fu 䫎) on the other, and a jade disk (yubi 䌱 䑏) at the Zixiaowo 䳓暬䩑, near the Palace of the Purple Empyrean (Zixiao gong 䳓暬⭖) on Mount Wudang. The inscription on the jade tablet reveals that they were ritual objects used in a single liturgy.146 According to it, in 1399, during the Upper Prime Festival (Shangyuan jie ᶲ⃫䭨, on the seventh day of the first lunar month) that honored the Heavenly Official (Tianguan ⣑⭀), one divinity of the Three Officials (Sanguan ᶱ⭀), Zhu Bo committed himself to have the Great Universal Heavenly Offering (Putian dazhai 㘖⣑⣏滳, better known as Putian dajiao 㘖⣑⣏慖) presented to 1,200 deities. The rite was performed for five whole days and nights, and the ritual altar, named the Three Luminaries of Great Radiance (Taihui sanjing lingtan


Wang Yucheng, “Ming Wudang shan jinlong yujian,” p. 148; Ding Anmin, “Wudang shan chutu wenwu,” p. 137. 144) Ren Ziyuan (fl. 1406-31), Chijian Dayue Taihe shanzhiĭġ7.132; Xiangyang fuzhiġ(1584), 41.14a-b; Huguang zongzhi (1591), 73.60a; de Bruyn, “Daoism in the Ming,” p. 595. 145) Jingzhou fuzhiġ (1532), 10.3a; Lu Yong 映柺 (fl. 1392-1402), “Taihui guan ji” ⣒㘱 奨姀, ibid., 12.34b-36a; Kong Yanmo (original name Zhu Yanmo 㛙⃤䠂䶑, fl. 1643-53), Jiangling zhiyuġ (1653), 7.3a; Huguang zongzhi (1591), 45.9b; Liu Zuozhong, “Lishi wenhua mingcheng: Jiangling,” p. 211; Sun Qikang et al., ed., Hubei shengzhi, p. 119. 146) Wang Yucheng, “Ming Wudang shan jinlong yujian,” pp. 148-49, 151, 153; Ding Anmin, “Wudang shan chutu wenwu,” p. 137.


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⣒㘱ᶱ㘗曰⡯), was set up at the Abbey of Great Radiance. Zhu Bo played the role of ritual patron (zhaizhu 滳ᷣ).147 The Great Universal Heavenly Offering is the grandest Daoist ritual at the highest level, and it is presented to 3,600 deities. In the Daoist tradition the Offering was conducted only by the imperial court, or by high-ranking officials on behalf of the state. Ordinary people were not allowed to commission such a ritual.148 Zhu Bo’s conduct in having this rite practiced was certainly transgressive of his status. To be sure, he was not a commoner (shuren ⹞Ṣ), but an imperial prince. Still, he was not a high-ranking official operating in the name of the state in this particular circumstance, but apparently did this for his own personal purposes. It is true, on the other hand, that the Great Universal Heavenly Offering he commissioned was performed on a smaller scale, with the number of deities reduced from 3,600 to 1,200. At any rate, at the conclusion of the Offering, during the rite of “tossing the tablets and dragons” (tou longjian ㈽漵䯉), Zhu Bo himself inscribed a pledge on the jade tablet and then had the Daoist master Zhou Sili ␐⿅䥖, with whom he had gone to Wudang, toss it, together with the gold dragon and the jade disk, in the mountain there. The gold dragon was supposed to transmit the message to heaven, while the jade disk served as a treasure presented to it.149 A stone ritual object was also found in another archaeological site located near the Palace of the Southern Precipice (Nanyan gong ⋿⵾ ⭖) on Mount Wudang. This little stone (7.3-8 cm) is inscribed with 147)

Wang Yucheng, “Ming Wudang shan jinlong yujian,” pp. 148-49. See also Ding Anmin, “Wudang shan chutu wenwu,” p. 137. On this particular date of the Upper Prime Festival, which is different from the ordinary Upper Prime Festival today (on the fifteenth day of the first month), see Lagerwey, Taoist Ritual in Chinese Society, p. 24; Zhu Quan, Tianhuang zhidao taiqing yuce, 7.21a. 148) Zhang Shangying (1043-1121), ed., Jinlu zhai toujian yi, pp. 7a-b; Lü Yuansu (fl. 1188), comp., Daomen dingzhi, 3.3b-4a. For an actual performance of the Great Universal Heavenly Offering that complied with the above-mentioned rules stipulated in the Daoist tradition, see “Da Yuan toudian longjian zhi ji” ⣏⃫㈽⤈漵䯉ᷳ姀, in Chen Yuan, comp., Daojia jinshi lüe, pp. 862-63, which mentions that the Great Universal Heavenly Offering performed in 1315 and presented to 3,600 deities was commissioned by Emperor Renzong (r. 1312-20) of the Yuan and the Empress Dowager. 149) Wang Yucheng, “Ming Wudang shan jinlong yujian,” pp. 148-49, 151, 153. See also Ding Anmin, “Wudang shan chutu wenwu,” p. 137. For a comprehensive study of the rite of “tossing the tablets and dragons,” see Chavannes, “Le jet des dragons,” pp. 53-220.

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a “prayer sent to the god [i.e. Zhenwu]” by Zhu Bo on one side and a fu on the other.”150 We are not sure whether this prayer was part of the rite of “tossing the tablets and dragons” performed by Zhou Sili. Given that the Palace of the Purple Empyrean and the Palace of the Southern Precipice were, and still are, two different establishments situated at a certain distance, I surmise that Zhu Bo’s worship of Zhenwu with this stone prayer was a separate liturgy performed when he went to Mount Wudang to attend the rite of “tossing the tablets and dragons.” Shortly after his ritual participation and performance at Mount Wudang, Zhu Bo committed suicide as a result of a political conspiracy. The Yongle emperor decided to patronize Mount Wudang in 1402, and his lavish rebuilding and subsequent support of the Daoist establishments there started in 1412.151 From 1390, when he was nineteen, to 1399, right before he died, Zhu Bo as a Daoist believer visited and patronized Mount Wudang, engaged in commissioning the transgressive performance of the Great Universal Heavenly Offering as well as an unknown liturgy worshiping Zhenwu. This was obviously not influenced by the Yongle emperor, but was on Zhu Bo’s own initiative. Much later, the last prince of Liao 怤䌳 (Zhu Xianjie 㛙ㅚ⚛ㇰ, fl. 1537-1582?, also enfeoffed in Jingzhou) showed himself to be another devout follower of Daoism. For this he was favored by the Jiajing emperor, who conferred on him the Daoist title Qingwei zhongjiao zhenren 㶭⽖⾈㔁䛇Ṣ and gave him a set of the Daozang 忻啷, or Daozangjing 䴻 (Daoist canon) as known in the Ming, a gold seal, a Daoist vestment (fayi 㱽堋), and a Daoist crown (faguan 㱽ⅈ). Zhu Xianjie was keen on Daoist scriptures, talismans, spells and other magic. In ordinary times he dressed up with Daoist clothes and crown, and he preferred to be addressed as a “perfected” instead of a “prince.” Even 150) De Bruyn, “Wudang Shan,” pp. 570, 581, n. 121, based on an archaeological discovery made in 1984. Note that Zhou Sili performed the rite of “tossing the tablets and dragons” and Zhu Bo signed for his prayer to Zhenwu with a talisman on the same day. See Wang Yucheng, “Ming Wudang shan jinlong yujian,” p. 148; Ding Anmin, “Wudang shan chutu wenwu,” p. 137; de Bruyn, loc. cit. 151) De Bruyn, “Wudang Shan,” pp. 570-71; Mano, Mindai bunkashi, pp. 336-41, 345; Ishida, “Eiraku tei no Taiwa san fukkō,” p. 50.


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when he granted local civil officials an audience, he always wore his Daoist vestment and crown, looking like a Daoist priest. Whenever he went out he donned the Daoist vestment and crown bestowed by the emperor and carried a tablet inscribed “deities are exempted from greeting [me]” along with a stick for flogging ghosts. According to the record, whenever there was a Daoist rite or offering, even in a commoner’s family, he would go to the ritual arena and perform the rites for the family. He also proclaimed himself Master of High Merit (gaogong 檀≇), that is, chief officiant. Chanting the golden scriptures, he prostrated himself before the altar and presented memorials to the gods together with other Daoist priests. He also performed a rite praying for rain.152 Thus, his obsession with Daoist rituals is beyond doubt; but we do not have details on whether or how he was ordained. In the Xiang Principality 壬喑 (enfeoffed in Xiangyang 壬春, Hubei), Prince Huai of Xiang 壬㆟䌳 (Zhu Youcai 㛙䣸㛸, titled 1491-1504) and his brother, Prince Kang of Xiang 壬⹟䌳 (Zhu Youzhi 㛙䣸㩵; 1475-1550), were both fond of Daoism and its arts and had many Daoist thunder altars and images of Daoist gods erected in their respective palaces. Zhu Youzhi was said to be able to summon certain Daoist gods. It is even said that Prince Jian of Xiang 壬䯉䌳 (Zhu Jianshu 㛙夳㵹, titled 1489-90), the father of the two brothers, had a dream in which two Daoist priests were entering his princely palace. The brothers were born in the same month shortly after this dream.153 Whether this was a legend or an authentic dream of Zhu Jianshu’s, Zhu Youcai and Zhu Youzhi’s identity with Daoism was clear, and Zhu Youzhi performed some Daoist rites himself. Prince Zhuang of Su 倭匲䌳 (Zhu Ying, enfeoffed in Lanzhou 嗕 ⶆ, Shaanxi [present-day Gansu]), the first prince of this household, 152) Ming Shizong shilu, 341.3a; Xu Xuemo (1522-93), “Liao Feiwang shiji” 怤⺊䌳ḳ姀, in idem, Guiyou yuan gao: Wenbian, 4.14a-b, 21b; Shen Defu (1578-1642), Wanli yehuo bian, 4.119, 121-22; Zhang Tingyu, Mingshi, 117.3588; He Qiaoyuan, Mingshan cang, 37.16b-17a; Jiao Hong (1541-1620), Guochao xianzheng lu, 1.57b-58a; Deng Tingyan 惏⺟⼍ of the Ming, “Liaocheng yingu” 怤❶⏇⎌, in Chen Shi (1748-1826), Hubei jiuwen lu, 15.644; Jingzhou fuzhiġ(1757), 22.30b-34a; Jiangling xianzhiġ(1794), 16.20b, 46.30a-b. 153) Xiangyang fuzhi (1584), 11.11b; Chen Shi, Hubei jiuwen lu, 15.653; Xiangyang xianzhi (1874), juan 1, “Dili yan’ge” ⛘䎮㱧朑, pp. 6b-7a.

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was familiar with the Qingwei 㶭⽖ (Clarified Tenuity) Thunder Rites, in addition to his patronage of local Daoist temples and priests.154 Following his ancestor Zhu Ying, in a collateral line of the Su principality, Commandery Prince Kangmu of Chunhua 㶛⊾⹟䧮䌳 (Zhu Biguo 㛙⻤㝄, d. 1583, enfeoffed in Lanzhou) promoted Daoism and practiced Daoist ritual and magic. On the occasion of a drought, the local officials asked him to perform a ritual praying for rain as if he were a Daoist priest.155 If Zhu Bo, Zhu Xianjie, and certain princes from the Xiang and Su princedoms actively performed or participated in Daoist rituals, the next record is about princely involvement in a ritual in an allegedly passive way. Prince Gong of Hui ⽥〕䌳 (Zhu Houjue 㛙⍂䇅, 1506-50, enfeoffed in Junzhou 懆ⶆ, later renamed Yuzhou 䥡ⶆ, Henan) was also a follower of Daoism. He befriended Shao Yuanjie 恝⃫䭨ġ (1459-1539) andġTao Zhongwen 昞ẚ㔯 (1481-1560), the two most important senior Daoist priests in the court, both of whom were much favored by the Jiajing emperor. Zhu Houjue was also treated by the emperor as a favorite; he was awarded a golden seal inscribed “the perfected” (zhenren 䛇Ṣ) and received the title Taiqing fuxuan xuanhua zhongdao zhenren ⣒㶭庼䌬⭋⊾⾈忻䛇Ṣ.156 His son, Zhu Zailun 㛙庱➐ (titled 1551-56), the last prince of Hui, also believed in Daoism. He served and respected Tao Zhongwen as his master as well, and befriended the Daoist priest Liang Gaofu 㠩檀庼. Zhu Zailun had a faith in and made offerings to the Immortal of the Moon (Yuezhong xianren 㚰ᷕẁṢ), one of the highest gods of Jingming Daoism. Zhu Zailun, who was himself practicing, trusted Daoist alchemy and partook of Daoist elixirs. By offering Daoist elixirs to the Jiajing emperor as a tribute he was unduly trusted by the emperor and granted a golden seal and the title Qingwei yijiao fuhua zhongxiao zhenren 㶭⽖佲㔁


Zhu Ying, “Jintian guan jiming” 慹⣑奨姀所, in Zhang Wei (1890-fl. 1950), ed., Longyou jinshi lu, 6.2b-3b. On Zhu Ying’s patronage of Lanzhou Daoist temples and priests, see Richard Wang, “Four Steles,” pp. 58, 68. 155) Lintao fuzhi (1604), 5.5b-6a. On Zhu Biguo’s patronage of Daoism, see Richard Wang, “Four Steles,” p. 68. 156) Shen Defu, Wanli yehuo bian, 4.119-21; He Qiaoyuan, Mingshan cang, 40.7b-8a; Jiao Hong, Guochao xianzheng lu, 2.47b-48a; Zhang Tingyu, Mingshi, 119.3637-38; Ming Shizong shilu, 438.1a; Kaifeng fuzhi (1585), 15.16b.


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庼⊾⾈⬅䛇Ṣ.157 Later, however, he offended the emperor and was deprived of his princely title and imprisoned. The Hui principality was abolished. Yet some Daoist priests who had been patronized by the Hui princely establishment remained sympathetic to Zhu Zailun. They erected wooden statues in the Hall of Literary Glory (Wenchang dian 㔯㖴㭧) of the Cave of Zhang Liang (Liuhou dong 䔁ὗ㳆) in Junzhou, inscribing them with such names as “Holy Mother” (shengmu 俾㭵), “Empress” (wanghou 䌳⎶), “Heir of the Imperial Prince” (shizi), “Princess” (gongzhu ℔ᷣ), etc., each with a Daoist title. These figures all corresponded to authentic identities who were members of the Hui principality—presumably the last prince’s mother, wife, sons, and daughters. In other words, these princely members of the Hui princedom were sacralized in the Daoist community and secretly worshiped in a Daoist fashion.158

Princes Participating in Observances as Lay Patrons The third category of princely Daoist activities I will describe is the invitation to or hiring of Daoist priests by princes to perform Daoist rituals for them privately or for the community. Sometimes the princes also participated in the observances. This kind of patronage, however, differs from the last category insofar as that they did not perform themselves, regardless of whether or not they were real Daoist followers, and even though they put in more financial resources and paid more rewards to Daoist priests. To be sure, some of the princes examined in this section may actually have performed parts of Daoist rituals, but since the limited sources available do not allow us to know the actual facts they have been included in this third category by default. What the princes in this category did was hiring Daoist priests to perform rituals, or participating themselves in the rituals performed by those priests, as well as worshipping in Daoist temples—in short, activities analogous to a lay patron’s engagement in Daoism.


Shen Defu, Wanli yehuo bian, loc. cit. and 27.697, 699; He Qiaoyuan, loc. cit.; Jiao Hong, loc. cit.; Zhang Tingyu, loc. cit.; Kaifeng fuzhi (1585), loc. cit.; Nanyang fuzhi (1694), 5.61b; Ming Shizong shilu, 388.2b, 425.1a. 158) Yuxian zhi (1939), 30.26a.

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Prince Xian of Shu 嚨䌣䌳 (Zhu Chun 㛙㣧, 1370-1423, enfeoffed in Chengdu, Sichuan) represents a transition from our second to our third category of Daoist patronage. He claimed that he took refuge in Daode tianzun 忻⽟⣑⮲, even though he is described as a “Confucian” model prince in the official historiography.159 Zhu Chun told Zhu Bo, his brother, that he had wanted to commission a grand Daoist ritual for a long time, but could not find a competent Daoist master. This is why around 1392 he requested Zhu Bo to send the Daoist master/ alchemist Ju ⎍㱽/䃱ⷓ from the Southern Marchmount, who was then housed by Zhu Bo, to the Shu princedom in order to perform a ritual for him.160 Zhu Chun also invited the Daoist master (gaoshi 檀 ⢓) Guo Benshu 悕㛔⿽, a ritual official at the capital with a state stipend, to Chengdu to perform a Yellow Register Ritual (huanglu zhai 湫䰁滳) for him.161 From 1390 to 1398 Zhu Chun went to many Daoist temples to worship Daoist gods, including the god Wenchang at the Wenchang Palace (Wenchang gong 㔯㖴⭖) at Mount Qiqu ᶫ 㚚Ⱉ in Zitong 㠻㼤 county (Sichuan), the headquarters of the Wenchuan cult, and Marshal Zhao Xuanlang 嵁䌬㚿 at his new temple—which Zhu Chun had just built—with prayers composed by himself.162 He also observed a rite at the Black Sheep Palace (Qingyang gong 曺伲⭖) in Chengdu.163 In the Yan Principality 䅽喑 (enfeoffed in Beiping, present-day Beijing), Zhu Di, still the prince of Yan before becoming the Yongle emperor, attended the Daoist ritual commemorating the completion of the renovation of the Palace of Eternal Spring (Changchun gong 攟 㗍⭖)—today’s White Cloud Abbey (Baiyun guan 䘥暚奨)—in Beijing. In 1395 he worshipped there and participated in the Yanjiu 䅽ḅ festival on the nineteenth of the first month, which celebrated the birthday of the Quanzhen patriarch Qiu Chuji ᷀嗽㨇 (1148-1227) and was the most important public festival ceremony organized at this

159) Zhu Chun, Xiangyuan ruizhi ji, 13.9b. For his description as a Confucian model, see Zhang Tingyu, Mingshi, 117.3579-80. 160) Zhu Chun, “Da Xiangfu shu” 䫼㸀⹄㚠, in idem, Xiangyuan ruizhi ji, 4.8b-9a. 161) Zhu Chun, Xiangyuan ruizhi ji, 13.9b. 162) Zhu Chun, Xiangyuan ruizhi ji, 7.4a-7b, 9a-12b. The Wenchang Palace at Mount Qiqu was staffed with Daoist priests. See ibid., 7.5a. 163) Zhu Chun, Xiangyuan ruizhi ji, 14.1b.


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monastery.164 Zhu Gaozhi 㛙檀䅦 (1378-1425), his son and designated heir (later the Hongxi emperor), also visited the Palace of Eternal Spring, worshipping there in 1396. He also had the priests at the monastery perform the Grand Golden Register Ceremony (jinlu dazhai 慹䰁⣏滳) several times.165 Since the Yan principality only produced two generations of princes, in a sense Zhu Di and Zhu Gaozhi’s participation in rituals can be seen as their collective involvement. Similarly, in the Zhou Principality ␐喑 (enfeoffed in Kaifeng, Henan), another powerful senior establishment, generations of princes prayed on the 7th day of each month to the Big Dipper at the Terrace of the Seven Stars (Qixing tai ᶫ㗇冢), located within the Zhou princely estates.166 The last case of the Zhou princely ritual performance dedicated to the Big Dipper deserves special attention. The Big Dipper played an important role in Daoist cosmology, meditation and ritual, and worship to the Big Dipper (baidou ㊄㔿) was a key rite in its own right as well as an indispensible component in many rites in Daoism.167 In this light, it is no surprise that Prince Xuan of Shen 㾳⭋䌳 (Zhu Tianjiao 㛙〔䁬, titled 1552-82, enfeoffed in Lu’an 㼆⬱ prefecture, Shanxi), like most Daoist patrons, also prayed to the Big Dipper in a Daoist liturgy at an altar where Daoist priests performed the ritual dance of “pacing the void” (buxu 㬍嘃).168 The commandery prince of Fanshan 㦲Ⱉ䌳 (Zhu Yichi 㛙佲䠂≀, 1568-fl. 1628, enfeoffed in Qi 喬 subprefecture, Hubei) also worshipped the Big Dipper (to be discussed later). Prince Xuan of Yi (Zhu Yiyin), mentioned above, and his son Zhu Changqian 㛙ⷠ≥䚧 (d. 1615), then the designated heir to the princedom 164) Koyanagi, Hakuunkan shi, 1.555; Hu Ying 傉㾁 (1375-1463), “Baiyun guan chongxiu ji” 䘥暚奨慵ᾖ姀, in ibid., 4.582; Zhao Shixian 嵁⢓岊 (1460-1511), “Baiyun guan chongxiu bei” 䘥暚奨慵ᾖ䠹, in ibid., 4.583; Shuntian fuzhi (1896), 17.8a-b. On the Yanjiu festival, see Goossaert, The Taoists of Peking, pp. 161-62, 232, 256-57; Li Yangzheng, Xinbian Beijing Baiyun guanzhi, p. 273. 165) Koyanagi, Hakuunkan shi, 1.555; Hu Ying, “Baiyun guan chongxiu ji,” loc. cit.; Zhao Shixian, “Baiyun guan chongxiu bei,” loc. cit. 166) Chang Maolai, ed., Ru meng lu, p. 10. 167) For a discussion of the Daoist worship of the Big Dipper, see Robinet, Taoist Meditation, pp. 200-25; Lagerwey, Taoist Ritual, pp. 48, 73, 81, 113, 125, 131, 170, 197. 168) Zhu Tianjiao, Lüyun xuan gao, 8.7b-8a. For a discussion of buxu, see Schipper, “A Study of Buxu,” pp. 110-20; Schafer, Pacing the Void; Robinet, Taoist Meditation, pp. 221-24.

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and later Prince Jing of Yi 䙲㔔䌳, went to the Abbey of Sublime Mystery (Xuanmiao guan) in Nancheng county during the Shangyuan Festival and participated in an offering (jiao).169 Besides, Zhu Changqian observed a great liturgy on the Middle Prime Festival (Zhongyuan jie ⃫ᷕ䭨, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month), involving such terms as “(the rite) of summoning for investigation” (kaojiao 侫㟉) and “marvelous petitions” (xuanzhang 䌬䪈).170 The Zhongyuan Festival, also known as the festival of Universal Salvation (pudu 㘖⹎), was dedicated to those who had died a violent or accidental death and to the “orphan souls.”171 Commandery prince Rongyi of Qingcheng ㄞㆸ㥖ㆧ䌳 (Zhu Shenzhong 㛙ヶ挦 , fl. 1563-1606, enfeoffed in Fenzhou 㰦ⶆ prefecture, Shanxi), who belonged to a collateral branch of the Jin Principality 㗱喑, also commissioned the performance of a great rite on the Zhongyuan Festival. He describes this great Offering in a poem full of sacrificial fruits and food, incense smoke, and flag-raising, and mentions the hell from which those deprived souls are released.172 The great liturgy on the Zhongyuan Festival was but one of the many services for the dead that constituted one major type of Daoist ritual. The other major type was the rituals for the living at the “pure” communal offerings. Zhu Shenzhong also participated in a pure communal offering (qingjiao 㶭慖) at a local place named Xilin 大㜿, in which Daoist priests in full attire set up a Daoist altar, chanted the scriptures, and prayed for the gods’ blessings.173 While Zhu Shenzhong provides us with rich information about the nature of the Daoist rituals he observed, we do not know the ritual details of the following princes’ participation. Thus, the prince of Tan 㼕䌳 (Zhu Zi 㛙㠻, 1369-90, enfeoffed in Changsha, Hunan) summoned a Daoist priest from Mount Longhu and had him set up 169)

Zhu Changqian, Dongguan fouyin, 4.7b. Ibid., 8.10b. The kaojiao fa 侫㟉㱽, also known as kaozhao ⎔ fa, refers to a Daoist therapeutic ritual popularized in the Song and afterwards. The xuanzhang, or simply zhang, was a Daoist liturgical genre. For a detailed study of Song kaozhao rites, see Davis, Society and the Supernatural, pp. 96-107. 171) For an introduction to the festival of Universal Salvation, see Goossaert, The Taoists of Peking, pp. 333-41. 172) Zhu Shenzhong, Baoshan tang gao, 1.1b. 173) Ibid., 1.14b-15a. 170)


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a Daoist altar at the court, apparently for a ritual purpose. He also worshipped the Jade Emperor.174 Prince Ding of Shen 㾳⭂䌳 (Zhu Chengyao 㛙䎝⟗, 1549-1621) burned incense at the Daoist Palace of Divine Empyrean (Shenxiao gong 䤆暬⭖) in Changzhi 攟㱣 county, the seat of Lu’an prefecture, displaying his admiration of the immortal realm, but the context is not provided.175 In the Commandery Princely Establishment of Mengjin 䚇㳍䌳⹄ (enfeoffed in Huaiqing prefecture) under the Zheng Principality, Zhu Youshan 㛙䣸㧷, who was in charge of the affairs of the establishment, sent an envoy to present incense for the ritual performed by the senior Daoist priest Tao Zhongwen at the Altar to Heaven (Tiantan ⣑⡯).176 Likewise, Commandery Prince Duanhui of Yiyang ⺳春䪗よ䌳 (Zhu Gonggui 㛙㊙㧣, 1497-1551, enfeoffed in Nanchang), who belonged to a collateral branch of the Ning principality, commissioned a ritual in which the Daoist priests burned talismans and succeeded in summoning a crane.177 Occasionally princes made pilgrimages to certain holy mountains with the court’s approval. Thus, Prince Jian of Qin 䦎䯉䌳 (Zhu Chengyong 㛙婈㲛, 1458-98, enfeoffed in Xi’an, Shaanxi) went on a pilgrimage to Huashan 厗Ⱉ, the Western Peak, where he participated in rituals that included a liturgical service held at the Temple of the Western Peak (Xiyue miao 大ⵥ⺇), the liturgical memorial to the god being penned by himself.178 For his part, and like his ancestor, Prince Cheng of Shu 嚨ㆸ䌳 (Zhu Rangxu 㛙嬻㟑, titled 1510-47) prayed at the Black Sheep Palace in Chengdu and at the Wenchang Palace on Mount Qiqu, in this case for the birth of the Jiajing emperor’s heir, as well as at Mount Heming 浜沜Ⱉ in Dayi ⣏怹 county (Sichuan) to celebrate the emperor’s birthday.179 Praying for an heir and birthday 174)

Ming Taizu, Yuzhi jifei lu, p. 117. Zhu Chengyao, Xiuye tang gao, 11.21a. 176) Ming Shizong shilu, 365.11b. In 1484 the Commandery Prince of Mengjin (Zhu Jiancong 㛙夳㽵, d. 1491) was found guilty, put in jail and deprived of his commandery princely title. His son Zhu Youshan was designated as Manager of the Princely Establishment (zongshi guanli ⬿⭌䭉䎮). Under such a situation the manager of a princely establishment functioned as an imperial or commandery prince. 177) Zhu Gonggui, Dongle xuan shiji, 1.7b-8a. 178) Zhu Chengyong, Xiaoming gao, 9.35b-36a, 10.24a-b; Zhang Weixin (jinshi 1577), ed., Huayue quanji, 11.5b-6a. 179) Zhu Rangxu, Changchun jingchen gao, 1.8a-10b. 175)

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celebrations thus constituted two important occasions to commission Daoist rituals. Bulwark-general of the State (fuguo jiangjun 庼⚳⮯幵) Zhu Gonghui 㛙㊙㩄 (fl. 1540s), from the above-mentioned collateral commandery princely establishment of Yiyang, prayed for his own heirs at Mount Huagai 厗味Ⱉ, a sacred mountain of Celestial Heart Daoism (Tianxin zhengfa ⣑⽫㬋㱽) in Chongren ⲯṩ county (Jiangxi).180 Likewise Prince Xian of Shen 㾳ㅚ䌳 (Zhu Yinyi 㛙傌㟀, fl. 1526-49), who is described as having indulged in Daoist mystery,181 commissioned a Daoist rite at a Daoist altar to celebrate the Jiajing emperor’s birthday;182 and Prince Gong of Chu 㤂〕䌳 (Zhu Yingxian 㛙劙⚛۹, titled 1551-70, enfeoffed in Wuchang 㬎㖴 prefecture, Hubei) sent envoys several times to Mount Wudang, worshipping Zhenwu and praying for the Jiajing emperor’s longevity.183 The popularity of Daoism in the Ming can be verified by its affinity with various local cults and temples in towns and villages, in particular the cults of Zhenwu,184 of the City God,185 and of Guan Yu.186 As is well-known, the cult of the City God plays an important role in Chinese popular as well as official religion.187 The proliferation of City Gods may also have been influenced by Buddhist deities such as Vaisravana, and Buddhists perhaps had a hand in incorporating City Gods into Buddhist ritual. It was the Daoist clergy, however, which incorporated the City Gods into its own pantheon, so that the City God 180)

Li Weizhen (1547-1626), “Yiyang wangsun Zhenji muzhiming” ⺳春䌳⬓屆⎱⠻娴 所, in idem, Dabi shanfang ji, 77.7b. For a study of Mt. Huagai and Celestial Heart Daoism, see Hymes, Way and Byway. 181) Pei Yu 墜⬯ (b. 1510), preface to Zhu Tianjiao, Lüyun xuan gao, 4a. 182) Zhu Yinyi, Baohe zhai gao, 3.18b-19a. 183) Wu Guolun (1524-93), Danzhuidong xugao, prose section, 12.19a-20a. 184) For a study of the formation of the Zhenwu cult and its dissemination in popular religion and Daoism, see Grootaers et al., The Sanctuaries in a North-China City, pp. 82-90; Grootaers, “The Hagiography of the Chinese God Chen-wu,” pp. 123-70; Lagerwey, “The Pilgrimage to Wu-tang Shan,” pp. 293-332; Wong Shiu-hon, “Xuandi kao,” pp. 121-56; de Bruyn, “Wudang Shan,” pp. 553-90. 185) For a study of the City God cult in late imperial China, see Johnson, “The City-God Cults,” pp. 363-457; Feuchtwang, “School-Temple and City God,” pp. 581-608; Deng Siyu, “Chenghuang kao,” pp. 249-76. 186) On the spread of Guan Yu temples and the Guan Yu cult in the Ming, see Diesinger, Vom General zum Gott: Kuan Yü, pp. 99-181, 187-259; Inoue, “Kan U shibyō no yūrai (2),” pp. 61-72. 187) Johnson, “The City-God Cults,” passim, esp. pp. 363-64, 440, 443-45, 447-49.


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held a position in both the Daoist pantheon and lay religion.188 As T.H. Barrett demonstrates, the tendency for incorporating the City Gods into Daoist liturgy was strengthened from the Song onwards;189 and Romeyn Taylor has convincingly pointed out that, at least in the Ming, popular religious activity in the temples of City Gods “was carried on under the auspices of the Taoist clergy” despite official sanctions.190 Although Guan Yu is a familiar deity in Buddhist monasteries and Confucian shrines today, the Daoist connection with the origin and spread of his cult is significant. According to B.J. ter Haar’s study, Guan Yu as a minor demon general was invoked by Daoist priests in Daoist exorcist rituals with bloody sacrifices. In ter Haar’s words, “in quantitative terms, the evidence testifying to a Taoist context is also much richer than that concerning the cult’s early Buddhist connection.” The popularity and attractiveness of the cult of Guan Yu was partly attributed to this Daoist image and connection. Ter Haar’s random accounts suggest that a large number of the Guan Yu temples in the Song and Yuan—almost all in his sample—were founded by or closely connected to Daoist priests.191 Inoue Ichii also provides evidence that the Guan Yu cult from the Yuan to the Republican period was characterized by the increasingly zealous Daoist adoption of it.192 If the cults of the City God and of Guan Yu were closely connected with Daoism, the cult of Zhenwu was essentially Daoist despite its adoption by Buddhists and Confucians. In any event, Ming princes were engaged in all three cults. Below are examples of their participation


Hansen, “Gods on Walls,” pp. 76, 88, 92, 93, 95, 98, 99, 101; Barrett, “Buddhism, Taoism and the Rise of the City Gods,” pp. 21, 23. 189) Barrett, ibid., pp. 15-19, 22, 24-25, esp. 19. 190) Taylor, “Official and Popular Religion,” pp. 152-53. Deng Siyu also argues that the City God cult was more closely connected with Daoism than Buddhism and Confucianism by providing evidence that the majority of the City God temples in late imperial China and modern times were inhabited and controlled by Daoist priests. Livia Kohn examines the Daoist adoption of the City Gods in her study of the celestial City God in one of the Daoist scriptures of the City God. See Deng Siyu, “Chenghuang kao,” pp. 256, 263-64, esp. 270-272; Kohn, “The Taoist Adoption,” pp. 72-73, 79-81, 86-88, 91-98. 191) ter Haar, “The Rise of the Guan Yu Cult,” pp. 185-88, 192-94, 199, 200-4. 192) Inoue, “Kan U shibyō no yūrai,” pp. 42-43, 45 (1); 58-59, 61-66, 69-70, 72-73, 76-77 (2). For a Buddhist connection to the Guan Yu cult, see Brook, Praying for Power, pp. 288-89.

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in each of the three, including worship in temples identified as Daoist institutions. Thus, in 1396 Prince Xian of Shu (i.e., Zhu Chun) worshipped Zhenwu in the new temple dedicated to him, which he had just built.193 Prince Gonghui of Jingjiang 曾㰇〕よ䌳 (Zhu Bangning 㛙恎啜, titled 1527-72) prayed to the Dark Emperor 䌬ⷅ (Zhenwu) before he reopened the Cliff of Great Peace (Taiping yan ⣒ ⸛⵾) on Duxiu Peak 䌐䥨Ⲙ in Guilin and erected a statue of the Dark Emperor and six statues of his attendants there in 1533. In 1534 he went to the Cliff of Great Peace and worshipped the Dark Emperor.194 Both Zhu Chun and Zhu Bangning also prayed in the City God temples, an indication that the Ming princes simultaneously worshipped these popular gods. Zhu Chun in particular prayed to the City God in his temple in Chengdu three times in 1395 and 1396, using his own prayers.195ġ In 1509 Prince Cheng of Tang Ⓒㆸ䌳 (Zhu Miti 㛙 ⻴拿, titled 1487-1523) prayed in the City God Temple of Nanyang prefecture.196 Finally, Prince Gong of Dai ẋ〕䌳 (Zhu Tingqi 㛙⺟ ➤, fl. 1536-73, enfeoffed in Datong ⣏⎴, Shanxi) offered prayers to Guan Yu in the King Guan Temple (Guanwang miao 斄䌳⺇) in Datong in 1567.197 Sometimes a prince commissioned either a grand ceremony or a private rite when no particular context was provided. As a result, we do not know the purposes of these rites. Here are two examples. First, Prince Jing of Qing (Zhu Zhan) once gathered “every Daoist priest and Buddhist monk of Shaanxi province” to perform a ritual at the end of which he venerated the Zhengyi Daoist priest Liu Zongdao ∱ ⬿忻.198 Second, Prince Xian of Xiangġ壬ㅚ䌳 (Zhu Zhanshan 㛙䝣 193)

Zhu Chun, Xianyuan ruizhi ji, 7.4a-b. Zhu Bangning, “Shidai Jingjiang wang gongfeng Xuandi ji” ⋩ẋ曾㰇䌳ὃ⣱䌬ⷅ姀, in Chen Yuan, Daojia jinshi lüe, pp. 1278-79; Yang Guoliang and Zhou Zuoming, “Ming Jingjiang wangcheng,” p. 70. 195) Zhu Chun, Xianyuan ruizhi ji, 7.11b-13a; Guangxi tongzhi (1531), 33.6a; Zheng Wan 惕䏔 (fl. 1526), “Guilin Chenghuang miao beiji” 㟪㜿❶昵⺇䠹姀 , in ibid., 33.6b-7a. 196) Wang Hongru 䌳泣₺ (fl. 1487-1519), “Chongxiu Chenghuang miaoji” 慵ᾖ❶昵 ⺇姀, in Nanyang fuzhi (1694), 6.40a-43b. 197) Datong xianzhi (1830), “Juanwei” ⌟⯦, p. 760. 198) Shaanxi tongzhi (1542), 36.5b; Xi’an fuzhi (1779), 37.47a. During the Ming Ningxia Guard, where Zhu Zhan was enfeoffed, belonged to Shaanxi province. 194)


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⡉, 1406-78) ordered someone to worship the supernatural with burning memorials and let the Daoist priest Xiao Daozhen 唕忻䛇ġ perform planchette séances (fuluanġ㈞淆).199 The aforementioned princes participated in rituals performed either by themselves or by Daoist priests for various purposes, including honoring gods. The next four events involve the key function and source for reputation of Daoist ritual specialists, that is, exorcistic rites performed for the benefit of the princes or the safety of their houses. It is interesting to note that, because of the special skills and training required by such rites, no prince’s personal prayers are mentioned on such occasions. On the contrary, the princes relied heavily on Daoist priests to chase demons. Thus, in the Zheng Principality, the princely mansion was once haunted by a demon and a prince of Zheng hired the Daoist master Yang Budai, whom we encountered above, to exorcise it.200 Yang Budai seems to have been very famous in Henan. In addition to being the master of a son of a certain prince of Zheng and providing the above-mentioned exorcistic service for the princely household, he was also consulted by princes from other fief-states. In the Chong Principality ⲯ喑, for example, Commandery Prince Zhuanghui of Huaian ㆟⬱匲よ䌳 (Zhu Houqian 㛙⍂䄹, titled 1515-78, enfeoffed in Runing 㰅⮏ prefecture, Henan), who admired Yang Budai, invited him to stay at his princely mansion. Yang Budai exorcised a demon in his house and Zhu Houqian gave him a hundred taels of silver as reward.201 Because of their lofty social status some princes were able to hire elite Daoist priests—in other words, priests who ranked highly in the Daoist bureaucracy—and Yang Budai may have been one of them. The next account concerns the highest ranking Daoist priest in the Ming. Because his household was haunted with demons and other abnormalities, Prince Duan of Gui 㟪䪗䌳 (Zhu Changying 㛙ⷠ㿃, 1597-1644, enfeoffed in Hengzhou 堉ⶆ prefecture, Hunan) invited Zhang Yingjing, the fifty-second Heavenly Master, to perform an exorcistic ritual at the Abbey of Numinous Treasure at West Lake 199)

Ming Yingzong shilu, 52.5a. Ruyang xianzhi (1690), 9B.67b; Chongxiu Runan xianzhi (1938), 22.44a-b. 201) Zhu Zhidong (early Qing), Suojian ouchao, p. 814; Runing fuzhi (1796), 20.13b14a. 200)

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(Xihu Lingbao guan 大㷾曰⮞奨) in Hengyang 堉春 county, the seat of Hengzhou prefecture, in 1634.202 Finally, in the Tang principality the commandery prince of Wencheng 㔯❶䌳 (Zhu Miqian 㛙⻴懿, titled 1479-1516, enfeoffed in Nanyang) also hired a Daoist priest, Xiong 䄲忻Ṣ, to perform a rite in order to pacify his household, which was presumably haunted by some demonic disturbance.203 In many occurrences the rites performed by Daoist priests were considered to be therapeutically effective, in addition to their exorcistic function. In the Rong Principality 㥖喑 (enfeoffed in Changde ⷠ⽟ prefecture, Hunan), Prince Zhuang of Rong 㥖匲䌳 (Zhu Zaijing 㛙 庱⠫, fl. 1537-57) invited the female Daoist saint Gou Ruixian 劇䐆 ẁ (ca. 1526-ca. 1590) to his house, where she healed the sickness of the Great Consort (taifei ⣒⤫), Zhu Zaijing’s mother. Moreover, when the Great Consort consulted Gou Ruixian about an heir to the prince, Gou prophesized the birth of a son, and it did happen.204 Under the Jin Principality, Commandery Prince Gongding of Xihe 大㱛〕⭂䌳 (Zhu Qisu 㛙⣯㹗, titled 1491-1557, enfeoffed in Pingyang ⸛春 prefecture, Shanxi) hired Daoist priests to set up an altar and perform liturgy for the recovery of his mother from illness.205 Similarly, in 1526, before his worship of Zhenwu at the Cliff of Great Peace on Duxiu Peak and while he was still Heir of the Prince, Prince Gonghui of Jingjiang (Zhu Bangning) also prayed for his father in the City God Temple of Guilin.206 As mentioned above, it was for his mother’s health that the commandery prince of Fanshan (Zhu Yichi) prayed to the Big Dipper.207 While the last four stories (those from the Rong, Xihe, Jingjiang and Fanshan princely establishments) illustrate that filial piety played


Hengzhou fuzhi (1682), 23.28a-b; Hengyang xianzhi (1761), 10.24b-25a. Zhu Miqian, Qianguang tang shiji, 2.13b. 204) Mei Qiu 㠭派 (fl. 1596), “Guanguo shan ji” 奨⚳Ⱉ姀, in Shimen xianzhi (1818), 49.10a-12b. For information on Gou Ruixian, see Yang Erzeng (1573-ca. 1623), Xinjuan xianyuan jishi, 9.4a-b; Mei Qiu, “Guanguo shan ji,” 49.10a-12b; Shimen xianzhi (1868), 13.11a-13a, 14.13b. 205) Taiyuan fuzhi (1783), 60.31b. 206) Guangxi tongzhi (1531), 33.6a; Zheng Wan, “Guilin Chenghuang miao beiji,” 33.6b-7a. 207) Zhu Yichi, Guangyan tang ji, 14.11b. 203)


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a key role in the princes’ prayers to Daoist gods, either by themselves or through the intermediary of hired Daoist priests, some princes also did it for their own health. In the Zhou principality, a Bulwark-general of the State from the collateral commandery princely establishment of Zuocheng 傁❶䌳⹄ (enfeoffed in Kaifeng) prayed at Mount Tiantan ⣑⡯Ⱉ, part of the Daoist holy Mount Wangwu 䌳⯳Ⱉ (Henan), to be relieved from his illness in 1515.208 And at the commandery princely establishment of Wencheng, mentioned above, the Daoist priest Wang 䌳佥⢓ saved with his efficacious medicine the life of the wife of Zhu Miqian, the commandery prince, who suffered from a severe illness.209 As nobles and leaders of the local society, Ming princes also often organized Daoist rituals for the public interest, the most common instance being prayers for rain in time of drought. Thus, in 1405 in the Shu Principality, Prince Xian of Shu (Zhu Chun) searched for great Daoists and finally found the Daoist priest Zhong Shanxuan 挦Ⱉㆠ, whom he ordered to perform a rite praying for rain.210 Another prince of Shu summoned the Daoist priest Luo Yongzheng 伭㯠㬋 for the same purpose.211 As already mentioned, in 1509 Prince Cheng of Tang (Zhu Miti) prayed in the City God Temple of Nanyang prefecture. The purpose of his prayer was actually to get rain.212 In the same principality, the commandery prince of Wencheng (Zhu Miqian), in addition to ordering a rite pacifying his household, also commissioned a Daoist master Zhang ⻝䃱ⷓ to perform a Five Thunder rite (wulei fa Ḽ暟 㱽) praying for rain for the local community.213 Also, Prince Xuan of Shen (Zhu Tianjiao), besides participating in the rite dedicated to the Big Dipper, also commissioned some Daoist priests to perform a rite praying for rain, in which the priests practiced the ritual walk following the cosmic patterns known as the Steps of Yu (Yubu 䥡㬍).214 Yet again, the commandery prince of Yongding 㯠⭂ 208)

He Tang (1474-1543), “Baizhai Zhang xiansheng xiujian beiji” 䘥滳⻝⃰䓇僑⺢䠹

姀, in idem, Bozhai ji, 8.13b-14b. 209)

Zhu Miqian, Qianguang tang shiji, 1.25a. Jiangxi tongzhi (1683), 42.46a-b; Jiangxi tongzhi (1732), 103.53a. 211) Baoning fuzhi (1843), 48.4a; Langzhong xianzhi (1926), 26.48a. 212) Wang Hongru, “Chongxiu Chenghuang miaoji,” 6.40a-43b. 213) Zhu Miqian, Qianguang tang shiji, 1.30a. 214) Zhu Tianjiao, Lüyun xuan gao, 7.8b-9a. For a discussion of Yubu, see Andersen, “The Practice of Bugang,” pp. 15-53. 210)

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䌳 (Zhu Zaisheng 㛙庱⡕, d. 1550, enfeoffed in Qi sub-prefecture, Hubei) under the Jing Principality 勲喑 revered the Daoist priest Hao Wutong 悅ぇ忂 and ordered him to perform a rite praying for rain.215 All in all, as a Qing historian observes, “Ming princes were all fond of praying for blessings.”216

Conclusion This study has examined the incentives for the Ming princes’ patronage of Daoism and involvement in Daoist ritual. In terms of social institutions, the temples and ritual arenas situated within the princely establishments offered the princes a liturgical atmosphere and religious experience. The Abbey of Divine Music with its local branches, in particular, provided them with Daoist knowledge and enabled them to participate in ritual practice. Given such background and facilities, a great number of Ming princes became involved in Daoist rituals in ways ranging from actual joining of the Daoist order to lay patronage of Daoist practitioners. Two cases, incidentally, deserve particular attention. While the majority of Ming emperors patronized Daoism, two of them—Yongle and Jiajing—appear to have been especially devout followers. While the former is well known for his belief in Zhenwu and extensive patronage of Daoist institutions on Mount Wudang, the latter was a pious believer and a genuine Daoist emperor, the last one in Chinese history. Now, the Yongle emperor was originally the prince of Yan and became emperor only by usurping the throne. The Jiajing emperor, for his part, was initially heir apparent to the prince of Xing 冰䌳 (enfeoffed in Anlu ⬱映 sub-prefecture, Hubei) and came to the imperial throne from a princely establishment. In other words, both emperors’ beliefs and patronage of Daoism began when they were princes, and these two cases of imperial patronage can actually be interpreted as typical examples of the relationship between Ming princes and Daoism.217 215)

Huangzhou fuzhi (1884), 41.17a-b. Yin Jiajun 㭟⭞ὲ (fl. 1872) and Peng Yulin ⼕䌱湇 (1816-90), Hengyang xianzhi (1872), 10.19b. 217) For a discussion of the Yongle emperor’s belief in Daoism when he was Prince of Yan, see Yang Qiqiao, “Mingdai zhudi,” pp. 22-23. The sources regarding the Jiajing emperor 216)


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The present study of the Ming princes’ involvement in Daoism makes it clear that their activities should be seen within the context of the dynasty’s official religious policies, including policies regarding princes. Although supporting Daoism was a national policy, the efforts of the princes, who maintained a long tradition of Daoist belief, made Daoist activities and rituals at the local level a very lively and, more relevant to our purpose, highly visible business. The evidence adduced in this essay enhances my earlier hypothesis that Ming princes played an important role in propagating Daoism as a vehicle of cultural and religious identity.218 Scholars studying religion in its social context have paid attention to the institutional support provided to such religions as Daoism. This support could come from the state, the emperor, or local authorities. Equally important was the systematic support provided by hereditary aristocrats, in this case Ming princes. Ming princes, ranging from ordinands, believers identified with Daoism without joining the Dao, to lay patrons, roughly represented the different spiritual and social needs of local society. In the study of Ming Daoism, examining court politics and the religious policies of the Ming government has yielded great results. Research into the relationship between Daoism and local temple associations and clans applying anthropological and field-oriented methodologies has also been initiated. In contrast, the connection between Ming princes and local Daoism remains an under-appreciated subject. This approach differs from the study of the Ming court’s

when he was a princely heir apparent are scarce. His father Zhu Youyuan (Prince Xian of Xing) apparently demonstrated his patronage of Daoism by getting involved in ritual ceremonies, supporting Daoist temples, sponsoring Daoist priests, and writing poems and panegyrics for Daoist deities. Zhu Youyuan insisted on training Zhu Houcong (the later Jiajing emperor) in religious rituals from the early age of ten. From then on Houcong participated in almost all the customary rituals and ceremonials at the princely court and became extremely familiar with them, including most likely Daoist ritual performance. He is also recorded to have built a Daoist temple. See Gao Yanlin, “Lun Da-Ming Gongmu,” pp. 14, 19; Zhongxiang xianzhiġ(1867), 20.10a; Zhongxiang jinshi kaoġ(1933), 2.18b; Zhongxiang xianzhiġ (1937), 6.10b, 28.15b; Pengze xianzhi (1582), 8.2a-3a; Zhou Zhao ␐姼 (1442-1521), “Wuxian miao ji” Ḽ栗⺇姀, in Hubei tongzhi (1804), 95.16a-17b; Wang Jingfu, “Zhongxiang guji lansheng,” pp. 310-11, 315; Geiss, “The Chia-ching Reign,” p. 441; Lienche Tu Fang, “Chu Hou-ts’ung,” p. 317. 218) Richard Wang, “Four Steles,” pp. 58-59, 67-68, 80.

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political relationship with Daoism, which emphasizes purely historical documents, because the historical records of Ming princes are extremely limited. Field studies are confined to modern society and do not provide a historical picture beyond the Qing dynasty. Therefore, the approach adopted in this study has been to combine the above two methods by attempting a historical/historiographical use of anthropology. Once the conventional historical sources have been mastered one must make extensive use of epigraphy, collected literary works, local gazetteers, archaeological reports, Daoist canonical texts, anecdotal literature, and critical bibliography in order to understand local societies and Daoism.219 In dealing with the affinity between Ming princes and Daoist rituals, this essay represents just such an attempt. More sophisticated work awaits further effort. Bibliography Akizuki Kan’ei 䥳㚰奨㘶. Chūgoku kinsei Dōkyō no keisei: Jōmyōdō no kisoteki kenkyū ᷕ⚳役ᶾ忻㔁̯⼊ㆸ—㶐㖶忻̯➢䢶䘬䞼䨞. Tokyo: Sōbunsha, 1978. ———. “Jōmyōdō kenkyū jō no ni-san mondai (2)” 㶐㖶忻䞼䨞ᶲ̯Ḵ·ᶱ⓷柴 (Ḵ). In Kanaya Osamu 慹察㱣, ed., Chūgoku ni okeru ningensei no tankyū ᷕ⚳ ̬̋̒͌Ṣ攻⿏̯㍊䨞, pp. 523-37. Tokyo: Sōbunsha, 1983. ———. “Jōmyōin myōsai shinpō shōkō” 㶐㖶昊⥁㾇䤆㕡⮷侫. In Chūgoku no shūkyō shisō to kagaku: Makio Ryōkai hakushi shōju kinen ronshū ᷕ⚥̯⬿㔁⿅゛̩䥹 ⬎—䈏⯦列㴟⌂⢓枴⮧姀⾝婾普, pp. 3-12. Tokyo: Kokusho kankōkai, 1984. Andersen, Poul. “The Practice of Bugang.” Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie 5 (1989-90): 15-53. Bao Hongchang 㙜泣㖴. “Mingdai fanjin jianlun” 㖶ẋ喑䤩䯉婾. Jianghan luntan 1989.4: 53-57. Baoning fuzhi ᾅ⮏⹄⽿. 1843. Barrett, T.H. “Buddhism, Taoism and the Rise of the City Gods.” In Tadeusz Skorupski, ed., The Buddhist Forum Volume II: Seminar Papers 1988-1990, pp. 13-25. London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1991. Benn, Charles D. The Carven-Mystery Transmission: A Taoist Ordination Rite of A.D. 711. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1991. Bo Yuchan 䘥䌱垦. Jingyang Xu zhenjun zhuan 㕴春姙䛇⏃⁛. In idem, Yulong ji 䌱昮普, in Xiuzhen shishu ᾖ䛇⋩㚠, 33.1a-14b. CT 263. Boltz, Judith M. A Survey of Taoist Literature: Tenth to Seventeenth Centuries. Berkeley: University of California Center for Chinese Studies, 1987. 219) On the urgency of this approach in the study of Chinese religions, see ter Haar, “The Genesis and Spread of Temple Cults,” p. 351; ter Haar, “Local Society and the Organization of Cults,” p. 3.


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