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Title: Landscape improvement and scenic sites in pre-modern China : a critical review
Author: Li, Kairan
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2010
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In China there has been a long tradition of valuing scenic sites which have been represented as Bajing (Eight Scenes). The large quantity of surviving Bajing records are helpful in revealing perceptions of landscape, public leisure preferences and the characteristics of scenic sites in the pre-modern period. Confucianism regarded the appreciation of scenery as an important source of edification, so educated people who achieved positions of importance through the national examination system always practised it. Nature has been valued differently by Daosim, Buddhism, and other vernacular philosophies. The religious orders played an important role by collaborating with scholar officials on landscape adaptation and maintenance for public leisure. Another aspect of this evolution saw general leisure behaviour changing as scenic sites flourished in the time of the Tang-Song dynasties: , competitive games and sports gradually evolved into uncompetitive games along history, and meanwhile the public gradually moved from active participation in intense games to become a 'watching and enjoying' audience. After the 11th century professional performers emerged in various entertaining areas. These changing leisure patterns are consequence of the flourishing of scenic sites, and also affected the outskirts of the city and nearby scenic places at the same time. This thesis explores how Nature was valued in pre-modern China, and the development of scenic sites through history. The subject is of particular importance as it shows the significance of intangible landscape heritage, and will benefit the understanding and appreciation of Chinese landscape culture while aiding conservation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available