Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian History


This gate to the city of Quanzhou was erected to honor Shi Lang, the patriarch of the Shi Lineage of Yakou Village. When Shi Lang's descendants Shi Hou and the others were arrested for opium trafficking, they were likely brought into the city through this very gate. This moment can be thought of as a visual and physical representation of the simultaneously adversarial and collaborative relationship between the Shi Lineage and the Qing state.

The troops that raided Yakou Village and arrested Shi Hou in early 1837 came from Quanzhou, where the Quanzhou Prefect and the Jinjiang County Magistrate both had their offices. Shi was likely held in Quanzhou before his transport to the provincial capital in Fuzhou, where he died in jail while awaiting sentencing.

Quanzhou, it should also be noted, was alongside Shenhu Bay one of the key anchorages in Fujian for the Jardine-Matheson opium smuggling operations.

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