Hanminzu.com dead and revived, MingHua Tang established

Recently, Hanwang (hanminzu.com) was attacked and was unavailable from March 14 to 21st due to system upgrades. As a result, the appearance of Hanminzu.com from haanen.com.cn is different as of today.

Also, Minghua Tang 明華堂 has officially been registered as a business in Hong Kong! Check out their site at http://www.minghuatang.com for details. For those who are not familiar with Hanfu or Minghua Tang, it is an atelier specializing in Ming-dynasty period clothing, with chief designer Zhong Yi 鐘毅 setting out in his mission statement “No clothes will be made without full historical reference, ensuring that every piece of clothing will be authentic and comfortable to wear”.

Check it out!

30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Billy
    Apr 02, 2009 @ 22:38:10

    so what exactly is Minghua Tang, is it like a clothing company that sells Ming Dynasty style Hanfu? They have actually been registered as a business in Hong Kong? I guess that means that they have very BIG plans no? Most Hanfu stores are rather small and many I have seen are pretty low quality. Do they actually have a store(headquarters) instead of just online?

    Reply

    • Satsuki Shizuka
      Apr 02, 2009 @ 23:27:40

      Billy;

      Minghua Tang is a small atelier beginning in about 2006 in Guangzhou, and dealt business online. At that time, Zhong Yi was still in design college.

      No, they’re not a big company, as they are registered under Eurasia Development (H.K.) Ltd., and they don’t have a visitable shop at the moment. However, Minghua Tang is special to the Hanfu movement because it is obsessed with quality of fabrics and authentic design based on historical artefacts.

      Their online store should be on later. Their .com site will redirect there when it’s done.

      *P.S.: This site does not endorse, nor promote, any specific given commercial establishment.

      *EDITED for company name erratum.

      Reply

  2. Billy
    Apr 03, 2009 @ 00:09:14

    wow, so its all the vision of this one man. This is very exciting! I dont read Chinese so information is rather sparse but does the guy handmake each piece? I do hope that his brand gets bigger and more and popular among people in China. What he is doing is very commendable. So, they are registered under another company called Eurasia LTD eh. What exactly is the significance of them officially registering as a business in Hong Kong?

    I noticed that as well. The quality and authenticity of their work is astounding. I have seen a few online Hanfu stores and much of what they sold was really cheap-looking to be nice. Glad to hear they are working on an online shop. I just checked out their website and was wondering why it redirected to their sina blog. So far, from the small amount of clothing I saw they had up for show, it looks great. Do you know if they plan to expand on the different designs they sell? Do you have any idea roughly when their online store will be up? I reside in the US and would like to support them by ordering some of their clothing. I wonder if they speak English….

    Reply

    • Satsuki Shizuka
      Apr 03, 2009 @ 08:52:12

      That’s the thing about HK business – they were a British colony after all, so businesses are usually English-friendly. Also, policies on trade and currency transfer are MUCH different from that of mainland China, making overseas business no more difficult than any other countries – or even easier, since the city/SAR is a free-trade port.

      Different designs: That depends whether or not Zhong explores other artefacts. Zhong does not “create from nothing”, and insists that a real artefact be there to support every piece of clothing he designs. His R&D team are going in two aspects:
      – Contract with mills and find traditional materials, then make them. His current obsession seems to be brocade, for the higher-spending market.
      – Find clothing artefacts from the Ming Dynasty, as he reasons that it is the closest era from us, and would naturally have more living examples than any other period, and make them based ENTIRELY from it, with minimum changes in its elements.

      Reply

  3. charlesrupertdomeki
    Apr 03, 2009 @ 05:15:26

    I think the white protective collar of their 直裰 is a tad too wide and makes the head seem detached from the body (their initial ones seem less so). I suppose you could ask them to make it less wide?

    Reply

    • Satsuki Shizuka
      Apr 03, 2009 @ 08:55:39

      OTOH, I think they did it on purpose. Others who imitate Zhong have made the protective collar smaller, and as a result it doesn’t look good (in the sense it looks too 小氣, or it makes it look Korean.)
      Also, the protective collar of the Ming has reached a point when this new collar itself is a fashion statement: Note how it stops EXACTLY at the point of the other lapel and forms a nice chevron shape. So I’d rather agree with them.

      The protective collar should occupy ~80% of the collar width.

      Reply

  4. Billy
    Apr 04, 2009 @ 03:51:38

    I tend to agree with Charles though. The collar did look a bit too wide to me as well. I dont really understand how making the collar smaller would look Korean though. The Hanbok of Joseon Korea worn by the royal court looked more or less identical to Ming clothing. I have seen historical Ming paintings and the collar varies from what I’ve seen.

    In this first one, the collar is wide(almost as wide as Zhong’s) but it is more streamlined as it doesnt stick out as much vertically(which is what causes the floating head look I think) Notice how the space between the shoulders and neck is much more streamlined than Zhongs and how the white part of the collar is just a tad bit thinner. I think changing those two things would create a better look and would get rid of the floating head thing that Charles mentioned.

    The second piece of Ming art shows the white collar taking up less than half of the collar width and the left side is considerably longer. So I suppose he could experiment with different collar lengths and widths until he gets what he and his customers are happy width because it seems that historically it may have varied.

    Glad to hear that overseas business shouldnt be too hard.

    As for the designs, he only will design new ones if he can find an actual surviving example of it?? How about looking at Ming dynasty paintings and writings to come up with new designs? Im sure he could design something by looking at Ming paintings depicting the clothing of the time.

    Reply

  5. Billy
    Apr 04, 2009 @ 03:56:23

    If he needs actual surviving examples of the clothing itself than that is too bad because not as much Ming clothing has been preserved compared to Ming paintings. I dont see why he couldnt use paintings as references to his design if he cant find a living example of the clothing itself. Anyway, I thought this was kind of cool. These are well preserved pieces of Ming clothing in a museum in China. I thought they were amazing. I wish he would design something like this.

    You speak Chinese correct? Would you mind emailing him the pics. He may find it useful. Do you think he makes headwear as well?

    Clothing


    and

    Do you happen to know when their online shop will be up and running BTY?

    Reply

    • Satsuki Shizuka
      Apr 04, 2009 @ 08:26:08

      The issue with pictures and paintings is already discussed among hanfu makers and promoters and our conclusion is this: Paintings, especially those of “remembering a past time/dynasty”, are inaccurate in terms of portraying clothing of the time. If you want some blindingly obvious examples, take a look at our common portrayals of the Three Emperors and Five Sages. They are all wearing clothing WAY past their time. Or perhaps the servant girl paintings of the Ming and Qing – they’d be more representative of Song clothing, but there are also elements of supposition and fantasy.

      In short, paintings are not reliable.
      Yes, Zhong makes headwear as well, since that is an essential part of Hanfu. All other makers do it too.

      Your pictures of a Yuanlingshan are noted – Zhong is not doing research alone, and in regards to Ming clothing, there is an online index of Ming clothing standards 大明衣冠 from the Ming Huidian , compiled and drawn by a certain Qiefang Zhuren 擷芳主人. There are many factors in research, and I wouldn’t rush Minghua Tang or the rest of the R&D guys – they’re doing a great job already.

      And finally, I’ve merged your previous 6 comments into one – this is a blog, not a spam forum. Please try to compose your thoughts before posting. Thank you! ^^

      Reply

  6. Billy
    Apr 04, 2009 @ 15:57:09

    yeah, that actually was one post but like I said earlier, it wouldnt let me post it as one so I had to post it like that because that was the only it would let me post it. I understand your thoughts on the paintings. another example is how Liu Bei, Guan Yu,etc are often depicted wearing Ming clothing. But I do believe that to an extent, Ming era paintings depicting events during that time would have reasonably accurate depictions of Ming era clothing. And researchers can also check to see how accurate the clothing depicted is. I think its a possibility. I have actually never seen any other hanfu makers selling extensive headwear. Could you point me towards some online stores that do sell headwear?

    Wow, I really like those drawings from the Ming Huidian. So this artists depictions are historically accurate representations of Ming era clothing? Is it just an online index or also like a book because it seems that they had actual hardback books – or maybe those were boxes. Do you know where I could find the whole collection of the Ming Huidian drawings?

    Reply

    • Satsuki Shizuka
      Apr 05, 2009 @ 20:54:00

      Billy;

      Oops. Perhaps there’s a slight confusion over my words.
      Ming Huidian is an official document from the Ming Empire, that covers national standards in ALL aspects (measurement, clothing, musical tones, calendar…etc). The modern CGs by Qiefang Zhuren are but graphic reconstructions based on the accounts from this historical document (with a lot of professional research and help!)

      So, if you are looking for Qiefang’s drawings, they can be found http://cache.tianya.cn/publicforum/content/no04/1/694977.shtml

      Reply

  7. Billy
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 21:39:56

    Oh, I see. I thought that the Ming Huidian was those CG drawings. Thank you

    Reply

  8. Shane Zheng
    Apr 06, 2009 @ 18:45:56

    Greetings.

    At last, finally I found this site ^^

    To find someone who can help me on my research. Can anyone in here help me about traditional Han’s shoes? Especially before the Qing periods. Is there any drawings, blueprints, or something? I’m very need some help and assistant bout all of that.

    Recently more and more people are eager to start wearing the Hanfu. But mostly forgetting bout several things. Footwears and the Headdresses! How can you said to be wearing Traditional Clothing while you still wearing that basketball shoes or running shoes? And in ancient times, you are not in properly dressed when you are not wearing headdresses. Even a peasant wearing a scarf. ^^

    So anyonw can help me to find the missing link?

    Reply

    • Satsuki Shizuka
      Apr 06, 2009 @ 20:23:32

      Hello Shane;

      If you can type Chinese, I’d suggest you do so there first. Info on shoes (even in Chinese) is rather scarce…

      But here’s a few things: Before the Ming, people seldom bound their feet. Commoners didn’t get to wear boots, and shoes were of course divided accordingly to the type of lower dress you wear.

      To go in any further differentiating between 履﹐舄﹐靴﹐鞋 would be beyond the parameters of this article. Maybe I’ll write something up separately…but only after I’m done exams and moved back home.

      That will be all done by next week.

      Reply

      • Job Serebrov
        Sep 11, 2012 @ 17:53:28

        Satsuki

        I live in the U.S. and have been trying to get in touch with Minghua Tang to purchase some of their products. I sent several emails but did not receive a reply. Do you have their most current contact information?

        Thank You,

        Job Serebrov

        Reply

        • Satsuki Shizuka 五月靜
          Sep 11, 2012 @ 21:28:14

          Yes, MHT (or most other shops) are a pain to contact, esp without QQ. 1140513690 is their individual ID, don’t confuse it with the groups ID.

          Reply

          • Job Serebrov
            Sep 11, 2012 @ 21:33:30

            Satsuki

            You are second person to tell me about the QQ. How does it woprk? I am used to clicking on something to send a message but there is nothing to click on with the QQ.

          • Job Serebrov
            Sep 11, 2012 @ 22:41:48

            Ok, I opened a QQ account — it took me hours to figure out what it was.

          • Job Serebrov
            Sep 19, 2012 @ 10:52:22

            Satsuki, I had a few emails with Minghua on QQ and in the last one I gave them a list of what I was interested in but have not heard back in days. Is this normal with them?

            Job

          • Satsuki Shizuka 五月靜
            Sep 19, 2012 @ 20:44:07

            Job,

            Best to follow up. I hope you sent only requests of designs of what’s in THEIR catalogue!

          • Job Serebrov
            Sep 19, 2012 @ 20:48:37

            Satsuki

            Yes I only asked for what they have. I enlisted a friend from China to also contact them on my behalf to try to move things. I know its worth it if I can get the order completed because they are the best around.

            Regards,

            Job

  9. charlesrupertdomeki
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 06:56:45

    Billy:

    This is the Ming Emperor’s mianfu so hardly applicable today but the yuanling design is of importance.

    Reply

  10. tanhql
    Apr 12, 2009 @ 07:34:33

    http://photobucket.com/hanfu

    This is my album (which I continuously update) of Ming Dynasty Hanfu. I try to include high quality and ‘correctly made’ Hanfu.

    Reply

  11. tanhql
    Apr 12, 2009 @ 07:42:24

    BTW, MingHua Tang’s new Hanfu are very expensive. The female Hanfu (with the green coat and red skirt) costs 4000 RMB, which translates to 580 USD.

    Reply

    • Satsuki Shizuka
      Apr 12, 2009 @ 11:32:21

      About time this is happening! Hanfu in the past was given the impression of “fake and stageplay” for too long, and nobody could take the price seriously enough to treat it as important, true ethnic clothing representation.

      The price makes it chic, and people’ll start to realize it. Good stuff, thanks for the info!

      Reply

      • tanhql
        Apr 12, 2009 @ 11:51:12

        The fabric of the Hanfu itself is of very high quality. MingHua Tang researched and developed the fabric pattern based on patterns of the Ming Dynasty Hanfu. This means the fabric pattern is one of its kind in the world. MingHua Tang literally revived this fabric pattern from over 300 years ago.

        Reply

  12. tanhql
    Apr 12, 2009 @ 18:25:13

    Just found out that MingHua Tang’s new male Hanfu costs 3200 RMB, which translates to 470 USD.

    Reply

  13. Di
    Jul 15, 2009 @ 12:08:06

    So is there an actual store where I can purchase the clothes? I’m really interested in collecting hanfu and would love to have a high quality authentic one. I hope they expand to include Tang Dynasty hanfu too.

    Reply

    • Satsuki Shizuka
      Jul 15, 2009 @ 17:41:30

      I have translated an essay from the president of Minghua Tang, explaining why he does not recreate any clothes outside of the Ming Dynasty. Please go check it out! ^^

      There are many Hanfu shops in China other than Minghua Tang (they’re more research-centric, anyway), but their quality varies greatly, with most out to make a killing while sacrificing on quality. If only Hanminzu.com was still around, I would be able to show you a list of makers who pass the current quality standards.

      Tianhan.com.cn is an excellent secondary choice for this information, but all these sites are good only if you read Chinese.

      Sadly, there are no (good) sites that deliver (presentable/authentic) Hanfu in English, as of yet. Most overseas trade have to be taken in case-by-case by makers in China. However, they are getting better with it.

      Reply

  14. Chee Hock Wu
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 03:59:27

    Hi I checked out their website but i couldnt find any links on how to purchase the clothes or their list of prices. I think the quality is really superb but i can’t read Chinese and the translated piece doesn’t tell me much. Thanks for ur help.

    Reply

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