Achievements and Shortcomings of the Han Clothing Movement of the 20th and 21st Centuries

Disclaiimer: Originally submitted to the History Department at the Chinese University of Hong Kong for HIST5011A ‘Perspectives to Comparative and Public History’ (December 2012) and University of Melbourne Admissions (January 2013) under the title “Shaking off double-colonization: The Achievements and Shortcomings of the Han Clothing Movement of the 20th and 21st Centuries,” with insert illustrations and images.

Author’s repost foreword: This essay is a continuation and completion of Gao and Cheng’s 2006 essay, which was one of the better attempts to ensnare the importance of the ongoing Hanfu Movement in its current context from a historical approach. While a social movement involves hundreds of aspects from thousands of faces, through this we hope to catch a glimpse of the opportunities presented to us in the times of social media and power of the individual, as compared to the industrialist times of our Republican forefathers.

Shaking off double-colonization:
The Achievements and Shortcomings of the Han Clothing Movement of the 20th and 21st Centuries

Juni L. Yeung, MACPH candidate, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Introduction: Chinese Dress, the double-colonized nation

            In the short days after the success of the Wuhan Uprising on October 10, 1911, Han Chinese citizens dazed in their newfound liberation: While some cut their hair queues, imposed by the Queue Order of 1644 to eliminate the sartorial and appearance practice of the Han, without a second of doubt, others clung onto the practice for decades into the Republic. A popular tale involved merchant Chen Shutong being challenged by a young student in Western dress why Chen was still wearing Manchu dress. Chen asked, “What dress are you wearing now?” When the student replied with the term foreign dress (waiguo fu), Chen coolly followed through, “Well, so am I.”

            Tales regarding the matter of dress in the Republic and identity litter across personal memoirs of the period, to which Gao Xialing and Cheng Xiaoming have specifically filtered and compiled into an argument with immediate relevancy and importance to our present moment since its publication in 2005. In their article published in the Journal of Xinzhou Teachers’ University[1], the authors argue that on the dawn of the Han ethnicity’s emancipation from Imperial Manchu rule, they have let a golden opportunity to restore their traditional appearance and sartorial practices slip by in favour of prescribing to a total Westernization program for the sake of the nation’s continued survival, and the Hanfu Movement since 2003 is a continuation of that continued dissatisfaction among those curious enough to question the dislocation between present Han dress customs to that of prior to Manchu conquest. However, references of this ‘continuing movement’ were nowhere to be found but in the abstract and the concluding statement. While the date of the article’s publication meant that the majority of social controversies have yet to occur, there was a total absence of any comparison between the proposed parallel phenomena between the early 20th century hanfu revival and the 21st century movement. Therefore, it is the mission of this paper to account for this unfilled gap in the Gao and Cheng endeavour, prior to analyzing the successes and shortcomings, blind spots and bottlenecks of the movements’ pundits over the two periods.

Contrary to intuitive belief that an anachronism a century ago would only be more ‘out of its temporal context’ in the present, I intend to argue that the concept of ‘antiquarian revivalism’ is misplaced and rather, the Confucian method of criticism by borrowing an idealized past is a constantly evolving means adapting to the times. Instead, the primary comparison should be in how the expression of Han nationalism and what encompassing values have changed over time in response to shifts in global events and external pressure to the Han identity.

Ex Machina: Communications technology and proliferation of ideas

The majority of counter-Qing revolutionaries rallied on the premise of “expelling the Tartars and restoring Huaxia”, which ethnic identity is based on the traditional Confucian doctrine of centrality. At the forefront of this discourse, the Queue Order of 1644 was publicized through reprints of various Revolutionary literature such as Accounts of the Ten Days of Yangzhou in Japan to Chinese overseas students. Utilizing this newfound freedom of the press, prominent student thinkers quickly wrote manifestos declaring their ideas of ethnic and national identity, and often followed by changes in sartorial practices to disassociate themselves with Manchu identity or rule. For example, existing photograph portraits of Qiu Jin and Zhang Taiyan depict them in Japanese kimono, a close cousin of Han Chinese clothing with similar crossed collars, and the biography of the latter outwardly expressed that his clothing was “Han”, as denoted by the customized Han character kamon insignia on his jinpei robe, now on display at the Zhang Taiyan Memorial Museum in Hangzhou[2]. Qian Xuantong claimed to have studied various Confucian notes on the specifications of the scholars’ shenyi robe and personally handmade it, and wore it to his Zhejiang office in 1912[3]. In an account of the liberation of Lishui, Zhejiang Province, a minor note recorded of two men in “two people “donned square caps, wore Ming ancient costume, hung Longchuan swords by their waists, and stood in the street to greet [the troops].”[4] The above incidents are recorded in form of newspaper editorials and personal memoirs of the person in question and at times direct witnesses, which were relegated as curios for certain individuals over the dinner table, rather than mass-oriented results such as retail of a clothing line or government edict on dress on the national level.

The impetus of the Hanfu movement one century later came under similar context as Chinese citizens discovered and utilized the information dissemination potential of the Internet, a wildly more liberal platform for idea exchange free of government censorship (or at least subverted in a cat-and-mouse game of evading automatic and human-based censors) than official news channels including newspapers, radio and television. Largely self-regulated by civilian administrators, early Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs) was the sole choice of modern bilateral communications and was seen as a spiritual successor to Democracy Walls in Chinese university campuses and public spaces but was gradually outlawed from 1980 onwards[5].

In contrast to manifestos such as of Chen Tianhua’s Alarm Bells or contemporaries listed in the Gao essay, the initial essay of the “Huaxia Restoration Movement” (the ‘underlying movement’ as claimed by the Hanfu movement’s place of inception, Hanwang) is more informational than proclamation. A blogger by the alias Huaxia Xiemai posted an essay titled “A Lost Civilization – Han Chinese Ethnic Clothing” outlining the history of Chinese fashion, relegating the disjoint of current “Chinese” ethnic clothing and traditional cross-collared robes to the Queue Order and the Qing dynasty and re-problematizing the issue[6]. As more people responded and joined in on the movement, responses subsequently appealed to emotion rather than factual presentation, such as Tianya Zai Xiaolou’s (alias for then-journalist and later Confucian Classics Reading Movement promoter Fang Zhexuan) essay “A Sacrificial Ritual with One Person (Yige Ren de Jili)[7]. After this essay was publicized and ruminated on various Chinese portal sites, did popularity achieve critical mass and hanfu interest groups began to form in the major coastal cities.

The ease of access of digitally-printed articles and the bilateral nature of Web 2.0 and its discussion forums, guestbooks and social media meant the amount of material on a particular topic depended primarily on the willingness of a netizen to write or create, rather than the censorship and various levels of checks of traditional press and media. What is made up in quantity and expediency is sacrificed in quality – as a source of contention is publicized and proliferated in the reposting process, responses are scattered across major portals and forums, its leanings dependent on the political atmosphere of each venue.

For example, writer and scholar Yu Qiuyu wrote on his Sina blog and microblog on March 23, 2007[8] and subsequently published in the Beijing Daily on April 16, publically rejecting the “donning of Han dynasty clothing” as “already passé after brief debate in 1980’s,” claiming it as xenophobic protest and have personally led a counter-movement by “mobilizing the youngest Shanghai professors to don jeans…and suppressed them.“[9] While through official channels such as Jiangnan Times and Xinhua News criticisms came in the subsequent week of the official publication[10], their arguments are largely based on points in a response by hanfu activist Xin’er Haogu posted across several Hanist forums.[11] Reposts of abridged and unabridged versions of this story can be found dated October 2007 up to the present in 2012, as system hiccups and censorship purges lead to blog owners re-uploading backups with new timestamps[12]; meanwhile “thread bumping”, or the act of replying to a forum post in order to make the discussion topic visible on the top of the board’s list, actively ruminates the memory into the forefront of readers’ working memory.[13] This rote process, while at times obscuring the record and discussion at its true original source, has also contributed to preserving information and accounts in an unstable and impermanent medium, subject to total loss of content by institutional censorship and vandalism by malevolent saboteurs or even the author himself acting out of pressure or spite. After years of attacks and criticisms by netizens, Yu Qiuyu bent under pressure and wiped all content from his blog during late December 2009,[14] but its contents can still be found in relevant search engine queries that lead to mirror copies by netizens. As of 2012, Yu’s blog has been reinstated, along with all of its previous content.

Figure 1 Scan of a photo from Fu Jen Catholic University Sociology graduates, 1947. Web.

 In contrast, record-keeping and preservation of hanfu-related deeds in the early 20th century are fragmented and under-accounted for, and the source may often be unpublished or limited editions. For example, records regarding Qian Xuantong’s making and wearing a Confucian cap and shenyi robe can be found in his own anthology as well as Zhou Zuoren’s biography[15], but this vignette was nearly forgotten when Qian pondered on burning all of his early writings as he planned his anthology but decided to publish them under a mocking title instead. Outside of official or more reputed literati circles, accounts are much sparser: Gao’s Lishui stub example is archetypical of the period’s brevity: as no further information nor photographic evidence could be provided, nor do any other concurrent sources cite the situation, the incident is left as an obscure curio. Just beyond the temporal scope of Gao’s paper, a photograph recently discovered and shared in hanfu groups and discussion boards depicted the graduating sociology class of Fu Jen Catholic University in 1947 in cross-collared shenyi and Western mortarboards, but no textual information on how the design was conceived and actualized was ever given.

These examples show that even with changes in methods and technology in public communications, the ideal of restoring a ‘land of rites and rituals, nation of proper robes and headdress’ is an obscured if not repressed one, and through public pressure, records of such doings face danger of being eliminated from history, although modern methods expedite the process to a shorter timeframe, which may bring the topic to a wider or national attention  when it is compounded with enough relevant material and channels of expression to allow heterodoxy.

From “stage costumes” to a System of Objects

What is in “Han clothing” and “Chinese clothing”? Aside from the identity politics, the physical parameters of what constitutes the set of clothing that Ming loyalists have so desperately tried to preserve and restore? Through the use of classical literary Chinese, a basic understanding is achieved with terms such as yiguan “robes and headdress”, along with traces of pre-Qing Han clothing design found in paintings, or among the dress and costumes of Daoist and Buddhist clergymen and stage actors – exemptions in Qing society and the Queue Order. To exemplify the latter, Gao cites the semi-anonymous essay On the Origins of the Queue by alias Huangdi Hun, proposing that the new clothes of the Republic would be “modelled after the clothes after the martial roles in Tales of the Water Margin (Shui Hu Chuan) and Seven Wanderers and Five Heroes (Qixia Wuyi), with “high topknots over the heads, with tight fitting clothes, with a round-collared long robe with double-knots outside.””[16] The references to individual articles of clothing were descriptive rather than specific (“round-collared long robe with double-knots”), and set terms mostly referred to a particular image (such as the references to the book titles here) or time period (“Ming dynasty robes” in the Lishui example) rather than a particular cut or design in fashion terms.

Figure 2 Satire cartoon from Minquan Huabao, circa 1912.

When these ideas were publicized for discussion, the vocabulary suggested much more strongly to a temporal attribution rather than the intended image as a ‘long-standing tradition’ of the Han ethnicity. Although many sympathized or supported the notion intuitively as it appealed to the newborn Han-based national spirit, its lack of a systematic fashion vocabulary quickly rendered the movement as irrelevant to the discussion of modernization through dress. The Minquan Huabao even drew a satire (right) with the punchline “Short and long, high and low, old and new – a very funny mix[17]” to denote the popular opinion that rather than a matter of identity as Han, Manchu-Qing, or Western clothing, it was more so perceived as a battle of distinct dress customs from an evolutionary timeline, with the supporters of Qing fashion deemed loyalist or conservative but the Han dress supporters as absurdly antiquarian and out of touch with reality.

This is not to say that pre-Qing Han garb never had a systemized set of vocabulary or jargon to begin with: Throughout Republican period official documents on setting official and ritual dress such as the 1914 Republic of China’s Standard and Illustrations for Homage Dress and Headwear,[18] technical terms such as yuanlingpao (round-collar robe), jinxian guan (the ridged civil servant hard coronal), and xuanduan (“black edge,” referring to a ceremonial outfit but its composition is debated over the 20th century) are borrowed from historical documents such as the Ming Huidian. However, access to this knowledge is severely limited by the restricted availability of such specialized materials and its language, making it only understood by scholars with the dedication and access clearance, usually in consultation for the government and its policy-makers. Furthermore, the limited application of this knowledge furthers the preconception of this fashion system as a historical one, with connotations of hierarchy and imperial control, ultimately leading to the failure to sustain the clothing as an evolvable practice.

The same problem plagued the Hanfu Movement of the 21st century in its inception years, as essays such as A Lost Civilization described the clothing through a historical lens and portrayed the evolution of Han dress into dynastic archetypes with attached generalizations such as “round collar robes prevalent since around Sui-Tang times” or “large-lapelled right-crossed collars (representative among Qin-Han clothes)” while trying to overthrow such a classification itself.[19] This problem persisted and to some degree still persists today, but misunderstandings were somewhat alleviated when proposed a classification system based on fashion attributes rather than temporal ones.

Figure 3 Yizhanfeng’s hanfu system diagram (version 2.1), circa July 2011.

The first attempt originated from a lengthy essay written in 2005 by Hanwang blogger Ouyang Yuxi, who suggested that all known articles of Han clothing share the right-lapelled, cross-collared trait with broad sleeves, and can be classified into one of four categories: Skirts, shenyi, long robes, and vests.[20] Adding accessories, footwear and headwear to the mix, Ouyang concluded that there are nine categories of Han vestimentary articles.[21] This system saw various minor revisions by collective effort on Baidu Hanfu Bar in 2008, which featured seven classifications: yishang [top-skirt], yiku [top-trousers], shenyi [joined robe], pao [robes], headwear, footwear, and underwear.[22] The system was once again recompiled in 2011 by netizen Yizhanfeng, who initiated a Wiki database to account for the increasing amount of processed archaeological and taxonomical results posted onto the Baidu discussion board, as well encourage community members to revise and perfect the system in a collaborative project rather than rely on the synthesis of any one scholar or writer. After two major revisions, the current understanding (see right above) breaks down hanfu into seven categories: Inner, middle, and outerwear; overcoats, accessories, headwear, and footwear. In addition to definitions of these hanfu classifications, there is also a subcategory of “derivative-hanfu” and “non-hanfu” examples, including cosplay (costume roleplaying) and fantasy costume designs from television and video games, to clearly define the boundaries and limits of the concept.[23]

Although aided by the collaborative nature of the Internet, the foremost reason of the modern hanfu movement’s success and survival resides in the ability to directly face and resolve challenges to its existence, including the fundamental transition from a temporal concept (‘antique/dynastic’ clothing) to an identity (ethnic/fashion) concept. After half a decade of daily online bombardment with passersby and anonymous attacks, the movement’s bloggers decided to summarize them into “four great false propositions” or reasons why critics deem the hanfu movement as irrelevant to modernity, followed by a section refuting the idea: The movement lacks a central leader figure, it refuses to ‘innovate’, it creates conflict with Zhonghua minzu pluralism by imposing Han culture as the ‘national standard’, and the clothing is ‘dynastic’ and ‘antiquarian.’[24] A hyperlink to the essay along with other links introducing the hanfu concept would be pasted by whenever subsequent new threads bearing a similar question was posted, hence creating a routine and standardized response. This is an improvement from the previous condition where the quality of responses depended on the participation of more knowledgeable members with the time or effort to write a lengthy and well-reasoned reply, and more often likely degrade into ‘flame wars’, or a melee of short, insulting messages over the other poster’s ignorance.

Due to the heightened awareness of the shortcomings of the Republican era movement, thinkers of the current movement emphasize that while it is an act of asserting ethnic/national identity just as in the past, it is in light of global cultural integration for the future, rejecting antiquarianism as the primary motivator. However, the greatest difference above the facts is that the movement in the present is dynamic, encourages grassroots activism in a loose democratic setting, in contrast to the loose federation of intellectual elites petitioning to top policymakers to officiate Han dress. Although the Republican scholars succeeded in establishing Han clothing as ritual dress in Confucian ceremonies, they failed to proliferate the tradition as the definitive dress design due to the lack of a comprehensive system of objects and creating relevance to the common citizen in his time.

However, it is critical to note that despite the major changes on the ideological plane, hanfu as a fashion is still very much invisible outside select elite or government-sponsored cultural events or individuals usually of higher education or income living in urban environments. The clothing deemed ‘of passable quality’ and authenticity, while not necessarily expensive to the majority of the Chinese middle class, are not readily available on the market as they have to be custom-ordered from small ateliers, with chain enterprises yet unsustainable.[25] Physical locations to buy authentic hanfu are limited to the largest cities in China, and most makers are limited to an online presence.[26] Nonetheless this has come far from the conditions during the early Republican era, as people mustered from stage costumes, privately stowed collections, or commissioned tailors with whatever know-how they have on robe design. To those who do have the means to accessing retailers today, they perceive lack of general public education towards Han dress and even self-awareness as a Han person instead as the primary reason for the current bottleneck towards general proliferation.[27]

Highway to Hell: Bringing demise through hijacking

Figure 4 Confucius Homage in Taipei, 2007, with ceremony staff in Han dress and government officials in Manchu-style magua.

At present, the People’s Republic of China has no specifications on dress code for state functions, nor is there a law standardizing the ritual dress of Confucian or other traditional ceremonies. When the recent hanfu movement first gained national media attention in 2006, it was under the pretense of establishing a “national costume” – a dress that represents the entirety of the country’s heritage, rooted in tradition.[28] This perceived necessity of establishing a single dress standard can be traced back to Imperial times, but can most recently be seen in the Republican regime. Under patronage of Yuan Shikai, Han dress were written into law as the official regalia in state-sponsored Confucian rituals, to which he first put into practice in a Heaven sacrifice ceremony on December 23, 1914. The standard was revised under the auspices of Chiang Kai-Shek in 1969 in his “Chinese Traditional Culture Movement,” headed by scholars Fang Hao, Wang Yuqing, Zhuang Benli, and Kong Decheng, and is the current standard on Taiwan.[29]

Figure 5 Chen Huanzhi, front left centre in a white shenyi, at the 17th Kongjiao Convention in Qufu, 1929. Image from Daming Yiguan Forums.

Despite the tradition prolonging in present Republic of China, Han dress has no place in society outside of the context of the Confucius homage ceremony, and hence is deemed as a failure by the current movement. This divide can be traced to Yuan Shikai, who declared to assume a monarchial position a year after the Heaven sacrifice ceremony in 1914. The cross-collared image of Han robes used in these Confucian ceremonies were then related with “feudal” imperialism and immediately denounced. No further talk on Han clothing surfaced in the public sphere, although individuals in China’s academic elite persisted in its use in specific situations and left photographic records as evidence, such as Chen Huanzhi’s wearing of the shenyi in the 17th Kongjiao Convention in 1929, or the graduation robes in the Fu Jen example. These evidences show that society, elite or general, are overwhelmingly apathetic on seeing the “wide sleeved ancient robes” as a viable dress with modernity dependent on Westernization as the measure of success. Despite the goodwill intentions of using Zhouli standards and other ethnic Han elements to reaffirm their Chinese authenticity, Yuan Shikai and early Revolutionary thinkers in support of reviving Han style dress have failed to defend their position intending to restore a Han Chinese identity, instead slumped into a dichotomy between a Westernized modernity versus a Chinese antiquity, ultimately failing to appeal to the public interest and addressing the burning question of establishing a competitive Chinese nation on the global stage.

Aside from the antiquarian and Han chauvinist allegations, the Hanfu Movement was particularly concerned when New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV), the Taiwanese/New York based media company reputed to be the voice of anti-Chinese Communist Party organization Falun Gong began in high-profile an annual “Global Competition series” promoting Chinese traditional arts and artisanship, of which including an “International Han couture design competition” since 2009. The competition lauded in promoting to a worldwide audience (by holding the event in New York) “5000 years of tradition” by displaying contest submissions with adjectives such as “Tang splendour”, “Song”, “Ming”, [30] fundamentally digressing from the grassroots-led movement’s principle of avoiding dynastic labels in favor of ‘ahistorical,’ function-based labels. Furthermore, the anti-establishment nature of the organizer led to Chinese conspiracy theorists online suspecting that the movement’s disagreement with the Zhonghua minzu’s de-emphasis of Han image meant that it could very well become “a second Falun Gong” working to subvert the Communist state,[31] to which hanfu activists quickly responded by deleting or locking references to the competition, as well as informing fellow members to disassociate from and boycott the event.[32]

Aside from allegations on state subversion, various organizations have attempted to monopolize or hijack the movement under an individual’s patent. Hanwang, the Hanist forum where the first activists congregated clearly defined themselves as “a portal website for the Han ethnicity/race (minzu), and the birth cradle (faxiangdi) of the Hanfu Movement” and strictly maintains that it is first and foremost “a website dedicated to monitoring and defending for the interests of the Han people.”[33] However, a renegade website based on Baidu Tieba forums known as Hanshe, led by a private tutelage owner and costume retailer named Chen Bing (or Chen Zhenbing) who proclaimed himself as “the forerunner of the Hanfu movement since the Heaven sacrifice at Mount Cuihua in 1991,” and that the Hanfu movement “has two main directions,” one being the Internet-led movement starting in 2003, and the other being Chen himself over a decade prior.[34] The Hanshe forum also has a timeline pegged on top, where it claims all actions and deeds regarding the Hanfu Movement since 2003 in public media as part of Hanshe activity. Since the movement gained momentum through a collaborative and decentralized effort with ample textual and visual records, Chen’s claim is obviously bogus, further proven with the earliest post on the website dating only to 2008. However, Chen’s promotional activities throughout China with prominent social figures and its subsequent reports online meant to mainstream activists that without action, newcomers will be misguided by Chen to believe that the whole initiative is led by him and the movement hijacked by his so-called association. A series of posts preceded to “decode” Hanshe as a bogus “cult (xiejiao) in attempting to let Chen become an emperor.”[35]

From the Republican revolutionaries’ top-down approach to apply Han clothing nationwide and its demise from Yuan Shikai’s executive decision to nominate himself emperor, to the modern bottom-up grassroots movement with other civilian organizations fighting for power and say, the similarities between the two narratives is that the antagonist of the conflict is often perceived to stem from the same level or source – in the earlier case, Yuan’s top-down will to found a monarchial empire overruled in importance to his  utilization of Han dress and rituals to assert a long-repressed identity and was hence hijacked unto oblivion. As for the modern case, time has yet to tell whether the intentional decentralized grassroots system is ultimately successful in averting attempted hijacking or not, but cases such as Falun Gong or Hanshe’s involvement and attempted “takeover” of leadership proves that regardless of era, ambitions for personal gain or simply to undermine another’s effort is a constant theme in humanity’s desire for progress and legacy. Moreover, by focusing on conflicting with the antagonist ‘from within’, both movements lose precious time and energy that could have otherwise expanded the otherwise narrow niche of participants to a wider scope in society through constructive promotion and development.

Conclusion: The Long Way Home

For almost 370 years, Han Chinese have struggled with the forced assimilation of Manchu dress and appearance in addition to political rule. While the 1911 Revolution has successfully shaken off foreign control and imperialism from the Han altogether, reconciliation with its former image is clouded by a series of stigmas deeply implanted into the Han social subconscious, as well as traditions both material and immaterial that has fallen out of continuity with the rest of the world for over two and a half centuries. Overwhelmed by Western preconceptions on modernity and the lurking shadows of ‘antiquarian, feudal’ past stigmas, the idea did not survive long past its suggestion. While writers and scholars attribute these shortcomings to naïveté on the revolutionary thinkers’ part, through the evidence in this paper it can also be argued that they lacked social preparation such as involvement of all classes in society, a sustainable theory on a new (Han) ethnic dress designed for a new modern society, as well as a supply chain to provide the materiel to actualize the goal.

These shortcomings were carefully noted and painstakingly addressed in the grassroots movement one century later, to the best of ability by ordinary citizens of various skills and trades. However, as compared to other countries’ ethnic fashion fads and revivals, the Hanfu Movement today still has a considerable distance from international and social visibility. Asides from the clothing itself, the movement is a platform for discussing and presenting a diverse array of societal issues and identity, such as gender, class, and pluralism. Rather than focusing on whether or not this movement will face the danger of becoming an ultranationalist movement, it would be more suitable to conclude that the survival and success of Han dress in today’s society depends on whether it could continue to stimulate the question of Han and Chinese identity into constructive forms of innovation while achieving its fundamental goal: To face history and heritage in its unadulterated truth, and respect it as the culmination and result of our present understanding of our identities.

 

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—–. “Rethinking the Hanfu Movement, October 2012: Redesign and Innovation, Body and Engenderment.” Accounts of the Lutenist from Beaver Creek, October 5, 2012. Web. https://torguqin.wordpress.com/rethinking-the-hanfu-movement-redesign-innovation/ last accessed October 20, 2012.

—–. “Rethinking the Hanfu Movement, Feb. ’11 (Causality and Diaspora),” Accounts of the “Lutenist” from Beaver Creek, February 7, 2011. https://torguqin.wordpress.com/rethinking-hanfu-mvt-causality-diaspora/ last accessed December 17, 2012.

Yu Qiuyu. “Dui si ge zhongda wenti de jinji huida,” [Emergency replies to four important questions], Sohu blog, http://yuqiuyu.blog.sohu.com/38914789.html, last accessed December 15, 2012.

Min Zhang. “Dressed like a Chinese – A Study of the “national costume” Debate in China,” in Perspectives Vol.8 No.4 (Winter 2007).

Zhengshitang Lizhiguan. Jisi Guanfu Zhi and Jisi Guanfu Tu. Caizheng Bu Yinshua Ju. August 1914.

Zhou, Zuoren. Mupianji – Qian Xuantong, in Zhou Zuoren Zibian Wenji. Shijiazhuang: Hebei Education Press, 2002. Pp. 13-14; Zhou Weiqiang. Saoxuezhai Zhuren: Qian Xuantong Chuan. Hangzhou: Zhejiang People’s Publishing House, 2003. Chapter 9.


  1. GAO Xialing and CHENG Xiao-Ming, “Shi lun Qingmo Minchu Hanzhuang Fuxing de Jiyu [Brief Comments on the Opportunity of Han’s Dress in Chinese Modern Times],” from Journal of Xinzhou Teachers University, Vol.21:3, Xinzhou: 2005

[2] Juni Yeung. “The Han Chinese Cultural Renaissance Movement of the 21st Century:  The System of Objects,” Lecture given at HK Reader (Cantonese), October 21, 2012.  See also Yueyaoxin (netname), “Qingmo minchu Xiao Guimo Hanfu Fuxing Lishi” posted on May 23, 2011 on Baidu Hanfu Tieba, tieba.baidu.com/f?kz=1088321531, last accessed November 19, 2012.

[3] Gao and Cheng, p.68

[4] Gao and Cheng, p.68, see also translation by Juni Yeung. “Hanfu Movement of the Republican Era,” in Accounts of the “Lutenist” at Beaver Creek, published November 9, 2012. torguqin.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/hanfu-of-the-roc/ last accessed November 19, 2012.

[5] Guobin Yang, The Power of the Internet in China. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009. Chapter 1.

[6] Juni Yeung. “Rethinking the Hanfu Movement, Feb. ’11 (Causality and Diaspora),” Accounts of the “Lutenist” from Beaver Creek. https://torguqin.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/rethinking-hanfu-mvt-causality-diaspora/

[7] Tianya Zai Xiaolou (alias Fang Zhexuan). “Yige Ren de Jili,” posted on Hanwang on November 15, 2004, translated and reposted on Accounts of the “Lutenist” from Beaver Creek by Juni Yeung, posted October 21, 2009. https://torguqin.wordpress.com/2009/10/21/ritual-with-one-person/ Last accessed November 19, 2012

[8] Yu Qiuyu. “Dui si ge zhongda wenti de jinji huida,” [Emergency replies to four important questions], Sohu blog, http://yuqiuyu.blog.sohu.com/38914789.html, last accessed December 15, 2012.

[9] James Leibold. “The Beijing Olympics and China’s Conflicted Form,” The China Journal, No.63 (January 2010). pp.13-14; Beijing Daily. “Yu Qiuyu: Wei minzu zhuanyan jiu yao chuan hanfu ma,” [Yu Qiuyu: Do we have to wear hanfu for the sake of ethnic dignity?] China.com.cn, published April 17, 2007. http://www.china.com.cn/review/txt/2007-04/17/content_8125255.htm, last accessed December 15, 2012; Hao Hongjie. “Yu Qiuyu: Ruguo Zhongguoren dou chuan hanfu, najiu chengle minzu zhuyi,” [Yu Qiuyu: If Chinese people all wear hanfu, that would become nationalism] Eastday News. Published March 28, 2007.  http://news.eastday.com/s/20070328/u1a2718560.html, last accessed December 15, 2012.

[10] See Chang Mengfei. “Yu Qiuyu weihe yao na “Hanfu” shuoshi?” [Why does Yu Qiuyu have to make a fuss about hanfu?], Jiangnan Times, reposted on Xinhua News. http://news.xinhuanet.com/comments/2007-04/18/content_5991915.htm, last accessed December 15, 2012.

[11] Xin’er Haogu. “[Yuanchuang] Jiu hanfu wenti bochi Yu Qiuyu,” ([Original] Rebuttals to Yu Qiuyu on the hanfu issue), Hanwang, published March 24, 2007. http://hanminzu.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=147372, last accessed December 15, 2012.

[12] For example, see Yidaoshandian. “Fan “hanfu” boke, Yu Qiuyu cuo zai nali?”[Anti-“hanfu” blog: where did Yu Qiuyu do wrong?], Sina Blog, published October 2, 2012. http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_46f13ae601018b2j.html, last accessed December 15, 2012; reposted by Ninhanzhixue on Baidu Mingchao Bar, published April 7, 2007. http://tieba.baidu.com/p/188644923, last accessed December 15, 2012.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Shenyang Evening News. “Eping zhi Yu Qiuyu beipo guan boke? Zhuli zhuiying: Zao jiuxiang guan,” Xinhua News Net, December 25, 2009. http://big5.xinhuanet.com/gate/big5/news.xinhuanet.com/ent/2009-12/25/content_12701907.htm, last accessed December 16, 2012.

[15] Zhou Zuoren. Mupianji – Qian Xuantong, in Zhou Zuoren Zibian Wenji. Shijiazhuang: Hebei Education Press, 2002. Pp. 13-14; Zhou Weiqiang. Saoxuezhai Zhuren: Qian Xuantong Chuan. Hangzhou: Zhejiang People’s Publishing House, 2003. Chapter 9.

[16] Gao and Cheng, p.68; also cf. Juni Yeung’s translation in Accounts of the Lutenist from Beaver Creek. https://torguqin.wordpress.com/hanfu-of-the-roc/.

[17] See Antonia Finnane. Changing Clothes in China, p.98.

[18] (ROC) Zhengshitang Lizhiguan. Jisi Guanfu Zhi and Jisi Guanfu Tu. Caizheng Bu Yinshua Ju. August 1914.

[19] Huaxia Xiemai (alias). Shiluo de Wenming – “Hanzu Minzu Fushi,” Hanwang, February 14, 2002.

[20] Ouyang Yuxi (alias Chi Yuelu). “Hanfu chubu fenlei guihua zhiding fang’an (caogao),”[Preliminary Hanfu classification proposal (draft)], Hanwang, reposted by Fu Lujiang on Sina Blog, April 25, 2007. http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_4cd52cf601000ikx.html. Last accessed December 17, 2012.

[21] Ouyang Yuxi (alias Chi Yuelu). “Qianlun Hanfu fazhanshi, hanfu 9 zhong kuanshi de guina jieshao,”[Brief on the development history of hanfu, an introduction to the 9 classifications of hanfu] posted on Hexun Blog, October 8, 2005. http://yuxizhijia.blog.hexun.com.tw/1125902_d.html, last accessed December 16, 2012.

[22] Hanfuba Zhenshou Shenqi (alias). “Hanminzu fushi wenhua fuxing xuanchuan: hanfuba daodu,” Baidu Hanfu Bar, posted July 23, 2012. http://tieba.baidu.com/p/1744854536, last accessed December 17, 2012; Juni Yeung. “Hanfu: The (Real) Traditional Chinese Clothing,” (Powerpoint presentation) prepared for Toronto Guqin Society, https://torguqin.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/torguqinhanfupresen.pptx, last accessed December 10, 2012.

[23] Yizhanfeng et al.. Hanfu Baike [Hanfu Encyclopedia]. http://www.hfqun.com/wiki/index.php, last accessed December 17, 2012.; Yizhanfeng (alias). “[Zhengli+Tiankeng] Xiandai Hanfu Tixi 2.1 ban,”([Reorganizing+Filling in] Modern Hanfu System version 2.1), posted on Baidu Hanfu Bar, July 23, 2011. http://tieba.baidu.com/p/1150674230, last accessed December 17, 2012.

[24] Ganling (alias). “[Hanfu fuxing sida weimingti]Qing guangda tongpao zhuyi guibi o”([Four great false propositions of Hanfu Restoration] Fellow comrades please take note and avoid), posted on Baidu Hanfu Bar, June 14, 2011. http://tieba.baidu.com/f?kz=1109190833, last accessed December 17, 2012.

[25] See Na Yang. “Hanfu Yundong yu Shangyehua,” on Baidu Hanfu Bar, December 1, 2009. Translation by Juni Yeung. “Hanfu Movement and Commercialization,” at Accounts of the “Lutenist” from Beaver Creek, posted December 1, 2009. https://torguqin.wordpress.com/yang-na-commercialization-essay/, last accessed December 18, 2012.

[26] See Yellowtopaz (alias) et al.. “Hanfu-ba zhi Quanqiu Xinxi Chaxun Xitong,”[Hanfu Bar’s Global Information Reference System],  http://www.hanfumap.com, last accessed December 18, 2012.

[27] Based on the 10 questionnaire responses received from lecture at Hong Kong Reader, November 4, 2012.

[28] Min Zhang. “Dressed like a Chinese – A Study of the “national costume” Debate in China,” in Perspectives Vol.8 No.4 (Winter 2007).

[29] Taipei Confucius Temple. “Establishment of the Modern Confucius Ceremony,” Taipei Confucius Temple Governing Board. http://www.ct.taipei.gov.tw/en-us/C/About/Ceremony/1/8/9.htm, last accessed December 18, 2012.

[30] NTDTV. “Han Couture: Knowledge and History,” NTD 4th Global Han Couture Design Competition website, http://hancouture.ntdtv.com/en/knowledge/, last accessed December 17, 2012.

[31] Anonymous. “Zhengzhihua xushi mingxian, hanfu yundong kong chengwei falungong di’er,” Boxun Forums, November 8, 2011. http://blog.boxun.com/hero/201011/dazjg/1_1.shtml, last accessed December 18, 2012.

[32] Juni Yeung. “Rethinking the Hanfu Movement, Feb. ’11 (Causality and Diaspora),” Accounts of the “Lutenist” from Beaver Creek, February 7, 2011. https://torguqin.wordpress.com/rethinking-hanfu-mvt-causality-diaspora/ last accessed December 17, 2012.

[33] Dhws (alias). “[Gonggao] Hanwang shi Hanminzu wang,” ([Announcement] Hanwang is a website for the Han ethnicity/race) Hanwang (Hanminzu.org), December 8, 2005. http://bbs.hanminzu.org/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=79602, last accessed December 18, 2012.

[34] Zhongguo Hanfu Xiehui (alias). “Zhongguo Hanfu Yundong dashi biannianshi,” Baidu Hanshe Bar, June 4, 2012. http://tieba.baidu.com/p/1633646285, last accessed December 18, 2012.

[35] Zhongguo Hanfu Xuehui (alias). “Hanshe Jiemi: Xilie Jihe Tie,” Baidu Hanfu Bar, February 11, 2012. http://tieba.baidu.com/p/1409455411, last accessed December 18, 2012.

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