8. The Village of "Two Dragons" and the Village of "Dragon and Tiger": A Field Study of Fengshui in Two Zhejiang Villages

Oguma Makoto


Fengshui geomancy embodies oriental perceptions of the natural environment. Fengshui may be considered a traditional form of folk environmental assessment, the object of which is to find a "comfortable" environment for human beings, including the deceased. Theories of fengshui originated in ancient China, later influencing not only China proper, but also various regions in East Asia. That is, geomantic beliefs found their way into the Korean Peninsula, later exerting indirect influence as well on ancient Japanese culture in such forms as the theories of yin-yang and wu-xing. From the early modern period, concepts of fengshui were introduced into Ryukyu by Ryukyuan students returning from studying in China. At present, theories of fengshui are popular in East Asia, as well as in the overseas Chinese communities of Southeast Asia.
Fengshui geomancy asserts that the movements of nature control human fate. Such cosmic movements are conceptualised as qi, a mysterious energy arising from the interaction of heaven and earth. Qi is born at the summit of mountains, descending along mountain ridges called long-mai ("dragon veins"). Qi accumulates in basins surrounded by mountains regarded as dragons, and such locations are called xue ("dragon's lairs"). It is the geomancer's job to locate such xue in order to identify the mingtang ("bright hall"), the ideal favorable geomantic location for the accumulation of qi in nature. Furthermore, qi can be blown away by wind, or washed away by water. A site surrounded by mountains at the back and on both sides, and where a river flows gently is, therefore, considered an ideal geomantic location. Practitioners of fengshui have techniques for deciphering geographical features and water currents in order to find auspicious sites where the mysterious power of qi exerts a favorable influence on man, and identifying such a site is believed to bring good fortune. Since fengshui is a conceptual framework for locating the ideal environment, it has influenced various aspects of the human habitat, from domicile, the location of residential settlements and cities, to graves, the dwellings of the dead. Thus, fengshui constitutes a vital element in the study of these aspects of the human environment.
The above definition of fengshui has gradually been gaining acceptance in Japan in recent years, and has begun to become a subject for academic discussions. Interdisciplinary research by scholars of anthropology, folklore, religion, oriental history, Ryukyuan history, architecture, and other related areas has also been conducted.[1]
There are three types of topics for research into fengshui. First, the metaphysical framework of fengshui, which lays down its basic principles. Numerous great historical thinkers have built up a systematic body of knowledge in this area, and the fruits of their labor are recorded in the geomancy books. The common people do not really possess such knowledge, and only specialists like geomancers are well-versed in such principles. Fengshui divinations are made on specific occasions based on such specialist knowledge, while common folk, faced with particular situations in their daily life, attempt to apply whatever knowledge of fengshui they may have acquired to usher in good fortune. That is to say, there are two levels of geomancy: a body of knowledge of fengshui metaphysical principles contained in geomancy books, and the practical applications of fengshui by the common people. The geomancers, who learn the theories of fengshui from the geomancy books and who respond to the people's needs based on their learning, bridge the gap between the two.
The metaphysical framework of fengshui has been dealt with in other studies of China, and we will not treat this aspect here.[2] Instead, this study will focus on how concepts of fengshui are utilised and interpreted on the Chinese mainland at the folk level. Many cultural anthropological studies of fengshui have been conducted in Hong Kong or Taiwan,[3] but very few in mainland China, particularly at the village level. This paper will discuss the popularly accepted concepts of fengshui, particularly with regard to the location of the village. The material derives from short-term fieldwork conducted in two villages in Zhejiang Province.
The state of field research on fengshui in mainland China is different from other Han Chinese societies in several respects. Having experienced tremendous social and cultural changes during the Cultural Revolution, Confucianism, Taoism, and other forms of religious belief were banned in China until recently, and fengshui was no exception. It was prohibited on the grounds of being a superstitious set of beliefs. Numerous books on geomancy, compasses (luo-pan), and other equipment used for fengshui divinations were burnt or destroyed, and needless to say, geomancers were not permitted to practice. However, since the freedom of religion has been recognised after the implementation of the economic reforms and the open door policy in China, various forms of religion have been revived. Amid such changes, how have the common folk re-adopted fengshui? In other words, the primary purpose of this research is to observe through field work in Chinese villages how the fengshui concepts have been integrated into the life of the people, focusing on how such concepts have changed after weathering the Cultural Revolution.
Secondly, this paper compares two villages, one Han Chinese village and a She nationality village in central Zhejiang. Since fengshui is basically a Han cultural trait, the purpose is to see how a minority nationality has accepted it.

The Village of "Two Dragons"

Yao Village

The first village studied in this paper is a rural Han Chinese village in the Jinhua region located in the central hilly region of Zhejiang Province. Jinhua is nationally famous for Jinhua ham. Field work was conducted in Yao Village, Dianshan Township to the northwest of Lanxi City, which is in turn located to the northwest of the center of the Jinhua region. Yao Village has a long history. It is said that the ancestors of the Yao lineage came from Shaoxing in northern Zhejiang during the Jianyan era of the Southern Song Dynasty, about 860 years ago. People presently residing in the village are from twenty-second to twenty-eighth generation descendants of the original inhabitants. It is a relatively large village consisting of more than 300 households (329 households, according to 1982 statistics). An overwhelming majority of the villagers belong to the Yao lineage. A few people with other surnames moved to this village after Liberation.
Based on their knowledge of the ideal fengshui, how do the Yao Village folk interpret the location of their village? As can be seen from Figure 1, a narrow row of low hills stretches from north to south to the west of Yao Village. The villagers call this a dragon. A local temple, Xialong Miao, is located at the southern end of the hills, and this is said to be the dragon's head. This is also the starting point of the narrow expanse of hills stretching northward. The hilly area directly to the west of the village serves as the playground of the middle school, and sometimes as the drying ground for grain during the harvest season. This area used to be overgrown with a thick carpet of cogon grass, and was regarded as the dragon's back. The cogon grass was the dragon's scales and cutting this down was absolutely out of the question because this would undermine the fengshui and bring misfortune. However, at present, the cogon grass has been completely razed, and the area is now simply a wide expanse of bare earth.

The dragon's tail extends to the north, reaching Huangda Mountain. Qi is supposed to flow reversely from this mountain along the hills to the dragon's head, or Xialong Miao. To contain this qi, in the past, the villagers planted camphor trees on the slopes to the east of Xialong Miao facing the village settlement, and on the slopes from the ridge of the hills regarded as the dragon's back down to the settlement. These trees were called fengshui trees. In the past, sick village children were ritually adopted by the fengshui trees, but these camphor trees were also cut down soon after Liberation and are nowhere to be found today.
Across the river and the road to the east of the village, there is another small hill. This is the starting point of the ridge of a stretch of low hills running to the southeast. The villagers regard this small hill as the head of another dragon. Looking from the village, this dragon's head is a cliff rising about ten meters high. On top of the hill is the grave of one of the ancestors of the second and largest branch of the Yao lineage. This site towers high over the village in the east, and in the past, a spring flowed abundantly under the cliff. The people referred to this as the dragon's saliva, and thought that the spring symbolised "safety in all four seasons of the year". A small bridge had also been built at the site, and this was referred to as the dragon's teeth.
Thus, the Yao villagers think of their village as a site surrounded by two dragons, and call themselves "the Yaos of Dragon Mountain". Such a belief does not merely come from a vague idea of the location of their village, but is based on a firm interpretation of fengshui in the image of dragons.
The expanse of hills extending from Huangda Mountain to behind the village, and thereby guarding the village, is the western dragon. The village settlement itself is built on the slopes ascending to the western dragon, and almost all houses face the east. The hills behind the village form the back of the dragon, which used to have "scales" on it. The southern end of the row of hills is interpreted as the dragon's head, with the Xialong Miao located right here at this strategic site, and, as mentioned earlier, fengshui trees used to cover the slopes from the temple to the village to contain the qi. Thus, the Yao Village people's interpretation of the fengshui of their village in relation to the western dragon certainly takes into account the qi which flows along the range of hills.
The ideal fengshui model envisages that a village settlement should be located at a site surrounded by two mountain ranges sharing the same summit, the "ancestral mountain", and stretching to the left and to the right. These two mountain ranges are the "dragon on the left" and the "tiger on the right", and the enclosed area between them is the ming-tang.
In the case of Yao Village, the western and eastern hills belong to different mountain ranges. They are not equivalents of the "dragon on the left" and "tiger on the right." Qi directly affecting the village comes more strongly from the western dragon, but substantial importance is also attached to the eastern dragon's head. For one thing, the grave of one of Yao Village's prominent ancestors is located there. To the descendants of Yao Village, the fengshui of that site is ideal for the grave. By locating the ancestral grave there, the peace and safety of the villagers is maintained.
For a long time, this spring water (the "dragon's saliva") was used for drinking and washing. Apparently water flowed abundantly from the eastern dragon's head the whole year round, and the spring never dried up even during droughts. Furthermore, the significance of this spring water far exceeded its practical uses, for it converged into the river flowing in front of the village. The flow of the water course was also an important element in interpretations of fengshui.
Another body of water of great importance for Yao Village is the river running in front of the village settlement, that is from left to right when seen from the village. Water from this river is used for washing clothes and vegetables, and irrigating the paddy fields, and it plays an important role in the daily life of the villagers.
From the standpoint of the ideal fengshui, it is a significant fact that a river runs in front of Yao Village. Professional geomancers would be able to make various fengshui divinations based on the direction of flow, and the shape of the twists and turns of the river. But because no geomancer resided in the village, the villagers were not able to provide any information. In Yao village, the people do not talk about the fengshui of shui-mai ("water veins") as enthusiastically as that of the long mai.

Rituals relating to the dragon and

As mentioned above, the Yao villagers refer to the landscape around the village as dragons. Such a perception is not limited to their view of the location of the village. During such ritual occasions as prayers for rain or the Dragon Lantern Festival, Yao Village concretely displays its character as the village of the dragon.
A ritual to pray for rain has not been held for more than forty years; it was performed in 1944 when there was a particularly serious drought, and also during the land reform period around 1950. The ritual is recalled as having been performed in the following fashion. A suitable man was selected from those born in the year with the same gan-zhi (heavenly stems and celestial branches) as the year of the ritual. Covering his head with a blue cloth and wearing a black waist band, and accompanied by the village menfolk, he travelled to the Shuilingdian Temple in Jingpan Mountain about thirty li (fifteen kilometers) north of Yao Village with a vase called the "dragon vase" to fetch water. Shuilingdian is a miao for worshipping the dragon. This sacred dragon was called shui-long (water dragon) or fengshui-long. The procession to the miao was accompanied by the sound of trumpets and gongs. A dragon was believed to reside in a spring near the Shuilingdian. The man stirred the water with a stick to make shrimp-like insects and small fish come up to the surface. He then put these little creatures in the dragon vase and brought them back to the village. These insects and fish were believed to be dragons. The dragon vase was then placed on a makeshift altar set up in front of the Xialong Miao, the village temple. At the same time, the figures of the deities in the miao were also brought out to dry in the sun.
The dragon is the god of water. It is quite common for the dragon to be worshipped during a ritual to pray for rain. In the case of Yao Village, surrogates of the dragon were invited from the spring near Shuilingdian to Xialong Miao to pray for rain. Since Xialong Miao is known to be the spot containing the qi from the mountain range, the ritual prayer for rain was intended to invite the dragon's water to this site, and cause rain to fall.
The Dragon Lantern Festival is held each year on the 6th day of the first lunar month. On the morning of the festival, wooden carvings of the dragon's head and tail are placed on the yu-tai ("Rain Stage") located in the center of the village, together with various offerings. Toward evening, each household brings in the long-jie,[4] or wooden sections of the dragon's body they keep at home. These sections are linked with the head and tail to become a dragon measuring a few hundred meters in length. The villagers, carrying this dragon, march around inside and outside the village, and the course they take is closely related to the western dragon. The dragon lantern, starting from the yu-tai, first goes up to the open ground in front of the middle school, which is known as the dragon's scales, then heads north along the dragon's back.[5] The procession then goes down from the northern side of the village along the river to the eastern side of the village, and proceeds southward to the Xialong Miao. From there, the villagers again ascend the dragon's back, and head north again; they go around the village several times, following the same route. After that, the procession visits the Hugong Miao in neighbouring Dianxia Village to the north, then returns to Yao Village, there circling around in the open ground on the dragon's back. When this comes to an end, the villagers collect their section of the dragon's body, and to the sound of the gong they all rush back home. At present, the dragon's head is kept at the village cultural center, but in the past, it was returned to the Xialong Miao for safekeeping.
The Dragon Lantern Festival serves as a form of entertainment during the spring festival (lunar new year). The act of worshipping the dragon also constitutes a ritual to pray for household prosperity. The dragon lantern procession goes from the Xialong Miao, which is the western dragon's head, to the dragon's back, and generally follows the path of the western dragon. By taking such a route, the qi of the dragon's vein is revitalised, and during the finale of the procession, the villagers go round and round on the dragon's back, thus collecting the dragon's qi. At the end, by bringing home their section of the dragon's body, the villagers obtain the qi it embodies.
Evidently, the dragon's back is an important spot in this process. Before Liberation, a festival called Qingjie-Jiao was held here after the harvest, and this was also the site for another ritual called Zhen-Long. Zhen-Long was a ritual held before Liberation in years when there was a particularly large number of deaths or when epidemics prevailed. Taoist priests were called to climb up to the dragon's vein to shake the dragon by the sound of trumpets and gongs. This was done to revitalise the dragon's qi and drive away evil qi. Both the ritual to pray for rain and the Dragon Lantern Festival are certainly attempts to make good use of the western dragon's qi.

The Village of the "Dragon and Tiger"

Shangen Village

The second fieldwork site, Shangen Village, is part of Lishui City, which lies further south down the Wuyi River from Jinhua City. Lishui City is located in the highlands of southern Zhejiang Province, and the Jinhua region, the urban center, is surrounded by high mountains. Settlements of the She minority nationality spread out at the foot of the mountains. Shangen Village is a She nationality village lying eight kilometers south from the center of Lishui at the foot of Daliang Mountain which rises to an altitude of 868 meters at the peak.
The She nationality are a minority group who live in the mountainous areas of southeast China (see also Segawa, this volume). They coexist with the Han Chinese by trading local products, such as timber, tea and tea-oil with them. Traditionally, they were a migrant group engaged in slash-and-burn farming. The ancestors of the people of Shangen Village can be traced back to Guangdong Province. They came north to Lishui passing through Fujian Province and the present Jingning She Nationality Autonomous County and Yunhe County in Zhejiang.

The fengshui of the location of Shangen Village

According to folklore in the area, the ancestors of Shangen Village came here about 200 years ago. At first, they lived in thatched huts located even deeper in the mountains. It is said that during those days, fengshui had nothing to do with house-building. The land further down the mountain belonged to the Han in Zhouan Village. The She people practiced slash-and-burn agriculture in the wasteland. Eventually, they managed to buy land and establish the village on its present site.
At present, Shangen Village, as an administrative unit, is made up of five natural villages. Each of the settlements lies in a ravine flanked by mountain ridges both on the left and on the right (see Figure 2). Looking from the village settlements, pointed ridges stretching from mountains

behind the village flank the village from both sides. The villagers call these "dragon on the left" and "tiger on the right".
The use of the terms "dragon on the left" and "tiger on the right" certainly shows that Shangen villagers have some knowledge of fengshui. Yet the village folk assert that even without asking a geomancer, any She villager would know from experience that village settlements are built on sites like this. Since their ancestors moved from one place to another in the highlands, their experience in chosing the geographical environment for building village settlements and houses has become part of the She nationality's folk knowledge.
At least in the late Qing Dynasty, however, there was a geomancer in the village and fengshui interpretations and divinations were made based on the shape of the mountains, the topography and the flow of water around the village. For instance, Wumutou Village is flanked on the left and right by dragon veins branching off from Dafengling Mountain, forming what is said to be the shape of a phoenix. The ideal fengshui would have been that the "tiger on the right" should be longer, but in the case of Wumutou, the "dragon on the left" is longer and looks more imposing. Thus, in this village, "nobody becomes a bureaucrat, and nobody gets rich" (cf. Nie, this volume: 93-4). Nevertheless, the layers of mountains right in front of the village are by no means bad in terms of fengshui, and it is believed that the village will be blessed with many sons. Indeed, 60 % of the village population are male. On the other hand, the natural village of Shangen, which has the benefit of being embraced by dragon veins, is a village with many oratorical talents according to the principles of fengshui. Political leaders of the five natural villages have always come from Shangen.
The above interpretations of fengshui, particularly those regarding male population and the holders of political power, may have merely resulted from the geomancers' applying theories of fengshui flexibly to suit their own purposes; they might have just reversed cause and effect. However, the villagers have taken their words as gospel truth.

Fengshui relating to houses and graves

The framework of houses in Shangen Village is built of wood, with wooden posts and beams. The walls are made of mud, constructed by filling the wooden frames with pounded earth. The structure of the houses is quite similar to those of the Han. In this village, the geomancer is consulted on every single detail when building a house, from determining the direction the house faces, to the rituals of purifying the construction site, ground-breaking, and framework-raising. In this respect, Shangen Village resembles Yao Village, but there are a number of disparities in the procedures of the rituals.[6]
The grave sites are also selected with utmost care. The services of geomancers are engaged to make a decision based on the landscape and the ba-zi (eight characters indicating the year, month, day and hour of birth) of the deceased. During the burial, details like the time of burial and the direction the coffin should face are also determined by the geomancers. The methods used are quite the same as those of the Han Chinese.[7] This, in a sense, is not surprising. The existence of practitioners of fengshui, and reliance on them to judge the fengshui of houses and graves means that Shangen Village also depends on the body of knowledge of fengshui principles, which are, in any case, common to all geomancers. Thus, the results of fengshui divinations on the location of villages, houses, and graves by geomancers, whether they belong to the Han or She nationality, are all identical.


In Yao Village, the fengshui of the village's location is interpreted in terms of two dragons, and this has become part of the village's heritage. The mountain ridges referred to as dragons, Xialong Miao located at the dragon's head, the open ground on the dragon's back - strategic points of fengshui - are also places where rituals are performed to pray for rain, or during the Dragon Lantern Festival. Fengshui is not simply a separate entity which determines the merits or demerits of the geographical environment, or a body of knowledge influencing the fate of the villagers. It has become an organic part of their folklore. This characterises the fengshui principles which have become an integral part of the heritage of Yao Village.
However, during the Cultural Revolution, folklore relating to fengshui was criticised as evil old customs, and geomancers were banned from engaging in fengshui-related activities. This had serious repercussions. Xiaolong Miao was as good as closed, and the cogon grass thriving on the dragon's back, together with the fengshui trees were cut down.
Regarding the fengshui of houses, while it is a fact that geomancers used to be deeply involved in determining the direction houses faced, or chosing an auspicious day for construction rituals, the villagers now claim that "we do not have geomancers in this village," because geomancers have stopped practicing their trade since the Cultural Revolution.
When we visited the house of an old cadre in the village, we learned that the entrance from the street to the yard had been moved from the front to the left side of the house. When asked about the reason, the old man claimed that the old entrance was inconvenient. Yet, the old entrance led to a main street, while the new entrance now opens to a small alley. Evidently, the new entrance would be more inconvenient for daily use, but the old cadre insisted that the change was not made on account of fengshui, and that nobody believed in fengshui any more.
As can be seen from the above, the present political situation in China is still not conducive to actively expressing one's belief in fengshui. Moreover, in Yao Village, for instance, functions relating to fengshui have been eliminated from the temple, while fengshui trees and geomancers no longer exist. Officially, belief in fengshui is no longer a part of the village's religious life, and on the surface, geomancers do not make fengshui divinations any more.
However, at the individual level, customs directly or indirectly connected with fengshui can still be found, or have been revived in the people's daily life. For example, mirrors, or ba-gua (eight trigrams), or the sign of tai-qi adorn many a doorway in Yao Village to drive away the evil spirits, and many houses have a zhao-qiang (a wall blocking the view from outside) right in front of the main gate. Even though the people refuse to say so, it is easy enough to observe that folk customs relating to fengshui of the house are alive and thriving, or have been revived, and there are evident efforts to shut out evil spirits and usher in good fortune based on fengshui beliefs. Despite various pressures to suppress them in the past, customs having to do with fengshui remain deeply rooted at the individual level. This tendency is particularly pronounced with regard to houses and graves, which are closely related to the lives of individuals.
On the other hand, Shangen Village is a village of the She nationality. The She's adoption of systematic fengshui knowledge probably does not have a long history. This can be deduced from the testimony of Shangen Village elders that when the She first migrated here and were living in thatched huts, they did not have the custom of looking at fengshui. Moreover, systematic fengshui knowledge was probably introduced into Shangen Village by geomancers who had access to such knowledge. This, conceivably, occurred through contacts with the Han Chinese nearby.
In Shangen Village, there is a man who claims to be a geomancer. He was born in 1911. At the age of sixteen, he entered apprenticeship with a geomancer in Shangen Village on the advice of his father. He received instruction for twelve years, but from the third year, he had become able to make fengshui divinations on his own. He has had six apprentices, two of them She from Shangen Village, and the other four Han from other villages. Villages further down the foot of the mountain from Shangen are all inhabited by Hans. The Shangen villagers have daily contacts with the Hans. They are, therefore, able to speak both the She language and the Lishui dialect. The Shangen geomancer was able to teach his Han pupils in the Lishui dialect, and he had also been asked by nearby Han Chinese to do fengshui divinations. He was a geomancer trusted not only by Shangen Village, but also by the nearby Han Chinese. However, during the Cultural Revolution, "a whole mountain heap" of his books of geomancy were burned,[8] and as a result, he has hardly practiced geomancy since then.
Shangen Village, through its contacts with the nearby Han Chinese, has selectively adopted various elements of Han culture. This can be seen, for instance, in the transformation from thatched huts to the present houses identical with those of the Han people. There has also been constant interaction between She and Han customs and practices through their daily contacts.[9] However, indigenous She religious beliefs and customs are also maintained. In such a cultural environment, it is believed that fengshui was introduced into the village and popularised directly by the geomancers. For this reason, as described in the previous section, geomancers are deeply involved in every detail of the fengshui of houses, from the selection of a construction site, to the choice of dates for construction rituals, to the performance of such rituals. Moreover, while not as well-versed as the geomancers, there are a number of old people in the village who possess enough specialised knowledge of fengshui to select an auspicious day for certain rituals or to determine the direction a house should face. Even at present, they are asked to determine the dates for constructing a new house, or fireplace, or grave, or for burials and the celebration of weddings and important birthdays.[10] It seems that Shangen Village does not take as negative an attitude towards fengshui as Yao Village. However, while pictures of the door god are pasted on the door, Shangen villagers have not been observed to hang mirrors outside the door or to have other formulas for averting malign influences. Unlike in Yao Village, concepts of fengshui in Shangen Village have not been integrated with other folk beliefs. Knowledge of fengshui has been introduced, and eventually, has taken root through the geomancers. This has influenced only She folklore concerning the location of the village, and of the houses and graves within the entire body of She folklore in Shangen Village.
As Freedman wrote: "Fengshui is not like most of the rest of Chinese religion; there is no reliance on the will of a deity; there are no gods to serve or placate." He also observed that "faith in geomancy may well survive a change in religion."[11] For sure, theories of fengshui do not conflict with the gods of other religions. Thus, it could be accepted by non-Han nationalities with indigenous religious belief systems with relative ease. In this respect, the fengshui ideology has the inherent ability to spread across ethnic boundaries. Therefore, in the case of Shangen Village, while She folklore is preserved to a considerable extent, fengshui is used only when making divinations about the village, houses and graves. Fengshui coexists harmoniously with She culture.
This paper has discussed fengshui interpretations of the village's location and fengshui relating to houses in Yao Village, a Han Chinese village, and Shangen Village, a village inhabited by the She nationality. In Yao Village, fengshui concepts concerning the village's location and houses do not stand on their own. Fengshui here is characterised by close links with other folk customs among the villagers. Research on fengshui in Chinese communities has so far focused on issues of the principles of fengshui, or direct and indirect links between fengshui and the location of villages, houses and graves. However, since concepts of fengshui exist alongside other folklore, it is, therefore, in the future, also necessary to look into the role of fengshui in the entire body of local folklore in the Han Chinese communities in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, where fengshui has a long history as an integral part of folk culture.


The field study for this paper was conducted under the auspices of the Japan-China Field Research Group on the Folklore of Farming headed by Professor Fukuda Ajio of the National Museum of Ethnology (now at Niigata University), and was funded by the Ministry of Education's Scientific Research Fund. Fieldwork was carried out in the two villages on three occasions during March, l990, and March and October, 1991. The paper was translated from Japanese into English with the assistance of Ms. Go Kun Chiu.


1. The "National Conference of Fengshui Researchers" has been organised by Watanabe Yoshio of the Tokyo Metropolitan University, with research funding from the Japanese Ministry of Education's Scientific Research Fund, This research group held a total of eight symposia from 1989 to 1992.
2. De Groot (1897), Feuchtwang (1972), Skinner (1982), Eitel (1984).
3. Studies on Hong Kong have been published by Freedman (1966) and Segawa (1990, 1992). Studies on Taiwan include Ahern (1973), Guo and Horigome (1980).
4. Wooden boards that make up the dragon's body are called long-jie. When a son is born, a new board is made for use in the Dragon Lantern Festival. On the other hand, when a family wants to have a son, it is said that holding the dragon's head during the festival will make this wish come true. This festival is held in various places in this area. Among the fourteen villages in Dianshan Township, five villages hold this festival. In Yao Village, only the male population participate in the festival, but there are also villages where women take part.
5. Before Liberation, a ritual called Qingjie-Jiao was held on this open ground once in every three years after the autumn harvest. The Taoist priest picked an auspicious day. The si-gong (petty Taoist priests) from the neighboring village came to perform the acrobatic act of climbing on top of nine tables piled on top of each other, called fan jiulou, and Taoist priests held the ritual called gui ju ("ghost play").
6. For details, see Oguma (1993).
7. For details, see Oguma (1992).
8. This geomancer must have been really grieved by the burning of his books; he repeated the story twice. When I bought him some books on geomancy from Lishui the day after the interview, he browsed through them nostalgically, with a memorable expression.
9. Zeng (1992: 98-99).
10. In Shangen Village, a major celebration, called zuo-shou is held for every 10th birthday from the 50th birthday onwards.
11. Freedman (1966: 124).

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Updated 4 June 2020