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Some Remarks on Local Tradition as Seen in the Yellow Turban 黄巾 Rebellion

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Bibliographic Information

Other Title
  • 黄巾の亂と傅統の問題
  • オウハバ ノ ラン ト デントウ ノ モンダイ
  • 黄巾の乱と伝統の問題

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Abstract

The author in this article investigates the relationship between the rebellion of the Yellow Turbans (Huang jin 黄巾) and certain local traditions during the Later Han dynasty. After reexamining the regions where the rebels originated, he concludes that although the native place of Zhang Jiao 張角, the chief leader of the rebels, was Zhu-lu 鉅鹿 county in Ji-zhou 冀州 province, the rebels based in such provinces as Qing-zhou 青州 and Xu-zhou 徐州 on the Shandong peninsula were the mainspring of the uprising, which they transformed into a great revolt which led to the collapse of the Later Han. On the basis of these findings, the author takes another look at the structure and characteristics of the Yellow Turbans, and argues that they combined the aspects of a religious order based on Taoist (Huang-Lao 黄老) beliefs with those of a group of "knight-errant" (you-xia 游俠) style adventurers. By tracing the background of the rebellion back to the time of the Red Eyebrows (chi-mei 赤眉), the author further demonstrates that these two features were linked to the local tradition of Qing and Xu provinces and indeed went back to the state of Qi 齊 in the Warring States period. The decisions to adopt yellow as their symbolic color and to wear "turbans" were connected with the local traditions of the Qi cultural zone. Comparable phenomena could, it is concluded, be turned up for rebellions in later periods as well.

Journal

  • 東洋史研究

    東洋史研究 34 (1), 24-57, 1975-06-30

    東洋史研究會

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