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The Established Figure

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Chapter Summary

Landholdings, buildings, and collections of objects, and the uses they were put to, naturally involved the relationship between forms of ownership and status in the late Ming. There is no room to rehearse a detailed history of land ownership and its relation to the elite class; nonetheless some general comments on this relationship during the Ming dynasty can serve usefully as a background to a discussion of Chen Jiru's situation. An idea of just how much building was done on his properties can be seen in the Chronological Biography entry for 1621. Cultural mimicry and aesthetic considerations were present in Chen's first property. Chen's increasing ownership of property was matched by his growing status in social and cultural circles. Chen's teaching encompassed activities such as his employment as a private tutor, and as a teacher in the school he operated with Xu Yisun.

Keywords: Chen Jiru; land ownership; Ming dynasty



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