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Transformative JourneysTravel and Culture in Song China$
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Cong Ellen Zhang

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833992

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833992.001.0001

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Sightseeing and Site Making

Sightseeing and Site Making

Visiting and Inscribing Places

(p.154) Chapter 7 Sightseeing and Site Making
Transformative Journeys

Cong Ellen Zhang

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter explores the penchant for sightseeing and sight making among Song scholar-officials. Not only is the Song literary record replete with meticulous records of the extensive journeys taken and places visited by the literati, these trips are also endowed with a significance unseen in earlier periods. This development is manifested in the emergence of a discourse that underscores the role such journeys played in broadening travelers' minds, expanding their knowledge of the real world, and in cultivating a moral self. The experience of touring the country and visiting famous sites became an important status marker: by their highlighting the moral, scholarly, and cultural functions of travel, Song men strengthened their positions as Confucian gentlemen, reputable scholars, and the cultural leaders of the country. And by engraving, building, naming, and preserving these famous sites, these men also contributed to visible changes in China's cultural geography.

Keywords:   sightseeing, sight making, famous sites, Confucian gentlemen, Song elite, Song men

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