Historical Geography Research ›› 2022, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (2): 61-76.

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Huizhou Merchants’s Timber Industry Management in the Qiantang River Basin in Qing Dynasty as Seen in the Zuo Shanmu Fangpai Yaolan

Wang Zhenzhong, Zhu Huimin   

  1. Center for Historical Geographical Studies, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • Received:2021-11-14 Online:2022-05-20 Published:2022-08-31


The anonymous Zuo Shanmu Fangpai Yaolan (Keys to Chinese Fir Wood Business and River Transportation) offers a slightly different view from previously discovered and rather common itinerary books on the Xin’an River-Qiantang River business journey. In addition to the place names and the distance along the way, it also includes many rules of wood business operation, which makes it a comprehensive business manual. Accordingly, we can explore the many facts of Huizhou merchants’ conducts in timber industry in the Qiantang River basin. The book contains business secrets of Hui-Xi merchants engaged in Qugang timber transportation and marketing, including five sections of continuous water routes along the way and a land route back to the hometown. On that basis, we can outline the route of Hui-Xi merchants engaged in Qugang wood business, and examine their related business norms more closely. From this point of view, the success of Hui merchants in the traditional times depended not only on their abundant wealth and higher cultural quality, but was also closely related to the relevant technologies and business norms they professed and spread.

Key words: Huizhou timber merchants, Zuo Shanmu Fangpai Yaolan, Qiantang River, business distance, traffic geography

CLC Number: 

  • K928