Yu Yuan 豫园
Main Gate to Yu Yuan

The Ming Dynasty (明朝 1368-1644) restored Chinese rule to China after the long Mongolian presence during the Yuan Dynasty. Under the Ming the Imperial Examination System (科举 keju) was used to qualify men for positions in government. Theoretically, any man could take the examinations, but it helped if you could afford the tutors and the leisure to study for them. Often people would reach middle-age before attempting the highest levels. If you did pass the exams at some level, you were eligible for appointment to a government post. Many men entered the upper classes through the system. Passing the exams not only gave you wealth and position but gave you a future as an honored ancestor. The entire family's reputation and status was raised and for generations to come, you would be honored by your descendents.

China Index >> History of Shanghai and Suzhou Region >> Yu Yuan

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Last update: February 2007
© Marilyn Shea 1996, 1999, 2002, 2007