Yu Yuan 豫园
Detail of Main Gate to Yu Yuan

Because it was believed to bring misfortune to a family if both father and son held positions in the government, Pan En graciously offered to retire to make way for Pan Yunduan. Retirement to a life of scholarship was a tradition within the bureaucracy. It freed you from the day to day miseries of administration and you could finally return to your home.

Returning to your native place is a cultural and social urge that continues to this day. While you may leave to make your fortune, you are always a native of your birthplace. Your extended family is there, your traditions are there, and your ancestors are there.

Shanghai was growing more prosperous with every year. It was becoming a more important trading center and in response to that the Jiajing Emperor finished the nine li (3 mile) wall around the city in 1543. This brought more security to the populace and helped stabilize the economy.

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

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