Abstract

This article compares unofficial perspectives on torture during the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) Dynasties, as expressed in ledgers of merit and demerit, operas, ballads, proverbs, and popular customs. Because of the diversity of these unofficial sources — both in terms of their form and content and in terms of their audience and distribution — the perspectives they reveal are more varied and less reflective of state orthodoxies than are the views typically expressed in the codified law, administrative writings, and other official sources. Unlike official writings, which focused on administrative and legal “best practice” concerning how torture was supposed to be applied, unofficial sources focused greater attention on how torture was actually applied, highlighting the potential for abuse and the deleterious effects of torture on its victims.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3257
Print ISSN
0884-3236
Pages
pp. 17-54
Launched on MUSE
2016-06-23
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.