Chinese People's Life in the Time of Late Ming Dynasty
December 12, 2017 - March 11, 2018 National Museum in Wrocław

Preface


The European Renaissance brought about the awareness of humanity and the rapid development of economy and culture for European society. At the same time in the east part of the Asian continent, China was in the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). The social economy and culture flourished in a different pattern from Europe. From the exhibition, we not only can experience the social development, cultural prosperity, and elegant life during the Ming dynasty in the 16th and 17th centuries, but also can sense the wisdom of the Eastern counties.


Part I. A Society of Respecting Culture


The Imperial Civil Examination System for selecting government officials started from Sui dynasty (581–618). In the Ming period, this examination system had been in practice for about a thousand years. Positions of officials were not hereditary and could not be handed down to the next generation except the titles granted by the imperial family. Scholars from lower classes also had chances to be civil officials with higher ranks through the imperial examination by which a gentry class of scholar-bureaucrats was formed. This demonstrated a relatively open social stratification and a society of respecting culture.     

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