March 1, 2005
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.6 Pounds (US)
$99.00 USD, £76.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Great Ming Code / Da Ming lu

Introduction by Yonglin Jiang, Translated by Yonglin Jiang
Imperial China’s dynastic legal codes provide a wealth of information for historians, social scientists, and scholars of comparative law and of literary, cultural, and legal history. Until now, only the Tang (618–907 C.E.) and Qing (1644–1911 C.E.) codes have been available in English translation. The present book is the first English translation of The Great Ming Code (Da Ming lu), which reached its final form in 1397. The translation is preceded by an introductory essay that places the Code in historical context, explores its codification process, and examines its structure and contents. A glossary of Chinese terms is also provided.

One of the most important law codes in Chinese history, The Great Ming Code represents a break with the past, following the alien-ruled Yuan (Mongol) dynasty, and the flourishing of culture under the Ming, the last great Han-ruled dynasty. It was also a model for the Qing code, which followed it, and is a fundamental source for understanding Chinese society and culture. The Code regulated all the perceived major aspects of social affairs, aiming at the harmony of political, economic, military, familial, ritual, international, and legal relations in the empire and cosmic relations in the universe. The all-encompassing nature of the Code makes it an encyclopedic document, providing rich materials on Ming history. Because of the pervasiveness of legal proceedings in the culture generally, the Code has relevance far beyond the specialized realm of Chinese legal studies. The basic value system and social norms that the Code imposed became so thoroughly ingrained in Chinese society that the Manchus, who conquered China and established the Qing dynasty, chose to continue the Code in force with only minor changes.

The Code made a considerable impact on the legal cultures of other East Asian countries: Yi dynasty Korea, Le dynasty Vietnam, and late Tokugawa and early Meiji Japan. Examining why and how some rules in the Code were adopted and others rejected in these countries will certainly enhance our understanding of the shared culture and indigenous identities in East Asia.

About the Authors

Jiang Yonglin is assistant professor of history at Oklahoma State University.


"The general reader as well as the specialist can be grateful for the Jiang volume, an eminently readable treasure of Chinese culture, society, and values at the end of the fourteenth century."—Journal of Asian History


"Anyone who wants to get an overview of the important landmarks of law over the broad sweep of Chinese history will want to consult this work. There is no alternative in a Western language for scholars to use."—James V. Feinerman, James M. Morita Professor of Asian Legal Studies, Georgetown University Law Center

"Useful for historians as well as legal scholars because it supplies a missing link between the translations of the Tang and Qing codes."—John W. Dardess, University of Kansas

University of Washington Press
Americana Library (AL)

9780295984490 : the-great-ming-code-da-ming-lu-jiang-jiang
$99.00 USD

Other Titles from Americana Library (AL)

Writing and Law in Late Imperial China

edited by Robert E. Hegel, Katherine N. Carlitz
Jul 2015 - University of Washington Press
$35.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$99.00 USD - Hardback

Antitrust in Germany and Japan

John O. Haley
Feb 2001 - University of Washington Press
$95.00 USD - Hardback

Legal Reform in Taiwan under Japanese Colonial Rule, 1895-1945

Tay-sheng Wang
May 2000 - University of Washington Press
$99.00 USD - Hardback
$35.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in HISTORY / Asia / China

Garden of Eloquence / Shuoyuan

Liu Xiang, translated by Eric Henry
Jan 2022 - University of Washington Press
$125.00 USD - Hardback

Temples in the Cliffside

Sonya S. Lee
Dec 2021 - University of Washington Press
$65.00 USD - Hardback

Crusaders Against Opium

Kathleen L. Lodwick
Dec 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$40.00 USD - Electronic book text
$40.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in Ethnic minorities & multicultural studies

Signs of Home

Barbara Johns, foreword by Stephen H. Sumida
Aug 2021 - University of Washington Press
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$49.95 USD - Hardback

Art of the Northwest Coast, second edition

Aldona Jonaitis
Jun 2021 - University of Washington Press
$99.00 USD - Hardback
$29.95 USD - Paperback / softback

The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence

Robert T. Boyd
Apr 2021 - University of Washington Press
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$60.00 USD - Hardback