Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Venue: Asia Global Institute, MB 328, 3/F Main Building, HKU
By reinterpreting a set of correspondence between Chinese monks and Japanese monks, Yiwen Li of City University of Hong Kong will present her study which investigates the uses of credit in a lumber transaction between the prestigious Jingshan monastery in Hangzhou, China, and a newly established monastery in Hakata, Japan. Comparing this transaction with those of individual merchants and other less-privileged monasteries using credit in overseas trade, her study shows that monasteries could transfer the religious and political resources they possessed into commercial assets to get easy access to credit in long-distance trade and to cut down transaction cost. During an era when the credit system had not taken shape, monasteries actively cooperated with merchants and took advantage of their religious networks to participate in overseas trade.