Friendship through fourteenth-century fissures: Dai Liang, Wu Sidao and Ding Henian
By Anne Gerritsen
Nan Nu, Vol. 9:1 (2007)
Abstract: This essay analyzes one set of male bonds—the relationships between three men in the Yuan-Ming transition—to understand the range of meanings assigned to the practice of friendship in the fourteenth century. Through the exchange of writings, the three men constructed a friendship based on shared cultural ideas that was more valuable to them than the ethnic, regional, and political differences between them. At a time when the violence and disruptions associated with the Yuan-Ming transition and the lack of access to examinations and the civil service created a crisis in masculinity, these friendships allowed them to create a space where masculine values could be shared and expressed.