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Ningbo History & Culture


The history of Ningbo could be dated back to 7,000 years ago (this is an official standpoint), an era of Humudu primitive culture. In Xia period, it was named Yin (鄞). In the period of Spring and Autumn & Warring States, King Goujian of Yue State established Gouzhang City(勾章城), a city to show his power after defeating Wu State. In Qin Dynasty, Ningbo belonged in Kuaiji Prefecture and administrated Yin, Gouzhang and Mao, three counties. In Six Dynasties, Buddhism came to Ningbo and influenced a lot. In Tang Dynasty, it was renamed Mingzhou (明州), and the city area gradually appeared. Meanwhile, based on its great advantage of geological location, Ningbo became the largest national port, and made business with Japan and Korea. In Five Dynasties, Ningbo belonged in Wuyue State, and the regional economy got a further development.

In Song Dynasty, a large group of great scholars represented by Wang Anshi initially established a tradition of Ningbo – Agriculture and Education pass down, and Business and Confucianism both develop. The regional academic school named Siming Xuepai(四明学派) appeared. Due to the southward intrusion of Northern Minorities, the mass moved to Ningbo and helped the local development in agriculture and culture, and which finally realized Ningbo’s statue as the departure place of Silk Road on the sea. In Yuan Dynasty, Ningbo had been a nationally vital distributing center and port. In Ming Dynasty, the shipping industry of Ningbo declined due to the harassment of Japanese bandit (倭寇, Wo Kou in Pinyin means the Short Gangsters from Japan, which anciently called Wo, which means a land of short men ), and the ban on maritime trade. Meantime, Ningbo Merchants Group as a prominent business power appeared in China. In Qing Dynasty, the famous Zhedong Academic School (浙东学派) expanded its influence nationwide. After the Opium War One, Ningbo was forced to be port in 1844. The foreign capital entered Ningbo, and the local business was severely attacked. Meanwhile, the traditional businessmen turned to the modern businessmen and transferred to Shanghai. Since then Shanghai became a center of Ningbo merchants. They did a great contribution to the city construction and cultural establishment of Shanghai as a modern big city.

To avoid affronting the national title of Ming Dynasty, Mingzhou was changed to be Ningbo on March 20, 1381, due to a governed county named Haiding, which was originated from”海定则波宁”, and it means the calmness of the sea brings the peace of waves, and the last two words were selected as the name of this place.

The Academic History of Ningbo   The Business History of Ningbo

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