Death
(900 words)

Death rites have long been the most complex and expensive of Chinese life-cycle ceremonies. Chinese mortuary practices (funeral customs) have been traced back to the Neolithic and Early Bronze ages. The imperial Chinese state made it legally compulsory for those kin related to the deceased according to the wu fu (five grades of mourning attire) to mourn in a manner prescribed by Confucian orthodoxy; failure was punishable by severe corporal punishment or worse. The structure and sequence of funeral rites has displayed impressive uniformity bot…

Cite this page
Thompson, Stuart, “Death”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 26 March 2017
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018



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