Meaning of CHING-TE-CHEN in English

formerly Fou-liang, Pinyin Jingdezhen, or Fuliang, city in northeastern Kiangsi sheng (province), China. Situated on the south bank of the Ch'ang River, it was originally a market town called Ch'ang-nan-chen, or T'ao-yang-chen, and received its present name in 1004-07, when Ching-te was the title of the reigning emperor. Throughout the centuries it was administratively subordinate to Fou-liang county, but in 1916 the seat of the county was transferred to Ching-te-chen, which later became a prefecture-level municipality. In China the name Ching-te-chen is virtually synonymous with ceramics. As early as the 6th century AD, the city is said to have produced fine ware for official use and is known to have continued producing excellent ware during the T'ang dynasty (618-907). Its most productive period, however, began during the Sung dynasty (960-1279) and especially in the later Sung period (after 1128), when many ceramics workers from the north arrived in the city as refugees from the Chin invasion. In the late 12th century great quantities of porcelain were exported from the area. Under the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), Ching-te-chen began producing high-quality ware on a vast scale for the use of the imperial household and the government in general. Throughout the Ming period Ching-te-chen, rather than an imperial factory, was the centre of procurement on behalf of the government. The ceramics industry flourished during this period, producing wares of superlative quality, except during the years 1506-21, when production was disrupted by local disorders, and from 1567 to 1572, when government orders ceased for reasons of economy. During the Ch'ing dynasty (1644-1911/12), the town suffered terrible destruction at the time of the rebellion of Wu San-kuei in 1675. Immediately afterward, though, the government founded a vast government ceramics factory there, and for the first time it was possible to speak of the "imperial kilns." Under three great directors-Tsang Ying-hsan (1682-1700), Nien Hsi-yao (1726-36), and T'ang Ying (1736-56)-ceramics production reached a peak of perfection, although in subsequent years the quality of the work declined. During the Taiping Rebellion (1850-64), fighting in the surrounding area wrecked most of the kilns. During the early part of the 20th century the industry was at a low ebb, both artistically and economically. By 1949 the population of the city had dropped to about one-third of what it had been at its peak in the 18th century. During the 1950s the ceramics industry was reorganized in the form of cooperative associations and resumed production on a larger scale than ever before. Practically the entire population of the city is engaged in the ceramics industry or connected concerns. Besides domestic porcelain, the city also makes a wide range of other ceramic products. Pop. (1990 est.) 281,183.

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