The history of Chinese bureaucracy

I finally made it to the re-opened Chinese national museum.


One of the highlights for me were the documents on display.  It has continuously amazed me how organized the Chinese bureaucracy has been since the beginning of recorded history.  Some are simple records like inventories of goods or bank account ledgers.

Others are remnants of the type of bureaucracy that exists only to control populations.  Captions are directly from the displays.

Travel Pass: This travel pass was issued in 855 AD by the Chinese Government to a Japanese monk named Enchin.   Many Japanese delegations were sent to China during the Sui and Tang Dynasties to learn about Chinese culture and technology.
Bronze Pass: Xixia Dynasty (1038-1227) This pass was used by Xixia messengers delivering urgent documents or orders. It consists of two bronze plates that fit together into each other – each inscribed with Xixia script.
Household Registration Certificate: Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) This certificate was issued by the Ming government in 1371 to a man named Jiang Shou of Qimen county (present day Shenxian, Anhui province).
Chinese passport issued by Chinese Ambassador to Germany (1907).

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