Setting Sails - a tribute to the Chinese Junk
by Maitland, Derek - photos by Wheeler, Nik
pub. by South China Morning Post, Ltd, Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay, Hongkong, 1981 - isbn; none LCCN = 82-174349 Illustrated by Nik Wheeler - many color photos, some in black and white - - some line drawings bibliography p. 170 Acknowledgements p. 171 Index p. 172-174 174 pages
This book is what might be called -coffee table- format, that is physically large and has pictures on every page. It is however information dense and a good read if you want to understand Chinese watercraft. All sorts of watercraft in this book are called either Junks or Sampans. It seems a dis-service that the term Junk covers such a wide variety of watercraft. It would be the much like all western watercraft would be either called Ships or Boats.
The book is divided into 5 chapters.
I. - Triumph and Tragedy - The Junk in earliest history, of which little is written. The Junk in competition with western watercraft, especially after 1700 when the western technology was predominant.
II. - The Imperfect Perfection - Traditions of Junk design - becoming obsolete as an oceanic trader - its brief history as a pirate vessel (up to WWII).
III. - An Endless Epitalph - A study of many different Junk designs - River as well as Coastal. The Big-Eyed Chicken type is the 3 masted junk type which most westerns think of as the classic Junk. They are from Swantou and the Pearl River area. The Pearl River estuary is the body of water which divides Hong Kong (was British) and Macau (was Portugese).
The works of Joseph L. Needham (many on science and technology in China) - - G. R.G Worcester (Junks and Sampans on the Yangtze) - - and Archibald Little (Gleanings from Fifty Years in China) are referenced. IV. - The Lau Family Fishermen - A fishing Junk from 1979 in operation. With a long section about the Tin Hau (female protective deity) festival.
V. - Traditions Last Stand - The Junk as a yacht, a pleasure boat, popular during from 1960 through 1973. The latter when an economy downturn caused many wealthy to be less wealthy and not be able to indulge their fantasy of having a pleasure Junk. A few examples of those who live aboard in comfort and the cost of such living are presented.
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