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Castration; The eunuchs of Qing dynasty China; A Medical and Historical Review

Chatterton, Jocelyn and Bultitude, Matthew (2008) 'Castration; The eunuchs of Qing dynasty China; A Medical and Historical Review.' de Historia Urologie Europace, 15 . pp. 39-47.

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Abstract

During the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), eunuchs worked in Peking’s Imperial Palace as servants for the Imperial Family. Typically the emperor would have 2000 eunuchs in his service. They would symbolically and physically protect the emperor from the common man. By presenting themselves to be castrated, young boys and adult men in China openly showed disrespect to the traditional Confucian rules and were thus despised by Chinese society. The term “chujia”, by which eunuchs were colloquially known, actually translates as “leaving home” and they were thus called because once they became eunuchs it was too shameful to the family for them ever to return. The last eunuch, Sun Yaoting, who died in 1996, was castrated in 1910 at the age of 8 to save his father, a pancake seller, from bankruptcy.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: eunuchs, Chinese history, Qing dynasty, urology, medical history
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
ISSN: 9789070244811
Copyright Statement: History Office E.A.U.
Depositing User: Jocelyn Chatterton
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2013 10:15
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/16906

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