This article examines the relief works performed by Huang Gan who was a great Daoxue(道學) scholar as well as the local governor of the Hanyang prefecture in the mid-Southern Song period. Through this research, some significant discoveries about the local situations of the backward regions like the Hanyang prefecture and the local relief system during the Southern Song could have been made. Above all, the Hanyang prefecture had different relief system from the other regions then. While the Hanyang prefecture did not have any disaster relief agency like Yicang(義倉), the state-operating granaries like the Changpingcang(常平倉), which had usually played the role of the adjustment of grain prices in the regions, took over the role of the Yichang.
When Huang took the post of prefect, a severe drought struck the region. Since it quickly revealed that the drought was beyond the limitations of Changpingcang, Huang established a new relief organization like the Baowu(保伍) system, an organization of mutual assistance by the local people. By allowing the local rich to provide the poor with the relief rice, the Southern Song government rewarded government posts to the rich as compensation instead. Through the Baowu system, in addition, Huang was able to grasp the exact circumstances of the damage with considerable efficiency. Not only as the local prefect but as a Daoxue scholar, on the other hand, Huang eventually succeeded in drought relief through establishing a local autonomous relief system like the Shecang(社倉) by Zhu Xi(朱熹)’s.
Above of all, however, the most significant contribution of this research is that it kindly helped us to understand how the local government and local community could have coped with the severe disaster together during the Southern Song period.
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