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Su-Chow

SU-CHOW. There are in China three cities of this name which deserve mention.

1. Su-chow-Fu, in the province of Kiang-su, formerly one of the largest cities in the world, and in 1907 credited still with a population of 500,000, on the Grand Canal, 55 m. W.N.W. of Shanghai, with which it is connected by railway. The site is practically a cluster of islands to the east of Lake Tai-hu. The walls are about 10 m. in circumference and there are four large suburbs. Its silk manufactures are represented by a greater variety of goods than are produced anywhere else in the empire; and the publication of cheap editions of the Chinese classics is carried to great perfection. There is a Chinese proverb to the effect that to be perfectly happy a man ought to be born in Su-chow, live in Canton and die in Lien-chow. The ninestoreyed pagoda of the northern temple is one of the finest in the country. In 1860 Su-chow was captured by the T'aip'ings, and when in 1863 it was recovered by General Gordon the city was almost a heap of ruins. It has since largely recovered its prosperity, and besides 7000 silk looms has cotton mills and an important trade in rice. Of the original splendour of the place some idea may be gathered from the beautiful plan on a slab of marble preserved since 1247 in the temple of Confucius and reproduced in Yule's Marco Polo, vol. i. Su-chow was founded in 484 by Ho-lu-Wang, whose grave is covered by the artificial " Hill of the Tiger " in the vicinity of the town. The literary and poetic designation of Su-chow is Ku-su, from the great tower of Ku-su-tai, built by Ho-lu-Wang. Su-chow was opened to foreign trade by the Japanese treaty of 1895. A Chinese and European school was opened in 1900.

2. Su-chow, formerly Tsiu-tsuan-tsiun, a free city in the province of Kan-suh, in 39 48' N., just within the extreme north-west angle of the Great Wall, near the gate of jade. It is the great centre of the rhubarb trade. Completely destroyed in the great Mahommedan or Dungan insurrection (1865-72), it was recovered by the Chinese in 1873 and has been rebuilt.

3. Su-chow, a commercial town situated in the province of Sze-ch'uen at the junction of the Min River with the Yang- tseKiang, in 28 46' 50" N. Population (1007) about 50,000.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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