Export of ‘kuan-hsiang’ 莞香 incense from Hong Kong Ts’un, Aberdeen Harbour – Ming Dynasty

HF: Fung Chi Ming has sent chapter 5 of Hong Kong and its External Communication before 1842: The History of Kong Kong prior to British arrival. 

This contains a short section on The Relation between ‘Hong Kong’ and the Kuan-Hsiang’.  And this partly concerns the former village of Hong Kong T’s’un (香港村) in what is now Aberdeen harbour and which was the sole export agent for a special kind of incense known as kuan-hsiang (莞香).  At the height of this trade during the Ming Dynasty 10,000 silver tael (about 4,000kgs?) were exported annually.

The excerpt says that the trade ended suddenly during the reign of Emperor Yung-cheng (1722-1735) in dramatic circumstances. Have a look.

HK and Its External Communication before 1842 p80.81 incense + origin name Hong Kong

This article was first postedon on 13th May 2014.

See:  Hong Kong and its External Communication before 1842: The History of Kong Kong prior to British arrival, by Lo Hsiang- Lin et al, Institute of Chinese Culture, HK, 1963

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One comment

  • Thomas Ngan

    Hi there,

    That kind of incense tree would be Aquilaria sinensis(Loun)Gilg. These trees were very common in the Fung Shui Forrests in town. However they are frequently being looted in the New Territories and the Islands. Local authorities didn’t seem to have any ways to prevent such illegal harvesting in the past decades. The wilderness is very difficult to guard. Not to mentioned villages with dwindling population.

    If the looting is not stopped, the tree would likely be extinct very soon. Fines and jail is just ineffective. My pretty biased opinion is that the Government should bring back some corporal punishment for these kind of crime. The looters deserve some serious spanking.

    Thanks & Best Regards,
    T

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