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Full referenceHutchison, James Lafayette, China hand (1936)
Author(s)Hutchison, James Lafayette
TitleChina hand
Year of publication1936
Place of publicationBoston, New York
PublisherLothrop, Lee and Shepard company
Number of Pages418
Keywordsforeign; resident; autobiography; description; social; business; advertising; tobacco; BAT; Peking; North; Manchuria;

Table of contents (short)

I. Midsummer of 1911 (3-9) 

II. Late July of 1911 (10-15) 

III. August: 1911 (16-21)

IV. August: 1911 (22-32) 

V. Late August and Early September 1911 (33-42) 

VI. September 1911: 1911 (43-53) 

VII. Late Summer and Early Fall (54-65) 

VIII. Late Summer and Early Fall (66-72)

IX. October-December: 1911 (73-81)

X. Winter of 1912 (82-96) 

XI. Winter of 1912 (Continued) (97-105) 

XII. June-September (106-115) 

XIII. October-November: 1912 (116-125) 

XIV. December: 1912 (124-132) 

XV. Christmas: 1912 (133-142) 

XVI. Winter and Early Spring of 1913 (143-158) 

XVII. May-September: 1913 (159-171) 

XVIII. October-November 1913 (172-180) 

XIX. Winter of 1913 and Early Part of 1914 (181-188)

XX. Last of February-April: 1914 (189-199)

XX. May and June of 1914 (200-208)

XXII. July and August: 1914 (209-214) 

XXIII. Late August and September: 1914 (215-221) 

XXIV. Late September of 1914-Early July of 1915 (222-231) 

Home Leave (232-234) 

XXV. Late Fall and Winter of 1915 - Summer of 1916 (235-241)

XXVI. October - December: 1916 (242-252) 

XXVII. January and February of 1917 (253-262) 

XXVIII. March - July: 1917 (263-271) 

XXIX. 1929: October 15 - November 15 (272-277) 

XXX. November of 1929 (278-288)

XXXI. December of 1929 (289-295)

XXXII. Christmas of 1929 - March of 1931 (1930?) (296-304) 

XXXIII. April of 1930 (305-312)

XXXIV. May of 1930 (313-318) 

XXXV. June of 1930 (319-334)

XXXVI. July of 1930 (335-349) 

XXXVII. Mid-Summer of 1930 (350-365)

XXXVIII. Winter of 1930-‘31 (366-373) 

XXXIX. Early Spring and Summer of 1931 (374-382) 

XL. 1931: September - December (383-390) 

XLI. 1932: January 28 - March 4 (391-399) 

XLII. Spring of 1932 - October 21, 1922 (400-412)

Épilogue (413-418)  

Table of contents (expanded)

I. Midsummer of 1911 (3-9): in July of 1911 an unborn egg leaves his native state for China and receives good advice on the way over - he sees the famous Nectarine No.9 at Yokohama and is greeted to China by the stench o the Whanghpoo 

II. Late July of 1911 (10-15): first impressions of Shanghai - inflated with promises of a glorious future - transferred to Peking

III. August: 1911 (16-21): bounced up the China Coast - a sad welcome to Peking

IV. August: 1911 (22-32): Peking street life during the last days of the Manchu dynasty - lessons in manners from cigarette dealers - stuffed with atmosphere

V. Late August and Early September 1911 (33-42): the intricate process of making a purchase - studying Mandarin - I buy a midnight biscuit - picking up street lang and palace gossip - I watch a prince return from a sunrise audience 

VI. September 1911: 1911 (43-53): throwing beer bottles to let off steam - I take in Peking suburbs - a Bostonian gets lift and coins a word - the meanest job yet

VII. Late Summer and Early Fall (54-65): the ex-Kaiser’s cousin - Peking foreign night life - a patriotic scrap on Telegraph Lane - the wealthiest woman in North China

VIII. Late Summer and Early Fall (66-72): early morning rides - Manchu social life - week-ends hunting hidden temples 

IX. October-December: 1911 (73-81): the Manchus are thrown into a panic - I visit the Ming Tombs and get lost n a snow storm - news of a raise and Christmas at the mouth of the Gobi desert - a pony-trading missionary buys a yacht for a Living God of Mongolia 

X. Winter of 1912 (82-96): a Cantonese reformer creates havoc - I have troublesome correspondence with Shanghai - for private and diplomatic reasons Yuan Shih K’ai’s shoot up Peking and loot burn the pawn shops - the first president of China is inaugurated while the city remains silen  

XI. Winter of 1912 (Continued) (97-105): concerning down-and-out Manchus and sing-song etiquette - Chinese New Year - concession hunters and other swindlers - the sextuple loan - squeeze system - a tend days’ trip among village towns - the art of resisting curio salesmen - transferred to the interior at last

XII. June-September (106-115): getting through the way doing nothing but hold a key - cut by missionaries - fighting to get out - house boating on canals - grasshoppers for chow - back to God’s country 

XIII. October-November: 1912 (116-125): a French hotel for a mess - Le Cercle Français - a typical has-been interior city - more beefing - the low-down on running a Chinese retail shop - literally drumming up trade 

XIV. December: 1912 (124-132): I start up on a pioneering trip and narrowly escape smothering - the pig-face boy full of sex - up the mountain over 5,000 year old imperial highway

XV. Christmas: 1912 (133-142): across the Southern Shansi plateau - sunken roads - lone missionaries in a city that was the capital of China 3,000 B.C. - bandits are nearby - the last ferry before the ice closes the river - Christmas morning

XVI. Winter and Early Spring of 1913 (143-158): a job of patient waiting - the new republic shears the farmer of his manhood - an American gift to China ends as a junk heap - accused of swallowing a watch and ruining the crops of Shansi Province - a beachcomer as an assistant - China’s money barons - wild duck in flight

XVII. May-September: 1913 (159-171): I represent the U.S.A. at a celebration of the recognition of the new republic - a cook-boy dies and there is trouble bringing him in and getting him out of the city - a disagreement on etiquette with happy ending - last word of Frost  

XVIII. October-November 1913 (172-180): settling down in the famine section where one year out of four means life or death - along the highways and on the farms - one of the oldest and largest professions in China 

XIX. Winter of 1913 and Early Part of 1914 (181-188): winter comes - the indignant Messrs. Mencken  and Nathan - a travelling girl tells her story - a chat with bandits - another note on missionaries - sleeping next to smallpox

XX. Last of February-April: 1914 (189-199): I take a holiday in Hankow and throw away a bag of silver - the story of the Great War between the North and the South - I make over an old temple - foreign influence on retail merchandise - farmers and lice come to lift after the Big Cold

XX. May and June of 1914 (200-208): the Yellow River has changed its course again - no rain but crops are kept green by artificial hand irrigation - soldiers patrol against bandits and kidnappers - heads in cages - Changtefu has every-other-day holiday beheadings - Butch meets with a horrible death - another foreigner arrives and is queerer still 

XXII. July and August: 1914 (209-214): the big heat comes and the wells are dry - sleeping out of doors develops a mania for temples - I visit a missionary hospital and am dumbfounded - my interpreter kills his sons - almost daily I read of declarations of war in Europe while thousands are dying daily around me 

XXIII. Late August and September: 1914 (215-221): the cleanest city in China - Japan hands an ultimatum to the Germans - farewell party - the siege of Tsingtao and Japanese atrocities - business troubles with Mohammedans - I decide that selling is advertising  

XXIV. Late September of 1914-Early July of 1915 (222-231): English social customs - bargaining in beauty - the efficiency expert who broke up the Tobacco Trusts looks over unusual correspondence - a Shensi official ends the beauty trade - Japan’s twenty-one demands - the birth of “Ward Lords” - the original Philadelphia Jack O’Brien and the Fourth of July - I go on home-leave 

Home Leave (232-234): Middle of July to Middle of November: 1915 

XXV. Late Fall and Winter of 1915 - Summer of 1916 (235-241): back to China to live in Shanghai - night life - English society and the strain on bank clerks - Americans, Jews, Portuguese and half-castes - the Great War starts a business boom 

XXVI. October - December: 1916 (242-252): Tientsin also booms but ruble buyers are unhappy - an ex-cow-boy loses his last chance to lick his father - Peking vultures - Mukden is a shocking surprise - a New York horse-car dying on its feet - Dairen is a modern western city - lost in a Japanese hotel - the Englishman who hated correspondence - Japanese and their money and girls - a Japanese dinner party - the French consul’s birthday 

XXVII. January and February of 1917 (253-262): early morning carts gathering up the frozen - in the zone of Russian atmosphere - Japan plans years ahead - fortunes in fright cars - Harbin night life is different - women and business seem to mix - Japan has smothered Korea - to Hankow where I attend six dinners in one evening and leave for Shanghai

XXVIII. March - July: 1917 (263-271): the downfall of the little Napoleon in CHina - business in Shanghai continues to soar but much of it is gas, wind and water - transferred into advertising - calendars as salesmen - I resign and return home - last traces of China - staring eyes and open mouths 

XXIX. 1929: October 15 - November 15 (272-277): Shanghai changed and yet the same - first glimpse of Young China - wealthy Chinese only go out guarded - Manchuria bound 

XXX. November of 1929 (278-288): Mukden has gone moderne but the Chinese squeeze and starve as of old - the Japanese plan railways far ahead - White Russian refugees on their uppers make whoopee - high taxes and low paper money - Mukden foreign social life 

XXXI. December of 1929 (289-295): Japanese are behaviorists - travelling native style - cut-throat competition - Mr. T’ing gives the low-down on the Young Marshal and Manchuria’s troubles - Karin’s P’ing K’ai Li by the full moon and talk of bandits 

XXXII. Christmas of 1929 - March of 1931 (1930?) (296-304): the dissipated Young Marshal and his overworked English adviser - Harbin Russians are on the uppers - Russian New Year’s eve turns out to be a joly event - Chinese cities go down and down while the Japanese are one the Rise - the art of forcing progress - Changchun seems to be waiting - “Please take me Shanghai”

XXXIII. April of 1930 (305-312): Tientsin is like an old codger dozing in the sun - a modern street without atmosphere - the decline of the foreigner - painted blue and white walls sell republican principles - another growing White Russian community - Peiping: city of mausoleums without a soul - more blue and white walls and bitterness 

XXXIV. May of 1930 (313-318): China pushes England and America on the question of centrality - faces at the Cercle Sportif - American Clubs and customs - Americans have learned from the English the gentle art of “muddlin’ through” which gives the answer to a bothersome question - a nice old suburb has gone madly White Russian - “Chinese are different” - Shanghai has no white and light blue walls 

XXXV. June of 1930 (319-334): quarreling War-Lords force me to travel for naught - examining chens while the North mobilized hungry looing troops - Lenox Simpson joins the norther clique in a separation movement - a visit at the home of th three kindly gentiment - modernizing, monopolizing and tenseness - across the mountains in a broken down Model T Ford and a nigh ride by train in a third-class coach - furs fell the depression in American - thoughts on the Japanese in Manchuria  

XXXVI. July of 1930 (335-349): a Yangtze ship captain has chronic indignation over the Russian - “Hankow fiasco” - communists and false fronts inhabit the banks of the river - why Chinese handicrafts have stagnated - Hankow is under martial law - modern main streets versus hutungs - foreign industrialism seems to bring squalor in its wake - Young China shows his hand - fired on by communists - The Race Club and gimlets - gentlemen and “dumps” - the Russian ex-consul is an artist - stoned by oil company labor - down in the lake country where the communists are thick 

XXXVII. Mid-Summer of 1930 (350-365): waiting in Shanghai for the Big Heat to end - the North Side underworld - Chinese asleep under the sky - a former company man now sell expensive American coffins to Chinese - Hongkong laws and habits are inconsistent - the Cantonese hate foreigners - the South goes moderne with concrete - nearby “bandit-communists” keep Swatow and Amoy on a dole - Foochow’s first foreign settler - dickering over a kidnapped missionary - the anniversary of the Chinese Republic is celebrated on a Japanese ship - Southern gunmen murder Lenox Simpson and end the Northern split - what does it all amount to

XXXVIII. Winter of 1930-‘31 (366-373): a last look at Manchuria before the knockout - tragedy in Harbin - a Russian artist stranded in Mukden - Dairen has a surprisingly prosperous air - the sad tale of the American prodigy - the American minister is on his way to a summer resort for one reason and the Young Marshal is there for another  

XXXIX. Early Spring and Summer of 1931 (374-382): in Nanking where East meets West and where daily hundreds of pilgrims come to visit the shrine of a Marty - mid-summer sees silver and business from to a new low, foreign companies cut staff and a fever of kidnapping and whoopee strike Shanghai - only a few foreigners but many Chinese in Shanghai make much money and are wealthy and the foreigner is fast giving ground - while Shanghai plays the Nanking government burns midnight oil 

XL. 1931: September - December (383-390): while the Young Marshal in Manchuria lies ill in a Peiping hospital a Japanese express train is strangely derailed at Mukden and the Japanese take charge of the Three Norther Provinces - incidents of the Mukden “incident” - a one-sided war - the Nanking government makes no move and newspapers and students denounce the “Sung Dynasty” - a bitter boycott is raged and students march on Nanking - the minister of finance makes a blunt statement and the Young Marshal departs for Europe - Hankow is in a bad way after a flood and the foreigner is slipping backwards  

XLI. 1932: January 28 - March 4 (391-399): the Japanese bombardment of Shanghai’s North Side as seen from an office window and an apartment house roof - the mysterious Chinese 19th route army - who’s and wherefores of seemingly futile destruction and slaughter 

XLII. Spring of 1932 - October 21, 1922 (400-412): aftermath of the Chapei scrap and contrasting news from the interior - meeting with surprises in the city of temples over the Easter holidays - young America teaches young China how to fly - the days of the Big and Little Heat and remarks on Chinese music - with the cool weather come short trips to neighboring cities - the winter brings a decision to return home Side - a final tour through the middle-west and north - young China seeps up on Western lines while General Chiang K’ai Shrek prepares for another drive against communism - farewell China

Épilogue (413-418)




Hutchison was a businessman in China from 1912-1917 and 1929-1933. His book traces his 25 year-old experience in China from his early days in Peking to Shansi, commercial Tientsin, as well as Manchuria and Shanghai. 

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