This part talks about commercial activities related to hospitality, other commercial activities, and interesting architectural features and infrastructures on the long scroll.
Commercial activities related to hospitality
Tea houses, food stalls, restaurants, taverns, hotels or wine shops are abundant in the scroll.
A shop called (孫羊店) selling mutton. In front of his shop is a small crowd of people listening to a story teller.
A tea house with a well dressed customer and a waiter serving him
A restaurant by the side of the river with many wooden tables and chairs
A bar or wine shop with scaffolding-like structure at the top of the building. The sign ‘jiǎo diàn’ (腳店) means a branch as distinct from the main shop (正店). Signs like ‘tiān zhī, měi lù, shíqiān’ (天之,美祿,十千) are probably names of wine.
A big restaurant or hotel of three storeys high with a sign ‘Zhèng Diàn’ (正店) means the main shop or premium shop which sells wine of the highest quality. Two gardenia fruit lamps (梔子燈) are hung by the two sides of the entrance
The sign of gardenia fruit lamp (梔子燈) indicates that hostesses are available for special service
The fruit of gardenia flower (梔子花之果實)
A woman in the hotel leaning by the window causally facing her customer. There is a bottle of wine on the table.
Many empty wine barrels piled up at the back of the big hotel showing how busy and popular the hotel is
The wine shop with a sign ‘Xiǎo jiǔ’ (小酒) sells cheap wine to the general public. Those who cannot afford going to the taverns or restaurants can get cheap drinks there.
A hostel for travellers – ‘long term residency in Mr Wang’s residence (久住王員外家)’. A man is studying hard by the window.
Commercial activities other than hospitality
Large shops, stalls in the streets, mobile hawkers selling all kind of goods or providing various services to the people are also abundant in the painting.
A shop selling incense – Liú Jiā Shàng Shǎi Chén Tán Jiǎn Xiāng (劉家上色沈檀揀香)
Religious supplies shop namely Wáng Jiā Zhǐ Mǎ (Wang Family Paper Horse Shop) (王家紙馬). Paper pavilion models (紙紮樓閣) stacked outside the shop
a shop selling silk fabrics
A medical clinic — Zhào Tài Chéng Jiā (趙太丞家) is the name of the clinic. Signs like 太醫出丸, 醫腸胃病, 治酒所傷真方集香丸, 五勞七傷 advertise medicines for various types of illnesses.
Another medical clinic – Yáng Jiā Yīng Zhèng (楊家應症)
A shop selling wooden barrels and archery supplies
A government office probably a tax office with its officers inside. Loads of goods piled up in front of the office to be assessed. From the facial expressions of the people, there seem to be some arguments.
A stall selling small items like statues
A stall selling melon like products
A mobile stall selling knives
Three hawkers in front of the big restaurant or hotel
A mobile hawker selling small toys
A hawker selling drinks – yǐn zi, xiāng yǐn zi (飲子,香飲子)
A barber – 刀鑷王
A fortune teller with his clients – advertisement signs of ‘kàn mìng’, ‘zhānbǔ’, ‘shén kè’ (看命,占卜,神課)
A handyman fixing a wheel and axles and another one working on timber pieces
A story teller with audience – ‘shuōshū rén’ (說書人). Among his audience are a monk (僧人) and a priest (道士) on the left.
An old man sat on the ground giving a talk or selling things to his audience. Lying on the ground in front of him are books and other products.
An old man on the far left is giving a talk to his audience. The sign ‘Jie” (解) can mean a government office, commodity exchange centre, a courier service or a prawn shop.
Interesting architectural features and infrastructures
The city gate tower with a drum inside the pavilion
A big restaurant or hotel of three storeys high.
The Rainbow Bridge (虹橋). It is a civil engineering masterpiece at that time as the bridge does not need pillars to support.
The tall scaffording outside the tavern or wine shop. The scaffolding has aesthetic value.
A tea house with just a few customers. They are very relaxed.
A temple with big statues. A monk is standing outside.
A well in the city and people are getting water from it
A well in the middle of the fields
Bamboo and rocks (修竹, 叠石) in the garden of a residence
I would like to thank all the authors listed in the ‘further readings’ below for providing all the invaluable information for me to write the page. Their meticulous and painstaking work is greatly appreciated.
Further readings :
https://www.zhihu.com/question/29771389/answer/83844985?utm_campaign=weekly202&utm_source=weekly-digest&utm_medium=email (superb page with beautiful colour images and Chinese text)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxff-4GktOI A Moving Masterpiece with English narration
杭侃, 宋峰 (2007)
東京夢清明上河圖 商務印書館(香港)有限公司 ISBN 978 962 07 5543 9