:" Not to be confused with
Yemen, the nation in the Middle East."
A yámen (zh-stp|s=衙门|t=衙門|p=yámén) is any local
bureaucrat's, or mandarin's, office and residence of the Chinese Empire. The term has been widely used in China for centuries, but appeared in English during the Qing Dynasty.
Within the yámen, the bureaucrat administered the government business of the town or region. Typical responsibilities of the bureaucrat includes local finance, capital works, judging of civil and criminal cases, and issuing decrees and policies.
Typically, the bureaucrat and his immediate family would live in a residence attached to the yámen. This was especially so during the
Qing dynasty, when imperial law forbade a person from taking government office in his native province.
Yámens varied greatly in size depending on the level of government they administered, and the seniority of the bureaucrat's office. However, yámens at a local level typically had similar features: a front gate, a courtyard and a hall (typically serving as a court of law); offices, prison cells and store rooms; and residences for the bureaucrat, his family and his staff.
At the provincial level and above, specialisation among officials occurred to a greater extent. For example, the three chief officials of a province (zh-stpl|s=三大宪|t=三大憲|p=Sàn Dà Xiàn|l=the Three Great Laws) controlled the legislative and executive, the judicial, and the military affairs of the province or region. Their yámen would accordingly be specialised according to the functions of the office.
The institution of the yámen fell victim to the
Wuchang Uprisingand the Xinhai Revolution, after which warlordsoften wound up becoming the ultimate authorities, in spite of Sun Yat-sen's best efforts to establish a Republic of Chinacovering all of China. Sun Yat-sen tried to establish a form of self-government, or home rule, on a regional (or local) basis, but he found that he needed bureaucracyto run a country as big as China. Hence, new bureaucratic offices arose, thus replicating the functions of the Imperial yámens in many ways.
The term "Yamen" is still used in colloquial Chinese today, however, to denote government offices. It sometimes carries negative connotations of an arrogant or inefficient bureaucracy, much as the term "mandarin" does in English.
Zongli Yamenacted as an office of foreign affairs in the late Qing dynasty.
* The yamen at
Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kongis an important historical site.
Presidential Palace (Nanjing)was modified from the "yamen" of the Governor-General of the Two Jiangs.
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Yamen — Ya men, n. [Chin. ya a civil or military court + men a gate.] In China, the official headquarters or residence of a mandarin, including court rooms, offices, gardens, prisons, etc.; the place where the business of any public department is… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Yamen — [chinesisch »Zahntor«] der, , Jamen, bis zur Revolution von 1911 der Amtssitz eines siegelberechtigten chinesischen Beamten. * * * Ya|men, der; [s], [chin.]: Palast des Siegelbewahrers in der chinesischen Kaiserzeit … Universal-Lexikon
yamen — [yä′mən] n. [Chin] Historical the office or residence of a mandarin or public official in China … English World dictionary
Yamen — Grundriss des Yamen von Shaoxingfu (Zhejiang), 1803 Ein Yámen (chin. 衙門) ist eine Lokalbehörde im kaiserlichen China, von der aus der jeweilige Kreisamtmann bzw. Präfekt die Amtsgeschäfte des jeweiligen Verwaltungsgebiets wahrnahm. Zu den… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Yamen — Représentation du yámen situé à Shaoxing Fu, dans la province du Zhejiang, en 1803. Un yámen (mandarin simplifié : 衙门 ; mandarin traditionnel : 衙門) était, dans la Chine impériale, la résidence officielle d un mandarin. Outre la… … Wikipédia en Français
Yamen — Original name in latin Yamen Name in other language Aimen Zhen, Heng ch ung hsu, Heng ch’ung hs Huang ch ung, Huang ch ung hsu, Huang ch’ung, Huang ch’ung hs Huangchongxu, Yamen, Yaxi, ya men, ya men zhen State code CN Continent/City… … Cities with a population over 1000 database
yamen — noun Etymology: Chinese (Beijing) yámen Date: 1747 the headquarters or residence of a Chinese government official or department … New Collegiate Dictionary
yamen — /yah meuhn/, n. (in the Chinese Empire) the residence or office of a public official. [1820 30; < Chin yámen (yá office + mén gate)] * * * … Universalium
yamen — ya•men [[t]ˈyɑ mən[/t]] n. gov (in the Chinese Empire) the residence or office of a public official • Etymology: 1820–30; < Chin yámen=yá office +mén gate … From formal English to slang
yamen — ˈyämən noun ( s) Etymology: Chinese (Pekingese) ya2 men2 : an establishment used by a Chinese government official or department for official business and often as a residence : headquarters, office, court … Useful english dictionary