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The Study on Layout Styles and Patterns of Passports in Qing Dynasty

Tun-Chih Chang, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Abstract: In this study, the differences in paper materials, layout patterns, calligraphy and character styles, signatures and seals of approved passports within the Qing Dynasty between 1880 and 1911 A.D. were examined and investigated. Results had shown that: 1. Passports used for personal identification in the Qing Dynasty did not have the perforation seal code. 2. The passports framed by dragons were only permitted for diplomatic officials who had completed their foreign services and had returned to homeland. Passports for most of the foreign visitors were framed by straight lines. 3. Passports were the only type of documents that have the “Qi Jun Gai Yue”(Seals aligning the title of the emperor's reign and covering the month in case of falsification). 4. “Qi Jun Gai Yue”had an important role in anti-counterfeiting, which eliminates the chances of altering the year or month. 5. Passports used for objects in the Qing Dynasty had a special approval form- “Ji Feng Gai Zi”(perforation seals) 6. The end of passports were signed by “Hu”(to protect) or “Dao”(road). If new forms or types of Qing passports were discovered, this study will continue on its research or further complements. Keywords: Passports in Qing Dynasty, Layout Designs, Chinese Red Signatures

Introduction
HE FOUNTAINHEAD OF passport development was first described in Fan, Zhenshui’s book titled “Passports in China”, who had a strong background in foreign affairs and consul works in China, mentioned that the first discovered passport were seashell pledge, which were used in prehistoric ages. Way before the colonization started in the America continent within the Great Voyage ages, archeologists had discovered that Native Americans would cut and polish seashells from the Atlantic Ocean into beads, and connecting them with strings of thread to resemble currency or pledge, these seashell items even became a pass for messengers or secret emissaries. There were also evidences revealing the use of passport in the Neolithic Ages, counting approximately 7000 to 5000 years ago (around 5000 B.C. to 3000 B.C.), which included the excavations on Yangshao village of Henan Province and the Hemudu culture of Zhejiang Province. Later, in the eras of Xia, Shang and Zhou, similar handcrafts such as Ya zhangs and Gui zhangs also appeared. Ya zhangs (a piece of shaped jade), the upper side usually has shovel-like shape or semi-lunar shape, and the bottom side has the look of a holder. The tooth-like or holed Ya zhangs were neatly polished and could be held or worn by the owners, which were usually a badge of authority or a identification of pledge. During this period, Ya zhangs and Gui zhangs also had the function as being the clearance through customs. After paper was invented in the eras of Eastern Han and Three Kingdoms, the form of passports transferred from bamboo plates to paper. Moreover, as paper was applied as the material for producing passports, the

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usage of passports varied dramatically. In the development of such certificate papers, different styles on seals, signatures and formats were not individually created by passport documents, but were independently developed by the Chinese document systems.

Research Methods and Limitations
This research was based on longitudinal studies of signed and issued, edited and designed documents in Qing Dynasty, and the major research focus was on the seals overprinting, signatures and content formats. There were different attributes to passport documents in Qing Dynasty, the writing format, signatures and seals overprinting vary to different usages. The variations and differences will be discussed in this study, and looking forward to explore the patterns of signed and issued, edited and designed documents in Qing Dynasty.

Types of Passports in Qing Dynasty
Passports for Diplomatic Officials who had Completed their Foreign Services and had Returned to Homeland In February, 1905, Imperial Inspector Minister, Zhang, De-yi, also the representative of Qing Dynasty in England, Italy, Belgium and Holland issued a passport to Heng Lang Zhong Guang (Figure 1.). The passport approved by Qing officials, which document format was categorized as Ping-tai (The way to express the respect is to shift the name of person directly to the head of the next line.). From the design and layout on the passport, it revealed that the two words “Hu Zhao” (passport) on “Tian Ge”(The top space on the passport) and the bottom section “Di Ge” with the lines of “The Imperial Inspector Ambassador Zhang Wei of the Great Qing Dynasty” etc., was a previously printed format, but the format and design of content, the year of approval, and the signature was adjusted based on different occasions and purposes. As for the approval process and designs, the Qing authorities applied the official seals and Chinese red signatures. The upper edge of official seals must be close to the reign of the emperor, as the bottom edge must cover the written month. This research defines this kind of security procedure used in official seals as “Qi Jun Gai Yue”(Figure 1-1). On the other hand, the Chinese red signatures not only appeared on the top of written content (which was signed by one “Hu” Chinese character), but also on the words about the amount of luggage, the end of the content, the owner of the passport, the top space on the passport “Tian Ge” and every Chinese word “Wei” (to execute ). This type of overprinting of official seals and the marks of Chinese red signatures were closely related with the approval process and layout designs of passport documents. The writing style of the Chinese red signatures, which included the fixed formal approval text style and the personal signature style, was an important element in the approval process and layout design of passports.

Figure 1-1 “Qi Jun Gai Yue”

Passport for Domestic Transportation
In June, 178, the authorities of Cheng de County issued a domestic transportation passport for official business trips to different counties. The limitation of such passport was that the passport can be only used in the domestic region; users must carry this kind of passport in order to travel through different counties or provinces for official business purposes. The title of the passport was “Lu Zhao” (Road pass), which was different from the ordinary certificate for passing, but its nature was similar to normal passports. As for the approval and issuing process, the approval section also applied the “Qi Jun Gai Yue” overprinting procedure. The Chinese red signatures appeared on the top space on the passport “Tian Ge”, which circles each of the words “Lu Zhao”, marked an “Zhao” word at the end of the passport, every Chinese word “Wei”, a red “Shin”(go) next to the year of the passport, and another red “Huei”(return) on the lower left corner of the passport, which indicated the appointed date of returning the passport back to the issued official. Besides, the counterfoil code column was written on the left blank side of the passport, which was another distinguishing feature of the approval process.

Figure 2: Passport for Domestic Transportation (Quoted from Fan, Zhen-shui’s Book Titled “Passports in China”, Page 176.)

Passports for Foreigners Visiting China In 1906, the passport issued under the cooperation of the consul general of Britain and the Chinese officials (Figure 3) was first declared by the Chinese authorities and the British consul stationed at Hankou. The main purpose of this passport was to allow foreign visitors to enter the mainland China for tourism, and the size of the passport was large as a poster, its printed frame and format was fixed, therefore, the approval process only demands the name of visitor, the place that the visitor was visiting, date signatures and official seal overprint within the passport. The content was printed during manufacture process, which there would be no necessity to write the content during the approval process. The Chinese red signatures appeared in the content and the top space on the passport “Tian Ge”, which circles each of the words “Hu Zhao”, and a red”Hu”(to protect) word was signed at the end of the content. This resembles that the process for approval and issuing had been simplified and accelerated, which was one of the greatest improvements in the development of Qing passports. In the content, it mentioned that according to ninth article of the Treaty of Tientsin, “British subjects are hereby authorized to travel, for their pleasure or for purposes of trade, to all parts of the interior, under passports which will be issued by their Consuls, and countersigned by the local authorities. These passports, if demanded, must be produced for examination in the localities passed through. If the passport be not irregular, the bearer will be allowed to proceed, and no opposition shall be offered to his hiring persons or hiring vessels for the carriage of his Baggage or Merchandise.” This was the evidence that the Chinese officials lost their power on the examination and control of the Tientsin customs. The layout style of this passport was simple and uncomplicated, which adopted only straight lines of frame. However, the layout design had slightly changed due to the differences between China and England, which lunar calendar was used in China but the solar calendar was used in England. The solution was to overprint each official seal on the type of calendar used in each country, which represented that the passport document was approved by both countries, and this characteristic was often found in the passports of foreign consuls and local officials stationed in China. This system of issuing passports between the Chinese officials and the foreign government had explained that if foreign visitors were entering China via specified harbors, the visitor needed to provide the passport of his or her country. However, if the visitor was planning to visit the mainland, he or she must apply for a countersigned passport.

Figure 3: The Passport made by Engraving Print. (Quoted from “Passport in China”, Page 163, Fan Zhen Shui,)

Multi-purpose Passport-for Personnel and Objects
In 1899, Imperial Inspector Envoy Minister Wu, Ting-fang issued a passport for returning to homeland to the envoy officer stationed in Spain, Tan, Pei-sen (Figure 4). The main point of the passport content was to state that the owner’s luggage should not be examined during the customs, which this research labels this passport under the category of “passports for objects”. In the layout designs and approval process of the passport, the Chinese red signatures appeared on every Chinese word “Wei”, the right side of the content of “No examinations required”, the end of the passport with a red “Hu” word, and marked the owner’s name and date of issuing the passport. Red signatures also showed up on the “Shin” word just beneath the words of Imperial Inspector Envoy Minister and circled the two words “Hu Zhao” on top space of the passport “Tian Ge”, these signatures were essential to the approval and layout design of passports, as if it was a method to prevent counterfeiting. As for the part of official seals overprinting, this passport applied two forms: the “Qi Jun Gai Yue” mentioned in the previous sections, which will not be reviewed. As the new discovered” Ji Feng Gai Zi” (perforation seals), were only found in the content of passports related to the transportation of objects or the owner of the passport carried a special luggage. The official seal overprinting of “Ji Feng Gai Zi” was applied between the two words “Hu” and “Zhao” on the top space of the passport “Tian Ge”. The entire passport was folded in half, signed with its passport registration code and stamped with the official seal. This is the most common applied method of “Ji Feng Gai Zi”.

Figure 4: Multi-purpose Passport-for Personnel and Objects (Quoted from the Cover of the Newsletter of The Hong Kong Museum of History, 2002.) Passports for Silk Transportation On February 18th, 1887, the Jiang Nan weaving company used the official transportation passport to deliver its products from Jiangning to Beijing. The blank area on the top part of the passport was filled by stamps, which recorded the time, amount, and the check points that the cargo had passed (Figure 5-1, 5-2). In this research, 10 passports related to silk transportation were collected, the earliest one was at 1881, and the latest one was at 1898. According to Li, Re-wen, in the book of classical Chinese “Morphology”, he mentioned that: the key elements to the foundation of documents, such as: styles in calligraphy, writing, and signatures…etc. (Li, Re-wen, 2005, page 135). The passports collected in this research

can be sorted under the three categories based on the book “Morphology”: The first category (Figure 6), The two words ”Hu Zhao” on top space of the passport “Tian Ge” were circled by Chinese red signatures, official seals were overprinted on the perforation code. As for the “Di Ge”, the lower part of the passport, every red “Wei” word was written larger than the “Wei” word in the passport content. Besides, the end of every sentence was edited by a red mark, and wrote a “Hu”(to protect) word on it. The red ”Shin” (Go) and “Huei” (Return) were signed on the left side of the passport, just below the tow words “Bu Tang”. On the part of the official seals overprinting, the seals were overprinted on the perforation code on the top space of the passport “Tian Ge”(Figure 5-3, 5-4) and on the emperor’s reign title. The application of overprinting the official seals on the emperor’s reign title matches the definitions of “Qi Jun Gai Yue”, but due to the emperor’s reign title was written higher than usual, the seal could not completely cover the month during the overprinting process. Therefore, the month was written again with the Chinese red signature, which was a imperative method to prevent counterfeiting. The second category (Figure 7) of the passport was the two words ”Hu Zhao” on top space of the passport “Tian Ge” were not circled by Chinese red signatures, the official seal was overprinted on the perforation code (Figure 5-3, 5-4). As for the “Di Ge”, the lower part of the passport, every red “Wei” word was written a little larger than the “Wei” word in the passport content. Besides, the end of every sentence was edited by a red mark, and wrote a “Dao”(road) word on it. The red ”Shin” (Go) and “Huei” (Return) were signed on the left side of the passport, just below the tow words “Bu Tang”. On the part of the official seals over- printing, the seals were overprinted not only on the perforation code on the emperor’s reign title and the perforation code, but also on the content which mentioned about the cargo and its amount. The move of overprinting the official seals on the passport content was to ensure that the content would not be distorted, which was another function in the approval and layout designs. The third category (Figure 8, 9) was about two passports issued at the same day, and its format, content was pretty much identical. However, the owner of each passport was different, which is beyond the range of this research. In the part of approval and layout design, the two words ”Hu Zhao” on top space of the passport “Tian Ge” were not circled by Chinese red signatures, but the official seal was overprinted on the perforation code, and the written content plus the locations of the overprinted official seal were same as the standard procedure of issuing passports. The only difference was the Chinese red signature in the passport content showed in figure 8, which the red signatures marked the “Wei”(to execute ) word and the words related to the amount of the cargo. In figure 9, the red signature was found on the “Dao” (road) word and along with large red circles on the content, which were the most distinguishing difference among the two passports. There were two kinds of engraving prints in this category of passports, one was the titled “Tou pin ding dai xun fu bu yuan jian guan jiang nan zhi zao bu tang du li long jiang xi xin guan shui wu kui wei” (Figure 6), a red “Hu” (to protect) was signed at the end of the passport content. The other was the passport titled “Qing ming du li jiang nan zhi zao bu tang jian guan long jiang xi xin guan shui wu”(Figure 7), a red “Dao” (road) was signed at the end of the passport content. Therefore, the results had shown that the documentation systems of Qing Dynasty, especially in the issuing of passports used for objects, different issuing officials could cause in different signatures. The blank area between the “Hu” and “Zao” of passports used for objects were stamped with the perforation seal, which was meant for verification.

As a result, passports used by people in Qing Dynasty would not be stamped by this perforation seal. Only passports used for object transportation would receive this seal, as a distinction in passport verifications.

Figure 5-1 Seals for Cargo Passing Check Points

Figure 5-2 Seals for Cargo Passing Check Points

Figure 5-3 “Ji Feng Gai Zi”

Figure 5-4 “Ji Feng Gai Zi

Figure 6: Passport for Silk Transportation, Issued on March 5th, 1894. (Personal Collection)

Figure 7: Passport for Silk Transportation, Issued on February 18th, 1894. (Personal Collection)

Figure 8: Passport for Silk Transportation, Issued on November 5th, 1881. (Personal Collection)

Figure 9: Passport for Silk Transportation, Issued on November 5th, 1881. (Personal Collection)

Conclusion
1. Passports used for personal identification in the Qing Dynasty did not have the perforation code seal. The main difference between passports used by people and objects were the use of perforation code seals or not. 2. The passports framed by dragons were only permitted for diplomatic officials who had completed their foreign services and had returned to homeland. Passports for most of the foreign visitors were different from the citizens. Unless the owner of the passport was appointed to become an official in China, then he or she could use the passport with the dragon frame. Ordinary foreign tourists used passports framed by straight lines. 3. Passports were the most exclusively secured and anti-counterfeit document used in the Qing Dynasty, which was the only type of documents that have truly applied the “Qi Jun Gai Yue”. 4. The approval process of passport documents, regardless of whether it was used by people or objects, “Qi Jun Gai Yue” had an important role in anti-counterfeiting, which eliminates the chances of altering the year or month. The Chinese red signatures were also a design for anti-counterfeiting, which increased the difficulty to copy or change the content of the passport through special signatures, circles or dots. The official seal overprinting and the Chinese red signature were both effective in anti-counterfeiting, which was the most extraordinary design in the layout of Qing passports. 5. Passports used for objects in the Qing Dynasty had a special approval form- “Ji Feng Gai Zi”(perforation seals) , which indicated that any passport having the “Ji Feng Gai Zi”(perforation seals) will be exactly the passport used for objects, the exception was that there were passports which stated that the owner carried important objects or the undiscovered passports. Passports used by foreign visitors did not have the “Ji Feng Gai Zi” design. 6. In the Qing era, Jiang Nan weaving company used the official transportation passport to deliver its products from Jiang Ning to Bei Jing. Researches had shown that there were two kinds of engraving prints in this category of passports, one was the titled “Tou pin ding dai xun fu bu yuan jian guan jiang nan zhi zao bu tang du li long jiang xi xin guan shui wu kui wei”, a red “Hu” (to protect) was signed at the end of the passport content. The other was the passport titled “Qing ming du li jiang nan

zhi zao bu tang jian guan long jiang xi xin guan shui wu” (Figure 7), a red “Dao” (road) was signed at the end of the passport content. Therefore, the results had shown that different signatures on the passport can represent different levels or departments of officials.

References
李若文,2005,〈小梅庄公文類纂(1920-1945)之史料學研究-形態學解析〉,收入張炎 憲編著《臺灣史料研究》,第廿六期,財團法人吳三連文教基金會,臺北。 范振水著,2003,《中國護照》,世界知識出版社,北京。

About the Author
Tun-Chih Chang National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan