The article that follows was first published in Zhongguo yingzao xueshe huikan (Bulletin of the Society for Research in Chinese Architecture), volume 7, number 1, in October 1944, when the journal resumed publishing after a seven-year hiatus. The Society for Research in Chinese Architecture had been founded by Zhu Qiqian (1872–1964) in 1930, and its leading members were Liang Sicheng (1901–72), Liu Dunzhen (1897–1968), and Lin Huiyin (1904–55). The war against Japan that officially broke out in 1937 wreaked havoc on ancient buildings in China, an issue that Liang discusses in the article, and also had a direct and drastic impact on the society, whose members were forced to flee Beijing. They went to southwestern inland China, settling first in Kunming, Yunnan province, in 1938, and then in the small village of Li Zhuang, Sichuan province, in the winter of 1940. Amid the severe material and financial hardships caused by the war, the society also had to endure the departure of its most important members and contributors to its research, including Liu Dunzhen in 1943. The handful of remaining scholars decided to resume publication of the bulletin in 1944, probably writing their journal articles by hand and reproducing the pages lithographically for distribution. The article followed a foreword and acknowledgment in the 1944 issue of the journal. During the society’s existence the journal was to publish only one more issue, in October 1945. Although Liang Sicheng was not named as the author of the article (which was signed only “the editor”) it is usually attributed, reasonably, to Liang Sicheng himself.1

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