1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ho-nan

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HO-NAN, a central province of China, bounded N. partly by the Hwang-ho (which it crosses to the west of Ho-nan Fu, forming an arm northwards between the provinces of Shan-si and Chih-li), on the W. by Shen-si, on the S. by Hu-peh, and on the E. by Ngan-hui. It occupies an area of 81,000 sq. m., with a population of about 22,100,000, and contains nine prefectural cities. Its capital is K’ai-fêng Fu. The prefecture of Hwai-k’ing, north of the Hwang-ho, consists of a fertile plain, “rendered park-like by numerous plantations of trees and shrubs, among which thick bosquets of bamboo contrast with the gloomy groves of cypress.” All kinds of cereals grow luxuriantly, and the general productiveness of the district is indicated by the extreme denseness of the population. The most noticeable feature in that portion of the province which is properly called Ho-nan is the Fu-niu Shan range, which runs east and west across this part of the province. Coal is found on the south of the Hwang-ho in the districts of Ho-nan Fu, the ancient capital, Lushan and Ju Chow. The chief products of the province are, however, agricultural, especially in the valley of the Tang-ho and Pai-ho, which is an extensive and densely populated plain running north and south from the Fu-niu Shan. Cotton is also grown extensively and forms the principal article of export, and a considerable quantity of wild silk is produced from the Fu-niu Shan. Three roads from the east and south unite at Ho-nan Fu, and one from the west. The southern road leads to Ju Chow, where it forks, one branch going to Shi-ki-chên, connecting the trade from Fan-cheng, Han-kow, and the Han river generally, and the other to Chow-kia-k’ow near the city of Ch’ên-chow Fu, at the confluence of the three rivers which unite to form the Sha-ho; the second road runs parallel with the Hwang-ho to K’ai-fêng Fu; the third crosses the Hwang-ho at Mêngching Hien, and passes thence in a north-easterly direction to Hwai-k’ing Fu, Sew-wu Hien and Wei-hui Fu, at which place it joins the high road from Peking to Fan-cheng; and the western road follows the southern bank of the Hwang-ho for 250 m. to its great bend at the fortified pass known as the Tung-kwan, where it joins the great wagon road leading through Shan-si from Peking to Si-gan Fu. Ho-nan is now traversed north to south by the Peking-Hankow railway (completed 1905). The line crosses the Hwang-ho by Yung-tse and runs east of the Fu-niu Shan. Branch lines serve Ho-nan Fu and K’ai-fêng Fu.