An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Zhu Yizun 朱彝尊

Mar 27, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhu Yizun 朱彝尊 (1629-1709), courtesy name Xichang 錫鬯, style Zhucha 竹垞 or Jinfengting sheng 金風亭長, was a writer and Confucian scholar of the early Qing period 清 (1644-1911). He hailed from Xiushui 秀水 (modern Jiaxing 嘉興, Zhejiang) and in his youth participated in local groups resisting the conquest of the Manchus who had founded the Qing dynasty.

As a Manchu bondservant, he was later graduated as erudite literatus (boxue hongci 博學鴻詞) and appointed examining editor (jiantaoguan 檢討官) in the Hanlin Academy 翰林院. As an educated scholar he participated in the compilation of the official dynastic history of the Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644), the Mingshi 明史. In 1692 he retired from office and returned to his home village, where he dedicated his life to studying and writing.

He was first interested in poetry and ancient literature but later turned to the Confucian Classics and Confucian writings, to which he wrote a 300-juan long commentary called Jingyi kao 經義考. He also wrote a study on Confucius' disciples, Kongmen dizi kao 孔門弟子考, in which he assembled a large amount of biographical and philosophical information from various sources.

Zhu Yizun's poems are highly praised, and he is compared with the poet Wang Shizhen 王士禛 (1634-1711). Both together were called "Zhu from the South and Wang from the North" (nan Zhu bei Wang 南朱北王). Zhu Yizun also wrote the book Rixia jiuwen 日下舊聞, and compiled the collections Cizong 詞綜 and Mingshizong 明詩綜. His collected writings are published in the collection Baoshuting ji 曝書亭集, his poetry in the book Baoshuting ciji 曝書亭集詞.

Pang Pu 龐樸, ed. (1997). Zhongguo ruxue 中國儒學 (Shanghai: Dongfang chuban zhongxin), Vol. 2, 209.