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Wu zhong yigui 五種遺規

Sep 21, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Wu zhong yigui 五種遺規 "Five books of rules to be handed down to later generations" is a collection of texts on education written by the Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Chen Hongmou 陳宏謀 (originally written 陳弘謀, 1696-1771), courtesy name Ruzi 汝咨, style Rongmen 榕門, posthumous title Chen Wengonggong 陳文恭公.

He hailed from Lingui 臨桂 (modern Guilin 桂林, Guangxi), obtained his jinshi degree in 1723 and had several official posts during his lifetime, the highest of which were governor (xunfu 巡撫) of Shaanxi, Hunan and then Jiangsu, governor-general (zongdu 總督) of Liang-Guang 兩廣 and then Hu-Guang 湖廣, Grand Academician (daxueshi 大學士) in the Eastern Hall 東閣, and finally Minister of War (bingbu shangshu 兵部尚書) and then of of Works (gongbu shangshu 工部尚書).

Chen had therefore a lot of experience in the administrative business both in the provinces and in the central government. He was also responsible for the foundation of public schools in the remote province of Yunnan. His collected writings are called Beiyuantang quanji 培遠堂全集.

The compilation Wu zhong yigui was published in 1739 by Li Anmin 李安民, who was a prefectural teacher (fuzhou jiaoshou 府學教授) in Nanchang 南昌, Hunan. The sources of Chen Hongmou's books were different writings on education written by about 80 scholars between the Han 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) and the Qing period. These sources covered aspects like nourishing the character, self-cultivation, regiment of the family, managing one's office, daily affairs and education. Chen Hongmou assembled their teachings in five different texts that each focused on a different matter.

The most important primary sources for Chen Hongmou's book were Ban Zhao's 班昭 (c. 45-c. 117 CE) Nüjie 女誡, Sima Guang's 司馬光 (1019-1086) Jujia zayi 居家雜儀, Zhu Xi's 朱熹 (1130-1200) Bailudong shuyuan xuegui 白鹿洞書院學規 and Tongmeng xuzhi 童蒙須知, Wang Shouren's 王守仁 (i.e. Wang Yangming 王陽明, 1472-1529) Gaoyu 告諭, Gu Yanwu's 顧炎武 (1613-1682) Rizhilu 日知錄 and Yan Zhitui's 顏之推 (531-591) Yanshi jiaxun 顏氏家訓.

Table 1. The series Wu zhong yigui 五種遺規
(Qing) 陳宏謀 Chen Hongmou (comp.)
Siku quanshu 四庫全書 edition
書名, length in juan Title Author(s)
養正遺規 二卷 Yangzheng yigui (Qing) 陳宏謀 Chen Hongmou
教女遺規 三卷 Jiaonü yigui (Qing) 陳宏謀 Chen Hongmou
訓俗遺規 四卷 Xunsu yigui (Qing) 陳宏謀 Chen Hongmou
從政遺規 二卷 Congzheng yigui (Qing) 陳宏謀 Chen Hongmou
在官法戒錄 四卷 Zaiguan fajie lu (Qing) 陳宏謀 Chen Hongmou
[學仕遺規 四卷,補編 四卷] Xueshi yigui (Qing) 陳宏謀 Chen Hongmou

The text Yangzheng yigui 養正遺規 (2-juan long) is a treatise on the cultivation of one's character in younger years. It explains how to learn and to study the ancient writings. The creation of "human talent" (rencai 人材) must begin in the days of boyhood, the author says. The name of this collection is derived from a sentence in the hexagram meng ䷃ 蒙 of the Confucian Classic Yijing 易經 "Book of Changes", where it is said that "[the method of dealing with] the young and ignorant is to nourish the correct (yangzheng 養正) [nature belonging to them]" (Legge 1882).

The text Jiaonü yigui 教女遺規 (3 juan) explains how girls are to be educated, in contrast to boys. The author follows the traditional concept that girls must learn to be obedient to their parents and husbands, and to develop a sense for the obligations of a mother.

The text Xunsu yigui 訓俗遺規 (4 juan) describes the life and social relations in a neighbourhood and among the greater network of families.

The text Congzheng yigui 從政遺規 (2 juan) concentrates on how the occupant of an official post must select his words and manners in order to develop an excellent reputation.

The text Zaiguan fajie lu 在官法戒錄 (4 juan) finally is divided into four chapters that provide historical examples of how successful officials managed their work.

The Wu zhong yigui was an important handbook on education was was therefore widely circulating. It is also referred to in the middle school statutes Zhongxuetang zhangcheng 中學堂章程 (see Xuetang zhangcheng 學堂章程) from the Guangxu reign-period 光緒 (1875-1908) as an important textbook. In the editions from 1893 and 1910 the last text is replaced by a book that Chen Hongmou wrote in his later years, the Xueshi yigui 學仕遺規, which focuses on students of colleges and universities.

Huang Mingxi 黄明喜 (1996). "Wu zhong yigui 五種遺規", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Jiaoyu 教育 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 431.
Liu Shuying 劉淑英 (1997). "Wu zhong yigui 五種遺規", in Men Kui 門巋, Zhang Yanjin 張燕瑾, ed. Zhonghua guocui da cidian 中華國粹大辭典 (Xianggang: Guoji wenhua chuban gongsi), 283.
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Xie Rong 謝蓉 (2011). "Wu zhong yigui Kaifeng fu keben yinxing guocheng shulüe 《五種遺規》開封府刻本印行過程述略", Bianji zhi you 編輯之友, 2011 (3).
Zhang Mingqi 張鳴岐, Wang Bin 王彬 (1992). "Wu zhong yigui 五種遺規", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Vol. Jiaoyu 教育 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 398.
Zhou Fazeng 周發增, Chen Longtao 陳隆濤, Qi Jixiang 齊吉祥, ed. (1998). Zhongguo gudai zhengzhi zhidu cidian 中國古代政治制度史辭典 (Beijing: Shoudu shifan daxue chubanshe), 441.