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Nü sishu 女四書

The Four Categories of Literature
Nü sishu 女四書 "Four books for girls" is a collection of four writings especially compiled for elementary learning of girls. The title is derived from the Four Books (sishu 四書) of the Confucian Canon, which have to be studies by young boys. The main content of the "female parallels" is the social position of women, which is subordinated to that of men. The four books for girls are the Nüjie 女誡 by the Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) female writer Ban Zhao 班昭, the Nü lunyu 女論語 by the Tang period 唐 (618-907) sisters Song Ruoxin 宋若莘 and Song Ruozhao 宋若昭, the Nüxun 女訓 by Empress Xu 徐后, and the Nüfan jielu 女範捷錄 by Ms. Liu 劉氏, both from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644). The four books for girls are also known as Guige sishu jizhu 閨閣四書集注 "Collected commentaries to the four books of the boudoir" and were printed and published in this edition in 1624 by Wang Xiang 王相.

女四書 Nü sishu
(Ming) 王相 Wang Xiang (comp.)
書名, length in juan Title Author(s)
女誡 一卷 Nüjie (Han) 班昭 Ban Zhao
女論語 一卷 Nü lunyu (Tang) 宋若莘 Song Ruoxin, 宋若昭 Song Ruozhao
女訓 (內訓) 一卷 Nüxun (Neixun) (Ming) 徐后 Empress Xu (仁孝皇后 Empress Renxiao)
女範捷錄 一卷 Nüfan jielu (Ming) 劉氏 Ms. Liu

Sources: Zhang Mingqi 張鳴岐 (1992), "Nü sishu 女四書", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Jiaoyu 教育 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), p. 270. ● Li Zhitian 李稚田 (1993), "Nü sishu 女四書”, in Zhongguo xiaoxue jiaoxue baike quanshu 中國小學教學百科全書, Yuwen 語文 (Shenyang: Shengyang chubanshe), p. 91. ● Chen Renxiong 陳人雄 (1996), "Nüjie 女誡", in Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中国学术名着提要, Jiaoyu 教育 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), p. 149. ● Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, p. 1547. ● Zhao Hankun 趙含坤 (ed. 2005), Zhongguo leishu 中國類書 (Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe), p. 185.

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