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Chinese Literature
Guanzhen 官箴

The Four Categories of Literature
Guanzhen 官箴 "Admonishions to state officials", also known as Lüshen guanzhen 呂氏官箴, Lü sheren guanzhen 呂舍人官箴 or Lü Ronggong guanzhen 呂榮公官箴, is a handbook for officials compiled by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) writer Lü Benzhong 呂本中. Lü himself had served for many years as an official in the local government and had also written some books on education, like the Chunqiu jie 春秋解, Tongmeng xun 童蒙訓 or Shiyou yuanyuan lu 師友淵源錄. His short book Guanzhen is an admonishion to officials to behave pure, prudent and diligent. Lü's arguments are supported by many examples from history. It is included in the reprint series Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Shuofu 說郛, Siku quanshu 四庫全書 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編.
There is another book with the same title from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644), written by Zhu Zhanji 朱瞻基 (1398-1435), the Xuande Emperor 宣德 (r. 1425-1435). His book came into being after the suppression of the rebellion of Zhu Gaoxu 朱高煦, the Prince of Han 漢, and the appointment of grand coordinators (xunfu 巡撫) for the supervision of the provinces. The Xuande Emperor especially selected nine persons who were entrusted with the arrangement of bureaucratic rules for all important state offices, from the Chief Military Commission (dudufu 都督府) to the Confucian schools (ruxue 儒學). These are arranged in 35 chapters. All officials were admonished to be assiduous in government affairs, to be incorruptible, to have a sense of responsibility and to do their duty. The book was finished in 1432 and was reprinted in 1538. It is finished by several laudatory and instructive poems written in the name of the emperor.
This book is described in the Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao 四庫全書總目提要, but not included in the Siku quanshu corpus.


Source: 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. 1, p. 1429.

March 21, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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