An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Kanjing jiaofei shubian 勘靖教匪述編

Jan 6, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Kanjing jiaofei shubian 勘靖教匪述編 "Descriptive annals of the extirpation of the heretic bandits" is a history of the war against the White Lotus (Bailian jiao 白蓮教 ) uprising in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Hubei during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The 12-juan long book was compiled by an otherwise unknown author with the studio name Shixiangcun Jushi 石香村居士 "Scholar of Stone Scent Village". He lived in Sichuan during the early 19th century.

The sources for this book are mainly derived from the official annals of the war, the Jiaoping sansheng xiefei fanglüe 剿平三省邪匪方略, and enriched with material from unofficial and private histories. The book is arranged geographically and according to events and has the purpose to describe the authority of the court of the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911) and its ambition to "reward the good and punish the bad". The main target group of the book were therefore not the intellectuals but the common people who so were to learn from history how to behave.

The Kanjing jiaofei shubian is headed by an essay about the "heretics" ([Yuzhi]Xiejiaoshuo 御制邪教說) written by the Jiaqing Emperor 嘉慶帝 (r. 1796-1820), a preface by the author, a postface by a certain Xiangnong 香農 "Scenting husbandman", and 18 poems by Zhang Wentao 張問陶 (1764-1814). Juan 1 to 9 describe events in Sichuan, juan 10 those in Shaanxi, Gansu, Hubei and Hunan, juan 11 deals with miscellaneous matters, and juan 12 is a kind of appendix with additional material. The author indicates his sources, writes commentaries and provides a bibliography. The book is therefore, although a kind of moral interpretation of history, also of a certain scholarly value. The author includes information about the mismanagement in the army and corruption of the local administration and so demonstrates the ineffectiveness of late imperial warfare. The part covering Sichuan is relatively large but very informative about the life and activities of the common people in that region.

The book was first printed during the Daoguang reign-period 道光 (1821-1850), but there is also a manuscript version from that period and a print from the Liulichang press 琉璃廠書坊.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 919.
Zhongguo fanglüe congshu 中國方略叢書 (Chengwen Publishing),