An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Ping Bo quanshu 平播全書

Feb 6, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald

Ping Bo quanshu 平播全書 "Complete book on the pacification of Bozhou" is a history of the suppression of an uprising of Miao 苗 tribes in Guizhou during the late sixteenth century. The 15-juan long book was written by Li Hualong 李化龍 (1554-1611), courtesy name Yutian 于田, style Linhuan 霖寰, who was the commander of army fighting the insurgency.

In 1599, the official pacification commissioner (xuanweishi 宣慰使) of Bozhou 播州 (today's Zunyi 遵義, Guizhou), the Miao chieftain Yang Yinglong 楊應龍 intiated a rebellion against the increasing occaption of Miao land by Chinese settlers. Li Hualong was thereupon appointed supreme commander (zongdu 總督) of the provinces of Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan and Guizhou, and was concurrently appointed grand coordinator (xunfu 巡撫) of Sichuan.

When the war was over the administration of the territory was reorganized and the indirect rule through native chieftains replaced (see gaitu guiliu 改土歸流) by two prefectures (fu 府), one subprefecture (zhou 州) and eight districts (xian 縣). Later on Li Hualong collected a wide range of official and unofficial documents about the campaign to write a book about it. He describes the origin of the revolt, its course, and the war of suppression in all details. It is therefore an important source about the native tribes in southwest China during the Ming period 明 (1368-1644).

The book is not written chronologically, but the structure follows the type of documents, beginning with official top-down correspondence during the war (1-5 Jinjun zoushu 進軍奏疏), restructuring measures after the war (6 Shanhou shiyi 善后事宜, zoushu 奏疏), internal correspondence of adminitators (7 Ziwen 咨文), public orders and annoucements (8-11 Paipiao 牌票), letters (12-14 Shuzha 書札), and finally critiques and commemorative texts (15 Piping 批評, Jiwen 祭文). The book was first printed in 1879. It is included in the series Jifu congshu 畿輔叢書 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編 and is recorded in the descriptive catalogue Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao 四庫全書總目提要.

Gao Wende 高文德, ed. (1995). Zhongguo shaoshu minzu shi da cidian 中國少數民族史大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 504.
Guizhou baike quanshu bianji weiyuanhui 《貴州百科全書》編輯委員會, ed. (2005). Guizhou baike quanshu 貴州百科全書 (Beijing: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 179.
Sichuan baike quanshu bianzuan weiyuanhui 《四川百科全書》編纂委員會, ed. (1997). Sichuan baike quanshu 四川百科全書 (Chengdu: Sichuan cishu chubanshe), 663.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 175.