An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Yanjiao jiwen 炎徼紀聞

Oct 23, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Yanjiao jiwen 炎徼紀聞 "Hearsay from the Borderlands of the Southwest" is a local history of the provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou written by the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) scholar Tian Rucheng 田汝成, courtesy name Shuhe 叔禾. He hailed from Qiantang 錢塘 (modern Hangzhou 杭州, Zhejiang), received his jinshi degree in 1526, and rose to the office of right assistant administrative commissioner (buzhengsi you canyi 布政司右參議) of Guangxi, and finally vice education intendant (tixue fushi 提學副使) of Fujian. Tian Rucheng also wrote a description of Hangzhou and the West Lake called Xihu youlan zhi 西湖游覽志.

His 4-juan long Yanjiao jiwen was written as a summary of his experience in the southwest of China and the suppression of local rebellions against the Chinese colonization. In 14 chapters it gives an overview of the military campaigns of Wang Shouren 王守仁 (Wang Yangming 王陽明, 1472-1529), the careers and activities of native chieftains and Ming officials and the customs and habits of the local population of Yunnan and Guizhou. In his preface Tian Rucheng points at the problem that the administration of the far southwest was still in a very experimental status, and jurisdictional problems often had to be solved ad hoc.

The Yanjiao jiwen is to be found in the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Zhihai 指海, Jieyueshanfang huichao 借月山房彙鈔 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編.

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, 907.