An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Airizhai congchao 愛日齋叢鈔

Aug 28, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Airizhai congchao 愛日齋叢鈔 "Thicket draft of the Love-the-Sun Studio", also written 愛日齋藂抄, is a "brush-notes"-style book (biji 筆記) written during the very late Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) by a scholar with the family name Ye 葉. His personal name is unknown, and Tao Zongyi's 陶宗儀 (1329-1410) collection Shuofu 說郛 is the only source where a family name is mentioned. The book can be dated roughly to 1270 because the reign motto Xianchun 咸淳 (1265-1274) of Emperor Duzong 宋度宗 (r. 1264-1274) is mentioned.

The book mainly discusses themes of scholarship and quotes vastly from older authors like Zhao Delin 趙德麟, Zhang Zhifang 王直方 (1069-1109), Cai Tao 蔡絛 (b. 1097), Zhu Yi 朱翌 (1097-1167), Hong Mai 洪邁 (1123-1202), Ye Mengde 葉夢得 (1077-1148), Lu You 陸游 (1125-1210), Zhou Bida 周必大 (1126-1204), Gong Yizheng 龔頤正 (1140—1201), He Yuan 何薳 (1077-1145) and Zhao Yanwei 趙彥衛 (jinshi degree 1163), and provides comments on their writings. The arrangement of the book is similar to Zhang Hao's 張淏 (jinshi degree 1157) Yungu zaji 雲谷雜記 or Ye Daqing's 葉大慶 (jinshi degree 1205) Kaogu zhiyi 考古質疑, but the quality of the language does not reach that of these books. At least, the Airizhai congchao must be praised for its critical use of older texts and correction of their errors, like the question of printing, female kowtow, state chariots, court robes, the income of state officials, and much more. Master Ye·s statements about poetry and his analysis and comparison of ancient poems are also quite valuable.

It is not known when the book was published first, but it seems to have been lost at some point of time, except 143 fragments that are quoted in the Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) encyclopaedia Yongle dadian 永樂大典 and 22 paragraphs referred to in the Shuofu. Twelve of these are identical, so that the edition in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書 included 153 paragraphs that are arranged in 5 juan.

The Airizhai congchao is also included in the series Shoushange congshu 守山閣叢書, Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編 and Tang-Song congshu 唐宋叢書.

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Zhu Xiaosong 朱曉松 (1996). "Airizhai congchao 愛日齋叢鈔", in Jiang Zuyi 蔣祖怡, Chen Zhichun 陳志椿, eds. Zhongguo shihua cidian 中國詩話辭典 (Beijiing: Beijing chubanshe), 293.