An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Jiashen zaji 甲申雜記

Oct 19, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Jiashen zaji 甲申雜記 "Miscellaneous Records of the Year 1104" is a biji 筆記 "brush notes" style book written by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Wang Gong 王鞏, courtesy name Wang Dingguo 王定國, style Qingxu xiansheng 清虛先生. He came from Xinxian 莘縣 (modern Xinxian, Hebei) and was befriended with the famous writer Su Shi 蘇軾, together with whom he was exiled to Binzhou 賓州. He had the office of aide to the Chamberlain for the imperial clan (zongzheng cheng 宗正丞). The book consists of 3 juan "scrolls", each of which is actually a separate part, namely the proper Jiashen zaji, the part Wenjianlu 聞見錄 "Records of hearsay", and the part Suishou zalu 隨手雜錄 "Miscellaneous records written down at ease". The first part includes 42 stories about the "eastern capital" Kaifeng 開封 (modern Kaifeng, Henan), the seat of the Northern Song dynasty 北宋 (960-1126). The stories cover the time from the reign of Emperor Renzong 宋仁宗 (r. 1022-1063) to the Chongning reign 崇寧 (1102-1106) of Emperor Huizong 宋徽宗 (r. 1100-1125). Jiashen are the cyclical signs of the year 1104 (see calendar). The second part consists of 104 stories form the time of Emperor Shizong 周世宗 (r. 954-959) of the Later Zhou dynasty 後周 (951-960) down to the time of Emperor Renzong, and the Suishou zaji consists of 33 stories about the Song dynasty, and one for from the Later Zhou empire, the Southern Tang empire 南唐 (937-975) and the empire of Wu-Yue 吳越 (907-978) each. Most of these stories center around the imperial courts and the activities of the court ministers. Many facts are not to be found in official dynastic histories, which makes the Jiashen zaji an important supplementary source for this period of time.
It is included in the reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Shuofu 說郛, Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書, Xuehai leibian 學海類編, Tang-Song congshu 唐宋叢書, Biji xiaoshuo daguan 筆記小說大觀 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe, vol. 2, p. 2146.