An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Jinhuazi 金華子

Oct 2, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Jinhuazi 金華子 "The Master of the Golden Flower" is a history written by the Southern Tang period 南唐 (937-975) scholar Liu Chongyuan 劉崇遠, who, at the end of the Tang period 唐 (618-907), fled to the south, where he served the Southern Tang dynasty as gentleman-litterateur (wenlinlang 文林郎) and rectifier (sizhi 司直) in the Court of Judicial Review (dalisi 大理寺). Liu Chongyuan's style was "Master of the Golden Flower", hence the title of his 2 juan "scrolls" long book. The descriptive bibliography Junzhai dushu zhi 郡齋讀書志 says that there the book was also known by the title of Liushi zabian 劉氏雜編 "Miscellaneous compilations of Master Liu". The bibliography Zhizhai shulu jieti 直齋書錄解題 says that it was 3 juan long and bore the title Jinhuazi xinbian 金華子新編 "New compilation of the Master of the Golden Flower". None of the three juan long versions have survived. The compilers of the imperial reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書 extracted more than 60 fragments of the Jinhuazi quoted in the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) encyclopedia Yongle dadian 永樂大典.
The content of the Jinhuazi is historiographical, but rather in a miscellaneous and unsystematic style. It narrates events at the court, like the life of chief counsellors, generals or the powerful military commissioners. It is rich in detail and was therefore often used as supplementary information of event history. Even Sima Guang 司馬光 made use of the Jinhuazi for his history Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑒.
The Jinhuazi is included in the reprint series Shuofu 說郛, Wuchao xiaoshuo 五朝小說, Tangren shuohui 唐人說薈, Tang-Song congshu 唐宋叢書, Gujin shuobu congshu 古今說部叢書, Siku quanshu, Hanhai 函海, Fanyuepian 反約篇, Rongyuan congshu 榕園叢書, Zishu baijia 子書百家 (Baizi quanshu), Duhuazhai congshu 讀畫齋叢書 and Congshu jicheng 叢書集成. The Qing period scholar Zhou Guangye 周廣業 has written a commentary called Jinhuazi zabian 金華子雜編. In 1958 the Zhonghua shuju press in Shanghai 中華上海書局 published a modern edition of the Jinhuazi in a joint version with the book Yuquanzi 玉泉子.

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. 2141.