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Jinshu chuanxi lu 金薯傳習錄

Jan 28, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Jinshu chuanxi lu 金薯傳習錄 "The propagation of Jin's sweet potatoes" is a book on sweetpotatoes written by Chen Shiyuan 陳世元 (dates unknown), courtesy name Jiexian 捷先, style Juezhai 覺齋, from Jin'an 晉安, Fujian. He had been a university student (taixuesheng 太學生), but made a life as a merchant in Zhejiang.

Sweetpotatoes (Ipomoea batatas) had been brought to China from the Philippines. A crucial function in this transmission is attributed to Chen Zhenlong 陳振龍 (c. 1543-1619), a sixth-generation ancestor of the author of this book. At the time, the governor of the province of Fujian, Jin Xuezeng 金學曾 (jinshi degree 1568), promoted the cultivation of sweet potatoes because this plant is unpretentious and can help to nourish the people during times of draught and famine. Because of Jin's crucial function in the popularization of the plant, it was in Fujian called jinshu 金薯 "Jin's potato". The plant soon spread to other provinces.

Chen's book has a length of 2 juan. The first fascicle describes the introduction and spread of the crop in China, cultivation methods, preparation and consumption, storage, and processing. Most chapters are written as "rules" (faze 法則) for the correct handling. The second part of the book quotes extensively from prose and poetry statements about sweetpotatoes.

Chen's book is extensively quoted in the more famous book Ganshulu 甘薯錄 by Lu Yao 陸耀 (d. 1794).

The book was first published in 1768, and reprinted in 1776. A modern version was published by the Nongye Press 農業出版社 in 1982 in a joined edition with Xu Youju's 徐有榘 (1764-1845) book Zhongshupu 種薯譜.

Sources:
Nongye da cidian bianji weiyuanhui 《農業大詞典》編輯委員會, ed. (1998). Nongye da cidian 農業大詞典 (Beijing: Zhongguo nongye chubanshe), 822.
Su Wenjing 蘇文菁, Huang Yunlong 黃雲龍 (2017). "Jinshu chuanxi lu yu fanshu zai Zhongguo de chuanbo 《金薯傳習錄》與番薯在中國的傳播", Minshang wenhua yanjiu 閩商文化研究, 2017 (2): 41-65.
Wang Chunlin 王春林, ed. (2001). Keji bianji da cidian 科技編輯大辭典 (Beijing: Di er junyi daxue chubanshe), 340.
Wang Guozhong 王國忠 (1996). "Jinshu chuanxi lu 金薯傳習錄", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Keji 科技卷 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 461.
Wang Yuhu 王毓瑚, ed. (1964). Zhonggou nongxue shulu 中國農學書錄 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 231.
Wu Deduo 吳德鐸 (1961). "Guanyu ganshu he Jinshu chuanxi lu 關於甘薯和《金薯傳習錄》", Wenwu 文物, 1961 (8): 60-61.
Wu Deduo 吳德鐸 (1981). "Dui Jinshu chuanxi lu de zai renshi 對《金薯傳習錄》的再認識", Dushu 讀書, 1981 (6): 83-89.
Xiao Kezhi 肖克之 (2000). "Jinshu chuanxi lu banben shuo 《金薯傳習錄》版本說", Gujin nongye 古今農業, 2000 (3): 64-65.
Zeng Xiongsheng 曾雄生 (1994). "Jinshu chuanxi lu tiyao 《金薯傳習錄》提要", in Ren Jiyu 任繼愈, ed. Zhongguo kexue jishu dianji tonghui 中國科學技術典籍通彙, part Nongxue 農學 (Zhengzhou: Henan jiaoyu chubanshe), Vol. 4, 729-730.