An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Jizuan yuanhai 記纂淵海

Dec 15, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Jizuan yuanhai 記纂淵海 "Profound ocean of records and compilations" is an encyclopedia compiled during the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) by Pan Zimu 潘自牧, courtesy name Muzhi 牧之 (jinshi degree 1195).

The book was finished in 1209. It is divided in a first collection (qianji 前集) of 195 juan , a second collection (houji 後集) of 125 juan, of which only 95 juan survive, and a supplementary collection (buji 補集). The book was divided into 22 parts covering 1,246 topics, of which in fact only 1,195 topics are treated.

Figure 1. Page of the Jizuan yuanhai 記纂淵海
Reprint by Zhonghua Shuju 中華書局, 1988.

The edition in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書 has only 100 juan and is based on a version from the Wanli reign-period 萬曆 (1573-1619). This edition is divided into the chapters "Heaven and astronomy" (Tiandao 天道, 5 juan), "Earth and geography" (Dili 地理, 20 juan), "human affairs" (Renshi 人事, 64 juan), and "Objects and things" (Wulei 物類, 11 juan). A print from the Song period has 195 fascicles, and a print from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) with moveable letters has 200 juan. The 100-juan version is generally believed to be the original. In the foreword, Chen Wensui 陳文燧 (b. 1535) reports that he had obtained the first part somewhere in Fujian or Sichuan and the second part in Zhejiang, and thereupon unified these two fragments into one book.

he Jizuan yuanhai has its strengths in the explanation of general fields, and less in the detailed description of particular issues.

There is a print from 1579 and the edition in the Siku quanshu. In 1988, the Zhonghua Shuju Press 中華書局 republished the early Song-period edition.

Table 1. Contents of the Jizuan yuanhai 記纂淵海
前集 First Collection (195-juan version)
1.-36. 論議 Discussions
37.-79. 性行 Human character and comportment
80.-101. 識見 Introduction and encounters
102.-111. 人倫 Human relations
112.-115. 人道 The human way
116.-121. 人情 Human emotions
122.-135. 人事 Human affairs
136.-137. 人己 The human self
138. 物理 The order of things
139.-145. 敘述 Description
146.-149. 接物 Objects
150.-153. 問學 Studying
154.-156. 言語 Language
157.-159. 政事 Governance
160.-165. 名譽 Name and fame
166.-170. 著述 Writing
171.-175. 生理 Living patterns
176.-179. 喪紀 Funerals
180.-182. 兵戎 Military affairs
183.-185. Buddhism
186.-188. 仙道 Daoism
189.-195. 閫儀 Female affairs
後集 Houji Later collection
三才 The Three Talents Heaven, Earth and Man
天文 Astronomy
混元 The origin of the cosmos
君道 The way of the ruler
皇親 The emperor and his relatives
職官 State offices
時令 Edicts according to the seasons
祥瑞 Omina and portents
災異 Natural disasters
地理 Geography
郡縣 Local administration
禮儀 Rites and etiquette
民業 Professions
技術 Skills and arts
文房 The study
字學 Writings and characters
果實 Fruits
花卉 Flowers and herbs
水族 Aquatic animals
Scaly animals
Creeping animals
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. 2, 2040.
Liu Bing 劉冰 (2011). "Song keben Jizuan yuanhai 宋刻本《記纂淵海》", Tushuguan xuekan 圖書館學刊, 2011 (2): 2.
Zhao Hankun 趙含坤 (2005). Zhongguo leishu 中國類書 (Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe), 116-119.