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Chinese Literature
Leipian 類篇 "The Categories Book"


The Leipian 類篇 "Categories book" is a character dictionary whose entries are arranged according to character radicals. It was compiled on imperial order by the Northern Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholars Wang Zhu 王洙, Hu Su 胡宿 and Zhang Yuxi 掌禹錫 and submitted to the throne in the name of Sima Guang 司馬光 in 1067. The Leipian was issued by the emperor together with the dictionary Jiyun 集韻 in which the characters were arranged according to rhyme groups. Both book should serve as a complement to each other. The Leipian is divided into 14 chapters, plus one register, each chapter being divided into two parts. The characters are arranged according to the 540 radicals first used by the Later Han period 後漢 (25-220) dictionary Shuowen jiezi 說文解字, with only minor changes in the sequence of the radicals. It contains 31,319 characters, which is more than the double number than contained in the older dictionary Yupian 玉篇. It also included characters not recorded in the Jiyun, but on the other side also left out some alternative characters listed in the Jiyun. For each character first the pronunciation is given according to the fanqie system 反切, and then the meaning(s). The Leipian contains a lot of characters which were only created during the Tang 唐 (618-907) and Song periods.
The oldest print has been made by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Cao Yin 曹寅, the so-called Lianting wuzhong ben 楝亭五種本 edition. The most commonly used print is that of Yao Jinyuan 姚覲元, the so-called Yao ke sanyun ben 姚刻三韻本 edition.


Source: Zhou Shiqi 周女琦 (1988). "Leipian 類篇", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Yuyan wenzi 語言文字, p. 251. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

October 29, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail