An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Lushanji 廬山記

Mar 28, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Lushanji 廬山記 "Records of Mt. Lushan" is a description of Mt. Lushan, one of the sacred mountains of Daoism and Buddhism, compiled by the Northern Song-period 北宋 (960-1126) writer Chen Shunyu 陳舜俞 (d. 1074), courtesy name Lingju 令舉, style Bainiu jushi 白牛居士, from Wucheng 烏程 (modern Wuxing 吳興, Zhejiang).

Chen was district magistrate (zhixian 知縣) of Shanyin 山陰 and also wrote the book Duguanji 都官集. He left his position in 1072, when the agrarian credit law (qingmiaofa 青苗法) was revoked, and traveled with his friend Liu Huan 劉渙 (998-1078) to the famous Mt. Lushan, where they visited all tourist spots. Later on, Chen Shunyu decided to write a description of religious activites on the mountain.

The book is accompanied by two prefaces, one written by Li Chang 李常 (1027-1090), and one by Liu Huan. Chen described the landscape, stone slabs and their inscriptions, and provided the biographies of 18 worthies having lived of the mountain, like Monk Huiyuan 慧遠 (334-416), Liu Chengzhi 劉程之 or Lei Cizong 雷次宗 (386-448). The geographical part is partially based on the book Lushan jilüe 廬山紀略 by the Eastern Jin-period 東晉 (317-420) monk Huiyuan, yet the second half of the travel report (chapter Shannan 山南) is a description of Chen's own journey from Jiangzhou 江州 (modern Jiujiang 九江, Jiangxi) to Mt. Lushan. It includes information on all the monasteries, temples, caves and sites he visited there.

The chapter Gubeilu 古碑目 records the stone inscriptions found in the Daoist Taiping Temple 大平觀, Taiyi Temple 太一觀 and Jianshu Temple 簡寂觀, as well as the Buddhist Donglin Monastery 東林寺 and Xilin Monastery 西林寺. Another chapter records the stone inscriptions recording dedications by poets like Yan Zhenqing 顏真卿 (709-784), Wei Zhou 韋宙 or Yan Xu 嚴續 (912-1006).

The Lushanji is the oldest surviving description of this sacred site and quotes many historical sources. The version included in the imperial series Siku quanchu 四庫全書 is a 3-juan long fragment.

In 1932 Wu Zongci 吳宗慈 (1879-1951) reconstructed the text with the help of the version in the Buddhist Canon Taishō Tripitaka 大正新脩大藏經 (T 2095) and published the Lushanzhi fukan 廬山志副刊. The Lushanji is also included in the series Shoushange congshu 守山閣叢書, Congshu jicheng 叢書集成, Jishi'an congshu 吉石盦叢書, Yinlizaisitang congshu 殷禮在斯堂叢書 and (in extracts) in the Shuofu 說郛.

Table 1. Contents of the Lushanji 廬山記
山水 Shanshui Landscape
山北 Shanbei North of the mountains
山南 Shannan Traveling southwards
山行易覽 Shanxing yilan Easy visit to all spots in the mountain site
十八賢傳 Shiba xian zhuan Biographies of 18 worthies
古人留題 Guren liuti Poems of ancient persons
古碑目 Gubei mu Stone inscriptions
古人題名 Guren timing Dedications by ancient persons
Lin Fei 林非, ed. (1997). Zhongguo sanwen da cidian 中國散文大辭典 (Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe), 187.
He Shengdi 賀聖迪 (1997). "Lushanji 廬山記", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Zongjiao 宗教 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 375.
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗雲, ed. (1991). Zhonghua wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理 (Shenyang: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 175.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1998). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 426.
Zhou Wenzao 周文藻 (1992). "Lushanji 廬山記", in Yang Guang 陽光, Guan Yongli 關永禮, ed. Zhongguo shanchuan mingsheng shiwen jiansheng cidian 中國山川名勝詩文鑒賞辭典 (Beijing: Zhongguo jingji chubanshe), 10.