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Nongqipu 農器譜

Feb 21, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Nongqipu 農器譜 was a book on agricultural implements written during the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) by Zeng Zhijin 曾之謹 (fl. 1203) from Taihe 泰和, today in Jiangxi. Zeng was a grandson of Zeng Anzhi 曾安止 (1047-1098), who wrote book on staple grain, Hepu 禾譜. The Nongqipu was the result of Su Dongpo's 蘇東坡 (Su Shi 蘇軾, 1037-1101) critique on the Hepu who had argued that Zeng Anzhi had not included information on tools and implements.

The Nongqipu was thus actually a supplement to the Hepu. It was finished before 1203 and is introduced by a poem written by Lu You 陸游 (1125-1210). The text had a total length of 3 juan, and there seems to have been a supplement of 2 fascicles, as the bibliographical chapter in the encyclopaedia Wenxian tongkao 文獻通考 says.

Zeng discerned between ten types of implements, and described ploughs and plough shares (Leisi 耒耜), rakes and hoes (Noubo 耨鎛), scoop wheels (Chehu 車戽), rain cloth (Shuaili 蓑笠), sickles and skythes (Zhiyi 銍刈), bamboo containers (Xiaokui 篠簣), mortars (Chujiu 杵臼), measuring volumes (Douhu 斗斛), pots and kettles (Fuzeng 釜甑), and barns and granaries (Cangyu 倉庾). The text is often quoted in Wang Zhen's 王禎 (1271-1333) Nongshu 農書 (ch. Nongqi tupu 農器圖譜) as Zengshi nongshu 曾氏農書. The Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) series Shuofu 說郛 only mentions the name of the book which shows that it must have been lost at the time.

Sources:
Gao Liushui 高流水 (1996). "Nongqipu 農器譜", in Feng Kezheng 馮克正, Fu Qingsheng 傅慶升, eds. Zhuzi baijia da cidian 諸子百家大辭典 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe), 451.
Wang Yuhu 王毓瑚, ed. (1964). Zhonggou nongxue shulu 中國農學書錄 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 97.
Wu Jianxin 吳建新 (1995). "Nongqipu 農器譜", in Zhongguo nongye baike quanshu 中國農業百科全書, Vol. Nongye lishi 農業歷史卷 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 229.
Yu Wenxia 虞文霞 (2019). "Zeng Zhijin Nongqipu yu Songdai Jiangxi nonggeng wenming de fazhan 曾之謹《農器譜》與宋代江西農耕文明的發展", Nongye kaogu 農業考古, 2019 (6): 131-135.
Zeng Xiongsheng 曾雄生 (2003). "Nongqi tupu he Nongqipu guanxi shitan 《農器圖譜》和《農器譜》關係試探", Nongye kaogu 農業考古, 2003 (1): 152-156.