An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Siming Tuoshan shuili beilan 四明它山水利備覽

Sep 27, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Siming Tuoshan shuili beilan 四明它山水利備覽 is a book on hydraulic works in the region of Ningbo 寧波, Zhejiang, written by the Southern Song-period 南宋 (1127-1279) scholar Wei Xian 魏峴 from Yinxian 鄞縣. Wei was maritime trade commissioner (shiboshi 市舶使) of Fujian and later military prefect of Jizhou 吉州 as well as agricultural development commissioner (quannongshi 勸農使), and was therefore familiar with irrigation projects.

His hometown Yinxian was the site of the famous Tuoshan Dam 它山堰 from the Tang period 唐 (618-907) which had been constructed by the local magistrate Wang Yuanwei 王元暐. It regulates the river running from Shangyu 上虞 along Mt. Siming 四明山 and then into the sea. The dam allows sufficient irrigation for seven villages in the district. In the Jiading reign-period 嘉定 (1208-1224), the system had ceased to operate. Wei therefore took over the reconstruction of the irrigation system which was finished after three months' work.

The 2-juan long book is a kind of report of this project. The first fascicle describes the work, while the second one collects poems and prose texts on the site, some of them incised in stone slabs, like Xihu yinshui ji 西湖引水記 or Chongxiu Tuoshan yan yinshui ji 重修它山堰引水記.

The book was often quoted by later writings on Ningbo, for instance, the local gazetteer Siming jun zhi 四明郡志 (i.e. Ningbo jun zhi 寧波郡志)written by Yang Shi 楊寔 (1414-1479) during the Ming period 明 (1368-1644).

The original print from 1242 is lost, but the text is found in the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Shoushange congshu 守山閣叢書 and Siming congshu 四明叢書. The latter includes the facsimile of a print from 1641 included in the collection Song-Yuan Siming liu zhi 宋元四明六志.

Cai Fan 蔡蕃 (1986). "Siming Tuoshan shili beilan 四明它山水利備覽", in Zhongguo nongye baike quanshu 中國農業百科全書, Vol. Shuili 水利卷 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), Vol. 2, 782.
He Shengdi 賀聖迪 (1996). "Siming Tuoshan shili beilan 四明它山水利備覽", 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), 308.
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), 1579.
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云, ed. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 92.
Zhang Jialiang 張嘉梁, Wang Jingwei 王經緯, ed. (1992). Ningbo cidian 寧波詞典 (Ningbo: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 299.
Zhang Yishan 張益善, ed. (1991). Zhonghua shiyong shuili da cidian 中華實用水利大詞典 (Nanjing: Nanjing daxue chubanshe), 320.