An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Xingcha shenglan 星槎勝覽

Sep 15, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Xingcha shenglan 星槎勝覽 "Overall survey of the Star Raft" is a report of foreign countries, especially South and Southeast Asia, from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644). The author is Fei Xin 費信 (1388-?), courtesy name Gongxiao 公曉, who, as a translator, accompanied Admiral Zheng He 鄭和 (1371-1433) on his travels in the early 15th century.

The book was completed in 1436 and consists of two parts (qianji 前集 and houji 後集). Although the author had seen most of the described 40 countries by himself he also relied on earlier descriptions as found, for instance, in the Daoyi zhilüe 島夷志略. Fei Xin gives for each country a brief account of the history, the capitals, ports, rivers and mountains, the society and its administrative and jurisdictional system, the people and their customs and habits, their beliefs, and the local products. His book contains a lot of countries which are not contained in similar accounts like Ma Huan's 馬歡 (1380-1460) Yingya shenglan 瀛涯勝覽. This is especially true for African countries and states in the Southeast Asian archipelago. It is also quite detailed in the report on how Zheng He interacted with the countries he visited.

The earliest extant version is transmitted in the series Guochao diangu 國朝典故, other versions are Luo Yizhi's 羅以智 copy of a Ming manuscript, and Luo Zhenyu's 羅振玉 (1866-1940) reprint of the Tianyige Hall 天一閣 version. A critical study of these three versions was carried out by Feng Chengjun 馮承鈞 (1887-1946), published in 1938 and reprinted by the Shangwu Yinshuguan Press 商務印書館 in the series Shidi xiao congshu 史地小叢書, reprinted in 1954 by the Zhonghua Shuju Press 中華書局.

Table 1. Contents of the Xingcha shenglan 星槎勝覽
前集 Qianji 1st part
占城國 Zhancheng (Champa, south of modern Vietnam)
賓童龍國 Bintonglong (south of modern Vietnam)
靈山 Lingshan (center of modern Vietnam)
昆侖山 Kunlunshan (Colon Islands in the South China Sea, near the coast of Vietnam)
交欄山 Jiaolanshan (Gelan Island in Indonesia)
暹羅國 Jinluo (Siam, modern Thailand)
爪哇國 Guawa (Java)
舊港 Jiugang (Yaju in Indonesia)
滿剌加國 Manlajia (Malacca)
九洲山 Jiuzhoushan (Pili River in Malaysia)
蘇門答剌國 Sumendala (island of Sumatera)
花面國 Huamian (north of Sumatera)
龍牙犀角 Longyaxijiao
龍涎嶼 Longxian Island (Bulas Island northwest of Sumatera)
翠蘭嶼 Cuilan Island (Nicobar Islands)
錫蘭山國 Xilanshan (Ceylon, modern Sri Lanka)
小㖵喃國 Xiao Junan (Quilon in southern India)
柯枝國 Kezhi (Cochin in southern India)
古里國 Guli (Calicut in southern India)
忽魯謨斯國 Hulumosi (modern Hormuz, near Abbas in Iran)
剌撒國 Lasa (near modern Mukalla in Yemen)
榜葛剌國 Bangela (Bengal)
後集 Houji 2nd part
真臘國 Zhenla (modern Cambodia)
東西竺 Dongxizhu (Aur Island in Malaysia)
淡洋 Danyang
龍牙門 Longyamen
龍牙善提 Longyashanti (Langkawi Island in Malaysia)
吉里地悶 Jilidimen (island of Borneo)
彭坑 Pengkeng (in modern Malaysia)
琉球國 Liuqiu/Ryūkyū Islands
三島 Sandao (main islands of the Philippines)
麻逸國 Mayi
假里馬丁國 Jialimading (Kalimantan on the island of Borneo)
重迦邏 Zhongjialuo
渤泥國 Boni (on Kalimantan Island)
蘇禄國 Sulu (an archipelago south of the Philippines)
大㖵喃國 Da Junan
阿丹國 Aden (Aden in Arabia)
佐法兒國 Zuofa'r (Dhofar in Arabia)
竹步國 Zhubu ("Zhunbo" 准博 in Somalia)
木骨都束國 Mugudoushu (Mogadishu in Somalia)
溜洋國 Liuyang (Maldive Islands)
卜剌哇國 Bulawa (Berbara in Somalia)
天方國 Tianfang (Mecca)
阿魯國 Alu (area of the "Rili" River 日里河 in modern Sumatera)
Gao Wende 高文德, ed. (1995). Zhongguo shaoshu minzu shi da cidian 中國少數民族史大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 1652.
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 1113.
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), 253.
Zheng Hesheng 鄭鶴聲 (1992), "Xingcha shenglan 星槎勝覽", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 3, p. 1327.