An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Yishi jishi 壹是紀始

May 21, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Yishi jishi 壹是紀始 "Validation of all details from the roots" is a kind of encyclopaedia compiled during the late Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by Wei Song 魏崧 (1785-1854), also called Gaosong 高崧, courtesy name Zhuting 祝亭 or Weiyu 維嶽, style Shinan 式南, from Xinhua 新化, Hunan. Wei wrote several books on local history (local gazetteers) and native tribes and peoples, like Renshou xian xinzhi 仁壽縣新志, Nanchuan xian zhi 南川縣誌, Liang-Yue yaosu ji 兩粵猺俗記, Zangsu ji 藏俗記, Jingnan miaosu ji 荊南苗俗記 or Shu jiu zhong yi ji 蜀九種夷記.

It has a length of 22 juan, with 1 juan of supplementary data. It is divided into 22 chapters, each chapter corresponding to one juan. The book investigates more than 2,000 different themes of all fields. Because of its shortness and condensed character and the indication of sources for all topics it can be used as a kind of research tool. The headlines of all chapters indicate the beginning of a certain institution or custom.

The Yishi jishi was printed in 1834 by Wei Song himself. There was a reprint in 1888 by the Yongbeiji Studio 甬北寄廬 and another print in 1891 by the Wenkui Studio 文奎堂.

Table 1. Contents of the Yishi jishi 壹是紀始
1. 天文類 Astronomy
2. 地形類 Geography
3. 宮室類 Palaces and buildings
4. 墳墓類 Tombs and graves
5. 人品稱名類 Designations and terms in human relations
6. 試科仕官類 State examinations
7. 職官類 State offices
8. 印信圖章類 Printing, corresponding, illustrating and writing
9. 文史類 Literature and historiography
10. 賦稅類 Taxes
11. 器具類 Tools and objects
12. 銀錢類 Silver money and copper cash
13. 神祀類 Sacrifices
14. 樂器類 Musical instruments
15. 兵器類 Weapons
16. 律法類 Law
17. 術數嬉戲類 Prognostication and games
18. 衣服類 Clothing
19. 飲食類 Food and drinking
20. 舟車類 Ships and carts
21. 禽獸類 Birds and beasts
22. 俗語紀始類 Vernacular language
Pan Yinsheng 潘寅生, Guo Jiankui 郭建魁, eds. (1993). Zhonghua shehui kexue gongjushu cidian 中華社會科學工具書辭典 (Lanzhou: Gansu renmin chubanshe), 692.
Zhao Hankun 趙含坤, ed. (2005). Zhongguo leishu 中國類書 (Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe), 454-455.