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Zhexi shuili shu 浙西水利書

Feb 17, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhexi shuili shu 浙西水利書 "Water conservancy of the Zhexi region" is a book on water control written during the early Ming period 明 (1368-1644) by Yao Wenhao 姚文灝 (jinshi degree 1484), courtesy name Xiufu 秀夫, style Xuezhai 學齋, from Guixi 貴溪, Jiangxi.

Yao was 常州府通判、湖廣提學僉事、工部主事提督浙西水利。. His 3-juan-long study on irrigation in the region of Lake Taihu 太湖 in Jiangsu (Zhexi is the region between Lake Taiku and River Qiantang 錢塘江) quotes from a lot of older writings on the issue. It was finished in 1497. The text is accompanied by commentaries added by the compiler. The text is divided along chronological lines and assembles information from the Song 宋 (960-1279), the Yuan 元 (1279-1368), and the then-present period. All periods are dealt with in roughly in the same intensity, with 20 chapters on the Song, 15 on the Yuan, and 12 on the Ming period, resulting in 47 chapters. Yao tried to select statements that were proven in practice, and discarded passages including wrong information.

The text is included in the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書. In 1984, the Nongye Press 農業出版社 published a modern edition, commented on by Wang Jialun 汪家倫.

Sources:
Peng Shijiang 彭世獎 (1995). "Zhexi shuili shu 浙西水利書", in Zhongguo nongye baike quanshu 中國農業百科全書, Vol. Nongye lishi 農業歷史卷 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 403.
Shi Zhengkang 施正康 (1994). "Zhexi shuili shu 浙西水利書", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Jingji 經濟卷 (Shanhai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 267.
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗雲, eds. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 296.