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Zhuweishuo 築圍說

Jan 19, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhuweishuo 築圍說 "On field embankment construction" is a book on agriculture and irrigation compiled during the very early Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by Chen Hu 陳瑚 (1614-1675), courtesy name Yanxia 言夏, style Que’'an 確庵, from Taicang 太倉, Jiangsu. After the demise of the Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644), Chen retired to Kunshan 昆山, where he was a private teacher. Chen's collected writings are Loudong zazhu 樓東雜著 and Lixiangzhai congshu 棣香齋叢書.

Chen was of the opinion that discussions on irrigation or water conservation must be founded on knowledge about cultivation and farming methods, while the latter aspects again were to be based on the precondition that villages cared for the embankments of waters. The study of Chen Hu was based on personal experience in the field which he made with some companions. The brief texts focuses on each aspect of the embankment construction and describes them in words, enriched with illustrations (not preserved). The practical work of Chen was inspired by the simple fact that the village of Weicun 蔚村 did not have embankments to the nearby river which resulted in frequents inundations.

Sources:
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1062.
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), 2195.
Yang Zhimin 楊直民 (1994). "Zhuweishuo tiyao 《築圍說》提要", in Ren Jiyu 任繼愈, ed. Zhongguo kexue jishu dianji tonghui 中國科學技術典籍通彙, part Nongxue 農學 (Zhengzhou: Henan jiaoyu chubanshe), Vol. 4, 31-32.