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Chinese Literature
Zishi jinghua 子史精華 "Pure Blossoms of the Masters and the Historians"

The Zishi jinghua 子史精華 "Pure blossoms of the masters and the historians" is an encyclopedia compiled on imperial order by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholars Wu Shiyu 吳士玉, Wu Xiang 吳襄, Zhang Tingyu 張廷玉, Jiang Tingxi 蔣廷錫, Zhang Zhao 張照, and others. The compilation took place between 1721 and 1727. The traditional literary categories of the histories and the so-called "masters" are the widest and richest. For this reason, the Kangxi Emperor 康熙 (r. 1662-1722) ordered to select the most important paragraphs among the writings of the two categories, in order to provide a useful handbook giving a convenient overview of these types of literature, famous statements and idioms, and often-read stories. The 160 juan "scrolls" long book is divided in 30 encyclopedic categories, with 260 sub-chapters. The quoted paragraphs are to be found as explanations to keywords, to which remarks are added for a better understanding. The Zishi jinghua has, inspite of all its strengths, been criticized for the inconvenience and inadequate arrangement of the keywords.
There is a print by the Wuying Hall 武英殿 from 1727, a print from 1892, a print by the Shanghai tongwen press 上海同文 from 1884, and one by the Shanghai jicheng tushu press 上海集成圖書公司 from 1851. In 1991, the Beijing guji press 北京古籍出版社 published a reprint. The Zishi jinghua is included in the reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2059. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.
Zhao Hankun 趙含坤 (2005). Zhongguo leishu 中國類書, pp. 50-53, 104, 140. Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe.

Tian Heaven
Di The earth
帝王 Diwang Emperors and rulers
皇親 Huangqin The imperial relatives
歲時 Suishi The seasons
禮儀 Liyi Ritual and etiquette
設官 Sheguan State offices
政求 Zhengqiu Government
文學 Wenxue Civilian activities
武功 Wugong War
邊塞 Biansai Border affairs
倫常 Lunchang Human relationship
品行 Pinxing Comportment according to social status
人事 Renshi Human activities
樂部 Yuebu Music
釋道 Shidao Buddhism and Daoism
靈異 Lingyi Sprits and strange things
方術 Fangshu Magic
巧藝 Qiaoqi Skills and arts
形色 Xingse Shape and colour
言語 Yanyu Language
婦女 Funü Women
動植 Dongzhi Animals and plants
儀飾 Yishi Ritual tools
服飾 Fushi Adornments
居處 Juchu Buildings
產業 Chanye Production
食饌 Shixuan Eating
珍寶 Zhenbao Jewels
器物 Qiwu Tools and implements

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

January 21, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail