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Canshu 蠶書 and other books on sericulture

Jun 15, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Canshu 蠶書 "The Book of Silkworms" is an agricultural treatise compiled during the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) by Qin Guan 秦觀 (1049-1100), courtesy name Shaoyou 少遊 or Taixu 太虛, style Huaihai jushi 淮海居士.

Qin hailed from Gaoyou 高郵 (today in Jiangsu) and was famous as a friend of the writer Su Shi 蘇軾 (Su Dongpo 蘇東坡, 1037-1101). In the early Yuanyou reign-period 元祐 (1086-1093), he became proofreader (zhengzi 正字) of the Palace Library (mishusheng 秘書省) and junior compiler (bianxiuguan 編修官) of the Historiography Institute (guoshiyuan 國史院) as a secretary of Su Shi, who was himself appointed erudite (boshi 博士) in the National University (taixue 太學). In 1094, Qin was appointed controller-general (tongpan 通判) of Hangzhou 杭州, and then of Leizhou 雷州. When Emperor Huizong 宋徽宗 (r. 1100-1125) ascended to the throne, Qin Guan retired and lived in Tengzhou 藤州, where he died. His collected writings are called Huaihai ji 淮海集 and Niyou ji 逆旅集.

The book Canshu was written on the base of observations Qin Guan made in Yanzhou 兖州 near Gaoyou, and as a result of talks he had with the women occupied with the raising of silkworms and spinning yarn. In that region, nearly all women engaged in silk production, as the preface explains. A closer investigation shows that the text was only brought into the shape of a book by Qin Guan's son Qin Zhen 秦湛 (fl. 1116), courtesy name Chudu 處度.

The Canshu is divided into ten chapters talking about the treatment of the moth's eggs (Zhongbian 種變), xxx (Shishi 時食), (Zhiju 制居), cooking the cocoons (Huazhi 化治), xxx (Qianyan 錢眼), xxx (Suoxing 瑣星), xxx (Tianti 添梯), spinning wheel (Che 車), sacrifices to the Goddess of Silk Can Shen 蠶神 (Qishen 祈神), and silk production along the city states of the Silk Road (Rongzhi 戎治). The text is very short and clear, but comprehensive, so that the statements in the Canshu can be compared with those in the chapter Cansang 蠶桑 of the book Nongshu 農書 by Chen Fu 陳旉 (1075-?). It was therefore appended to this book in its edition in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

The Canshu is China's earliest preserved book describing the business of silk production as a whole. Statements in the early treatises Fan Shengzhi shu 汜勝之書, Qimin yaoshu 齊民要術 or Sishi zuanyao 四時纂要 are very brief and selective, and two Tang-period 唐 (618-907) books with the title Canjing 蠶經 as well as Sun Guangxian's 孫光憲 (896-968) book Canshu are lost.

The Canshu is to be found in the series Shuofu 説郛, Yimen guangdu 夷門廣牘, Bailing xueshan 百陵學山, Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書, Longwei mishu 龍威秘書, Qingzhaotang congshu 清照堂叢書, Nongxue congshu 農學叢書 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編.

Table 1. Traditional Chinese books on sericulture
Note: Most general books on agriculture also include chapters on mulberry cultivation and silk production.
蠶織法 (lost) Canzhifa (Han) 王景 Wang Jing
益蠶說 Yicanshuo (Wei) 劉靖 Liu Jing
蠶經 一卷 (lost) Canjing (Tang) NN
蠶經 二卷 (lost) Canjing (Tang) NN
蠶書 二卷 (lost) Canshu (Wudai) 孫光憲 Sun Guangxian
淮南王養蠶經 (lost) Huainan wang yangcan jing (Song) NN
蠶書 一卷 Canshu (part of Chen Fu Nongshu 陳旉農書) (Song) 秦湛 Qin Zhan
蠶書 Canshu (Song) 秦觀 Qin Guan
栽桑圖說 (lost) Caisang tushuo (Yuan) NN
蠶政輯要 Canzheng jiyao (Yuan) 司農司 The Supervisor of the National Granaries
蠶經 (養蠶經) Canjing (Yangcanjing) (Ming) 黃省曾 Huang Shengzeng
蠶訓 Canxun (Ming) 金瑶 Jin Yao
蠶譜 (lost) Canpu (Ming) 許聞造 Xu Wenzao
吳中蠶法 (lost) Wuzhong canfa (Ming) 沈如封 Shen Rufeng
蠶桑志 Cansangzhi (Ming) 陳克仕 Chen Keshi
山蠶說 Sancanshuo (Qing) 孫廷銓 Sun Qingquan
蠶桑指要 Cansang zhiyao (Qing) 朱斌 Zhu Bin
養蠶譜全集 Yangcanpu quanji (Qing) 蒲松齡 Pu Songling
東南蠶事論 Dongnan canshi lun (Qing) 王忠清 Wang Zhongqing
幽風廣義 Binfeng guangyi (Qing) 楊屾 Yang Shen
蠶政摘要 Canzheng cuoyao (Qing) 楊屾 Yang Shen
農桑易知錄 Nongsang yizhi lu (Qing) 鄭之橋 Zheng Zhiqiao
蠶桑說 Cansangshuo (Qing) 沈潛 Shen Qian
九畹故山蠶記 Jiuwan gu shancan ji (Qing) 劉九畹 Liu Jiuwan
養山蠶成法 Yang shancan chengfa (Qing) 山東巡撫衙門 Shanxong Xunfu Yamen
蠶桑說 Cansangshuo (Qing) 勞世源 Lao Shiyuan
看蠶詞 Kancansi (Qing) 方觀承 Fang Guancheng
山蠶譜 Shancanpu (Qing) 張崧 Zhang Song
蠶桑說 Canshangshuo (Qing) 李拔 Li Ba
增訂蠶桑成法 Zengding cansang chengfa (Qing) 譚之紀 Tan Zhiji
蠶說 (lost) Canshuo (Qing) 王縈緒 Wang Yingxu
養蠶成法 Yangcan chengfa (Qing) 韓夢周 Han Mengzhou
養山蠶說 (lost) Yang shancan shuo (Qing) 郝敬修 Hao Jingxiu
蠶桑圖法 (lost) Sansang tufa (Qing) 黃克顯 Huang Kexian
蠶桑樂府 Cansang yuefu (Qing) 沈炳震 Shen Bingzhen
蠶事統紀 Canshi tongji (Qing) 崔應榴 Cui Yingliu, 錢馥 Qian Fu
桑志 Sangzhi (Qing) 李聿求 Li Yiqiu
蠶桑雜記 Cansang zaji (Qing) 陳斌 Chen Bin
蠶桑須知 Cansang xuzhi (Qing) 葉世倬 Ye Shizhuo
農桑芻言 (lost) Nongsang chuyan (Qing) 林鶴年 Lin Henian
種桑捷法 (lost) Zhongsang jiefa (Qing) 賀某 He N
蠶桑輯要 Cansang jiyao (Qing) 高銓 Gao Quan
吳興蠶書 Wuxing canshu (Qing) 高銓 Gao Quan
蠶桑錄要 Cansang luyao (Qing) 黃恩彤 Huang Entong
教種橡說 Jiao zhongxiang shuo (Qing) 凌君泰 Ling Juntai
橡繭詩 Xiangjianshi (Qing) 程恩澤 Cheng Enze
勸襄陽士民種桑詩說 Quan Xiangyang shimin zhongsang shishuo (Qing) 周凱 Zhou Kai
橡繭圖說 Xiangjian tushuo (Qing) 劉祖憲 Liu Zuxian
蠶桑寶要 Cansang baoyao (Qing) 周春溶 Zhou Chunrong
蠶桑簡編 Cansang jianbian (Qing) 楊名颺 Yang Mingyang
蠶桑答問 Cansang dawen (Qing) 狄繼善 Di Jishan
蠶桑興利法 Cansang xingli fa (Qing) NN
課桑事宜 Kesang shiyi (Qing) 陸獻 Lu Xian
山左蠶桑考 Shanzuo cansang kao (Qing) 陸獻 Lu Xian
樗繭譜 Chujianpu (Qing) 鄭珍 Zheng Zhen
玉屏蠶書 Yuping canshu (Qing) 王成存 Wang Chengcun
蠶桑說 Cansangshuo (Qing) 沈練 Shen Lian
廣蠶桑說 Guang cansang shuo (Qing) 沈練 Shen Lian
蠶桑切要
蠶桑切要續編
Cansang qieyao
Cansang qieyao xubian
(Qing) 何石安 He Shi'an
蠶桑合編 Cansang hebian (Qing) 何石安 He Shi'an, 魏默深 Wei Moshen
試行蠶桑說 Shixing cansang shuo (Qing) 高其垣 Gao Qiyuan
西吳蠶略 Xiwu canlüe (Qing) 費星甫 Fei Xingfu
桑譜 (lost) Sangpu (Qing) 高時傑 Gao Shijie
蠶桑事宜 Cansang shiyi (Qing) 鄒祖堂 Zou Zutang
放養山蠶法 Fangyang shancan fa (Qing) 常恩 Chang En
沂水桑麻話 Yishui sangma hua (Qing) 吳樹聲 Wu Shusheng
蠶桑瑣說 Cansang suoshuo (Qing) NN
蠶桑簡便錄 Cansang jianbian lu (Qing) 胡濟川 Hu Jichuan
蠶桑輯要合編 Cansang jiyao hebian (Qing) 尹紹烈 Yin Shaolie
蠶桑說略 Cansang shuolüe (Qing) 宗星藩 Zong Xingfan
蠶桑彙編 Sansang huibian (Qing) 迮常五 Ze Changwu
蠶桑圖說合編 Cansang tushuo hebian (Qing) NN
淮南課桑備要 Huainan kesang beiyao (Qing) 方浚頤 Fang Junyi
種桑說 Zhongsangshuo (Qing) 吳烜 Wu Xuan
蠶桑捷效 Cansang jiexiao (Qing) 吳烜 Wu Xuan
育蠶要旨 Yucan yaozhi (Qing) 董開榮 Dong Kairong
蠶桑輯要 Cansang jiyao (Qing) 沈秉成 Shen Bingcheng
蠶桑輯要 Cansang jiyao (Qing) 胡雪階 Hu Xuejie
蠶桑心悟 Cansang xinwu (Qing) 魯仲山家傳 Lu Zhongshan jia zhuan
五畝居桑蠶清課 Wumuju sangsan qingke (Qing) 曹笙南 Cao Shengnan
蠶桑實濟 Cansang shiji (Qing) 陳光熙 Chen Guangxi
蠶桑述要 Cansang shuyao (Qing) 俞墉 Yu Yong
蠶桑寶訓 Cansang baoxun (Qing) 廣西撫憲 Guangxi Fuxian
湖蠶述 Hucanshu (Qing) 汪日禎 Wang Rizhen
蠶桑摘要 Cansang zhaiyao (Qing) 任蘭生 Ren Lansheng
蠶桑輯要合編 Cansang jiyao hebian (Qing) NN
蠶桑備要 Cansang beiyao (Qing) 盛宣懷 Sheng Xuanhuai
廣蠶桑說輯補 Guang cansangshuo jibu (Qing) 仲學輅 Zhong Xuelu
蠶桑備覽 Cansang beilan (Qing) 惲畹香 Yun Wanxiang
蠶桑俗歌 Cansang suge (Qing) 張世準 Zhang Shizhun
種橡養蠶說 Zhongxiang yangcan shuo (Qing) 林肇元刊 Lin Zhaoyuan (publ.)
蠶桑易知錄 (lost) Cansang yizhi lu (Qing) 姚某 Yao N
蠶桑提要 Cansang tiyao (Qing) 方大提 Fang Dati
蠶桑問答 Cansang wenda (Qing) 溫中翰 Wen Zhonghan
蠶桑纂要 Cansang zuanyao (Qing) 張玉樓 Zhang Yulou
蠶桑輯要(樹桑養蠶要略) Cansang jiyao (Shusang yangcan yaolüe) (Qing) NN
蠶桑簡易法 Cansang jianyi fa (Qing) 馬丕瑶 Ma Piyao
蠶桑輯要合編 Cansang jiyao hebian (Qing) 河南蠶桑局 Henan Cansangju
蠶桑輯要 Cansang jiyao (Qing) 譚鐘麟 Tan Zhonglin
養山蠶事宜 Yang shancan shiyi (Qing) 秦楠 Qin Nan
蠶事要略 Canshi yaolüe (Qing) 張行孚 Zhang Xingfu
蠶桑織務紀要 Cansang zhiwu jiyao (Qing) 河南蠶桑局 Henan Cansangju
蠶桑簡明輯說 Cansang jianming jishuo (Qing) 黃世本 Huang Shiben
蠶桑須知 Cansang xuzhi (Qing) 黃壽昌 Huang Shouchang
桑蠶說 Sangcanshuo (Qing) 江毓昌 Jiang Yuchang
山蠶易簡 Shancan yijian (Qing) 茹朝政 Ru Chaozheng
教民種桑養蠶繅絲織綢四法 Jiaomin zhongsang yangcan saosi zhichou si fa (Qing) 黄仁濟 Huang Renji
蠶桑摘要 Cansang zhaiyao (Qing) 羊復禮 Yang Fuli
種桑養蠶格式 Zhongsang yangcan geshi (Qing) NN
蠶桑萃編 Cansang cuibian (Qing) 衛傑 Wei Jie
蠶桑淺說 Cansang qianshuo (Qing) 衛傑 Wei Jie
蠶桑圖說 Cansang tushuo (Qing) 衛傑 Wei Jie
課蠶要錄 Kecan yaolu (Qing) 廖靜波 Liao Jingbo
種桑成法 Zhongsang chengfa (Qing) 湯聘珍 Tang Binzhen
粵中蠶桑芻言 Yuezhong cansang chuyan (Qing) 盧燮宸 Lu Xiechen
蠶桑說 Cansang shuo (Qing) NN
勸種桑說 Quan zhongsang shuo (Qing) 呂桂芬 Lü Guifen
教種山蠶譜 Jiao zhong shancan pu (Qing) 江國璋 Jiang Guozhang
蠶桑要言 Cansang yaoyan (Qing) 呂廣文 Lü Guangwen
蠶桑圖說 Cansang tushuo (Qing) 王世熙 Wang Shixi
蠶桑備要 Cansang beiyao (Qing) 曾鉌 Zeng He, 劉青黎 Liu Qingli
蠶桑譜 Cansangpu (Qing) 陳啟源 Chen Qiyuan
蠶桑說 Cansangshuo (Qing) 趙璸 Zhao Bin
蠶桑大略 Cansang dalüe (Qing) 葉向榮 Ye Xiangrong
蠶桑說 Cansangshuo (Qing) 葉向榮 Ye Xiangrong
養蠶歌括 Yangcan gekuo (Qing) 劉光蕡 Liu Guangfen
粤東飼八蠶法 Yuedong si bacan fa (Qing) 蔣斧 Jiang Fu
裨農最要 三卷 Binong zuiyao (Qing) 陳開沚 Chen Kaizhi
勸桑說 Quansangshuo (Qing) 陳開沚 Chen Kaizhi
蠶桑捷要答問合刊 Cansang jieyao dawen hekan (Qing) NN
蠶桑輯要 Cansang jiyao (Qing) 陳仲昭 Chen Zhongzhao
蠶桑輯要 Cansang jiyao (Qing) 鄭文同 Zheng Wentong
蠶桑答問 Cansang dawen (Qing) 朱祖榮 Zhu Zurong
續蠶桑說 Xu cansangshuo (Qing) 黃秉鈞 Huang Bingjun
蠶桑稽古編 Cansang jigubian (Qing) NN
養蠶說 Yangcanshuo (Qing) 于寶軒 Yu Baoxuan, 楊蔚本 Yang Weiben
桑政邇言 Sangzheng eryan (Qing) 徐樹銘 Xu Shuming
蠶桑速效編 Cansang suxiao bian (Qing) 曹倜 Cao Ti
蠶業白話 Canye baihua (Qing) 四川蠶桑公社 Sichuan Cansang Gongshe
蠶桑摘要 Cansang zhaiyao (Qing) 趙淵 Zhao Yuan
蠶桑淺說 Cansang qianshuo (Qing) 龍璋述 Long Zhangshu
蠶桑簡要錄 Cansang jianyao lu (Qing) 饒敦秩 Rao Dunzhi
種桑質說 Zhongsang zhishuo (Qing) 饒敦秩 Rao Dunzhi
栽桑問答 Caisang wenda (Qing) 潘守廉 Pan Shoulian
養蠶要術 Yangcan yaoshu (Qing) 潘守廉 Pan Shoulian
椿蠶淺說 Chuncan qianshuo (Qing) 潘守廉 Pan Shoulian
椿蠶法程 Chuncan facheng (Qing) 潘守廉 Pan Shoulian
蠶桑秘要 Cansang miyao (Qing) 胡榮 Hu Rong
野蠶錄 Yecanlu (Qing) 王元綎 Wang Yuanting
蠶桑輯要略編 Cansang jiyao lüebian (Qing) 徐賡熙 Xu Gengxi
蠶桑述要 Cansang shuyao (Qing) 李向庭 Li Xiangting
養蠶必讀 Yangcan bidu (Qing) 莊景仲 Zhuang Jingzhong
蠶桑驗要 Cansang yanyao (Qing) 吳詒善 Wu Yishan
蠶桑淺說 Cansang qianshuo (Qing) 劉桂馨 Liu Guiqing
蠶桑說 Cansangshuo (Qing) 李君鳳 Li Junfeng
蠶桑芻言 Cansang chuyan (Qing) 王景松 Wang Jingsong
蠶桑淺要 Cansang qianyao (Qing) 林志恂 Lin Zhixun
推廣種橡樹育山蠶說 Tuiguang zhongxiang shuyu shancan shuo (Qing) 曹廣權 Cao Guangquan
彙纂種植喂養椿蠶淺說 Huizuan zhongzhi weiyang chuncan qianshuo (Qing) 許廷瑞 Xu Tingrui
山蠶譜 Shancanpu (Qing) 洪某 Hong N
種椿養蠶各法 Zhongchun yangcan gefa (Qing) 方某 Fang N
椿蠶說 Chuncanshuo (Qing) 王戴中 Wang Daizhong
蠶桑圖說 Cansang tushuo (Qing) NN
桑蠶說 Sangcanshuo (Qing) NN
蠶桑簡法 Cansang jianfa (Qing) 安徽蠶業講習所 Anhui Canye Jiangxisuo
中西蠶桑述略 Zhong-Xi cansang shulüe (Qing) 陳祖善 Chen Zushan
蠶桑輯要略編 Cansang jiyao lüebian (Qing) 周錫綸 Zhou Xilun
養蠶白話 Yangcan baihua (Qing) 吳宗周 Wu Zongzhou
蠶桑白話 Cansang baihua (Qing) 陳千材 Chan Qiancai, 徐謙山 Xu Qianshan
山蠶撮要 Shancan cuoyao (Qing) NN
藝桑總論 Yisang zonglun (Qing) NN
桑事圖譜 Sangshi tupu (Qing) NN
蠶事圖譜 Canshi tupu (Qing) NN
飼蠶詩說 Sican shishuo (Qing) NN
山蠶簡編 Shancan jianbian (Qing) NN
農桑淺說 Nongsang qianshuo (Qing) 周彤桂 Zhou Tonggui
山蠶圖說 Shancan tushuo (Qing) 夏與賡 Xia Yugeng
柞蠶雜志 Zuocan zazhi (Qing) 曾韞 Zeng Yun
吳苑栽桑記 Wuyuan caisang ji (Qing) 孫福保 Sun Fubao
養蠶秘訣 Yangcan mijue Qing) 張文藝 Zhang Wenyi
種桑法 Zhongsangfa (Qing) 江志伊 Jiang Zhiyi
飼蠶法 Sicanfa (Qing) 江志伊 Jiang Zhiyi
蠶桑說略 Cansang shuolüe (Qing) 李應珏 Li Yingjue
廣蠶桑說輯補校訂 Guang cansang shuo jibu jiaoding (Qing) 章震福 Zhang Zhenfu
蠶桑淺說 Cansang qianshuo (Qing) 呂瑞廷 Lü Ruiting
蠶桑要法 Cansang yaofa (Qing) 沈春輝 Shen Chunhui
蠶桑答問 Cansang dawen (Qing) 陳諤 Chen E
飼蠶淺說 Sican qianshuo (Qing) NN
蠶桑簡編 Cansang jianbian (Qing) 劉振清 Liu Zhenqing
蠶桑簡編 Cansang jianbian (Qing) 譚繼詢 Tan Jixun
樗蠶新法 Chucan xinfa (Qing) NN
橡蠶芻言 Xiangcan chuyan (Qing) 孫尚質 Sun Shangzhi
橡蠶新編 Xiangcan xinbian (Qing) 許鵬翊 Xu Pengyi
柳蠶新編 Liucan xinbian (Qing) 許鵬翊 Xu Pengyi
烘山蠶類日記簿 Hongshan canlei riji bu (Qing) NN
山蠶演說 Shancan yanshuo (Qing) 徐矩易 Xu Juyi
棡蠶通說 Gangcan tongshuo (Qing) 秦枬 Qin Zhan / 秦楠 Qin Nan
柞蠶彙志 Zuocan huizhi (Qing) 董元亮 Dong Yuanliang
柞蠶簡法
柞蠶簡法補遺
Zuocan jianfa
Zuocan jianfa buyi
(Qing) 徐瀾 Xu Lan
安徽勸辦柞蠶案 Anhui qianban zuocan an (Qing) 安徽勸業道署 Anhui Quanyedao Shu
蠶桑絡絲織綢圖說 Cansang luosi zhichou tushuo (Qing) 吳友如 Wu Youru
養蠶經 Yangcanjing (Qing) 李元貞 Li Yuanzhen
蠶桑彙編 Cansang huibian (Qing) NN
蠶桑淺說 Cansang qianshuo (Qing) NN
欂欏繭 Boluojian (Qing) NN
勸辦桐廬柞蠶歌 Quanban tonglu zuocan ge (Qing) 陳蕃誥 Chen Fangao
蠶桑論 Cansanglun (Qing) 蠶桑論山西農學編輯會 Cansang Lun Shanxi Nongxue bianjihui
嶺南蠶桑要則 Lingnan cansang yaoze (Qing) 賴鳳韻 Lai Fengyun
山蠶講義 Shancan jiangyi (Qing) 朱銑 Zhu Xian
蠶桑求是草 Cansang qiushi cao (Qing) 李建中 Li Jianzhong
Source: Hua 1992.
Sources:
Gao Guojin 高國金, Sheng Bangyao 盛邦躍 (2013). "Tong-Guang zhi ji quanke canshu de xuankan yu liuchuan 同光之際勸課蠶書的撰刊與流傳", Zhongguo nongshi 中國農史, 2013 (4): 122-133.
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