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Chinese Literature
Kaopan yushi 考槃餘事 "Remnant Matters of Rearing the Hut"

The Kaopan yushi 考槃餘事 "Remnant matters of rearing the hut", occasionally written 考盤餘事, is a collection of short essays on the "tools of the study" (wenfang qingju 文房清玩) written and compiled by the Ming period scholar Tu Long 屠隆 (1542-1605), courtesy name Tu Changqing 屠長卿 or Tu Weizhen 屠緯真, style Chishui 赤水 or Hongbao jushi 鴻苞居士. He came from Yinxian 鄞縣, Zhejiang, obtained the jinshi degree during the Wanli reign 萬曆 (1573-1619) and was magistrate (zhixian 知縣) of Yingshang 潁上, then of Qingpu 青浦, and later secretary (zhushi 主事) in the Ministry of Rites (libu 禮部). After his retirement he made a life as a book trader. Tu Long was a very knowledgeable person and published himself a lot of writings, like Hongbao 鴻苞, Youju yabian 游具雅編, Wenju yabian 文具雅編, Huajian 畫箋, Caihaoji 彩毫記, Zhenghuangkao 荒政考, Boluoguan yigao 娑羅館逸稿, Bologuan qingyan 娑羅館清言, Mingliaozi you 冥寥子游, Qingyan 清言 and Xu qingyan 續清言.
The 4 juan "scrolls" long book is divided into "memorandum tablets" or comments (jian 箋). The name of the book is derived from an expression in an air of the Shiji 詩經 "Book of Songs", stating that "he has reared his hut" (transl. Legge). The first parts explains the use of calligraphies (shu 書), rubbings and model calligraphies (tie 帖), the second part that of paintings (hua 畫), paper (zhi 紙), ink (mo 墨), brush (bi 筆), inkstone (yan 硯) and zither (qin 琴), the third part provides information about incenses (xiang 香), teas (cha 茶), pots and vases (penwan 盆玩), tools with shape or showing fishes and cranes (yu he 魚鶴) and huts for contemplation or the preparation of medicine and tea (shanzhai 山齋), and the last part furniture and clothes (qiju qifu 起居器服), tools for the study from brushes and inkstones to seals and cutting knives (wenfang qiju 文房器具), and tools for outdoor activities like fishing rods, boats or gourds containing water or wine (youju 游具). The range of these tools goes far beyond the often-quotes "four treasuries of the study" (wenfang sibao 文房四寶, namely ink, inkstone, brush and paper).
Tu Long's descendant Tu Ji 屠繼 republished the book during the Qianlong reign 乾隆 (1736-1796) of the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) and wrote a preface in which he explains that rarely a scholar devoted a book to the instruments with which the scholar and literatus used to work. Tu Long was one of the few who did so, probably except Zhao Xihu 趙希鵠 (Dongtian qinglu 洞天清錄) and Cao Zhao 曹昭 (Gegu yaolun 格古要論). The Kaopan yushi was commented by the collector and publisher Qian Daxin 錢大昕. The Kaopan yushi is included in the reprint series Baoyantang miji 寶顏堂秘笈, Longwei mishu 龍威秘書, Shuoku 說庫 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編.

Sources: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1999. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

書箋 Shujian Calligraphies
帖箋 Tiejian Model calligraphies
畫箋 Huajian Paintings
紙箋 Zhijian Paper
墨箋 Mojian Inks
筆箋 Bijian Brushes
研箋 (i.e. 硯) Yanjian Inkstones
琴箋 Qinjian Zithers
香箋 Xiangjian Incenses
茶箋 Chajian Teas
盆玩箋 Penwanjian Bonsai pots and other decorative objects
魚鶴箋 Yuhejian Objects with shape or showing fishes and cranes
山齋箋 Shanzhaijian Contemplation huts
起居器服箋 Qiju qifu jian Furniture and clothes
文房器具箋 Wenfang qiju jian Tools for the study
游具箋 Youjujian Objects for outdoor activities
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

August 29, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail