CHINAKNOWLEDGE - a universal guide for China studies | HOME | About
Encoding: Unicode (UTF-8) [Location: HOME > Literature > Masters and philosophers > Encylopedias > Yuanjian leihan]

Chinese Literature
Yuanjian leihan 淵鑒類函 "Categorized Boxes of the Yuanjian Studio"

The Yuanjian leihan 淵鑒類函 "Categorized boxes of the Yuanjian Studio" is an enyclopedia compiled on imperial command by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholars Zhang Ying 張英 (1637-1708) and Wang Shizhen 王士禎 (1634-1711). Zhang Ying took also part in the compilation of the imperial geography Da-Qing yitong zhi 大清一統志, the political handbook Zhengzhi dianxun 政治典訓, and the military annals of the campaign against Galdan, Pingding Shuomo fanglüe 平定朔漠方略. His collected writings are published in the books Dusutang wenji 篤素堂文集 and Cunchengtang shiji 存誠堂詩集. Wang Shizhen has written a lot of books, among others Juyilu 居易錄, Chibei outan 池北偶談, Xiangzu biji 香祖筆記, Huanghua jiwen 皇華紀聞, Yuyang wenlüe 漁洋文略, Zaishu tushi 載書圖詩, Tang xian sanwei ji 唐賢三味集, and Wudai shihua 五代詩話. The 450 juan "scrolls" long Yuanjian leihan was finished in 1710. Yuanjian "Profound Mirror" was the name of a study in the imperial palace. The name leihan "categorized boxes" is derived of a Ming period 明 (1368-1644) anthology of ancient encylopedic entries, the Tang leihan 唐類函 compiled by Yu Anqi 俞安期. The Tang leihan included quotations from the Yiwen leiju 藝文類聚, Chuxueji 初學記, Beitang shuchao 北堂書鈔 and Baishi liutie 白氏六帖, but no quotations from poetry and prose belles-lettres. The Kangxi Emperor 康熙 (r. 1662-1722) therefore ordered Zhang to supplement quotations from the encyclopedias Taiping yulan 太平御覽, Yuhai 玉海, Shantang kaosuo 山堂考索 and Tianzhongji 天中記, as well as from literary sources and histories. Zhang Ying expanded the categories to 45, with 2,536 sub-chapters in total. The arrangement of the encyclopedia is very clear and lucid and it is easy to read. The original paragraphs of the Tang leihan and those added by Zhang Ying are marked as such. For each entry, a stringent pattern has been used to highlight the use and meaning of a word. First, dictionaries and other writings served to explain the meaning. Secondly, quotations from different kinds of literature present literary allusions, arranged chronologically. Thirdly, word composita (dui'ou 對偶) are listed with their meaning. Fourthly, exemplary sentences from poems and rhapsodies are presented, and finally whole poems and small texts. Compared to the often-used encyclopedia Taiping yulan from the Song period 宋 (960-1279), the Yuanjian leihan is a much richer treasury of ancient literature.
There is a print by the Imperial household from 1710, and a downscaled copy of the Guxiang Studio 古香齋 made by the Wuying Hall 武英殿 in 1748. A reprint has been made during the Guangxu reign 光緒 (1875-1908) by Master Kong's 孔氏 Sanshiyousanwanjuan Studio 三十有三萬卷堂 and the Dianshi Studio 點石齋 in Shanghai. In 1887, the Shanghai tongwen press 上海同文書局 published a reprint, and again in 1916, published by the Tongwen library 同文圖書館. In 1932, the Saoyeshanfang Studio 掃葉山房 in Shanghai published a new reprint. The Yuanjian leihan 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. 2058. 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
歲時 Suishi The seasons
Di The earth
帝王 Diwang Emperors and rulers
后妃 Houfei Empresses and consorts
儲宮 Chugong Palaces
帝戚 Diqin Imperial relatives
設官 Sheguan State offices
封爵 Fengjue Titles of nobility
政術 Zhengshu Politics
禮儀 Liyi Rites and etiquette
Yue Music
文學 Wenxue Learning
武功 Wugong Warfare
邊塞 Biansai Border affairs
Ren Human affairs
釋教 Shijiao Buddhism
道教 Daojiao Daoism
靈異 Lingyi Spirits and supernatural things
方術 Fangshu Magic
巧藝 Qiaoyi Skills and arts
京邑 Jingyi The capital and the cities
州郡 Zhoujun Local administration
居處 Juchu Buildings
產業 Chanye Production
Huo Fire
珍寶 Zhenbao Jewels
布帛 Bubo Textiles
儀飾 Yishi Ritual instruments
服飾 Fushi Adornments
器物 Qiwu Tools and instruments
Zhou Boats
Che Carts
食物 Shiwu Food
五穀 Guwu The five grains
Yao Medical herbs
菜蔬 Caishu Vegetables
Guo Fruits
Hua Flowers
Cao Herbs
Mu Trees
Niao Birds
Shou Beasts
鱗介 Linjie Scaly animals
蟲豸 Chongzhi Worms and insects

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

January 21, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail