RareBooks in National Palace Museum, Song dynasty part1
Welcome to the National Palace Museum's collection of rare books from the Song dynasty! These texts are some of the most important works in Chinese culture, written by some of the most influential scholars of their time. You will find commentaries on ancient classics such as The Book of Mencius, memoirs from Zhao Gongwu who fled K'ai-feng when it was invaded in 1126, anthologies of works by Master Zhu Xi and Du Fu’s Poetry with Annotations. There are also commentaries on the Rites of Chou, Principal Meaning to The Book Of Etiquette And Ceremony, Erh-ya philology text and Illustrated Text Of The Hsuan-ho Emissary To Korea. Finally there is Six Writings By Master K'ung which was written after Confucius descendant Kong Duanyou moved south following the fall Northern Song Dynasty in 1126. We invite you to explore these incredible artifacts and gain an insight into the culture and history of China during this period.
1. Exegeses on the Book of Mencius
The traditional study of the Classics is one of the sources of knowledge of Chinese culture. A large number of notes and commentaries has been left by many talented scholars over the ages. These texts were transcribed by hand until the spread of woodblock printing. It was during the Later Tang of the Five Dynasties period that Prime Minister Feng Tao (882-946) recommended the use of wood block printing, which had been used privately since the Tang dynasty (618-907). The Directorate of Education subsequently arranged the carving of wood blocks for printing the Classics. The engravings of Classics made at that time were modeled after stone slabs engraved in the K'ai-ch'eng era (836-840). These were appended with annotations made since the Six Dynasties period; however, because they lacked the commentaries, they were known as single-annotated editions. Commentary editions were first engraved in 988 under Emperor Taizong of the Song dynasty. These works, however, did not include annotations and were thus considered single-commentary editions. Unfortunately, the Five Dynasties source editions of the Classics were lost over time. The Song single-commentary editions of the Classics remain the earliest extant and are thus extremely rare. Reading a single-commentary edition was inconvenient to readers, since they needed to refer separately to the annotations. It was not until the 12th century that editions joining annotations and commentaries were published. The publication was carried out by the Tea and Salt Supervisorate of the Chekiang Circuit under the charge of Huang T'ang, and they were thus called "Huang T'ang editions."
2. Memoirs of Master Chao-te's Readings in the Chun Studio
Zhao Gongwu, a native of Shandong, resided in the Chao-te ward of the capital K'ai-feng (Pien-liang)--hence his name "Mr. Chao-te" as indicated in the title of this book. After enemy Jin forces invaded the Song capital in 1126, he fled with his family to Sichuan. A Sichuan official, Ching Tu, had a collection of books, which he subsequently gave to Zhao Gongwu. Not counting repeats in his own collection, Zhao Gongwu had more than 24,500 volumes. He studied these texts and composed abstracts for them. At the time, Zhao Gongwu was living at Jung-chou and I-chun, so his book was entitled "Memoirs of Readings in the Chun Studio." His book was divided into four parts:the Chinese Classics, history, philosophy, and compendia. Each part composed a summary and a preface, and each subdivision had an individual preface, which was included with the abstract of the first book therein. Each book contains an abstract providing detailed information on the author, annotator, and period in which it was done. Zhao Gongwu provided an invaluable service to later scholars through his impartial and accurate research on the texts in his collection. The original book had four chuan (chapters) and was printed in Sichuan. Later, in Sichuan, 20 additional chapters were included by Zhao Gongwu's disciple, Yao Ying-chi. In 1249, an imprint was made in Ch'u-chou of Yao's version and hence known as the Ch'u-chou Edition. The following year, an addition of two more chapters ("Hou-chih") was made along
3. New Imprint of the Grand and Illuminous Explication of Huai-nan-tzu
The Huai-nan-tzu was written in the Western Han dynasty by Liu An, a member of the imperial clan. The book had 21 "central" volumes and 33 "peripheral" volumes. Nowadays, 21 volumes survive and are all from the central section.
4. New Revised Imprint of Du Fu's Poetry with Annotations
Du Fu was one of the greatest poets in Chinese history. Witnessing the An Lu-shan rebellion and the restoration of imperial rule in the mid-8th century, he lived through one of the most tumultuous periods of the Tang dynasty. His poetry is filled with concern for the country and his opinions on life at the time. Du Fu (712-770; Tang dynasty) with collected annotations by Tseng E and others of the Song dynasty 1225 Southern Song imprint by the Kwangtung Transport Supervisorate Du Fu (712-770) was one of the greatest poets in Chinese history Witnessing the An Lu-shan rebellion and the restoration of imperial rule in the mid-8th century, he lived through one of the most tumultuous periods of the Tang dynasty Consequently, his poetry is filled with concern for the country and his opinions on life at the time Due to his so-called "historical poetry," Du Fu has been acclaimed by later critics as the "Sage of Poetry" Du Fu's collected works of poetry, according to a record in the "New History of the Tang," was originally composed of 60 chuan (chapters). However, with the fall of the Tang dynasty in 907 and the chaos of the Five Dynasties (907-960), much of it was lost By the Song dynasty (960-1279), scholars were able to gather the surviving remnants and create a new edition Owing to the difficulty in reading Du Fu's poems, various annotations were added to make them more easily understood Various annotated imprints appeared throughout the Song dynasty and, in addition to the edition in the National Palace Museum's collection, six now survive They range in date from 1059 to the early 13th century and attest to the popularity of Du Fu's poetry in the Song dynasty
5. Anthology of Works by Master Zhu Xi
Zhu Xi was born in Nanping County, Fujian province, and died in Cangzhou. He incorporated the ideas of the "Loyang School" founded by the Ch'eng brothers, Ch'eng I and Ch'eng Hao. These intellectual currents were synthesized by Zhu Xi into the Southern Song "Fujian School" and an integral system known as "Zhu Xi Thought," which form a comprehensive expression of Song metaphysics. Zhu Xi (1130-1200), Song dynasty Southern Song Fujian imprint of the Shun-hsi period (1174-1189) Master Huian was a pseudonym of the Song exegete and writer Zhu Xi (style name Yuanhui [or Zhonghui]; sobriquets Huian, Huiweng, and Dunweng) Zhu Xi was born in Nanping County, Fujian province, and died in Cangzhou His ancestral home was Wuyuan County, Jiangxi Province Zhu Xi incorporated the ideas of the "Loyang School" founded by the Ch'eng brothers, Ch'eng I and Ch'eng Hao He also drew from the philosophy of the metaphysicians Chou Tun-i, Chang Tsai, and Shao Yung, and he was influenced by Buddhist and Taoist thought as well These intellectual currents were synthesized by Zhu Xi into the Southern Song "Fujian School" and an integral system known as "Zhu Xi Thought," which form a comprehensive expression of Song metaphysics For this contribution, Zhu Xi is considered one of the most important and influential figures in the development of Chinese metaphysics This Song edition of the "Anthology of Works by Master Huian" includes the official Chekiang edition published during the reign of Emperor Ningzong (1195-1223) as compiled by a Mr Ch'u of Ch'ang-shu County in
6. Commentaries on the Rites of Chou
This book is a commentary-only edition of the Confucian Classics, and is divided into 50 chapters. It is the only complete set of commentary-only editions known to date. This book is significant in the study of Chinese bibliography.
7. Principal Meaning to The Book of Etiquette and Ceremony
Wei Liaoweng (1178-1237), Song dynasty 1252 Southern Song imprint by Wei Keyu of Huizhou in the "Principal Meaning of the Nine Classics" Wei Liaoweng received his Presented Scholar (chin-shih) civil service degree in 1199 and went on to serve as an official in the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279). A colophon to another book notes that Wei Liaoweng served as a high official before running afoul of the prime minister. Demoted to a countryside position, he devoted his time to compiling information for his books on the essence of the Classics. His books were later printed in 1252 and placed in the Tz'u-yang Academy. However, in 1276, the books were destroyed during the collapse of the Song dynasty. This makes this surviving example all the more rare, something that was noted even in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) by a collector. Wei Liaoweng's "Chiu-ching yao-I" (Principal Meaning of The Nine Classics) was once in the court collection of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). However, by the latter Ming, it was no longer complete, with only four of the classics remaining--and even they were incomplete. For example, "Principal Meaning to The Book of Rites", according to the "Ssu-k'u ch'uan-shu" (Complete Library of the Four Treasuries) editors of the Qing court, was missing "chuan" (chapters) 30 and 31. In terms of private collections, the most was three Classics in a Shanghai collection. However, it appears that this edition was lost in the wars that plagued modern China.
The "Erh-ya" is an ancient text devoted to philology, but the identity of the author(s) still remains unclear today. As to the age of the text, the Qing (1644-1911) editors of the "Ssu-k'u ch'uan-shu" (Complete Library of the Four Treasuries) indicated that such figures as the Duke of Chou and Confucius (551-479 BC) relied on it. In the Five Dynasties period (907-960), a compilation of the Confucian Classics was carved on the basis of stone engravings from the Tang dynasty (618-907).
9. Illustrated Text of the Hsuan-ho Emissary to Korea
Geographical and travel texts have a long history in China, extending as far back as the Shang and Zhou dynasties (17th-3rd c. BC), when specific officials dealt with compiling and organizing geographical texts. And following "Fo-kuo chi" (Record of the Land of the Buddha) by the Jin (265-317) monk Fa-hsien, such texts became increasingly popular. This book is an imprint made in 1167, representing the earliest known edition of this text. China and Korea, due to their geographical proximity, have long had close ties. Consequently, information about Korea in Chinese records is quite plentiful In addition to individual references to things Korean, many Chinese texts are known to have dealt specifically with Korea. Although some of them have survived, Xu Jing's text is probably the richest in terms of content. It is also the oldest text, making it a precious source of information in the study of ancient Sino-Korean relations and the history of foreign communications. Xu Jing originally completed the text, including illustrations, in 1124. However, with the fall of the Northern Song dynasty in 1126, the illustrations were lost In 1167, Hsu Ch'an, the nephew of Xu Jing, had the text printed for the first time. Although unable to retrieve the illustrations, he nonetheless referred to them in the title of the printing. From that time to the middle of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), the book was not reprinted. At the end of the Ming, the text was transcribed and reprinted, and the editors of the "Ssu-k'u ch'uan-shu" Complete Library of the Four Treasuries in the Qing dynasty 1644-