Anthology of Works by Master Zhu Xi

AnonymousAD 960-AD 1279

National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum
Taipei, Taiwan

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 the "Catalog of Works in the Collection of the Iron Zither and Bronze Sword Tower." All one hundred chapters were edited by Zhu Xi's third son, Zhu Cai. At the start of the Yuan dynasty, the official Chekiang edition of the Ningzong reign was preserved at the West Lake Academy in Hangchow. In the Ming dynasty, they were restored and reprinted. The "Records of Books in the Pi Song Tower Collection" and the "Catalog of Rare Books at the National Central Library" records the Fujian Chien-an Academy edition published in 1265 under Emperor Duzong of Song. This work includes the original 100 volumes edited by Zhu Xi as well as 11 sequel volumes edited by Wang Sui and 10 collected volumes edited by Yu Shih-lu. In 1532, under the Jiajing Emperor in the Ming dynasty, the Surveillance Commissioner of Fujian ordered the Zhu Xi anthology to be reprinted based on the Fujian edition and collated against the Chekiang edition. This work is the most widely used edition today. The edition preserved in the collection of the National Palace Museum was published during Zhu Xi's lifetime, and it thus predates the later editions described here. Considerable variation exists between this edition and the subsequently revised Fujian and Chekiang versions in terms of the verse recorded. The earlier work contains several poems omitted in the latter two editions. It is printed, moreover, in careful and neat typeface. Mentioned only in the "T'ien-lu lin-lang hsu-mu" (Additional Catalog of the T'ien-lu lin-lang), it is one of only a rare few extant works from its period and an invaluable historical document. This edition was preserved by a Mr. Mao of Ch'ang-shu county in the former collection of the Chi-ku Pavilion. It later passed through many hands before entering the palace collection, where it was stored in the Chao-jen Hall.

In 1922, the last Qing emperor Puyi assumed the name of his younger brother P'u-chieh and the anthology was removed from the palace collection. It was later acquired in Shanghai by Shen Chung-t'ao, a native of Shan-yin county, Shansi province. Mr. Shen secretly held the anthology for several decades before donating it to the National Palace Museum Collection, allowing it to become known to the world.

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  • Title: Anthology of Works by Master Zhu Xi
  • Creator: Anonymous
  • Date Created: AD 960-AD 1279
  • Physical Dimensions: 25.5 x 15.5 cm (print: 18.6 x 12.1 cm)
  • Type: Rare Books
  • Rights: National Palace Museum
  • Dynasty: Song dynasty