An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Yangzheng leibian 養正類編

Nov 19, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Yangzheng leibian 養正類編 "Classified compilation of texts nourishing the correct" is a series (congshu 叢書) specialized on texts for primary education. It was compiled by the Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Zhang Boxing 張伯行 (1651-1725), courtesy name Xiaoxian 孝先, style Shuzhai 恕齋 or Jing'an 敬庵, posthumous title Zhang Qingkegong 張清恪公.

Zhang was a late representative of those Confucian scholars who adhered to the teachings of the Neo-Confucian masters Zhou Dunyi 周敦頤 (1017-1073), the brothers Cheng Hao 程顥 (1032-1085) and Cheng Yi 程頤 (1033-1107), Zhang Zai 張載 (1020-1077) and Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200). During his career as circuit intendant of Jining 濟寧, surveillance commissioner (anchashi 按察使) of Jiangsu, governor (xunfu 巡撫) of Fujian and then of Jiangsu, and finally Minister of Rites (libu shangshu 禮部尚書), he founded the Biefeng Academy 鱉峰書院 in Fuzhou 福州 and the Ziyang Academy 紫陽書院 in Suzhou 蘇州.

Zhang compiled quite a few writings supporting the Neo-Confucian concept of education (like Daotonglu 道統錄 or Daotong yuanliu 道統源流), the teachings of the masters from Luoyang (like Yi-Luo yuanyuan lu 伊洛淵源錄, Yi-Luo yuanyuan xulu 伊洛淵源續錄 or Zhuru jiangxi 諸儒講義), collections on elementary education (Xiaoxue jijie 小學集解, Xiaoxue yanyi 小學衍義 or Xunmeng shixuan 訓蒙詩選), and books that were written as supplements or commentaries on those of the great masters (like Xingli zhengzong 性理正宗, Jinsilu jijie 近思錄集解, Xu jinsilu 續近思錄 or Guang jinsilu 廣近思錄).

Apart from the Yangzheng leibian, Zhang Boxing also compiled the compendia Xuegui leibian 學規類編 and Jiagui leibian 家規類編, the first including rules for education, the latter for family management. A book specialized on the conduct of women is his Guizhong baojian 閨中寶鑒. Zhang Boxing's collected writings are called Zhengyitang wenji 正誼堂文集 and Zhengyitang xuji 正誼堂續集. A biji 筆記 "brush-notes" style book by Zheng Boxing is called Kunxuelu 困學錄. Zhang also published a series called Zhengyitang quanshu 正誼堂全書.

The title of the Yangzheng leibian is derived from a sentence in the explanation to the hexagram meng in the Confucian Classic Yijing 易經 "Book of Changes", where it is said that "(The method of dealing with) the young and ignorant is to nourish the correct (nature belonging to them); - this accomplishes the service of the sage" (Legge 1882).

The general aim of the 13-juan long collection Yangzheng leibian was to imitate Zhu Xi's encyclopaedia Xiaoxue 小學 (Xiaoxue jizhu 小學集注) that provided illustrious examples from history how to "speak with nice words and how to behave with respect". It includes texts of two types, firstly such giving concrete instructions on education and schools, and secondly, educational texts admonishing young boys to behave in a respectful and moral way towards their parents, older brothers and teachers.

Because the collection does not only include full texts or excerpts of other books, but also treatises written by the publisher himself, the Yangzheng leibian is not a congshu series in the stricter sense.

The book begins with the texts of Zhu Xi, the Tongmeng xuzhi 童蒙須知, Xunzitie 訓子帖, as well his Xiaoxue jizhu. The third juan includes Lu Futing's 陸桴亭 treatise Lun xiaoxue 論小學, folled by Tu Xiying's 屠羲英 (jinshi degree 1556) Tongzili 童子禮, and then, each juan including one text: Yixueyue 義學約 by Shen Longjiang 沈龍江, Xunmengfa 訓蒙法 by Wang Xuzhong 王虛中, Xingli zixun 性理字訓 by Cheng Ruoyong 程若庸, and Xuehai jinliang 學海津梁 by Cui Xuegui 崔學古, the latter influenced by Buddhist thought. Except Zhu Xi's texts, the others are all dating from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644).

The next section of the collection, fascicles 8 to 12, include miscellaneous texts on the themes of filial piety (Xiaozi lei 孝子類), the respect of a younger brother towards the older (Tidi lei 悌弟類), harmony and mutual support in the neighbourhood (Muzu lei 睦族類), the "accumulation" of good deeds (Jishan lei 積善類) and adhortation to learning (Quanxue lei 勤學類).

The last juan includes the text Xiaoeryu 小兒語 by Lü Desheng 呂得勝 (d. 1568), and a continuation of, it, the Xu xiao'eryu 續小兒語 by Lü Xinwu 呂新吾 (i.e. Lü Kun 呂坤, 1536-1618). The book closes with Lü Kun's poem Haoren ge 好人歌 "How to be a good man", and a collection of exemplary standard poems to demonstrate how good poetry is written: Five poems with the rhyme and sentence pattern Shou saibei 收塞北, and five of the pattern Wang jiangnan 望江南.

The Yangzheng leibian was first printed by Zhang's Zhengyi Hall 正誼堂. In 1935 the Commercial Press 商務印書館 included it into the series Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編. It is also to be found in the Zhengyitang quanshu.

Jiaoyu da cidian bianzuan weiyuanhui 《教育大辭典》編纂委員會, ed. (1991). Jiaoyu da cidian 教育大辭典, Part, Zhongguo gudai jiaoyu shi 中國古代教育史 (Shanghai: Shanghai jiaoyu chubanshe), Vol. 1, 219.
Huang Mingxi 黄明喜 (1996). "Yangzheng leibian 養正類編", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Jiaoyu 教育 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 425.