- An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art
About [Location: HOME > Literature > Confucian Classics > Commentaries on the Classics > Zhuzi jiali]

Chinese Literature
Zhuzi jiali 朱子家禮

The Four Categories of Literature
The Zhuzi jiali 朱子家禮 "Master Zhu's Family Rituals", shortly called Jiali 家禮, is a collection of ritual prescriptions compiled by the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) master Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200), the most important teacher of Neo-Confucianism. It is largely accepted that the 5 juan "scrolls" long book was written by Zhu Xi himsely, but the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Wang Maohong 王懋竤 called it a forgery, an opinion that was followed by the compilers of the imperial collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書, because some statements contradict the teachings of Zhu Xi in his later years. The book is divided into four parts that explain different types of auspicious (jili 吉禮) and inauspicious (xiongli 凶禮) rites, namely capping rites (guanli 冠禮), nuptial rites (hunli 婚禮), funeral rites (sangli 喪禮) and ancestral offerings (jili 祭禮). Many paragraphs are commented quotations from the ritual classics Yili 儀禮 and Liji 禮記 that belong to the canon of the Confucian Classics. The author underlines the statements by quoting examples from other texts, and so elevated them to a quasi-jurisdictional standard. The Zhuzi jiali covers virtually all ritual aspects in a private life.
The Ming period 明 (1368-1644) Grand Ademician (daxueshi 大學士) Qiu Jun 邱浚 wrote a critical essay to it, the Jiali yijie 家禮儀節, in which he pointed at a dozen substantial errors in the text, and so initated a series of commentaries to Zhu Xi's book. The Zhuzi jiali was printed many times and is included in the Siku quanshu.
There is a commented translation into English by Patricia Buckley Ebrey (transl. 1991), Chu Hsi's Family Rituals: A Twelfth-Century Chinese Manual for the Performance of Cappings, Weddings, Funerals and Ancestral Rites, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 233.

September 13, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
Chinese Literature over time