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Chinese Literature
Xiyoulu 西游錄

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Xiyoulu 西游錄 "A journey to the West" is a travel report compiled by the late Jin period 金 (1115-1234) politician and historian Yelü Chucai 耶律楚材 (1190-1244), a Jurchen noble at the court of the Mongol ruler Čingghis Qan (r. 1206-1227). He participated in the Khan's western expedition of 1218 and began compiling his travel account after his return. The first part explains the geography of the regions the troops passed, the local products and the customs of the inhabitants. The second part is written in a question-and-answer style providing information about religion, especially Daoism. This part of the book was planned as a kind of counterpart to the book Changchun zhenren xiyou ji 長春真人西遊記 that narrates the travels of the Daoist master Qiu Chuji 丘處機 who had visited the court of the Khan shortly before.
There is a commentary, the Xiyoulu zhu 西游錄注, written by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Li Wentian 李文田 (jinshi degree 1859). Li compares the statements in Yelü Chucai's book with those in contemporary writings, especially concerning geography.
The Xiyoulu is included in the collectanea Shuzhai laoxue congtan 庶齋老學從談 and Liujingkan congshu 六經堪叢書. A modern annotated edition was published in 1981 by the Zhonghua press 中華書局.

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, pp. 1092, 1104.

March 18, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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