The 28-juan long book, first printed in 1600 by Zhou Rijiao 周日校, describes the successes of all Ming period 明 (1368-1644) emperors and their highest ministers until 1572, beginning with the rebellion of Zhu Yuanzhang 朱元璋 (Emperor Taizu 明太祖, r. 1368-1398), the eventual founder of the Ming, against the Yuan dynasty 元 (1279-1368). The annalistic text also includes many information on the state administration of the Ming, and about the population of China during that time. The style follows the pattern of Zhu Xi's 朱熹 (1130-1200) critical history Tongjian gangmu 通鑑綱目, with headlines in short phrases.
The title of the book is somewhat misleading, as it suggests that it might be a text on official statutes of administration. The book is most detailed for the early decades of the dynasty and provides numerous details not found in other texts. Yet there are also some ficticious matters presented, which lowers the scholary quality of the book. It was therefore not included in the imperial collectanea Siku quanshu 四庫全書, but is found in the collectanea Ming-Qing shiliao congbian 明清史料叢編, Xuxiu siku quanshu 續修四庫全書, and Siku quanshu cunmu congshu 四庫全書存目叢書.