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Zuiweilu 罪惟錄

The Four Categories of Literature
Zuiweilu 罪惟錄 "Records of an accused" (or: suffering) is a history of the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) written by the 17th century historiographer Cha Jizuo 查繼佐. Cha withdrew from official posts after the downfall of the Ming. He was an ardent supporter of the restoration of the Ming dynasty. He even started calling himself Zuoyin feiren 左尹非人 with the oath only to use his actual name again when the house of Ming would be restored to rule China. Together with Zhuang Tinglong 莊廷鑨 he started compiling a history of the Ming. When Zhuang was arrested as a traitor Cha Jizuo continued writing the book but gave it the name of Zuiweilu. The Zuiweilu was composed in a biographic-thematic style (jizhuanti 紀傳體), with imperial biographies in 22 juan "scrolls", treatises in 32 juan, and normal biographies in 36 juan. The book was not arranged very well and was therefore revised by Zhang Zongxiang 張宗詳 and Jiang Zuoyu 姜佐禹 into a version of 102 juan instead of the 90 juan of the first version. Compared to the official dynastic history of the Ming dynasty, the Mingshi 明史, the Zuiweilu presents much more information on the Southern Ming 南明 (1644-1661) pretendants and their efforts to reestablish the dynasty. The treatises are very detailed and include three chapters on matters not covered by the Mingshi, namely the field system (Tutian zhi 土田志), labour taxes (Gongfu zhi 貢賦志), and military colonies (Tuntian zhi 屯田志). The biographies are not centered on persons' lives but on certain events they were involved in.
The Zuiweilu, as critical towards the Manchu rulers of the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911), was prohibited from circulation. One exemplar survived in the library of Master Liu's Jiayetang Studio 劉氏嘉業堂. In 1936 the Shangwu yinshuguan press 商務印書館 printed this version. It is also included in the third series of the collectanea Sibu congkan 四部叢刊. The newest edition is that of the Beijing tushuguan press 北京圖書館出版社 from 2006.

Source: Xie Guozhen 謝國禎, Wei Zuhui 韋祖輝 (1992), "Zuiweilu 罪惟錄", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 3, p. 1638.

September 21, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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