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Chinese Literature
Bianzhu 編珠 "Composition of Pearls"


The Bianzhu 編珠 "Composition of pearls" is an encyclopedia compiled on imperial order during the Sui period 隋 (581-618). The book was traditionally attributed to Du Gongzhan 杜公瞻 (preface of 611) but is first mentioned in Song period 宋 (960-1279) bibliographies. It was apparently lost soon. The Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Gao Shiqi 高士奇 discovered it among a pile of wastepaper of the household administration of the heir apparent and tried to reconstruct it on the base of of quotations in other sources. This part is called Xu Bianzhu 續編珠, a further collection of fragments is called Buyi 補遺. The Bianzhu is 2 juan "scrolls" long and consists of 14 parts. The two supplements by Gao Shiqi are 2 juan long each. For each lemma in the Bianzhu, a source is indicated. It is also indicated if a lemma has been reconstruced by Gao Shiqi.
The Bianzhu is only preserved in quotations, prints are very rarely found. There is a manuscript copy in the library of the Imperial Household from the Qing period, and a print from the Qingyin Hall 清吟堂 of Master Gao 高氏 in Qiantang 錢塘, Zhejiang, from 1698. Unfortunately they only contain the first five chapters. These copies were the base for the edition in the official collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

There is a book called Xianyuan bianzhu 仙苑編珠, a collection of Daoist biographies and writings compiled by the very late Daoist Wang Songnian 王松年 who lived during the 10th century.


Sources:
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, pp. 2034, 2311. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.
Zhao Hankun 趙含坤 (2005). Zhongguo leishu 中國類書, pp. 26-27, 379. Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe.


Contents
1. 天地 Tiandi Heaven and Earth
2. 山川 Shanchuan Mountains and rivers
3. 居處 Jusuo Architecture
4. 儀衛 Yiwei Etiquette and
5. 音樂 Yinyue Music
6. 器玩 Qiyuan Tools and utensils (lost)
7. 珍寶 Zhenbao Jewellery (lost)
8. 繒彩 Huicai Painting and colours (lost)
9. 酒膳 Jiushan Beverages and food (lost)
10. 黍稷 Shuji Grains (lost)
11. 菜蔬 Caishu Vegetables (lost)
12. 果實 Guoshi Fruits (lost)
13. 車馬 Chema Carts (lost)
14. 舟楫 Zhouji Boats (lost)
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

October 23, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail