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Chinese Literature
Chajing 茶經 "The Classic of Tea"


The Chajing 茶經 "Classic of Tea" is one of the most famous ancient Chinese books on tea. The 3 juan "scrolls" long book was written by the Tang period 唐 (618-907) scholar Lu Yu 陸羽 (733-804). Lu Yu never occupied a post in the government although he had been offered the position of Great Supplicator (taizhu 太祝) of the Office of Imperial Sacrifices (Taichangsi 太常寺). Instead, he lived a private life in a very rural style. Because of his deep knowledge of tea, he was also called the "god of tea" (chashen 茶神). In his book Chajing, he describes the origin and spread of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis), the shapes of the leaves of different kinds of tea plants, and the different qualities of tea; the harvest of leaves and different tools used for the preparation of tea leafs; as well as the method of tea fermenting. The second part is dedicated to the preparation of the beverage and the different tools to serve tea. In the last part, he narrates stories about fermenting, drinking, different matters around tea, places of origin, concise statements about tea types , and – very short – an outline of the book.
Inspite of its shortness, the Chajing is very reknowned for its beautiful and concise language. It is included in a lot of collectanea, like Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Shuofu 說郛, Tang-Song congshu 唐宋叢書, Xuejin taoyuan 學津討原, Gezhi congshu 格致叢書, Bai mingjia shu 百名家書, Tangren shuohui 唐人說薈 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書. There are also several other prints from the Ming 明 (1368-1644) and Qing 清 (1644-1911) periods. The commentary and translation into modern Chinese made by Ouyang Xun 歐陽勛 is included in the Hubei xianzheng yishu 湖北先正遺書, published in 1983 by the Hubei renmin press 湖北人民出版社出.
There are a lot of translations of the Chajing into Western languages.


Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1860. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

Contents
茶之源 Cha zhi yuan Origins
茶之具 Cha zhi ju Rearing tools
茶之造 Cha zhi zao Production
茶之器 Cha zhi qi Production tools
茶之煮 Cha zhi zhu Fermentation
茶之飲 Cha zhi yin Drinking
茶之事 Cha zhi shi Affairs
茶之出 Cha zhi chu Locations
茶之略 Cha zhi lüe Concise statments
茶之圖 Cha zhi tu Plan
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

June 17, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail