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Dijing jingwu lüe 帝京景物略

May 1, 2018 © Ulrich Theobald

Dijing jingwu lüe 帝京景物略 "Brief guide to tourist spots in the imperial capital city" was written by the Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) scholar Liu Tong 劉侗 (1593-1637), courtesy name Tongren 同人, style Ge’an 格庵. He hailed from Macheng 麻城, Hubei, and was a district magistrate (zhixian 知縣). The 8-juan long book, finished in 1635, was compiled with the support of Liu's friend Yu Yizheng 于奕正 (1596-1636), original name Jilu 繼魯, courtesy name Sizhi 司直, from Wanping 宛平 in Beijing, who is sometimes also seen as the second author of the book.

It describes 130 places of interest, like hills and rivulets, bridges and dams, tourist spots (mingsheng 名勝), ancient places (guji 古跡), tomb hills, shrines, certain plants and animals, workshops for porcelain, lacquer and paper, and customs and habits of Beijing. The foremost Buddhist monastery at Mt. Xiangshan 香山, Fragrant Hill Monastery (Xiangshan Si 香山寺) is described in detail, with remarks to its change during the seasons. Other important objects are the sacred sal tree (Bodhi tree, boloshu 婆羅樹) in Reclining Buddha Monastery (Wofo Si 臥佛寺), the Li Garden 李園, or Mi Garden 米園. The book is particularly interesting because it also includes descriptions of private gardens, like Dingguo Gongyuan 定國公園, Yingguo Gongxinyuan 英國公新園, Yingguo Gongyuan 英國公園, Chengguo Gongyuan 成國公園, Yiyuan 宜園, Qushuiyuan 曲水園, Li Huangqin Xinyuan 李皇親新園, Baishizhuang 白石莊, Hui Anbo Yuan 惠安伯園 and Haidian 海淀 (海澱).

The arrangement of the book follows geography and proceeds from central places to such beyond the city wall, with the sequence north, east, south, and west of the imperial city, the western hills, and the metropolitan region (jifu 畿輔). Each chapter ends with some poems (shige 詩歌, zayong 雜詠) and quotations of stone inscriptions (beike 碑刻).

The Dijing jingwu lüe can be seen as a supplement to similar books, like Yanshi 燕史, Wanshu zaji 宛署雜記, Chang'an ketan 長安客話 or Chang'an keyou ji 長安可游記.

Besides this book, the friends Liu and Yu also wrote Nanjing jingwu lüe 南京景物略, which describes places of interest in the secondary capital Nanjing, Jiangsu.

The 1635 print from Nanjing was reproduced as a facsimile in 1980 by the Beijing Guji Press 北京古籍出版社. The first modern edition was published in 1963 by the Beijing Press 北京出版社.

Table 1. Contents of the Dijing jingwu lüe 帝京景物略
1 城北内外 Northern section: Stone Drums in the National University 太學石鼓, shrine of Counsellor Wen 文丞相祠, Water Gate 水關, Dingguo Park 定國公園, Jingang Monastery 金剛寺, New Yingguo Park 英國公新園, Sansheng Studio 三聖庵, Chongguo Monastery 崇國寺, Gumo Studio 古墨齋, Longhua Monastery 龍華寺, Shisha Lake 😃 十刹海 (today's Houhai 後海), Thousand Budda Monastery 千佛寺, Temple of the God of Fire 火神廟, Yingguo Park 英國公園, Dalongfu Monastery 大隆福寺, Manjing Well 滿井
2 城東内外 Eastern section: Shrine of Junior Guardian Yu 于少保祠, Old Hut of the Minister of Personnel 吏部古藤, Paozi River 泡子河, Chengguo Park 成國公園, Yiyuan Park 宜園, Lantern Market 燈市, Qushui Park 曲水園, Dongyu Temple 東嶽廟, Spring Place 春場, Sanzhong Shrine 三忠祠, tombstone of Kuai Wentong 蒯文通墳, Jiangtai Terrace 將臺, Gold Terrace 黃金臺
3 城南内外 Southern section: Temple of the God of War 關帝廟, Temple of the Medicine King 藥王廟, Goldfish Pond 金魚池, Mingyin Monastery 明因寺, New Park of Prince Li 李皇親新園, Fazang Monastery 法藏寺, Long'an Monastery 隆安寺, Baoguo Monastery 報國寺, Changchun Monastery 長椿寺, Minzhong Monastery 憫忠寺, Grass Bridge 草橋, Hujia Village 胡家村, Monastery of Master Wei 韋公寺, Hongren Bridge 弘仁橋, South Lake 南海子, Swallow Terrace 聚燕臺, White Cloud Temple 白雲觀, Guanyin Monastery 觀音寺, Tianning Monastery 天寧寺, Lugou Bridge 盧溝橋
4 西城内 Western part of the city: Shoushan Academy 首善書院, Heaven's Pillar Hall 天主堂, Shideng Studio 石鐙庵, Shrine of Li Wenzhenggong 李文正公祠, Double-Pagoda Monastery 雙塔寺, market at the Temple of the Ciy Wall God 城隍廟市, Jiufeng Monastery 鷲峰寺, Lingji Temple 靈濟宮, Xianling Temple 顯靈宮, Wansong Laoren Tower 萬松老人塔, statues of Tang masters in the Jishan Guild Hall 嵇山會館唐大士像, Emperors Temple 帝王廟, White Pagoda Monastery 白塔寺, Chaotian Temple 朝天宮
5 西城外 Western outskirts: Gaoliang Bridge 高梁橋, Jile Monastery 極樂寺, Baishi Village 白石莊, Hui'anbo Park 惠安伯園, Zhenjue Monastery 真覺寺, Wanshou Monastery 萬壽寺, Xiyu Shuanglin Monastery 西域雙林寺, tomb stone of Matteo Ricci 利瑪竇墳, Cihui Monastery 慈慧寺, Moke Studio 摩訶庵, Diaoyu Terrace 釣魚臺, Huanggu Monastery 皇姑寺, Cishou Monastery 慈壽寺, Haidian Lake 海淀, Heilong Pond 黑龍潭, Hot Springs 溫泉, Fayun Monastery 法雲寺
6 西山上 West Mountain A: Fragrant Hills Monastery 香山寺, Azure Cloud Monastery 碧雲寺, Abounding Brilliance Monastery 洪光寺, Reclining Buddha Monastery 臥佛寺, Shuijintou Valley 水盡頭, Zhongfeng Studio 中峰庵, Yangong Shrine 晏公祠, Mt. Lushi 盧師山, Pingpo Monastery 平坡寺, Jiaxi Monastery 嘉禧寺, Mt. Hanshan 罕山, Mt. Shijing 石景山
7 西山下 West Mountain B: West Dam 西堤, Gongde Monastery 功德寺, Mt. Yuquan 玉泉山, Mt. Wengshan 甕山, Temple of Abstention 戒壇, Tanzhe Monastery 潭柘寺, Que'er Studio 雀兒庵, Dishui Cliff 滴水岩, Hundred-Flowers Bodhisattva 百花陀
8 畿輔名迹 Famous spots in the metropolitan region: Shrine of Di Lianggong 狄梁公祠, shrine of Liu Sihu 劉司戶祠, Nine Dragon Pond 九龍池, Gougou Cliff 岣岣崖, Mt. Yinshan 銀山, Mt. Zhubi 駐蹕山, Mt. Shangfang 上方山, Yunshui Cave 雲水洞, Mt. Shijing 石經山, Hongluo Cliff 紅螺嶮, tomb of Jia Dao 賈島墓, Lousang 樓桑, Dukang Hill 督亢陂, Liting Pavilion 酈亭, cottage of Zhang Hua 張華宅, grave of Peng Xiaoxian 彭小仙墓, Buddha's Lantern Pagoda 燃燈佛塔, grave of Li Zhuosu 李卓吾墓, Mt. Panshan 盤山, Qianxiang Monastery 千像寺, hot springs 湯泉, pine tree of Yanxiang Temple 延祥觀柏, Pagoda of Shayan Monastery 沙岩寺塔, fields where jade can be cultivated 種玉田, Mt. Hongluo 紅螺山
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