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Dong-Xiyang kao 東西洋考

Sep 15, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Dong-Xiyang kao 東西洋考 "On the [countries] in the Eastern and Western Oceans" is a report on countries in East and Southeast Asia from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644). It was written by Zhang Xie 張燮 (1574-1640), courtesy name Shaohe 紹和, style Haibin Yishi 海濱逸史, a scholar who never aspired an office but dedicated his life the study of geography and history. His book was only finished after Wang Qizong 王起宗, subprefectural magistrate of Zhangzhou 漳州, urged him to complete this work because it was important for Chinese officials' knowledge of the economic situations in the overseas countries.

The importance of Zhang's 12-juan long book lies not only in his desciption of foreign countries but that he gives precise information about taxes and tributes coming in from these countries through the overseas trade. The countries described are located in the modern countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Of special interest is the description of the Chinese Overseas' communities and the Spanish settlements in the region.

There is a print preserved from the late Ming period which was republished in 1981 by the Zhonghua Shuju Press 中華書局 in the series Zhong-wai jiaotong shiji congkan 中外交通史籍叢刊.

Table 1. Contents of the Dong-Xiyang kao 東西洋考
1-4 西洋列國考 Countries in the Western Ocean [southern part of the South China Sea]
5 東洋列國考 Countries in the Eastern Ocean [eastern part of the South China Sea]
6 外紀 Travels abroad
7 餉稅 Living on taxing
8 稅璫 Import taxes and their administration
9 舟師 Fleets and navigation
10-11 藝文 [The region in ancient] literary sources
12 逸事 [The region in ancient] historiographical sources
Sources:
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Li Jinming 李金明 (2016). "Genglubu yu Dong-Xiyang kao zhenlu zhi yanjiu 《更路簿》與《東西洋考》針路之研究", Nanhai xuekan 南海學刊, 2016 (12).
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 1114.
Liu Hanyan 劉韓艷 (2016). "Lun Dong-Xiyang kao de shixue jiazhi 論語《東西洋考》的史學價值", Shang 商, 2016 (4).
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Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云, ed. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 76.
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Zhou Shaoquan 周少泉 (1992). "Dong-Xiyang kao 東西洋考", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Vol. Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, 184.
Zhou Weizhou 周偉洲, Ding Jingtai 丁景泰, ed. (2006). Sichou zhi lu da cidian 絲綢之路大辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 735.