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Chinese Literature
Shishi Jupu 史氏菊譜 "Notes on Chrysanthemums by Master Shi"


The Shishi Jupu 史氏菊譜 is a book on chrysanthemums written by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Shi Zhengzhi 史正志 (jinshi degree 1151), courtesy name Shi Zhidao 史志道, style Wumen laopu 吳門老圃. He hailed from Shaoxing 紹興 (modern Shaoxing, Zhejiang) and was Vice Minister of Personnel (libu shilang 吏部侍郎). In order not to confuse it with Liu Meng's 劉蒙 book with the same title, it is called Shishi Jupu or Shi Laopu Jupu 史老圃菊譜 and not simply Jupu 菊譜. Shi Zhengzhi served as a local official in several towns of southeastern China in his later years retired to Gusu 姑蘇 (modern Suzhou 蘇州, Jiangsu). He wrote a lot of poems and essays, like Qinghuige shi 清暉閣詩, Jiankangzhi 建康志, or Jupuji 菊圃集, most of which are lost today.
Shi Zhengshi's book on chrysanthemums begins with a list of the different kinds of flowers, the yellow kinds coming first, with the "great golden" dajinhuang 大金黃 as the best, followed by white flowers, crowned by the jinzhanyintai 金盞銀臺, and finally coming to flowers of other colours like red and purple, the best of which is said to be the yangju 樣菊. For each of the 28 kinds of chrysanthemums, the author provides a short description. The postface deals with a discussion of Wang Anshi 王安石 and Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修 about the term "falling of flowers" (luo ying 落英) and if they can be consumed or not. From the content it can be seen that Shi Zhengzhi did not know or did not consult Liu Meng's book on chrysanthemums. Shi's book can be criticized for the abundant quoting from poetry, which is indeed not necessary for this kind of book.
The Shishi Jupu is included in the collectanea Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Shuofu 說郛, Xiangyan congshu 香艷叢書, Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書.


Sources:
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1865. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.
Wu Feng 吳楓 (ed. 1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典, Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe, p. 774.


Chinese literature according to the four-category system

June 17, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail