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Kangjilu 康濟錄

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(Qinding) Kangjilu (欽定)康濟錄 "(Imperially endorsed) Book on saving and supporting [the people]" is a book on disaster relief compiled by the mid-Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Lu Cengyu 陸曾禹 and enlarged by Ni Guolian 倪國璉. The 4 juan "scrolls" long book was finished in 1740 and printed in the imperial printing shop, to be distributed and copied in the various provinces for use by the local governors. Ni Guolian (died 1743) has also written the book Chunjitang shiji 春及堂詩集.
Lu Cengyu's book is based on his earlier writing Jiujipu 救饑譜 "Notes on relieving famine", from which he extracted the most important parts. He presented the result to the throne, which received it with greatest delight. The Qianlong Emperor 乾隆 (r. 1736-1795) bestowed it the title of Kangjilu and ordered to have it printed on imperial commission.
Each of the four juan consists of an own chapter. The first chapter is a general introduction describing the methods of disaster relief in earlier ages. The three other chapters provide concrete instructions to meet problems with the supply of grain to the population after natural disasters occurred. Lu Cengyu stressed that earlier dynasties had a lot of general regulations, but no concrete rules for engaging famine. These were to be found in the word of the ancient philosophers and the sage kings of the distant past.
The core part of the book are the chapters 2 to 4 which describe measures to forestall famine, measures in face of famine, and measures to be taken in the aftermath. Precautionary measures begin in an instruction of the peasants to stockpile and to plant mulberry trees for their own need, as it was already made in the imperial edicts of the Nongsang zaling 農桑雜令 "Various orders concerning fields and mulberry trees" during the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368) . A second important precaution was a well-functioning irrigation system that would lower the risk of draught. Canals are so compared with the blood vessels of humans. Each community was to set up granaries (shecang 社倉) in which the grain reserves from good harvest years were to be stored. The granaries were to be protected by the community against theft and robbery. The local magistrates were to see after it that these granaries were opened to the suffering people in cases of need, and at the same time were to control grain prices and to adjust these with the help of grain reserves thrown on the market. Lu Cengyu stressed the last two points with great emphasis because in practice it was often the case that local magistrates either refused to open the granaries or gambled with the grain prices.
If famine occurred, there were many methods suggested, from praying to Heaven for assistance, to more practical aspects like identifying the number of suffering persons (to forestall unjustified payments), credits from the provincial or the national treasury (guotang 國帑), the prohibition to export grain from the afflicted area, price control, the opening of public kitchens (zhouchang 粥廠), the restriction of migration, adhorting the rich to donate, tax reductions, state-induced employment measures, or lending of seeds and draught animals to the peasants. Concerning the local administration, it was important that reports on famine were instantly submitted to the provincial governors so that these were allowed to react in time.
The last measures to be taken were in the framework of "reconstruction" (shanhou 善後). These include, for instance, credits to peasant to rebuy (shuhui 贖回) their women and children. Of equal importance was to reward local magistrates or rich donators for their exemplarious behaviour. Granaries had to be refilled and the people to be admonished to go back to their normal lifes and produce grain and clothing for the years to come.
The last part of the book includes some further informations on field allotment, the production of seedlings, the granary system, field kitchens, as well as some older writings on disaster relief.
The Kangjilu is the first large book on disaster relief written since the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279), when Dong Wei 董煟 had written his jiuhuang huomin shu 救荒活民書. It served as the base of Yang Jingren's 楊景仁 book Choujipian 籌濟篇 from 1824 and provided immense help for Deng Tuo's 鄧拓 history of disaster relief, the Zhongguo jiuhuang shi 中國救荒史, published in 1937.

1 前代救援之典 Qiandai jiuyuan zhi dian Statutes for disaster relief in earlier ages
2 先事之政 Xian shi zhi zheng Precautions to prevent famine
3 臨事之政 Lin shi zhi zheng Measures in face of famine
4 事後之政 Shi hou zhi zheng Reconstruction and measures after famine
附錄之一 Suppl. 1:
摘要備觀 Zhaiyao beiguan Important source materials
歷朝田制 Lichao tianzhi Field systems through the ages
養種法 Yangzongfa Raising and planting
明季倉糧考 Mingji cangliang kao The granary system of the Ming dynasty
董煟 Dong Wei, 救荒全法 Jiuhuang quanfa
林希元 Li Xinyuan, 荒政叢言疏 Huangzheng congyan shu
鍾化民 Zhong Huamin, 河南賑荒事實 Henan zhenhuang shishi
張光大 Zhang Guangda, 救荒活民書 Jiuhuang huomin shu
俞汝為 Yu Ruwei, 荒政要覽 Huangzheng yaolan
袁黃 Yuan Huang, 勸農書 Quannongshu
朱熊 Zhu Xiong, 救荒活民補遺 Jiuhuang huomin buyi
屠隆 Tu Long, 荒政考 Huangzhengkao
徐光啓 Xu Guangqi, 農政全書 Nongzheng quanshu
陳芳生 Chen Fangsheng (comp.), 先憂集 Xianyouji
余森 Yu Sen (comp.), 荒政叢書 Huangzheng congshu
蔡懋徳 Cai Maode, 招來啇米八則 Zhaolai shangmi baze
富弼 Fu Bi, 擘畫屋舍安泊流民事 Bohuawushe anbo liumin shi
之二 2: 賑粥須知 Zhenzhou xuzhi Basics on porridge kitchens
之三 3: 捕蝗必覽 Huangbu bilan Overview of pest control
之四 4: 社倉條約 Shecang tiaoyue Rules for community granaries

Source: Ye Shichang 葉世昌, Hua Linfu 華林甫 (1994), "Kangjilu 康濟錄", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城 (ed.), Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Jingji 經濟 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), p. 399.

June 10, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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