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Minbu shu 閩部疏

Sep 30, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Minbu shu 閩部疏 is a book on Fujian written by Wang Shimao 王世懋 (1536-1588), courtesy name Jingmei 敬美, style Sunzhai daoren 損齋道人. Wang frequently travelled through various regions of China, both on private terms as well as by office. In 1584 he was appointed education-supervising commissioner (duxueshi 督學使) of Fujian and for seven months visited all "eight commanderies" (ba jun 八郡), i.e. prefectures, of Fujian. The short book was finished a year later.

It is introduced by a preface by the author, and one written by Wang Xideng 王穉登 (1535-1613). The text begins with a description of the provincial capital Fuzhou 福州, and then describes the administrative institutions, the drum towers, and various places of interest in the cities and their surroundings. Wang was particularly interested in local produce, as lychee (lizhi 荔枝), longans (longyan 龍眼), Buddha's hand (Citrus medica, foshou gan 佛手柑), olives (ganlan 橄攬), wampi (Clausena lansium, huangtan 黃彈), Liparis japonica (jinkouzi 金扣子), mini-kiwis (Actinidia chinensis, yangtao 羊桃), edible canna (Canna indica, meiren jiao 美人蕉), and also seafood (haicuo 海錯).

He then describes local customs and habits, and some further tourist or historic spots of the province, as well as local peculiarities.

The book is included in the series Jilu huibian 紀錄彙編 and Baoyantang biji 寶顏堂秘籍.

Sources:
Shi Runhong 石潤宏 (2017). "Wang Shimao Minbushu banben kao 王世懋《閩部疏》版本考", Guji zhengli yanjiu xuekan 古籍整理研究學刊, 2017 (1).
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), 269.