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Min xiaoji 閩小記

Sep 30, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Min xiaoji 閩小記 is a short, biji 筆記 "brush-notes"-style book on Fujian written by Zhou Liangong 周亮工 (1612-1672), courtesy name Yuanliang 元亮, style Tao'an 陶庵, Jianzhai 減齋, Xianzhai緘齋, Shiyuan 適園 or Leyuan 櫟園). His collected writings are called Laogutang ji 賴古堂集.

The book of 4 juan (according to some sources, 2 juan) was written during a ten-years period when Zhou dwelled in Fujian as left administration commissioner (zuo buzhengshi 左布政使). It is praised as very comprehensive concerning general topics and also local issues, particularly the local elites (renwen 人文). The book speaks about the local tongue (Yin neng shi 音能始), the writings of Lin Ziyu 林子羽, Lin Chunze 林春澤 (1480-1583), Lin Chuwen 林初文 and Lin Shibi 林世璧, local poetry (Min shi 閩詩), the scholar Zheng Ru'ang 鄭汝昂, book collectors (Min zhong cangshu 閩中藏書) or the hairstyle of local women (Qiuji 鬏髻). Many paragraphs quote from the texts of local writers, and so give insight into the world of thought, literature, and local life in Fujian during the early Qing period 清 (1644-1911).

From the historical point of view, the Min xiaoji begins in 1603. Yet Zhou's text also describes plants and animals of Fujian, local produce like tea, wine, lychee, seafood, sea cucumbers, swallow nests, bamboos, sweet potatoes, lakes and mountains, caves, and other places of interest.

The text was reprinted in 1915 as part of the series Shuoku 說庫, and is also to be found in the series Longwei mishu 龍威秘書, Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編 and Guadi'an cang Ming-Qing zhanggu congkan 瓜蒂庵藏明清掌故叢刊 (1985).

Sources:
Jian Qimei 簡啓梅 (1991). "Du Minxiaoji 讀《閩小記》", Longyan Shizhuan xuebao 龍岩師專學報, 1991 (4).
Luo Qin 羅琴 (2017). "Minxiaoji Kangxi keben kao 《閩小記》康熙刻本考", Zhongguo dianji yu wenhua 中國典籍與文化, 2017 (10).
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), 507.