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Chinese Literature
Nongpu sishu 農圃四書 "Four Books on Farming and Orchards"


The Nongpu sishu 農圃四書 "Four books on farming and orchards" is a collection of four texts on agriculture compiled by the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) scholar and editor Huang Shengceng 黃省曾. These four texts dealt with rice cultivation, silk production, fish-farming and the cultivation of chrysanthemums. Each book is one juan "scroll" long. These four texts were first published as a joint edition under the name Nongpu sizhong by Zhong Mingchen 鍾名臣 and Hu Wenhuan 胡文煥 in their collectanea Tianyuan jingji congshu 田園經濟叢書 and Gezhi congshu 格致叢書. The book Daopin 稻品 "Classes of rice" describes 27 different types of China's most important staple food. The "Manual on silkworms" Canjing 蠶經 is a detailed description of all steps in the process of sericulture in nine chapters, from the cultivation of the mulberry tree, to the shed where silkworms are raised, various tools, to spinning the yarn. The book Yiju 藝菊 "Artfully [cultivating] chrysanthemums" talks about the cultivation of chrysanthemums and is therefore an important addition to books that only refer to the various kinds of this flower, like Shishi Jupu 史氏菊譜, Liushi Jupu 劉氏菊譜 or Fancun Jupu 范村菊譜. It is divided into six chapters and talks about how to treat the soil, the seeds, shoots, and the plants, and also about the pots in which the flowers are grown. The "Manual of fishes" Yujing 魚經 included three chapters. The Nongpu sishu is also included in the collectaneum Nongxue congke 農學叢刻.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1649. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

June 15, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail