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Chinese Literature
Xiepu 蟹譜 "Notes on Crabs"


The Xiepu 蟹譜 is a book on crabs written by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Fu Hong 傅肱, courtesy name Fu Ziyi 傅自翼, style Guaishan 怪山. He came from Guiji 會稽 (modern Shaoxing 紹興, Zhejiang), but about his life virtually nothing is known. The preface was written in 1059. The 2 juan "scrolls" long book Xiepu consists of a general introduction and two chapters. In the first chapters Fu Hong provides a general introduction into the topic and quotes from older sources on crabs, while in the second chapter he notes down his own observations.
Fu Hong describes the species, their appearance and colours, their living environment, and where they are to be found. He also provides information about their life cycles and whether they can be eaten or not. In the chapter Shulei 殊類 "Extraordinary species" the author even renders an imaginary account of a crab "large like a door". The chapter Xiaobao 孝報 "Filial response" narrates of a soldier who fed his starving mother with crabs, so that she recovered.
The Xiepu is included in the collectanea Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Shanju zazhi 山居雜志, Shuofu 說郛, and Congshu jicheng 叢書集成.


Sources:
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe, vol. 2, p. 1867.
Liu Changzhi 劉昌芝 (1993). "Xiepu tiyao 蟹譜提要", in: Zhongguo kexue jishu dianji tonghui 中國科學技術典籍通彙, Shengwu juan 生物卷, vol. 1, p. 147. Ed. Ren Jiyu 任繼愈/Gou Cuihua 茍萃華. Zhengzhou: Henan jiaoyu chubanshe.


Chinese literature according to the four-category system

November 11, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail