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Chinese Works : Yi yu tu zhi

Chinese Works

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This is the sole surviving copy of a work which under several guises enjoyed a wide circulation in China from the late fifteenth century onwards but gradually disappeared as an independent entity, being incorporated instead into popular encyclopaedias.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The work is similar in nature to the bestiaries of mediaeval Europe. It contains illustrations of 168 countries or peoples, each with an accompanying text, as well as an appendix which comprises, in addition to a list of 31 further places without illustrations, woodcuts of one bird and 14 animals, each named but without explanatory texts.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The entries are a mixture of real and imaginary countries. Those which can be identified with some certainty, in addition to areas now incorporated in the terrritory of China itself, include peoples located in East, Central, North, Southeast and West Asia, India, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Among the fabulous entries some are familiar from the European tradition, such as the Land of Dogs, or "Cannibals that each other eat, the Anthrophagi, and men whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders" (<i>Othello</i>, Act 1 Sc. 3).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The book is a popular imprint, on poor quality paper and, in the words of A.C. Moule marred "by careless printing which has often given a double or blurred impression". No doubt this partly explains why not a single copy survives in any library in China.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>In his <i>Memoirs</i> Professor H.A. Giles writes of the year 1916:</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>"I further translated the <i>I yü t'u chih</i>, an illustrated work, - the only known copy - on Strange Nations, including Koreans, Huns, Persians, Arabs, and many Central Asian tribes, with brief notes on their costumes, customs, etc., followed by sixteen pictures of rare birds and animals, among the latter of which is given an excellent picture of a zebra. ... I should like to publish the translation with facsimile text and illustrations, but the University Press thinks that the cost would be too heavy - £750-1000 - and there the matter remains (1924), in spite of the powerful advocacy of ethnological and archaeological experts such as, among others, Dr Haddon, Sir William Ridgeway, and Dr Peter Giles, Master of Emmanuel."</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>In 1928 the London firm of Percy Lund, Humphries & Co. issued a prospectus for the publication of Professor Giles' translation, under the title <i>Record of Strange Nations</i>, to be sold at three guineas, but the plan was dropped following the withdrawal of his sponsorship by the Japanese ornithologist Hachisuka Masauji.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>A full index to the work can be found <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>here</a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'><b>References</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>A.C. Moule, 'An introduction to the I yü t'u chih' <i>T'oung Pao</i> Vol. 27i (1930) 179-188<br /> 《异域志》周致中著; 陆峻岭校注 北京 中华书局 1981 (中外交通史籍丛刊) [FB.246.42]<br /> Yuming He, <i>Home and the World</i>, Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 2013, 202-244 [FB.59:96.82]<br /> 《裸虫录》在明代的流传—兼论《异域志》相关问题 鹿忆鹿著《国文学报》Vol. 58 台北 (December 2015) 129-166 </p><p style='text-align: justify;'><b>INTRODUCTION BY A.C. MOULE</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>AN INTRODUCTION TO THE I YÜ T'U CHIH OR "PICTURES AND DESCRIPTIONS OF STRANGE NATIONS" IN THE WADE COLLECTION AT CAMBRIDGE</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>BY A. C. MOULE. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'><i>T'oung Pao</i> Vol. 27i (1930) 179-188</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>This book, which claims attention both for the merit and interest of the illustrations and because it appears to be the only copy known to exist, has hitherto been known chiefly through brief notices of it by Professor Giles in his <i>Adversaria</i> and elsewhere. It is one of the treasures of the Wade Collection which was itself until rather recently the best collection of Chinese books in Europe, and bears traces of the value which Sir Thomas Wade set upon it, although it seems that in his old age he left it with several other books which he had not had time or energy to place upon the shelves. Thanks to the interest of the late Mr Charles Sayle it has for the last few years been placed in a box and so is protected from dust and wear. In writing the following notes I have been very much helped by Professor Paul Pelliot.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The book measures 31 cm. by 19 cm., exclusive of the binding and mounting which are in European style. Each leaf is printed from a block, surrounded by a heavy black line and a finer inner line, measuring 26 cm. in height and 33 cm. (the two pages) in width. The upper and lower parts of the folded margin are occupied by heavy black lines making the book a 黑口本 <i>hei k'ou pên</i> or "black-edged book". Below the "fish-tail" are a circle and the number of the leaf. There is a fly-leaf at the beginning with a ms. note in red ink; 90 leaves numbered 1 to 90 (the numbers of a few leaves are torn away and the last leaf, 90, is misplaced by the binder after the 7th leaf of the appendix); and an appendix, 异域禽兽图 <i>I yü ch'in shou t'u</i>, of seven leaves (1 to 7) with a single unnumbered page at the end. The second half of this last double leaf is missing, and the slight apparent difference in the "fish-tail" is due to the fact that the upper part of the margin has been torn away and supplied by hand.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Fol. 1 r° contains the title, 异域图志 <i>I yü t'u chih</i>, the description of Corea, and four seals of a former owner or owners. These seals, beginning with the top one, read:</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>南昌彭氏 <i>Nan ch'ang P'êng shih,</i><br /> 知圣道斋藏书 <i>Chih shêng tao chai ts'ang shu,</i><br /> 遇者善读 <i>Yü chê shan tu,</i><br /> 太原叔子藏书记 <i>T'ai yüan shu tzŭ ts'ang shu chi</i>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The book contains illustrations of 168 countries or places, each accompanied by the name of the place and a note about it; and on fol. 1 r° of the appendix is a list of 31 more names, to some of which short notes are added, without illustrations. At the end of this page (fol. 1 r° of the appendix) is the <i>explicit</i>: 异域图志终 <i>I yü t'u chih chung</i>. It is evident that when Sir Thomas Wade found the book the last nine leaves, at least, were loose, and the curious device of putting the <i>explicit</i> on the first page of the appendix makes it impossible to know whether any leaves are missing after 90 or not. The appendix contains drawings of one bird and thirteen (strictly 14) animals, each with its name but with no other explanation. The pictures in the body of the book include incidentally a considerable number of animals. The book is anonymous and undated. Its value lies chiefly in the illustrations. The descriptions add, it is said, little or nothing to our historical or geographical knowledge and are somewhat marred by the use of vulgar forms and by several misprints, as the whole book is by careless printing which has often given a double or blurred impression.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Two notices of a book of the same title, <i>I yü t'u chih</i>, from printed catalogues and the ms. note on the fly-leaf of this copy will introduce the question of authorship and date.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>From the <i>Ssŭ k'u ch'üan shu</i>, 1790, c. 78r°:</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>"<i>I yü t'u chih</i>, one chapter (<i>The copy kept in the 天一阁 T'ien i ko in the house of 范懋柱 Fan Mao-chu [at Ning-po] in Chê-chiang)</i>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>"The author's name and family are not recorded. At the end is a note by 金铣 Chin Hsien, governor of Kuang-hsin fu in the Ming dynasty, to say that there was a Ying-t'ien fu in the Sung dynasty also [1], so that he suspects that this was written in the Sung. But in the book it records that the son of the Prince of Liang of the Yüan was enfeoffed at Tan-lo at the beginning of the Ming, so that there is no doubt that it is the work of a man of the Ming. The book is made up of extracts from histories and narratives with a very large number of errors. For instance Chan-ch'êng is subject to An-nan, but it says that An-nan is subject to Chan-ch'êng. This is very untrustworthy, and the other notices are also extremely void of sense." [a]</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The preceding entry (异域志 <i>I yü chih</i>) on the same page of the <i>Ssŭ k'u</i> says, "It is like the <i>I yü t'u chih</i> printed by Chin Hsien".</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>One would expect to find this same volume described in the catalogue of the Fan library (天一阁书目 <i>T'ien i ko shu mu</i>), and the title does indeed occur in the prolegomena, fol. 30 v°, in the list of books transmitted to the Ssŭ k'u from that library. But there is no notice of the book in the catalogue itself, nor in any other printed library catalogue known to Professor Pelliot, and the volume, which was not thought worthy of transcription for the Ssŭ k'u collection, may not have found its way back to Ning-po. The Hon. Masa Hachisuka [b], who took a very great interest in the book while he was at Cambridge and but for various obstacles would have had it reproduced in facsimile, tells me that no copy of the book is known to the book-collectors or librarians of Japan nor to the librarian of the National Library at Peking. The copy described in the <i>Ssŭ k'u</i> is however described again in 浙江采集遗书总录 <i>Chê chiang ts'ai chi i shu tsung lu</i> (a list of the books sent from Chê-chiang province for the Ssŭ k'u collection), section 戊, fol. 66 r°, as follows:</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>"I yü t'u chih, one fascicule, a printed book. At the beginning (右) is a note of <i>chi-yu</i> of Hung-chih (1489) by Chin Hsien to say that the compiler's name and surname are not known. If we examine the works of Ch'üan, Prince Hsien of Ning [2], they include an <i>I yü t'u chih</i>, which must be this book. In the book are drawn the likenesses of the men of other lands, altogether 158 kingdoms, and in each case it is noted that the road is such a distance from Ying-t'ien fu." [c]</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Finally there is the manuscript note on the fly-leaf of the Cambridge copy, which reads:</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>"At the end of the Ssŭ k'u Bureau copy was a note by Chin Hsien, prefect of Kuang-hsin in the Ming, that he supposed that this was written by a man of the Sung. The <i>[Ssŭ k'u] tsung mu</i> refutes this by the fact that in the book it is recorded that the son of the Prince of Liang of the Yüan was enfeoffed at Tan-lo in the Ming. I note that there is also a place where Shih Tsu (Kubilai) of the Yüan is "addressed as Emperor", and "the present Ho-lin lu", and so on. And under An-nan it does not come down to the establishment of chün and hsien after the annihilation of 黎季犁 Li Chi-li. So this book is the work of a man of the time of Hung-wu in the Ming, and consequently the distances are reckoned from Ying-t'ien fu throughout. Note by Yün-mei [3] during the double-yang day of <i>ping-ch'ên</i> of Chia-ch'ing (9 October, 1796)". [d]</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>AUTHOR: There seems to be no positive evidence at all as to the author. The fact that a list of Prince Ch'üan's works includes, as it is said, an I yü t'u chih seems to suggest him as a possible, if not probable, author. It is a curious coincidence that the book should have come from Nan-ch'ang, which was the home of Ch'üan in his later years when he devoted his time to music and writing. Cf. <i>Ming shih</i>, c. 117, fol. 6 v°.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>DATE: It is clearly very difficult to fix from internal evidence the date of a book of extracts, and in this case there seems to be no external evidence.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>In the first place the Cambridge book may not be the same as the Ning-po book. For the latter contained a mention of the Prince of Liang which, as Prof. Giles stated in <i>Adversaria Sinica</i>, 1910, pp. 267, 268, is not in the former, secondly Chin's Preface or Note is not in the Cambridge book, and thirdly Cambridge has pictures of 168 nations as against 158 at Ning-po. On the other hand it may be said that the Cambridge book is not perfect and that while Yün-mei implies that Chin's Note was not in his (i.e. the Cambridge) copy he does not remark, in 1796, on the absence of the prince of Liang. The passage, however, about Chan-ch'êng and An-nan is present (fol. 18 v°), and the numbers 168 and 158 are sufficiently alike to suggest the possibility of a mistake in the latter. I am conscious that these arguments are alternative.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Other indications of date are these:</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>1. The use of Ying-t'ien as capital. This no doubt excludes the Yüan dynasty, and the Sung is not really in question. But it is not equally certain that the date is thus limited to Hung-wu (1368-1408), for Ying-t'ien remained a capital in a very real sense throughout the Ming dynasty, and in particular foreign envoys seem, I think, sometimes to have been received there. Thus the envoys of many foreign countries were received at the 奉天门 Fêng t'ien mên in 1433. There was a Fêng t'ien mên at Peking, but on this occasion the reception was arranged by the President of the Nanking Board of Ceremonies (行在礼部尚书). Cf. <i>Hsüan Tsung shih lu</i>, c. 105, fol. 1 r°.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>2. "Shih Tsu of the Yüan is addressed as Emperor (称帝)." This, on fol. 6 r°, cannot have been written before 1260.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>3. "The present Ho-ning lu" [4], fol. 82 r°, cannot have been written before 1312 when Karakorum was named Ho-ning. The <i>lu</i> of the Yüan were generally changed into <i>fu</i> by the Ming government at the earliest possible date, 1356 to 1569, but I have not found the exact date at which the <i>lu</i> of Ho-ning was abolished.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>4. The history of An-nan, fol. 20 is not brought down to "the establishment of chün and hsien" in 1407. Cf. <i>Ming shih</i>, c. 321, fol. 4 r°. But the inference that the book was written in Hung-wu is not sound.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>5. Professor Pelliot remarks that the 元朝秘史 <i>Yüan ch'ao pi shih</i>, which is quoted on fol. 6 r°, was not translated into Chinese before the Ming dynasty.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>6. Ning-po is called 明州 Ming chou on fol. 1 r° and 34 v°. This, if strictly used, would date those two extracts either in the T'ang dynasty (738-) or between the years 1356 and 1381, but it does not at all prove that the book was not compiled later than 1381.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>7. On fol. 3 v° it is said that the island of 大琉球 Ta Liu ch'iu "has sent tribute at various times in the present dynasty", and that the sons of the king and nobles had come to study at the imperial college. The kings of Liu ch'iu do not seem to have sent envoys before 1373, nor to have sent their sons or the sons of their nobles before the summer of 1392. Cf. <i>Ming shih</i>, c. 322, fol. 1 v°.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>8. The names of some of the animals in the appendix tend to show that the appendix at least should not be dated before about the year 1415. The first two of the animals are the zebra, fol. 2 r°, called 福鹿 <i>fu-lu</i>, and the giraffe, fol. 2 v°, called 麒麟 <i>ch'i-lin</i>. The zebra and giraffe are both described in the <i>Chu fan chih</i>, 1225, c. 1, fol. 25 v°, where the zebra is given no name at all and the giraffe is called <i>tsu-la</i>. Several examples of <i>fu-lu</i> and <i>ch'i-lin</i> are, however, given by Bretschneider, Rockhill in the <i>T'oung Pao</i>, 1915, and (with Hirth) in <i>Chau Ju-kua</i>, 1912, and by G. Ferrand in J. A., 1914, 1918. The books which these authors quote are 瀛涯胜览 <i>Ying yai shên lan</i>, c. 1430, 星槎胜览 <i>Hsing ch'a shên lan</i>, 1436, 一统志 <i>I t'ung chih</i>, 1461, 西洋朝贡典录 <i>Hsi yang ch'ao kung tien lu</i>, 1520, and <i>Ming shih</i>, 1742. The first two of these are the work of men who travelled with 郑和 Cheng Ho; and there seems to be no reason to think that the later books derived these details from documents earlier than the fifteenth century. The places to which zebras are attributed are Aden, Brawa, Hormuz and Ẓufar, and giraffes to Aden, Hormuz, Mecca and (under the name of <i>tsu-la-fa</i> (zuráfa)) Ẓufar. Of these places Hormuz and Ẓufar are specified in the <i>I t'ung chih</i>, c. 90, as having been unknown before Yung-lo (1403-1424), and the first envoys from Aden and Brawa are said in the <i>Ming shih</i>, c. 326, fol. 5 r°, to have reached China in 1416. Hormuz was in fact known in the Yüan dynasty, if not earlier, but the first envoys came in 1414, after Chêng Ho's visit; and the first envoys from Ẓufar in 1421. Mecca (天方 T'ien-fang) was of course familiar, but it does not seem to have produced <i>ch'i-lin</i> before the fifteenth century. The earliest mention of <i>ch'i-lin</i> (sent by Saifu 'd-Din, ruler of Bengal) in the <i>Ming shih</i>, c. 7, fol. 1 v°, seems to be in 1414. The <i>fu-lu</i> and <i>ch'i-lin</i> were still rare beasts of good omen deserving of a special ode to be presented to the Emperor in Hsüan-tê (1426-1435). Cf. <i>Tz'ŭ yüan</i>, s.v. 福禄.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The conclusion that suggests itself is that the zebra and giraffe had not often been seen alive in China and had not been known by the names of <i>fu-lu</i> and <i>ch'i-lin</i> before the time of Chêng Ho's missions; and it is difficult to doubt that the artist of the <i>I yü ch'in shou t'u</i> had seen his animals (except the rhinoceros) alive. The text of the <i>I yü t'u chih</i> is not an independent work but a compilation from earlier books (the account of the ostrich, for example, on fol. 32 r° is quoted from some book dating from before 1178), and it is to be observed that (as far as I have noticed) it is not based on the books which resulted from Chêng Ho's travels and that it does not mention the less familiar zebra, giraffe, etc. of the appendix but only such long familiar creatures as the ostrich and peacock, lion, camel, elephant and horse. On fol. 74 v° 犀牛 <i>Hsi niu</i> is the yak, whereas the <i>Hsi niu</i> of the appendix, fol. 4 r°, is beyond doubt a rhinoceros. Thus the whole book seems to have been compiled before 1430, when the <i>Ying yai shên lan</i> and other books based on Chêng Ho's missions began to appear, and the appendix at least not to have been made until after the return of the missions themselves. The same argument might be applied with the same result to the hornbill (鹤顶 <i>ho-ting</i>) and oryx (马哈兽 <i>ma-ha-shou</i>) and the date (about 1415) thus suggested would agree well with the authorship of Prince Ch'üan.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>CONCLUSION: It will be seen from the foregoing notes that the <i>I yü t'u chih</i> was compiled some time early in the Ming dynasty, between 1392 and 1430, and was reprinted, or possibly printed for the first time, in 1489 by Chin Hsien, to whom the author and date were quite unknown. Though it would be pleasant to think that the Cambridge book was of earlier date, it can hardly be said that there is positive proof that it is not a copy of the edition of 1489. The misprints and vulgar forms seem indeed to suggest the work of Chin Hsien, who was certainly not a very scholarly critic, rather than that of the literary prince Ch'üan. On the other hand, and in addition to the reasons given above for supposing that the Cambridge and Ning-po books may not be the same, it is remarkable that the <i>Ssŭ k'u tsung mu</i>, which regularly registers an appendix or any additional chapters which have a distinct title, and the <i>Chê chiang ... tsung lu</i> do not notice the appendix in this case.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Whatever the dates of the composition of the two parts of the book may prove to be, the blocks for the whole of the Cambridge copy seem to have been cut at one time and the book to have been printed, however carelessly, before the blocks were much worn.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>NOTES</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>[1] The book gives the distances of places from Ying-t'ien fu, the name in the Ming dynasty of the present Nanking. Chin's argument was that another Ying-t'ien (now Kuei-tê) was also the Nan-ching (Nanking) of the Sung from 1014 onwards, so that the use of that name would not fix the date of the book in the Ming dynasty.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>[2] For this prince (宁献王权), a son of the founder of the Ming dynasty, who died in 1448, see <i>Ming shih</i>, c. 117, fol. 6 r°. His "异域志 I yü chih, one chapter" is entered in c. 97, fol. 13 r°. For these references, which I have of course verified, and for the text of the <i>Chê chiang ts'ai chi</i> etc. I am indebted to Professor Pelliot.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>[3] 芸楣 Yün-mei was the <i>hao</i> of 彭元瑞 P'êng Yüan-jui of 南昌 Nan-ch'ang, whose <i>tzŭ</i> were 掌仍 Chang-jêng and 辑五 Chi-wu, and his posthumous title 文勤 Wên ch'in. He was born in 1731, graduated <i>chin shih</i> in 1757, and died in 1803. Of the seals on the first page of the book "Nan ch'ang P'êng shih" is clearly P'êng's private seal and "Chih shêng tao chai ts'ang shu" is his library stamp. For his library or studio was named 知圣道斋藏书 Chih shêng tao chai. Professor Pelliot also writes "I do not find anything about his library in the 藏书纪事诗 <i>Ts'ang shu chi shu shih</i> of 叶昌炽 Yeh Ch'ang-chih. His biographies are collected in 国朝耆献类证 <i>Kuo ch'ao ch'i hsien lei chêng</i>, c. 31, fol. 21-29. In one of them, by 赵敬襄 Chao Ching-hsiang, we read (fol. 29 r°), 'He published critical notes on many of the books in his library under the title of 培英集 <i>P'ei ying chi</i>.' But I do not know of any edition of the <i>P'ei ying chi</i>." The note, however, which is here translated has been found by Professor Pelliot printed without the date in the original edition of 知圣道斋读书跋尾 <i>Chih shêng tao chai tu shu po wei</i> (Bibl. Nat., Collection Pelliot, II, 566), c. 1, fol. 27, 异域图志跋. For the identification of Yün-mei I was obliged in the first instance to Wylie, <i>Chinese Literature</i>, 1901, p. 79, and, through Mr Arthur Waley, to <i>Chung kuo jên ming ta tz'ŭ tien</i>, p. 1149. Mr. L.C. Hopkins very kindly gave me some help in reading the seals. Of the third and fourth seals I can offer no explanation. Shu tzŭ is the equivalent of the very common surname 王 Wang.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>[4] Yün-mei accidentally writes and prints Ho-lin lu (cf. above), but the book itself has Ho-ning correctly.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>[a] 《异域图志》一卷(浙江范懋柱家天一阁藏本)不著撰人名氏。 后有明广信府知府金铣序,谓宋亦有应天府,疑是宋书。然书中载 明初封元梁王子於耽罗,则为明人所作无疑。其书摭拾诸史及诸小 说而成,颇多疏舛。如占城役属於安南,乃云安南为“占城役属”, 殊不足据。其他叙述,亦太寥寥。</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>[b] Masauji Hachisuka 峰须贺正氏 (1903-1953), Japanese ornithologist.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>[c] 异域图志一册 刊本 右有弘治己酉金铣序,谓编者不知姓名。 考宁献王权撰有《异域图志》,当即此。书中画殊域人形象凡一百五十八 国,各记其道里,去应天府若干云。</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>[d] 《四库》馆本后有明广信府知府金铣序,疑是宋人书。《总目》驳以书 中载明封元梁王子於耽罗事按,又有元世祖称帝,及今之和林路云云。而於 安南不及为灭黎季犁置郡县,是明洪武时人所写为,故全以应天府纪程也。 芸楣识。嘉庆丙辰重阳日。</p>

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