Japanese Works : Du Gōng Bù Jí

Japanese Works

<p style='text-align: justify;'><i> Du Gong Bu Ji </i> (杜工部集, Japanese: Tokōbushū) is one of the most published anthologies of Du Fu's poems. Du Fu (杜甫, Japanese: Toho, 712-770) was a prominent Chinese poet of the T'ang Dynasty. In China, Du Fu and his contemporary, the outstanding poet Li Bai (李白, Japanese: Rihaku, 701-762) were called Li Du (李杜, Japanese: Rito) and they represented the 2 authorities of Chinese poetry in the middle of the T'ang Dynasty. Du Fu was known as the “Sage of Poetry” (詩聖) and Li Bai, the “Immortal of Poetry” (詩仙). </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The title of this work, <i>Du Gong Bu Ji</i> (杜工部集), was taken from Du Fu's professional title (検校工部員外郎, Jian Xiao Gong Bu Yuan Wai Lang). The original of this work is believed to have comprised of 60 volumes, but only 20 of them are extant. This copy in the Cambridge University Library has all 20 volumes divided into 8 books, and compiled in 3 western bindings. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> This work is a Japanese reprint (wakokubon, 和刻本) of a Chinese text that was first published in 1784 (乾隆49年) in China. This work was published in 1812 (文化9年) by Sūbun Shodō (崇文書堂) in Edo, Japan. The seal of the publisher can be found on the <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(2);return false;'>inside cover</a> and <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(777);return false;'> the colophon page</a> . </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> An exact date for when Du Fu's poems were introduced to Japan is not known. However, his poetry exerted a huge influence upon later Japanese literature. The earliest Japanese quotation from Du Fu's work can be found in <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='http://tinyurl.com/glhvyr6'> “Saihokushū” (済北集) </a>, a poetry anthology of Kokan Shiren (虎関師錬, 1278-1346). Kokan Shiren was a Zen monk of the Five Mountains (五山僧), who served as head of Tōfukuji Temple (東福寺) and Nanzenji Temple (南禅寺) in Kyoto. After him, numerous Zen monks edited annotations of Du Fu's work for use in Zen lectures (抄物), such as <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='http://tinyurl.com/hb95o8d'> Toshizokusuishō (杜詩続翠抄) </a> by Kōsei Ryūha (江西龍派, 1375-1446) and <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='http://tinyurl.com/hwcbtlt'> Toshishō (杜詩抄) </a> by Setsurei Eikin (雪嶺永瑾, 1447-1537). Later in the Edo period, Du Fu's work was published in hundreds of different editions, even the well-known Bashō (松尾芭蕉, 1644-1694) used Du Fu's poem in his Haiku (俳句). </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> This copy was from the Library of the late Sir James Stewart Lockhart K.C.M.G. (1858-1937), a British diplomat and Sinologist. In 1878, Sir Lockhart began his career as a trainee after he passed the Colonial Office's entrance examination. After spending over 20 years as registrar-general, colonial secretary in Hong Kong, Sir Lockhart was appointed as the first civil commissioner of Weihaiwei in 1902. Weihaiwei was a new territory that the late Ch'ing government leased to the British government. Sir Lockhart was the first civil commissioner of Weihaiwei until 1921. After him the next administrator was the outstanding Sinologist Sir Reginald F. Johnston (1874-1938), also known as the tutor of Puyi (溥儀), the last Emperor of China. Actually, it was Sir Lockhart who was appointed as the emperor's tutor at first in 1919, but as Sir Lockhart was close to retiring he gave this opportunity to Sir Johnston. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> After Sir Lockhart's retirement, he continued his academic career in Britain. He was appointed as a governor of the School of Asian and African Studies in 1925 and the Secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1927. After his death in 1937, his library was dispersed. The best part of his library was bought by the British Museum, Sir Percival David and the Cambridge University Library. The rest of his library remained in the possession of his family until 1948, when it was finally purchased by Cambridge University Library. Because this purchase was made with a special grant from H.M. Treasury, a bookplate can be found inside the <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(779);return false;'> front covers </a> of the western bindings. </p>

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