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Changchun zhenren xiyou ji 長春真人西遊記

Jul 24, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Changchun zhenren xiyou ji 長春真人西遊記 "True man Changchun's journey to the west" is the report of the Daoist patriarch Qiu Chuji's 丘處機 travel to the court of the Mongol ruler Činggis Qaɣan (r. 1206-1227). It was written by the Jin period 金 (1115-1234) Daoist monk Li Zhichang 李志常 and has a length of 2 juan.

In 1219 Činggis Qaɣan sent a messenger to Laizhou 萊州 (modern Yexian 掖縣, Shandong), the residence of Qiu Chuji, and invited him to come to his court. At the beginning of 1220, Qiu first travelled to Yanjing 燕京 (modern Beijing), one of the capitals of the Jin empire where he spent some time before leaving via Xuande 宣德 (modern Xuanhua 宣化, Hebei) in the spring of 1221. At the end of the year he arrived in Samarkand. In the next spring, the group of monks traveled on to the khan's camp in the Hindukush where they stayed to the end of the year. In the autumn of 1223 they returned to Xuande.

The author of the report, Li Zhichang (also called Zhenchangzi 真常子 or Tongxuan dashi 通玄大師), participated in the journey. He later became patriarch of the Quanzhen tradition 全真 of Daoism. His report was therefore regarded as a religious book of minor interest to Confucian or "worldly" scholars. It is part of the Daoist Canon Daozang 道藏 and was only "detected" as an interesting source on 13th-century Central Asia by Qian Daxin 錢大昕 (1728-1804) during the Qing period 清 (1644-1911). In 1926, Wang Guowei 王國維 (1877-1927) published a modern annotated edition of the book.

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