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Huang-Ming zuxun 皇明祖訓

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The first emperor of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), Zhu Yuanzhang 朱元璋, temple name Ming Taizu 明太祖 (r. 1368-1396), cared for the institutionalisation of each political aspect of his reign and dynasty. In 1373 a book containing advices on behaviour for imperial princes and members of the household was issued with the title Zuxunlu 祖訓錄 "Instructions by the (dynastic) ancestor". The 1395 edition was published under the title Huang-Ming zuxun 皇明祖訓 "Instructions by the ancestor of the August Ming". The Zuxun contains regulations for rituals and etiquette for various occasions. The introductory chapter was composed by the emperor himself in which he addresses his sons always to exert a strict government in a legalist way. In order to save the dynasty the future emperors would have to live themselves a life of austerity and to have a watchful eye not only to ancestral veneration and to the various ritual performances, but they also had to keep an eye on their relatives, mighty officials (civil and military) and empresses.

1. 箴戒 Zhenjie Exhortations
2. 持守 Chishou Adhering to austerity
3. 嚴祭祀 Yan jisi Observing rituals
4. 謹岀入 Jin churu Seriousness when enthroning an emperor
5. 慎國政 Shen guozheng Watchfulness in government affairs
6. 禮儀 Liyi Rites and etiquette
7. 法律 Falü Laws and punishments
8. 內令 Neiling Orders for the inner chambers (empresses)
9. 內官 Neiguan The inner offices
10. 職制 Zhizhi Arrangement of the offices
11. 兵衛 Bingwei Military guards
12. 營繕 Yingshan Austerity in managment
13. 供用 Gongyong Provision of taxes and labour

Source: Liao Xinyi 廖心一 (1992), "Huang-Ming zuxun 皇明祖訓", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 401.

July 11, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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