An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Chengdu tonglan 成都通覽

Sep 22, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Chengdu tonglan 成都通覽 "Comprehensive overview on Chengdu" is a local gazetteer on the capital of the province of Sichuan from the late Qing period 清 (1644-1911). It was compiled by Fu Chongju 傅崇矩 (1875-1917), courtesy name Qiaocun 樵村, a publisher and supporter of the reformers Kang Youwei 康有爲 (1858-1927), and Liang Qichao 梁啟超 (1873-1929).

His gazetteer, published in 1909, is not divided into the traditional juan fascicles, but was printed in the shape of 8 volumes. The structure of the text also does not correspond to the traditional gazetteers, but it consists of 180 small chapters that focus more on practical matters than its predecessors. Besides the conventional themes geography, climate, and local customs and habits, the book informs the reader on agriculture, commerce and the trades, local dishes and the dialect of Chengdu.

The author war particularly interested in educational matters and describes the new school system introduced in 1907, the dispatch of students to learn abroad. As a publisher, Fu also gives a picture of the publishing industry in Chengdu. A third focus of his book is a description of the local trades, with 360 guilds. This part of the book is richly illustrated and so gives insight into the daily lives of the common people in the early twentieth century.

The original edition was a manuscript lithography. Only in 1977 the Ba-Shu Press 巴蜀出版社 published a modern, annotated edition.

Deng Bangyun 鄧幫雲 (2012). "Yi guji zhu banben wei kaolun difangzhi de zhengli yu bianji: Yi difangzhi Chengdu tonglan san ge banben wei kaoju 以古籍諸版本為考論地方志的整理與編輯——以地方志《成都通覽》三個版本為考據", Xueshu luntan 學術論壇, 2012 (10).
Schön, Michael (2005). Eine quellenkritische Untersuchung einer Beschreibung der chinesischen Provinzhauptstadt Chengdu aus dem frühen 20. Jahrhundert: Das Chengdu tonglan (Frankfurt/M.: Lang, 2005).
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Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云, ed. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 129.