An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Emeishan zhi 峨眉山志

Oct 6, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Emeishan zhi 峨眉山志 is a book on Mt. Emei, Sichuan, one of the famous Buddhist mountains. The book of 18 juan was compiled in 1672 by Jiang Chao 蔣超 (1624-1673), courtesy name Huchen 虎臣, style Sui'an 綏庵 or Huayang Shanren 華陽山人, from Zhenjiang 鎮江, Jiangsu.

It consisted of 18 juan, plus one fascicle of additions. It describes the various mountains tops of the area, the life of Buddhist communities, and presents the vitae of 79 eminent monks, as well as those of 24 Daoist masters. Jiang also quotes from poems and prose writings of visitors, imperial ordinances concerning the region, and from stone inscriptions. It was printed in 1689, but only after revision by Cao Xiheng 曹熙衡, courtesy name Xuzheng 素征, from Jinzhou 錦州, Liaoning.

Cao's version begins with overview maps and eulogies, and consists of 11 chapters speaking of astronomy, geography, temples and monasteries, Chan (Zen) masters, eminent monks, immortals (Daoists), local products, official documents, historic sites, writings, and miscellaneous matters. The book was reprinted in 1834.

Table 1. Contents of the Emeishan zhi 峨眉山志
1 星野圖說 Astronomy, maps with description
2 菩薩聖迹( Sacred sites of Bodhisattvas
3 全山形勝 Comprehensive topography
4 寺庵勝概 Situations of monasteries and hermitages
5 感應靈異 Numinous miracles of responses
6 歷代高僧 Eminent monks through history
7 王臣外護 Patronage by sovereigns and state officials
8 仙隱流寓 Immortals, masters living in seclusion, visiting residents
9 古今藝文 Writings on Mt. Emei through history
10 動植物產 Plants, animals, and local products
11 蔣編志餘 Appendix chapter of Jiang Chao
Liu Fanglan 劉仿瀾 (1986). "Jiang Chao yu Emeishan zhi 蔣超與《峨眉山志》", Wenshi zazhi 文史雜志, 1986 (8).
Ren Jiyu 任繼愈. ed. (2002). Fojiao da cidian 佛教大辭典 (Nanjing: Jiangsu guji chubanshe), 1013.
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云, eds. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 287.