An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Min duji 閩都記

Sep 30, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Min duji 閩都記 is a book on Fujian written during the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) by Wang Yingshan 王應山 (b. 1531), courtesy name Maoxuan 懋宣, style Jingxuan 靜軒 or Shilin Yeshi 石林野史, from Houguan 侯官, Fujian. He also wrote the books Jingshu liuyuan 經術源流, Shijin wangshi pu 世錦王氏譜, Xiaoshan guangbian 孝善關編, Fengya congtan 風雅叢談, Fuxin suoyan 負薪瑣言 and Min daji 閩大記, as well as the theatre play Qianhuji 千斛記.

The book of 33 juan length was written when Wang was already more than 80 years old. The original title had been Hushan jisheng 湖山紀勝, but this version was shortened and revised to the transmitted one. It was only published more than twenty years after the author's death by his son Wang Yude 王毓德, and printed in 1612 with the support of local prefect Jiang Zewei 江鐸為.

The text follows the structure of local gazetteers and other famous geography books, as the imperial geography Fangyu shenglan 方輿勝覽 and the local geography Xihu youlan zhi 西湖游覽志, and focuses on the description of mountains and rivers, monasteries and temples, tombs and other tourist spots, all in a pattern that proceeds from one city to the next.

The text quotes extensively from literary sources from the Song 宋 (960-1279) to the Ming periods. Many of them are not transmitted elsewhere. The original print from the early 17th century was soon lost, and the transmitted version is based on a manuscript version in the possession of Xie Youzhao 謝又昭 that was discovered by Liang Zhilin 梁芷麟 in 1829, when a large project called for the revision of local gazetteers, for which new sources were to be made available. Unfortunately this manuscript version was full of clerical errors, and part of the text (juan 7) was missing, yet Chen Shouqi 陳壽祺 (1771-1834) discovered a fragment of the Ming-period print and was so able to amend the errors and to reconstruct the missing part.

Chen Jiafu 陳價夫 (1557-1614) had added to text several maps, and so the text was published anew in 1831 by the Qiufangxin Studio 求放心齋.

Liu Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 1288.