An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Nongpu liushu 農圃六書

Jun 15, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Nongpu liushu 農圃六書 is a book on agriculture compiled during the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) by Zhou Zhiyu 周之璵, courtesy name Yufu 玉鳧. He hailed from Maoyuan 茂苑 (close to modern Suzhou 蘇州, Jiangsu), but there is not much known about his life.

The Nongpu liushu is basically a revision of the Tao Zhugong zhifu qishu 陶朱公致富奇書. It is divided into six chapters covering the themes planting of trees (Shuyi 樹藝), cattle breeding (Xumu 畜牧), divination of time (Zhanhou 占候), preparation of field work (Beikao 備考), hygiene (Weisheng 衛生) and famine relief (Jiuhuang 救荒). Its usefulness for the average peseantry is rated as quite high, and it found widespread distribution in several editions, also in some abridged versions. To make confusion of these editions even greater, the book was circulating under various titles.

In 1697 the Yuyu Hall 鬱鬱堂 published an 8-juan-long edition under the title Chongding zengbu Tao Zhugong zhifu qishu 重訂增補陶朱公致富奇書. The Agricultural Institute in Nanjing 南京農學院 owns an edition called Wengutang zengbu Tao Zhgong zhifu qishu guangji 縕古堂增補陶朱公致富奇書廣集 with a length of 10 juan. There is also an edition from 1821 published by the Juqiu Hall 聚秀堂, and one from the Lüyecao Hall 綠野草堂 from 1840. Four further editions by the Wenye Hall 文業堂, the Eryou Hall 二酉堂, the Zhizhi Hall 致知堂 and the Weigen Studio 味根齋 are 4 juan long. All were published during the Guangxu reign-period 光緒 (1875-1908).

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1649.<