An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Yiyuzhi 異域志

Dec 15, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Yiyuzhi 異域志 "Report from alien regions" is a short book on foreign states written by a Yuan-period 元 (1279-1368) master called Zhou Zhizhong 周致中 (dates unknown). It it kown that he was a supervisor of an academy (zhiyuan 知院) and was six times sent abroad on diplomatic missions.

The original title of the book of 2 juan was Luochonglu 臝蟲錄 "Records of the unclad worms", which is a very derogatory appellation of non-Chinese peoples. In the books, 210 peoples and states are shortly mentioned and described concerning their customs and habits, the size of their country, and the local products. The text covers "ethnic minorities" as well as larger states. The geographic frame reaches from Korea to the East African coast.

The book is described in the Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao 四庫全書總目提要, part Cunmu 存目, but not included in the corpus of the Siku quanshu 四庫全書 series. It is found in the series Yimen guangdu 夷門廣牘.

In 1981 the Zhonghua Book Company 中華書局 published a modern edition, annotated by Lu Junling 陸峻嶺.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 1092.
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), 158.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 373.